Sunday, 31 August 2008

Austrian Update

Just in case you were thinking that I might have gone AWOL here is an update on the progress on the Austrians. As you can see, I have completed a company of Hungarian Musketeers which when added to the Grenadiers takes me to the halfway point for the 51st Gabriel Spleny Regiment. Not a lot of progress in four weeks I agree.

I have been finding the white cross straps a bit tedious to paint as of course black on white shows up all my wobbly outlining. However I have resolved to complete the unit before I allow myself any other painting distractions.

The figures (shown here on their temporary painting bases) are all vintage castings comprised as follows:

1 x AN21 Hungarian Officer Charging
5 x AN24 Hungarian Musketeer Charging

I hope to have some exciting news on some reinforcements, which I will post later in the week.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Due to a distraction caused by another project (the unexpected decision to re-base my entire 15mm Napoleonic figure collection – don’t ask!), I have made zero progress on the Austrians. This resulted in me rummaging about in the Hinton Hunt box to find something worthy of a blog post and this is the result:

1 x FN367 General Cambronne, on foot
1 x FN27 Old Guard Officer, marching
1 x FN28 Old Guard Sergeant, marching
8 x FN29 Old Guard Grenadier, marching

General Cambronne’s last stand with the Imperial Guard is the stuff of legends. In the failing light at the climax of the Battle of Waterloo when called upon to give up, he is said to have exclaimed “La Garde meurt, elle ne se rend pas!” or “The Guard dies, it does not surrender!”. Rather less dramatically he was attributed with actually saying “Merde!” or “sh*t” which, to be honest, seems more likely given the fact that he did surrender to a British Officer after wandering too far away from the relative safety of an infantry square.

This figure of Cambronne is interesting in that the eBay seller I bought it from said it was a ‘factory painted’ one. Hinton Hunt Figures offered a painting service at prices that seemed astronomical to me as a lad. The paint job is not fabulous and I know that the previous owner (disappointed when he received it) has re-touched the figure. This leaves me in a little bit of a quandary because, as you know, I like to completely repaint my vintage figures but feel it’s disrespectful to strip the paint from this one.

The Guardsmen are also vintage figures that I bought a couple of years ago when it was still possible to get hold of them on eBay without having to consult the Bank Manager first. I have a full unit of 24 figures and they look like suitably seasoned campaigners in their faded uniforms – these chaps will definitely be re-painted, the only question is when?

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Church Parade

The Hinton host assembled on the green.

A couple of posts back Matt asked me if it was perhaps time to hold a review of the troops. Well I had been thinking about it, so after church last Sunday the lads assembled on the village green for a photo shoot. It was a well-attended affair with some 139 of all ranks present. The whole thing was presided over by the Iron Duke himself (click on the images for a close-up).

The Iron Duke in the company of Generals Klingspor & Aldercreutz take the salute.

Russian Grenadiers supported by a solid looking Swedish line.

Austrian Grenadiers and the French 45th Regiment.

And finally, a trip back in time to the black and white 1960's - or is it?

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Superquick (not)

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a new local model shop and anxious to support such a brave enterprise I ventured in. Amongst the display was a stand of Superquick cardboard building models. I had imagined that this range was long since defunct and was excited to find that the church model (ref B29) was still in production. This was exactly the same model I had last constructed in 1970 for my old Hinton Hunt army to fight around (sacrilegious lot). It was obviously just what I needed.

Then a couple of evenings ago I thought I would assemble the thing as a bit of light relief from painting. I figured that with my finely developed adult model making skills it would only take an hour tops, leaving me plenty of time to settle down with a glass of malt to watch another re-run of Waking the Dead on UK Drama. Alas it was not to be.

Five minutes in and the vestry window was covered in glue, how did that happen? Then the belfry went wonky, this was not turning out as I had hoped. Perhaps my teenage skills were better than I remembered. Next I super-glued my index finger to my thumb whilst accidentally fixing tab A to tab C instead of tab B. How retro was that – I was actually making a worse job of it than I did aged 14. Eventually (two days later) after a total of three and half hours hobby time, the model was complete. I won’t be making another in a hurry.

My original model disappeared many years ago but can still be glimpsed here.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


A little distraction last week in the shape of Sir Arthur Wellesley - a.k.a. The Duke of Wellington mounted on his famous chestnut stallion Copenhagen. This is one of the Clayton figures I received a few weeks ago. Once again I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the casting, which was near perfect except for a few pits in the base. It was a new casting that had never been painted before so I could forgo the usual bleaching and scrubbing.

I’m sure that Sir Arthur needs no further introduction from me, as there will be few readers of this blog not familiar with this great British hero. As for Copenhagen, he was apparently a bit of a flop as a racehorse winning only one minor race at Newmarket before being shipped off to Spain in disgrace. Wellington acquired him there in 1813. By all accounts he was a spirited beast who tried to kick the Duke when he dismounted after Waterloo – possibly not too pleased with the dodging the shot and shell aspect of his job. The Duke kept him until his death in 1836 at the age of 28. Interestingly he was buried with full military honours on Wellington’s country estate, not bad going for a horse.

This figure then, is a David Clayton produced version of Hinton Hunt BN250 Duke of Wellington on BNH10 General’s Horse. I mount my General Officers on individual plasti-card bases measuring 20mm x 30mm and add the General’s name on the top of the base as well as full details underneath (see basing). The font I use for the labels is Old English Text MT, which is as close as I could get to the one used in the original Hinton Hunt logo. Click on the image for a closer look at the great man.