Thursday, 4 July 2013

9pdr Hales Rocket



My goodness me what a busy week or so!  Just when you think you are on top of everything along comes a healthy dose of 'real life' to scupper even the best laid plans.  That said, today marks the first day of a long summer holiday, that I've been dreaming about since September!


I can't say how relieved I am to see this piece vanquished from the painting table; probably one of my first purchases from the wonderful 'Empress Miniatures' this group has been left abandoned for a good couple of years now.  I had hoped to have entered it for the 'Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge', but sadly not - see previous mention of best laid plans!


This 9pdr Hales rocket with trough, bombardier and infantry 'hired help' was such a delight to work and a wonderful representation of the notorious ordnance used at the battle of Isandlwana.  I use the word 'notorious' as the rocket was potentially as dangerous to the men operating it as it was to its intended target.  As a psychological weapon, it was certainly affective causing fear and confusion to all that heard it whiz and zoom around them, with sparks trailing; a shame then that only one rocket was discharged before the battery at Isandlwana was overwhelmed by Zulus from the iNgobamakhosi regiment.



As you can see from this photograph, my corner of the dining room table is in desperate need of attention, so after another cup of Earl Grey and a peruse around all those other wonderful web logs out there it might be time to hit the brushes! 




68 comments:

  1. Beautiful work Michael, rockets had a very mixed success rate and little success in this period of history I believe?

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    1. Thank you Francis, you would seem to be spot on, but someone obviously felt they were worth persevering with!

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  2. Great vignette , and great paint as always Michael .
    Greetings .

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  3. I've always found the history and development of rocket warfare fascinating - Mysorean rockets, Congreve, Battle of Baltimore (the Star Spangled Banner) etc. This model make a great looking set piece.

    Regards,
    Matt

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    1. Thank you Matt and I had forgotten about the reference to rockets in the Star Spangled Banner- "And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
      Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."

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  4. "Now, where did it go?" says the bombadier...

    Another corker, Michael!

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    1. "It's behind you!" - Thank you Sir,

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  5. good job and interesting subject!
    bye

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  6. Lovely work there Michael! The rocket set will look great on the table.

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    1. Thank you Rodger, looking forward to seeing it along side the other troops.

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  7. Really nice, some great details and an original subject!

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  8. Lovely work. Your table is apparently tidier than mine. I have officially finished my term yesterday so it would be holidays for me too but the hunt for jobs is on (5 applications and counting).

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    1. Thank you Andrew and best of luck with the job hunting.

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  9. Greate looking rocket troops !!!

    Best regards Michael

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  10. They do look good.
    I used to live just down the road from where the forerunner to the hale rockets were invented by William Congreve.
    I like the Picture of the painting area....Looks like you suffer from the sameproblem of paint bottle creep...slowly but surely all the most used colours advance towards the space in the middle.

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    1. Paint bottle creep, oh how true Paul; I seem to reduce my working environment everyday!

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  11. Very nice looking troops and the clutter on your painting table reminds me strongly of my own!

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you Christopher, it looks a little better now after several hours of tidying!

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  12. This is what my relative was in charge of in the Zulu war and according to his diary it was quite accurate, they put a few rockets right into a chiefs kural at one point. Great work I have the naval rocket model in my pile.
    Peace James
    now go get that table tidy

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    1. That diary sounds fascinating James and thank you for the kind comments - table now cleared and raring to go!

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  13. Nicely painted and as always I love your basing. And a fitting subject for the 4th of July here in America where rockets will make a far better spectacle than they ever where as weapons.

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    1. Thank you Robert and of course there is that reference to rockets in the first verse of the 'Star Spangled Banner'.

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  14. Hola
    MUy buenas
    un saludo

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  15. This is some classic Michael Awdry work here today. Fine looking fellows. Do I spy cacti on that table?

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    1. Thank you Anne, I felt I needed to get a bit of Victorian era soldiery off the table particularly with all the recent distractions. Ah the cactus, you do have sharp eyes - I hope to have more news on those later this month.

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  16. A very fine vignette, sir. I have read that the Zulues were not impresseb by this weapon.

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    1. Thank you Juan, I had heard the same but there is little doubt they made a terrifying noise.

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  17. Lovely work Michael! I wonder if the Zulus put the captured rockets to any use. Great party favours for Cetshwayo I would expect...

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    1. Thank you Curt, I had a story that a unexploded rocket ignited during a scrub fire - scared them stupid apparently.

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  18. Excellent work Michael. It's got me thinking of my Rorke's Drift boxset again. One day....

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    1. Thank you Terry - Rorke's Drift box set, oh how I envy you.

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  19. Great work Michael. Really like how the blue comes out on those uniforms.
    Rod

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    1. Thank you Rod, the blue was a Foundry palette - British Royal Blue, just the job.

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  20. Excellence work there Old Boy and wonderful painting skills too. Still the painting table is tidier that mine at the moment.

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  21. Thank you my good man, table all tidy now although a bizarre and eclectic array of miniatures was found underneath!

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  22. Great modeling in Awdry style!

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  23. The Italians tried to spook the Abyssinians with rockets and a hot air balloon during the Siege of Mekele in 1895-6. The Abyssinians thought this was all very impressive but since none of them got killed by these wondrous devices they ignored them and kept on attacking.

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    1. Fascinating Sean, from what I've read the Zulus thought the same way - the initial fear dismissed as they overran the batteries.

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  24. Great Rocket team.

    Have found reference to rockets in the Sudan: two teams in Baker's Egyptian force.

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    1. Thank you, I'm hearing the same thing, Sean's comment above is interesting as well.

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    2. That reference and rockets being in service after the Sudan is justification enough for me to pick up this set I think! They'll look most dapper in grey :-D

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    3. Now you're talking, go for it!

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  25. A delightful little duo. Well done Michael. Your painting space rivals mine for tidyness... ;-)

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    1. Thank you Scott, the painting area looks a little better this morning!

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  26. Very nice rocket team! I think all gamer's painting areas look identical!

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    1. You are too kind Cory, in both respects!

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  27. Lovely work! There is something inherently fascinating about rocketry, especially the fumbling first steps.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, it feels very much as toys for boys at this stage! Thank you too.

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  28. Wonderful painting and basing Michael. Starting your summer hols already, you lucky chap.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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    1. Thank you Pat, mind you the Saintly Mrs. Awdry seems to have a list that should see me gainfully employed for most of the holiday!

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  29. It looks super Michael, It is amazing how inventive war has been and how far we have come since these early versions.

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    1. Absolutely Simon, I find it fascinating that these weapons were employed on the same battlefields as spears!

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  30. Good to see my painting area is no worse than other's. ;-) Top notch work and an interesting subject as well mate.

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    1. Thank you my good man, the area is a little tidier now, the lingering looks from the dear lady wife saw to that!

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  31. Excellent job there Michael. Funny but personally I seem to to produce my best work when the desk is an utter messi!

    But then I tale it Mrs A is wanting to see some table...you never know what you may find in the debris

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    1. Thank you Dave and yes Mrs Awdry is starting to look less than impressed, in fact I think I heard the word 'cull'!

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  32. I know what you mean Michael. With the move, and now a baby on the way, I believe my hobby time will be drastically changed, and any plans thrown to the wind :P

    But, I suppose it's the fact that life intervenes that also helps to make the time you can work on your hobby more precious and appreciated to you.

    Nice work painting your miniatures. Do you not use a finishing agent at the end then that would help seal the paint in? As in like varnish, gloss, etc.

    You've got some tidying to do there, aye?

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    1. Hello Nathan, well I'm glad to report that the table is now looking a little tidier and progress has been made on a couple of abandoned projects.

      Most of the miniatures are photographed before they get their protective coating only because I find that it helps avoid any shine. When done they get some Vallejo matt varnish; I'm tempted by the spray varnishes but have had a couple of bad experiences with these in the past so I'm a little vary.

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  33. Lovely figures. I love the pose of the one looking if he would hit something! :-D

    I also love the picture of your painting space! Well I've got the same problem here! But finally it looks I will have my own cave to paint when my oldest son moves out next month! ;-)

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

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    1. Thank you Peter and I am very jealous of your space!

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  34. That is a lovely piece of work, Michael and perfectly timed with the 4th of July! I got to see some nice fireworks myself over the holiday. Fortunately, they all exploded just where they should.

    I hope you enjoy your summer vacation. I just got back from a few days off and it was a real treat!

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    1. Thank you Monty, I am relieved to here the celebrations went as they should!

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