Saturday, 19 December 2009
In the very last order I made to Hinton Hunt in 1973 I ordered 72 of these figures along with a few other types. I think I have explained before that back in those days I had very little knowledge about unit organisation and had no idea about the correct ratio of grenadiers to fusiliers etc. I simply made all infantry units up of 24 of the same figures so three battalions of grenadiers was no problem.
I was going to follow this same principle with my new armies but I ran into a snag because I didn’t have quite enough fusilier figures to complete a full unit and had to double up on command groups to make up the numbers (click here for a reminder). However, this has bugged me ever since so my solution will be to spilt the fusilier unit in two and add 12 grenadier figures to each. This isn’t quite as crazy as it seems as I will paint half of the grenadiers as voltigeurs so I’ll end up with two more balanced looking infantry battalions. This is the plan but I still have 23 more of these figures to paint before I get there.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
This is the full line up:
1 x AL2 British Limber (vintage HH)
2 x H1 Allied draughthorse, nearside (vintage HH)
2 x H2 Allied draughthorse, offside (vintage HH)
1 x BN26 Gunner riding on limber (right side – vintage HH)
1 x BN27 Gunner riding on limber (left side – vintage HH)
1 x BN28 Driver positioned for riding gun horse (vintage HH)
1 x Driver positioned for riding gun horse (Der Kriegspielers)
I think the finished item is far less pony and trap like (forgive my cockney rhyming slang) than it was before, being a more substantial representation of an RHA limber. Captain Mercer has certainly given it his full approval.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
This final version of a limber and team for my Prussian artillery has been put together from various sources and is made up as follows:
1 x AL/4 Prussian Limber (David Clayton casting)
1 x H1 Allied draughthorse, nearside (vintage HH)
1 x H2 Allied draughthorse, offside (vintage HH)
1 x Allied draughthorse, nearside (Der Kriegspielers)
1 x Allied draughthorse, offside (Der Kriegspielers)
1 x PN38 Artillery driver (probably vintage HH)
(Prussian field piece by Newline Designs)
All the old castings were stripped and repainted by me and then mounted on plasticard bases. The pair of horses with the limber are on a piece 30mm x 60mm and the other pair on a separate detachable base 30mm x 30mm. The DK horses are interesting because this is one occasion where DK are virtually indistinguishable from Hinton Hunt other than the fact that they are slightly thinner.
Now I just have to re-vamp my RHA limber then I promise I’ll move on to something new.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Lannes was always in the thick of things and commanded the left of the Grand Armee at Austerlitz and further distinguished himself at Jena and Friedland. The Emperor took him along to Spain in 1808 where he won a rare French victory at Tudela. At Ratisbon in 1809, when his men were looking shaky, Lannes seized a ladder and ran forward shouting “I was a grenadier before I was a marshal!” then attempted to scale the walls himself. On the second day of Aspern-Essling he was mortally wounded by a shot from a 3-pounder cannon and carried from the field. The Emperor later said of him “that he had found a pygmy and lost a giant.”
Marcus Hinton never included a figure of Lannes in the personality figure series but Roy suggested that he probabaly chose the subjects in order to represent as many different uniforms as possible rather than for reasons of popularity. So I decided to use my vintage casting of FN224 French General in cocked hat (one-piece casting) to represent marshal Lannes and here he is – in pygmy version.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
My 15mm project has been an on and off one since 1984 so most of the figures are Minifigs old style (before the range was redesigned). I have a few of the newer Minifigs mixed in and also some more recent AB Figures bought before the range went down under. I was surprised at how nice the current Minifigs are and I will be using their figures to complete the project. It’s good to see Minifigs under new ownership as I feel the brand has been crying out for some TLC for a long time.
I’ve said before that I definitely have some sort of compulsive disorder when it comes to basing figures and most of these troops are now on their third bases. This time I have opted for the system given in Age of Eagles as I will probably use an adapted version of these rules for my games. According to Rafa this is also the same basing system used for Napoleon’s Battles so that’s a double result.
So why have I got distracted in this way? Well I blame it squarely on Noel the Garage-gamer who invited me into his wargaming heaven a few months ago (actually come to think of it I invited myself). Noel has converted his double garage into a fantastic wargame room with two huge tables, lovely hand made terrain units and literally thousands of beautifully painted 28mm Napoleonic figures (click here for Noel’s blog).
Anyway, this inspired me to look again at my old 15mm armies with a view to doing something similar but in a much smaller way – perhaps the box-room gamer? The point is that at the rate I am currently painting my Hinton Hunts I will never have enough ready to play a decent sized wargame with them so 15mm is more practical from a gaming point of view. The idea is to add to the 15mm collection via eBay with occasional units painted by myself and base everything in the same style for uniformity. Meanwhile I will keep plugging away painting the HH forces myself.
On the subject of 15mm Napoleonics take a look at Napoleonics in Miniature (click here) for some nicely painted 15’s including some of the very same early Minifigs I have in my own collection.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
I must admit that the overall effect is now more reminiscent of someone engaged on a pleasant pony and trap ride rather than thundering into action with the Royal Horse Artillery. I think this is due to only having a two-horse team rather than the six required for a serious bit of kit. As I’ve said before this is due primarily to a lack of HH limber horses in my collection but also because such a large model would take up too much precious room on the wargame table.
A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to see the King’s Troop RHA put on their display at the Devon County Show. It was a stunning sight (only to be equalled by seeing the Naval Gun Team at the Royal Tournament as a kid) and I was very impressed with their skill at manoeuvring the limber teams at speed. It gave me a small glimpse of what a Napoleonic battle may have looked like and it occurred to me that just watching the enemy deploying in battle must have been a very unnerving experience for the participants - no wonder the Duke of Wellington preferred his men to lie down on a reverse slope where they couldn’t see what was coming.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
I couldn’t find any uniform information on this one so I’ve based him on a picture of a Prussian train driver (no doubt this limber will always run on time) I found tucked away in my copy of Blandford’s Uniforms of Waterloo. The blurb in the book says that the train drivers were responsible for moving all the heavy equipment and baggage in the Prussian army so maybe this included the guns as well.
This is yet another occasion when I wish I had kept my original Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheets as every single figure Marcus Hinton produced was accompanied by full uniform information. If only modern figure manufacturers would do the same!
Sunday, 11 October 2009
General Ponsonby has just held a full review of the British heavy cavalry. From left to right: The Grey's, The Blue's, The Inniskilling's, The Royal's (click on any image for a close up).
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Stripping the old paint from the limber and rider was quite a pain as firstly the rider’s crop broke and secondly a wheel came off the limber under the gentle scrub of the toothbrush. The crop had to be re-attached with super glue for a second time during the painting process and to be honest I’m not sure if the finished result is up to the rigors of campaign.
Friday, 25 September 2009
These figures are all vintage castings that I have stripped and repainted. In my opinion the artillery crews sculpted by Marcus Hinton are among his better creations and I think that these lads have bags of character. In the end I settled for ochre for the froggings (Foundry 4C) for all ranks having taken Matt’s advice not to use gold for the officer. The bright yellow I used originally (see last post) just didn’t look right but I’m pretty happy with the final result. The gun is a contemporary Newline Designs model. The figures are as follows:
BN21 Gunner (firing the gun)
BN22 Gunner (holding cannonball)
BN24 Gunner (ramming home)
BN25 Officer (holding spy-glass and pointing)
I just have a couple of limber horses to complete now and the British heavy cavalry contingent will be finished. Once I’ve done this a full parade will be ordered for General Ponsonby’s inspection - it’s possible that the Duke himself may attend although rumour has it he’s not a great fan of the cavalry.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
According to the pictures in my Blandford Uniforms of Waterloo it appears to be almost a gold colour for all ranks and I have tried this on the Officer on the left. However in my copy of Military Dress of the Peninsular War it says it should be yellow for the rank and file so that’s what I’ve done to the gunner on the right. I don’t think that either really looks right and every picture I find seems to show a different shade of yellow/gold.
So what colour should they be? Answers on a postcard please (or perhaps just leave me a comment).
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Since I started hoarding vintage
Don’t know what to do
Get no thrill from fifteen mil
It’s left me feelin’ blue
Got those Hinton Hunt blues baby
It’s Vintage Hinton all the way
I’ve tried to kick the habit
But then I’m right back on eBay
Since I started hoarding vintage
Aint’ got no piles of cash
All I got is BN60
With a hefty chunk of flash
Got those Hinton Hunt blues baby
It’s Vintage Hinton all the way
I’ve tried to kick the habit
But then I’m right back on eBay
Repeat and fade out...
Saturday, 22 August 2009
The figure is listed in the Der Kreigspielers catalogue as 825-215 British Royal Dragoon and seems fairly unique in that it does not bear any resemblance to its Hinton Hunt counterpart. It does however have the same general look and stance as a generic one-piece HH charging cavalry model (although obviously this is pure coincidence). As with all DK figures they are a bit thin when stood next to HH models and are very definitely 2nd line troopers.
This unit will represent a Squadron of the 1st Royal Dragoons and join the Inniskillings and Grey’s to form a proper Union Brigade. I’m still working on the Blues and I also have a battery of Royal Horse Artillery in the pipeline so all in all General Ponsonby will have a respectable force of British Heavy Cavalry to command.
Saturday, 15 August 2009
In the centre, defending the Airfix cottages (how old school is that eh?) are a square of Prussian Infantry (PN4) and a square of Silesian Landwehr (PN19). In the foreground are some Minifigs Cavalry (also painted by me) although I can’t remember what they are. You can also clearly make out a Prussian gun, crew and limber supporting the squares. It actually looks like I painted a six-horse team for that gun complete with both horse and limber riders, sigh…
If you put your glasses on and peer carefully to the top of the picture you can see the awful sight of my HH Hussars (PN85) being routed by unpainted Airfix Cuirassiers. I have decided that in the rules I will be using with my new HH armies they will add +1 to any die roll against plastic troops!
Saturday, 8 August 2009
I have said before that these Hinton Hunt one-piece castings are a bit of an acquired taste being of variable quality and detail. This particular figure is one of the oldest offerings from Marcus Hinton with less animation than his latter work but perhaps this is part of the reason that I like it so much. These castings suffered badly from HH flash metal syndrome and each one took me half-an-hour with an array of files to transform from an almost solid block of metal into the fine looking troopers you see here. It’s no wonder that the original owner of some of these figures had just painted over the flash rather than remove it – he probably had something better to do with his time than I do.
This latest addition to the British Cavalry now leaves my three Household Cavalry Troopers out on a limb as they had been amalgamated with the Inniskilling’s into a single combined squadron. Fortunately I have also received a couple more spare figures that will enable me to increase the Blues to a full Squadron as well.
Friday, 31 July 2009
The horses are vintage castings of H/1 and H/2 that I stripped using my usual method and repainted. The limber is a Clayton produced Hinton Hunt AL4 model and the gun is a contemporary piece produced by Newline Designs.
I never expected to have limbers for my artillery but I now have quite a few thanks largely to Don in the US. I decided to go for just two horses in ‘Fire & Fury’ style as I think that four-horse teams take up too much room on the table (also I have an aversion to painting horses). The Hinton Hunt range does include both limber riders and limber-horse riders for the Prussian forces but sadly I have neither of these in my collection hence the run away effect.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
The day was tinged with sadness however with the news that some of their compatriots will be leaving them shortly due to a couple of eBay sales completing tonight. During a recent inventory check I decided that I just have way too many of them and with vintage Hinton Hunt and Clayton figures pushing their way to the front of the painting queue, I took the decision to prune them. I will still have enough figures left to make up another three Regiments however so Bernadotte can rest assured that he will continue to hold an important command in my armies.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
The gun is a Newline Designs model and the crew are as follows:
PN30 Officer with spyglass
PN31 Gunner with porte-fire
PN32 Gunner with rammer
PN33 Gunner holding cannon ball
I’ve enjoyed painting this little group as I tend to flag a bit when painting larger units. This one is another “nostalgia” unit as I had a couple of Prussian gun batteries in my old Hinton Hunt army. Back then I had the HH painting instructions for the gunners but nothing for the guns so I just painted them brown. I assumed they’d be natural wood so it’s been good to put that little error right although my guess is that on campaign they probably did end up a mixture of bare wood and mud.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Those of you who know about these things (and you know who you are) will be aware that Hinton Hunt never produced a personality figure for Bernadotte. This figure is actually a clever conversion given to me last year by Roy. The horse is APH/1 Ancient Persian Chariot Horse with a blanket added (how did you do that Roy?). The rider is PN60 Marshal Blucher with a different head attached.
I decided to paint the figure as Bernadotte to give me someone to command my Swedish contingent. The uniform is pure speculation although having just found a picture of him on Wikipedia I see I’m not that far off.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
I’ve noticed a tendency for blogs to tail off around the two-year mark as ‘blog fatigue’ sets in so I guess I’ve reached a critical point. I don’t think I’ve ever focused on a single wargame project for as long as this one but I’m hoping to keep going for a while longer yet.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
22 x PN19 Landwehr Private (firing)
1 x PN20 Landwehr Officer (marching)
1 x PN23 Landwehr Flag Bearer (advancing)
This is the first of my Prussian units to be completed and I have quite a few more to come including two more Landwehr and a couple of Line Infantry units – I may even be able to stretch to a third one with some odds and sods. However, the commencement of painting work on these is still a very long way off.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
I had a rummage through the Hinton Hunt lead mountain a couple of days ago and concluded that I really do need to get my finger out and increase the rate of production. I was quite surprised at just how many tired old figures are waiting to join the ranks of their comrades in my display cabinet. This was despite the fact that I have a spreadsheet listing them all (I have a spreadsheet for everything) – I guess seeing them in the flesh has more of an impact.
One thing is sure; I need to produce some more artillery batteries to balance up the force although this is no trouble as my gun crews are only 4 figures strong. However, I am still low on 24 figure infantry units so I will have to focus on these for the rest of this year. The plan is to paint up my next unit of French line infantry as Swiss – Many years ago I was inspired by this picture of Peter Gilder’s Hinton Hunt Swiss. After that I’m not sure, maybe the Old Guard or the Nassau Grenadiers or the British Light Infantry or the…
PS. The sharp eyed among you may have noticed that I made yet more changes to that darn flag – I realised that the eagle in the centre looked more like a bedraggled vulture than a magnificent bird of prey, but that’s it now I’m not touching it again!
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Wrong actually, a quick look on warflag.com revealed that the Landwher did carry flags that were different from the Line Regiments. Now I never set out to make this project particularly historically accurate but my little error bugged me so much that I had to re-paint the thing. So here is PN23 Prussian flag bearer carrying the colours of a Silesian Landwehr Regiment. The flag is apparently conjecture but if anyone does have more specific info kindly keep it to yourself.
Whilst on the subject of my errors (not a favourite area of mine as Mrs S can testify) Roy pointed out that the original Hinton Hunt range did contain one more flag bearer that I didn’t mention in my last post. This is FN24 Old Guard flag bearer. I had thought that this figure was a Clayton produced one because it does not appear in my catalogue but then I found it listed on an Additions sheet. This is all the more embarrassing for anorak-kind as I have one of these figures in my possession and a quick inspection shows it to clearly be a Marcus Hinton creation.
Saturday, 30 May 2009
When David Clayton took over production of Hinton Hunt in the US he introduced several new standard-bearer figures presumably in an attempt to fill this gap. His figures are not the best of sculpts but they do at least provide some reasonable models with cast-on flags to brighten up the battlefield. The alternative would be to convert some regular HH figures but this isn’t something I’m particularly skilled at so I’m happy to use the Clayton ones.
The figure pictured is PN23 Prussian Landwehr Colour Bearer Advancing. These cast-on flags are very delicate and I managed to break this one while striping the old paint from the casting (thank goodness for super glue). The other figure is PN20 Landwehr Officer Marching - another Clayton casting but this time of an original Marcus Hinton sculpt. The flag is painted free hand, something else I’m not very skilled at but it’s passable when viewed from a distance.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Well, it is true that the HH pieces are a little small in comparison to the gunner figures but I have been fortunate to acquire several vintage models recently – thanks largely to Don. The picture shows (from left to right) a vintage Austrian field gun (AL5), a model from the Newline Designs range (AU 12/1) and a plastic gun from the HaT Austrian artillery set (8037).
It’s fairly obvious from the photo that the model produced by Newline Designs is a very close fit in size with the original HH one and they are superb little castings as well. The plastic gun is a bit big and thin and er, plastic. So in the true spirit of this project I have decided to include vintage models where I have them and use Newline substitutes where I have none.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
The Mark I tank was smaller than I thought
Like many men I have a grim fascination with these machines and to see them up close and be able to touch them was quite an experience. I enjoyed seeing the tanks built in period up to the end of World War II but the more recent examples in the museum made me feel a little uncomfortable. The museum is well worth a visit – we were there for 3 hours and only really saw about a third of it.
The Tiger tank was bigger than I thought
My second favourite destination of the week was Maiden Castle, which is a massive Iron Age hill fort just outside Dorchester. We’ve driven past it many times over the years but this was our first trip on foot. We went on a sunny day but at the top of the hill there was a force 10 gale blowing. Undeterred Mrs S and I managed to walk the entire circuit of the rampart, which must have been over a mile in circumference.
Interestingly, on the very top of the hill just as I was starting to absorb the atmosphere and imagine the place populated with Ancient Britons, Mrs S announced that she had great reception on her iPhone. This enabled her to complete several transactions on her eBay shop from the top of a scheduled monument.
Corfe Castle from base-camp
And finally, number three for the week was Corfe Castle. We had been there before but quite how we struggled up the hill to the Keep with a pushchair, toddler and baby escapes my memory. The view from the top is great and there are enough ruins left to make it worth the climb. Most of the walls show evidence of the attempts by Cromwell’s men to blow the place up at the end of the Civil War – they didn’t succeed completely but they didn’t do a bad job either.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
It wasn’t until I came to paint up my first batch of these Landwehr figures that I began to see how much variation there really was. The figure on the right is of such good quality that I would have thought at first glance it was a vintage casting. The one on the left is considerably thinner and missing some of the detail such as the correct number of buttons on the front of his tunic – yes I really did count the buttons (mental note to self – must get out more). Another noticeable difference was that the weedy ones came with square bases that had a curved impression on the corners rather than actual rounded corners. Again this must have been something lost in the moulding process – a little bit of attention with a file soon put this right.
This problem in the moulding is by no means confined to just Clayton produced castings as vintage Hinton Hunt ones sometimes have similar variations as well. I remember receiving batches of figures direct from Hinton Hunt in the early seventies where the same figure type had at least three variations in size and quality. Roy says that Marcus Hinton himself would often create moulds from production figures rather than master figures so I guess this explains it. Anyway, I think the scrawny look is perfectly acceptable for Landwehr but perhaps not for the Imperial Guard.
Friday, 8 May 2009
I’ve already explained that I know virtually nothing about the first Schleswig-Holstein war and my uniform reference book for this conflict is restricted to a single page in my copy of Blandford’s “Military Uniforms of The World”. Luckily Matt kindly sent me some painting notes or I would have been completely stuck. I thought it was actually quite old school to approach a new period in this way with no preconceptions, very like the way I approached wargaming in my youth. In fact I may just leave it that way and not buy any reference books at all.
I was hoping that by allowing myself this little distraction I would be able to focus with full attention on the Hintons for at least the rest of this year but my strategy seems to have backfired on me as I have enjoyed painting these so much. Matt is just about to release some Schleswig-Holstein Jagers and it seems poor tactics to leave my infantry without a skirmisher screen.
For now though I am knuckling down to work on those HH Landwehr – honest!
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Russians looking like they mean business