Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Red and the Black

The lure of the Lützowers has proven just too strong to resist. Not only do the look lovely, they are also very simple to paint, so they're just what the doctor ordered for those suffering from Estorff fatigue .

I'm hoping to get the first half battalion finished this weekend. The first job, however, was their flag.

There's actually quite good evidence for this flag, as it happens, which  was presented to the Corps by the Ladies of Berlin in early 1813. It is fairly clear that it was never carried into action, but history according to the Hinton Spieler has decreed otherwise.

If all goes well I should be able to show the whole battalion in a week or so. It'll be back to hussars after that, I promise!

WM



Friday, 14 July 2017

Lovely Lützowers and the Mysteries of the Ancients

I have two things to talk about this week. They are: "what to do when hiding from hussars"; and an honest-to-goodness ancient mystery.

Estorff Evasion

There are still no hussars to parade, I'm afraid to say, and a large part of the reason for this is depicted below.

As Rob G instantly guessed, the other reason I'd been fooling about with litewka conversions was my secret plan to paint the Königlich Preußisches Freikorps von Lützow. Well, you couldn't really paint Wallmoden's Corps and then leave them out, could you?

My converted DK 125 Prussian Foot Guards officer reveals his true colours
What made this possible was the arrival of a battalion of recast Hinton Hunt Lützower infantry conversions. These absolutely splendid bespoke castings were supplied by a Mr A. Gentleman, who wishes to remain anonymous, so if you can guess who he is please don't say so in the comments!

A recast Hinton Hunt Lützower conversion. PN 21, anyone?
My guess it that he was converted from a Hinton Hunt PN 21: Prussian Landwehr Infantry 1812-15, Landwehr Private (marching).

My own conversions of the conversions are depicted below. I've broken with precendent a bit here in that I've converted and painted the standard bearer before making the flag. I just couldn't resist painting them up to see what they'd look like.

Wellington Man recast Hinton Hunt Lützower conversion conversions.
The drummer is carrying an example of the really lovely 20mm drums made by Musket Miniatures. This is the only one I have at the moment, but I've been in touch with Kris K, the proprietor, and he's promised to send me a few more. Once again I've had a go at soldering the drum to the figure and I'm starting to get quite confident with this technique. The secret is to create the two ends of a solder "bridge" on each of the parts to be joined, and then heating them up again until they melt and fuse.

I will, I promise, get back to the Estorff Hussars eventually, but they may have to stay on the back burner for a while yet.

An Ancient Mystery

Not content with exposing my ludicrously feeble attempts to maintain an air of mystery about what I was planning to do next, Rob G has also sent me a proper mystery, and an ancient one at that:




Rob told me they are vintage "small" 25mm figures of some description, and asked me if I could indentify the make. I didn't have a clue, but if you do, please say so in the comments.

Toodle Pip

WM

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Hintonstein's Laboratory

The Estorff Hussars' horses are finally complete and I'm just waiting for the hands and faces of the troopers to dry before moving to the next stage, which will be blocking out the main colours of their uniforms.

In the meantime, as promised, is a brief overview of my conversion equipment, which is a mixture of things I've been dragging about since my teens and some new-fangled technology acquired over the last two years.


The things that get the most use are the microfiles, the craft knife, the soldering iron, the rotary tool and the toothbrush. Coming in close behind them, however, are the hammer and that very solid bit of steel rail in the top left-hand corner. The rail was a present from my next-door neighbour, Richard, who qualifies as one of the world's top blokes. I needed something for forging flagpoles and sword blades and the like and Richard, being Richard, knew just the chap to supply it. He even sent me a picture of it being sliced off a length of railway line. I can barely remember the last time I was so delighted to be given something.



My latest conversion is below, which is based on a Hinton Hunt PN 81: Prussian dragoon (mounted), charging. He was converted at the request of Mr Lewis Gunner, who desired that he be dressed in a litewka. I thought I'd better practice a bit before tackling him, however, which is why I had a go at that DK Prussian foot guards officer featured in the last post.




You can see Ian S's magnificent regiment of the original version of this figure on his Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargame Figures blog, here.

John Cunnigham has very kindly agreed to cast him, so if all goes well he'll be available to anybody who wants to buy him before too long. John has a much expanded list these days and I'm hoping to add a few more conversions to it from time to time.

If anyone else would like me to have go at converting one of their figures, I'm open to suggestions. I really enjoy doing them. All I ask in return is that you become a follower of the blog and are lavish in your praises!

A word of warning, mind: I don't always get it right. Pictured below is my only irreparable disaster to date. I was attempting to repair his bayonet and his perilously thin little DK musket just couldn't bear the heat. I don't attempt this sort of thing these days unless the part under repair is properly supported!


Yours, as always

WM

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Conversion Therapy

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the first squadron of the Estorff Hussars have traumatised me or anything, but I've decided to spend a little time away from them and work on some conversions instead.

I've just the one to show at the moment. He's the charging Prussian Foot Guards officer figure from the Der Kriegspielers set # 125: Prussian Infantry 1813-15, Command Group (Landwehr, Jaeger, Guard). I've removed his greatcoat roll and given him a Litewka.





The original was clearly based on the Hinton Hunt figure PN 10: Prussian Garde Grenadiers (in plumed shakos and jack-boots), officer (charging). The example I painted for my Prussian Foot Guards battalion way back in 2014 is pictured below.


I think my painting has improved a bit since then!

I may post a few more conversions over the coming weeks. It will depend on how well I'm doing with the hussars.

Best regards

WM


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Estorff Salad

One of the glories of Napoleonic wargaming is the riot of colour that results once you've managed to paint up a few of the opposing regiments. Hanoverian hussars, however, manage to be a colour riot all on their own.

The regiment I've chosen to do is the Lüneburg Hussars, more popularly known as Estorff's Hussars after the Hanoverian notable who raised them in 1813. I'll say a little more about them in my next few posts, but in the meantime suffice to say they are painted according to one of the versions of the uniform they are thought to have been wearing by 1815.








The figures are all Der Kriegspielers from set 164: British Cavalry 1815, Hussars. My intention is to keep plodding away on them until the regiment is finished, but there's a distinct possibility I'll crack and do something else for a while.

Speaking of which, I must be off to finish the Sunday roast!

Best regards,

WM

Saturday, 10 June 2017

General Uprising

Wallmoden's Corps of 1813 consisted of about 25,000 men, of whom something like 6,000 were cavalry composed more or less exclusively of hussars and cossacks. I've made a start on some hussars, but all I have to show at the moment is their commander. He is Major General Wilhelm Caspar Ferdinand von Dörnberg, or "Uprising Dörnberg" as he became known for his part in an abortive attempt to kidnap Napoleon's brother, Jerome, the new-crowned King of Westphalia, in 1809.




I can't say that I know a great deal more about him. After escaping from Germany, Dörnberg wound up in Britain and eventually rose to command the Brunswick Hussars in Spain. The British anglicised his name to William de Dornberg. Volunteering for service in Russia in 1812, by the following year he was in North Germany where he was given command of a brigade of Hanoverian hussars, stiffened by the 3rd Regiment of Hussars of the King's German Legion, which had been hurriedly sent over from Spain.


Dörnberg's only other claim to fame, at least far as the Anglosphere is concerned, is his failure to pass on early intelligence that Napoleon's army was about to invade Belgium in June 1815! However, he seems to have made up for this by leading numerous gallant charges at the head of the 3rd British Cavalry Brigade at Waterloo.


Vintage 20mm Napoleonics connoisseurs will instantly recognise the figure I've used as the Alberken/Minifigs version of the Earl of Uxbridge. I thought he'd be just the ticket for Dörnberg, however, after I found a portrait of him made in 1813 held in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection. This can be seen here.


The first squadron of the hussars he is to command are now quite advanced and so with a little bit of luck I may be able show them off next weekend.

Till then

WM

Edit: I've added another shot to give a slightly clearer view of his face. Alberken commanders can be a bit vague in the face department, but this one's not too bad.