Sunday 23 September 2018

Desert Update 2

Thanks to Carl (in another place) pointing out these figures are now up on the Pictart web site and can be ordered on line using the site’s shopping basket. The codes have changed from the list in the previous post, but this doesn’t matter as there is a photo of each figure which you will see when ordering.

Visit Pictart Studios to look or buy.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Deserty Update

I am glad to say that with a bit of detective work I have managed to track down this French Foreign Legion and Arab 20mm figure range and have completed an order which includes at least one of each figure. So far all I have done is to glue them to pennies, white undercoat them and basetex the coins. I am confident they will paint up nicely.

The range is owned by Martin Cameron and goes under the name Battlepac. They are not currently listed for sale on the web but you can contact Martin using the contact form on his Pictart Studio web site and the list below.

The listings are as follows:

Foreign Legion

F1 Mounted officer waving & horse
F2 officer standing
F3 officer running with sword
F4 Bugler rifle slung
F5 Marching rifle slung
F6 Marching rifle shouldered classic pose
F7 Standing Firing
F8 Standing loading
F9 Standing at porte
F10 Charging
F11 kneeling firing
F12 Mule company mounted & mule
F13 Mule company dismounted marching


F14 Chieftain with standard 
F15 Arab holding aloft sword and jezail
F16 Arab firing jezail from hip
F17 Arab standing guard with jezail
F18 Arab charging with sword pointing
F19 Arab kneeling firing rifle
F20 Arab kneeling firing jezail from hip
F21 Arab kneeling with sword 
F22 Arab open handed mixed weapons on camel
F23 Arab mounted on horse with sword
F24 Arab mounted on horse with rifle 
F25 Arab mounted on horse with rifle

and three later additions

F26 Legionaire kneeling at ready, 
F27 Arab foot standing firing, 
F28 Arab foot advancing

(thanks to Carl for transcribing the list from a less legible pdf scan)

I have photographed them and tried to put them more or less in the order of the list, but with mounted first and foot second. I can't be absolutely sure I have done this 100% correctly.

prices are

55p foot
95p horse and rider
1.10 camel and rider (one piece casting)

All figures are 20mm


Mounted Officer; Mule Company

Foot figures


Camelry and cavalry

Foot figures

Sunday 16 September 2018

Roses grow on you

Recently I have had some success in clearing off long part finished units from my painting queue. One of these was a battalion of Rose marching Napoleonic Austrian Infantry painted as Hungarians. After I had based and plastidipped I realised I had forgotten to do the gold lace on the trousers, but decided I didn't want to  take them off the bases and redo them.

Part of the reason for clearing the painting table was to make room for a refurbishment project which had been on the back burner for a while. About a year or eighteen months ago I bought from the States a collection of around 800 original Hinton Hunt castings, which had all been bought in London from Marcus Hinton on one day in 1965. Among them are quite a large number of painted or part painted figures and I wanted to work through the refurbishment and basing of the painted figures.

Then a couple of weeks ago I went in with Goya on a purchase of old time wargamer's Peter Goldsborough's old 20mm Napoleonics figures, which he had gifted many years ago to the Edinburgh club after he went into 5mm regimental blocks and Plasticine hills.

My share was the sizeable contingent of Rose figures, which predated Alberken/Minifigs 20mm and Hinton Hunt, seem to be less common and also less collected. They were also a considerably less comprehensive range. One of the beauties of this collection is therefore the amount of conversion work which has been undertaken, including head swapping, creating buglers and trumpeters, and converting the mounted Wellington figure into mounted colonels of all countries. This is a reminder of the days when you had to make the best of what was available, rather than access huge ranges or back kickstarters for exactly what you want.

. Some of the figures didn't travel well, in particular heads and top halves of hats on conversions and bases on horses. Rose horses came without bases. The collection included many converted casualties - the horses seemed to have been Hinton Hunts with the bases removed and then used to which to attach the Rose horses, The cavalry have also had wire reins added along with very delicate pin swords.

I've spent a day doing repairs - pinning and gluing heads and hats, matching horses to bases, and when there were no bases using some steel ones. I have also started on the Rose refurbishment project and it is going well - I have completed five units in as many evenings and am pleased with the results.

My usual basing convention for 20mm infantry is 20 x 20mm per figure, but because of the almost semi-flat look of the marching Rose foot figures I felt closer order was more appropriate, and I have gone for four infantry on a 30mm x 40mm base. This is a small change but I think suits them well. They are fairly stylised figures with two standard poses - advancing and marching. The officers are waving swords and have arms which look slightly too long. (I have used Rose officers successfully with units of Les Higgins figures when I wanted figures other than the standard LH officer standing on his football and pointing.

I made a joint purchase a few years ago with someone else of a large number of unpainted Rose foot figures plus around 30 mounted Wellingtons, so with the unpainted figures in the new collection it should be easy enough to make up whole units. This older collection was particularly well provided with officers, drummers and standard bearer figures.

The progress of the Rose refurbishment project may well get diverted either by boredom and butterfly tendencies but I am hoping that given the rapid progress to date I may be able to maintain interest. I am thinking of running the refurbishment of the Hinton Hunt figures from the States in tandem, to add a bit of variety and make progress on both.

I will record progress on the Rose project to some extent on my Old Metal Detector blog, and if the Hinton Hunt one gets going as well that will be reported on the Hinton Hunter..

Bavarian infantry

The first Rose unit to be refurbished was this Bavarian battalion. It needed a little more work than most, as their coats were dark blue. The base figures seem to be French Guard Grenadiers with Austrian helmeted heads.

French line battalion - and separate shot of command element:

Old Guard Grenadiers:

British Household Cavalry:

At first I thought these might be heads from the French Carabinier but I think they are original british figures

Nassau Light Infantry

I will make a further post here and on the Old Metal Detector on the various conversions - highlanders from line infantry are mind boggling. It isn't always easy to identify the base figure, as bases may have been filed  and the codes on the underside not legible. In addition many of the codes which can be read start N, which is not reflected in any of the listings.

As examples, Highlanders and then a Rifleman bugler:

Monday 27 August 2018

Ronald Welch

The books of your youth are rather special. I was very taken with the historical novels of Ronald Welch about the Carey family and their soldiering through the ages. The first two I remember reading (and then re-reading many times) were Knight Crusader (set in the Third Crusade) and For the King (English Civil War). The front end papers had a family tree of the Careys, showing how they related to the various bools of the series, going through to WW1 (Tank Commander). I borrowed all those I could find (repeatedly) from my local library, and I think they were where my lifetime interests in history and military history either started or were confirmed. They certainly sparked my interest in the English Civil War, which even survived A levels.

They bore the unmistakable signs of extensive historical research, which is no surprise as their author, Ronald Felton (1909-1982, was history teacher who served as a tank commander in the Second World War and took his pen name from his wartime regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

They have been out of print for a long time and second hand were expensive and hard to track down. In the last five years Slightly Foxed have been reissuing them in a limited edition of 2,000 copies and last week I bit the bullet and bought a complete set. Expensive but worth it I think.

The complete list of the Carey Novels (in chronological order) is:

Knight Crusader
Bowmen of Crecy
Sun of York
The Galleon
The Hawk
For the King
Captain of Dragoons
Mohawk Valley
Escape from France
Captain of Foot
Nicholas Carey
Ensign Carey
Tank Commander

There is also an unpublished novella, the Road to Waterloo.

Other non-Carey novels included The Gauntlet and Zulu Warrior.

I've also had that particular thrill of now finding titles I had never seen at the time - last summer I found a Dalziel and Pascoe novel by Reginald Hill I had completely missed on publication.

I have the same feeling about these novels as I did when I discovered a few years ago that the TV series The Flaxton Boys, which I watched about the same time, had been in part written by Don Houghton, of At the Colonel's Table fame. Now I've thought about it again, I've just ordered the DVD from Amazon.

I'm sure some of you out there probably read these once upon a time. For the rest of you there is an undiscovered treat if you want to look into them. Written for children yes, but with a depth of historical background which still makes them satisfying adult reading.

They deserve to be better known.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Not exactly vintage but...

...can anyone help me identify the manufacturer of this range, and/or who sells them now?

They are 20mm figures and part of a larger range of Arabs and French Foreign Legion. I bought these as samples a few years ago from a seller on eBay, but when I tried to buy more they had a complicated system for ordering  from their listing which I couldn't get to work for me; when I tried to contact them to order more figures direct there was no response. I haven't seen them listed again since and I have no information about that original order.

My only other memory is that I think they had various other ranges, and described these as an old range.

Any helpful suggestions via comments gratefully received.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Georland - a bit of a rethink?

I realise it's been a very long time since I posted anything over on the Georland blog and the project has been firmly on the back burner for a while.

This has partly been because I had achieved that mythical state of "having finished" the S Range Franco Prussian armies I had intended to use for the project, and started on other things: then acquired quite a large number of additional S Range figures of various German states infantry and cavalry. This made me feel painting them up was another large project which I wasn't yet up to the challenge of starting.

So while I had (and still have) an intention to refight some of the Georland battles on the tabletop, it also dawned on me over quite a long period of time that maybe I didn't want to use the Franco Prussian figures after all for this. I am perfectly happy to have two good sized Franco Prussian War armies and use them just for that. I was influenced by this picture, a watercolour by George Keef in the Journal, entitled the Battle of Emburg (or Enburg, depending on your reading of the script)  dated 8 August 1873. A larger version of the picture appears at the bottom of the home page of the Georland blog.

The lines of red coated troops have brought me back to my original intention, which was to use my S Range Crimean armies, to achieve a similar look. I think the FPW option came about because George Keef's original soldiers were mainly semi round FPW figures, with the French providing the Georlan forces.

So while the Franco Prussian Germans will prove useful for some of the wars of the later Epochs, I am now thinking I might go back to British Crimean War figures for Georland, to achieve a similar aesthetic to this picture.

If I do choose to go this way I won't regard the FPW project as a sidetrack, as it stands on its own and without the interest in terms of Georland I doubt I would have got anywhere near as far with painting the figures, as I would have got distracted into something else. (And in fact while I have some further S Range Crimean Highlanders somewhere in the painting crew I also have some Hinton Hunt and Douglas British Crimean figures which will probably get attention before they do). I am unlikely to be happy using the Hinton Hunt and Douglas figures alongside S range ones, but will have to see. Also I have some very nicely painted Hinton Hunt Crimean Russian infantry somewhere which I must dig out sometime.

I also greatly enjoyed  assembling my collection of buildings from German railway scenery manufacturers, so I would also need to give some thought to whether to use these or the Russian style (and slightly larger scale) buildings I have instead.

It is all a bit hypothetical as I doubt anything will happen any time soon. I realise I need to do a fair bit of research for the Orders of Battle for any engagements I might want to refight, as although there is information in the scans I have of the last section of the Journal, they can be hard to decipher and may have lost some of their content to the scanner's margin settings.

But I think some good problems to have.

(I have also posted this update on the Georland blog).

Sunday 17 June 2018

Hinchliffe 20mm Equipment Range

In the comments on a recent post about French line artillery on Stryker's Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargames Figures blog there has been a little discussion about the Hinchliffe 20mm equipment range. These were generally reckoned the best 20mm equipment available, significantly better than Hinton Hunt guns and limbers, and with a slightly bigger range. 

Although the moulds were lost a long time ago I was surprised how little known they appear to be even among aficionados of vintage 20mm figures so I am posting the listing and some photo from the 1972 Hinchliffe catalogue. They certainly deserve to be better known.

Below are two photos of a Peter Gilder French Old Guard Artillery crew with a Hinchliffe 20mm French 12 pdr gun.(These are Hinton Hunt figures which were originally owned by Peter Gilder).

A British 10" howitzer, suitable for both Napoleonic and Crimean Waes

British Colonial Elephant team and 40 pdr gun

4 sets, with the 40 pdr gun versions on each side and 2 sets with the 6.3" Howitzer in the middle. (I know the tubes of the 40 pdrs are in firing rather than travelling position but I didn't want to have any of the guns only in the travelling position This set was the first metal figures I ever saw, in a hardware shop in Durham in the early 1970s. I can't remember the cost but it was astronomical when Airfix figures had been 2/11 a box. More than 40 years later and with the help of eBay and others I now have about 12 sets of them, which may be overcompensating.

And finally a pair of British Colonial Baggage wagons. These came without horse teams or divers/crews, so these have been completed with S Range draught horses and Jacklex drivers.

Friday 19 January 2018

FPW Staff

One of the issues with the S Range Franco Prussians is the fact that there is only one General figure per side and this doesn't help with the variety of command elements.

Before Christmas I bought a large bunch of Germans from the FPW range. Among them were some of the command figures from B&B Miniatures 20mm range. These are quite small on their scrubby horses but have their horse furniture cast on the figure, so if you put them on the larger S Range horses they match up well.

I then went and ordered some French staff to match. The Prussian picture above (top) includes S Range figures as well so you can see how well they go together.

The building is another pre-Christmas acquisition, a German HO railway building to serve as a divisional, corps or army headquarters.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

S Range Field Defences

Following my last post when I unexpectedly acquired these along with an S Range Napoleonic Austrian Army I thought they would be an appropriate post here.

If you studied your S Range catalogue carefully you could find a section called Miscellaneous, which contained goodies including camp followers, generals of different periods, pack horses and oxen, and Napoleon sat at a table.

The above are FSD 1s and FSD 2s, Horse and Musket Period Field Defences, Chevaux de Frise - 60mm length at the back of the photograph - and Stakes - 55mm at the front.

These are heavy lumps of metal and I had never seen them before.

FSD 3s and 4s were gabions and fascines.