Monday, 28 September 2020

To Build, or Not To Build

 A while ago (2018) I picked up an old Hinchcliffe model at a bring and buy show. I may even have posted about it.


As you can see it is an elephant limber and gun team from mid-late 19th century India. As I have a more than passing interest in the Indian Mutiny, I could hardly pass on picking it up. I mean, who wouldn't? It cost me £3. The box says it is "4mm scale", and the code is 20/16 which makes it part of the 20mm equipment range, but the figures are more 25mm.

As I've just done "Indian Mutine-era" I thought I might get it out and finally build it.


As you can see, the kit is complete, even including the instructions.


I mean it is completely complete. The wheels and haulage chains are still in their little cellophane bag. The previous owner has put some grey paint on a couple of the elephant halves, and painted a figure gloss blue, but otherwise as far as I can tell, it is perfect.

It's almost like it should be in a museum, along with an unopened box of 1960s Airfix figures. I don't know how old it is. I'm guessing from the catalogues I can find on line that it is mid 70s, but can't be sure.

Should I build it, or keep it as a piece of history?


26 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah. Course I'm going to build it.

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    2. Good - as I was going to say what Jonathan did... all these years those little elephants have been waiting for their moment of glory .. to march their burden across the wargame table.. looking forward to seeing the final item..

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    3. How much use they'll get is questionable. It's a surprisingly complicated kit, with bits of tube and brass chain. I've glued the elephants but I'm not sure whether I need to paint as I go along or base it up first, all completed. I've spotted that one of the support straps from the saddle is broken, so I need to work out how to fix it.

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  2. I used to have2 of those but like a fool..... Anyway they should go well with 20mm . They are definitely too small for 28mm may - just may go with 18mm without looking too oversized

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    1. I'll be using g it with 25mm Minifigs, regardless.

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  3. Yep, build it

    BTW 4mm scale is 4mm to the foot an old model railway scale

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    1. I saw the 4mm = 1 foot in the only Hinchcliffe catalogue I could find. That makes people about 5ft tall...

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    2. It is the old saw - wargamers often don't do scale- they only think they do . "20mm" 258mm and especially 28mm are merely sizes not scales. At 4mm = 1 foot your elephants should go pretty well with minifigs. Mine- if I hadn't sold them- would have been going with 25mm Stadden

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    3. Quite so. And we can't even agree on what size 25mm or 15mm is anyway.

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  4. Definitely build it. Until there is a miniature history museum out there no one will ever see it if you leave it in the box.

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    1. Good points both. There needs to be a wargaming museum, with the Hinchliffe boxes and those little colour coded boxes you got from Minifigs, with the Imperial Guardsman on the cover.

      Gonna build it.

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  5. Build it, enjoy it and share the results with us.

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  6. Build it and let it fulfill its wargaming destiny ;)

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    1. Of course. Did you ever see that James May programme when he bought a vintage, mint in box, sealed trainset and opened it up to play with it?

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  7. It is an elephant gun team. It will be far happier built and painted than rattling around in that old box.

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  8. When confronted with the problem, I've always gone with "What did I buy it for?". Was it as a collectors' item or part of a lead mounted which one day would grace a wargames table?

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    1. I bought it because it was £3 and had elephants in it.

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  9. Many years ago that set was advertised by Hinchliffe as being in 20mm scale.

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    1. It's either a big 20mm (that's the range code) or a small 25mm. The gun looks 25mm to me, and the figures are. The elephants are a bit on the small size for 25mm, so are probably 20mm. I shall be using it with my 25mm figures regardless!

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  10. Build it, use it. And enjoy the howls of anguish from collectors....

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    1. I could build it, fill the box with odds and ends, Sellotape it up and pretend it is mint unopened.

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  11. Hi Trebian -
    I've never understood 'mint in box'. I mean, I got a pack of plastic army men a few years ago 'Good Ol' USA vs Red Commies'. US Company; made in China (and now you know where the US economy went: west). I was tempted (briefly) to keep them 'mint in box' - just for amusement's sake.

    But you can't war game with figures 'mint in box'. Can you?
    Cheers,
    Ion

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    1. You surely cannot. It will be a shame when they are all gone, but toys are meant to be played with.

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