Hurry, hurry, hurry, for 1860s NZ Wars range

Driving tour masthead

There are only a couple of weeks left in the campaign to get a range of 1860s New Zealand Wars figures sculpted by Eureka Miniatures. These 28mm figures woukd be a great addition for NZ Wars gamers, as well as being usable in other settings.

2003 Military Uniforms 40c A

The Forest Rangers, for example, would be useful for all sorts of mid 19th century types … probably at a pinch for the Maximilian Wars or even the American Civil War. The ‘westernised’ Maori could fit into Africa for all manner of forces.

But we’re not there yet.

This post is aimed at ‘stirring the pot’… please ask around or consider a new ‘small project era’ to get this one over the line. There are plenty of possible actions for 60-100 figures or so for rules like ‘Sharp Practice 2’ or ‘Muskets & Tomahawks’. Even just a modest force will do for many, many actions of this period.

Click here for more details about the campaign to get these figures made.


I’ve already painted a few of the Perry Miniatures 1860s British, which the proposed sculpts are meant to supplement. These are very well sculpted (as you would expect) and have a nice ‘bulk’ and clean casting. These figures combined with Alan Marsh’s sculpts from Eureka would be a great mix.

As part of the proposed figures, there’s a character figure of the charismatic Gustavus Von Tempsky. Here is a nice article on this interesting figure (click on it to enlarge).

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There’s also a full television documentary Von Tempsky’s Ghost here…excellent viewing! Grab a cuppa and enjoy!  Wink



Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Eureka Miniatures, Uncategorized

Newly released trailer for ‘Barry Lyndon’

Just as vibrant and urgent as it was when it debuted in 1975, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon is perhaps the perfect historical epic movie to be re-introduced to a brand new audience.

In advance of the July 2016 re-release of the film in the UK,  a new trailer has been crafted for the film, one that builds in a contemporary feel without sacrificing the film’s authenticity.

Only a cinema screen can do justice to the stunning visuals of Barry Lyndon. Inspired by painters such as Thomas Gainsborough and William Hogarth, the film has a beautiful, painterly look, enhanced by filming in natural or historically accurate light sources.

My particular interest, of course, is that the miniature army of my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia, is made up of the various units that appear in the movie, including Gale’s Regiment of Foot, the Régiment de Royal-Cravates, and the ‘Kubrick’ Infanterie Regiment.


The British contingent of the army of the Barryat of Lyndonia: Gale’s Regiment of Foot (28mm Minden Miniatures figures, GMB flags).


The French contingent of the army of the Barryat of Lyndonia: the Régiment de Royal-Cravates (28mm Minden Miniatures figures, GMB flags).


The Prussian contingent of the army of the Barryat of Lyndonia: the ‘Kubrick’ Infanterie Regiment (28mm Minden Miniatures figures, GMB flags).



Filed under Eighteenth century, Minden Miniatures, Movies, Uncategorized

Trees, trees, trees …

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If you go down to the woods today …

I’ve been upgrading my wargames trees, to add to my existing rather shonky stock of greenery.

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My old homemade trees can be seen in the background of the photo below, the new ones in various stages of basing at the front.

I bought these trees off eBay from China, at ridiculously low prices. Even the shipping from China to New Zealand cost less than if I were to post a standard letter to the next city. How this company makes money, I don’t know – but I’m not complaining!

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These trees come without bases, so I bought some large square metal washers, and with liberal use of hot glue, liquid nails, and my usual sand-and-PVA-glue mix, they seem to have attached well. I also added some sprigs of plastic Christmas decorative bracken to some of the bases.

Whilst most of these trees came in perfectly OK shades of green, there were a few that were a little bit too vivid for my taste. But with some dark green clothes dye, it was a simple and satisfying process to fix them.

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Some of the trees are conifers, as in the above picture.  Others (as seen in the pictures further up this page) are deciduous tree.

As you can see, all in all they make a perfectly idyllic grove for my 18th century couples to frolic together!

Here’s the eBay page page where I found these trees.  I bought mine from several of the dealers listed, but they are much the same. You can scroll down each listing to find the details of size – they range quite a bit in height, so you need to select ones that’ll suit your scale.



Filed under Eighteenth century, Terrain, Uncategorized

Interested in an 1860s NZ Wars range from Eureka?


OK gents, listen up!

We now have a great opportunity. Eureka Miniatures has put forth a proposal for a range of 28mm metal 1860s New Zealand Wars figures, as initially discussed in a recent thread on the Lead Adventure Forum entitled: NEW – Eureka Miniatures 28mm ‘pre contact’ Maori figures pics – Page1

These figures will include the Forest Rangers, with a Von Tempsky character figure, and up to 12 King Movement Pakeha and Kupapa Maori. Also include will be up to 20 head variants which will enable conversions for any figures that are suitable for this period, or any mid Victorian (Crimean/Indian Mutiny) period outside of the proposed range.

When combined with the current Perry ‘British Intervention Force’ range for the regulars, there’ll really be the potential for a full spread of high-quality sculpts for the 1860s 2nd and 3rd Maori wars.

This is great news. However it now requires your action to make it a reality.

All the people that have put up their hand for figures in the LAF thread, or anyone else who wants to also partake, now need to make actual contact with Eureka Miniatures so that they can get the prospective orders on the books and the sculpting of these figures can commence.

2003 Military Uniforms 40c A

The proposed figure range is as follows:

100MAU100       Forest Rangers Skirmishing with Terry carbines (4 variants)

100MAU101       Forest Rangers in kilt with Terry carbines (4 variants)

100MAU102       Forest Ranger Officer (1)

100MAU103       “Von Tempsky” personality (1)

100MAU104       Kupapa Maori skirmishing with firearms (4 variants)

100MAU105       Pakeha Maori skirmishing with traditional weapons (4 variants)

100MAU106       Pakeha Maori skirmishing with firearms (4 variants)

100MAU107       Victorian bearded heads, flat cap with peak (5 variants)

100MAU108       Victorian bearded heads, flat cap with no peak (5 variants)

100MAU109       Victorian bearded heads, floppy hats (5 variants)

100MAU110       Maori heads    (5 variants)

They would be sculpted by Alan Marsh with references provided by ‘Happy Wanderer’ (in consultation with period ‘experts’).

Please let Eureka know how many of each code number you would be interested in purchasing:

Even if you’re only interested in 20 or 30 figures or even less,  every single order accounts. The good thing with this period is that you really don’t need lots of figures to get into it. You can have a game with 20 figures or 200 – the choice is yours.

Eureka will keep a tally of all the responses and once sufficient pre-orders come in to pay for the sculpting, the project will commence 1st August 2016. Delivery should take place in September 2016. All pre-orders of more than AUD$100.00 will be despatched post free (AUD$110.00 for Australian residents).

Eureka will ask for half your commitment money to be paid up-front, with the balance due when your order is ready for despatch.

This project is open until 31st July.

Importantly, the sculpting for these figures can commence in as little as 4 weeks, so these figures could well be  hitting the store in as little as two months or so. This is great news as we won’t have to wait for any lead time on specific figure ranges that may or may not occur. You part-pay for your figures and in a few months you’ll have opened up the entire 1860s Wars in New Zealand ready to go…a most decidedly underdone period when it comes to colonial gaming.

For those of you that may not have considered the New Zealand Wars as a possible theatre for colonial gaming the following links will prove useful in having a bit of a look around and seeing what the period has to offer. The period really is full of all sorts of different aspects that make it quite unique. The 2nd and 3rd Maori War in the 1860s is really where much of the main action took place…quite different from the relatively limited 1st Maori War. Very much a blend of the French and Indian War and American Plains Indian Wars all combined in one including raids, ambushes, convoys, Pa assaults, naval landing (both Maori and Pakeha), religious fanatics, and many other guerrilla war type scenarios along with set piece attacks and all that they entail.


Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Eureka Miniatures, Uncategorized

1860s Māori Wars and WW2 Dutch

I’m eagerly anticipating two ranges of new figures that are hovering enticingly on the horizon at the moment.

Colonial New Zealand Wars of the 1860s

A discussion on the Lead Adventures forum has resulted in two different manufacturers expressing a possible interest in producing figures for the 1860s colonial wars in New Zealand. The discussion thread was initially about Eureka Miniatures‘ new range of pre-colonial Māori, but on page 2 I posted as follows:

I know it is a little bit out of the period Eureka are aiming at, but the missing party amongst the combined Eureka and Empress ranges are western-dressed Māori for the later wars of the 1860s/70s (wearing waistcoats, for example – and even the occasional bowler hat à la Goldie).


Whilst Eureka Miniatures have their new range of pre-colonial Māori, and Empress Miniatures already has a comprehensive range of figures for the 1840s period of the colonial New Zealand Wars, there are few 28mm figures to re-fight the battles that involved Māori and Pākehā (Europeans) during the 1860s and 70s.


Perry Miniatures, of course, do a very good line of British regulars in their ‘British Intervention Force’ range that fit the period (as per the pic above).

But neither the western-dressed  Māori (as per the front cover pic of Osprey’s book on Māori fortifications shown below), nor the colonial troops such as the Forest Rangers, Militia and Armed Constabulary (as per the black-and-white photo below) are currently made.

Pa fight

Armed Constabulary

Further into the discussion, my suggestion was taken up, and it appears that two manufacturers could perhaps be interested in producing figures for the later period.

Eureka are interested if enough pre-support can be garnered. As one of the participants in the discussion said:

What I can say is that if we get enough people to commit then those figures will be sculpted (as I’m told). Just need to get people to say yes and give a number of troops they want.

Once the required number is reached, the research passed to the sculptor, then the figures get sculpted…nothing fancy like Kickstarter…just a bunch of people saying ‘I want this’ and if the numbers are there…then it can get done…

And one of the Empress Miniatures team contributed this to the discussion:

We aren’t in a position to start working on sculpts straight away (production is planned 8 to 12 + months in advance generally) but I can definitely say that this show of interest in the period has persuaded us to look at our current plans for this range.

We do offer a range sponsorship scheme and this ‘can’ jump queues. Perhaps you guys could consider banding together and work something out? If this is of interest then drop us an e mail for details.

So if you’re interested in such a range, please do go onto the Lead Adventures thread and state your interest – we need to have a show of hands to sufficiently entice one or other (or both!) of these manufacturers before they’ll take this up!

Dutch Army of 1940


Much more advanced in production than the NZ Wars figures are a new line of WW2 Dutch troops being produced by May ’40 Miniatures.

I’ve written about this forthcoming range before here, but today the following progress pictures were released on their FaceBook page.  My mouth is watering!

I especially like the Lewis gun team in the pic above, with the gun being supported on the shoulder of the Number Two, who’s gripping the fore-support legs as though it’s more than his life’s worth (which it probably is!).

I’m also really pleased to see a medic (the figure on the right in the pic below) in the range. He will represent my father, who was in the Medical Troops during the May invasion of the Netherlands.



Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Empress Miniatures, Eureka Miniatures, May 40, Uncategorized, WW2

Photo book on Dutch WW2 equipment

Holland Paraat

With the recent announcement of a new range of 28mm WW2 Dutch miniatures, I’m gathering together some research material for when I start painting. So I’ve ordered a copy of the book Holland Paraat – Equipment of the Dutch Army 1939-1940 by  by Jan Giesbers, Rob Tas and Antal Giesbers.

This A4-sized picture book describes the weapons, vehicles, and the organisational structure of the Dutch army during WW2.

The text, written in both Dutch and English, starts with a brief summary of the short-lasting fighting in 1940, and a brief overview of the Dutch army organisation.

The bulk of the book is made up of black-and-white photos, most very crisp and detailed, some large sized, and all printed on good quality paper. Most I had never seen before (though as this is a new subject to me, that might not be so unusual).


There are also a few full-colour pages with photos 0f reenactors, and some nicely-done illustrations of uniforms and vehicles (such as the DAF armoured car below).


Besides the many pics of normal weaponry, transport, armoured cars and artillery you’d expect to see in such a book, it also includes photos of some rather unusual and obscure subjects, such as an ice-cutting truck, cycling bands, searchlight lorries, and semaphore communications equipment. A classic is this photo of a motorcyclist sergeant timpanist!


This book has got me even more enthused about the forthcoming launch of the new range of May ’40 Miniatures. The latest pics on their site show the first pre-production castings from the sculpts by Michael Percy. Heads, arms and equipment will be added before the production figures are ready to be cast.



So why research and play a wargames army who effectively only took part in about five days during WW2? Well, remember that many Napoleonics players concentrate on armies that fought in the Waterloo campaign for even less days than that!

Reading this book and eventually painting these figures will also pay homage to my Dad, who served in the Dutch medical troops in WW2, and later in the Dutch East Indies, before meeting my Mum and emigrating to New Zealand.


See an ad here for purchasing this book in the UK for 24.99 pounds.

  • Publisher: Giesbers (2011)
  • ISBN-10: 9080933929
  • ISBN-13: 978-9080933927
  • Blurb: May 1940: The Dutch field army had to oppose a mighty enemy that was able to beat down the resistance of the Dutch army in five days. In this photo album we shed a light on the equipment with which the Dutch army went into battle – an amount of vehicles that comprised both kooky Dutch designs and foreign weaponry, whereby newly-acquired weapons were sent into battle alongside totally obsolete ones. The photos in this photo album therefore encompass a wider time frame than just the mobilisation and the battles of the May days in 1940, but in their totality give a good overview of the equipment with which the Dutch army confronted the German invader.


Filed under Books, May 40, Uncategorized, WW2

‘The Black Devils’ film trailer re Dutch marines in 1940

I found this tantalising trailer for a new Dutch mini-series on YouTube. It is about the Dutch marines in Rotterdam during the German invasion in 1940.

Note: After you click on the  above still picture, you will then have to click on the link saying ‘Watch this video on YouTube’, as it is disabled from playing directly from this blog.

In World War II, a Korps Mariniers unit that was in Rotterdam preparing to ship out to the Dutch East Indies successfully defended the bridges across the Maas, preventing German paratroopers in the centre of the city from rendezvousing with conventional German infantry. The Germans ended the stalemate by bombing Rotterdam.


The marines earned their nick-name of ‘Black Devils’ from their dark uniform tunics.

Whilst the trailer is in Dutch, you’ll get the gist of it, especially in the second half.

I’m not sure if this mini-series has actually made it to the the TV screen yet, however.

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Filed under Movies, Uncategorized, WW2