This is not the result of half-rations or a forced march but an illustration of the ‘diminishing mould’ effect. Both these figures are David Clayton produced castings of Hinton Hunt PN19 Prussian Landwehr Firing. The one on the right is a decent specimen while his puny friend on the left looks barely strong enough to hold his musket up. When Clayton took over production of Hinton Hunt he had very few master figures from which to make moulds so many were created using second or even third generation figures. This resulted in a progressive loss of detail and reduction in the size of the castings.
It wasn’t until I came to paint up my first batch of these Landwehr figures that I began to see how much variation there really was. The figure on the right is of such good quality that I would have thought at first glance it was a vintage casting. The one on the left is considerably thinner and missing some of the detail such as the correct number of buttons on the front of his tunic – yes I really did count the buttons (mental note to self – must get out more). Another noticeable difference was that the weedy ones came with square bases that had a curved impression on the corners rather than actual rounded corners. Again this must have been something lost in the moulding process – a little bit of attention with a file soon put this right.
This problem in the moulding is by no means confined to just Clayton produced castings as vintage Hinton Hunt ones sometimes have similar variations as well. I remember receiving batches of figures direct from Hinton Hunt in the early seventies where the same figure type had at least three variations in size and quality. Roy says that Marcus Hinton himself would often create moulds from production figures rather than master figures so I guess this explains it. Anyway, I think the scrawny look is perfectly acceptable for Landwehr but perhaps not for the Imperial Guard.