Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Sunny days ahead

Posted by Martin on June 4, 2010

It looks like the English Summer has arrived and I’ve got a few days off work to make the most of it. So far, the omens are good. Yesterday I made a day trip over to Calpe Towers to catch up on the latest news with Peter F. He’s really pleased with the vulcaniser that he’s had built and is pressing on with sculpting the masters and making the moulds for the upcoming releases. The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted an advert in the latest issue of Wargames Illustrated for the vulcaniser and the new casting machine – so they’re on sale for those who’d like to order one!

Peter’s workshop is full of figures for the next few releases. I’m not going to go into specifics of what troop types will be covered by these releases but I do want to say a bit about the general nature of what to expect from Calpe Miniatures over the coming months. From memory, I can think of at least five sets of figures that are almost ready plus several others that are work in progress. What do I mean by a set? Well, a good example is the Saxon musketeers in march-attack pose – i.e. it’s a complete group of figures that’s enough to make up a whole unit of figures in a given pose. You may recall that this Saxon set included over 50 different figures, so that gives you some idea of the log-jam of new figures Peter has stocked up.

After all the investment of time and resources in the vulcaniser and casting machine venture, Peter is keen to start releasing the new sets but don’t expect a “big bang” release of everything at once but rather a measured programme of releases over the coming weeks and months. A lot of our conversation centred around the order in which releases might happen and Peter’s got a couple of decisions left to make about small details like head variants and some definite ideas about how certain sets relate to each other. He also wants to target the early release of sets which will sell well. I know this all sounds cryptic but I can guarantee that these releases will be very popular with Calpe customers and I predict that one in particualar will cause quite stir of excitement.

I took along my copy of Republic to Empire for Peter to see and he was really impressed with the production quality of the book. I think Barry can look forward to another sale! I also had a rummage through Peter’s library and discovered that the range of plates created by the Knötels is even more extensive that I realized. I knew about Bands (Volumes) I to XVIII and two of the Neue Folge (New Series) that followed. So you can imagine my surprise and delight to find plates from later Bands up to and including XXIII in Peter’s files. Several of these are of especial interest to Prussian fans – one shows foot artillery battery No. 6 sporting “Prussianified” British uniforms in September/October 1813! But the one that was particularly relevant and informative for me shows four soldiers of the Pommeranian infantry regiment, including a detailed depiction of a volunteer jäger. I’ve never seen scans of these plates online anywhere before, unlike the lower numbered volumes.

And the good news didn’t end there. When I got home I discovered that my replacement Litko plywood bases had arrived. Nice and flat this time!

18 Responses to “Sunny days ahead”

  1. Rob said

    Fantastic news, both for Peter and for all of us. Looking forward to new Calpe goodies!

  2. Neil said

    Quiet about the weather. The Gods might not notice and forget to make it rain for the weekend. Great news about Calpe. Whish i painted faster so i could get the new Saxons, but i promissed i’d finish my Prussians first.

  3. Jeremy said

    Good news about the progress – and I am very curious especialy about the one that “will cause quite a stir of excitement”!

    Most of my interest is as a skirmish gamer so I have to admit to not buyng a lot of figures but small amounts of a variety.

    Just one thing – Calpe usually closes down in August any idea if we will see anything befoe then or are we loking at autumn for the next batch of releases?

    • Martin said

      Good question Jeremy and one of two points I forgot to address. As usual, there definitely will be an August shutdown at Calpe Towers. Given what Peter has said to me about his desire to get orders in for the new sets, I’d expect some releases before then.

      The other thing I realise I omitted was that the releases of these new sets will be split up into packs in the same way as the Saxon musketeers. I antipicate that will mean one or two core packs of six figures plus a wide selection of variant packs (e.g. casualties, command figures, head turns, headgear variants etc) each containng three figures.

      • Jeremy said

        Good news – hope all goes to plan.

        Personally I like the packs with variants rather than single figures.

      • rob said

        I like the packs as well… I find that the are a nice compromise between the single figures and the mass packs of other manufacturers.

        Martin, were you able to copy/scan the knotel plates that Peter had? It would be great to see them in the Prussian resources section!


        • Martin said

          The orignal Richard Knötel plates are safely out-of-copyright (he died in 1914) so I could reproduce those here but I’m cautious because the additional tranlations with the editions published by Friese and Lacina (which Peter F. has) may still be in copyright. I’m probably being over-cautious but better safe that sorry.

          If I locate copies of just the images, I’ll add them, like I’ve done for ones from Bands I to XVIII.

          BTW – work by the son, Herbert Knötel, is still under copyright because he didn’t die until 1963 so I definitely can’t reproduce those here without permission.

  4. At least 5 sets – fantastique!

    So lets do some guessing …

    – Saxon march attack grenadiers?
    – Saxon artillery?
    – Saxon light infantry?
    – Saxon firing line musketeers (so that we can get some action packed skirmishers for when the light battalions aren’t around)?
    – Something Prussian? (kuirassieres?, resculpted dragoons, more Lutzow’s Freicorps? more command sets?)

    And something to “cause quite a stir of excitement”. I’d love to voice my speculation on this one but to do so would be a betrayal of trust from conversations last year. Drats!! 8O)

    Anyways I’ve got a birthday coming up. Hmmm, what shall I request as a present?!

    von Peter himself

    • Rob said

      My guesses:

      1) Saxon Artillery
      2) Saxon March Attack Grenadiers
      (These two are quite likely I think…)
      3) Saxon advancing/charging musketeers
      4) Prussian Dragoons
      5) The range of greatcoated figures (going by descriptions of Gross Beeren these could be used for either prussians or saxons)

      As for the “something to cause a still of excitement, maybe a pack of Blucher and associated high command?


    • Martin said

      Oh blimey, what have I started? It looks like some sort of weird wargamers sweepstake 🙂 Without giving anything away, I’m going to award you both B+ grades for your efforts. Some guesses very close to the mark (but I’m not saying which ones) others entertainingly awry.

      Keep ’em coming…

      • Howdies Martin

        I was sort of hoping that you’d feel the urge to place an entry in the “weird wargamers sweepstake”. Go on, give it a try. You know you want to. And it really is great fun! You might even get a result with your “guesses”!! 8O))

        von Peter himself, trying a little trickery on our leader … but will he succeed?

        • Martin said

          OK then, I’ll enter into the spirit but I do have an unfair advantage. Here are my five guesses:

          1). Neapolitan line infantry deserting.
          2). Spanish lancers twirling moustaches.
          3). Swedish generals watching from a distance.
          4). French hussars carousing.
          5). Bavarian light infantry swapping sides.

          • Rob said

            Given Peter’s love of Bulow’s corps and the defence of Berlin, I think #3 is a distinct possibility! The pack could also include Bernadotte composing a dispatch about his great victory over the french… and no actual troops would be required to complete the range! 🙂

          • Howdies Martin

            It’s times like this that I wish we could still meet up for a coffee! Interesting stuff.

            1). Neapolitan line infantry deserting.
            –> Could be very useful for those special “the world has gone to hell and why wasn’t I told” or “wtf” scenarios.

            2). Spanish lancers twirling moustaches.
            –> of no real use to me as a confirmed main theatre (central europe) man. D’oh!

            3). Swedish generals watching from a distance.
            –> will these be sculpted in 6mm, or even 2mm!, to give the impression of being at a great distance from the fighting?

            4). French hussars carousing.
            –> will these be carousing with woman? I don’t want Simon growing up too fast!!

            5). Bavarian light infantry swapping sides.
            –> these are a definite purchase

            von Peter himself, perhaps out tricked by the leader 8O)

  5. DerAlteFritz said

    I would guess that it will be Saxon artillery since I recall discussion about their release on TMP

  6. Jeremy said

    My 2p worth

    I agree with Von Peter for the first three but then

    Saxon Guard grenadiers marching
    Saxon chevauleger

    are my last 2

  7. Ralph said

    OK I’m going to go for long odds here, but I think theres always been kind of a link between Saxons and Poles (In my mind at least) so I’m going to predict Poles!

  8. Peter said

    gazing long and hard into the crystal ball i say Hopefully :-))) prussian kurassiers/saxon kurassiers???? and maybe the blucher or even konig Friedrich Wilhelm :-)) cats amongst the pigeons

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