Saturday, 18 November 2017

Amateur Austronomy

I know, I should be working on Prussians, but all this fooling about with Austrians has distracted me. I couldn't resist getting them all out to have a look at them and to decide which, if any, could be cobbled together into a battalion.

It turns out that there are 98 of them - enough for four battalions with a couple to spare. For those curious to know what 98 distinctly dodgy-looking Austrians look like, they are pictured below.

Bring on the Clones
There was nothing for it after that but to get out my small collection of genuine, factory-painted Alberken/Minifig Austrians by way of comparison. These particular examples, I believe, are:

12 x AN 1W: German Line Fusilier, on guard;
2 x AN 2W: German Line Fusilier Officer;
1 x AN 15W: German Line Fusilier Standard Bearer; and
1 x AN 4W; German Line Grenadier Officer.

The Albert and Ken's

The good news is that having had a closer look at the home-casts, I decided that there may be, just possibly, a dozen or so which are genuine, in which case they're probably examples of the Alberken/Minifig code AN 5 or AN 5 W: Hungarian (or German) Line Fusilier, advancing.

The last shot is a closer view of what is definitely not an original, what might be an original, and one of the AN 1Ws. Do you know, I think one could actually make something of all of them: even the one who seems to be half man and half goat, with a bit of soldering.


What do you think? Should I do it?

Incidentally, I've started to post up a few pages about how I went about painting  the first wee man. If anyone wishes to make any comments (complementary or critical: both are very welcome), proffer advice or ask questions, please don't hesitate.

WM



14 comments :

  1. Well done sir, an impressive group os Austrians!

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    1. Cheers, Phil. I'm not sure I should be congratulated, though -commiserated, perhaps. When it comes to Austronomy - the science of spotting Austrians - I've clearly got a bit to learn!

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  2. I'm not sure Matt, the key thing is do you think you would enjoy painting them?

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    1. The weird thing, Ian, is that I think I would! I can't quite explain this, but I think it's becuase it would be the ultimate vintage trangression/tribute. I'd also end up with loads of Austrians.

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  3. That's a big pile of metal - I prefer not to count mine as it gets too depressing, but despite that I can never discipline myself to buy just what I can paint. I guess it's boy's collection completion mania that drives us all?

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    1. I'm not sure what was going through my head when I bought these, Rob. I think what appealed was that they were so generic that they could be used for all sorts of things- Badeners, Wurttembergers, Bavarians or Austrians. Thankfully, they also extremely cheap!

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  4. I'm really looking forward to seeing your Prussian Reserve battalion. And no, it's not sauer krauts.......

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    1. *Laughter*. I'll take that as a "no" then, Archduke.

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  5. Those Austrians should keep you busy and whilst they may not be originals they are certainly vintage copies and will look good once you have painted them up.

    Looking forward to seeing your painting guide.

    Mark

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    1. That, in a nutshell, would be the reason for painting them, Mark. I doubt I'd do them all at once though!

      The painting guide is nearly done, although I'm afraid that there'll be nothing there that you didn't already know in 1973.

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  6. I definitely think you should do them, they look suitably vintage whatever their parentage and who can resist all that white?

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    1. Hurrah, validation! Thank you, Matt.

      Looking at those vintage Alberkens, yellowed-with age though they are, I can see your point. There's another thing to consider too - their flags. There's nothing like aiming for the well and truly impossible now, is there?

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  7. I wonder if your goat men are actually early Hinchliffe.nThe Alberkens were generally securely anchored to the base ( apart from the runnng figures with one leg in the air) but the two blues on the left have a more tenuous connection to their paving stone.
    Also the helmets are different.
    Cheers
    R

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    1. You could be right LG, but the differences between them are outweighed, I think, by the similarities. I based my ID on the figures illustrated on Clive's Old Metal Collector Blog, here: http://theoldmetaldetector.blogspot.co.nz/2009/05/alberken-and-minifigs-20mm-1-hungarian.html.

      Clive identifies his (genuine Alberkens) as AN 1s, but my guess is AN 5 or 5W as they look more like advancing troops rather than "on guard" soldiers.

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