Thursday 29 December 2022

Silesian Fusiliers – restoration done

The Prussian Fusiliers are complete and battle-ready. They’ve brushed up quite nicely and will be a useful addition to Marshal Vorwarts command and hopefully a thorn in the side of old Boney.

There are 20 x PN.4 Private (firing) 1 x PN.1 Officer (charging) 1 x PN.7 Officer (marching) 1 x PN.6 Drummer (charging) 1 x PN.5 Private (converted to standard bearer.
The figures are all David Clayton castings with the exception of the drummer which is a vintage figure.

I've based half the figures as skirmishers to give me a bit more flexibility in the Prussian OOB.

Note that the marching officer is oriented on the diagonal of his base. This is not uncommon with Clayton castings, vintage figures are square on.

I think this is the last of my Revo Prussian flags so I'll have to find some more if I ever do any further Prussian units.

With this unit just sneaking in to my 2022 output I have brought my Hinton Hunt tally for the year up to 97 figures painted which is much better than I thought it was going to be. The only problem is that I seem to be acquiring figures more quickly than I’m painting them so need to up the ante for 2023.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Dabbling with Medieval’s (off topic #35)

Goya invited me over yesterday to have a stab at playing a scenario from the Command & Colors Medieval game. Although billed as Medieval the scenario was from 528AD involving Sassanids and Byzantines at the battle of Melebasa. My previous experience of playing ancient type games is limited to playing with Airfix Romans and Britons as a kid so I was intrigued to see how C&C tackled this period.

We used the board and terrain supplied with the game but instead of blocks the armies were drawn from Goya’s extensive collection of 15mm figures that he built originally for use with DBA. Using miniatures with C&C transforms it (in my mind) from a boxed game to a proper tabletop wargame - the ultimate example of this being of course Tony’s amazing set-up for C&C Napoleonics!

Initial deployment - I was playing the Byzantines (this side) and Goya played the Sassanids (far side).
Most of these figures are either Essex or Donnington.
I can't remember what make these ones are but they are very pretty!

This is my super-heavy cavalry attacking Goya's flank - these guys are the Tiger Tanks of the early Medieval world.
Some of the heavy Sassanids with a leader.
The high water mark of my attack, it was all down hill from here!
Final positions - the victory banner count tells the story with 7 to the Sassanids and 3 to me.

It turned out to be another gripping game as C&C games always seem to be. The subtleties of the combat mechanism (which at first glance appears quite simple) required the application of some serious generalship which is probably why I lost. This is definitely a game that I would like to play again!

Saturday 10 December 2022

Prussian refurb – update

I’ve been braving the arctic conditions in the Hinton Hut (currently 6°C inside and 1°C outside) to work through the Prussian firing figures and have finally finished them. Now they just need a couple more coats of varnish and then basing.

In the end I did decide to designate these as Fusiliers hence the black straps. The figures in the front row still have wet varnish on them which is why they look a bit misty.

They actually turned out to be quite a lot of work as half of them needed bayonets replacing which I did by splicing in musket ends from some spare poor quality donor castings. The paint touch-up also turned out to be pretty much fully repainting them. I couldn’t salvage Clive’s standard bearer who had been converted from a charging figure, so this has been replaced with a PN5 (the figure without a musket) in keeping with my other Prussian units.

Overall, they are not the best unit in my army, but I think they will pass muster.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Galloping at Everything

Well of course the cavalry couldn't let the infantry get away with all the glory so Uxbridge insisted on a full review of his troopers as well.

The Inniskillings, The Blues, 11th Light Dragoons, The Royals and The Greys.
As they would have appeared in 1972.

60 sabres arrayed in line of battle.

"How do you like the look of 'em eh Wellington?"
"Quite splendid Uxbridge but I do wish they wouldn't gallop at everything!"

Wait a minute, is that a Frenchman over there?"


This reminds me that there are no Life Guards so I must put them on the list for 2023.

Sunday 20 November 2022

British Infantry Review

The Duke has ordered a full review of his infantry regiments as an official welcome to the Fusiliers.

Who doesn't love a march-past?
"What a fine body of men De Lancey!"
"Yes indeed your Grace."
Fusiliers, Guards and Rifles to the front - 49th, 30th and 42nd Foot behind.
The Fusiliers are happy to have been allotted such a prestigious position.
Sir Thomas Moore and General Picton are leading the rear detachment.
And getting them ordered into line.
A stirring sight - serried ranks of redcoats.
"Will they frighten the French Wellington?"
"I don't know Mainwaring but by God they frighten me!"

This gives me six British infantry units, but I’ll need a couple more to make up my ideal eight-unit army establishment. However, before that I’ll be turning my attention back to the Prussians.

Saturday 12 November 2022

Fusiliers on Parade

My British Fusiliers are finally parade ready so here they are.

For the record the figures used were

1 x BN/70 Officer (charging)
1 x BN/71 Sergeant (charging)
14 x BN/72 Fusilier Private (charging) – 2 x converted to standard bearers, 1 to a drummer
8 x BN/73 Fusilier Private (firing)

The figures are all vintage castings originally in the collection of Eric Knowles that I stripped and repainted.

One of the great things about doing a project like this is that my army OOB’s tend to continually go off at a tangent as figures become available to me. British Fusiliers were never on my radar, but I think they make an excellent and colourful addition to Wellington’s forces.

Saturday 5 November 2022

A Restoration Project

As I’m sure most of you are aware there have been quite a few bits and pieces of Clive Smither’s vast toy soldier collection finding their way on to eBay recently. I had been wanting to have something of his for use in the Hinton Hut and managed to pick up a unit of Prussian firing figures a couple of weeks ago. These figures were part of Clive’s Prussian force and, as it was the desire to recreate my old Hinton Hunt Prussian army that led me to start this blog, they seemed like an appropriate addition.

This is how the figures arrived - mostly PN.4 Private (firing) with one of each officer type, drummer and converted standard bearer.

I only met Clive once (when he came to Bath to attend my 2016 wargame) but we exchanged many emails over the years. I remember discussions with him about how best to use Blogger to catalogue Hinton Hunt figures at the time he set up the Hinton Hunter. He was also very helpful identifying figures for me in the days before he had his blog up and running. His Prussian figures were mostly David Clayton produced castings as vintage ones were rare as hen’s teeth. I believe most of them were purchased from a shop in the US that was closing. He generously gave me the option on some of that purchase including the figures I used for the famous 1st Silesian Landwehr.

Clive's full Prussian Army (photo borrowed from the Hinton Hunter). The unit in question is centre right.

Being Clayton castings, the figures are not that great, the metal is on the soft side and at least half the bayonets are stubby and need some restoration work. As you know, I normally prefer to strip the paint from old castings but as these figures were Clive’s work, I didn’t feel very comfortable with that idea so tried a touch up on a test figure which of course pretty much ended up as a repaint.

The first restored figure. I'm probably going to change him to a fusilier with black straps as this will sit better with my OOB.

One of the problems I have encountered is that the figures have been coated with Plasti Dip which is a product that is useful on plastic soldiers to stop paint flaking. Quite why Clive used this on metal figures I’m not sure and in places this thin membrane is coming adrift. Having faffed about trying to remedy this I decided last night to strip some of the figures after all and, with a twinge of guilt, cast them into the jam jar of doom.

If these guys can survive a bleach bath who knows how they'll perform on the table!

To my amazement they emerged from the bleach this morning completely unscathed which I took as a sign - don't mess with Clive’s figures! I will be returning to my touch-up plan.

Sunday 30 October 2022

Fusiliers – done!

I did say that I’d complete these lads before the end of the month so here is the proof. They just need another couple of coats of varnish and basing but technically they are ‘finished’.

I know I’m quite a slow painter but, in the time since I started work on these figures in late August, we have had two monarchs and three prime ministers. I’m slightly concerned about what may happen while I paint the next unit…

Friday 21 October 2022

Flagging a bit

I still seem to be finding every excuse possible not to paint British fusiliers (e.g., working my way through 24 x Jacklex British colonial Highlanders) although I can, hand on heart, say that I’m on course to complete them all by the end of the month. I have however finished all the command figures, including three conversions.

Kings colour and Regimental colour. According to the Revo sheet the flag is for the 23rd regiment rather than the 7th but I'm going to get around this by simply referring to the unit as "The Fusiliers".

The flags were a right old pain to do. They’re from my stock of 20-year-old Revo ones and although the sticky was still working, I was horrified to find that the ink was wearing off as I folded them. I didn’t have any spares, so I just had to go with it and then spent an entire painting session retouching them trying to match the original colours. In the end it seems to have worked out ok although they very nearly went in the bin.

The officer is BN/70 Fusilier Officer (charging). The drummer is a conversion from the charging figure using a drum donated by a Newline Designs highlander.

Hinton Hunt didn’t produce standard bearers or drummers for the fusilier range, so I converted these from charging figures. I’m pretty pleased with the drummer but it’s hard to get the flag anywhere near vertical using a charging figure as a standard bearer as there is only so far the arms will bend. I think they’ll look fine though when ranked up in the line.

Friday 14 October 2022

The Men Who Would Be Colonial Wargamers (off topic #34)

Goya came over this afternoon so we could have a run through with The Men Who Would Be Kings ruleset for colonial wargames. He brought with him everything we needed in a single box, British and Mahdist 20mm armies, Rule book, desert terrain mat, rocks and some really nice palm trees.

As you know, I have a bit of a thing about colonial wargames but I had never played these rules and was keen to see how they worked. We had a fun little game for a couple of hour’s and I think managed about eight turns.

We played on the kitchen table rather than in the cabin as it was a bit chilly outside. The game ran longways up the table, Mahdists nearest the camera, British top right. I love those palm trees. 
Goya did tell me what make these were but I have forgotten - lovely slender castings and superbly painted.
I commanded the Mahdists, these are my cavalry and camelry charging forward (who doesn't like troops riding camels?). Goya painted the flag freehand. 
My infantry start to make an appearance but, to be honest, it was a bit difficult to get them to do what I wanted although I liked the rule mechanism for orders that caused this.
Ouch! This melee ended in a draw.
My forces eventually started to make a bit of progress.
Until they came up against a solid wall of British riflemen. The chaps in red are Minifigs S-Range.
I did have the advantage in artillery however - can you guess what make that gun is? (yes it is plastic)
My poor camels!!!
Well, I was never going to get very far against the soldiers of the Queen was I? 

In other news, work on the fusiliers continues but more on that next time.

Saturday 1 October 2022

Redcoat Fatigue

Goya popped over yesterday for a toy soldier related chat and showed me a couple of really nice British Napoleonic figures he had painted (20mm but not HH). We both agreed that we enjoy painting British Napoleonic’s more than any other nationality as we consider that they have the most striking uniforms, its just something about the red and grey combo that really works.

Pretty in red my latest finished figure - BN/71 Fusilier Sergeant (charging)

Goya reckons he can paint and base a full 24-figure unit in 21 hours which I consider impressive as I think that the same for me would take in excess of 50 hours. However, I know that I do try and avoid the job in hand when there are 24 figures staring back at me from the painting desk by seeking diversion into my other ‘minor’ projects.

Last night following his visit I knuckled down and only painted Fusiliers and achieved more than I had previously done all week. Revitalised, the aim now is to get on and have the unit finished by the end of October and stop messing around painting other things like ACW buildings for my 6mm armies (click HERE) that I don’t even need.

Friday 16 September 2022

Royal Fusilier – Test Figure

A few years back when I first started collecting figures for this project, I won a mixed batch of Hinton Hunt on eBay that included a unit of British Guards in bearskins. I rejected these figures and eventually swopped them because of course the Guards didn’t wear bearskins at Waterloo. I wish I’d hung on to them because my feeling now is - so what if they didn’t?

BN/72 Fusilier Private (charging) - test figure for my next unit.

I was really pleased therefore to recently be offered some British Fusiliers in bearskin that are ex Eric Knowles collection. Nice first-generation castings and enough to make a full unit using the charging and firing figure types. Again, it’s unlikely that the Fusiliers (other than possibly the Sergeants) wore their bearskins at Waterloo but certainly the Victorians didn’t have a problem representing them that way.

Here's the proof from the Victorians - they DID wear bearskins at Waterloo!
And at Corunna of course...

At first, I was planning to designate the unit as the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers but when I looked at the Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheet, I saw that Marcus Hinton had decided on the 7th Royal Fusiliers so that’s what I’ll be calling them. Of course, the 7th didn’t make it to Waterloo because they were away fighting in America, but I won’t let a little thing like that stop me using them.

Boer War Blog - if 20mm Colonials is your thing take a look at my latest post (click HERE)