Sunday 20 June 2010

French Grenadiers

Thanks to all of you who voted or left comments in the great re-basing debate. You may be surprised to hear that, despite the overwhelming support for re-basing, I have decided to stick with my current system. I think Roy and Lee tipped the balance when they pointed out that the way I currently base my figures is the true retro style and anyway it’s also the way I had my original Hinton Hunt army based. I’ll just have to put up with them falling over when they manoeuvre up-hill.

With the basing dilemma behind me I have finally managed to move on and find a little bit of time to do some painting. You may remember that I began this batch of French Grenadiers back in December and all I need to do now is apply a finish of Humbrol Satin-Cote and they’re done – that’s a stunning average of one figure a month painted! The figures are:

5 x FN2 Grenadier (charging)
1 x FN10 Grenadier Sergeant (marching)

One of the good points about re-painting old castings rather than just collecting them is that you become aware of things you wouldn’t necessarily notice at first glance. In this case it was only as I started to apply the paint that I realised that one casting (centre front rank) had its legs and head bent in a different position to the others. I think this rogue figure is probably a DK casting rather than Hinton Hunt and I will check this out by looking under the base for any clues when I remove him from his bottle-top. It’s still possible that it is HH because, as I’ve mentioned before, there were often variations in the production moulds that Marcus Hinton produced.

Monday 14 June 2010

To re-base or not?

Well that’s the burning question once again around these parts thanks largely to an email I received today from Paul (from down under). It turns out that Paul has some Hinton Hunt British based in exactly the same way as Mike’s WHC ones. He kindly sent me this picture of some of his own BN5’s.

Paul said his figures have been based using a material called Masonite, which is a new one to me and sounds suspiciously like something that Superman may be allergic to. A quick check on Wikipedia confirms that it is a type of fibreboard, which among other things is used to make the best wobble boards!

The problem is that I am really taken with the idea of re-basing in this style because it is in keeping with the original aim of this project and I have always admired those old pictures of Peter Gilder’s troops. It would also solve a practical problem that I am starting to have namely that it would stop the troops from falling over and make moving them less fraught with the danger of breakages. My current system is fine for the display cabinet but for playing a wargame it’s really not so clever.

Of course if I go ahead with the idea it will be a massive distraction from painting up new stuff so please let me know what you think by taking part in the poll (top left column of blog). As always please feel free to leave a comment as well. For those of you not familiar with my current basing system take a look here.

Due to some sort of Google error I had to close the polls early (no riots please!) but here are the official results: 11 of you voted with 8 saying I should rebase and 3 saying I shouldn't. It seems like a clear cut victory for the rebasing party but we shall see.

Friday 11 June 2010

Basing Thoughts

I’ve said before that I am constantly battling the desire to re-base the figures in my various collections. Re-basing is an especially barmy diversion when I struggle to find the time to paint up new stuff but I found my mind wandering down that route for the Hinton Hunts just a couple of days ago.

Don’t worry I have resisted the urge but it was brought on in part by looking at pictures of the superb collection of vintage figures from Mike Ingham’s Wargames Holiday Centre. They reminded me of the pictures of Peter Gilder’s Waterloo terrain and figures that I first saw in Miniature Warfare magazine nearly 40 years ago. Some of these same Gilder figures have found their way into Mike’s collection and although they are a bit faded and dusty round the edges they are still an inspiring sight. I always wondered what material Gilder’s figures were based on and Mike kindly answered this rather geeky question. The bases are 45mm wide x 35-38mm deep (WHC standard size) cut from 3mm hardboard with chamfered edges.

I wish I had known that PG used hardboard when I was basing my original collection because I tried to use plywood, which was very difficult for a twelve-year old to cut with a blunt hacksaw. I soon gave that up for a bad job and discovered plasticard, which remains my material of choice to this day. The picture shows BN5 Private (charging) with BN2 Sergeant (charging) and a converted standard bearer.

Picture courtesy of Mike Ingham - to see more take a trip over to the Hinton Hunter.