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Friday, 21 October 2016

Head Hunted

As I'm halfway through my latest regiment, it's time for another Hinton Hunt personality figure.

The Archduke guessed who he was going to be. He is Pierre Jacques Étienne Cambronne. At Waterloo he was a maréchal de camp (an archaic title for General de Brigade) in command of the first regiment of the Chasseurs à pied of the Imperial Guard.

In 1815, at the age of 45, Cambronne was a veteran of 23 years, having served in the campaigns of Jena, Spain, Russia and1813 and 1814. Starting as a humble grenadier, he rose steadily through the ranks of the Imperial Guard. In 1814 he commanded the battalion of guardsmen that accompanied Napoleon to exile and was rewarded with the title of Viscount when Napoleon returned to power.

The Emperor's offer of promotion to General de Division, however, was refused by the typically self-effacing Cambronne. It was thus with a relatively modest colonel's command (which, as a guardsmen, required him to have general's rank) that Cambronne fought at Waterloo.

Cambronne entered into legend when it was said that he heroically refused to surrender his regiment after it was surrounded at the end of the battle. His legendary reply when summoned to lay down his arms was: "the Guard dies but does not surrender!" Some sources say that it was altogether briefer and more direct.

The exact circumstances, however, are disputed, as Cambronne didn't die and did surrender! Anglo-German accounts insist that he was captured by Sir Hugh Halkett, the commander of the 3rd Hanoverian Brigade. Halkett claimed that he seized the wounded Cambronne by one of his epaulettes and physically dragged back behind British lines.

The figure is Hinton Hunt FN 367: General Cambronne, in general's uniform and cocked hat on foot, with drawn sword and waving arm. He was, until very recently, the only French personality figure I was missing. Hans, however, has very kindly donated him so that I could complete the set.

Marcus Hinton evidently preferred the legendary version of Cambronne and depicted him much as he appeared in the famous print by Hippolyte Bellange. In Bellange's work, Cambronne is grasping the tricolour, surrounded by his defiant guardsmen. My attempt to re-stage this stirring scene is in the last shot.


Cambronne at Waterloo, after Bellange.

Cambronne at Waterloo, after Marcus Hinton.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Head Hunters

Der Kriegspielers DK 20 Chasseurs à pied command group

The DK 20 command group for my Chasseurs à pied (literally "Hunters on foot", in English) is ready for inspection.

I've had an ambition to paint a battalion of French Imperial guardsmen for as long as I can remember, so I've been beavering away during the weekday evenings to get them done.

Der Kriegspielers DK 20 Chasseurs à pied command group

The flag is my attempt to produce the 1812 pattern infantry flag. It's a little impressionistic as I couldn't quite squeeze everything on to it! I can't help thinking that the Imperial symbols down the sides look just bit too much like Chinese characters, but they ought to be OK when viewed from a distance.

I have a special commander for these chaps! All will be revealed in the next post....



Saturday, 8 October 2016

If the CàP fits....

How does one say thank you? You know, properly, in a sincere and manly way, without sounding like a gushing nitwit?

In New Zealand, the land of stunning understatement, the approved method is to stare at your feet, take a deep breath, and then very rapidly mutter "aaaawww, cheers mate" in a deep, gravelly and barely audible manner, followed by coughing.

It's a massive problem for me. I'm continually being humbled by the industrial-strength generosity of complete strangers who read my blog and then send me treasures beyond all imagining. The torture is refined when they absolutely refuse to take anything in return.

The latest Wellington Man-humbler is Rob. Rob doesn't collect Hinton Hunts, so when he acquired some when he was really after something else, he sent his unwanted surplus to me. Here's a picture of them.

The figures are Hinton Hunt:

FN 36: French Artillery Driver x 9
H 3: French (nearside) Gun Horse x 9
H4: French (offside) Gun Horse x 9

There's enough there for four gun teams, with a pair to spare. Rob also threw in spare muskets sufficient to equip a battalion and a couple of SHQ French 12 pdrs (not pictured) for good measure.

Not only did Rob fill a gap, but he also solved a problem, which was how to finish off the Phase One French. I was dithering about this something terrible the whole time I was painting the 7th Lancers.

Once I was able to get up close and personal  with the FN 36s, I could see that they are actually guard artillery drivers! Their tall plumes, fancy waistcoats and dainty little hussar boots leave no room for doubt. Now, it just so happen that I have a Hinton Hunt Foot Artillery of the Guard set to go with them, and some infantry that I've been dying to paint up as guardsmen for ages.

My guard infantry are Der Kriegslpielers 220: Dutch Grenadier Battalion, Defending. As soon as I saw these I knew they'd do very well as Old Guard Chasseurs à Pied. All they needed was a little paint conversion on the cuffs. Readers may remember that I also used a few of these for my Swiss battalion.

Progress to date is pictured below, with the Swiss grenadier versions included by way of comparison.

Commanding them will be three really splendid examples from the Der Kriegspielers set number 20: French Guard Infantry Command. This set included both Chasseur and Grenadier variants. Pictured below are the Chasseur marching officer, standard bearer and drummer. Their bases are marked: "CHASS 20", which is rather helpful.

Yes, I know, it's not exactly "painting them as intended", which I've been a bit pious about in the past. However, I have another battalion, and they really are going to be Dutch Grenadiers!

The last three shots were supplied by Rob. They show his breathtakingly magnificent Spencer Smiths, complete with his superb hand-made buildings and terrain. Rob even supplied some of the plans. The bridges explode, and the buildings lift up to reveal ruins beneath! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

 Aaaww, cheers mate. *cough*


EDIT: As LewisGunner reveals in his comments below, the Artillery Drivers are actually Hinton Hunt FN 188 rather than FN 36 as I originally assumed.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Riding the Tiger

My Polish lancers are in need of a colonel, so the figure I've selected is the most Polish-looking figure I could find. He is, of course, none other than Prince Joachim Murat, Marshal, Admiral, Duke of Cleve-Berg and King of Naples.

Prince Charming, Prince Charming...
The figure is the David Clayton version of Hinton Hunt FN 351: Prince Murat, in plumed "lancer" cap & fur trimmed braided coat, seated upon horse FNH 11.

He's painted exactly as recommended in Marcus Hinton's painting instructions, which state that it was the costume Murat wore during the Russian campaign of 1812. Judging from the contemporary iconography, however, I suspect it more closely resembles the uniform Murat wore during the Polish campaign of 1807. Dazzled by the ecstatic public reception he had received on entering Warsaw, Murat began to fancy himself as the next Polish king and dressed himself accordingly. Napoleon, however, failed to take the hint, telling him: "Go and put on your proper uniform; you look like a clown".

Murat's reputation as a dandy with an eye for the main chance was more than made up for by his flashes of brilliance as a cavalry commander. His bravery, however, tended towards recklessness. It was a character flaw that would eventually lead to his execution by a Neapolitan firing squad in 1815. Having fallen from the tiger, Murat simply couldn't resist climbing back on again and making a reckless attempt to regain his throne.

...Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.!

I was quite daunted by the this figure when I first saw him as it required so many elements that I haven't attempted before. I also spent a very long time gazing at photographs of tigers!


Saturday, 24 September 2016

Polish Off

I have finished the 7th Lancers at last. They've only taken me nine months. The varnish has yet to completely dry on the last three, which makes them particularly shiny, but I suppose that's only to be expected from French Polish.

Der Kriegspielers and Hinton Hunt Polish Line Lancers

The figures are:

Der Kriegspielers 39: French Line chevau-légers lanciers (Regiments 7-9) x 8;
Der Kriegspielers 49: French Guard Lancers (Polish and Dutch) x 1, converted to a trumpeter;
Der Kriegspielers 49: French Guard Lancers (Polish and Dutch) x 1, coverted to a DK 39;
Hinton Hunt  FN 43: Guard Lancer, charging, x 1, converted to a standard bearer; and
Hinton Hunt FN 41: Guard Lancer Trumpeter, x 1, converted to an officer!

Der Kriegspielers and Hinton Hunt Polish Line Lancers

Der Kriegspielers and Hinton Hunt Polish Line Lancers

Der Kriegspielers and Hinton Hunt Polish Line Lancers

Many thanks indeed to all those who encouraged me to keep going when I was flagging a bit. Special thanks are also due, of course, to Steve for supplying the missing castings; and Richard, my neighbour, who found me the perfect piece of brass.

Have a splendid weekend everyone.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Poles Apart

Hinton Hunt FN 43 Polish Lancers
It's been a very busy weekend on the domestic front, but I found just enough time to complete my 7th Lancers command group.

The figures this time are proper Hinton Hunt one-piece-castings, FN 43 Guard Lancer, charging, courtesy of Steve C.

Hinton Hunt FN 43 Polish LancersBoth had the benefit of partial conversion by Steve. The flag-bearer just needed his flag added. The officer, on the other hand, was a bit more complex. In his case I've added a new forearm and sword; swapped his epaulette and aiguillette to the opposite shoulders, and replaced his horse's front left leg!

I decided to repaint the hoist on the flag dark red as a noticed that this is the colour on the surviving second squadron guidon. It may simply have faded from blue, of course.

The final two shots show them next to the trumpeter. Only three more troopers to go and I'll have a regiment.

Salut maintenant