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.