Saturday, 28 February 2015

PTS 69 + Anzac Bay + Gallipoli Turks + WW100

Anzac Bay, Waihi, New Zealand.
Welcome to Painting Table Saturday #69. This week I was away for 4 days as a camp dad on my daughter's school trip to Waihi. We visited gold mines (past and present), went on walks through the native bush, rode on a circa 1905 train, enjoyed a full day of activities (including kayaking) at Anzac Bay and pitched our tents at Dickies Flat (which has an awesome water hole for swimming).

It was a great opportunity for the kids to grow more confident in their own abilities through challenges both physical and mental. It was also a very spiritual journey for me. I could happily live on camp!

Something in the water at Dickies Flat.
One of the interesting places we visited was Anzac Bay. Originally St Georges Bay, the renaming occurred on November 11 1915, around 2 months before the end of the Gallipoli campaign, making it one of the earliest commemoration sites in New Zealand.

Upon returning to the painting table, I completed the Turks for the Gallipoli diorama. These will be heading off to Wellington, in a bulletproof box with miniatures from other Waikato painters, on Tuesday. I hope to have a new batch arrive for our volunteers this week. Here is my first finished group of Turks:

A variety of colours from the guide palette, while keeping it dirty.


God bless you and have a great week!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

PTS 68 + An Old Friend Visits + Grenadier Wizard

Painting Table Saturday hits 68 with a visit from an old friend inspiring the restoration of a classic Grenadier wizard, from the days of our youth. In fact, Jim was one of the first kids I ever played D&D with in Te Kuiti. He was also one of my first friends in Te Kuiti. Thirty years can fly by. Anyway, Jim now lives in Yorkshire. It's a long way from New Zealand and I certainly appreciated the visit on his whirlwind tour of the country with his family and parents in law. 

My God sons, Thomas and Ethan.
I owe a lot to Jim. My extensive knowledge of Queen songs comes from his love of the band and his infectious laughter was always a blessing when I did something dumb. There were plenty of dumb things to do back then! Jim was also best man at my wedding. I showed him round the new house and The Man Shed (which never fails to impress blokes). Going through a collection of miniatures, I found one he had given me. Alas, I used to joke about his painting skills. I regret that now.

So this week I stripped his old wizard using Dettol. A new technique for me as I usually use paint stripper (but I was all out). The effects were suitable, although I didn't get all of the enamel off the lead, it was enough for me to get going and time was of the essence. The photos speak for themselves. I gave this wizard OSL... Object Source Lighting. May it shine a light wherever Jim decides to display it.

A day in a cap full of Dettol does the trick.

Well almost. The beard is gnarly. I begin with the face and hands.

Bright yellow undercoat to bring out the red.

I'm also almost finished the first batch of 54mm Turks for Mustering the Troops as a contribution to the diorama of Chunuk Bair, part of the official Gallipoli New Zealand WW100 project. I have also employed the assistance of my youngest daughter Rylee (aged 5).

Rylee joins the ranks of Kiwis painting for Peter Jackson.

God bless you and have a great week!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

PTS 67 + Painting Turks for Anzac Day 2015 + Gallipoli WW100

Answering the Call.
Painting Table Saturday number 67 is an exciting one as painters all over New Zealand are working on Anzacs and Turks for a diorama that depicts 4000 troops at the battle of Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli. This huge undertaking is part of the official New Zealand WW100 project.

This week Sir Peter Jackson sent us all a message via the Mustering the Troops blog:

I want to thank all the wargamers who have volunteered to help with this massive diorama project. You've answered your country’s call for sure! Your work and skill is very much appreciated by all involved in the WW1 exhibition we're putting together.

Chunuk Bair is a battle more and more New Zealanders are becoming aware of, but few really understand what it was, and fewer still can visualise it. 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. Thanks to your efforts, we'll be able to create an accurate and lasting impression of the struggle Kiwi soldiers found themselves in, mid-morning on August 8th, 1915.

The Scarecrow Army.
I've been looking at your work as it’s been posted on this blog, and it’s terrific! My only suggestion would be to vary the colours of the New Zealand shirts a little more. There are no photographs of the Wellington Battalion on Chunuk Bair, but we know the attack orders from General Godley specified “shirt-sleeves only”.

In Gallipoli by August, most sense of military correctness had been thrown out the window. Far from stepping off the parade ground, by August the Anzacs were known as “The Scarecrow Army”. Soldiers were receiving parcels from home, and new shirts from Mum were often included. So despite the painting guide instructions, I would encourage future New Zealand figure painters to give yourselves permission to mix it up a bit. Grubby white shirts, olive green, dark blue, light grey - all would be fine, and it will give the diorama an accurate look.

The photos below will give you a sense of the wide variety of shirt colours.
Thanks for supporting this project!

Peter Jackson 

Following the guide, I've purchased some suggested Games Workshop paints and started on the Turkish soldiers that arrived during the week. 


Peg holes drilled for spray undercoats.

First coat complete.

BluTak to hold arms in place while Epoxy glue drys.

Some green stuff required.

Second spray coat applied.

I've used a mix of both techniques. Spraying an undercoat with the Tamiya Dark Earth and Dark Yellow first, then applying the GW paints as per the guide. I'm going for an "in the trenches" look, keeping it rough and dirty.

Brush painting has begun.

Seeing the photos shared by other painters is truly inspirational.

God bless you and have a great week!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Gallipoli Diorama + Mustering the Troops + WW100 Project

54mm Turkish Soldier.
The Turks are here! As a coordinator for the Waikato region, I'm happy to report that the first parcel of Perry miniatures have arrived for collection and painting by our local volunteers from the Tamahere Officers Club and Hamilton Immortals MWC.

More amazing miniatures are on the way, with 4000 miniatures required for the diorama and 90+ painters nationwide, this is a massive project. There is an official blog (Mustering the Troops) with information about the Gallipoli diorama and I also will post updates on our painting progress here. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

PTS 66 + Citadel Ninja + Grenadier Scorpions

Painting Table Saturday 66th Edition, with some classic 80s Ninja from Citadel miniatures (and perhaps a Dixon mini too?) making it from the painting table to the gaming shelf, ready for battle. One of these required some repair. Thank goodness for my collection of plastic Lord of the Rings miniatures from Games Workshop. Many a time they have been sacrificed under the model knife so that my older models can be made whole again!

As tempting as it was to paint these ninja black, I went for the more historically accurate navy blue. The black ninja costume of modern media comes from kabuki theatre. These ninja are on a deadly night mission, otherwise they would be dressed according to their objective. I remember back in the 1980s, when playing a ninja in the Bushido RPG, the ninja was a master of disguise and would also be an ordinary peasant, soldier, etc. by the light of day. Apart from Tae Kwon Do, that's the closest I've ever come to ninjitsu.

Four of these are definitely Citadel... the other two are Dixon?

Speaking of deadly assassins, I also have a pair of Grenadier Scorpions underway. These are fantastic miniatures, which have been sitting in my unpainted lead box for thirty years!

Grenadier Scorpions.

Green stuff rocks added to the base.

God bless you and have a great week!