A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Headless Horseman

…and other mysterious goings-on.


Well you see, Clive was interested in mounted colonels for some of his British infantry, and one of the possibilities was the fellow I have pictured at the top of this post, who had been in my Napoleonic Command spares box for a few years.

I’d never quite identified this figure. At first glance it looks like a Hinton Hunt OPC, but there’s nothing like this in the catalogue. Disregarding oddities such as Der Kriegsspieler, my personal rule-of-thumb for this sort of thing is that if it looks like Hinton Hunt (especially in the horse department), then there is a good chance that it is actually a very early Minifigs 20mm piece. In fact someone had, I think, told me that this was a Minifig, and by deduction it was probably BNC5 – “Line Infantry Mounted Colonel”. Thus I had assumed this was what it was, and it lived in the spares box in this unofficial role.

I was never very taken with the paint job, and I was suspicious about the unconvincing epaulettes, so I decided to clean it up a bit and see what it was. Into the bleach it went, but bleach couldn’t handle a very thick coat of red undercoat, so it required a Nitromors bath. That shifted the red paint all right, but I was a bit shaken to find that it also shifted his head.

It was a conversion.


I should have thought of that – the Nitromors had simply taken out the glue which held his head on. At this point I was actually laughing out loud – there is something very silly about an elderly fellow like me looking so closely at epaulettes on a 20mm tin soldier, and missing the blindingly obvious. I really must get out more.

Having had a quick look around, I think it is actually a Hinton Hunt OPC Austrian General (AN102 – picture borrowed from the Hinton Hunter), with a British infantry head attached. If anyone recognizes the figure, or if you did the conversion, or if you disagree with my ideas about it, please shout.

Hinton Hunt AN102 - thanks to The Hinton Hunter blog
Good fun. Not sure what to do with him. The lack of epaulettes might make him suitable for a Spanish general, but the single-breasted jacket might not work – I’ll think about it.

Subject 2 – On Being Dead

I was happily reading Pierre le Poillu’s account of his visit to the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, when I suddenly remembered that I am buried there. There are, of course, some 1 million other people buried there, so I can’t feel too bad about it if he did not visit my tomb. Out of idle curiosity I had a look in Wikipedia to see which famous people share my final resting place, and was a little upset to find I am not listed.


It would be ungracious to make too much of a fuss about this, but I would remind the reader that I was a prominent general in the Napoleonic Wars (rising to the rank of General of Division – I would have risen higher if I hadn’t blotted my record by being a Jacobin and a Republican, opposed to the Empire), I was wounded 15 times during those wars – the last time being outside the walls of Hougoumont at Waterloo, and I subsequently retired from military service to become leader of the liberal opposition in the French Chamber of Deputies. I became a noted orator before succumbing to apoplexy at the tender age of 50.

Naturally I would not wish to talk myself up here, but there are some pretty cheesy C-List celebs on the official tour of Père Lachaise – actresses and such. If you are in Paris, I hope you have the opportunity to drop in and say hello. My tomb is a bit overdone for my own taste, but it is easily spotted, and I appreciate the sentiment that created it. As you will see, they did not wish me to get out of here in a hurry.

6 comments:

  1. Great conversion - are you going to stick his head back on or will he be a casualty figure?

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    1. I think I might make him into a Spanish general - according to JM Bueno there was a simple uniform (pequene uniform) which has a single breasted coat like a French surtout, with a sash. All I need is a head with a bicorn hat. Project 714(e).

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  2. Yes, it was the Austrian HH general that formed the main figure, i've checked against mine, pity it came apart but surely it could be repaired as it was a good conversion
    cheers Old John

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    1. Hi John - it'll make a better Spanish general, I think. The base seems to have been built up a bit with lead sheet, so it was a decent job all round - I'd suspect Pete Bateman if the uniform details had been more correct.

      Regards - Tony

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  3. It is a very splendid tomb. I had forgotten that Wilde was buried in Pere Lachaise until I looked at your friend's blog. I wonder if Stephen Fry will end up there as well?

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  4. I kind of liked it as the British line officer, but I'm sure he will make a good Spaniard!

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