Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ney or not?

I know I said recently that I wasn’t going to buy anymore Hinton Hunt figures and that was my intention. However, I was idly perusing eBay last week when I came across a listing for Marshal Ney. Now Ney is one of the personality figures that I didn’t have and quite wanted to have so I put in a bid not really expecting to win, especially given the sort of prices that HH have been going for in the last year or so.

Well I did win but I think perhaps I should have paid more attention and looked a bit closer. The problem is that I’m pretty sure the horse is not Hinton Hunt (and this is probably why I won) because the positioning of legs doesn’t look right and it’s certainly not a French horse anyway. The base is Hinton shaped with rounded corners but the underneath has been filed too flat to show any markings if any were ever present. I am hopeful however that the figure of Ney is actually Hinton Hunt FN354 Marshal Ney but having looked at other available pictures on the Hinton Hunter and LazyLimey I not entirely sure. The genuine item has the head looking straightforward whereas this chap is looking slightly to the right although it is possible that the head has been repositioned.

Anyway I thought I’d throw it open to the floor – is it Ney or is it not Ney? If not, any ideas what make? If it’s not HH perhaps you could let me down gently as I may not live down my mistake.


Paul said...

Hi Ian
The rear of the horse looks hinton
with modified front legs, That
particular vendor sells modified
H/H so i think you have the real deal


Rafael Pardo said...

Maybe he is too static to be Ney

wargamed said...


Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings...but, definitely not a Hinton Ney. Happen to have an unpainted Ney (Dave Clayton). The proper horse - FHN10 has it's right foreleg bent and raised off the ground. As for Ney himself, the figure has a forward thrust to his chest and the bicorne is worn shoulder to shoulder - no tilt at all. Nontheless, it's still a very nice French command figure. Perhaps someone can identify it properly.

Stryker said...

Looks like the jury is still out at this stage -
Paul, I like the way you're thinking (along modified lines) because the horse could just be BNH10 with a leg transplant.
Jack, The hat doesn't really have a tilt that's more the effect of the camera angle but you're right about the chest.
Rafa, maybe he's just a bit tired?


Anonymous said...

I am no expert but looking at all the pictures I could find, whatever he is he is clearly based on a Hinton Hunt. Perhaps a conversion and subsequent home cast? Whatever-he looks the part and Ney was a bit of a "rogue"!


lewisgunner said...

Its a Ney that has been slightly altered. Both back and front are original Hinton or a very good copy. Now, why should anyone copy a Command horse?? I thgink it must be am altered original.The position of the horse's feet has been changed and maybe the head of the marshal slightly twisted.
Be happy Ian, its a good figure!

Stryker said...

I'm feeling slightly more confident that both horse & rider are original figures that have been altered. The detail is too good to be a home-cast. The only thing really puzzling me is how the horse's right front leg has been repositioned - looking at horse BNH10 I don't think it is possible to straighten the leg by bending. Could it be that the horse is a ringer with a new front half welded on to an original back half (perhaps the number plates were changed at the same time!). Why would anyone bother? All may become clear when I strip the old paint but that will have to be after the move.


lewisgunner said...

Yes the front legs are newly constructed or probabaly reconstructed. You can see the pitting on the leg that is consistent with building a new straight leg out of solder. Also the hock detail on the leg has been rather lost!!
I still think you should view it as acceptable within the bounds of artwork on an HH base. After all, the original collectors replaced swors, soldered on new arms, swopped heads etc.
I bought the engineer officer in greatcoat that was on ebay recently. Looks like a neat conversion of greatcoat officer with engineer head and that's good by me. It is a ione off, an unique figure and should be loved for that!

Stryker said...

Ah, Roy - you've made my day!


Anonymous said...

Hi Ian
I'm glad you're delighted with Marshall Ney and we are thrilled that the concensus of opinion is that when these figures are modified they are individual, unique and very desireable and should be loved for what they are.
Fab blogsite and great to see such interest!
Thanks and best regards
Joanna (nrlawton79)

Lazylimey said...

I have been holding all the set of figures I have of this range up against a blow up of of the image you have.
Unless this figure has the riding cloak - which as far as I can see from the image available - it does not - which is very bulky and hard to mistake - then this is not the Marshall Ney body.

The head looks as though it comes from the Massena figure but could come from Ney.
The body is one of the other dismountable personalities and as best I can discern it is in fact 'Wellington's body'.

The Horse is indeed a very cleverly modified BNH10 - which also suggest a Wellington figure was used - since BNH10 is his horse.

Anyway all in all a fine modification and an attempt i think to depict a French superior officer figure in a less formal uniform - and one that I would certainly be pleased to own and use.

Paint him up well!

Stryker said...

Hi Ron - thanks for commenting. I have to say that I am now convinced that the figure is a modified castings of Ney. The picture here does not show the cloak clearly but I posted a better one over on the ID Networks blog(
I contacted the seller who had this to say:

I have looked into this for you in depth now and the original owner tells us that yes you are partly correct about the horse - it is a modified Hinton Hunt horse but it is actually a BNH10 - sorry for the mistake. He modelled it based on a contemporay picture he had seen back in the 70s.
As you may have seen from these figures i have been selling on ebay, most of them have been personalised. So the figures are genuine Hinton Hunt castings purchased from a soldier shop called "Soldiers" in Kennington, London in the 1970s. The front of the horse had been re-modelled and the Marshall Ney figures head was repositioned to animate it.

So I think the mystery is solved!

Lee said...

I enjoyed reading through that detective work ! Its a nice little figure whatever it is though.

Interesting that John Tunstill's 'Soldiers' shop in Kennington was mentioned, that was where the bug bit me! On a school trip to the Imperial War Museum in the early seventies the teacher took us in there and bang, that was it.

Anyway, look forward to seeing Ney repainted in due course.


Stryker said...

Hi Lee

Yeah, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing "cluedo" with Ney and even more thrilled that he turned out to be so unique. Good value for money I think.

I never made it to Tunstill's shop but wish I had. I did once visit the Hinton Hunt shop in Camden Passage which I think I have said before was a bit disappointing.


lewisgunner said...

Jon T's shop was disappointing too so I doubt that you missed much.
I used to game at the London Wargames sectuion of the BMSS and JT was a big figure there. He launched his magazine and it really was good considering what was available then. He was in close cahoots with Ed Smith who was a major force behind the development of wargames rules. Indeed the early WRG rules were very heavily based on ED's Wars of the Roses Rules. I was a very ineffective earl of Cumberland in that campaign.
The Shop was small and very exciting at first because there was hardly anywhere else to buy figures. Of course the ranges were restricted, there was frequently not the stock you wanted (in Hinton's caes because Marcus was too inefficient to send it) and much of the painted stuff was badly done and very expensive, but then JT was paying London rents. I recall he also sold 54mm there and had books.
Tunstill once told us at the club that wargaming was going to be huge and that he (and Ed I think) were going to run it!
Unfortunately for Jon the world of wargaming was too fragmented to be dominated quite so easily, but he was a pioneer, a gentleman and a scholar as they say perhaps for wargamers JT was just a bit too much of a rather sharp suited toff.


Xaltotun of Python said...

For anyone interested, JT is now retired, lives in Italy, but still sells figures:


i have 54mm of ney at 5 pounds painted in 54mm