Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Start of the Autumn campaign

Posted by Martin on September 5, 2011

It’s struck me that wargamers hibernate the opposite way round to nature. We rest from our hobby through the warm Summer months and the come out of our metaphorical burrows when Autumn begins for a period of activity that runs through to the end of the following Spring. I’m even beginning to develop the theory that here in the UK, the wargaming “season” (rather like the grouse shooting season) has official start and end dates. My suggested start date being the Colours show at Newbury in September and my suggested end date being Salute in London in April. Enough of this folly…

There is some truth in my theory though because I do detect increased hobby activity around this time of year. As evidence of that I offer the following: Perrys’ bumper release of new Prussian metals, a fascinating horse painting video tutorial from Toby “Artmaster Studio” Thorton, increased discussion fora activity and (being briefly parochial) the seasonal increase in traffic here at BfK.

Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these beginning with the Perrys. Among other things, they’ve release nine metal Prussian cavalry packs, each comprising three figures and three horses. These packs are evenly divided across Cuirassiers, line Uhlans and Landwehr cavalry. I haven’t had the opportunity to inspect the figures in person but there are photos of all nine packs on the Perry Miniatures website. I suspect that the Cuirassiers will be the most popular release with many Prussian collectors because there a few options in 28mm for this troop type – even the extensive Calpe range doesn’t include them yet.

As for the Landwehr cavalry and the Uhlans, well these may pose a dilemma for some collectors since they provide the first credible competition for the Calpe figures. I suspect it’ll come down to a matter of personal taste but you all know which side my bread is buttered. I even managed to earn the dubious “sock puppet” badge of honour on one discussion forum for pointing out in a thread about the Perry release that I felt the Calpe figures were better. But, knowing the forum in question, I suspect this was light-hearted jest rather than a serious insult. Of course, there’s another forum that shall not be named where things would probably have been more spiteful…

Perry Prussian Landwehr cavalry command pack.

Perry Prussian Landwehr cavalry command pack.

As an aside, one of the things that I noticed in the photos of the Perry Prussian cavalry was that they’ve all be primed light grey. I think the reason for this is to make the photography easier to show more details. It’s an uncanny coincidence that I’m also experimenting with grey primer but for different reasons. I’m investigating whether I can get better results by switching from back to grey – especially for lighter colours like yellows and whites. I’ll post some photos once the experiment gets into full swing.

Talking of painting, Toby Thorton has tackled the often thorny (see what I did there?) topic of painting horses in the latest of his insightful series of tutorial videos. He covers all kinds of territory including several useful paint triads and an overview of several different horse painting techniques. I’ve embedded it here for your viewing enjoyment:

I’ll sign off by bringing things full circle to say that the Autumn campaign is set to start at Calpe Towers too with news of the the next packs in the French infantry “route march” set. Head variant packs F7 to F9 will be next and possibly a head variant pack for the regimental command group because Peter F. wants it for his own collection (oh, what it must be like to enjoy that kind of luxury). Peter is also working on the battalion command pack and hopes to have this ready for release early next month. More officer packs (both foot and mounted), an NCO pack and “dynamic” packs (with casualty figures and enthusiastic figures) will be released to complete this set of figures before the end of the year.

Look out for us rummaging round the demo games, traders and painting competition at Colours this coming weekend!

8 Responses to “Start of the Autumn campaign”

  1. Matthew Coles said

    I would agree with you, I prefer Calpe Prussians because the detail is more crisper and this makes it easier to paint. I brought some Perrys Prussian to have a look at them and the paint them, I find that I can never get a good result as I do with Calpe. That certain forum site would have got spiteful,with your thoughts, I don’t think some people on that site can accept the opinions of others.

  2. rob said

    Great to hear the Calpe update… the new French models can’t come out fast enough. Is there any update on the French page on the Calpe website? Hopefully its soon as i’m looking forward to seeing more of Peter F.’s brushwork.

    As far as new news, there are a couple of books that might be of interest for fans of the Prussian Army. Stephen Summerfield has the third book in his analysis of the Napoleonic Prussian Army coming out, this one covering the Landwehr and Mounted Landwehr. There is also an Osprey on Prussian Tactics that’s set for October.


    • Martin said

      Yes, Rob, I’m supposed to be working on the French page for the Calpe website this week and it will include pictures of figures painted by Peter.

      Thanks for mentioning Stephen’s book – I expect he’ll be along here soon with further details of it. The Osprey you mention is written by Peter Hofschroer, so it promises to be an interesting read.

  3. Ralph said

    Sock puppet indeed! How rude – there’s not enough outright recommendations in this hobby as it is, whether for or against a product, I suppose because its such a small industry and people don’t want to offend. Nevertheless I think reviewers should never be afraid to come down on one side of the fence or the other, else what is the point…

    For what its worth I completely agree with your assessment of Calpe vs. Perry. Of course its wholly subjective, but whilst I suspect one would be hard pressed to push a cigarette paper between the two on realism and attention to detail, there is something about the heft and ‘prescence’ of the Calpe sculptures that wins every time. I have studied the Perry Cuirassiers with interest, but will await any eventual Calpe one as I think the slighter Perry ones would not look sufficiently meaty compared to my Calpe Uhlans.

    However if the Perry’s produce any plastic Hussars my brand loyalty may waver!

    I was told by an expert in light effects in photographic interpretation once that sepia/monchrome/grey is much better at showing detail of complex forms, something to do with a shorter or more netural wavelength (I started losing track at this point…) but I think black will always be my favourite as it allows a subtle outlining of the other colours, which adds depth…Again, all very subjective!

  4. As ever I look forward to the new French packs. The ones I currently have are all fine examples of the Calpe craft. Personally I hope that Peter F. moves away from the covered eagles, colours and furled halberd pennants etc. I want to use some of GMB Design’s products! Perhaps the head variant Regimental Command pack will come with an uncovered eagle and room for a tricolour. I also note from the Calpe site that the next pose for the French will be march attack so it’s all sounding good for them.

    I imagine Peter F. is at full steam getting out these new French codes along with the new Prussian line infantry that are coming as well but I hope the Saxons will see a little attention in the nearish future. Three armies, 1 designer/sculpter/masterer/caster/order taker/mailer/accounts person. It’s a hard road at times I imagine.

    Oh, and no need for Perry Prussians for this Prussian army collector! 8O)

    von Peter himself

  5. For me it’s Calpe all the way. I’ve had a look at the Perry’s and even though the line are nice and cheaper I can’t even imagine painting another company’s Prussians. The shear detail and research of the Calpe range is well worth paying for in my opinion.
    Long my Calpe remain.

  6. I never was a big Perry-fan, but they improved their casting quite remarkably. I was really impressed with their new cavalry.

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