A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Just Can't Rush These Things


I'm currently doing some conversion work and painting to get a supply of command figures for my next lot of Spanish line infantry, and in the breaks - since I have the brushes and the tools out - I am taking the opportunity to do a few other bits and pieces. Tidying up, finishing things off - that sort of stuff.

Here is an example. This, you will see, is a British artillery caisson. I have a few such caissons, and there are still a couple more to be finished. Most of them are models by Lamming - the older the better, to get the scale right. This one is slightly different - the limber and the caisson (actually, I think it is officially an Ammunition Car) are both from  the lovely old Hinchliffe 20mm series - long gone; the horses are Hinton Hunt, the driver is a converted Minifigs S-Range RHA gunner. Nothing particularly notable in the mix, I think you will agree - all the castings date from the 1970s. If you were to be a little fussy, you might suggest that the horses are a tad small for the rest of the kit, but that is certainly my fault for removing them from their bases in 1972. Anyway, you wouldn't suggest it out loud.

That is the point - the horses and the limber have been attached to this plywood base since late 1972. When I switched my house standard from 2 gun limbers per battery to just one, I had a few spare limbers like this kicking around the place. Last year I got hold of a matching caisson from the same maker and the same vintage, and added a suitable driver. Some very slight freshening of the paint on the original bits and here you are - a brand new addition to my Allied artillery which has only been 40 years in the completion.

That must be a house record, I think.

12 comments:

  1. Well I had wondered what they looked like. Much smaller than I had expected, compared to French caissons. Thanks for posting it, never really seen a model for one before.

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    1. Meilleures salutations, votre Majeste. There was an earlier 4-wheel cart which apparently was a pig to drive off-road and which couldn't be manhandled. The 2-wheel cart just hitched up behind a standard gun limber, was lighter, handled better because it was articulated and could make tighter bends and be manhandled separately. Also, all the parts were standardised, so the wheels could be used to repair gun carriages and so on. Doesn't look as though it carried much, though, does it?

      Bonne chance - MSF

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  2. 40 years in the making, that's some going!!!!

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    1. Hi Ray - of course, I was 2 when I started. Other long-duration (stalled) projects in my collection included the 58th Foot and the French guard band, both of which sat, part-finished, on blue-tack blobs on lengths of hardwood for a good many years - surviving (more or less) a couple of house moves. Finished them both in the end. Come to think of it, I don't know how I used to paint with the figures on sticks - it would confuse my eyesight now!

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  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouYKeeTz7Yw

    Did you keep your promise?

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    1. Great clip, though I thought they might have to wait a bit longer while the froth settled, and John Mills should have belched loudly.

      Reminds of a silly story told by Clement Freud:

      The scene is Harrods, a well-dressed woman approaches a male shopper and says

      "George? - it is George Edmonds, isn't it? - Good heavens, George - I haven't seen you since 1955!"

      To which the man replies

      "I thought I told you to wait in the car."

      No, it's not very funny - you're right.

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  4. Love it! And yes, I was doing the math in my head as I read through today's post, and it hit me. Wow. . . That's 40 years ago! I turned six in November of '72. Suddenly, I feel terribly old. Nevertheless, charming figures, and an interesting read as always.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Hi Stokes - the bad news is that, compared to 6, you are terribly old, as you suggest. The good news is that if you keep playing with your soldiers you will never get any older - I look after my soldiers, they look after me.

      Cheers - Tony

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  5. Nice model, but those horses are Shetland ponies. I ll be struck down for criticising Hinton, but they should have Thelwell style little girls riding them. Cheers - Lou

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  6. I think the horses are OK with the vehicles - Hinch 20 should be spot-on 1/72 scale, the HH stuff is just a tiny bit smaller, and Marcus' horses have a rather short wheelbase anyway.

    The real villain is the driver - small or not, he is 25mm. However, the main problem is that he still has his base attached, while the horses do not. If they did, his head would be a little higher than their shoulder, which is OK for a (smallish) horse. I removed the bases all those years ago, as I recall, because it seemed odd to have based horses with unbased vehicles, and I felt the alternative was to make extra bases to build up the limbers and cannon. I don't know why I felt that - I wouldn't do that now.

    I'm pretty sure that Thelwell did some of the masters for a well-known 28mm range.

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  7. Sir, I salute you. The oldest 1/2 finished figure I have tackled so far only dates back to '76 and that was 2 or 3 years ago now. I'm just not patient enough.

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    1. That's still very good, though - people don't realise how much planning goes into these long projects. I had to arrange to keep the bits safe in my spares boxes through all those years, while governments came and went and empires fell. I had to wait for someone to invent eBay.

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