Monday, 11 September 2017

Test conversion for the King's Foot.

As mentioned in my last post I have been planning to build the King's Lifeguard of Foot and want to do something a bit  special with them. My attempts at tracking down any Garrison pike have hit a wall, Rob Young who owns the moulds has no plans to give the casting machine a spin any time soon, which is a bit of a shame, but it was at least worth the enquiry. So, I looked once again at the Hinchliffe range and thought I might try something using 'ECW4 Pikeman in soft hat, pike up' as a basis. I liked this figure 35 years ago, but the flamboyant plumed soft hat on a pikeman was not going to pass muster these days! It struck me that the extravagant buff coat might possibly work as tassets at the front, and with a head swap to a helmet could produce the type of fully equipped pikeman one might have expected to find serving in such a prestigious regiment.

ECW4 is holding his pike upright at order, his body is inclined slightly to the right with turned head. I wanted a forward facing pikeman, hand on hip with helmeted head. I note that still after all these years the sword belt (baldrick?) that goes across the front of his armour disappears at the shoulder and thus would need to be added from green stuff on the back. The result is as you see below, head taken from ECW6 Musketeer at present in helmet, buff coat fronts painted to represent tassets and belt added at rear. I think he presents the kind of impressive fully armoured pikeman that I wanted for my Kings Guard. It will mean sacrificing 15 musketeers to obtain the heads, but at Hinchliffe prices that won't break the bank and they will be unique! I'm pleased how well the tassets work with just a paint job to fool the eye?











11 comments:

  1. The heads won't go to waste - you can always put the plumed hat heads on the musketeers you butchered for the helmets - I've never liked helmeted musketeers. I suppose it was the desire for tassets that ruled out ECW22 'Pikeman at ease' as a solution?

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    1. Yes you are right Rob! I know helmeted musketeers are 'wrong' but I accepted a few as part of the nostalgia. I have several pike blocks of ECW22, it's a good pike figure, but yes, I wanted the slightly wider tassets (as per image) for my Kings Guard. Do you know, in my focus to find a good fully armed pike figure I did not even give a thought to using the removed soft hat heads for the decapitated musketeers so thank you :)

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  2. Great conversion work. As this is an old school project, perhaps be-feathered cavaliers and frowning roundheads might get a look in? Certainly there are plenty of pictures of continental shot troops wearing helmets and pikemen wearing hats. Pikeman full armour is pretty snappy isn't it?

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    1. Thank you Sir :) You are right, I see no reason not to mix things up a bit for the pike block, a few feathers here and there would not hurt I'm sure and may add character.

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  3. A unique and rather jaunty figure - how many will you need for the pike block?

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    1. Thanks Ian, I was planning to make this one a 15 figure pike block with 24 musketeers, but I might be running away with myself a bit there so may use my standard 12 pikes but add an extra standard bearer at rear to give 16 on the base.

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  4. Of course being picky there is no evidence at all that the Lifeguard of foot- or indeed any other Oxford Army Infantry unit had any armour at all.- This has not stopped my 1970s Gilder Lifeguard having armour though. My "modern" Lifeguard don't have any. I too dislike helmeted musketeers- the only ones I have are a very few Les Higgins Jason. And a few scattered throughout the Gilder army I bought from DC . Gilder of course actually used the Jason figures as a basis for many of the Hincliffe range. The similarities are very very close in some cases.

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    1. I agree Andy re evidence, but this is retro, and I know the Sealed Knot King's Guard liked a bit of armour, gave them a rather menacing appearance when facing them! What I can say is that I understand why the tassets were quickly discarded having worn the damn things, infact, my experience in the Knot was that armour caused more bruises to the wearer than the enemy, especially around the shoulders, I have painful memories of being black and blue for days.

      I must check out images of the old 'Jason' range as I'd like to see how close to Gilders work they were.

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    2. The Guard never looked very menacing when we were walking over the top of them :) Just rejoined Knot and ECWS after too many years away.

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    3. Made me laugh that :) I have great memories of my time in the Knot in the mid-Nineties, being in a pike push with both feet unable to touch the ground and struggling for breath was just one! Good Luck to you.

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    4. I'll be safely? musketeering I think. My piking days are done.

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