Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Glossing over

I had a pot of Humbrol Satin Cote that lasted for years and years. I used it to varnish everything from WWII tanks through to ACW and of course my Hintons. It dried to just the right sheen for my liking – not too matt, not too glossy, satin in fact (exactly as it said on the tin). Having drained every last drop I had to buy a new one a few months ago but everything I coat with this one ends up glossy. I’ve tried stirring, shaking and yelling but it makes no difference to the result. If I were starting this project again from scratch I probably would have used gloss varnish anyway so it’s not really a problem that things are drifting in that direction – it just would have been nice to be asked!

This latest shiny offering is listed in the Hinton Hunt Catalogue as General Baraguay d’Hilliers, Colonel General of Dragoons - FN362 on Horse FNH10. I’m slightly baffled as to why Marcus Hinton included d’Hilliers in his range of personality figures whilst leaving off more deserving characters like Marshal Lannes. The only thing of real note I can find on d’Hilliers is that he commanded the French Reserve Cavalry at Austerlitz and that he later surrendered his Division during the retreat from Moscow (this didn’t go down too well with the Emperor). He died in early 1813 presumably from the ill effects of campaigning through a Russian winter.

This figures is one of the “factory painted” vintage ones I bought via eBay a couple of years ago. The previous owner – Tony – told me that he ordered a batch of painted personality figures from Hinton Hunt in the seventies as a treat. They apparently took months to turn up and he was so disappointed with them that they had to be re-touched to the point of being almost entirely repainted. I’m glad Tony told me this as otherwise I would have felt bad about stripping the paint from such a rarity. Anyway, into the bleach he went and this is my version faithfully following Tony’s colour scheme, which I have assumed followed the original factory paint scheme.

General d’Hilliers will have the honour of commanding the French Heavy Cavalry in my army.


johnpreece said...

That is a very smart uniform and I suspect the figure is looking better now than it ever has in the past.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

..a very interesting character so that may have bought him to Marcus Hintons attention...!

This was a good read:,M1

...I wonder what the background was to the incident, and whether it was due to his illness...

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

And very dashing he looks too!

Best Regards,


Rafael Pardo said...

A beautiful figure!

Anonymous said...

Try Testors Dullcote over a gloss varnish, it gives a lovely satin finish. (Open the window when you use it however-heady stuff!).

Lovely figure, it's got me thinking about Dragoons now!


lewisgunner said...

A lovely figure. I think Marcus objective was to have generals in each uniform, hussar, grenadier, cuirassier as well as he famous marshals. Uncommercial as ever he did not make infantry colonels so you have to convert to get those!


DC said...

Spendid figure. If gloss varnish is making a comeback i may have to rename my blog...8-)

I'm intrigued that you mention using bleach to strip (enamel?) paint - i've never thought to use it but i guess it must work well..?

Stryker said...

Hello DC - yes, sorry about any copyright infringement!

I have used bleach successfully to strip enamels (I think it works on acrylics as well) and it's more user friendly than paint stripper. Just soak over night and then gently scrub with a toothbrush (not the Mrs's) under a warm running tap. May take two dunks for reds and flesh colours...