Monday, 29 December 2014


My Prussians are starting to look a bit elitist, so it's time to do a few line infantry.

I read somewhere that the way to do armies is to paint them in small batches, so I've decided to try painting 12 figures at a time. This fits in well with the 24-figure battalions that I've opted for. Getting half a battalion done looks like progress, so it keeps me motivated to get on and complete the other half. I also find that 12 figures is just about the maximum it's possible to do before each particular blob of enamel colour I'm working with dries out.

The main drawback with Prussians, they say, is their rather sombre uniforms. However, I couldn't help noticing that the 10th (1st Silesian) Infantry Regiment had rather fetching yellow facings....

The first batch of twelve are shown below. The figures are Hinton Hunt PN 3: Prussian Line Infantry Private, Charging; and PN 1: Prussian Line Infantry Officer, Charging.

PN 1 Hinton Hunt Prussian Line Infantry Officer Charging
PN 3: Prussian Line Infantry Private, Charging
Who says Prussians aren't pretty?
Nach Paris!
OK, so maybe the red turnbacks and yellow collars clash a bit, but you can't have everything.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Guards! Guards!

Next up are the Prussian Foot Guards.

Before repainting. A sturdy looking set of PN 13: Prussian Guard Grenadiers, Charging.
PN 13 from the rear
Stripping off the paint revealed that all was not quite as it seemed! About half a dozen of them were clearly not original Hinton Hunts.

Mystery figure on the left, Hinton Hunt on the right. The mystery figure has slightly less detail and is made of a darker, less dense alloy. His stance is also slightly set back, as if balancing on his right foot.

HH on the right. Definitely a bit beefier.

There are also slight differences in the thickness of the bases and the mold lines. The mold line variation is clearest on the boots.
I'm almost certain that the mystery figures were made by Der Kriegspielers (DK), an American company that produced a range of 25mm Napoleonics in the early 1970s. Marketed as "Napoleoniques", the DK range closely resembles those made by Hinton Hunt. According to the DK 1970 and 1973 catalogues (here), the DK equivalent to my HH Prussian guardsmen are "Napoleoniques" set 121: Prussian Guard Battalion 1812 Advancing.

(Many thanks to Chuck for the catalogue information).

Another discovery was that the drummer I had selected  was a conversion. So much became clear when his head fell off as I was cleaning him! However, a pin and a bit of superglue soon put him right again. I suspect he is a PN 6 (Prussian Line Infantry Drummer), with a Guardsman's head.

PN 6 with a new head. Not an easy figure to paint. Much of the detail is paint rather than sculpting, and the drum was anything but symmetrical.

Side view, looking very spiffy with his poppy red facings and plume.
To finish the battalion I made another conversion to make the standard bearer: PN 5 Private, Prussian Line Infantry, advancing (Separate Musket), but with another Guardsman's head. I thought it would also be fun to have a go at hand-painting the flag. The final result, representing the First Battalion/First Garde-Regiment zu Fuss, is shown below.
PN 13; PN 10: Guard Officer Charging; converted PN 6: Line Drummer; and converted PN 5: Line Infantryman.

I've yet to decide whether or not to stick with this basing scheme, but we'll see how it goes. It certainly makes it a lot easier to pick them up and move them around.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Getting things started

Greetings from far away New Zealand.

As a lad growing up in Britain I was fascinated by the photos of toy soldiers and instructions on how to fight battles with them to be found in wargames books by the likes of Charles Grant, Don Featherstone and Peter Young. I think I must have had the wargames section of my local library out on loan more or less continuously. By the time I was old enough to try painting an army of my own, however, the figures depicted in those books and the manufacturers listed in their indexes had already all but disappeared.

It wasn't until  earlier this year, and half a world away, that I found what I had been looking for - a small army of Hinton Hunt Prussians! There were 97 of them altogether, organised as three battalions of grenadiers and a few companies of jaegers.

First up, I reckoned, should be the Prussian Jaegers. These looked like just the thing for someone like me who hadn't painted a figure for about 30 years. Couldn't be more simple!
(Apologies to those that have already seen some of these on The Miniatures Page, but they're all I've got to show at the moment. The previous TMP post is here)

These were originally organised in six 4-figure companies, making a total 21 advancing jaegers, two marching officers and a bugler. I thought they'd do rather well as four 6-figure companies to make a single battalion of 24 figures.

24 of Marcus Hinton's Finest, but needing a bit of TLC
Hinton Hunt PN 27: Prussian Jaegers Advancing
PN 27: Prussian Jaegers Advancing
Hinton Hunt PN 24: Prussian Jaeger Officer Marching; PN 25: Prussian Jaeger Bugler Marching
PN 24: Prussian Jaeger Officer Marching; and PN 25: Prussian Jaeger Bugler Marching.
And so, the great experiment began. It was a bit nerve-wracking to strip off all the paint. Nonetheless, I got stuck in, and here were the results:

Hinton Hunt Prussian Jaegers
On the painting table. I chose a rather bright green for the uniforms in the expectation that a gloss varnish would tone it down a bit. It sort of worked....
Hinton Hunt Prussian Jaegers
Getting there
The paints I used were humbrol enamels, finished off with two coats of gloss varnish. The gloss, as expected, made them a lot darker, but also gave tremendous depth to the colours.

Hinton Hunt Prussian Jaegers
I was particularly chuffed with the bugler! A beautiful figure.

Hinton Hunt Prussian Jaegers
A rear view of PN 25.

Hinton Hunt Prussian Jaegers
The complete battalion.

Hinton Hunt Prussian Jaegers
The regiment they are supposed to represent are the 2nd Silesian Shutzen, for no other reason than I rather fancied their red-piped black facings!

They took me about 7 days to complete altogether, so not nearly as simple as I had assumed. However, there was no rush to get them finished. The main thing was to see if I still had any trace of the skill and patience needed to complete them.

I'm still uhming-and aahing about how to base them.

Comments welcome!.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, WM