Friday, 19 January 2018

More filthy Cavaliers!

OK, so I know what I said in the last post about not buying any more painted cavalry for a while, but there were just these final three units that I had my eye on and I am weak. Again these units were clearly painted by the same hand as my other horse bought from Ian Hinds and once finished will give me three more retro style units. This will be it now though, as I'm sure I have cleaned out all these matching units, there are lots of others including many Minifigs, but of the Hinchliffe horse I have the ones I wanted.

As usual these chaps are filthy, awaiting a good clean up and retouch etc, but I can see the potential. A few swords will need to replaced as before, and I'll probably do a bit of careful turning of heads and bending of arms to create slightly different poses as before. They have a wonderful old charm even as they stand, I'm intrigued by the hand painted flag with the words 'Montgomery, 1277 to 1977', it's a lovely piece of work.

All cavalry units are now of 12, 15 or 18 figures so that they can deploy 3 deep, a look at the famous 'Naseby' illustration depicts the horse on both sides deployed as such - in column rather than line - that would not affect their training as Dutch or Swedish, (Trotters or Gallopers in modern parlance), and makes them easier to handle on the tabletop. I welcome any views on this subject of course.

The 3 units featured in the previous post have now been cleaned up, touched and glued to thier MDF bases (supplied as usual by the excellent Tony Barr at East Riding Miniatures). Hopefully you will agree that an hours work has made a big difference to them overall.

And at 250 cavalry plus 24 mounted dragoons I think I'll call it a day there for a while!

Firstly those filthy Cavaliers.They will come up a treat.

There are a few Garrison figures in there I can spot.

I'm sure that's a Garrison figure second from left.

Note the drum conversion, a nice touch.

And the shiny Heavy cavalry featured below, I decided to paint out the striped sleeves as some where flaking off, repainted Burnt red with flat red highlights (unit at right).

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

More painted recruits from Hinds Figures.

As I work through selling off a lot of my other wargame stuff in preparation for our move to Spain, I invested some of the profits back into more painted Hinchliffes from Ian Hind. I will probably only take the ECW's and the Romans & Britons (also Hinchliffe) with me, where I will have more space to set up games and enjoy playing with my figures.

Followers of this blog may recall I bought a lot of ready painted cavalry back in the Summer from Hinds Figures via eBay. It became clear to me that most had been painted by the same very talented hand and were original castings. The painting style was perfect retro style for me and by end of Summer I had amassed 200 horse. From the very first unit that arrived it was also clear that the figures had become extremely dirty and dull, covered in grime. However, a bit of cleaning with warm water and a soft brush quickly revealed some superb detail and vibrant colours, the transition was amazing.

So this morning arrived 3 more units of 'Heavy Cavalry' formed from 2 of my favourite poses, ECW1 Heavy Cavalry at rest, and  ECW14 Heavy Cavalry firing pistol. The latter unit featured hooped sleeves red and white Rugby shirt style!  The 2 'at rest' units are mounted on roughly cut balsa wood bases, not seen that before, but all will be rebased to house style anyway as usual. While the pistol unit will not need much work beyond cleaning and maybe adding a standard, the rest will get a bit of overpainting here and there, not much just a touch of highlighting on the horses and a repaint of the armour to match. Way I look at at it is that for just £3.00 per painted figure (horse and rider) they represent a bargain and any additional painting can only enhance them.

These are the 'before' pictures, as they arrived and once completed I'll post the 'after' pictures as a contrast. I took one base of three troopers firing and gave them a preliminary clean up with water, they were so dirty that I let the tap run on them upside down while using a large soft brush to work into the detail. I think you can clearly see the difference! The dull red becomes vibrant, and the shading on the saddle blankets is revealed, while the straps emerge from the grimy dark brown to a lighter more buff shade.

More lovely goodies from Ian, all will be rebased once cleaned up etc. The foot unit in the background are the first painted figures of the planned 'London Trained Band' unit ..... 'For London and Liberty'.

The before and after images of a single base.

The trooper with the scarlet sleeves will probably be converted to carry the standard.

The heavy mortar wagon and powder wagon will also get a touch up, but to be honest the painting is very good, more a matter of adding barrels and bringing the bases into line.

All in all another satisfying purchase from Hinds, there are a few more units of horse I have my eye on that also clearly match my collection and I can see were painted by the same hand as the pistol unit and most of my 'medium' cavalry, but as I don't want to risk being shot by my Wife they will have wait for a bit!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

King's Gentlemen Pensioners and other progress.

My very first post in this blog back in May mentioned how the late Rick Scollins illustration of Haselrigs Lobsters in a Wargames Magazine (can't remember which at this time but I will research it), inspired me to start my original Hinchliffe ECW collection back around 1978. At the time I was 19/20 years old and working in a Westminster insurance company, my walk to Charing Crossing Station took me through Villiers Street where I discovered a  tiny shop selling nothing but wargame figures with stacks of those neat blue Hinchliffe boxes on the shelves. I have no recollection of the name of the shop, but I became a regular and all of my ECW Hinchliffes were bought from there. If there were four customers in there at a time it was a tight fix, but there always seemed to be somebody in there when I went there. I remember once buying 40 ECW cavalry and horses, they seemed cheap back then and large numbers of horse did not break the bank.

Pure nostalgia - the genius of Rick Scollins.

But I digress, this time round I could not justify having the Lobsters in my armies as my focus has been The King's Oxford Army and The Earl of Essex's Army, but as I really wanted some cuirassiers I decided to represent The King's Gentlemen Pensioners, somewhat conjectural, but being wealthy men of status mine are wearing elaborate 3/4 armour. I had painted 8 of them back at the start of this project, but this week got round to painting 4 more including a trumpeter conversion, so that they can be drawn up 'Dutch Style' 3 deep on the table as surely cuirassiers would have been. The flag was a second attempt at fitting the 'Wargames Designs' Pensioners standard, the first went horribly wrong and ended up tearing! I reordered it and made a better job this time, still not perfect but acceptable. Lining up the tails is the tricky bit.

The trumpeter is made from the cuirassier trooper body (ECW9), with the head and trumpet from EWC4 'Heavy cavalry trumpeter. I'm quite pleased how he turned out, the trumpet arm was a neat fit after a bit of trimming and filing and the head went on well, and he adds a touch of individuality to the unit. I should add that the original unit was just a single troop of horse so mine is somewhat large but I'm OK with that.

I should add here that at some stage I intend to work through my cavalry and add reins where required from flattened solder. I'll use Superglue for this job, a trial go proved a simple thing to do. I think Hinchliffe were the only manufactures who did not cast on the reins, although latter horse codes and the Foremost range included them. The advantage is they can be taken right up into the bridle hand which gives a more realistic finish

I also took the plunge and replaced the King Charles figure on my command base with the Essex version simply because it's such a nice model. He fits very well alongside a Hinchliffe General and a Garrison figure bearing the Royal Standard, I think they make a nice little group.

Pike and shot unit number 10 have also now been finished, the white coats you see below. This means all 10 units are of 40 figures, I will get a group shot at some stage because all 10 together make for an impressive display. Thanks to Rob and Andy for giving me the shove to expand them, it's been well worth the effort.

My intention now is to add some extra cavalry figures from the 'Foremost' range, but on standard Hinchliffe horses, and to paint the next pike and shot unit as mentioned before, a London Trained Band unit in non uniform coat colours. I also want to add some more baggage wagons and limbers for the artillery. The piece below was purchased ready painted from - of course - Hinds Figures (link) for £35.00 which I consider a bargain in terms of how long it would take me to paint the model myself. I'm really pleased with it, the paint job is great and I love the little guy carrying the heavy barrel! I only needed to paint over the textured base to match it with the collection.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

More ECW's for the New Year!

I now have 8 of my 10 regiments of pike and shot completed at 40 figures with the additional rank of muskets and extra standard bearer added. I'm currently working on what will become Charles Gerards regiment with those distinctive blue and yellow flags. On the subject of flags I am very tempted to replace the existing ones with GMB flags, simply because the GMB flags are so colour rich and really stand out. Won't be cheap though to replace 20 flags, but could just prove to be the finishing touch.

As I work through each unit I'm taking the opportunity to add a bit of extra highlighting here and there, and adding a small touch of white to the top of each of the apostles to represent the cords from which they were suspended. Below is the last unit I completed, The Earl of Essex' Regiment in tawny orange coats, (I did a short stint with Essex's in the Sealed Knot, and a nicer bunch of people you could not meet!). I brought the coat colour up a shade for impact and am really pleased how they turned out.

Once Gerard's are done I will only have the final whitecoat unit to do. Going forward I have placed another order with Hinds Figures for more Hinchliffes as I'm keen to do a London Trained Band regiment next. I'll be using the same pike codes and head conversions as I did for my Kings Guard unit to create the look of a suitable wealthy looking bunch of individuals with quality rivet decorated pike armour, and the musketeers will be in sleeveless buff coats! There won't be a uniform coat colour, but instead a mix of deep blues, reds, dark greys etc. I have also ordered some figures from the 'Prince Ruperts Charge' range, these I think are 'Foremost' figures and very well animated, these will be used to pad out my 'Royal' Horse regiments.

Images from the Hinchliffe web site at Hinds Figures Ltd.

On the subject of conversions I plan to do a bit more in future, even a simple head swap such as that below can create a nice individual figure. This guy will be the additional standard bearer for Gerards, the arms have been bent and his head swapped for that from an officer. At just 90p per figure its no big deal bending and chopping them a round a bit, turning heads etc.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Seasons Greetings & 'Retro' Cromwell!

Seasons Greetings to you all and a big thank you to those who follow and comment on this blog. In the New Year I really need to get some games played, plan is to base some small games on the scenarios from One Hour Wargames with maybe just half a dozen units per side to begin with.

I'm still amazed how quickly this collection has grown, just six months and I have over 600 painted figures! Due to a bereavement in the family at the Hinchliffe casters I'm still understandably waiting on 35 more figures, mostly musketeers that will enable me to finish expanding the last four Regiments of Foot.

I had the Essex Miniatures 'Cromwell' figure on the painting bench for some time, so spent an enjoyable couple of hours giving him a 'retro' paint job complete with the hooped sleeve doublet reminiscent of illustrations of my childhood when my introduction to the Civil War was two Ladybird Books, 'Oliver Cromwell' and 'Charles I'. Not sure how old I would have been then, but both books gripped my imagination and I never looked back. The movie 'Cromwell' (1970) reinforced this interest and here I am all these years later still learning about and enjoying the English Civil War.

The Essex Cromwell is mounted upon a Hinchliffe horse in order to scale him in with my other command figures as he's quite a chunky figure, but has a wonderfully expressive face 'Warts and all'. Here he is before the just expanded John Hampdens regiment, the flag devices are not correct for this unit but will suffice for the time being.