Empress Miniatures ‘New Zealand Wars’ naval landing party painted

IMG_1579_sm

Today I finished painting and basing the wonderful Empress Miniatures’ naval landing party from their 28mm New Zealand Wars range, and set up a photo shoot outside.  [Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them to their full effect!]

These models represent the Royal Navy shore parties who took such a major role in many of the battles of the colonial New Zealand Wars. The uniforms of this group are those of the 1840s, so are perfect for fighting in wargames set during the Northern War (or so-called Flagstaff War), and also in the skirmishes that took place around Wellington.

IMG_1566_sm

As you can see, these figures have loads of life and animation. I especially like the officers (or petty officers, boatswain’s mates or whatever they are – I’m no expert on naval ranks). And the black sailor in shirt-sleeves brandishing his cutlass is terrific, too.

IMG_1561_sm

I’m not so happy with the blue I used for the uniforms on my figures. The Foundry three-pack ends up too light a blue. I may get some black wash and try darkening up their uniforms a little.

I ummed and ahhed a lot about whether or not the figures should have light blue collars.  This to me is really characteristic of a sailor’s uniform.  But I wondered if the 1840s were too early for this kind of uniformity in the Navy.  In the end I found the following print, which dates about 1849, and so they got their smart light blue collars!

lesserandsailor

Empress have also produced a nice chunky 32-pounder to go with this range. These guns were really used during the period, dragged miles through the rugged bush to pummel against the Maori pa fortifications, for example at the Battle of Ruapekapeka.

[And, yes, that’s a real horse in the background – meet our pony, Sammy!]

IMG_1584_sm

I couldn’t find any colour reference for the actual guns used in New Zealand, so went with the dark yellow of the guns on earlier ships like HMS Victory.  The Mark Adkin Trafalgar Companion book has a really good illustration of a 32-pounder.  It was this picture that also gave me the idea to draw some lines on the rims of the wheels to represent their two-piece structure.

IMG_1585_sm

In the picture below, you can see the second spongeman/rammer serving the sponge to the first spongeman/rammer standing near the muzzle. Meanwhile, the first loader is putting a ball down the spout, whilst the second loader walks back to receive another cartridge or cannon ball from the the shot & wad man at the rear. The gun captain stands behind the gun and prepares the firing mechanism.

During the Northern Wars, the crews built platforms in the muddy bush from which to fire these great guns. I’ve just indicated this platform by including some boarding on the base. I may later build a more accurate (and bigger) model gun position, complete with log palisading.

IMG_1556_sm

This photography session gave me an opportunity to make a couple more ‘Big Man’ cards to go with the Sharp Practice rules I use for New Zealand Wars gaming.

Brit naval big men

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Empress Miniatures, Uncategorized

15 responses to “Empress Miniatures ‘New Zealand Wars’ naval landing party painted

  1. Anonymous

    Very nicely done!

  2. Thanks, Scott. Still not as tidy as your paintwork, though.

  3. Splendid work my good man! I just love this set and it is going to have to go right to the top of the wish list fro ‘Salute’ this year!

  4. briansmaller

    Imagine trying to lay that gun after it bucks off into the bush after firing. Great figures Roly. Can’t wait for a game:)

    • Yep, that boarding on my base is merely indicative of a platform. If I do eventually make a proper model platform, it’ll need to be much bigger. And I guess there will have to be tackles attached to sturdy trees.

  5. Legatus Hedlius

    Great painting and wonderfully photographed!

  6. Don’t worry about the blue: blue cloth fades (like jeans). Nice job.

  7. Beautiful paint job on a fantastic set! Great to see the role of the RN getting some attention.

    Just this week I visited the grave of the men from the HMS Hazard that fell during the defense of Korarareka. Can just imagine your miniatures scrambling for cover in that churchyard as Kawiti’s men open fire. Great job!

    • Thanks for that, Lemuel.

      I recall visiting that church and the graves when I used to go up to Russell on holiday in my youth. I must make my way up there again one day – it’s a beautiful part of the country..

  8. Pingback: That was the year that was | DRESSING THE LINES

  9. Pingback: Gathering the forces for my colonial New Zealand Wars game | DRESSING THE LINES

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s