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.


  1. I'm pretty sure the picture of the Lobsters is from Military Modelling - unfortunately I can't check that as I sold my MM's some years ago as 350+ issues were taking up too much shelf space. I wish I'd kept some of the better issues including those with a series on ECW colours. I also used to get Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated at the time so it was becoming insupportable - I've stopped getting both of those as the changes over the years means they no longer do it for me but I still have them (MW 1-407 & WI 1-286) if you ever want me to look something up - also have an index of articles in Access database. Looking back both magazines were at the best, by some margin, when Duncan MacFarlane was editor (one of my heroes and another star from the TTV Battleground series). My sister started all this when she bought me MM#1 way back in '71!
    On the figure front the rate at which you're knocking out the regiments is truly impressive and now you've reached 10 foot units you've achieved critical mass (5-a-side) as I always think of a chequer board pattern of 3 units in the 1st line backed by two in the 2nd as 'standard'.
    I'm impressed.

    1. I forgot to add that a few MMs are accessible at the link below but I doubt they include the one you're thinking of.

    2. Hi Rob, thinking back I'm sure it was Military Modelling that featured the Rick Scollins illustrations, that one gripped my imagination so much that I must confess to having cut it out and framed it.... sacrilege I know! I too used to buy MW and WI, I'm sure I started at issue 1 with Wargames Illustrated. 'Battle' later became my firm favourite.

      I'm currently clearing out a lot of stuff including all my Flames of war, as I have just completely lost interest, I'm ploughing back the profits into more Hinchliffes from Ian Hind, have the huge Ox drawn mortar wagon and powder wagons coming ready painted and also a couple more units of Heavy Cavalry, 12 per unit. These will require a touch of overpainting, highlighting, cleaning up and rebasing etc but will fit well in my collection, for just £3.00 each I simply could not resist them!

      Handy to know that you have an index of articles from the old mags, I often find myself wondering where such and such an article appeared.

      Cheers for now Rob, I'd still like to get some sort of game worked out within the next couple of months before we leave for Spain.


  2. Lovely Rick Scollins print, I think it's MM too another nice big infantry unit and the cuirassiers are brilliant!
    Best Iain

    1. Hi Iain,
      Yes, it was MM. The cuirassiers are a touch on the fancy side with shiny armour, but then they were some wealthy individuals. They are recorded as mustering with swords and axes, but I had to settle for a few pistols.

  3. Definitely Mil Mod- I still have it somewhere I think Looking good there LEE

    1. Thanks Andy, more painted recruits arrived from Ian Hind today, as usual thick with dust and dirt but will come up a treat. 3 units of 12 horse and a couple of wagons.


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