Posted by Martin on January 27, 2009
It looks set to be a busy week or so for me with updates to the Calpe website. To get the ball rolling, I’ll soon be adding details of the latest Prussian command set (PC9). I posted a quick-and-dirty shot of this set back in November but here’s the official photo that’s going to appear on the site:
Calpe Prussian command set PC9
Back in November I speculated about the identities of these characters. I got Yorke right and I was correct with my guess that one of the remaining ones would be Bulow. Now I know that the other two are Kleist and Tauentzien. So, from left to right in the photo they are Tauentzien, Bulow, Yorke and Kleist.
What do you think of this first of the new official style of photos for the Calpe website? Peter F’s experimented with that new Army Builder dip to bring out the details of these figures and I think it’s done the job very nicely. The only trouble is that it took about two days to dry out completely!
Posted in Calpe Towers, Command Sets, Forward Patrol, Photography | Tagged: Calpe, Prussia | 11 Comments »
Posted by Martin on January 18, 2009
This morning I’ve updated the Calpe website with a Latest News announcement from Peter F. Obviously, it makes sense for you to pop over there are read it in full for yourselves.
For me, it’s a great relief to finally be able to make this update to the Calpe site because it explains many of the trials and tribulations Peter faced during 2008 (and believe me, there were some dark days when Peter was very demoralised indeed). It also means that I can now discuss openly several things I’ve known were in the pipeline.
So here are my highlights:
- Prussian commanders set PC9 is now released. It comprises the four mounted figures I showed photos of back in November. And I can reveal that they represent Bulow, Yorke, Tautenzien, and Kliest.
- The first set of Saxons (march-attack musketeers) is scheduled for release in early February. We’ll post details and photographs before the end of this month.
- The second set of Saxons will be advancing musketeers but, due to the number of variants, it’ll be a while before they are available.
- In a break with current practice, the Saxon figures will not be sold individually but in packs of three. The reasons behind this are purely practical ones for Peter, not to mention the number of variations in the Saxons. He has limited storage space for new moulds and cast figures and it’s more efficient to group sets of figures together to save casting time. For example, in the Prusssian range, it’s possible for an order to call for figures from several different moulds leading to a time consuming process to cast up those figures and also to a surplus of the other figures from the same moulds that weren’t needed for that order. Plus, over-use of particular moulds eventually damages them. So Peter has planned this switch to packs for a long time in order to lessen these problems and has always viewed the release of the Saxons as the right moment to introduce it. We’ve had many discussions about how many figures there should be in each pack and how they should be divided up so I can assure you that this decision has been given very careful consideration.
- Peter has plans to make information about the Saxons available as booklets that will be available at prices that enable him to cover printing costs.
So here we go with what promises to be a much better year at Calpe Towers!
Posted in Announcements, Calpe Towers, Command Sets, Forward Patrol, Saxon Musketeers | Tagged: Calpe, Prussia, Saxony | 6 Comments »
Posted by Martin on November 9, 2008
Calpe Prussian high command figures
The next Calpe Prussian release will be this set of four mounted command figures. These are, I think, high command figures. I suspect Peter F. has modelled them on specific characters from the Prussian army though we’ll have to await his official release notes for confirmation.
Sorry the photo is a bit rough – it’s rather a murky afternoon here and I’ve been relegated away from the lighter rooms of the house by the presence of a hoard of my daughters’ friends visiting today.
Posted in Calpe Towers, Command Sets, Forward Patrol | Tagged: Calpe, Prussia | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin on November 2, 2008
I’ve just spent several days away from home visiting my sister and her family. By happy coincidence, she lives only a 30 minute drive from Calpe Towers. So, on Saturday afternoon I met up with Peter F. for a bit of a chinwag. Peter’s writing a formal announcement about progress but ahead of that I’d like to share a few things we discussed and looked at together.
Firstly, Peter has received samples of the new GMB Saxon flags from Grahame. These flags are certainly intricate items and Grahame obviously put a lot of time into them. I’ve seen four different packs for four of the infantry regiments though the catalogue numbers indicate that all the regiments will be covered; each pack includes two flags – an “Avancierfahne” for the first battalion and a “Retirierfahne” for the second battalion. The flags are based on the pattern issued in 1811 which has the merit of being easier to research accurately but, if you’re a stickler, begs the question of what flags were carried by units in 1813. That’s because many Saxon flags were lost in Russia during 1812. I think there are three possible answers to that conundrum: a). some units may not have carried a flag ; b). some units had replicas of their 1811 flags produced and issued or c). some units reverted to use of pre-1811 flags. But which unit did what is a matter of conjecture for me at present and would require significant research to resolve.
Putting such quibbles aside, these GMB flags are beautiful pieces of work and I don’t think you’d find many people with the requisite knowledge to object if you chose to issue them to your 1813 Saxon infantry battalions.
The next Prussian release from Calpe will be a set of four mounted high command figures. I think they are supposed to represent four specific senior Prussian commanders but I ran out of time to ask Peter which ones. One looks rather like Yorck to me and you can bet your bottom dollar that one will be Peter’s favourite Prussian general Bulow but I’ve no idea about the other two. I’ll aim to post photos of my samples here later in the week so that you can make your own guesses ahead of Peter’s official release notes.
I had been hoping to inspect the full set of greens for the Saxon march attack line musketeers set but they were away from Calpe Towers for mould making. I’m not going to dwell on the details of the mould making saga here because I think that’s something best covered by Peter in his forthcoming official announcement. But what I do feel able to talk about is some of the castings I’ve seen. Previously, I’ve shown photos of three of the figures in covered shakos here on BfK. In addition to those, I’ve now seen castings of two NCOs (one enthusiastically urging colleagues forward; the other marching with a blanket roll worn bandolier style); a standard bearer, a drummer and a sapper. All five are really handsome looking fellows. I’ve also seen WIP on the sculpting for three mounted officers: one in a bicorn with his sword arm held high; a second in a covered shako with a shouldered sword and the last in an uncovered shako holding his sword across his chest. I think the latter is my current favourite.
Aside from Saxon musketeers, Peter’s done a huge amount of research on Saxon artillery pieces with the help of Dr. Stephen Summerfield (co-author of the recent treatise Napoleonic Artillery). They’ve uncovered a significant amount of source material, drawings, photographs and illustrations that supercedes all previous English-language understanding of Saxon artillery. Saxon equipment is very distinctive with several unique and surprising features while still being designed to use the same ammunition as the French artillery of the period. Using this data, Peter briefed the supplier he usually uses to construct artillery pieces to produce a howitzer, an
8-pounder 6-pounder cannon and a 12-pounder cannon. I’ve seen castings for all three – they’re very impressive indeed and I reckon they’ll cause quite stir when they get released. Meanwhile, research work is in progress for both limbers and caissions.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of artillery source material, Summerfield and Dawson have worked together again on a new book about French artillery published by DP & G Military Publishers. The book has the slightly misleading title of French Artillery of 1824 but it actually covers the Napoleonic period. It’s quite a hardback epic at 300 pages of A4 with 51 line diagrams and 14 colour plates!
Posted in Calpe Towers, Command Sets, Forward Patrol, Reading List, Saxon Musketeers | Tagged: artillery, Calpe, flags, GMB, Prussia, Saxony | 5 Comments »