Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Marcus Hinton

I was very fortunate to be contacted recently by Phil whose wife Tanya is the eldest daughter of the late Marcus Hinton. Phil said that Tanya was pleased to see that there is still so much interest in her fathers work and they sent me some great photos including this one of Marcus Hinton himself.

In addition to creating the marvellous miniatures in the Hinton Hunt range, Marcus Hinton was also a founding member of the Sealed Knot and close friend of the late Brigadier Peter Young (who was also Tanya’s Godfather!). It would appear that Marcus was every bit as eccentric as I had been led to believe. Tanya says that he would always work on his figures at night, sleeping all day and rising at around 5.00 pm, when he would have breakfast, lunch and dinner all in quick succession, before starting work (often accompanied by several pints of orange juice). He would often wear a bowler hat, cape and carry a cane.

Apparently the business was run very much as a family affair and as a child Tanya spent many hours de-flashing and painting figures! When her father died most of the items connected with the business were sold off so she has very little in the way of memorabilia but does possess a scrapbook of uniform information compiled by him. Apparently he spent many hours visiting museums taking photographs and making notes to research uniforms in those days long before the internet.

The scrapbook contains uniform illustrations taken from many sources and some are coloured by hand. The images were used to help design the many models both 54mm and 20mm that Marcus Hinton created. The picture shown here is a detail from just one page from this fantastic resource and shows two drawings of a Royal Marine of the Napoleonic Wars. I find this particularly interesting as they may well have been used to create these figures from my own collection!

Tanya and Phil have kindly given permission for me to place a link here to the whole album, which they have made available on line (all 188 pages!). I’m sure this will be of great interest to many of the readers of this blog – a real piece of model soldier history!


The Old Metal Detector said...

Are you sure that bit about figures being de-flashed is true? ha ha (old Hinton Hunt joke). Great piece of history. Now if only someone has a copy of the episode of Double Your Money with Hugie Green he is rumoured to have appaeared on...

ColCampbell50 said...


What a wonderful collection. Please pass along to Tanya all our heartfelt thanks for the gift of these illustrations.

Now, as an archivist, might I suggest that she consider contacting a professional conservator of paper artifacts and get some guidance on preserving those wonderful pages.


Anonymous said...

Feeling very nostalgic. If I had a time machine...

Anonymous said...

Amazing that so little was left. I met Tanya when she was a young child and again at a wargames show when Peter Bateman had me bring in lots of examples of the figures to show her (I think) as she was their with her husband.
A friend and I are walking the Thames Path section by section (well really restaurant by restaurant and we will look in on Rowsley as we pass.
Interesting scrapbook, but Marcus had many detailed and, for the time, quite esoteric sources which is why the figures are so accurate.

old john said...

what a marvelous piece of wargaming history, very many thanks to Tanya for the great pictures.
I spoke to Marcus Hinton many years ago by phone when i ordered some 54mm ACW figures, he was very helpful and courteous
i have a vague memory of a photo of him with members of the Confederate High Command, think i've got a copy somewhere
whilst on subject of pictures has anyone got a photo of the Restoration 20mm figure he did, i'd love to see them
cheers john

Anonymous said...

Therewere three Restoration figures, Officer, Pikeman and musketeer. The were more like 30mm in height. I think that they were produced for a diorama of Charles II returning to London so they were never marketed as a range. There no cavalry, no artillery and no opponents!!

rpardo said...

A great link... thanks for sharing!

Dave Dogge said...

Pre-Games Workshop folks ! Marcus Hinton .. I salute you sir.