NAGA is a rare example of a Royale set where I have a decent copy of every one of the 16 pictures advertised in their listing. They are nearly all numbered, suggesting they have been taken from a thumbnail sheet produced as a catalogue for ordering prints by mail. Despite this however, the reproduction quality is actually quite good, if slightly over-exposed.
All the originals in my possession have splinters of white border which have been partially cropped off. I have tried to (unobtrusively) enhance the clarity of all these images for this post by tidying these awkward borders, straightening where it helps and by sharpening the focus, but those flawed originals will also be included when I post the NAGA set to the mitchmen Royale Studio Open Archive.
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 01|
Ned and Tom look down on new recruit, Percy, who is asleep on a trestle table, possibly skiving off from his work, although according to the Royale summary for NAGA it's his scruffy habits that irk his colleagues most. Ned (left) has come armed (inconspicuously) with a scrubbing brush and flannel.
They loom over him in intimidating fashion, the image making the most of their torsos and bulk. Tom's great ass and Ned's more subtle, frontal lumpiness are highlighted by Royale Studio's trademark, wrung-out, wet trousers which are very prominent in this series.
The improvised set seems to represent his Percy's berth with the jumble of clothes hanging on a line behind him exemplifying his lack of military tidiness and pride in his appearance. There's a delightfully ambiguous selection of pin-ups on the wall, seeming to feature a cowboy body-builder on a beach, a glamorous woman in a cat suit and (far right) what might be a typical Royale image of a model posing as a footballer or guardsman.
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 02|
Tom wakes Percy up by grabbing his hair. He almost seems to be trying to live up to his 'Hardman' moniker here but considerately supports Percy's head with his other hand. Ned grabs Percy's shirt with a more determined, clenched fist to shake him awake. He was also the more aggressive of these two men in the Navy Romeo saga. Notice that the boots of both of them are immaculately polished in true military fashion, in striking contrast to Percy's scruffy plimsolls sitting on the floor between them.
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 03|
Percy resists his attackers, 'handing off' Ned by putting his palm over his face. It's not the obvious way of him defending himself and you get a good impression that it's taken Ned by surprise. Percy's other hand can be seen in the vicinity of Ned's ass but it's limp.
The jeans hanging on a peg behind them (right) were presumably worn by one of them when they arrived. By including the model's own clothes in these images the photographer plays on the dressing and undressing theme that is a prominent feature of many of the Royale Studio storylines. It obviously starts with the models arriving on set, getting out of their street clothes and donning Royale's, tight, deliberately revealing costumes. The models' story creates a sexy sub-plot beneath the surface narrative.
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 04|
The boys roll Percy over and lever his arms backwards in a classic fight hold that epitomises being overpowered and compelled to submit*. Ned is limited to one hand by the cleaning gear he's holding and Tom's pose is rather flat-footed, so it results in a rather static and unconvincing tableau, but it's still a good vehicle for the erotic display of both attacker's nether regions.
This image isn't actually numbered but it's pretty obvious where it sits.
(*The painful potential of Percy's position is graphically illustrated by Jeff Golden's punishment in Part 4 of the mitchmen review of 'Bound To Please 1' )
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 05|
Percy is dragged from his 'bed' and hauled away in a shot that equates to Ted's treatment in the opening scene of Navy Romeo Part 2. The leverage on both his arms forces him to bow his head and stumble. Ned enforces the hold even more severely by applying a 'bar' across his upper arm (thus re-asserting a natural talent for sadism which we glimpsed in Navy Romeo 2). Tom seems to be using his free hand to offer Percy support, but it's also 'doubling up' on the leverage in reality.
There's a good shot of Percy's crotch here with a clear hint of cock, seemingly unaugmented by padding. A typically contrived, Royale perspective shows Percy's face angled towards Ned's very nicely highlighted crotch, in fact he almost seems to be rubbing shoulders with it, but the white-out makes that harder to see. These suggestive juxtapositions might seem accidental at first, but they recur with great precision throughout this and other pieces.
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 06|
It turns out the boys are taking Percy to the bathroom (an innuendo in itself). He is forced to stand in the bath with his hands behind his head. Tom's arm encircles his waist, pulling it close so that Percy's body is forced to arch backwards and his lower abdomen is actually in contact with Tom's bare torso. It looks rather like a flamboyant dance hold but there's a genuine sense of struggle.
Ned stands poised behind them with an evil grin, holding a jug of
water which looks likes a scaled-down version of the coal hod he uses to drench Ted in Navy Romeo 2. Both aggressors are sporting excited
bulges and Ned's balls actually appear to be brushing Tom's ass which looks
impressively fulsome. We also get the first hint here that Percy's backside might be worth attention too. The models will have been conscious of their damp clinging costumes throughout the shoot and you get a sense of how sexy it must have felt to be creating these deliberately suggestive scenes in such revealing clothes.
The scene has moved into this bath area with a slickness that creates the impression at first that it's part of the original set, but it's actually a typical, domestic bathroom of the time and the floor covering is quite different to the earlier pictures. Maybe it's Clavering's own 'smallest room' but it seems unexpectedly modest for the mansion and garden he seemed to own (and which we will see in later Royale sets).
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 07|
Tom has climbed onto the bath to restrain Percy's arms from behind, while Ned proceeds to pour cold (presumably) water down the inside of his shirt. It's not simulated either, you can see the wet patches. Tom gets the treat of seeing down inside Percy's shirt. I can remember experimenting with water and clothing like this as an adolescent, so this imagery has a special erotic undercurrent for me.
Ned gives us the most impressive display yet of his tight-fitting, bulging trousers and of what used to be called a packet and his certainly fits that description. The bulge may be augmented but there's still visible just the faintest hint of the contours of his actual equipment and you can also see the curve of Percy's semi, modestly outlined.
|Royale Studio - Navy Gash 08|
Ned ups the ante by dropping his aim and prising open the waistband of Percy's trousers so he can pour water down the inside. It's similar to the treatment handed out to Ted in Navy Romeo 2, but Ned makes it much more invasive (and sexy) here by tipping the water inside Percy's clothes. Tom gleefully tightens his grip in excitement at this development.
Unfortunately Ned is too eager to bother with undoing Percy's tight, buttoned-up waistband and much of the water cascades
out the front onto the floor. It actually looks rather like a stream of urine and some of it is falling onto Ned's own,
highly polished boots. I don't know whether that was an intentional ambiguity or not,
but Ned's awkward pose, putting his boot in the firing line, suggests it might have been. Percy's expression, a combination of surprise and pleasure also fits such a plot line (rather than simply being an inadvertent lapse from what ought to be a down-beaten, outraged character). Like Ted's attempted escape in Navy Romeo, it gives a pretext (even if it is only water)
for the already-aggressive Ned to escalate his efforts to humiliate Percy.
We will see what actually happens in NAGA Part 3c.