28mm Connoisseur and Hinchliffe French Guard Heavy Cavalry c1984

These cavalry figures were the first 28mm figures I ever brought. I remember mail ordering them from the UK in two batches – from Connoisseur when it was run by Peter Gilder and from Hinchliffe. This was back in the early-mid 80s. They took about three months to arrive and were paid for in postal orders that we could only buy at £2 per day from the Post Office. At the time most of the people I gamed with were using Airfix 1/72nd and Minifigs and these guys towered above them.

I have often considered stripping and repainting them but decided not to as the nostalgia factor was just too great.  I confined myself to some re-basing and that was it.  They had been based on cardboard painted green, then cardboard painted green and covered in bright green railway flock. What were we thinking about in those days?

So here is a regiment of Guard Heavy cavalry comprised of Horse Grenadiers and Elite Gendarmes. The Horse Grenadiers in cloaks are Hinchliffe and the rest are Connoisseur. The paint is all Humbrol enamel and plastered on thick!  These guys have had standards that were originally home made and then GMB ones that faded away since removed. Graham Black sent me some replacements that I have not yet attached to the flagpoles.

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7 thoughts on “28mm Connoisseur and Hinchliffe French Guard Heavy Cavalry c1984”

  1. Well, Brian, I have been hemming and hawing about ordering some of those Connsieur Gendarmes d’Elite to augment my own Grenadiers a Chjeval for my Montmirail game in July. These pics sold me at last – order to go out tonight!

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  2. Very nice Brian and absolutely agree with you on not repainting them. I still get some of my first painted figures out and look at them with great fondness. My first 25mm metal figures were Minifigs Polish Guard Lancers and they too got the enamel heavy duty Humbrol treatment!!

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  3. I so remember the £2 a day thing, and the months of waiting! Still got a few of my first Hinchliffe napoleonics from the ’70s and ’80s.

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  4. Lovely stuff Brian. My first completed Napoleonic army was comprised entirely of 1815 British Hinchliffe figures, complete with gloss coats and matt white trousers, and I won’t be changing them either. I bought the bulk of them second-hand, but also remember having to head off to the Post Office and line up to purchase a batch of postal orders, and posting them off airmail with a handwritten order form. Somehow it seemed to add to the magic…

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    1. So true. We had one post office in our town so could only get one postal order a day. When I went to Uni I discovered the foreign currency bank cheque. Changed my life they did:)

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