Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

If you want something done properly

Posted by Martin on March 4, 2010

I know that people get frustrated about the apparent lack of news/progress from Calpe Towers sometimes. Peter F. and I do try to keep people informed but it’s a delicate balance between providing those titbits and raising expectations too high. After all, Peter’s a one-man-band and regular BfK readers will know the sorry history of the Wars of the Vulcanizers.

Tonight the time has come to unveil the next episode in this gruelling contest. Full details are available over at the Calpe Miniatures website but I think it’s helpful for to me to offer my take on things. The first salient fact is that the new Italian vulcanizer, which made a promising start, has proved to be usatisfactory in various ways. Now, I saw the problem for myself during my last visit to Calpe Towers when Peter and I spent a day sculpting an mould-making together, so I know and understand how cheesed off Peter is about the issue. That’s the bad bit, now for something more cheerful…

By a twist of fate, Peter happened to come back into contact with Ray Tutt who designed the original vulcanizer that Peter used successfully for many years (the one that packed it in and caused all the problems in the first place). It turns out that Ray still had the original plans, had continued to dabble in repairs and had even thought of some experience-based improvements to the design. And we’re not just talking about the vulcanizer here, but the casting machine too.

After some meetings, visits, phone calls, e-mail and what have you, things have progressed to the stage that Peter, Ray and Ray’s ex-business partner’s employers have clubbed together in a project to re-start manufacturing vulcanizers and casting machines in the UK. Now it’s all in the early stages just now – construction of the first vulcanizer is nearing completion under Ray’s expert supervision and the next step is to install it at Calpe Towers and test it thoroughly. If all goes well, Peter’s troubles will be over and the new joint venture will be ready to take orders to build vulcanizers (and subsequently casting machines) for other businesses in the hobby.

Keep your fingers crossed for a few weeks longer and we may well see Peter’s backlog of sculpted figures finally make it into production moulds. There’s a really interesting selection of greens sitting on that workbench – believe me!

6 Responses to “If you want something done properly”

  1. Rob said

    Sad (and no doubt extremely aggravating for him) news from Peter. Hopefully this new development will be the end of his vulcanizer problems and he can actually start to see the fruition of all his hard work over the last two years.

    And while it’s frustrating for me to not have new models to ooh and aww over, this whole experience has given me new respect for Peter as well as the other small producers in the hobby. To have to deal with all these difficulties with such little reward shows how much the production of small Prussian and Saxon soldiers is a labour of love.


  2. It’s good to see you back Martin.

    I am amazed and not a little relieved at Peter F’s determination and stickability through all of his trials. I wish his new venture the greatest success with the greatest of speed. And I most fervently trust that he never holds any fishing apparatus in his talented hands!! 8O)

    von Peter himself

  3. Ralph said

    I sympathise with Peter’s continuing tribualions, but assure him that his efforts are appreciated. Since migrating to Australia I have shown his figures to my new wargaming buddies here, and despite my paint jobs the response is always extremely positive.

    Best wishes for the new venture.

    Kind Regards,


  4. Martin said

    A quick update for you all: Peter F. reports that the vulcaniser is likely to be ready this week and the current intention is to install it next week.

    • Here’s hoping. The exchange rate is quite good for me at the moment so the sooner I recruit some more Calpes (Saxon grenadiers?) the better. 8O)

      Oh, and it will be much better for Peter F. to be up and running as well! 8O))

      von Peter himself, self centred money counting being

    • Rob said

      Fantastic news… please keep us up to date!

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