Friday, 30 November 2012

Melton Prior...

embedded War  Artist!

Melton Prior was one of a group of extraordinary gentlemen artists prolific during the Victorian era. He began working for the Illustrated London News in the 1870s and covered numerous events around the world, but it was with the 'Savage Wars of Peace'  that he was to make his name.  First covering the war in Ashanti in 1873, he went on to cover conflicts in Egypt, Sudan, Somaliland, South Africa, Crete, Turkey, and Manchuria.

This rather wonderfully simple miniature is from the 'Bicorne Miniatures' War Artists range and depicts Mr. Prior at work in the Sudan; obviously thirsty work, given the wine bottle and glass by his side!  Although the quality of sculpt may not compare too favourably with the Perry brothers' version there is something quite endearing about this chap.  

Melton's greatest ability was to be able to sketch incredibly quickly.  These sketches would then be sent back to London, where they would be worked up in the offices of The Illustrated London News before being engraved on to wood blocks, ready to be printed.  

A Glimpse of the Enemy

The above sketch, 'A Glimpse of the Enemy' (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum collection) is undoubtedly an example of Prior's work that has been 'enhanced'.  The original pencil sketch has had a grey wash, highlighted with white and is believed to represent an episode from the Battle of Tamasi  in which, 1st Gordon Highlanders participated. 

And finally...

'28mm Victorian Warfare' was nominated for another two Liebsters!  The award that keeps on giving has been a phenomenal success in this corner of the blogosphere and it is lovely to see so many many superb blogs and bloggers being nominated.  With regards to myself, I continue to be incredibly embarrassed, but extremely flattered every time I'm nominated, particularly because of the outstanding blogs that have in turn nominated this collection of inane ramblings!

To that end I would like to formally thank, and in doing so actively promote, the following:

'The British Army At Waterloo', never ceases to amaze me with regards to the sheer scale of its undertaking.  The premise is simple,  "to have each British combatant at Waterloo represented in 28mm"; this, however, equates to 28,000 men!  Spare a thought for just how many tartan clad highlanders that would include, truly a must see endeavour. 

'Hurry Up And Wait!', is a "miniature wargame campaign to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict."  Like many children of the 70s the Falkland's War became the moment when warfare suddenly lept from the history books and was propelled to the domain of the headline news; I know that I found the whole experience very confusing at the time.  Rusty's informative blog is a tremendous and balanced 'tour de force', but don't take my word for it go and have a look yourself!

Thank you!


  1. Michael , great to see some old school sculpts here. A a fine rendition he is too. Now all you need is Fred Burnaby with shotgun.... cehck out the Connoisseur ones...

  2. Nice paintjob on such a characterful mini. Nice to see a civilian pose.

  3. That Waterloo How could anyone have time to even assemble that in Victrix, let alone paint and base them?!

  4. Really nice , good work Michael

  5. Very fun. Nice to have interesting 'non-combat' pose minis, to bring in these different life aspects to the story your minis create

  6. He was a good artist indeed. Can you imagine the pressure he must have been under, to create works of art while danger is all around?

    Nice to see him honored like this in a miniature. Fine job of painting him up Michael!

  7. A charming piece Michael, well done.

  8. That's a great figure and a great bit of history that I didn't know! Cheers!!

  9. Are nice painted-figure-tribute to a great sketch artist.

  10. I love it - reminds me also of the character in Zulu Dawn

  11. Interesting bit of history and I think you really did a good job on that mini. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Wonderful painting Michael on a lovely little sculpt, and a nice little touch of history to go with it.

  13. Nice looking figure and rather different. I liked the bottle next to him as well. Maybe he was celebrating your Liebster's, all well deserved


  14. Nice work on the artist Michael...I forget that I have one (a little different) of those battlefield artists flying over the battlefield in the observation balloon.Very nice painting.

  15. Thats a great paintjob there Michael and I have a rather soft spto for him as he is one of the chaps I site as an influence in my work.

  16. Great post and the Liebsters are, indeed, well deserved!

  17. Well done Michael great little paint job!

  18. Another great mini Michael, well done

  19. Lovely paintjob and history. Didn't realise how such illustrations were produced, very interesting.

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  21. This is again a very nice figure! An unusual pose, but great sculpted!


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