A message from Sir Peter Jackson

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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.

Read the remainder of Peter Jackson’s message here.  Or read more about the actual Battle of Chunuk Bair here.

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.


3 thoughts on “A message from Sir Peter Jackson

  1. This is going to be such a fantastic project! I’m very much looking forward to seeing the finished diorama which I think will be one of the largest and most complex ever made in New Zealand. Wonderful stuff!

    I’ve been unable to engage with any of the WWI projects myself. It’s weird. I’m listed as one of the top four military historians in New Zealand, my work’s been welcomed at the Sandhurst RMC and by the Royal Historical Society who elected me a Fellow on merit of it; and yet here I can’t even get replies to my emails from the public- and university-employed military historians who prosper at my expense (and yours) as taxpayer, and who are organising a lot of the WW1100 activities… I’ve been very efficiently cut out of their world. Oh well, I’ll at least be able to cheer from the sidelines… 🙂

    1. Yes, I’ve followed your issues with these other historians over the years. Just shows the hallowed halls of military history are really no different from those of wargaming, which has just as many cliques!

      I for one will read your book ‘Shattered Glory’ during this project, as in reality we are just part of that ongoing history of the reaction to Gallipoli that you have written about.

      1. Thank you! Do you have it? Penguin took it out of print just before Anzac day last year, but I do have a small supply to onsell if you’re looking for a copy.

        No question about the cliques – if only they accepted that history’s a ‘together’ thing, in which if we build and uplift each other, it’ll mean a bigger pie to go round. Everyone has something unique to contribute, surely?

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