I am delighted to finally see this group posted here, not least because they have secured me some much needed points in the ‘VII Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’. I am doubly delighted to have them completed as they were a gift from my Mother in Law, who herself was a proud member of the Senior Service. The Royal Naval artillery crew and guns are from ‘Wargames Foundry’ and are a tad diminutive in comparison to the more ‘heroically’ scaled miniatures of today. That said, they are more than serviceable and required very little in the way of preparation.
I was somewhat taken by the officer with his foot resting nonchalantly on a cannonball and was instantly reminded of a truly great Victorian hero, Captain William Peel RN. Born in 1824 Sir William Peel, son of Sir Robert Peel was an adventurous soul. He was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War having been cited three times for acts of conspicuous bravery. His citations read as follows:
"For having on the 18th October, 1854, at the greatest possible risk, taken up a live shell, the fuse still burning, from among several powder-cases, outside the magazine, and thrown it over the parapet (the shell bursting as it left his hands), thereby saving the magazine and the lives of those immediately round it."
"On the 5th November, 1854, at the Battle of Inkerman for joining the officers of the Grenadier Guards and assisting in defending the Colours of that Regiment when were hard pressed at the Sandbag Battery." (Sir S. Lushington is authorised to make this statement by the Lieutenant-General commanding the Division, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, who is ready to bear testimony to the fact)
"On the 18th June 1855, for volunteering to lead the Ladder Party at the assault on the Redan, and carrying the first ladder until wounded."
Incredibly Peel managed to find himself in the thick of the action from the Siege of Sebastopol in 1854, to the Battle of Inkerman the following month and finally leading the assault on the Redan in 1855. It wasn’t long before Peel had recovered from his wounds and found himself, once again, in action this time during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Peel played an important role in the capture of Lucknow, but was badly wounded by a musket ball. During his evacuation to Cawnpore, Peel contracted smallpox, which would ultimately call time on the astonishing life of this truly amazing man. There is a rather splendid entry for him at the ‘Victoria Cross Online’ website along with a couple of interesting images.
Finally then to the gun emplacements, which had been a bit of an impulse buy from 'Tabletop Art'. I had come across these when looking for basing ideas for my crews, initially thinking that I would build something similar myself. I kept looking at the marvellously painted examples on the company’s website and in the end succumbed and placed my order, justifying the purchase on the basis of saving time.
I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with the customer service and the products arrived in jolly good time and were faultless in the casting of the resin. I simply painted them to match the examples I had seen, which interestingly led me to base the miniatures on clear Perspex discs from ‘Sally 4th’ purely so that I could use the emplacements with other miniatures in the future.
So a good job done, not least because they have allowed me to post about a genuine Victorian hero on my misnomer of a Blog! Seeing them finally painted and with the addition of the gun emplacements, I have to confess to being delighted with the results, certainly some of my favourite work this year.