I’m really, really pleased with how these photos came out of my finished 28mm colonial New Zealand Wars figures and Kiwi terrain. Having harped on for ages about them (27 previous posts to be exact!), finally all my Empress Miniatures figures are painted and based, and the typical New Zealand bush terrain completed. So here for your delectation are some scenes from Old New Zealand.
As per normal, there are some lovely big photos hidden behind a simple click on each picture. So if you want to see anything in more detail, click away!
The scene above shows Māori chief Hone Heke (right) and a portly comrade in the bush. The greenery includes paper model railway bushes and trees by Right Track, some vaguely New Zealandish trees by GW Warhammer trees, and a few sprigs of plastic Christmas bracken bought from a ‘pop-up’ department store shop in earthquake-struck Christchurch.
Here’s a closer view, where you can clearly see the paper ferns and the GW Warhammer trees. The latter wouldn’t pass a botanist’s inspection as being true native New Zealand plants, but I still think they give the right sort of look overall.
The only Right Track tree that I found a little unconvincing is the palm on the far right, for which I think the foliage is a bit sparse and flat. But otherwise this range is a wonderful product!
A fearsome party of Māori warriors performs the ‘haka’, or war dance. The figures have the bulging eyes (‘pukana’) and stuck-out tongues (‘whetero’) that are traditional parts of the haka.
A Māori marksman lies in wait behind a rock. I used the plastic bracken here, which looks a lot better in real-life than in this blown-up photo. While bracken isn’t a New Zealand native, it looks enough like various other types of leafy Kiwi plants.
A party of British from the 58th Rutlandshire (the ‘Black Cuffs’) on patrol alongside a patch of feathery toi-toi plants. The sergeant (third from left) calls out to the point man, whilst the last man hurries to catch up. These Empress British have such wonderful characterful faces that are a joy to paint.
A British officer surveys the enemy from a rocky outcrop. The paper cabbage trees are very effective, apart from the ring of the join above the dead leaves. While this ring is not seen when looking at the trees from tabletop height, in hindsight I wish I had covered it up, which wouldn’t have been hard to do during assembly.
Reveille in the camp site. Or perhaps it is Bugler Allen raising the alarm at the Battle of Boulcott Farm on 16 May 1846, before receiving the hatchet blow from one of Te Karamu’s ambushing warriors, which severed his arm and stopped his playing. The plastic tents are by Renadra, as are the camp-beds and the fire.
“Oi, wait up, mate!” Shirt-sleeved militia, in their jaunty pork-pie hats, patrol through a patch of bush.
Some more militia take pot-shots at the enemy from behind a Perry Miniatures rail fence, with the ubiquitous toi-toi plant to their left.
I couldn’t decide between this and the previous photo of the militiamen behind the fence. So you’ve got both!
In the past I used to paint anything wooden brown, but some time ago I realised that a weather-beaten grey (like this fence) looks much better.
A bespectacled civilian and a white-coated policeman from the Magistracy Police guard a Perry Miniatures cottage from attack.
The picket fence is also by the Perrys, and really looks the part for a colonial scene like this.
Many of my plants are mounted on single washers, so I can dot them round gardens as I’ve done here.
Finally, here is a sampling of my range of my figures and flora set out at random on my work desk. You can see how I’ve arranged the plants on washers and larger discs. Note also the single figure basing I’ve used for the miniatures, which I’ll probably use with the Too Fat Lardies’ Sharp Practice rules.
Now, I’ve got to admit that I lied at the top of this posting, when I said I had totally finished. I’ve just realised I have forgotten to assemble and paint the Empress Miniatures rocket-tube for my naval rocket battery.
And there is also one vital piece of scenery for the New Zealand Wars period that is missing from my collection – the Māori ‘pa’, or fortification. So that’s a project still to come …
Plus there is the very exciting (though totally unconfirmed as yet) rumour of more releases for this range to come soon from Empress!