Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Enigma Variations

The Archduke has sent me some photos of his enigmatic Hinton Hunt variations, but before getting to them I thought a few establishing shots of what they almost certainly are not are in order, if only to put them out of contention.

The first two shots are what I believe to be the DK and Alberken variations on Hinton Hunt FN 2: French Line Grenadier, charging. As in my previous post, in each shot the Hinton Hunt is in the centre, the DK on the left and the Alberken on the right.

The DK and Alberken figures are:

Der Kriegspielers DK 10: French Line Infantry 1812, receiving; and
Alberken  FN 29: French Line Fusilier, On Guard.

DK 10, HH FN 2 and  Alberken FN 29
Rear view
The DK, in my view, is a clear derivation from the Hinton Hunt. If one looks very carefully it's even possible to make out the traces of the cross belt that would have supported his sabre briquet and bayonet scabbards, all now removed in order to turn him into a fusilier. Unfortunately I don't have the DK 10E ('elite') grenadier/voltigeur variant, if there is such a thing. A DK 10E would have been a particularly interesting comparison, so if anybody has one, please send me a photo!

The Alberken also sports a fair few similarities, particularly in terms of legs and left arm positions, but also has some distinctions of his own. His knapsack, for example, is really rather different.

While I was sorting through the figures I also noticed that not all of the Hinton Hunt FN2s were identical. Pictured below are the two variations I discovered. The main differences are in the head, arm, musket and leg positions.

As will be seen below, the Archduke's splendidly painted examples are something else altogether! When I first saw them I thought they must be DKs (those hanging musket slings, you see), but the Archduke tells me that they are far too heavyweight and far too finely detailed to be DKs, and on studying them I can see his point.

Conventional HH FN 3 in the background, mystery variant in the foregound

HH FN 2 in front, mystery variant in the rear
Has anyone else seen anything quite like these before? Hinton Hunts or something else?



  1. Hinton only very rarely showed a musket sling that was not tight against the musket. British and French Light infantry are the only ones I can think of. That is because he made a British and a French Musket separately and then fitted the musket into the hand f the master figure which was cast in a sort of at ease position and then animated to make the figure which would go in the catalogue. So if a figure has a hanging sling and is not light infantry, then I am betting its a DK because that appears to have been one of the 'conversions' they did.

    1. It's a bit of a conundrum, this. In the Archduke's favour, those musket slings of his hang a lot less loose than they do on the DKs in my collection. The firing figure is also shooting high, which is a very HH characteristic, whereas my DK shooters are dead on the level.

  2. I'm afraid I'm with Roy on this one - I don't think they can be HH. There were variations within figure types (like the FN/2's you have shown) but I've never come across any figures with hanging muskets slings other than light infantry and Jagers.

  3. First my thanks to WM for going to all this trouble over my confusion. Secondly, I am not making a bid for these chaps to be deemed HHs. I am just intrigued to know their provenance. I have a number of DKs which frankly would not get a place in my units because they are not up to HH comparison. These fellows are, in my opinion, every bit as good as their HH comrades, if not better animated. The one downside is the lack of fresh air between the firing man's left arm and musket. Could they be Clayton variants?