Friday, 18 December 2015

Bavarian Variations

Steve has sent me some wonderful photos of a Bavarian unit he completed a few years ago. Included among them were absolutely stunning drummer, standard bearer and (best of all!) pioneer conversions.




Steve's solution to the helmet-plumes-where-none-should-be problem was to remove them.

The main reason I haven't also removed the plumes on the Bavarian battalion I'm working on is that I was too afraid I'd make a mess of it!

I suspect there are several schools of thought on this issue of conversions. To what extent should figures be modified? Converting or modifying figures is a tradition as old as wargaming. However, in changing the figures we also lose some of their original meaning and all sorts of other information about the designer, manufacturer and the era in which they were made. On the other hand, information about the person who converted the figure is added. It's something I think about every time I do one of my own conversions.

Comments most welcome!

WM

13 comments :

  1. Beautiful job on those, well done with the conversion!

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    1. Isn't it just! Gorgeous colours too. My stubborn adhesion to Humbrols is looking more and more ridiculous.

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  2. I only convert sparingly , I doubt my modelling skills and if one has a battalion of 24 + to alter it gets tedious . My last conversion was a head swop on a mounted officer , Tony

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    1. Me too, Tony. This is why I prefer to convert figures that are already damaged. Repairing them is just as risky as converting them in any case!

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    2. I suspect Hinton included the plumes with the intention that they would be removed where not required - easier to remove than add them.

      I do a lot of conversion - it's one of the most satisfying parts of the hobby (when it works!).

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    3. DC - The more I look at them, the more I think you right as Marcus's Bavarians actually seem to have both a plume and the little tuft worn by the centre companies. So, remove what you don't want and keep what you do. I'm still too chicken to do it, however!

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  3. I would personally leave the plumes on Matt. As for your Humbrols, I'd stick with them because you are painting in a style that works so well with them, I don't think you would achieve quite the same impact as you have done with acrylics. It reminds me of the style used on the 'Unfashionably Shiny' blog (he also uses only certain humbrols). If I could emulate one style for a 'vintage AWI' project using Hinchliffe figures that would be it.

    All the best,
    Lee.

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    1. I must admit that the one time I tried to use acrylics I found it a terribly thin and wishy-washy sort of experience. Mind you, they were the cheapest possible Timiyas!

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  4. These are really very nice - inspirational, really. I don't really use valuable vintage castings very much, but I understand the natural reluctance to hack them about - on the other hand, as a wiser head than mine once said, the reason that Marcus Hinton didn't worry too much about missing Bavarian pioneers etc from his range was that he expected collectors to convert their own.

    Having said which, I've converted a load of HH ECW standard bearers, but for the Napoleonic figures I'm happier when the work is done by someone with a bit of real skill! I guess that converting Hintons was less daunting back in the days when they were a shilling each, or whatever they were.

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  5. Lovely brushwork from Steve. I share your reluctance to cut bits off a Hinton Hunt figure particularly as you and I spend a lot of our time trying to stick bits on! I guess if the figures were still in production we might feel differently.

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  6. Messrs Foy and Stryker, I think you've hit the nail on the head, or is that the plume on the helmet?

    Having said that, I'm clearly much less squeamish about Der Kriegspielers (as witnessed by the drummer and standard bearers in my last post). This makes no sense at all given that they are almost as hard to find as Hinton Hunts and not all that cheap these days either!

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  7. Must say I am very impressed with the pioneer and drummer. Could we see a couple of pics that show them in the round? Is the pioneer from the marching Bavarian?

    Most of my Bavarians are painted so I doubt that I will be rushing to trim the plumes off the centre companies, I rather suspect that Hinton made the one master figure and took the view that wargamers could trim it if they wished and make their own drummers and standard bearers if they wished, but that it was not wort the effort to make separate figures for minor nations. His view appeared to be that his 54 mm and larger work was what mattered and at the time, he was most likely right. After all, in the late 60s when the Bavarians were most likely produced, wargamers were were few and far between and most competing ranges were very restricted in number, often crude in execution and similarly restrictive in producing command, ensigns, drummers etc. Anyone for Rose, Kirk or Douglas ? All with their own charm, but not a patch on HH.
    Figures were also expensive, I had a decent job in 1971 at £1000 a year so if we equate that to £25, 000 today then a figure would be twenty five times five pence which gives £1.25 . You would have to think hard about chopping them up for spares back then too. No wonder so many peopke were following Don Featherstone and moulding their own;-))

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  8. >>Steve's solution to the helmet-plumes-where-none-should-be problem was to remove them

    Bit like the 25mm Hinchcliffe Bavarians - all of who appear to be grenadiers - except I couldn't be bothered removing the plumes from mine :)

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