Snippets #21

Yet more rough and ready miscellaneous bits and pieces gleaned whilst meandering through and around the interwebs …

Calpe price rise

Let’s get rid of the not so happy even if justified revelation first. From Calpe Miniatures a sad tale on the cost of metal and the resultant news of a price rise …

Price increases

I remember being very uncomfortable when the price of a figure went up past the £1 barrier. I am now announcing a price increase which makes me feel much the same.

A couple of weeks ago, I started putting out feelers for a new batch of metal. The metal I use is a high grade alloy with over 90% tin content. This gives me a crisp casting with enough resilience to endure the rigours of postage and then use on the tabletop. The one time I tried to use a lower grade alloy I had so many miscasts and breakages in transit that I have not tried this again. When the quotes for the metal came in, it was clear that the price of tin has experienced a sharp increase. The increase in price for the grade of metal I use has gone up by almost two thirds! The price of my metal has hovered around the £14-16 mark per Kilo for some time, the new prices are now between £25 and £30. This is a huge increase caused by the fall in production of tin ore due to Covid and then an increase in demand, particularly in China, as the electronics industry has resumed manufacture post-Covid. Having done some research on the subject, prices are expected to keep rising until mid 2022 when they will stabilise at some lower value. They are not expected to come back down to pre-covid prices.

This unprecedented price increase is of such magnitude that I cannot continue production without raising my prices. I have a metal fund specifically for the purchase of metal which I keep topped up to ensure continued production. This fund will not meet the new cost of metal. For the first time I have considered production in some other medium – resin or plastic. I have even considered selling up and retiring. After some thought I have decided to continue doing what I love but to put my prices up.

Figures will now sell for £1.50 and horses for £2. Guns will be £7. I know this is an eye watering increase but without it, I simply can’t continue producing metal figures with the price of metal as it currently stands.

On the figure front, the 3D sculpting is going very well with lots of figures ready to print, but my 3D printer is still in storage as the building work on the house continues. I am hoping to be able to set the printer up before the end of the year but will have to pack it away again in February as the next stage of the build commences. I will keep you informed.

Peter.

The investment building the unpigmented figure pile now looks like a cunningly wrought master plan of great economic insight. It wasn’t! Still – the price rise won’t prevent von Peter himself investing further in Calpe product. What cost quality, figure variety and the happiness derived?!  😇

3-4 East Prussian Landwehr - front

Above: Not many ranges would allow the creation of a Landwehr firing line such as von Peter’s 3rd battalion of the 4th East Prussian Landwehr Infantry Regiment

Calpe logo1

Epic Battles: Waterloo

Warelord Games are about to – if they haven’t already – release their Epic Battles: Waterloo  12mm Napoleonics. British and French figures are available and they are in the vast majority plastic. The exception may be the Limited Edition figures which may be metal. Both armies have a reasonable selection of units available but there are no Prussians – Waterloo without the Prussians?! – Russians, Austrians etc. One wonders if they will be coming otherwise the action and possibilities may pall a little. It certainly would for von Peter himself! Warlord also supply rules, scenic items and even paint sets. A turnkey solution for Napoleonic gaming.

von Peter himself would imagine that getting this project up and running is no small investment by Warlord Games so good luck to them. But it falls down for this writer with the visuals as there is no variety with the figures. All the rank and file for a unit seem to be identical with the resultant unit looking stiff and boring to the eyes of von Peter himself. Nothing exciting to be seen here for von Peter himself. Your mileage may very well vary.

Thirty Years War cavalry

A little more teasing is available to be viewed of the incoming 1898 Miniatures Thirty Years War cavalry as referenced in the prior post. von Peter himself is smitten.

1898-miniatures-tyw-spanish-cav-3-painted

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

7 thoughts on “Snippets #21

  1. Thanks your vonship for another useful and entertaining round up of the horse and musket scene…I think your synopsis of the Warlord Games Epic Battles Waterloo release is fair, although they were the first to mention the lack of Prussians does not sit well! I’m not wholly in agreement with your assessment of the poses however – to my mind, given the scale and medium, I find these reasonable varied – no less than two – yes two – sword poses in each of the cavalry types! As someone who is going to be downsizing drastically from my current – ridiculously generous – wargaming estate upon retirement in a few years this release is the answer to a maiden’s prayer – I am going to give this release my full attention!

    • Hello Sparker

      That a young man such as yourself is talking retirement in a few years speaks of a well planned life. 😃 I’m not sure I’m ever going to be allowed to retire – the good Fraulien von Peter herself has a lifestyle that she is accustomed to you know!! 🤣

      I’ve not delved deeply into the range so was unaware that Warlord Games themselves acknowledged the lack of the Prussians for Waterloo. Good for them. I saw somewhere the cost of creating the moulds and it wasn’t cheap per mould and I think they had eleven of the things created. For the good of the range I hope that they will see their way clear to finance yet more moulds for Waterloo and even better for other nations.

      Beauty as always is in the eyes of the beholder. No one is right and no one is wrong in these things. I think I read someone refer to them as nutcracker figures and this seems an apt descriptor to me for, at least for the infantry. And it is the infantry that (should!) provide the bulk of the armies. I’m afraid that the pictures I’ve seen just do not move me the way I’d want them to. Just one man’s view.

      It strikes me that we are all on multiple sliding scales of interest in this hobby: gaming, the uniforms, painting, general aesthetics, the history etc. For me I think that I’d hate to loose some of the joy of the various uniforms etc if I were to downsize from 28mm to 12mm. Happily I’m quite happy to play games of twelve or so units a side as my stock game so I don’t necessarily need large gaming table.

      Enough.

      So when are yourself and The Long Haired Brigadier going to cross the Tasman and pay us a visit. We are still in your debt you know.

      Salute
      von Peter himself

      • Thanks for your comprehensive response! Just for my own ease I wanted to check I hadn’t imagined that quote about the Prussians, but no, its in one of the supporting articles: ‘ Beyond the initial release, you can expect to see more in the future. The Prussians are (ever so slightly) underrepresented after all ‘
        https://warlord-community.warlordgames.com/announcing-black-powder-epic-battles-waterloo/
        Whether they’ll do them in plastic however is a different matter!

        Your are quite right of course, we are all on a spectrum, and for me pigmentation, as you have it, is the very last of my joys of wargaming! And to quote Stalin, quantity has a quality all its own! Also, I am unusual in that I do find regimented figures all in the same (march attack) pose more attractive than an animated bunch ala Elite Miniatures…

        As for our inevitable visit to the Land of the Long White Cloud, well its definitely on the list, and you and the Fraulien will be the first to hear!

  2. I have to admit, having waited for a long time for new French Calpe releases, that I feel a bit let down by Calpe. Not the pricing – I will pay what it takes to get the best figures. But the lack of releases, and the announcement of further delays, is kind of upsetting for faithful customers. One would hope that 3d sculpts will eventually speed up the release of new sets, but I fear that 3D printing is slow and production could become a bottleneck? I hope I’m wrong.

    Those thirty years war figure looks amazing! Better than some Perry sculpts, even the horses!! I know nobody who plays that period though (I’m in the UK).

    Warlord epic scale? to me, mostly limited by the lack of troops available. I guess it’s kind of a niche market?

    • Just to respond to your last comment if I may dear Blancard? The owner of warlord games, John Stallard, has appeared on various fora to announce the plans for the rest of the range. They have confirmed there will be plastic Prussians, and most likely they will go on to do Russians. Plastic Highlanders and skirmish troops have already been announced. Beyond that an Ancients range, ‘Tricorn Era’, and ECW/TYW are all planned. Currently we have several types of infantry, at least two types of both heavy and light cavalry for Brits and French. So I think its going to grow into a pretty comprehensive range…
      Niche market? Well, these days of every possible scale, period and material available commercially, I would say that pretty much every aspect of the hobby is now niche – and that’s a good thing!

    • Hello Blancard

      It’s nice to chat again.

      Like you I am less concerned re the pricing and for the same reasons.

      Regarding the 3D printing: I think that the plan is to digitally sculpt the figures and then print the masters via 3D printing. From then on the process follows the current / old regime of creating the moulds and casting the metal miniatures … before sending them to us. 😃

      If nothing else this amended process will save duplicated work. I’m fairly sure that at least one batch of manually sculpted masters were effectively destroyed a few years back when the process of creating their master moulds went bad and they were squashed / distorted. They then needed to be resculpted. 🤬

      Salute
      von Peter himself

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