Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Naval Brigade Gardner Gun


My most recent entry in the '3rd Annual Painting Challenge' saw more from the wonderful 'Perry Miniatures' Sudan range, this time the Gardner Gun crewed by the Naval Brigade.  Now overshadowed by the Gatling gun the Gardner was adopted by the British forces in a variety of forms including shipboard versions.    


The Gardner was used by the Naval Brigade in the Sudan at various battles including El Teb and Tamai although in both actions the guns jammed.  Crucially this happened again at the battle of Abu Klea, where the gun jammed almost immediately resulting in all its crew, except Captain Beresford being killed.  It is this moment that is referred to in Newbolt's poem 'Vitaï Lampada', only he mistakingly mentions a Gatling!

The sand of the desert is sodden red —
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the Regiment blind with dust and smoke. 



When looking for reference for the uniforms I stumbled across the above illustration by Melton Prior for the Illustrated London News, this combined with the wonderful example of the same piece by Mark Hargreaves over at his outstanding, 'Over Open Sights' blog really helped to get job done.




58 comments:

  1. Great work and great paint Michael , i like this diorama very nice .

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  2. Fantastic model. Always interesting to see naval units fighting as a land force. There's a 1:1 scale version of this in the Royal Armouries Leeds. It's a great big solid piece of Victorian engineering although by the sounds of it more dangerous to the operators than the targets.

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    1. Thank you Matt, I agree with you about the Naval Brigade holding some mystic, I seem to be building quite a collection of them throughout the different conflicts.

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  3. Top work, Mr A. One of my favourite pieces from this range.

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    1. Why thank you Sir and for the inspirational version that you did.

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  4. Beautiful work Michael and a useful snippet of history.

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, I think it was the interest in the history that drew me into the period to begin with.

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  5. Another brilliant piece, Michael.

    I can just imagine crossing my fingers if I had to use this beast in anger!

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    1. Thank you Sir, I think I'd have my fingers crossed too, but devastatingly effective if it ever got going!

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  6. lovely work as ever - , now you missed a little trick - or maybe it jammed early - a pile of spent casings!!!!

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    1. Grrrr, that is a brilliant idea!!! Now if I get some time at the weekend we may have to add those.

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  7. Interesting theme and subject matter. Wonderful painting skills here! Jamming weapons are not a good thing, definitely a day to be at sick call.

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    1. Thank you Jay, you would certainly be having a bad day when your position is overrun by fierce spear wielding natives and all you can think about is where on earth s the WD40!

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  8. Did you post this as an anniversary piece for Abu Klea and the death of Col Burnaby? I'm sure you must know it's he in both the poem and your masthead.

    Keep up the good work!

    Diplomatist
    http://diplomatist2.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Edwin for the kind words and whilst the timing of the post was slightly fortuitous, I did know it was Colonel Burnaby in the masthead - he was a famous member of my old school.

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  9. Fine looking gun and crew. Best, Dean

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  10. Your Sudan collection is coming along nicely with another quality piece.

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    1. Thank you Pat, I have to confess that I'm really enjoying the period and starting to get to grips with the history as well.

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  11. Michael, your painting stands up well visually to macro lens shots!

    Nice.

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    1. Thank you Scott, I think we all worry about extreme close ups on our miniatures; I suppose the thing to remember is that they always look better from three feet away.

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  12. Cracking stand.
    my memory is fetting terrible, but isn´t there one used on one of the boats (on the nile) in the film Khartoum?
    Cheers
    paul

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    1. Thank you Paul and yes I'm pretty sure there is one in the movie operated by a couple of chaps in natty red fezzes.

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  13. Lovely work! I love this kind of guns! Painted one myself in 1/72 scale!

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://www.peterscave.blogspot.be/

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    1. Thank you Peter, not sure I could have coped with one in 1/72 scale though - hats off to you Sir!

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  14. Fantastic stuff, your Sudan work reall inspires me to but and paint more myself.

    Which were more prevalent, the Gardner or the Gatling? I was going to pick one of them up.

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    1. Thank you Sir, from what I've read the Gardner was represented at most of the battles but it seems that the gatling gained in popularity later on.

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  15. Great work Michael, I really love these mini's you are producing from this period top stuff sir!

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    1. Thank you Simon, I'm sure I'll be distracted by something new soon.

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  16. That is a lovely piece and beautifully painted Michael. I think it has captured the feel of the period well

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    1. That is very kind of you Pete, thank you.

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  17. Having seen this on a visit to Awdry Towers last week, I can confirm it is even better "in the lead" than in the photographs. All I have to do now is to persuade Michael to bring some examples of his work to Salute (if his "Otter" project doesn't get in the way).

    Pip pip

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  18. Great looking fig! I love your basing too! Keep up the good work!

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  19. Nice looking crew and a tidy paint job to boot. Keep working on submissions for the Challenge.

    Best wishes.

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