Posted by Martin on May 25, 2009
What a scorcher! And I don’t just mean the welcome sunny weather over the last couple of days. After a good night’s sleep I’m able to reflect on a hectic weekend of hobby-related activity that has seen me escort von Peter and ADC Simon to Calpe Towers and then onwards to Partizan and back with Peter F. It’s hard to know where to begin so I think it’ll be simplest to take things in chronological order.
That means we’ll start with an overnight stay at Calpe Towers enjoying the hospitality of Peter F. and family. There was a lot of discussion about the usual topics: painting, uniforms, the imminent Saxon range (and some exciting plans beyond that!) and the upcoming adjustments to the website. It doesn’t take psychic powers for me to deduce that many BfK regulars will want news of the Saxons above all else.
Well, the full set of production moulds for the march/attack musketeers is complete and I’ve got a set of castings sitting here on the desk beside me in Bfk HQ as I write this. The number of variants is astounding: more than enough to do a 32-figure battalion without a single figure repeat. And there’s plenty of little details to admire across the figures. The three foot officers and three mounted officers demonstrate this brilliantly with their range of headwear, jacket and legwear options. Just make sure you read the uniform notes with care to get the colours right before you wield your paintbrushes!
Peter’s going to write up the release notes this week and “magic dip” some figures for proper photographs for the new section of the Calpe website. With that in mind, I’m going to restrain myself from including any homebrew sub-standard pictures of unpainted figures here. I promise you’ll see the official shots on BfK first plus, of course, WIP on ones that I paint. The intention is to aim for a 1st June release date. Meanwhile, on the Saxon front, plans are in hand for a second set of musketeers in advancing pose, line grenadiers, artillery and two sets of light infantry (plus all the other troop types required for the 23rd and 24th divisions of Reynier’s corps). Peter is also in the middle of sculpting the new versions of the Prussian dragoons that will have the saddle furniture integral with the mounted figure rather than on the horse.
Peter F’s already painting his first Saxon battalion so we spent a lot of time inspecting the workbench and leafing through uniform plates discussing colours, accurate uniformology and reasonable conjectures for campaign kit. This set my mind racing about the possibilities and I’m going to have to adjust several of my painting palette choices.
Sunday saw us take the road North to Partizan at Kelham Hall. The only disappointment was that none of the traders had the supplies I was hoping to pick up but that’s easily resolved with a bit of online ordering and more than made up for by everything else at the show. It really is a day when you seem to bump into everybody and share a pleasant cup of coffee and/or chat. I enjoyed seeing a WW1 trench warfare game, a bijou 1066 game that would have fitted on my dining table and what looked like something inspired by Ice Station Zebra.
There was also a second chance to see two of my favourites from Salute. The Perry Twins ran their Quatre Bras game again but this time with added cotton wool smoke and flashing red LEDs to simulate musket and cannon fire. If I’d had my tripod with me I could have captured the effect on camera for you. The whole thing was a source of much mirth and Alan didn’t seem to averse to the suggestion of visiting to take proper pictures. The other news from the Quatre Bras game is that the Black Powder rules are almost ready for publication. We do seem to be on the cusp of the apeparance of glut of new Napoleonic big battalions rulesets and I feel a big comparison review coming on at some point.
The other Salute re-appearance was Barry Hilton’s Peninsular War game. This time with the added attraction of several of Barry’s friends from Scotland. I was especially delighted to see David Imrie again. Particularly because the game featured his massive 100-figure French legere unit (split into two 48-figure units for the occasion but we re-arranged them when Barry waan’t looking) that I mentioned the other week. It looks even better in reality that in the photos and David confirmed several things about how he’d put the unit together and based it that will certainly inform my future unit plans. David also had an only slightly smaller French line unit involved in the action. I’m hoping he’ll publish some pictures of this soon too. And there’s the prospect of a Napolenic game if we can hook up on my usual Summer trip to Scotland. My sister-in-law will have to manage without the pleasure of my company on one evening of the holiday!