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Saturday, January 11, 2020

French Pontoon Train and the 39thin L'orde Mixte

Before embarking on a description of my project for the new year, I think it only appropriate to show some finished pictures of the French pontoon train, masterfully painted by Richard Tennant and lovingly restored by myself.  Of course there is no reason to build a pontoon bridge if you don't have troops to cross it, so I am pleased to add the second battalion of the 39th Line Infantry Regiment ready for action!

 Many thanks to my daughter who spent four hours watching Bob Ross and recreating one of his landscapes on canvas.  It amazes me what she was able to do in that time!  Equally impressive is how well it works as a backdrop for the miniatures!

 The pontoon train consists of a 3 wagons; one for tools and hardware, and the others for the lumber and the pontoons themselves.


 As usual, Dick painted a company in march formation and one deployed for construction.

I always think my highlighting looks a little heavy handed in these pictures, but at actual size it reads very well and appears much more subtle.

Ever since seeing the description of the L'orde Mixte formation in the Airfix guide I have longed to recreate it in miniature.  With the 39th Regiment complete I can finally do so.

 Here we have the regimental Colonel, Louis Thevenet, and his subordinate, the Chef de Battalion of the 2nd battalion.  These are lovely figures from Franznap that I ordered to fill out the leadership of the regiment.  I was very pleased that my painting of these seems up to the standards set by Mr. Tennant.


 Here the 39th descends from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains ready to do battle!

General de Brigade Chemina, as yet unpainted, has climbed a small hill to get a better view of his magnificent troops.

 Suddenly the way back machine ala Wellington Man, gives the troops the appearance of having stepped out of the pages of Bruce Quarie's Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming, which is only too appropriate since these are the very same figures that were featured in that guide more than 40 years ago!

 And back to the technicolor present.

 I don't think I have shown off the 13th Cuirassiers since they replaced the tattered blue of their uniform coats with locally obtained cloth of Spanish brown.

 Colonel Guillaume Francois d'Aigremont leads his troops in review.

 It is hard enough to find troopers in these vintage figure lines, not to mention Colonels.  For Colonel d'Aigremont, I have actually used a figure from the the plastic set by Zvezda.  While I much prefer the feel of metal figures, I was quite pleased wit the quality of the sculpting, and of the casting of the Zvezda figures.  I am actually considering incorporating some of their Old Guard Grenadier figures into the that illustrious battalion when it hits the painting table.

You have to love the animated pose of the figure!

And the nicely proportioned sword!

Next post will feature some British at long last, as the French have all of the necessary troops ready for the battle of Rolica.  I will be substituting Bavarians for the Swiss and will of course feature different battalions than those actually present, but the basic troop types are now well represented and ready for combat.  Below is the OOB taken from the Napoleon series:

The French force consisted of about 4,350 men:
Commander: General Delaborde
70th Ligne Regiment (2 Battalions)

1st Provisional Light Infantry:
1 battalion from the 2nd Légère Regiment 1 battalion from the 4th Légère Regiment
4th Swiss Regiment (1 Battalion)

26th Chasseurs (250 men)

1 Company of Artillery (5 guns)
Up Next, the 71st Highland Light Infantry will be going through its paces while I also work to bring the 17th Ligne and Fuslier-Chasseurs up to strength given the gigantic battalions Mr. Tennant created!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Unboxing the Tennant Collection and a New Fancy Home for Them!

The Tennant collection of approximately 2750 1/72 Hinton Hunt miniatures, all exquisitely painted, have been calling to me in dismay that they have not been released from their shipping containers for more than a few moments.  The wait has been too long, but at long last I have found a suitable display, and with spousal permission to customize our study into a display space for my collections, the time was ripe to set them free!

To properly display such a wonderful collection, I first needed to spruce up the study.  Changes include blinds for the massive windows to help with reflections on pictures and the display cabinet opposite the windows.  Additionally, to open up the room, I relocated a dark secretary type cabinet and replaced it with a more open shelf and a framed print from the battle of Nashville.

 My wife Cindy encouraged me to keep at least some element of whimsy in the room, so below the bookshelf is an old Marx 12 inch action figure of Geronimo, that I have hung onto from the days of my youth.  I did have to find a deal on the box with the accessories as most of mine had been lost through the ages.

 Howard Pyle is a favorite author/illustrator of mine and I was pleased to find he had painted a mural for his home state of Minnesota of the Battle of Nashville, where Minnesotans fought for the Union.

 On the opposite wall I placed a print of Jules Giradet's
 Marie Louise of Austria and Napoleon Bonaparte with their son, Napoleon II, that actually came from my wife's grandmother.  Cindy always hated this print so was only too glad to get it out of the dining room where it has been for probably 15-20 years. 

In addition there are a few framed notecards of a French Hussar and a young Napoleon, as well as a  Knotel print of troops from Hesse-Darmstadt

 Tucked away in a nook of the study is my modest library of reference sources and the like, next to a neat framed first day of issue postage stamp release from the Isle of Man in honor of Colonel Mark Wilks who was Governor to St. Helena whilst Napoleon was interned on the island.


 Below the artwork is a small display of some WWII modelling I did, that was actually the source of my re-engagement with this hobby in my middle age.

 I custom built a small insert for the display case so the panzers would have some suitable terrain to roll over.

These were in the bedroom for years, and as I am sure you can imagine, might dear spouse was happy to see them depart that room!

Against the back wall is however the central focus piece of the room, not only for its sheer size, but also for what it contains; the Hinton Hunt Collection of Richard Tennant - with a few of my own snuck in as well...  Below are a series of photos that I hope will show the sheer scope of this collection.  I will not attempt to detail the contents but will just let the collection speak for itself.

 Despite the huge collection of miniatures, there was still enough space to display a couple of uniforms that were a gift of a dear friend.  Above is a jacket of the 48th Canadian Highlanders, who are affiliated with the famous Gordon Highlanders.

 Also included is a vintage WWII Air Corps uniform in fantastic condition.

And finally a smattering of patches from American units in WWII.