Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Turning Up the Voltage

It's not all been vintage Napoleonic reviews and battles in the last few weeks, I've also been doing some actual painting.

As I have rather a lot of Frenchmen to paint in order to catch up with the Prussians, I thought I'd start with the biggest job first, which is the battalion of skirmishers I need to take on all those Silesian Schutzen. A few of the French line infantry voltigeurs I've found for this gig are pictured below:

Vintage Napoleonic French Line Infantry
DK and Hinton Hunt Voltigeurs

The figures (from left to right) are:

Der Kriegspielers, DK 12: French line infantry 1812, Légère battalion, firing;

Hinton Hunt, FN 3: French line infantry 1812-15, grenadier, firing, and

Hinton Hunt, FN 1: French line infantry 1812-15, officer, charging.

Although the DK is not an exact match for the Hinton Hunt, and lacks many of the crisper details, he's not all that far off. I think they'll work reasonably well together in a unit.

Vintage Napoleonic French Line Infantry
A certain family resemblance!

As it happens, I've managed to get hold of a fair number of Hinton Hunt and other types of French infantry recently, so a few more comparisons follow. The figures in each case are Der Kriegspielers on the left, Hinton Hunt in the centre and Alberken on the right.

Vintage Napoleonic French Line Infantry
The extra DK on the left is an interesting variant of DK 12. Alberken FN 28 on the right.
The Alberken pictured above on the right is: FN 28: French Napoleonic infantry, grenadier, firing. He's a very good match for the Hinton Hunt in almost all respects except one - a rather horribly malformed right arm that doesn't attach to the rest of his body very convincingly at all!

Next up is a selection of charging/advancing figures:

Vintage Napoleonic French Line Infantry
Some more close cousins....
The figures are:

Der Kriegspielers, DK 9: French line infantry 1812, advancing;

Hinton Hunt FN 5: French line infantry 1812-15, fusilier, charging; and

Alberken FN 30: French Napoleonic infantry, fusilier, advancing.

The Alberken is noticeably taller and chunkier than the others, and lacks the finer detailing of either the HH or the DK. However, I think they'd all look quite good together on the same tabletop.

Pictured last is the same group again but with something completely different: a Garrison FN 7: French Fusilier, advancing. which I just couldn't resist painting up as a test figure.

....and a different lineage altogether!

Garrison only ever produced a quite small range of 25mm Napoleonics, but I've always admired them. Masses of them routinely appear in early wargaming publications, where they look absolutely stunning. As I have enough for a whole battalion I'm sorely tempted to have a go at them after I've finished the voltigeurs. After all, this is supposed to be a blog about "Hinton Hunt, Der Kriegspieler and other vintage Napoleonic Figures"!


Update: As MS Foy points out in his comments, that should be Garrison 20mm Napoleonics, and not 25mm. Doh!


  1. Very tasty indeed - the Garrison man is a good fit for size, though he has a strange combination of long gaiters and short (square lapelled) jacket. I am a big fan of Garrison (as you know) - they also do a nice voltigeur/grenadier in the same pose. I normally avoid being pedantic (because it irritates me when people do it to me!), but strictly these are the "20mm" Garrison - the variety of sizes of the successive ranges of Garrison have defeated my attempts to understand them, but you're on safe ground with the early "20mm", which are as the one you depict here, and stand well beside HH.

    Can Uncle Rob help you out with Garrison figures? (he asked, wide-eyed...)

    1. Cheers Foy.

      The very gradual increase in height between each figure in the picture fails to show that the Garrison man is actually quite bit taller than the DK. His hat is a lot wider, too. This worried me initially as all the other French infantry in my first brigade are DKs, which I thought would make the Garrisons stand out a bit too much. However, the notion that my regiments should be organised into fixed brigades, which wouldn't be allowed to get too close to each other moreover in case they looked too different from each other, is a so daft that I decided to just get with it!

  2. An excellent post Matt and really interesting comparisons. Looking at the Alberken with the eye of the practised cync I would say it looks like an Hh that has been cut off its base , had the legs bent a bit and then been fixed to a different base......... but maybe ts just a very good copy? Usng the three makes is going to give you a delicious variety. I wonder if you could do a bit of solder work to extend plumes. that can be very effective for carabiniers.
    The Garrison figure is lovely., I had a couple of units, but found that the point where the musket joins the left hand is just so vulnerable. Good luck with them.

    1. The Alberkens and Hinton Hunts are so similar that you could be excused for thinking so, Roy!

      The muskets seem to have held up on my vintage Garrisons well enough. It's the bayonets that seem to the most vulnerable. The point at which they join the muzzle is perilously thin! I'm going to have to reconstruct a fair few of them.

  3. I agree with Roy & Foy - some really lovely brushwork there. I've always admired that Garrison advancing figure since I saw it featured in those great photos in Grant's 'Napoleonic Wargaming' back in 1974! Mixed figure units can be fun (although I've only ever mixed HH & DK so far) and I'm really looking forward to see your Frenchies progress.

    1. We are of like mind, I think, Ian. The Garrisons may be a bit 'wrong'in the uniform details as Foy says, but they're wrong in the right way! I think they're first-rate sculpts and can't wait to have a crack at more of them. I also have a secret plan for dealing with the height issue!

  4. This is a really useful posting, as the good guys have already commented. I wonder if anyone can advise on another variant. I have in my collection figures which I would swear are charging and firing HH grenadiers,FN2 and FN3,except that they have loose musket straps and are in slightly livelier poses (ie voltigeurs). Does anyone know what they are? I also have Clayton grenadiers firing in greatcoats, with plumes. Is that a clue?

    1. Archduke, if you send me photos I'll post them here for everyone to see and have a go at identifying.