As readers will know, I’m involved in an exciting and ambitious project, along with over a hundred other Kiwi wargamers, to paint 4,000 specially made 54mm miniatures for a diorama at New Zealand’s forthcoming Great War Exhibition.
In a message on our project’s official Mustering The Troops blog, Sir Peter Jackson has hinted about the sheer scale of this spectacular diorama of the battle of Chunuk Bair:
In a museum, there are very few ways to depict the scale of the battle, with over 1000 New Zealand and British troops under attack by thousands of Turks, across a 400 yard long crest – but we thought a miniature was the perfect way.
The diorama itself will be huge – over 10m long – with the terrain accurately re-created from a digital scan of Chunuk Bair itself. High resolution scans of aerial photos taken in October 1915, reveal the remains of the New Zealand trenches, so those will be positioned exactly as they were in August.
The atmosphere engendered amongst the hundred volunteer painters engaged in this project has been fantastic. Everyone is really enthusiastic, helping each other out, and producing some amazing results. A particular highlight are the cooperative group painting sessions that are taking place all over New Zealand. And being able to paint these one-off specials made by the Perry Miniatures is a real treat in itself.
But most importantly, it feels very special to know wargamers are doing our bit to commemorate Gallipoli, joining thousands of other Kiwi artists, craftspeople, writers, actors etc, who’ve all volunteered to do their bit across hundreds of official or homespun commemorative WW100 events and projects.