Saturday, 22 July 2017

Old v New ..... what next for this blog?

The discovery of the fact that the entire old Hinchliffe range of 25mm figures is still very much available has completely changed the way I feel about 'modern' wargame figures. Over the past few weeks I have been working enthusiastically on building up my Hinchliffe ECW armies, and was lucky enough to discover a rich vein of painted figures on sale via Ian Hinds (Hinds Figures Ltd). Among the thousands of painted figures I hit upon a number of units that were clearly painted by the same talented hand, some featuring beautiful hand painted flags and conversions, they were reasonably priced and so I set about acquiring as many as I could afford. They were a revelation, they arrived looking as though they had been stored for years and were all in need of a good clean, but what emerged from the grime were really well painted figures with some fine detail work. I'm still working through cleaning, touching up chipped paint and re basing, but I find myself the very proud owner of over 400 painted Hinchliffe figures of which 160 are cavalry. I have around another 100 castings that will enable me to finish this project, mostly by adding more Foot. These will of course continue to feature on my ECW blog.

Hinchliffe elegance.

And one of my favourite units featuring a trumpeter conversion, crashing troopers and hand painted flag.



As a consequence I have been casting around for what to follow this up with, my enthusiasm for painting model soldiers being as high as it's ever been. Followers of this blog may recall attempts to start new projects over the last couple of years have mostly ended in dismal lack of enthusiasm, Warlord Ancients & ECW's followed by Renegade ACW's for example. I'm now convinced that the chunky style of the '28mm' figures has lost all appeal to me, and that I no longer have the patience to glue together multi part plastic figures, and whilst I can appreciate that they produce finely detailed, very historically accurate results, there is something about the elegance of the simple 90p Hinchliffe 'true' 25mm casting that I enjoy painting and collecting. Bearing in mind that these figures were sculpted by Peter Gilder in 1978, they have stood the test of time very well and Ian Hinds has been committed to restoring the range to top notch quality, re moulding the ECW range among others and is currently I understand working on the Napoleonics.

As mentioned above I wanted to do the ACW again as it's an old favourite of mine, but the Renegade figures I ordered simply did not work for me, they were expensive at £1.25 per figure, but more than that the poses were very limited and I thought them quite stiff, with marching arms straight down the side of the body and no variety in leg poses, the faces were very good indeed, but again little contrast and too many heavily bearded chaps for my liking among the ranks. I painted 18 of them and then found myself quite bored with them! I still have them, but they will go on eBay when I begin my planned clear out. However, the Hinchliffe ACW range still looks great to my eyes and having spent some time thinking things through this is going to be my next project. Of course I have been looking back at old photos of the Gilder collection and the tight packed ranks of these slim elegant castings has proven to be more than I can resist.

This is the one that did it! These apparently attributed to the hand of Peter Gilder himself.


The classic 'Yank' advancing (code ACW1), as seen in the above image, (from the Hinds Figures website).




28 comments:

  1. I must say that this is the first time I have looked at Hinchcliffe figures, although I had heard of them, they are lovely. I have always liked the anatomic figures over the the chunky ones, these rea really nice.

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    1. Thanks John, good to hear from you. Yes. the Hinchliffe figures are slim and well posed in true 25mm scale.

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  2. Hurrah! I hope you've found your true métier at last, 'Lee. The blogosphere has been crying out for a Hinchliffe Hero and you're just the men to do it!

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    1. Hi Matt - my recent re discovery of Hinchliffe has certainly boosted my enthusiasm and the ACW range is crying out to me next!

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  3. I've always felt that the Hinchliffe figures gave a marvellous feel of movement without being off balance or over done. They could also look a bit wonky sometimes if blown up with a super close up but at arms length it was the correct proportions and believable motion that one saw, esp en masse.

    Good choice! Looking forward to watching.

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    1. Hi Ross - yes, the Hinchliffes work so well en masse, whereas I feel that 'modern' ranges are designed to be seen as individual pieces within a larger unit.

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  4. These are lovely figures! Glad to see that they have helped restore your enthusiasm.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Thank you Stokes, they most certainly have, I'm itching to paint more!

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  5. Yes, a delight and charm of their own. I think the new 18mm that are cropping up are probably tickling the same kind of senses.

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    1. Hello Norm - I know what you mean re some of the recent 18mm figures, I think the AB ACW figures were the first to capture that same Hinchliffe feel in the smaller scale, as do Blue Moon etc.

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  6. Back in Neolithic days (the late 70's and early 80's) I collected mostly Minifig Napoleonic 25's and a few Hinchliffe. I really liked the latter's artillery guns, but the figures did not overly impress me; among other things, there were too many different poses, and back then everyone "knew" all figures in a unit (except for command) had to be identical. True to form, almost all of the Minifigs remain unpainted, as they quickly bored me to tears. I gradually picked up Hinchliffe here and there, and now have a nice little Hinchliffe Napoleonic set up. Some of the units are short of men; I know I could order them from the UK (the US distributor closed up shop long ago), but trans-Atlantic shipping is a killer.

    Happy painting!

    Chris Johnson

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    1. Hi Chris, enjoyed reading your comment :) I too started back in the Seventies with plastics before discovering Hinchliffe. Ian Hinds is currently working on some of the Napoleonic ranges, he has done a great job with the ECW's, they are so crisp and barely any flash, you would never think it's a range sculpted in 1978. Shame postage is prohibitive as Ian does post Worldwide and he's a very reliable man to work with.

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  7. I've just been painting Italian wars hinchcliffe figures and they are on the larger side of 25mm and work pretty well with my Perry and foundry figures, I was surprised how well they came out and how easy they were to paint.
    Best Iain

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    1. I remember the Hinchliffe Italian wars range very well Iain, it still looks magnificent!

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  8. Welcome to hinchcliffe heaven. Ian is brilliant

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    1. Thanks Jacko, I'm very much enjoying myself :)

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  9. Great project, and I concur about the lack of charm in modern figures.
    If you haven't got it already do try and get the old Osprey Wargamers guide to Naseby, full of lovely pictures of Mr. Gilders armies.

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    1. Hi Springinsfeld, I do indeed have the Osprey 'Naseby' book, managed to find a secondhand copy having sold mine off years ago and it's long OOP. As you say lots of Gilder loveliness, it was certainly an inspiration.

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  10. Ian Hinds is a decent sort of chap. If something is not right you can return it no question and he will listen to propised deals if you are buying quite a bit if stuff, especially if a unit has been around on his website fir a while and not shifted.
    The guns and eqpt were made by Frank Hinchliffe himself so a different master maker from the figures. If you are looking for compatible artillery Warrior Miniatures guns look good against Hinchliffe chaps.
    Roy

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    1. Hello Roy, good to hear from you. I agree a great service from Ian Hinds, no delays in posting, well packaged and will often accept an offer when buying lots of units. To be honest I feel that for the quality of some of my painted units, especially the horse, the price is extremely reasonable indeed.

      I had forgotten that Frank Hinchliffe designed the equipment and for me it's another of the big attractions of this range, the guns etc. I have just finshed painting two sakers and two of the massive Cannon Royale models with crews, the guns are superbly detailed. I'll take a look at Warrior now I'm back into the older style ranges. Cheers.

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  11. Lee - just to put the cat among the pigeons, have you looked at the ACW range!

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    1. Lee - that should read AWI !!!

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    2. Hi Ian - I thought you meant AWI! Yes, it's still a great range but I just feel that I have done AWI to Death over the years with different ranges, but never say never:)

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  12. Lee - also - how would the Jaclex figures fit scale'wise??

    http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.sk/p/the-american-civil-war-project.html#Figures

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    1. Hi Steve, nice figures but probably not compatible with Hinchliffe as Roy says below. I find myself exploring all of the older figure ranges, so many nice figures out there.

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  13. Jacklex would be way smaller. The hey are generally a tad under Hinton Hunt and HH are a lot under Hinchliffe. Not mixable!

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  14. I have recently acquired a number of Hinchliffe ACW figures. They still have a unique charm despite some obvious anatomical inconsistencies ( a polite way of saying some of those arms are very long!). I agree with your views on modern 28mm figures. I don't think you will be disappointed.

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  15. Hi Matt - thanks for that, Ian Hinds sent me a number of samples from the range and I'm going to place an initial order. I was a bit concerned at how old the moulds are and how many figures must have been produced from them, but they look good to me :)

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