Monday, 20 April 2015

Our Gallipoli painting project draws to a close


Well, it's nearly all over now bar the shouting. The Perrys are on their way home, the figures are all emplaced in the diorama, the terrain is all done, no-one is painting any more last minute figures ... it all seems so quiet!

There is still work being done by Weta Workshop staff. The diorama is being glassed in, lighting is going up, interpretation panels are being written, other displays in the New Zealand Room are being completed.

But from the point of view of the volunteer painters, our job is done.

And what a journey we've had to get get here. Since that first clarion call of the 'Wargamers are needed!' poster in February, we've overcome paint supply problems, hassles with Customs, lost boxes, missing figures, seemingly impossible deadlines ... but we got there!

There were nay-sayers at the start who said it was impossible to mobilise a nation's wargamers to paint 4000 figures (5000 actually ,as it turned out!) , who said the tight deadline would mean an unfinished diorama, who said people wouldn't volunteer without payment. But we've proven anything is possible when there is a will ... and there certainly was a will to be involved, to take an active part of the nation's Anzac commemoration to honour our ancestors, to get the job done.

And it was exciting as the deadline grew ever closer, akin to the buzz anyone who has been in a theatrical production has experienced.  Many of the painters said it was highlight of their wargaming hobby 'careers'.

So now we wait eagerly for Saturday for the New Zealand Room to open, and to start seeing and hearing the reactions of the public to our diorama. I think they'll be shocked at the horiffic tale of war that a simple diorama can convey. To actually see all those tiny lead bodies trailing behind the formations will, I think, arouse powerful emotions in a way that a photo, book or movie can't do.

So enjoy your rest, or return to those other wargaming projects that have been pushed aside for the last few months. And know that you were part of an amazing project that will become part of the history of how Anzac Day was commemorated in 2015.





4 comments :

  1. Thanks for organsing all of us it was really nice even in a small way to be part of it. What's the next one?

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  2. It was great to see Chris Pugsley on television tonight, talking about the Maori soldiers and their Gallipoli experience. I would have to agree about this project being a hobby highlight. My only regret would be not meeting the Perry twins. I'm looking forward to seeing the diorama later in the year.

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  3. It was great to see Chris Pugsley on television tonight, talking about the Maori soldiers and their Gallipoli experience. I would have to agree about this project being a hobby highlight. My only regret would be not meeting the Perry twins. I'm looking forward to seeing the diorama later in the year.

    ReplyDelete