Thursday, 23 November 2017

Old Young Guard

FN/77 Voltigeur Guard (running at the trail)
I spent many hours in my youth leafing through my Hinton Hunt catalogue (I didn’t get out much) but one page held a particular fascination for me, the very first one. This is the page that had all the listings for the Imperial Guard. I had heard of the Old Guard thanks to the film Waterloo but the Young Guard was a bit of a mystery as the only information I had was that written by Marcus Hinton:

"The Young Guard was formed to increase the numbers of Imperial Guard Regiments on which Napoleon greatly relied and also to eventually be recruited into the ranks of the Old Guard. The Young Guard wore corded shakos, short tailed coats, waistcoats, knee breeches and short gaiters. The Tirailleurs wore round pom-poms on their shakos and had pointed shoulder straps. The Voltigeurs had tall plumes in their shakos and wore fringed epaulettes on their shoulders."

In the end I was too baffled by it all to order any Guard figures and perhaps also back then I didn’t feel my painting ability would do justice to Napoleon’s finest. Since I started this project however I have wanted to paint up a unit of Young Guard but it has been a painfully slow process to collect enough vintage figures. Finally, thanks to Clive, I have managed to assemble enough castings for a unit of Voltigeurs and have been able to make a start.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Russian Command

These are the really superb command figure conversions that Matt did for me together with one of his sublime Coke can flags (other soft drinks are available). I can’t tell you how pleased I am to finally have such splendid command figures for my unit of Russian Grenadiers. Marcus Hinton never produced flag-bearers or drummers for the Russian range although David Clayton did later produce some rather inferior ones so having these unique creations is great.

The Russian Grenadiers were the first unit I completed for this project over 11 years ago (before I even started this blog) and back then I never thought I would ever have more than a handful of Hinton Hunt figures. The collection has grown considerably since then but the Grenadiers are still the only completed Russian unit. Fortunately I’ve kept a notebook recording the colour shades used for this project so painting these to blend in with the earlier figures has been relatively easy.

My thanks to Matt for providing this senior regiment with its colours at long last!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Dolly the Light Dragoon

It’s all Tony’s fault that I painted these six figures as, if he hadn’t kindly donated the Brunswick Hussars to me, I wouldn’t have had the problem of having half a unit of Light Dragoons spare. Having said that though I’m really pleased to have got to grips with these castings which otherwise may never have seen the wet end of a paint brush.

Hinton Hunt BN50 British Light Dragoon "wearing bell top
shako and French style blue coat with coloured facings".

The reason I may never have painted them is that all but one of them are reproduction castings and I have been trying to concentrate on working through my genuine vintage Hinton Hunt stash in line with the title of this blog. The reproductions were produced a couple of years ago to fill a big gap in my British line of battle namely my complete lack of light cavalry.

Ok quiz time! Which is Dolly and which are the sheep?

When I came to sort the figures out to complete the unit I found that I only had five useable castings so it seemed like the right thing to do to use the original vintage casting they were cloned from to complete the line up. Actually it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the original and his children and I’m happy with the final result although of course this lot will never qualify to be more than ‘B’ grade in my rules due to their pedigree.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Home renovations

Rather predictably (for anyone who knows me) I changed my mind about the building bases I completed a few weeks ago. The plain green bases just weren’t working for me so out came the brown paint and flock, lots of flock.

My original idea was to go for an old school look rather than a more mainstream effect however because I wargame on flocked terrain tiles the bright green bases just stood out too much. I’m happier with the way they look now being somewhat more scenic but not too much so.

This has been a pleasant distraction from finishing the British light dragoons but hopefully I’ll have those done by the end of the week.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Light Dragoon Trumpeter

Or is it a bugle? I have no idea but whatever it is my completed and painted conversion for the 11th Light Dragoons is holding it.

I’ve said it before that I find Hinton Hunt one-piece cavalry castings can be tricky to paint and they’re certainly not everyone’s cup of tea aesthetically. The later two-piece castings are less chunky and perhaps more pleasing to the eye. However, I like the challenge these older figures present and I’m quite happy with the way this one turned out.

The first half of this unit was painted by Matt G a couple of years ago before I managed to get hold of a copy of the Hinton Hunt painting instructions (thanks Clive) otherwise I would have chosen them to represent the 12th regiment as specified. One thing I have noted is that there is a lot more uniform detail mentioned in the instructions than I could ever hope to paint (or for that matter find) on the figure. This may stem from the fact that Marcus Hinton was an expert on Napoleonic uniforms and perhaps some of the detail just never made it onto the figures e.g. the shabraque “yellow crown above G.R. with XII below and L.D. beneath” – hmm, I think a blob will do!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Prussian artillery – done

I finally have one part of this project which I can categorically say is completed – the Prussian artillery. I know it’s definitely done as I have used all bar two of the Prussian artillerymen in the lead pile. These extra figures and guns bring the total to four batteries which is the maximum I will need for my projected Prussian army.

The figures are mostly Clayton ones with a few vintage and
DK's as well. The limber and horses are vintage Hinton
Hunt, guns and howizter are by Newline Designs.

The figures used are mostly Clayton castings with one or two vintage figures and a couple of DKs thrown in for good measure. Interestingly there are virtually no differences between the three manufacturers output although one or two of the Clayton’s had miscast bases which had to be made good before painting.

Image taken from a 1971 issue of Miniature Warfare - the
original wargame magazine from the 60s and 70s. Reproduced
here without permission but hopefully John Tunstill won't mind.

For a touch of nostalgia I have tried to recreate a photo from a 1971 (annoyingly this one is printed without the issue number) edition of Miniature Warfare. The original photo was a huge inspiration to my 14 year old self being one of a series showing the collection of Hinton Hunt Prussian figures belonging to Stephen Connolly.

My own collection in 2017 (how they would have looked in 1971).

Next on the painting desk will be those British Light Dragoons.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Prussian artillery – WIP

I’ve had a few evenings on the trot where I have been able to spend an hour or so painting with the result that the Prussian artillery recruitment drive is progressing quite nicely. There are a total of 12 figures on the go with half of them more or less finished and this will give me 3 extra batteries.

I‘ve also been working on some Prussian guns from Newline Designs. I think the Newline models work well as they sit halfway between the undersized Hinton Hunt ones and the rather nice Hinchcliffe 20mm ones. This batch as you will note includes a howitzer for variation although there is no distinction between these and regular guns in my rules.

The final item on the desk at the moment is a trumpeter conversion of a British Light Dragoon BN/50 Light Dragoon (mounted) charging, wearing bell top shako and French style blue coat with coloured facings. This conversion doesn’t include any clever stuff with a soldering iron just a bit of brass rod, Super Glue and Magic Sculp.

Previously my 6 figure squadron of Light Dragoons were combined with the Brunswick Hussars to form a single unit. However since the latter have recently been expanded to a full unit I need to increase the dragoons by a further 6 figures.

Update: Goya got in touch yesterday and pointed out that the gunner’s tools should actually be painted the same colour as the guns. Now I did know this but had decided to go with natural wood because I had done so for my other Prussian battery. This is also a bit of a hangover from years back as a teenager when I always painted all guns brown because I had no information and natural wood seemed logical. Anyway as you can see I have updated the tools.