I’ve been busy painting some of the 4000 figures that’ll populate a massive Gallipoli diorama in the forthcoming Great War Exhibition in Wellington. Construction of the diorama is being done by Weta Workshop, and the project is led by Peter Jackson.
Here are some pics of the last few New Zealanders of the 58 Perry Miniatures figures I was given to paint.
Firstly, the Maori Contingent. I love these wonderful 54mm figures, especially the guy wielding his reversed rifle like a taiaha. They’re my favourite figures of the whole project so far.
Secondly, some resting/reserve men, including a couple of very tired looking Auckland Mounted Rifles, recognisable by their brown leather bandoliers.
Finally, some infantry desperately digging a trench. I really like the bearded guy at the front left, and am pleased with how his blonde hair came out.
I’ve loved painting these 54mm figures, and think I might even find it hard going back to 28mm again! I found they painted very easily, and really came up well with the dry-brushing and wash technique I like to use.
And of course the Perrys’ sculpture and animation are absolutely exquisite. In fact, most of their figures are, in my view, much better than the life-size war memorial statues you see around the country.
Overall, this has been a fantastic project. Besides the honour of painting these commemorative figures that will likely well out-live me, I have found it humbling to read the stories of the real Anzacs and Turks, of whom I knew very little about before this project. Brave, brave men on both sides.
My other job for this project has been to develop and run the ‘Mustering The Troops’ blog to support the 100+ painters around the country over the last two months. From the feedback I’ve had, this has been very much appreciated by the team.
The ‘Mustering The Troops’ blog will also form the historical record of the project – maybe in a further one hundred years, some historian will be looking at it for the bicentenary!