Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Archive for the ‘Forward Patrol’ Category

Recon reports.

News trickling out from the Towers

Posted by Martin on May 1, 2014

Calpe pack P22: march-attack Prussian musketeers.

Calpe Pack P22: march-attack Prussian musketeers.

Calpe pack P23: march-attack Prussian musketeers, head variants.

Calpe Pack P23: march-attack Prussian musketeers, head variants.

After a hiatus almost as long as mine, the 2014 Calpe Towers release juggernaut is ready to roll. Peter F. has had to content with some rubber-related troubles over the last couple of months (sorry, I couldn’t resist that little double entendre opportunity) because his long standing supplier is no more. After trialling a variety of replacements, you can now expect new packs to start becoming available on the website very soon. Are they French, Prussian or Saxon? The answer is: all three!

The immediate focus will be completion of the French march-attack infantry set with packs for voltigeurs and grenadiers with their coats down followed by various command packs. Then there are some Prussian infantry march attack packs and a selection of Saxon infantry packs. Peter’s complete predicted order of priority for work is as follows:

  • Finish, the French march-attack set.
  • Finish the Prussian march-attack set.
  • Finish the Saxon advancing set.
  • Finish work on the French gunners.
  • Finish work on the Saxon gunners.
Calpe Pack S1: advancing Saxon musketeers with covered shakos.

Calpe Pack S1: advancing Saxon musketeers with covered shakos.

Calpe Pack S2: advancing Saxon musketeers with calfskin shako covers.

Calpe Pack S2: advancing Saxon musketeers with calfskin shako covers.

Calpe Pack S3: advancing Saxon musketeers with uncovered shakos.

Calpe Pack S3: advancing Saxon musketeers with uncovered shakos.

I think you should see some packs on the website later this week or early next week because Peter has been frantically taking pictures, photoshopping them and writing the blurb to go with the packs. Indeed, some of them already appear to be there! If I’ve got my sums right, there are three Saxon musketeer advancing packs (S1, S2 and S3 – not to be confused with the “old” Saxon packs) and a couple of Prussian musketeer march-attack packs (P22 and P23) already mustered for duty.

Posted in Calpe Towers, Forward Patrol | Tagged: , , , | 14 Comments »

Feeling bookish?

Posted by Martin on April 29, 2014

Sneak peek at the cover of Javi Gomez's forthcoming painting book.

Sneak peek at the cover of Javi Gomez’s forthcoming painting book.

I’d like to draw to your attention to a forthcoming volume from Pen and Sword Books. Javi Gomez, occasionally of this parish, has written a wargames figure painting book which is due for publication (as far as I can tell) in the third quarter of this year. The imaginatively titled Painting Wargaming Figures doesn’t yet show in the publisher’s Coming Soon page but other sources already have cover images and some blurb…

“Javier Gomez, a highly talented figure painter of long experience and excellent reputation, shares the secrets of his success in this accessible ‘how-to’ guide to painting miniatures. He takes the reader step-by-step through the whole process, from choice of materials (unlike other available guides it is not linked to any specific figure manufacturer) and preparation of the miniatures to basing and even advice on photographing the finished item. Techniques such as dry-brushing, ink-washing, shading and highlighting are all explained clearly with the help of step-by-step photographs and colour charts. Specific case studies tackle a variety of useful subjects across all periods, such as mixing realistic flesh tones for different races; painting horses; guns and limbers; Medieval heraldry; Napoleonic uniforms; WW2 and modern camouflage patterns. Javier also clearly explains how these techniques and processes can be applied to all the major wargaming scales, from 40mm down to 6mm. Whatever historical period (or Sci-fi/Fantasy) and whatever scale the reader is interested in, this book is an invaluable source of practical advice and inspiration.”

I’m a big fan of Javi’s painting style and I’m almost certain that this is £16.99 that I’ll be investing wisely. So, Javi, if you happen to read this, can you give us any inside information about the book?

Meanwhile, over at the Osprey Publishing blog, there’s an interesting piece entitled “What subjects should we revisit? We want to hear what you think!” Well, I could hardly resist an invitation like that, could I? It would almost be rude not to add my comments to the 20+ already there. Before you go there or read on here, take a moment to make your guesses about what suggestions I made.

Done? OK…

Award yourself zero points, if you guessed that I made Napoleonic suggestions – come on, even my wife and daughters would have got that much right 🙂 Ditto if you went for Prussians – I happen to think the Ospreys in this area don’t need much updating.

Award yourself one point if you guessed that I went for some Confederation of the Rhine stuff and give yourself a bonus of two more points if you correctly thought of Saxony.

Finally, for the big five point bonus, you will need to have come up with the slightly left-field answer of Italy. I’ve got an old second hand copy of the MAA on Napoleon’s Italian troops first published in the 1970s. While it’s been reprinted in a new livery since then, it’s fundamentally the same book inside the covers as that first edition.

How did you do? What suggestions would you make?

Posted in Forward Patrol, Reading List | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Summer silence ends

Posted by Martin on August 26, 2013

Example pack from the new Perry Retreat from Moscow releases.

Example pack from the new Perry Retreat from Moscow releases.

I’ve had such a busy Summer with “real life” that posting to BfK has taken a back seat. Thank you to those of you who have been kind enough to enquire after my well-being during this period of silence. I’m delighted to say that there’s been nothing wrong. It’s simply been a case of having so many other things to attend to that I’ve been rushed off my feet for ages. I’m not going to bore you with it all but it’s a combination of the day job, my role as Chair of Governors at the local secondary school and having to keep up with the demands of a wife, two teenage daughters (one of whom is about to head off to university), two dogs and two cats. Not to mention an ageing mother-in-law with health issues who lives 400 miles away.

So what have I missed? Well, there’s been a lot happening on the hobby front that has passed me by and many of these things occurred long enough ago not to be fresh enough to mention here. However, a couple of things to stick out for me…

I see the Perry twins have been as industrious as ever and have been working to extend their Napoleonic range into more theatres. One of the most notable avenues under exploration is the arrival of some lovely Retreat from Moscow packs that I confidently predict will lead to snowy skirmish games on many a club and exhibition gaming table over the coming months. And why not? It doesn’t need too many figures or much painting effort to put together enough collateral for a few games that will offer a pleasing diversion from the staple diet of big battalions. The other furrow being ploughed by Alan and Michael is an extensive delve into the rarer Confederation of the Rhine units. This looks like a concerted effort to cover all the options needed for the so-called German division that served in the Peninsular. Eventually, I might take a closer look at the range to see if any of them are suitable for my preferred Autumn 1813 campaign.

A Retreat of Moscow game might fit the bill for my favourite discussion forum thread of the Summer. Over at WD3, they’ve been toying with suggestions for “Come Wargame With Me”, a hobby version of the Channel 4 television extravaganza that is “Come Dine With Me”. It’s a fun thought experiment: given a budget of £100, what kind of evening game could you put on for three wargaming guests? That’s £100 for everything mind – figures, terrain, rules and refreshments with a one month time limit to get everything painted and prepared.

Osprey has gradually been slipping out announcements about its forthcoming publication programme. There are only a few Napoleonic titles but of more interest is the company’s planned open day on 14th September. It sounds as though a lot of old, rare editions will be on sale at bargain prices and I daresay there will also be the chance to meet and chat with Osprey staff. Despite the relative close proximity of Oxford to BfK HQ, I may have to miss this opportunity because it clashes with the weekend that my elder daughter starts at university 😦

Meanwhile, closer to home, the drawbridge is up at Calpe Towers for the Summer holiday until the end of August. But the interest levels have been maintained by releases of some of the French infantry march attack packs along with the availability of some French and Saxon artillery pieces. And even closer to home, I have actually been doing a little painting, mainly with the aim of completing work on the sample BfK Limited Edition figure set. I’ll save details of that (plus some photos) for a separate posting. The other area of activity for me is that I’ve been researching the darkly mysterious subject of airbrushes. I’ve got some specific uses in mind for an airbrush where I can save time and get high quality results, not to mention learn a new skill for my modelling armoury. I’ve got a fair idea of which airbrush I’ll eventually go for but the choice of compressor is more complicated. I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences with airbrushes and how you’ve got on with pushing various brands of acrylic paint, primer and varnish through them.

Posted in Calpe Towers, Forward Patrol, Paint and Equipment | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Extending the range

Posted by Martin on February 24, 2013

This week I received the latest photos from the Calpe Towers workbench. There are no surprises, because these figures are in line with what I’ve been trailing for a while – the first of the march-attack pose French infantry packs and a couple of packs of legere command and officer figures that you can use with the existing route march packs to create light infantry battalions. Without further ado, on to the pictures. Enjoy!

F19: French light infantry command.

F19: French light infantry command.

F20: French light infantry foot officers.

F20: French light infantry foot officers.

F22: French march-attack infantry, uncovered shakos.

F22: French march-attack infantry, uncovered shakos.

F25: French march-attack infantry, covered shakos.

F25: French march-attack infantry, covered shakos.

I know I’ve been quiet on the posting front the last couple of weeks – a case of reality intruding on enjoyment, I’m afraid. However, I expect to get back to more frequent posting in the next week or so and I have several updates lined up for you.

Posted in Calpe Towers, Forward Patrol, French Infantry | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »