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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Bavarian 11th Von Kinkel Regiment Completed!

 I believe I started the second battalion sometime in late November, so a little over two months later I finally have something to show for my efforts!  Unlike the first battalion that is made from some unusual home cast metal conversions of Airfix French Imperial Guard Grenadiers, the second Battalion is largely made from good quality Der Kriegspieler castings.  Unlike a lot of the DK metals however, these were in good shape and were more robust in proportion than some, which quite frankly can get a little spindly at times.

A twenty four figure battalion, somewhat smaller than their French counterparts.  The flag is a paper flag printed from the Napflags site and carried by a converted fusilier.  The Bavarian standard bearers are a bit easier than most since the uniform is that of an enlisted soldier.

The drummer is a Hagen manufactured figure with a base transplant to fit in more with the DK style.  The Battalion commander is a Franznap figure converted from the artillery general's set.

The rank and file are made from DK 175 castings, the officers are Hinton Hunt BVN/1 and BVN/6.  The drummer and sapper are made by Hagen.

The sapper is a bit beefier in style than the DK castings, but as sappers were generally large men, it seemed appropriate for him to be slightly more robust.

The backs of the figures with the backpacks, overcoats, cartridge boxes, scabbards, and webbing that was all black lined, took longer to paint than the front of the figures I think!

Here the first, or Lieb battalion, joins in to complete the regiment, led once again by a Franznap casting representing Lieutenant Colonel Baron Dalwig.  Thanks to Greg Gorsuch for the translation of "The Germans Under the French Eagle", by Commandant Sauzey and hosted on Napoleon online.  Thanks to that resource I was able to get some invaluable organizational information and identify the regimental commander during the 1812 campaign.

Franznap figures tend to be slightly (by just a hair) smaller and slender, but are gorgeously sculpted and cast

In particular the horses are very well done.

Exhorting the troops!

On a lark I picked up some lovely Lamming British command figures thinking they might be usable, but alas they are a bit too big to mix well with the Hinton Hunt Command figures.  Nonetheless I thought it would be nice to document their existence for you collectors out there.

I think I have found a suitable home for them though...

Parting is such sweet sorrow - adieu mon petits


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Featherstone, Tennant and Higgs - Another Discovery and a Very Special WIP

As our nation's representatives in Congress prepare to vote a second time to impeach, I thought I would take some comfort in my hobby that has brought so much joy to me, and hopefully share a little joy with my readers.  Last month I received a package from Dick Tennant, which was the culmination of his lifetime of devotion to the hobby.  Amongst the items I received were these little gems.  Dick had reached out to me over a year ago asking if I wanted them and I had arranged for them to go to the home of a dear friend, Terry Webb.  As I found out more about the figures, I felt they were just to integral to the collection to break them apart from the whole, so with Terry's kind permission they have remained with me.

These miniatures were painted and designed by Dick Higgs, Design Director for Minifigs, and used on the cover of Donald Featherstone's book, Military Modeling.  The figures themselves were cast by Neville Dickenson, but never produced commercially by Minifigs, so as far as I know are unique.

I will have to ask Mr. Tennant how he came into possession of them, but it speaks to his early involvement with the founders of our hobby.

There have been some very slight adjustments to the figures since their debut on the cover of Military Modelling; the right hand on the rightmost hussar has been straightened to a more natural pose and the painting of his eyes corrected.  Some red striping has been added to the sword tassel on the leftmost hussar.  I will have to ask Mr. Tennant if those were some of his additions.


 After posting a story about the Tennant Collection I received a comment from Mark, over at the Man of TIN blog ( ), regarding some additional connection showing the collaborative nature of the relationship between Tennant and Featherstone.  Below is an image from Featherstone's Complete Wargaming,with some of Dick Tennant's collection.  Mark's copy of the book is signed by Donald Featherstone and Inscribed to Dick Tennant!


Dick had indicated to me that photographs of his own collection had gotten all jumbled up with Featherstone's own and others, Hence the incorrect captioning of the original edition with corrections penciled in, and also some incorrect attribution in the Airfix guide by Bruce Quarrie on which Featherstone also contributed.

The picture above was reproduced from this original

Photography has come a long way since then!  This is the cousin to the 13th Light Dragoon pictured.  The 9th will get the same refresh to their paint and a good cleaning before too long, but there are so many units to bring back up into top notch condition!

And Now for Something Completely Different!

Below is a special Christmas present from my daughter to accompany last years gift of an anthology of the works of Robert E. Howard and his Conan stories.

A beautiful 40mm resin casting she found on Etsy, which will accompany my 40mm figures for a Dungeons and Dragoons type game called The Fantasy Trip.
Clearly modeled on the movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger!

A shot of his back showing his mighty thews!

As a parting shot I will link to the video just released by Schwarzenegger trying to digest and move past the events at the capital last week, featuring the Conan sword as a metaphor for American democracy - a sword must be tempered repeatedly to make it strong and resilient, and our democracy has certainly undergone a lot of that over the last four years.  I have faith we will emerge the stronger for it.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

British Napoleonic Artillery Comparison and Works in Progress

To kick off the new year I thought I would do a long promised comparison of artillery models.  Thanks to fellow enthusiast "Goya" for providing the scaled down measurements of actual British artillery pieces.  If you have other metal 1/72 scale makes and feel inclined to measure them, send me the measurements and I will add them to the file for reference.  Below is a sampling of artillery pieces in my collection that shows the wide variety of what is interpreted as 1/72 scale. 

From left to right: Der Kriegspieler, Hinchliffe 20mm, SHQ (all 6 pdrs), Hinchliffe 20mm, Hagen, Der Kriegspieler (all 9 pdrs) - of note is that Hagen guns come with both barrel sizes, and as they are heroically scaled, the 9 pounder I have shown here is actually the smaller 6 pounder barrel, so I have taken some license to make a reasonably scaled Hagen artillery piece.

A comparison shot for axle width and wheel height.  Note the absence of ammunition chests on the DK gun carriages.
As can be seen from the chart, none of the pieces is spot on for 1/72 scale.  The Hagen is by far the cleanest casting and is currently available.  SHQ is also currently available, but the mold is aging and getting the artillery piece into reasonable condition took some work.


A New Colonel for the Legione Hanovrienne

Colonel Louis-Cyriac Striffler resplendent in his new cutting edge style uniform.

SHQ makes this lovely little model.  The shako cords are a custom addition however.

Leading his battalion

Works in Progress

I have spent over a month prepping these Der Kriegspieler figures of the 3rd Dutch Grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard for painting.  Wellington Man provided the initial 24 figures and command which were in great shape, but the core of these were actually from an eBay find and required a great deal of TLC.  I plan on modelling both battalions so am hopeful that getting the figures from Wellington man ready for painting will not be nearly as painful!  Most challenging is that I have re-positioned the figure, turning the head sideways and clipping off the front foot and turning it 90 degrees.  This put a lot of stress on the metal at the ankles and knees, so all of those areas have been strengthened with super glue.

I just wanted an excuse to try out my new light box so this Dapol model of a windmill gets to make a second appearance on my blog.

Apparently you could rotate the whole upper portion of the windmill using the lever positioned next to the stairs.

The Von Kinkel Regiment of Bavarians will be complete once the second battalion is done.  Last night they got their jackets painted so they are coming along nicely.

I forgot I had purchased a couple of Hagen Bavarian Colonels as part of my artillery order.  I prefer the Franznap mounted Colonels below.  Franznap figures are a little more slender and realistically proportioned than the Der Kriegspieler/Hinton Hunt figures, and the Hagen models are much thicker and heroically proportioned.  Both would work, but given the choice I prefer the Franznap's realistic style.

You can see the Franznap Colonels here, with some infantry from the first battalion on deck to serve as a color reference.

Putting the finishing touches on a Royal Horse Artillery battery from the Tennant collection. 

Lastly I have a shot of the new light box that was my Xmas present next to my home-made one.  The extra space and collapsible design are appreciated!