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Review Colonel Du Pin from Ellies Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi to you all ,

    One of the smaller companies in our world of resin is 0A.jpg run by Ian Burton and very ably assisted by his daughter Ellie , so very much a family concern , both sharing a passion for their products so it was good to have the postman knock on the door with a rather well packed parcel containing the latest from them.

    The release was announced here on PF http://www.planetfigure.com/threads...s-col-charles-du-pin-1866.76132/watch-confirm

    It is of course: Col Charles Du Pin

    Dupin was perhaps the most colorful and controversial of those who fought on behalf of the Mexican Empire was the French cavalryman Charles Dupin. At the time of the campaign in Mexico he was already a decorated veteran of the war in China where he had earned something of an unsavory reputation.

    He was a keen participant of the looting of the Summer Palace when French and British forces occupied Peking and he brought back a number of pilfered Chinese art treasures as spoils of war. When he openly advertised these items for sale in Paris he was dismissed from the army for conduct unbecoming of an officer.
    However, he had gained a reputation as a cunning and hard fighting commander.

    When the war in Mexico, particularly along the northern frontier, degenerated into guerilla warfare it was Emperor Napoleon III himself who recalled the aging Dupin for service in Mexico. Emperor Maximilian though actually singled out Dupin for exclusion from his service since, although he had a reputation for courage and fearlessness, he was also known to employ methods ranging from extremely harsh to downright brutal.

    Despite this Colonel Dupin came to Mexico and was given command of the contra-guerillas operating on the coast and along the Texas border.

    He looked an imposing figure in his braided uniform, wide sombrero and a cigar always clenched in his teeth. His mission was to fight fire with fire, to wipe out the bandits and Juaristas in the region and he had no qualms about returning harshness with harshness and cruelty with cruelty.

    On capturing a village he issued a statement :

    "I am Colonel Dupin. Obey or you are dead! All resistance is futile…I protect the good but have no mercy for evil men. I kill men, I rape women, I murder children; I exterminate the enemy by fire, by steel and by blood; remember my words!" ...intimidating indeed.

    Early on the contras wore a uniform that consisted of a rather simple grey outfit trimmed in blue with a silver-laced sombrero.
    After 1864 they took on a more outlandish appearance with the cavalry wearing grey or black sombreros, a bright red dolman with black lace and bright red sashes.
    Foot soldiers wore uniforms similar in style to the French zouaves and when the second squadron was raised they wore sky blue dolmans but it was the red jackets and the red sashes that all the troops wore that their republican enemies named them los diablos colorados or "the Red Devils". The contras could attract a very tough brand of soldier because of the better pay and equipment they received. Yet, there were drawbacks ...no mercy was given because of their fierce reputation if they were ever taken by the enemy and with their bright red hussar jackets and red sashes they were pretty easy to spot in a crowd of prisoners.

    Certainly a very colourful and hard fighting group of men led by a feared man.

    01aaa.jpg a00.jpeg

    The country of Mexico has been the site of much bloodshed and revolution including the what was known as "The Mexican Adventure"

    for other mexican conflicts and information these are very good to add to the straining bookshelves!! 00a.jpg 00aa.jpg 00aaa.jpg 00aaaa.jpg

    Continued in next post:

  2. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Guys

    Lets have some more information on Dupin and in particular his medals and the weapon he has been depicted holding in the sculpt.

    First the weapon this is as far as I can see the Belgium M1858 Lefaucheux style revolver

    1aa.jpg 1aaa.jpg

    Now to the medals , the sculpt is based on this and other pictures so looking at this images of Dupin
    and a colour depiction in the Anne K Brown collection 11.png 11a.png these are the medals he is wearing in my opinion.

    Top Row from the left

    0a00.jpg 0aaaaaa.jpg 0aaaaaaaa.jpg 0aaaaaaa.jpg
    These are :Crimean medal , ( UK) (the reference shows 3 clasps) , the Mexican Expedition (French) , Italian Campaign(French) ,China Medal (French)

    Bottom Row from the left

    0aa.jpg 0aaaaa.jpg 0.jpg

    These are : Cross of St Maurice and Lazarus (Sardinia) , Order of Medjidie (Turkey) , Valour Medal (Sardinia)

    Not showing he was also entitled to the Legion d'honneur (French) 0aaa.jpg

    When I paint the model I will be using this as my main reference.

    Continued in next post

  3. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember this subject as a release in 54mm by Le Cimier way back in the 80's/90's. Tempted then by that one, even more so now by this one.

    captnenglish and napoleonpeart like this.
  4. Nap A Fixture

    Lets see the Resin

    Title: Colonel Charles Louis Dupin , Mexico 1866

    Reference: EM 017

    Scale: 1/9th

    Material: Gray Resin

    No of Pieces: 11 resin plus reference sheet and painting instructions

    Sculptor: Moz Corry

    Casting: Steve Reedie

    Box Art: N/A but a WIP by Gerard ( Tarracus on PF)

    The model was held in a strong white box , no box art as this is WIP , parts were packed in both resealable bags and again in bubble wrap , these consist of the torso , the hat, 2 arms , 2 hands , the cigar, the weapon and a base . Ellies 003.jpg In addition there is a colour depiction and painting instructions.
    Ellies 002.jpg Ellies 001.jpg

    Prep for all the pieces:

    Torso....Slight sanding at the neck and underneath ,a pin hole at the back of the right sleeve
    Head....Quick swipe of sanding on the neck and head underside and top
    Arms....Slight bit of filler when in place.

    Hat....slight sanding on the underside edge
    Hands...Small bit of flashing , then cut off the former
    Cigar..cut off the former and fitted
    Weapon....Remove from former
    Base.....Clean up the lower edge and fit

    All very minor as you can see.

    In this part we will look at the torso the arms and the head.

    Beginning with the Torso , this is the largest of the pieces and packed with details Ellies 005.jpg , our subject wears the very fancy dolman which is showing nicely worked braiding , good definition on the trefoils and the separate cords , this is on both back and front.
    Ellies 009.jpg Ellies 006.jpg Ellies 007.jpg Ellies 008.jpg Ellies 010.jpg Ellies 011.jpg
    I will probably add a bit of cording under the left arm at the dolmans edge ..not essential as it will hardly show...my choice!!

    Under this we have a shirt , nice folds together with the sash at the lower edge , good work again from the sculptor ...nice one Moz , clean undercuts as well.
    Ellies 012.jpg Ellies 012a.jpg
    On his right shoulder we have shoulder cords , well represented in shape , leading up to the neck and the epaulette on the shoulder , all sitting naturally.
    Ellies 014.jpg
    On the left we have a mass of medals nicely done , these certainly add a lot of interest to the model , after speaking to Ian a little bit of artistic interpretation was used , so you could paint as they are or as I will do rework them a bit ( my decision I hasten to add) Ellies 013.jpg
    One thing about the braiding and the medals is that details are often lost on casting ...not here , all have sharp definition ..well done all.

    Now to the Arms:
    When you come to fit the arms its a clever way as the right fits into a carefully worked "V" at the shoulder , the other onto a clear area (I would suggest pinning)

    Bot arms are full of lace ranking well worked with clear definition between the piping , both arms show nice folds and creases and a nice seam at the back
    Ellies 015.jpg Ellies 016.jpg Ellies 020.jpg Ellies 017.jpg Ellies 018.jpg Ellies 019.jpg
    Onto the Head:
    Moz has done a good job here , you can see its the subject , obviously working from the references I have given as well , great beard , nice surface texture, his mouth slightly open ready to receive his customary cigar, facial features of the eyes , nose and the ears are well done
    Ellies 024.jpg Ellies 021.jpg Ellies 023.jpg
    Ellies 022.jpg
    Continued in next post

  5. Nap A Fixture

    Now to the final pieces

    Firstly the Hat or should that be sombrero !!

    This was worn by a lot of the french troops in the conflict , comfortable and gave great protection against the sun , the colonel wear a wide brimmed version together with the underside that is heavily decorated , a lot of enjoyment is in store painting this

    Shape is very good from all angles , fit to the head clean and easy to do and when in place looks great.

    Ellies 025.jpg Ellies 026.jpg Ellies 027.jpg

    The remaining pieces are all on one former for casting

    Ellies 033.jpg Ellies 028.jpg

    The 2 Hands are well done , nice finger definitionwith good fit to the wrist area on the arms
    Ellies 035.jpg Ellies 030.jpg

    The Cigar ...easy to remove and fit into the mouth
    Ellies 031.jpg
    The Weapon...nice shape with all the main components in situ , I particularly like the handle shape, very close to my references , it certainly looks good when in his hand
    Ellies 032.jpg Ellies 034.jpg
    The Base is a good size and fits easily to the underside ( pin it) some might choose to put it to the spares box and use a brass rod ..the choice is yours.
    Ellies 004.jpg
    Final Thoughts
    This is a very interesting subject , full of details and good sculpting and casting , making for a very colourful companion to the Chasseur previously released (http://www.planetfigure.com/threads/chasseur-dafrique-from-ellies-miniatures.73273/watch-confirm)
    A good and very interesting product and good customer service as well as giving you lots of enjoyment at the bench ...what more do you need.

    Here are some unpainted versions from the website
    01.jpg 0001.jpg

    For more details have a look at the website at :

    or contact Ian by e mail at:


    or PM him via this forum

    Ian will also be at this years Euro so with this and future release his stand is one I will certainly enjoy visiting .

    Thank you to Ian for the review piece and to you all for looking in

    Enjoy the modelling

  6. bucsfan21 Well-Known Member

    Nap, That is one very informative and detailed review. I appreciate it! This type of information really gets painters psyched for the kit. Great job!

    All the Best, Terry Martin-Member of the Atlanta Miniature Figure Society
    ellie and napoleonpeart like this.
  7. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the comments

    Geoff ..think you are right can't find a pic though!

    Terry..glad you found it interesting and informative

    Thanks for looking in

    Wings5797 likes this.
  8. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Excellent review! Hard to resist buying this one!
    tomifune and napoleonpeart like this.
  9. ellie A Fixture

    Hi Nap A big thank you for a fantastic post (the checks in the post mate(y):D) it's a very colorful piece and should keep anyone happy for hours or drive them mad:wacky:.

    Both me and Moz looked high and low for the medals was a job in it's self glad you found some of them too. we put a color info sheet in with the kit to help with the medals.

    Geoff , Terry thank you for your kind comments. it's good to know when we get things right.

    Cheers guys


    Sumonius and napoleonpeart like this.
  10. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Ian and Ellie ,

    No problem ..make sure you leave the chq just signed ..I will fill it in!....it's certainly going to be an enjoyable amount of bench time that looms ..or insanity !

    Medals ...bit of a area I am interested in ...got lots of references everywhere and if unsure there is always the PF members !

    The offer is there to help on any other projects

    As Terry says ..you got it right

  11. ellie A Fixture

    Cheers Nap

    Thanks for the offer will might need help on a new project that is on the cards so will pm you mate.


    napoleonpeart likes this.
  12. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Guys ,

    Couple more picture you might find of use

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

  13. Tarracus A Fixture

    WOW! even some chinese kanjis to be painted!:LOL::facepalm:
    Thanks for the references Kevin!
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  14. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    A lovely review Nap and a larger than life character brought to life.

    Ps He reminds me of Uncle Albert from OFAH
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  15. ellie A Fixture

    HI Bob Yes you could do an interesting conversion on him to uncle Albert LOL:D

    Tarracus Glad you like him he will be a challenge(y)



    napoleonpeart likes this.
  16. Bootneck Well-Known Member

    During the war.

    Great review Nap, you really do go to town and bring the piece alive.

    Have one of these on order that I will be getting from him at the White Rose club meet this coming Saturday.

    Little prezzie for somebody who will be 60 in a few days time. Shhh!!

    napoleonpeart and ellie like this.
  17. thegoodsgt Active Member

    That looks great! Well done figure and review. Really appreciate the references.

    Steven Brown
    Scale Model Soup
    napoleonpeart likes this.

    Never heard of him but an interesting visual subject. If what you have quoted from his orders or proclamations is accurate, he could be up on charges at the Hague if it had been today.
  19. Nap A Fixture


    Hi Colin,

    I too had never heard of him a colourful character in everyway , certainly would be up in front of The Hague today!

    Thanks for looking in

  20. ellie A Fixture

    Hi Colin

    I had read a book about him a few years ago and had him in mind as a bust/ figure for quite some time. He did have a record for cruelty but seemed to get the job done in the areas he operated in. and at the end of the adventure had the dubious honor of being one of the most successful commanders in that war and the most feared.

    He would have certainly been prosecuted if he was alive today, but he was a product of the time and fought the war how he knew best with fear. having said that he makes a wonderful uniform study and he is another one of history's infamous and talented commanders.

    The Mexican adventure along with other south American Wars are often over looked by the modeling world but can offer some great uniform studies as a lot of the uniforms are variations of the European styles of the time and can be quite colorful. osprey have just released a couple of books on two south American conflicts which are both well worth a look and have some great illustrations with some great ideas for future figures. they are as follows:

    Osprey Man-at-arms 499 Armies of the war of the Triple alliance 1864-70 ( Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay & Argentina)

    Osprey Man -at arms 504 Armies Of the war of the Pacific 1879-83 (Chile,Peru & Bolivia)




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