Saturday, 27 May 2017

First painted figures.

I present the pike block of the Earl of Essex's Regiment of Foot. Painted over 3 sessions I have to say I'm delighted with the results. I decided to stick with my black undercoat method, basically because it's the only way I feel confident painting, it took time to build up the orange, starting with Vallejo Orange Red highlighted with Vallejo Amaranth Red then a little Yellow  added to the latter. I decided against using 'Magic Wash' to add further depth as I know from experience that it can dull the overall look and I really wanted to achieve a more Old School clean finish.  The figures are varnished with Vallejo 'Satin' applied by brush as I always do. Pikes are those supplied with the figures, cut down to 80mm which looks about right to me, Flags by warflags and touched up with orange.

I'm going to base these in the old style of using filler before colouring and highlighting, I have put away the flocks and static grasses for this project. Base sizes will be in line with WRG rules, I'll probably order them from Tony at East Riding Miniatures in MDF as they are more accurate than cutting them from card myself!

I'm next going to paint 5 of the planned 10 figure horse unit. I am giving serious consideration to using oils on the horses and the 'wipe off' method over a white undercoat. Once this unit is completed I will return to painting the two musket blocks for Essex's.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Twisting and tweaking - first impressions.

Thanks to those who have already expressed an interest in this project and left comments, I will reply to each individual comment but for now just to say it really helps with motivation to know that others are interested.

My initial order duly arrived from Ian Hind yesterday, much faster than I had expected. My first impression upon opening up the box was that the figures are everything I had hoped them to be, the castings are sharp and they are every bit as good as I remember them to be. I did order quite a lot of figures as I wanted to see them across the range and thought I may as well order enough to begin building regiments of foot and troops of horse. I spent an enjoyable hour or so sorting them out and going through them all, and ended up organising them into units roughly.

The only issue I have is that on some of the musketeer figures, both firing and loading poses, the rests were broken or bent below the hand. These can be easily repaired by cutting away the broken rest and replacing them with brass rod of the same thickness, it's a simple repair job to do so I'm not worried by it, the trusty miniature hand drill and Superglue will take of it. Everything is fine.

I thought I would start here by showing some images of the castings as they arrived and my ideas on simple conversions to add a little more variety to the basic poses. To begin with the cavalry (Horse) I ordered up a number of codes that would allow me to build both 'Heavy' and 'Medium' units as per the WRG rules. The former will consist of mostly back/breast/pot helmet types, with the latter consisting of more soft hat types and buff coats. As I did not order enough cuirassiers to get started with I am going to start with a 10 figure regiment of medium horse and also prep up a pike block of 8 armoured pikemen 2 standard bearers, a drummer and an officer.

Left to right: ECWC 2, ECWC6 & ECWC15. Figures as supplied.

In order to get a bit more animation into this first unit I set about twisting and tweaking heads and sword/pistol arms. After a short soak in boiling water from the kettle it was a simple matter of carefully turning some of the heads with pliers, taking care not to damage the hats. This was easier to do than I expected, the metal is quite soft and pliable, I was able to twist some of the heads to face forward and to move some sword arms forward and down with no breakages at all. Pistol arms were pulled down from the side of the figure and presented forward in a firing position. Some hats had the brims turned up at the sides or the front. In no time I ended up with the 10 figures you see below, ready for their mounts before priming.

ECWC 6 as supplied (left) and after twisting the head and bending the sword arm. Also ACWC15 as supplied (right) and second right - after lowering the pistol and turning up the hat brim on one side.

The 10 figure 'Medium' horse regiment, heads and sword arms twisted to various angles. The standard bearer has had his sword removed and arm bent down and forward.

The officer has also had his pistol arm repositioned.
The horses are also fine castings, I think I should have ordered the 'Light' horses but I like these slightly chunkier horses. They will require a slight file job to sit the riders down but again it's any and quick job.

A quick work about scale/size, these are the old scale 25mm figures, not the large 28mm common today, they are shorter and thinner and I like that. Below is a shot for comparison, the metal figure is a Renegade ACW casting and the plastics are of course by Warlord Games. I had considered doing the ECW using the latter, but the time spent assembling them put me off and I'm glad it did now! Price per figure is 90p inc VAT, and horses are £1.08p inc VAT, I consider this to be very reasonable for the quality of the metal used.

ECW2 (armoured pikeman, pike up) for comparison with a Warlord Plastic 28mm ECW figure.

One of my favourite Hinchliffe figures ECW9 Officer in Helmet beside a chunky Warlord officer.

I'll discuss each unit as things progress but below you can see the basic  ECW2 'Armoured Pikeman, Pike up' castings I'm also going to prep up. These are the figures used by Peter Gilder in his iconic King's Lifeguard of Foot'. Note that they are cast quite 'flat' and require the arms to be slightly repositioned to accept the wire pike across the body. I used a spare one to create a second standard bearer by bending the lower up right up, again a simple and painless process.

Note the standard bearer created from ECW2, a simple bending of the arms.

And finally for now, here is Prince Rupert with dog 'Boy', standard price code of 90p and what a magnificent figure, £1.98 for horse ,rider and dog!

I'm a happy man and can't wait to get started painted them.

*EDIT:  Since posting this I have discovered that I actually ordered the wrong horse codes for the figures, which explains the poor fit! What I have here are horses from the 'Foremost' range, designed by Peter Gilder as an extension to the basic range but slightly chunkier, the 'Ruperts Charge' figures are examples of this range. My horses are marked 'FM' I should have spotted this sooner. I now have on order standard Hinchliffe horse codes to replace them and I hope to exchange the 30 Foremost horses I have.

Monday, 22 May 2017


This new blog will be dedicated to my nostalgic attempt to rebuild forces of the English Civil War using the Hinchliffe range of figures, now owned and sold by Hinds Figures. It is a shameless attempt to recreate my long sold collection, and to present them in a traditional painting style. The project is very much inspired by the late Peter Gilder, designer of the range, the series of articles by Stuart Asquith that appeared in' Battle' magazine and finally being able to watch the 'Battleground' Edgehill edition featuring Duncan Macfarlane & John Tilson that I had searched for decades to find.

My plan is to discuss individual figure codes as I paint them, and units will be assembled in line with the WRG rules written by George Gush as I used exclusively. The entire range is now available from Ian Hind of Hinds Figures Ltd and Ian assures me that the current moulds are in 'A1' condition. I hope to have my initial order within a few days, Ian responded to my order within 24 hours so it's on it's way to me.

I'll probably start where I started in the late 1970's, with a small unit of Cuirassiers inspired by the below image by the late Rick Scollins a Military Artist who certainly got things going for me.  At the time I painted them as Heselrig's Regt of Horse, the famous 'Lobsters', but this time they will form the Kings Lifeguard of Horse as my intention is to base this project upon the 'Kings Oxford Army' and the Parliamentarian army commanded by Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex. Hinchliffe codes ECW9 & ECW10 will form the Lifeguard possibly with a couple of other flamboyant characters thrown in.

ECW10 from the Hinchliffe (Hinds) website, still a magnificent looking figure 40 years on!

Rick Scollins magnificent artwork, from the late 1970's.

The cover artwork that inspired a huge collection!
I hope that you will enjoy following me on this nostalgic journey.