Sunday, 18 January 2015

Guest Appearance #5

Steve sent me this picture of some French Der Kreigspieler infantry all in the same high porte position as the highlander figure featured a couple of posts back (click here). These are lovely figures and fit in perfectly with Hinton Hunt who never produced any figures in this pose.

It makes me wonder why DK borrowed so heavily from the work of Marcus Hinton when they were able to produce such nice original work.


MSFoy said...

Ian - These are really very nice indeed. Maybe DK found it easier to piggy-back on a popular range than try to compete with them? Does anyone really know the background to DK?

There are some weird variations - I recall that some of the infantry figures were just like the HH originals, but a tad slimmer, or sometimes without backpacks. I have a DK version of the famous Hinton Hunt OPC general (an HH figure I am very fond of, and I have a good many of them), and it is exactly the same, except that the horse's head is turned slightly the other way! Erm - why? I find this intriguing - were these made, then, by someone who just wanted to add some variety to his own HH collection? - it seems unlikely that such subtle differences would be intended simply to get round copyright arguments.

I have an odd feeling I've sent you these before, but I'll dig out the HH and DK versions of this general and send you some pics, for academic study. I would like to understand this a little better.

It seems only fairly recently that people stopped hissing about what an outrage the DK clones were, and started looking at them seriously, so maybe we are ready to know more about the history?

Cheers - Tony

Stryker said...

Hi Tony - I agree it would be nice to hear more about DK as they seem to have been quite a big player at the time. On the subject of small tweaks to the figures I've been told that this was apparently enough to get around copyright although it seems hard to believe!

DeanM said...

Lovely Ligne infantry!

lewisgunner said...

I agree that some of the DK stuff is lovely and is either original or the result of heavy conversion of an HH. Same with some Alberken .
So the DK Cossacks look like they are all converted from an HH base and are thus a bit thin as they are another step down in the casting process, but they have been converted into Cossack types that Hinton never made.

Pirating matters when the copyist is costing the originator his livelihood. David Clayton , I tnink, bought out the Kriegspielers copies and withdrew them from the market. As Hh are not commercially available the issue seems to be a dead one and I, for one, see no problem with praising a DK or an Alberken , both those that appear to be their own originals and those might have a Hinton Heritage.

the Archduke said...

Ian, you say that HH did not make equivalent figures, but are these chaps so different from the voltigeur playing air guitar? I had always understood that whatever moulds survived the shed fire found their way to America. That would explain why some copies, some original. But does DK predate the fire? It seems to me that DK figures are smaller than the HH originals in a way that would not suggest pirating the mould. Fascinating.

Stryker said...

Archduke - I'm sure that DK pre-date 'the fire' as they were contemporary with Hinton Hunt. Also, as I understand it very few moulds survived to be used by David Clayton and most of his range was made from Hinton Hunt production models. Judging by some of the Clayton castings many were made from moulds of moulds and the figures got progressively smaller in the process.

It would be nice to find out much more about DK and how the models were produced but I'm not even sure if anyone involved is still around!

lewisgunner said...

If anyone has a latest email address for James Scudieri he could tell us.

Stryker said...

I had this from Don which may be of interest:

When Duke Seigfried joined Heritage Miniatures USA in Texas, he dropped the DK line and initiated the 15mm Napolonette line with Heritage. Again, IIRC Heritage was producing or selling their own line (which may have actually been licensed Hinchcliffe) of 25mm Napoleonics.

There's a timeline in this posting -