Sunday, 8 August 2010

Telegraph Poles

These are the most recent additions to my lead pile being part of a swap with another Hinton Hunter. The lancers are FN43 Lancer (mounted) charging and I’m particularly pleased to have them as previously I had no Imperial Guard cavalry at all. The HH catalogue says that they can be painted as either the Polish Lancers or the 2nd Red Lancers, I’m not sure yet which one I will go for. The whole lot will be stripped and repainted just as soon as I can find a space for them in the production line.

The personality figure leading them is none other than marshal Josef Anton aka Prince Poniatowski. In the HH catalogue Marcus Hinton wrote, “Prince Poniatowski was not only a hero of Poland but was one of Napoleon’s most dashing marshals. He cut a splendid figure in Lancer style uniform and fur cloak with his horse in an elaborately trimmed and tasselled harness” – can’t wait to paint this one.

I’ve mentioned before that these old one-piece figures sculpted by Marcus Hinton are something of an acquired taste being a bit on the chunky size. The lances are a weak spot on the castings and as a consequence have been over compensated for by making them rather thick and out of scale. The resulting telegraph pole effect is just another of the endearing traits of this great old figure range.


Paul said...

Hi Ian
Good to see the lads made it across the pond unscathed

Looking forward to there new uniforms


MSFoy said...

It would be inappropriate to say anything critical of HH figures here, so I shall watch my step(!) - certainly your own recent painted work and the ex-Gilder figures I've seen are beautiful, and bear little resemblance to the mis-shapen blobs of flash that used to break my heart when they arrived (in newspaper) from Camden Passage all those years ago.

I must say that I, too, like the OPC cavalry - they are businesslike and have great character. They also have properly proportioned legs, which is really the point of my comment. The chief reason why I gradually unloaded my 2-piece HH mounted figures over the years was the tendency to silly little legs - in many cases they looked like children on rocking horses.

This has always puzzled me - it is obvious from older figures I've seen that this was not always the case. Any ideas? I wonder whether it was a casting fault or something that happened as the moulds got older? I live on a farm full of horses here, and am aware that normally a rider's boots should hang some way below the bottom of the saddle cloth!

Enjoying your blog very much, as ever


Stryker said...

Paul - yes they are here safe & sound and fully acclimatised to the English summer weather!

Tony - I have no idea really about the cause of the stubby leg problem. I also remember receiving newspaper clad figures years ago and not always being as excited about it as I am now (rose coloured specs I think). I know that if most of my one-piece cavalrymen got off their mounts they would be walking around in circles! Glad you enjoy the blog.


Rafael Pardo said...

So you don't had still Old Guard cavalry?... this is a sin for a wargamer!
I like the Polish lanciers, but my "loved children" are the Dutch Red lanciers: they are more glamourous
Best regards

Stryker said...

Ah Rafa, but at least I have them now! I may be after you for some uniform info if I go with the Dutch Red Lancers!

Stokes Schwartz said...

Are you considering replacing the lances (cringe -- shudder) with something like piano wire given the weakness you mention with this part of the figures? Otherwise, looking forward to seeing them reclothed and kitted.

Best Regards,


Stryker said...

Hi Stokes, no I won't replace the lances as I really do like them that way. Interestingly though one of the figures in the picture has already had his lance replaced with wire - guess which one!


lewisgunner said...

OK, the little leg problem. No it was nothing to do with the casting cos they are all like that. So Marcus must have made them like that. I mentioned this to a friend who rode, many years ago. He said that horse riders legs do look little and that theare actually hanging pretty uselessly. Horse riders sit straight up so their backs straighten and their legs are out at an angle and flattened against the saddle,so they look forshortened.

I looked again and he is right. The legs of the separate horse/rider figures could be a little longer, but not much. Modern mounted figures have legs that are far too long and rounded and IMHO there is an element of us becoming used to that as a depiction of a leg.

Quite why one HH leg is always shorter than another eludes me. I imagine Marcus H was just lazy in re-using the same basic dolly for hiis figures.
Lastly, he was a rather short man. Perhaps that is reflected in his figures!!


Lee said...

Hello Ian,

Great discussion about "silly little legs" there :-) I wonder how they compare to the early Mini figs? I used to collect their ECW figures with those telegraph pole pikes, but one thing was that they never broke as they just used to bend! I like those idiosyncrasies of the early style figures, part of the appeal.

Looking forward to seeing that unit painted and ready for action.


Stryker said...

Hi Lee - Yes, it's turning into the great leg debate over here! I also collected early ECW Minifigs when the riders were moulded with sadles attached. You're right about the pikes - normally bent round in a box packed with sawdust but they always straightened out ok!

lewisgunner said...

Looks like the one at the far end has had his lance replaced!!

paulalba said...

Really enjoying your blog Ian and the word plays keep on coming!! Telegraph Poles :-)

Looking forward to seeing your collection all laid out as it grows and grows.

Stryker said...

Roy - Yes, you win the coconut!

Paul - I think a grand review is long overdue and I will remedy this as soon as I can.