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