Sunday 28 August 2011

More Old Old Guard

I made another successful foray on eBay last week and bought these six French Guard Horse Grenadiers for a couple of quid each. I was surprised that I won them at this price because I’ve seen Hinton Hunt cavalry go for well over £5 each of late. It could be another sign of recession or it could just be that I’m the last kid on the block not to have these figures already.

You would think actually that Imperial Guard cavalry would be relatively easy to find because presumably most wargamers back in the 60s and 70s had plenty of Guard figures in their armies. However over the last few years that I have been collecting Hinton Hunt I have turned up precious few. At least I now have this Squadron of Horse Grenadiers to add to my Polish Lancers.

The figure is FN/300 Horse Grenadier Guard mounted on horse FNH/2. These castings are probably destined to languish for some time at the rear of a very, very long painting queue.

Sunday 21 August 2011

A trip down Memory Lane (Camden Passage actually)

We’ve just got back from a really great weekend break in London that included a trip to Apsley House (Wellington’s pad) and The Tower of London amongst other things. However, the most surprising item on the agenda was the result of Mrs S wanting to visit a particular knitting yarn shop that turned out (unknown to me) to be in Camden Passage, Islington.

Marcus Hinton outside the old Hinton Hunt shop

The diehards amongst you will of course know that Hinton Hunt had a shop in Camden Passage in the early 1970s. I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I visited the shop in 1973 with high expectations and was disappointed because there were no wargame figures on show, only the larger 54mm collectors items. I bought a figure of a Caledonian warrior that came in a nice box but to be honest I didn’t really like it and made a hash of painting it anyway.

Me in the same place a good few years later

The old Hinton Hunt shop (No 27) now sells frozen yoghurt and, it being a rather hot day, Mrs S and I availed ourselves of its facilities. She had a strawberry one with fresh blueberry and raspberry topping and I had a mango one with kiwi fruit and chocolate brownie topping. We sat inside to eat them and I have to say the overall experience was much better than the one I had on my last visit to the place 38 years ago. The frozen yoghurt really was very, very good – and low fat too.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Counter Reconnaissance

Napoleon and his staff are on reconnaissance after reports that British Cavalry are in the area.

Skirmishers of the elite 10th Legere are moving through the farmyard.

“Drunken men on big Grey horses, eh Poniatowski?”
“Yes Sire, they went that way apparently.”

The Emperor orders forward a Squadron of the 3rd Cheveau-Legers Lanciers to investigate. They ride up to the skirmish line and on past the farm.

Next Napoleon calls upon the trusty 45th Ligne to support the lancers.

“Vive l’emperor!” cry the men as they pass Napoleon.

The French advance guard pushes forward eager to get to grips with the enemy.

With British and French forces in such close proximity could a battle be brewing?

Sunday 7 August 2011


The Duke of Wellington and his staff are on reconnaissance escorted by a Troop of Scots Greys.

They ride past the church – the Duke and Copenhagen are out in front.

As they ride on his staff are finding it hard to keep up with the Duke who always likes to lead at a fast canter.

By the time they reach the Farm the Duke is well to the fore.

Suddenly from the trees ahead emerges a line of French Voltigeurs!

“Watch out your Grace!” yells Lord Hill.

The Duke reins in Copenhagen in the nick of time and the Greys charge forward.

The French turn tail and run back into the woods followed closely by the Greys.

“Hot work eh Lord Hill?” says the Duke
“Indeed it is your Grace but I do wish you would not put yourself in such danger!” replies Lord Hill.
“Well done the Greys, well done!” exclaims the Duke.

The reconnaissance has been a success – The Duke has found the French!

Wednesday 3 August 2011

A Realistic Tree

About four years ago I bought a Woodland Scenics “Realistic Tree Kit” but never got around to making the trees. As I now have a proper wargame table I’m in need of a bit more scenery so last night I finally opened up the box. The trees are very simple and satisfying to make – just bend the branches and stick the foliage on with wood glue.

When I started wargaming as a teenager I never had much in the way of scenery and I always wanted to have some decent trees like the ones made by Peter Gilder and pictured in Miniature Warfare. My brother and I had to make do with some of the Merit trees (out of the “Blue & Grey” ACW Playset) with the odd Britains one thrown in for good measure. Eventually I progressed to the ownership of some K&M trees in various scales that I still have and use today.

Anyway, I’m really pleased with these new ones and there’s enough stuff in the box to make six trees which I thought was pretty good value for money. Not quite as good as Gilder’s but near enough for me.

Monday 1 August 2011

British Infantry

This is a picture I took during my recent visit to Roy's wargame room. The figures are a mixture of 20mm British Infantry, including some Hinton Hunt, originally from the Wargames Holiday Centre and now in Roy's collection (click on the image for a closer look).