Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Conversions - Some British Dragoon Command Figures

I need to improvise some command figures to complement some Hinton Hunt OPC British Dragoons I am in the process of refurbishing - Waterloo period uniform. I've considered various alternatives, but this afternoon's effort looks promising. This is an SHQ-Kennington trumpeter mounted on an HH horse.


He must have had a rather uncomfortable time being adjusted to fit his new horse, but it took a lot less work than I anticipated. Here he is pictured with one of the HH troopers - good for scale and general appearance, I think. I have a slight concern that the "shaving brush" at the front of the helmet is a bit puny by HH standards, but I think some fusewire and a little acrylic putty will put that right - a simple enough job - and I'll try to patch up that trumpet a bit while I'm at it.



Officers and another trumpeter to follow, then a group paint job - could be another low-effort refurb job (with luck!).

15 comments:

  1. Looks good to me Tony. I really enjoy this kind of post, converting the vintage figures, a whole new lease of life and great skill. That SHQ trumpeter has a most magnificent instrument :) Seriously, it is very fine for 20mm scale.

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    1. Hi Lee - yes, the trumpet is a bit industrial, I guess! They'll hear him all over the battlefield, though. Making him fit his horse has probably ruined his singing career, so he'd better get practising. I have to do two officers and two trumpeters.

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  2. Looks good to me. Did you have to do much fettling to get him to get him to fit the HH horse?

    I have succesfully used Newline Command with HH horses and once painted mix in well with HH troopers. Shaun will sell command without horses and thus makes it a cheap option particularly when he has 25% off sale.

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    1. Hi Mark - a fair amount of metal removal - taking a load off the insides of his legs with a big coarse file did the trick, and didn't take long, I cleaned up the job with the posh needle files and took just a shade off the sides of the top of the saddle - took me less than 15 minutes. The obvious problem is that HH horses are a bit wider than SHQ Napoleonic horses (most things are).

      Newline - that's always a possibility, but the issue for me is that I use a range of manufacturers, and HH are near the bottom end of the sizes I can use - if I start including figures which are a tad small even compared with HH then the comparison with Les Higgins and 20mm Garrisons becomes a problem. I do keep them in mind - Goya has successfully incorporated Newline into some surprising contexts, but he has also grafted in leg-extension inserts, and that's really a step too far for my abilities! The overriding rule for me is hat diameter - if the hats match, the figures match!

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  3. Just came across your blog. Great to see the vintage figures getting converted and refurbished.They still have a great presence on the table. My first figures were a mixture of Garrison and Hinton Hunt Napoleonics. All long gone except for two Old Guard figure which I keep for display. Cheers greg

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    1. Hi Greg - great to hear from you. I was never much of a "serious" collector, but over the years I have found myself in a position where my armies are mostly old-style figures in unfashionable scales, so all of a sudden I'm into the legacy collector market. It was all an accident, honest, Your Honour!

      I do like these old figures - I worry that one day the supply is going to greatly exceed demand - at present a lot of ageing guys are buying up each other's collections, and one day a lot of this stuff will probably go into landfill - I don't see any youngsters going for this.

      Never mind - praise the Lord and pass the acrylic paint. If I'm going, my armies are going to be smart, at least.

      Bless you - take care.

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    2. Maybe that explains the Terracotta Army Tony. That really was Old School.

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    3. It certainly was, Chris. I've always been very disturbed by that entire project - not just because it was vast and extravagant, and I really can't visualise such a thing, but also because, secretly, I have to face up to the fact that I would really like one. What I would do with it, and where I would store it, of course, are just boring practical issues. They reckon they had rivers made of mercury for the scenics...

      When I think about it, all I would really have to do with it is die and be buried with it - maybe that's what a few of us are coming to! Maybe the time is coming when I can try to get my hands on a decent book about the Terra Cotta army and read up on it, but the whole subject is still a little - what's the word? - sweaty.

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    4. I had a look at the books in Amazon on the Terra Cotta boys - hmmm - some seem to be very heavy on the emperor, less so on the toys, some are primarily catalogues to accompany the TC Army's tour of the USA (well, what else?), and some of them get slammed by purchasing reviewers who felt that their own lofty scholarship had been compromised by dumbed-down or popular historical writing - what an outrage [here, let me write a review which is mostly about myself...]

      Anyone have any recommendations about this? I am probably looking for a dumbed-down account, since I really am looking for pictures and details of the toy soldiers rather than any meaningful story about some dead emperor....

      [My Liverpool grannie told me when I was a kid that she was never interested in history, because it was old-fashioned. I have to say she was probably the least modern person who ever lived, so she spoke with some authority.]

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  4. Looking good from here.

    I had loads of Kennington ACW at one time which I found painted up easier than the Napoleonic figures for some reason.

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    1. Hi Matt - I'm quite a fan of SHQ - some of the moulds for their Napoleonics are a bit beat-up now, but the ECW and ACW figures are fine - as you say, they paint up nicely.

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    1. Hi Ray - I'll proceed with these chaps - should be OK. Main dilemma is which regiments to paint. I have the remains of one very large unit, probably the Royals, which gives enough figures to make up two regiments in my organisation. They are very nicely painted (as the Royals), so I have been swithering [Scots] what to do - I had thought of painting them as the Royals and the Inniskillens, 2/3 of the Waterloo Union Brigade, but that would mean painting the Inniskillens with yellow regimentals, which is more work than if I made them the 1st and 3rd Dragoons, for example, which might just work for the late Peninsula - and I think there may be Dragoon Guards with blue facings too. I'm still thinking about this. I quite fancy the Inniskillens, but they are only useful for Waterloo. Hmmm.

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    2. Sorry to turn this into Dictionary Corner, but ‘swither’ was a new and interesting one to me. I naturally googled it and found the following which gives a bit more depth than online dictionary definitions:

      https://www.thebottleimp.org.uk/2009/05/scots-word-of-the-season-swither/?print=print

      But it threw up another one outwith 😉 my experience: “unco” - see reference to cocking a firelock in “an unco swither”. Not sure how you cock a firelock in an unusual uncertain way. I’ll have to read the poem it’s from now. See what you’ve started!

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    3. "unco" itself is interesting - meaning "unusually", as you say - I understand it is a shortened form of "uncouth", which - in its old sense - means unfamiliar, unknown. To keep up the momentum, the Scots word "couthy" or "cowdie" (various spellings) means comfortable, homely - does this divide the world into things that we know, and are comfortable with, and other (foreign?) things that are unfamiliar?

      "Where are the folk like the folk of the West
      Canty and couthy and kindly, our best
      There I would hie me and there I would rest
      At hame with my own folks in Islay"

      [Westering Home]

      ...before anyone asks, I think "canty" means lively, good-spirited, but I think this one is also familiar in the North of England.

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