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"Empress New Zealand Wars British Navy - first impressions" Topic

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Arteis Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 8:07 p.m. PST

I received the Empress Miniatures British Navy figures today – a very fast turn-around from the UK.


They are absolutely exquisite, as expected. Fantastic animation and facial expressions. Lovely clean castings (so clean that when I just this minute did my usual filing and cleaning prior to their detergent bath, there was nothing to remove apart from one mould-line across the top of one hat!).

The figures depict some cool (and unusual) subjects. There is an officer (or is it a mate) blowing a bosun's whistle. He wears a Napoleonic-looking long tailed coat and a peaked cap.

Another leader is in shirt-sleeves and bareheaded, running forward waving a cutlass (maybe Lt Philpotts, famous for ditching quite a bit of his naval gear when charging into his last battle at Ohaeawai Pa?!).

The cannon is immense. The two man rammer crew is intriguing – I've never seen that before. I'd love to see the reference Empress used for these. Magnificent stuff!

My problem now is how to paint these guys. Should they have the light blue neck-cloths with white border that we associate with sailors today, or was it a smidgen early for them (paintings from the period aren't too clear, but they seem to be just plain collars).

All in all, a superb release, that has moved straight to the front of my painting queue!



Brian Smaller21 Jan 2013 8:20 p.m. PST

Can't wait to see them painted up Roly. How about a demo game at Call to Arms this year – or the Nationals at Easter?

Mackapaka Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 6:30 a.m. PST


A handy link. The 'uniform' (as it was) would be a Navy Blue Jacket, white/off white trousers, black tie and tarred hats and (generally) a white shirt. Nice and simple, but room for lots of interesting personal touches such as coloured shirts or waistcoats.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 10:39 a.m. PST

I too recived my 32pdr and crew a couple of days ago and I echo the comments of Arteis. I found the gun carriage about a third larger than my 28mm 18pdr carriages. However, Iam asuured by Empresss that the carriage is accurate.

I am going to use the gun and perhaps the crew for my future War of 1812 scenarios eg New Orleans.

Superb figures and fast service.

phicks122 Jan 2013 10:44 a.m. PST

The reference mostly came from some line drawings from the Osprey book on the Royal Navy 1790-1970 MMA 65.


Settler Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 4:12 p.m. PST

All very excellent. Thanks for sharing.

huevans01105 Feb 2013 4:34 p.m. PST

I really like them, as well; but haven't yet sent in an order.

The guy in shirtsleeves waving a cutlass is a black sailor, I think. judging by his features anyway.

Arteis Inactive Member05 Feb 2013 5:32 p.m. PST

I agree with you, Huevans. He definitely looks more negroid than european or maori:


I have had some more thoughts about them, as I describe here on my blog (scroll past the 18th century guys):


I'm currently painting them very enjoyable work.

Cloudy05 Feb 2013 5:33 p.m. PST

Empress does a good job on their minis,

huevans01105 Feb 2013 7:33 p.m. PST

Arteis, having studied them myself, I believe that the big, floppy collar is just the shirt collar and should be painted the same colour as the shirt and not made a special item of clothing.

I am wondering if the dude with the sword and the tailcoat is a petty officer – master's mate, master at arms? – or an officer. I am not very familiar with RN uniforms and don't know off hand if an officer would have epaulettes.

I guess the other issues are the options for the trousers – blue or white – and the hat – tarred or natural straw. And the colour of the vest, of course.

Arteis Inactive Member05 Feb 2013 7:41 p.m. PST

This is the picture I've now decided to use as reference:


As I understand it, at this time sailors were dressed from the ship's slop box there was an element of uniformity within a crew, certainly more so than Napoleonic times.

But there was still a lot of variation ship to ship, until proper regulations came in, some time round the 1850s as I recall.

The guys in top hats do appear to be some sort of mates or petty officers. One has the floppy collar, the other a tailed jacket with an upright collar. The latter I'll paint in a plain dark blue uniform.

huevans01106 Feb 2013 7:04 p.m. PST

Interesting picture. Careful that it's the right period though. I get the feeling things could have changed from decade to decade.

Arteis Inactive Member06 Feb 2013 9:48 p.m. PST

That print is by one R.H.C. Ubsdell, and in most online sources I've found is dated about 1849. That is near enough for me!!

huevans01107 Feb 2013 2:30 p.m. PST

Great find, then! Looks like it solves the problem of what colour to paint the shirt collar.

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