Potential Christmas Presents – the first

November is well and truly under way so what else should one be thinking of but what one should one get oneself for Christmas! So what items have placed their bids for selection in the consciousness of von Peter himself? Here’s one for a starter …

kopf_moeckern1813 borrowed from Geschichte in Miniaturen e.V.

Cröbern 1813 The Battle of the Nations in Miniature

Given the well read nature of this blog’s readership it is fairly safe to assume that many of you will be aware of the Cröbern 1813 website and the mind bogglingly impressive diorama that was being constructed. The brain cells of von Peter himself are telling him that this site has been well and truly trimmed back and has now been replaced by the club website Geschichte in Miniaturen e.V. This site details two huge 1/72 dioramas modelled on episodes from the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig, October 14‒19, 1813. The dioramas are named Cröbern 1813 and Möckern 1813. There is to be a third – the fighting around the sheep farm of Auenhain.

“These three dioramas will cover a surface of ca. 130 square metres (ca. 1,400 square feet) in all. As opposed to most dioramas, they will present all dimensions of landscapes and buildings exactly to scale, and they will show military troops and civilian populations involved in the exact numbers known for the particular locale and time frame.”

It is a bit of a reality check and an eye opener to see battalions of many MANY more men/figures then the 24 or 32 (or whatever number) some of us have got used to with our wargames armies.

Do yourself a favour and spend a happy few minutes perusing the Geschichte in Miniaturen e.V. site and marvel at the skill and perseverance of this group of modellers.

But best of all for the Christmas present shopper there is a webstore … even if there’s not a webstore in English yet! Besides various cd/dvds there is the book Cröbern 1813 The Battle of the Nations in Miniature. Fortunately von Peter himself believes that the book has been printed in English as well as German.

In words and images, this book documents the history of October 16th, 1813, gives an account of how the diorama was built from first idea to finish and shares the materials and techniques used. The book, with its multitude of pictures of the completed work, invites the reader on a journey to the past, as only a diorama of this size and accuracy can offer. At the same time, the ‘Cröbern 1813’ project provides a monument to one of the many ‘lost villages’ that once existed in the area to the south of Leipzig.

For von Peter himself this book makes the grade as a potential (self) Christmas present.

Cröbern 1813 The Battle of the Nations in Miniature

Renegade Miniatures goes into hibernation

In many ways this is probably a golden age of wargaming but we should not take the current access to a vast array of figures for granted. Take the sad case of Renegade Miniatures. From the Renegade Miniatures website

Due to other work commitments we have had to close our website for a time. As of now, no orders can be fulfilled.

We shall re-open for business, as soon as we can give Renegade the time it deserves.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused during this time.


Glenn and Eliot
Renegade Miniatures

Hardly a reason for celebration. Is this a case of use them or loose them? No one should take their favourite wargaming suppliers for granted. Get your thinking caps on and start planning for you own Christmas present purchase … NOW!  8O)


Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

12 thoughts on “Potential Christmas Presents – the first

  1. I saw the Cröbern Diorama a couple of year back, when it was still in the beginning and it was already impressive then! Also Wolfgang is a very nice chap, who helped me with access to the Prussian ARR´s for Möckern and some insight into the terrain.

    Regarding Renegade… I only have a few of their early WWI minis as their style did not match the rest of my collection (for any period) too well. Shame to see them go into hibernation non the less.

    Oh and when it comes to Christmas gifts… vP if everything goes according to plan (e.g. o if the manufacturer keep his timetable), I should still have a small one for you! 😉

    • Hello Burkhard

      I’m envious that you saw the Cröbern Diorama, even in its early days. I’m not confident that I’ll ever get to see it face to face but never say never. And of course there is the book.

      Oh, mysterious rumours of mysterious Christmas gifts. Now you’ve well and truly got my attention Burkhard. I shall keep my eyes well and truly open.

      von Peter himself

  2. Hi Von P,
    The Crobern book is definitely 1 I want to own for inspiration. As well as the awesomeness of the detailed dioramas its the vast number of troops in each unit that gets the mind working. I couldn’t have put it better I know I have been stick in the 24, 32 and 36 figure mind set.

    • Hello Paul

      This book is getting serious consideration from me as a purchase for the same reasons as yours.

      Seeing all those figures in the infantry battalions and the cavalry squadrons & regiments is a really grounding vision. There was a huge wave of humanity involved at Leipzig … and many other battles of the Napoleonic Wars.

      von Peter himself

  3. Peter your taste is first rate. The Crobern book is a definite must I think and the good wife has hidden away the wonderful “a Military Gentlemen” tome. Well put together.

    • Greetings Carlo

      Your good wife is modern marvel. I shall drink a toast – or perhaps two! – to her and the most excellent example she sets for all other wargames widows … err … I mean wives! 8O)

      I didn’t join the initial purchasers of “A Military Gentleman” book. A bit odd really as I am a fan of the Seven Years War.

      von Peter himself

  4. Your thoughts about manufacturers and what we owe them really got me thinking….I know, I do buy new releases from manufacturers out of a sense of obligation sometimes – they have gone to the trouble, bother and risk to produce these wonderful sculpts that have met a gap in the market, so even though I probably don’t need them right now, I get them anyway to reward and back them up – and something else lands on the lead mountain or, increasingly, the plastic mountain!

    • Hello Mr Sparker

      I’m a bit like you dependent on manufacturer.

      Sadly I also find that with some manufacturers buying early is a wise strategy/tactic – probably tactic! – before the quality of the moulds and hence castings deteriorates.

      I also have the habit of buying figures when the opportunity arises – namely birthdays, Christmases, Father Days, wedding anniversaries etc. Hence I too have a pile of unpainted figures stashed for those harder days that are bound to come! 8O)

      von Peter himself

  5. Thanks for the heads up on the latest with the Crobern website. On the subject of ‘big battalions’ I often like to dip into the link, ‘The Voltigeurs: a 1:1 unit of Nap. minis’ on the Lord Ashram’s House of War blog. This not only depicts a Garde Voltigeur battalion of 4 companies in various formations but also a Line battalion of 6 companies. Click on ‘Rubriques’ to see the different formations along with a description of how they are made up – fascinating. When agonising over how many minis our own wargames battalions should be comprised of, this put everything into perspective. For me, I no longer think big units (32 to 48, say) look the bees knees and are quite inadequate compared to what the real thing must have looked like. The result is I now consider 12 figures on four bases are sufficient for my war game purposes (ideally I would like infantry units of 24 like yours, Peter, but economy, and my snail pace painting skills, wins the day for me). After viewing these links, what are other readers’ views?


    • Obviously this is very subjective, and I certainly agree that my 36 – 48 figure units can never adequately represent the look of a 500 -600 man battalion. But they are certainly less taxing to the imagination than a 12 figure unit! I have staged large games for many years now using both a 1:60 and 1:20 figure ration, and have come to the conclusiong that fewer larger units has more of an impact on the audience than more smaller units, even though the overall figure count might be similar. Why I don’t know, maybe its the way the human mind counts large numbers, but a definite observation!

    • Hello Davy

      I remember the 1:1 Young Guard battalion. Some people are just crazy! 8O)

      Regarding battalion sizes – I think that the eye gets used to seeing what they consistently see as a battalion as a suitable size for a battalion. So familiarity does not breed contempt but rather comfort!

      The type of game one wishes to play must also play it’s part in any decision on battalion size. If one wishes to play brigade or division sized games one can probably live with a larger battalion than if one was more interested in multi corps actions for your run of the mill game.

      24 figure battalions work for me though I too am a glacial painter. At times I wonder about the wisdom of so may figures when trying to complete the next battalion!

      Those larger 32/36/48 figure battalions can look great but they would effectively shrink my playing area – a table tennis table.

      von Peter himself

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