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Thursday, 20 January 2022

Excess Baggage - Ox Carts from Hinchliffe

 



I've just added a Hinchliffe ox cart to the baggage train and here it is together with one I did earlier - one of the tumbril carts. Hinchliffe always made nice equipment pieces and artillery and these are EG 12 Ox cart, 2 oxen and driver on foot (suitable for all periods) and EG 16 Medieval Tumbril with 2 oxen. I picked the ox cart up second hand with a ACW period driver and this stack of corn sheaths, which I don't think came with the original model. 

The baggage train gets used alongside my more modern armies so its been given a coat of matt varnish and mounted onto a textured mdf base. 

Not sure when these models were made, but they appear in The Hinchliffe Handbook published 1976. 

The little house and terrain features in the background were made for me by Matt Fletcher of Emperor Toads Emporium. 

Sturdy brutes these oxen! There were only the two designs but they have a rugged charm. Here's a couple of spares going about their business. 

The tumbril cart. The yoke comes complete with cast-on strapwork - two long lengths of metal strap that you have to arrange to make the chest strap and then tie round the prongs on the top of the yoke. 

Or... cut them off and use greenstuff to make straps like I've done here. It's a lot easier! 

No such thing as greenstuff  in the 1970's of course - it was common to make straps from paper, old metal paint tubes, strips of linen and such-like.
Ox cart. Strange wheel design of a kind I've not seen before - looks the part though. 

I've only just noticed how the oxen's horns are bent forward on these and upwards on the others. Hinchliffe used a very soft - rather leady - metal which bends easily. This does allow for a certain amount of animation - as well as bending those metal straps into place as I've done here.  
Hinchliffe also made donkeys with an assortment of loads and here's a couple of them from a selection I've painted at different times over the years. 

Not sure when these appeared but they are not in The Hinchliffe Handbook so terminus post quem 1976 I suppose. I acquired these in the late 70s. 
This one must have been painted forty years ago - I recognise the shade of  yellow-ochre Pelikan Plaka I've used to paint the saddle bags! I didn't think they made PP anymore but I see it's still available, now in 50ml pots. I wonder if anybody still uses it. 

As you can see this beast is mounted onto a GW base - and I still have a bunch of pack horses and mules on trad green basses like this. I suppose they 'go with' my old green based goblin and elf armies. Maybe I'll re-base the lot one day just to have them the same. 



Monday, 17 January 2022

On the to do list


I've not managed to get much done for a few weeks, either by way of painting or updates for this blog, what with one thing or another, so I thought I'd share these few pieces I've painted as samples. Before starting on a new unit I like to paint up one figure first, just to work out what colours to use and whether there's anything I need to watch out for. Often I don't spot a mould line until it's too late - but if you know what to look out for you can make sure the rest get dealt with. Also, sometimes a colour doesn't quite work out, and you can correct it before committing to a whole unit. 


I've managed to get enough of the Successor Phalangites ready to paint a whole phalanx of 48 figures. Must admit the prospect is a bit daunting though - so maybe I'll leave this until I'm feeling brave. 

This one had suffered a broken butt (which as we all know is not something to be taken lightly) which I've repaired with a length of brass wire. Can you tell? A good layer of paint helps. 

The figure itself is modelled with what is intended to be a bronze breastplate, but I've painted it as a linothorax. I think it works pretty well and I prefer the look of it. The shoulder yoke isn't quite right for a linothorax - but we are dealing with 70s Minifigs so 'not quite right' is something we shouldn't worry about too much. 

The shield transfer is from the Veni Vedi Vici (VVV) range and fits the shield nicely. A couple of layers of gloss varnish helps to seat the whole thing firmly in place. 

This javelinman is actually from the later Minifigs range for Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars that appears in the 1978 catalogue. I'm mostly interested in collecting figures from the earlier ranges, but its quite common to find these later models mixed in with their earlier cousins and that is what has happened here. 

As with our phalangite this chap arrived with the back end of his javelin missing and I've replaced it with wire. I've also managed to photograph the model from the only angle where you can see I've not quite aligned it true. Ah well - close enough without replacing the whole thing - and I do like to preserve the original where I can. 

Briton slinger from the Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome range. This is the figure I stripped and photographed in metal a bit back. I wanted to paint it up to see if I could cope with the odd bit of paint that refused to shift. I worked over the casting with a big hat pin - one of the most useful tools in the armoury - just picking out the odd bit of recalcitrant paint from the detail. 

Seems to have turned out okay - though I don't really have enough Britons/Gauls to consider putting together a proper force just yet. 


And another slinger - this one is a Roman from the old A series 'S' range Ancients that makes a last appearance in the 1972 catalogue. As slingers go he's about as generic as you can get and I'm sure I can find room for the rest of his mates as part of several armies. 





Lastly we have a Carthaginian Cavalryman and once again I've chosen to paint his armour up as a linothorax rather than what was intended to be bronze.

This is a pleasing little figure and I was pleased with the way he turned out. I have a unit of twenty that I can add to my growing Carthaginian force - a mix of Carthaginians and Spanish. I never set out to collect Carthaginians but it seems to have just happened. Such is fate. 

I like painting white - it's interesting to contrast the different shades. Here the crest is a plain black/white mix whilst the shield is white with a touch of ochre. The only trouble with mixing paint - as I do all the time - is you have to try and remember what you mixed when it comes to painting a new batch of figures. Still, variety is the spice and all that. 

The shield transfer is from the Warlord Hoplite set and unfortunately you only get one of this particular design on the sheet! I may need to get a few more sheets if I want to have the same design throughout.




Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Byzantine Heavy Cavalryman

 

This figure is the Byzantine Heavy Cavalyman that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PBC 146. Or at least I believe it is - it's quite a small figure compared to others in the range, and I've never seen the 'S' range Byzantine Heavy Cavalryman with Kontos (ABC 2s) which is the only other possibility. However, it's a dead ringer for the illustration in the AEIR book, so I'm pretty sure we have it correct. 

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure appears to be taken from illustration 46 in the first edition of AEIR.

The code numbers for the AEIR range correspond to the illustrations in the book plus '100', i.e. illustration 1 is figure 101. 

The rider represents a horsemen of the sixth century and is armed with the lance-like kontos and a bow. At least the front ranks of cavalrymen would have ridden armoured horses. 

I have mounted this chap onto a PBH 221 and  therefore we have the classic 'double saddlecloth' that is a common feature of this range. The code is stamped onto the upper part of the base in the usual style. 

Although a reasonably popular army at the time, I think Minifigs lost out to Hinchliffe, who made a larger range of troop types and whose models were somewhat larger by a head. I've seen many Hinchliffe Byzantine armies, and they turn up second hand quite regularly, but Minifigs versions are pretty scarce. A case of different sculpting styles suiting different armies perhaps.

Parthian Horse Archer

 

This figure is the Parthian Horse Archer that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PBC 167.

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure is taken from illustration 67 in the first edition of AEIR.

The code numbers for the AEIR range correspond to the illustrations in the book plus '100', i.e. illustration 1 is figure 101. 

Cavalry models carried the code number on a tag - long since removed - which can make identification a little harder in some cases. This chap has the characteristic crossed over tunic style together with a headband, which marks him out as a Parthian. 

The horse is PBH 221 and once again we have the classic 'double saddlecloth' where both rider and horse have a saddlecloth. The earlier 'S' range horses and later 'A' and 'H' series of horses all lack saddlecloths and make a good alternative. 

This is the classic Minifigs horse archer pose - I rather like it because you can plainly see what the figure is - it's a horse archer. End of story. It tends to look a little odd in formed units where each man appears to be shooting his neighbour, but such was the way. 


German Guard Cavalryman

 

This figure is the (Roman) German Guard Cavalyman that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PBC 112.

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure is taken from illustration 12 in the first edition of AEIR.

The code numbers for the AEIR range correspond to the illustrations in the book plus '100', i.e. illustration 1 is figure 101. 

Cavalry models carried the code number on a tag - long since removed - which can make identification a little harder in some cases. This one is fairly easy though. It's a nice basic cavalryman of the 1st century with the addition of a 'barbarian' shaped shield that distinguishes him as part of the elite German bodyguard of the Julio-Claudian Emperors. They were called the Germani Corporis Custodes - often shortened to Corporis Custodes. 

I have mounted this chap onto a PBH 221 and - as you can see - we have the classic 'double saddlecloth' that is a common feature of this range. Both the rider and horse have a saddlecloth! Quite what Minifigs had in mind I can't imagine - but the PBH horses were soon replaced by the new 'H' and 'A' series horses without saddlecloths which solved the problem. 

This figure came with the shield painted but otherwise unpainted and unprimed - so I just filed the shield clean - which it needed anyway because there a lovely big mould line running down the front! You can see traces of the paint I'm afraid - but I didn't consider it worth stripping.

The horse has been stripped but the paint has won out in places!

Julius Caesar

 

This is the figure of Julius Caesar that appeared as part of the Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome range as PBP 16 'Caesar mounted'  - PBP standing for 'Phil Barker Personalities'. 

The model is not taken from the AEIR book despite the code designation, but forms part of a small range of 'general' figures.

The figure appears in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue and the 75 catalogue under the same code. 

The horse is PBH 221 - a cover-all mount suitable for most riders. I don't know which horse came with the model as advertised and suspect it was pot luck! As far as I know Minifigs never made specific horses for the mounted personality ranges. 

Although both these figures have been stripped of their original paint you can still see traces of it here and there. Curses! I don't know what kind of primer or paint was used but plainly they made things to last in those days. 


Sunday, 12 December 2021

British Slinger

This is the British Slinger that first appeared in the Miniature Figurines 72/73 catalogue as PB 157.

Both PB ranges were based on Phil Barker's books Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars and The Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome. This figure is taken from illustration 57 in the first edition of AEIR.

The code numbers for the AEIR range correspond to the illustrations in the book plus '100', i.e. illustration 1 is figure 101. 

The base is stamped PB 157 on the upper surface in the usual manner.

Whilst it's nice to see a slinger posed doing something other than slinging this chap does tend to look rather odd when lined up next to his fellows. Nice early 70s rock band haircut though. He would - of course - make a perfectly good Celt or German and more besides.

I struggled to strip the paint from this figure and have left it as you see it - with traces of stubbornness defiant despite all my efforts.