1. Copying kits is a crime that hurts original artists & producers. Help support your favorite artists by buying their original works. PlanetFigure will not tolerate any activities related to recasting, and will report recasters to authorities. Thank you for your support!

Completed Victorian Naval Brigade ZULU War 1879

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by blabsy, Dec 28, 2021.

  1. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi All,
    back in the summer I was asked if I'd thought of making a bust of a Sailor of the Naval Brigade, during the Victorian period, especially during the ZULU Wars (1879).
    So this started the cogs warring in my head......as some may know it's a field of interest to me the Victorian era and having a few members of family that served in the Senior Service, coming from Chatham and it's wealth of Naval history.
    What could I do but get the reference books out, go on line and search as you do.
    Some years ago I made a Naval boatswain Crimean war (1854-55) these guys did a very similar job manning gun batteries either afloat or on shore during this campaign, in effect being the forerunner of the Naval Brigade.
    So the bust I originally made, I took one of my castings and unboxed it thinking could I possibly use any part of it as a base?
    It would speed up the prosses, firstly a new head without a shadow of doubt and it's the bit I enjoy most.
    The torso? little was kept only part of the collar and that was extended, the shape of the shoulders was altered and the overall length of the bust was changed to add extra detail.
    The straw sonnet was altered slightly and the ribbon shortened for this period, there is some evidence they wore a soft white cap with a black ribbon with HMS or a Pith Helmet in Africa.
    My thoughts were if I used the sonnet it will cover a longer period, I think the equipment ie the leather belts stem from the Second Ashanti war 1873-74 till the Boxer Rebellion 1900 onward, I'll stand corrected!
    Ok I hope to with pictures and a SBS of painting this new bust will be of interest to some, The Royal Navy have been part of virtually every conflict the British Isles has ever been part of, and this Naval Brigade is still celebrated today in The Royal Military Tournament, the Royal Navy field gun teams.
    Always worth a look on youtube.
    Thanks for looking.
    Best Regards
    Paul


    CIMG2524.JPG
    IMG_0609.JPG IMG_0611.JPG IMG_0610.JPG
    IMG_4359.JPG IMG_4357.PNG IMG_4358.JPG
    Osebor, Billy Dickinson, Nap and 3 others like this.
  2. Larsen E. Whipsnade PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States
    Very cool. The Naval Brigade in the Zulu War is a particular interest of mine. I have a Zulu War medal with clasp awarded to Boy First Class T. Harris of the HMS Boadicea who served in the Brigade. Will you be making the bust available for sale?
    Rick
    Oda likes this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Paul

    Good to see your bench work , nice recycling on this original , definitely a subject not often seen

    Are you adding rank or a chin strap as well or maybe a weapon on hid shoulder ?

    Nice sculpt on the beard

    Look forward to more on this

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
  4. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Rick,
    Thanks for posting, that sounds awesome that you have an original medal and it’s history.
    I’ve not seen one to be truthful, if you could spare the time to take a picture that would be great.
    Regarding the bust I received my first casting yesterday for me to paint for my box art, so when this is done it will be available.
    Thanks for your interest.
    Best regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
  5. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Kev,
    Thanks for posting and correcting my images always happens
    I’ll not be adding any more to him, you can add rank in the painting process or medals as you wish, i did think of adding a weapon but one of my other sculpts is carrying one.
    So plane and simple rating he is.
    I will hopefully start painting him very soon for the box art, I’ll sbs here, I’m looking forward to it, it’s an interesting subject as you said sadly overlooked.
    Best regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
    Nap likes this.
  6. Larsen E. Whipsnade PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States

    Hi Paul,
    Attached is a pic of the T. Harris medal. Unfortunately it's in a frame displayed with several other campaign medals I own so I can't show you the entire item. I have a second Zulu War medal named to 1595 Pte E. Jones 2/24 which isn't framed and which I have also attached showing the complete medal (this Pte Jones was seconded to the 2/24 at Rorkes Drift a week after the battle). In addition I've enclosed a few pics of the Naval Brigade I thought might be interesting to you, although I'm not sure which pic is of which ship's crew. I do have a rather lengthy description of T. Harris' military career (he ended up being court martialled and sentenced to prison) which I can share with you if you care to see it.
    Best,
    Rick

    Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.24.25 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.25.17 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.25.50 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.28.51 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.27.56 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 7.26.19 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 9.31.02 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 9.31.50 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 9.31.27 AM.png
    blabsy and Nap like this.
  7. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Rick,
    And thanks for sharing this, it’s fabulous I’ve only a few medals nothing as exciting as this to be honest, I’ve a Grenadier Guard camel corp medal from the Sudan campaign hidden away somewhere, my grandfathers WW1 medals and his wounded flash from his wounding on the Somme.
    Also a few odds and ends.
    Old photos are always of interest especially of early use of the camera on military subjects,the people are real not an artist impression like the 18th century.
    I’ve a photo postcard of my Great grandfather a Naval rating who manned the first of the Iron Ships in the Royal Navy out of Chatham Dock he’s hometown.
    Interesting characters in that image, a thing of note was his arthritic hands all clawed up, hard life at sea!
    I enjoy bringing characters to life in a sculpt not every one looked like Clarke Gable in the day, some of the faces looking out from a Victorian photograph they are worth bringing back even if it’s only elements of their character.
    I’m always interested in back stories if you’re happy to share this that would be awesome, on here or via email.
    Later I’ll post some images of “Thomas “ as he’s being referred to at home, as part of this SBS on he’s painting.
    Best regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
    paulblaber63@outlook.com
    Nap likes this.
  8. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Great to see the medals and the period pictures ...they certainly look some tough guys always good when things like that are added

    Look forward to seeing more on the bust

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
  9. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi all
    Well after a few hours at the beach in my studio, from raw casting, errrr with an onlooker (I was making sure that the figure was balanced,I’ll talk more on that pice some other time) “Thomas “ the bust was deflashed washed and undercoated Tamiya flat coat gray, then the eyes if that goes ok it encourages me to press on with the rest, blue eyes it is, I painted them in acrylic (I really should bin my acrylic’s they are so old most are solid now) the flesh underpaint was also squeezed out of Vallejo flesh and English red mix, hairdryer this dry and walk away. Well for at least a few hours!
    I’d come to the thinking that fair hair and ginger/blonde beard so he’s complexion would be moderately fair even if he’s fighting in Zulu land African scrub.
    The face was painted in artist oils, it’s old school miniaturist painting and I’ve not used these for some years, as I normally paint in Humbrols enamel, there’s many stages to achieve something the resembles a human, lots of soft blending lowlights to adding highlights, anyway after all that popped him in the oven aka David G Lane likes to do, still worried the life out of me!
    Then back to the studio after it had cooled to add more highlights to the forehead cheeks nose, and tone out some of the redness.
    Hair and beard was mainly painted in Humbrols the highlights were in oils, although still work in progress, it’s a update on Thomas I hope you enjoy.
    Best regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
    paulblaber63@outlook.com

    IMG_0639.JPG IMG_0640.JPG IMG_0642.JPG IMG_0642.JPG

    IMG_0643.JPG IMG_0644.JPG IMG_0645.JPG

    IMG_0646.JPG IMG_0647.JPG IMG_0648.JPG

    IMG_0649.JPG IMG_0650.JPG IMG_0651.JPG IMG_0652.JPG
    KenBoyle and Larsen E. Whipsnade like this.
  10. Larsen E. Whipsnade PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States
    A few more Zulu War pics for you, Paul.
    British Comm. & Zulus Meeting.jpg Cetsawayo.jpg HMS Active 2.jpg HMS Active Officers on Deck.jpg HMS Tourmaline.jpg Officers Naval Brigade May 1879.jpg
  11. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thanks for the pictures Rick, atmosphere of the iron sides i think the only restored one left in the UK is HMS Warrior in Portsmouth?
    Cetshwayo after he’s eventual defeat traveled to London in an attempt to reinstate his Kingship of the Zulu land, that had already been carved up by the British and he’s other enemies,on he’s returning he only had a few years to lord over what was left with support from he’s followers.
    Died of heart attack?? Or was it poison??
    Anyway I’m long overdue a trip to Portsmouth Maritime museum. HMS Warrior in all her glory!
    I managed a little more painting before 2021 and all it’s problematic strife of Covid-19 and world issues is put on the back burner and welcoming 2022 in, with vein hope’s for a better year ahead??
    “Thomas” is gradually taking shape, still working the artist oils on the face, the sonnet is in Humbrols, the canvas smock was blocked out in acrylic Vallejo Prussian blue/black mix the rest was Humbrols.
    Happy new year and thanks for looking.
    Best regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
    paulblaber63@outlook.com


    IMG_0657.JPG IMG_0656.JPG IMG_0655.JPG IMG_0658.JPG 36EAA122-A0ED-44D5-A435-242AF4604829.jpeg
    KenBoyle, captnenglish and Nap like this.
  12. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Excellent rendition of a Tar. Painting the blue between the white tapes on the collar is a pain in the backside! I'd love to see more fulls figures of Naval Landing Party sailors (see below):

    Officer Naval Brigade 1879 - 1900.jpg Seaman Naval Brigade 1879 - 1900.jpg

    HMS Cumberland landing party.jpg

    RN Shore Party WW2.jpg

    Happy New Year,

    Mike
    Nap and blabsy like this.
  13. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Mike,
    thanks , in this scale it shouldn't be too much of a problem?
    and your right there isn't enough Naval figures out there, but the top right image was rendered by "Elle's Miniatures" in 75mm"(if its still available I'm not sure), once back in '70's/80's there was Ensign Miniatures the majority of their catalogue was Naval figures in 54mm.
    I was told that Naval figures are not really commercial, not great sellers but to be fair if I sell a few and those recipients enjoy painting them what's not to like in my eyes, I personally enjoy the subject, having a Naval thread through my family helps, my father at any excuse would take a very young me to Chatham Navy Days, loving every second, fond memories were had.
    Admittedly the Dockyard is a shadow of its former self now days.
    It's always tempting to do more, though those images are inspiring I will admit, as I said in a previous post the Royal Navy has played part in nearly every conflict and referred to as the Senior Service for good reason.
    I'll update more progress later.
    Thanks for responding to my post.
    Best Regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
    paulblaber63@outlook.com
  14. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Paul

    Nice update on the flesh and the headwear .....think I might build up the missing rim area ...but it does give him a campaign look

    Looks good with hair colour as well

    I remember the Ensign series , some great subjects

    HMS Warrior looks formidable, must have been hell on the gun decks during cannon firing , might be wrong but didn't she never fire a shot in anger ?

    Look forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    blabsy likes this.
  15. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Kev,
    The idea was that campaign look, in the dry scrub of Natal Zulu land, I’m not a parade ground lover, but do understand what the Victorian photograph’s will emulate clean uniform polished buttons and medals gleaming.
    Although Rodger Fentons photographic studies of the Crimean war were rather gritty, depicting the fighting man in all he’s campaign glory.
    I had a mind melt the other month when I painted a ww1 German pilot clean boots no mud smart leather jacket for me nearly unheard of.

    A little more updates on project “Thomas “ Royal Naval Brigade painting the sennet (spelling correct this time) based in Humbrols mix of natural wood and black more black on the underside, highlights to the top and brim in natural wood and stone.
    Then detail with stone and a little more natural wood dots and more dots, when this is dry I’ll uniform the colours with some Rembrant artist oils to remove the ping effect so it should look like darker original.
    I also toned back the redness in he’s skin tone.
    As always thanks for looking comments;-)
    Best regards
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatures.co.uk
    paulblaber63@outlook.com
    P.S. thanks for correcting the rotation of my pictures x



    IMG_0659.JPG IMG_0660.JPG IMG_0661.JPG

    IMG_0664.JPG IMG_0663.JPG IMG_0662.JPG

    6A68A6B7-264B-41A1-9F95-8FB262AB4BB5.jpeg D26DAB87-1ECD-4BF7-81CF-6BEAC9DDE78F.jpeg
    KenBoyle and Nap like this.
  16. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Paul

    Fully understand the campaign look your aiming for and succeeding in getting

    The hat ( can't spell sennet...lol ) looks really good very nice work on the surface details , I like it as it is now but the oils will no doubt improve it even more

    Good idea ref the redness on the flesh

    Thomas is looking good ....question is which font you going for on the hat ribbon ....

    Thanks for updates appreciate your time

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
  17. Larsen E. Whipsnade PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-States
    HMS Boadicea!
    blabsy likes this.
  18. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    KenBoyle and Nap like this.
  19. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Paul

    Nice honey on the headwear , for me that's the area that really works .....it's very realistic painting

    Look forward to the lettering ...you freehanding or a decal ?

    Bring on the leatherwork on straps !

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
  20. blabsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Kev,
    I’m working on it, painting to a half decent level to complement the sculpt no matter who made it, in a world of sublime artists i thank you for your kindness.
    I will have to do the ribbon freehand but need to work out which font it would be?
    I’ve found a few examples ie the ones I’ve posted, italic Roman script???
    The Crimean sailor I did was Roman lettering HMS ALBION
    The torso and leather work I’m on the home straight ha! ha!
    See how long i can drag that out or be satisfied.
    Best regards and thanks for looking commenting.
    Paul
    www.paulblaberminiatres.co.uk
    paulblaber63@outlook.com
    Nap likes this.

Share This Page

planetFigure Links

Reviews & Open Box
Buy. Sell & trade
Articles
Link Directory
Events
Advertising

Popular Sections

Figure & Minis News
vBench - Works in Progress
Painting Talk
Sculpting Talk
Digital Sculpting Talk
The Lounge
Report Piracy

Who we are

planetFigure is a community built around miniature painters, sculptors and collectors, We are here to exchange support, Information & Resources.

© planetFigure 2003 - 2022.