Thursday, 2 April 2009

The Ringmaster

It has to be said that this figure looks more like the leader of a circus than of the British 5th Division at Waterloo. It is of course Hinton Hunt’s rendering of General Thomas Picton, BN253 mounted on BNH11. I have referred to the HH painting instructions to produce this one so don’t blame me for the big-top look.

Picton was a “rough-mouthed devil” according to Wellington but was also rated as one of his most able senior officers. He fought throughout the Peninsula war taking part in the battles of Fuentes de Orono, Badajoz and Vitoria. He was wounded at Quatre Bras (a fact he hid from the Duke for fear of losing his command) and took a musket-ball through the head whilst repulsing d’Erlon at Waterloo - who can forget Jack Hawkins portrayal of this moment in the film? He had an unusual style of dress, which accounts for the top hat and even wore a nightcap during the battle of Busaco. They don’t make good ole’ English eccentrics like that anymore.

I’m still plugging away at those Schleswig-Holstein figures but thought I should take a quick break to paint and post something actually related to the title of this blog. Next up (after the painting desk is completely cleared) will be some HH Prussian Landwher – yes, the Prussians are coming at last!


MSFoy said...

Hi Ian

Very attractive figure. I confess I did a double take when I read the HH painting instructions for this figure - Hawkins didn't wear a red coat(!) and, more to the point, the factory-painted HH Picton I bought all those years ago was dressed all in black, apart from a very white shirt collar. The figure also had the factory's standard-issue crazy painted face, with rouged cheeks and randomly-positioned eyes. As I said to someone else recently, it looked uncomfortably like Jiminy Cricket on a horse - I never cared for it, and eventually replaced it with a more substantial s-range Picton, which I still have.

Your red-coated man looks fine. I read somewhere that Picton was noted for being a skinflint, and was very careful about wearing his best uniform in action. Who knows what he wore, anyway? There is an old painting somewhere showing Picton lying wounded at Waterloo in a blue coat, but the red seems a wise choice for not showing bloodstains.

No comments about brown trousers, please.



rpardo said...

He also looks like an equestrian in a horse-jumping show!

Stryker said...

Tony - I too was surprised that the HH painting instructions gave him a scarlet coat. My thoughts were to give him a black or dark blue one. However, I have decided to use the "offical" HH painting schemes where available, even if Marcus didn't stick to them himself!

Rafa - It's just a shame that HH didn't produce any 20mm hunting dogs!

lewisgunner said...

Very nice figure Ian.

I don't think there was a painting factory as such I think Marcus contracted out painting to various ladies. Of course, in those days, most wargamers themselves painted rather badly. If you have any Alberken figures which were sold painted you will see that their painting standard was pretty dreadful!!