Saturday, 12 November 2011

French Leapers

It has to be said that during the Battle of the Ridge, the elite Voltigeurs of the 10th Legere took a bit of a pasting at the hands of their opposite numbers the Tirolean Jagers. It’s fortunate therefore that the latest addition to my collection is another unit of Voltigeurs to bolster the French skirmish line.

These figures are actually Hinton Hunt Grenadiers FN/3 Grenadier (firing) painted as Voltigeurs as I have no genuine Voltigeurs. I think this is a good use of these particular figures, as I seem to have accumulated more Grenadier castings than I need for regular units. I have mentioned before that when I ordered French infantry direct from Hinton Hunt in the early 70s I asked for 72 Grenadier figures because I had no idea about unit organisation – perhaps I wasn’t alone in this which may be why a disproportionate number of Grenadiers are still in circulation.

The Hinton Hunt firing figure pose is quirky and quite unmistakeable with the soldier firing high and looking as if he’s struggling to keep his ‘tree trunk’ sized musket under control. The castings are almost certainly original ones but even so they vary quite a bit in quality – in particular many of the pom-poms are large blobs due to some malfunction in the casting process. These irregularities were common in the figures supplied by Marcus Hinton, which can sometimes make it harder than you might think to distinguish the genuine vintage item from the army of impostors around today.

These figures were painted for me by Matt.

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