First pics of Sir Peter Jackson’s massive Gallipoli diorama!

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The first public photos have been released of the room-sized diorama of the Battle of Chunuk Bair at The Great War Exhibition in Wellington, populated with five thousand 54mm figures.

The diorama is the brainchild of world-famous movie director and WW1 buff, Sir Peter Jackson. He enlisted the former chief of New Zealand’s defence forces, Lt General (rtd) Rhys Jones, himself a keen wargamer, to lead this official WW100 commemoration project.

Alan and Michael Perry, two of the foremost miniature figure sculptors in the world, were engaged to produce the figures; and leading movie special effects company Weta Workshop to make the massive terrain.

The 5000 miniatures were painted by 140 enthusiastic Kiwi wargamers organised in teams of volunteers right across the country.

So pop on over to the official Mustering The Troops blog for loads of photos of this amazing diorama. Here are some sample pics from the blog:

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Final touches for the massive 54mm Chunuk Bair diorama

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The huge Chunuk Bair diorama that over 100 New Zealand wargamers have been working on over the last few months is just a couple of days away from opening. It has in fact been ready since before Anzac Day, but other displays around it have been delaying things.

The diorama contains five thousand 54mm figures specially produced by the Perry twins, arrayed over ten square metres of terrain built by Weta Workshop.

I have loads of photos of the diorama ready to go up onto the official diorama blog, Mustering The Troops – but they’re embargoed until Monday morning after the opening. Above is the only photo released so far of the diorama – a close-up of some of the final touches.

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A visit to Sir Peter Jackson’s ‘The Great War Exhibition’

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Today I visited Sir Peter Jackson’s The Great War Exhibition in Wellinton. Besides the two pictures here, I’ve posted lots of photos over on the Mustering the Troops blog, so pop over for a look.

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Amazing parade of WW1 vehicles in Wellington today

What day to be at home sick! I had planned for weeks to attend the Anzac commemoration parade today, but bronchitis holds back for no man.

And what an event it turns out I missed. Beautiful weather; big crowds; loads of WW1 trucks, buses, tanks and horse-drawn guns; young period soldiers who actually looked the part; a sea of red poppies; stirring haka from schoolboys as the parade passed … wow!

These are just some of the photos from today’s New Zealand Herald.

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Me as a 54mm Perry miniature!

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The Perry twins have kindly sculpted this 54mm trench-digging New Zealander as … er … me, albeit in a much more heroic stance than I usually adopt.

I was really taken to be included amongst the Perry specials for the forthcoming Chunuk Bair (Gallipoli) diorama at The Great War Exhibition in Wellington. But my wife slightly deflated my bubble when she asked why the Perrys ‘hadn’t sculpted my tummy’!

I’m not sure if I’ve done the clever sculpting justice, not being a fine detail painter, but generally using a more impressionistic ‘dry-brush and wash’ technique.

I’m told the oldest Anzac soldier at Chunuk Bair was 53 years old, so I felt I could paint this figure with grey(ish) hair. But if necessary I can use an ink-wash to darken it up before the figure is placed in the diorama next weekend.

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Pics of day 2 of Gallipoli diorama assembly at Weta

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Here’s a group photo of the team working on Day 2 of the diorama assembly at Weta Workshop.  The pic includes volunteer painters, Weta staff, the Perry twins, our organiser Rhys Jones, and a local film director who popped in for a couple of hours to view progress.

More pics of the day here on the Mustering The Troops blog.

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Day 1 assembling giant Gallipoli diorama at Weta Workshop

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Today was Day 1 of the assembly of the giant diorama we are working on with Weta Workshop to commemorate Gallipoli.

This morning about twenty of the Wellington region painters turned up at Weta Workshop to help out with the assembly process. And what a day it was!  … [read the remainder of this article on my Mustering The Troops blog]

And see some photos here.

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