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
|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.