Thursday, 29 December 2016

Old Chestnuts

Christmas came early in the Wellington Man household, heralded by the arrival at astonishing speed of the Archduke's guard dragoon reinforcements. I am at a loss to explain how this happened. Wasn't there supposed to be a postal strike going on or something? Whatever the case, it means I've been able to squeeze in one more post for 2016.

Thanks to the Archduke my Guard Dragoons are now over 80% Hinton Hunts and what would otherwise have been a rather weedy Der Kriegspieler squadron is now something altogether more intimidating. The best chestnuts are the old chestnuts, ladies and gentlemen.

So, without further ado, here are the results:

To recap, the figures are:

Hinton Hunt FN 60 Empresses Dragoons x 10, with various repairs and conversions; and
Der Kriegspielers 48: Guard Dragoons x 2

The DKs are not actually all that bad. The main differences are in the position of their swords, the left forelegs on their horses and, weirdly, the details of their pistol holsters. These are already rather strangely modelled on the Hinton Hunts. On the nearside of the Hinton Hunts there are three overlapping holster covers, but on the offside there appear to be only two, or perhaps three rather oversized versions. The DKs, on the other hand, have only two on the nearside and three on the offside. It was doing my head in for a while, I can tell you. The pictures below should show what I mean a little more clearly:

Left: Der Kriegspieler 48
Right: Hinton Hunt FN 60

Left: Der Kriegspieler 48
Right: Hinton Hunt FN 60

My first French cavalry brigade is finally complete!

Happy New Year everyone. I have to stay that mine has got off to a flying start, and it hasn't even started yet.


Thank you Archduke. *Cough*.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Hintonstein's Monster

Er....there's been a slight delay to the Empress Dragoons due to the wrong kind of figures on the production line. Painting will resume with the arrival of yet more Hinton Hunt replacements. These are even now winging their way across the globe, courtesy of the Archduke!

This should have been the perfect opportunity to crack on with my final French battery, but what I ended up doing instead was obsessing about something else entirely. This was: what to you do when you're one figure short of a regiment of Chasseurs and all you've got is a ropy old Lamming French hussar officer, a spare Hinton Hunt horse and box full of unwanted Scruby, Hinchliffe and Minifigs bits and bobs?

And the answer, two very nervous weeks later, was:

an officer of the Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale. 

Mrs WM, on the other hand, refers to him as the "Essex Hussar", but then she's like that.

It was the horse, of course, which was the really nerve-wracking bit as I had to detach him from his base and reposition one of the hind legs in order to get him to rear up properly, as well as more or less completely reconstruct his left foreleg. I had to resort to a bit of Scruby assistance for the last part.

The hat is a Hinchliffe creation with the original Lamming French officer's plume grafted onto it.

He's not quite the Théodore Géricault masterpiece I had in my mind's eye, but he'll definitely fill the gap.

As this is likely to be the last Hintonspieler post for 2016, it only remains for me to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


With sincere apologies to Géricault .
Note to self: don't try to get a job as a Photoshop artist.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Here be Dragons

My first squadron of Hinton Hunt Dragons de l'Imperatrice are ready for their photo session.

They required a lot of preparation as they were covered in a thick coat of house paint which took a week in the dettol jar to get off, only to reveal some very flashy and bashed-about castings underneath. They made my heart sink a bit when I first saw them. The swords, muskets and aiguillettes on all but one of the troopers had been either cut away or otherwise damaged, but in a way this was an advantage as I could take my drill and soldering iron to them without too many qualms! The results are quite pleasing, I think, as no two are completely alike.

First up are the officer and the standard bearer. Both have had their muskets removed and been given new aiguillettes on their right shoulders and fringed epaullettes on their left. I also contemplated removing their portmanteaus, but my nerve failed at that point!

The standard bearer's original arm had been severed at the elbow and replaced with a bit of scrap lead, so the only thing to do was to replace it altogether with another one of John Cunnigham's very useful recast lancer arms. The flag is made from another bit of that wonderfully thin piece of brass donated by my neighbour, Richard. The eagle comes from an old Minifigs guardsman that I found in a local junk shop.

In the next photo the troopers on the left and in the centre were also missing their aiguillettes, so I replaced these too. I rather like the effect of seeing them flying about in different directions.

The second squadron are on the painting table and I'm very pleased to report will now be a mixture of Der Kriegspielers and Hinton Hunts. This is thanks to a very generous donation by the Archduke.

His Royal Highness also sent me this beautifully realised self portrait. It commemorates the moment, he tells me, when he personally seized the colour of a faltering infantry regiment at the Battle of Aspern-Essling and ran forwards with it to great morale boosting effect. Now that is classy!

The Archduke himself!
Until the next time,