Thursday, 25 August 2016

I won’t Boer you with the details

With Vintage Leipzig now rapidly approaching I am beavering away painting up… Boers…eh what? Please, you’ll just have to humour me and take a look at my little side show blog here (if you haven’t already) and perhaps leave a comment there telling me to pull myself together and get back to the Hinton Hunts.

Well I have actually been painting some – six Prussian Jaegers to be precise. The idea is to expand my existing unit of 18 to a full 24 figure unit. It became pretty obvious some time back that my individually based skirmisher figures were never going to get a look in on the wargame table as they are too fiddly to use in the large games we have been playing. Reluctantly I decided to increase the unit size and will be rebasing them for use as close order units but still with the capability to deploy as skirmishers if I wish.

This does have an upside though as I have 5 units of skirmishers which means if I paint just 30 figures I will increase the order of battle significantly without having to go through the tedium of painting 24 figures at a time. After the Prussians I will turn my attention to the Austrian Tyrolean Jaegers in the hope of having them ready for the great day.

Friday, 12 August 2016

2nd East Prussian Cuirassiers

In a project already crammed with nostalgia (for me) here is possibly the most nostalgic unit of them all – the 2nd East Prussian Cuirassiers. All these figures bar one are vintage Hinton Hunt castings of PN.77 Prussian Cuirassier (mounted) charging and the odd one is a Clayton casting of superior quality. They’ve taken me the best part of six months to complete and involved painting somewhere in the region of 380 buttons. I hope you like them. 

380 buttons ride by...
The whole regiment ride dark brown horses - except the trumpeter
Charging to the right!
Charging to the left!
Just charging!!!
Let's hope this is an advance not a retreat...
Pure nostalgia - the same unit painted by me 45 years ago and now long gone
But here they are again restored to their rightful place!

Well, at least I’ve contributed something towards Vintage Leipzig.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Messrs K & G

Messrs K & G have now been rebased for use with my rules and given a coat or two of gloss varnish (sorry about that Archduke). They will be a useful addition to the allied general staff and I’m sure General Mack in particular will be very pleased to have them on board.

Messrs Klenau & Gyulay rebased for Muskets & Marshals

So what’s happening with Vintage Leipzig? Well, from my side very little other than just about having finished the Prussian Cuirassiers, it has been a rather unproductive year so far. Roy on the other hand has worked wonders as always and now has a very substantial Austrian army. Hopefully we will be able to set a date quite soon.

Conversion of PN.81 Prussian Dragoon

On the plus side, I’ve just started working on a second squadron of Naumarkisches Dragoons. You may remember I painted six of these back in 2014 but this was before the cavalry reorganisation that saw us settling on 12 figure units. To make this unit up to strength I have another six figures on the go including this trumpeter conversion. All done with brass rod, superglue and Magic Sculp, no clever stuff with a soldering iron unfortunately.

Friday, 22 July 2016

The Battle of La Rothière

You’ve probably already seen Matt’s report on this battle here but I thought it was high time I wrote up Napoleon’s take on events. The game was fought a few weeks ago over at Roy’s place using troops from his collection, my own forces remained in camp for this one.

Matt had control of the right flank of the French army - this is part of his command near the centre of our line.
The Guard infantry were deployed in the town supported by the reserve artillery on the road.
Straight out of Miniature Warfare Magazine 1969c? No, this is Roy's wargame table 2016 - here come the Russians!
Stuart had a LOT of guns and they were lined up hub to hub directly opposite Matt. This was not the best introduction for Matt to my Muskets & Marshals rules.
The view down the table on the French side. The troops nearest the camera are under Matt's capable command, from the town onwards they are mine under the guise of the emperor.
Napoleon contemplating Roy's rather nice church model.
As the action commences Matt takes the wise decision to move obliquely left away from the enemy guns on the ridge.
Our left flank is immediately threatened by the Bavarians so I shift some guard infantry and cavalry to meet them.
Matt's infantry have occupied a field in the centre of the table but his troops are losing casualties steadily to Stuart's merciless artillery fire.
On the extreme right flank Matt gets to grips with the melee rules!
The Russians start to advance in the centre.
And the Austrians on the left-centre (Roy has added yet more Austrian infantry units to his collection!).
Another cavalry clash - this time on the left and these hussars are under my command.
Hot work with the sabre and lance!
What's this? Now the Russians are in a field as well!
On the extreme left flank things are looking grim as a whole horde of Bavarians push forward.
Matt's infantry make the most of the cover afforded by a hedge to fend off the advancing Russians while his cavalry continue to melee in the distance.
Our cavalry appear to be falling back - those Russians have got the Jewson lot!
Well done those hussars for forcing the Pavlovs into square.
Not so well done here - the left flank starting to disintergrate.
Probably the best painted wargame unit I've ever seen - Young guard painted by Matt B but in Roy's collection.
Game over - the flank is turned and the emperor orders a tactical withdrawal.
It was great to finally be able to meet up with Matt and push a few toy soldiers around the table with him. Thanks to Roy for hosting the event and to Stuart C for lining up all those guns and continually firing them at us.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Vintage Prussians at last!

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while may remember that my initial motivation for collecting Hinton Hunt figures was to recreate the Prussian Napoleonic army I had in my youth that has long since gone (the figures and my youth that is). So I was very pleased to receive this lot through the post a couple of weeks ago.

They are the result of a swop made with Matt B during his famous recent ‘UK 20mil wargaming road trip’. The figures are all vintage Hinton Hunt with the exception of the rather nifty and unusual DK flag bearer. I have other castings of PN.3 Prussian private (charging) but they are a mixture of Clayton and more modern reproductions – the vintage ones have proved very elusive.

My original 1970's army had three battalions made up of this figure each comprised of 21 figures (18 of the advancing figure plus officer, drummer and standard bearer) so I got to know all the variations in casting shape and quality as I slowly plodded through painting them. The legendary flash metal was there in abundance but I remember noticing two distinct figure types – one nicely proportioned and a rather thin tall fellow – so it was interesting to see that both these types were included in this batch.

I’m looking forward to stripping and re-painting these although I’m not sure when that may happen.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Walking Stantonbury Hill (Off Topic #24)

The last time I went for a hike with Andy up to Charmy Down he suggested that next time we venture out we head for Stantonbury Hill. Well, time has really flown by and finally I realised that I’d better dust off my walking boots and take him up on his offer before old age and infirmity sets in. So yesterday myself, Andy and Daisy set off into the blue equipped with a plentiful supply of sandwiches, cake, crisps and water – but no ginger beer.

Newton St Loe

We parked up at Newton St Loe on the road next to the excellent farm shop and set off on a circular route that took us first to Pennsylvania Farm where we had an interesting discussion on just how the place got its name (we were wondering because there is a Pennsylvania just north of Bath but a good 15 miles from this place). After that it was cross country on footpaths and before we knew it we were in the most beautiful countryside at a distance barely half a mile from Bath but seeming a million miles away.

The theatre of operations

Daisy
We passed through picturesque Englishcombe Village and on to Inglesbatch, then it was back to the footpaths which led us through a field of nervous looking cows (I think it was Daisy they were nervous of) to Priston Mill. Here it was time to dip into the sandwiches whilst Andy carried out an unsuccessful reconnaissance looking for a path that was on the map but seemed to have been removed from the actual landscape.

This is somewhere near Priston (I think)

Undeterred we headed on towards Stanton Prior where after a quick visit to check out the inside of the church (nice if you like Medieval churches) we decided it was time for more sandwiches and a sit down in the sun. By now Stantonbury Hill was starting to loom large on the horizon and we were starting to feel tired however, revitalised we set off on the final leg.

A lot of the walk was along lanes but there were hardly any cars!
Nice shack near Stanton Prior
The ascent on Statonbury Hill
Stantonbury Hill is the site of an Iron Age hill fort but unlike Solsbury Hill (on the east side of Bath) its slopes are covered in trees and it’s hard to make out any remains of earthworks. Having battled our way to the top it was clear to see that at some point the ground had been levelled as it was quite flat. It wasn’t hard to picture the place covered in Iron Age huts even if we couldn’t see any signs of the ditches or banks that must have once surrounded it.
The top of the hill - just picture those Iron Age huts
Finally it was time to force our way through the undergrowth to get back down the east side of the hill. This was hard going as the path was very overgrown and it involved climbing a five bar gate whilst fighting with overhanging branches but we eventually made it out and back onto the road. From there it was a matter of heading back cross country to Newton St Loe to pick up the car.

Final view of the hill as we headed home.

Andy figured we’d covered about 10 miles (it felt like 20) and I now have new found respect for Jackson’s ‘Foot Cavalry’ who reportedly covered 35 miles a day in their marches up and down the Shenandoah Valley. We decided we may return to Stantonbury Hill in the winter when the foliage is off the trees to see if we can find any traces of earthworks – if we do though we’ll just park the car at the bottom!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Grand Review

Before I cleared away the figures following the recent game I thought it would be a good idea to hold a grand review. All my Hinton Hunts are on the table with the exception of the individually based skirmishers and some of the personality figures (which weren't used in the scenario) and the Austrian Hussars who were somehow left off the OOB.

5 units French cavalry, 7 units French infantry, 4 units allied cavalry and 12 units allied infantry + 5 allied artillery (the French artillery had already been cleared away) - approximately 600 figures.
The French infantry
Allied cavalry and infantry
The French and allies friends for once for the photo shoot
The French cavalry
The Silesian traffic wardens
My favourite unit of the moment - 42nd Black Watch
British foot guards
The Cambridgeshires
Nassau grenadiers
Three cheers for the naval battalion!
9th legere
45th ligne - what can I say?
Combined grenadier battalion
The allies
The French
If it wasn't for the lead mountain I'd be tempted to say this project is over.