The Saxons of the spinning ball

Apologies. The local headline editor is really getting out of control. Whilst not factually incorrect a trip to the eastern front may be required to tone down the sensationalist word compositing. This is after all a serious blog on a most wholesome hobby and as such headlines of a most serious nature are required. Anyways … on with the show ….

Above: Ah ha … zere you are you naughty wee Jäger Korps

The Royal Saxon Army welcomed the birth of the Jäger Korps in August 1809. Formed from professional hunters at a Company strength of 3 Officers, 1 Sergeant Major, 1 Sergeant, 11 Corporals, 6 Musicians and 100 Jägers the unit was considered to be of an elite status.

Staying at home during the 1812 Russian campaign turned out to be quite a good call but with much of the 1813 campaign taking place over Saxony itself participation in that war was not to be avoided! And it was a hard campaign for all involved. By November 1813 the unit was down to 2 Officers and 41 Jägers. The unit was then expanded to battalion strength mostly with drafts from the line infantry which inevitably resulted in the loss of its elite status.

Being mostly interested in the 1813 campaign Calpe Miniatures have produced a six figure pack – S60 – to represent the unit whilst established at Company strength. An officer and five skirmishing jägers are provisioned.

With a whopping six unique figures the unit was a joy to paint as a short & sharp exercise. The available options – grey or white overalls and a variety of headgear/colours – aided the interest of the job at hand. On the downside there was a bit of piping to track and paint. Not all of it is visible in the photos. Worryingly a quick review of the Saxon light infantry reveals a similar level of piping … and two complete battalions of them will be required! Thankfully as is their way Calpe have nearly all of the piping sculpted in relief so that all one has to do is take one’s time and try to create a clean(ish!) job. The red piping on the green is a pleasant colour combination which also helped.

Two sources were used as uniforms reference …

The local detachment of the Royal Saxon Army now has a dedicated skirmish ability. It may be of limited size but as elite troops with rifles and the ability to skirmish they will perhaps be able to make a nuisance of themselves from time to time. One lives in hope … unless one is facing them across the field of battle of course!  🙂

Click the images for larger and clearer views.

Above: za Jäger Korps of za Royal Saxon Army will fall back on zat Royal Saxon Army immediately! Schnell!!

Two new units added to the local Napoleonic Saxon army in the one calendar month is certainly a praiseworthy event due some form of celebratory celebration. Even if it is really nothing more than a technicality! The 1/Prinz Frederich August Infantry Regiment announced to the world earlier this month was most certainly not started in the month under discussion and the Saxon Jäger Korps being presented now may have been commenced and completed in the month but are a paltry six figures. But never mind all that nit picking. Let the world rejoice! 😃

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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Shocking news … please be seated before continuing

Perhaps the title is a little overblown but the soon to be revealed event has not happened a lot recently. von Peter himself has completed a battalion! And that battalion was totally and all his own work!!! Enough of the applause. We don’t have all day you know!  😃

The battalion in question is the Saxon 1/Prinz Frederich August Infantry Regiment which was part of Generalmajor Mellentin’s 2nd Brigade … in Generallieutenant Lecoq’s 24th (Saxon) Division … which in turn constituted part of General de Division Reynier’s VII Corps in 1813. Calpe Miniatures of course with flag from GMB Designs.

The new boys can be seen in the image below being bravely backed up by the other now veteran … and somewhat wary! … Saxon battalions under the stewardship of von Peter himself.

Next up is the six figure Saxon Jaeger company. There were thoughts of starting a Prussian battalion but who can resist a mere six figure unit? And they’ve even been started. All six of them! Well they’ve been cleaned up … an extremely minor undertaking … and undercoated. But still technically they are actually started! von Peter himself wonders how long they will take especially given all the other distractions on the painting table.

 

Why wast an opportunity?

It is no small matter to set the scene for a photo shoot so only a foolish man would not take the opportunity to snap a few more photos. There are still several units that require up to date or improved images for placement on the slowly developing web page of von Peter himself which runs in parallel this here blog.

The lucky units this time around were the Austrian Deutsch-Banat Grenz Regiment and a commander. You can see these on the Napoleonic Austrian page of the aforementioned website.

Please remember that one can partake of the advanced technology provided at no extra charge by clicking on the images to see larger and clearer versions.

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

SA stands for Saxon Artillery

Yet another personal anniversary of von Peter himself has recently passed. Tradition dictates that in preparation for such an event contact should be made with Calpe Miniatures to see if there is an urgent need to organise the delivery of critical military supplies to coincide with said anniversary. Contact was duly made and yes there was great need to arrange for the delivery of critical military supplies. The Saxon foot artillery figures have started rolling off the production line.

At the time of contact von Peter himself was able to select an order from …

  • four packs of gunners in covered shakos
  • four packs of gunners in uncovered shakos
  • an alternate heads pack with two gunners wearing fatigue caps, one bareheaded and another with a bandaged head.

von Peter himself arranged for the delivery of two packs each from the covered and uncovered shako packs – exactly which ones were left to Calpe’s discretion – as well as the alternate heads pack.

It is strongly suspected that each pack is constructed in such way that the figures work together as a coherent gun team hard at their work. The current thought is to use them as such with the exception of the alternate heads pack who will get mixed in to the other sets in a random saucey 😲 manner. The arrival of officer pack(s?) may alter this or some bases may just get the addition of an officer. Time will tell.

And now for some pictures but first the usual caveats …

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners inherent in the casting progress have been removed with a craft knife and the fingers of von Peter himself. The same fingers straightened any bent ram rods etc
  • The figures have been cunningly rearranged between the front and back photographs so that the figures in the matching front and back photographs match left to right. Ahh … that is to say for example that the figure second on the left is the same figure in the front and back photos. If this has not been adequately explained then don’t worry about it as it probably doesn’t matter. Just be aware that von Peter himself went that extra step to the benefit of The dear reader
  • von Peter himself has quickly ‘washed’ the figures with ‘Shader Black’ from Coat d’arms to bring out the details a little
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on The dear readers device of course!
  • As yet von Peter himself does not have any pack descriptors … so none are provided! The pack code identifier is as written on the bag containing the figures
  • ‘Click’ the photos for a larger and clearer image.

SA6

 

SA8

 

SA11

 

SA13

 

SA14 – artillerymen with head variants. Two in fatigue cap, one bareheaded and one with a bandaged head.

That there are more packs to come is hinted at by the coding of the alternate heads pack as SA14. So another typical Calpe job carpet bombing the covered the topic with many options to use. Excellent! Limbers and caissons are anticipated and perhaps some marching gunners – perhaps even including a musician – as provided for in the Prussian foot & horse artillery ranges.

It is strongly suspected that Calpe Towers will not be promoting the range until more / all of the planned packs are available.

 

Above: Saxon artillery during a hard day at the office. von Peter himself suspects the action is purportedly from The Battle of Grossbeeren – 20th August, 1813

 

Of course Calpe Miniatures have had a variety of Saxon cannon available for quite some time now. von Peter himself has had some in storage for just such an occasion!  😃

Above: image “borrowed” from the Calpe Miniatures website

 

A personal anniversary celebratory book

Another prize from the personal anniversary came in the form of a book – The Saxon Army 1810-1813. This book came out in German several years ago but has since become available in English which is much more useful to any poor ignorant soul lacking in German.

The official blurb states …

This book presents this “new” Saxon Army with numerous contemporary illustrations, with plates by Patrice Courcelle and Edmund Wagner as well as graphic tables of uniforms of all the regiments by Peter Bunde. A description of the war experiences rounds out the presentation and thus the volume gives the reader a good, thorough introduction to the organization, uniforms and history of the Saxon Army of 1810-1813.

Format: Softback 72 pages with 51 colour illustrations, including three maps and 14 full-page pictures with uniforms.

The authors are Peter Bunde, Markus Gärtner and Markus Stein. Whatever else Peter Bunde may have contributed to the book parts of his various Brigade uniform plates on the Saxons are reproduced in the book … though not always identically. The Foot artillery uniforms on page 64 of the book show a bluer grey than on the uniform plate number 188, Saxon Foot Artillery Regiment 1810-1813. This may be  for any number of reasons – a deliberate change based on further research or an error in colour registration with either the book or the plate. Anyway the main takeaway here is that the book reproduces some of the details from the plates but no where near all.

The initial verdict on the book is a 5 star “hell yeah!” rating!  😊

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Christmas 2017 news

Calpe logo1

Christmas 2017 is looming larger and larger day by day. Hurrah! In the spirit of seasonal festivities von Peter himself brings a little joyous news for fans of Calpe Miniatures. What follows is part of an email responsive from Calpe Towers received on Sunday 10 December 2017 …

The Saxon firing line figures are indeed complete with the exception of the last pack which is waiting for the grenadiers to be completed so that I have enough new figures to make a master mould. The following figures are available at the moment –
S52 – Headquarters pack. Two mounted staff officers and two standing figures.
S53 – Firing line. Three figures firing, three loading.
S54 – Four musketeers holding fire.
S55 – Variants pack. Two head turn figures and two with greatcoat rolls.

The following figures should be ready by the end of next week.
F56 – Variants pack. Four figures, two with forage caps and two with bare heads.
F57 – Command pack. Drummer, standard bearer etc. 6 fig. pack
S58 – Grenadier firing line, two figures firing, two loading two holding fire.
S59 – Grenadier variants pack. Head turns, forage and greatcoat roll variants of figures in pack S58.

S60 is almost complete but will not be available until Jan. of next year. This will be the first of the light infantry packs and will be the Jaegers, a 6 fig. pack in skirmish poses. The light infantry is set to go but has been stalled by conflicting bits of info. Not sure currently of bugle horns on turn-backs, sidearms, officer’s shabraques, pompons or officer’s surtout. Thought I had made all decisions necessary but new info. has surfaced from J. Titze (booklets only available in German) which has thrown a spanner in the works. Will discuss this via email with Peter Bunde over Christmas and get going with the sculpting in Jan.

The firing line figures were expected. The pack S52 – Headquarters pack. Two mounted staff officers and two standing figures was not. The description of this pack has Peter himself thinking of the French F18 Regimental headquarters pack which also contains two mounted and two standing figures. Even in von Peter’s ham fisted hands F18 gave a pleasing result – see below for a recycled picture – so S52 will be looked for with interest.

Further information gleaned that may be of interest to The Dear readers was that …

  • the website will be updated with pictures when the website guy gets some time to do so
  • Calpe Towers will be taking a break over Christmas.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Hear ye, hear ye … Calpe October update

It was with the greatest of pleasures that von Peter himself spotted an update to the listings for the Saxons on the website of his favourite manufacturer Calpe Miniatures. And then on the following day joy of joys his pleasures were multiplied with the discovery of an update in the News section providing some information concerning the future of Calpe Miniatures. The world needs to know.

Saxon listings updates

  • New March Attack Saxon have been released. These have been re-sculpted due to damage to the original masters. There are quite a few figures spread across the various packs. The recreation of this part of the range must have been a somewhat galling exercise!
  • pack S51 – Four Saxon musketeers, prone casualties. These are the first prone Saxon casualties and von Peter himself will be needing several packs of them as they get used as casualty markers during games.

  • while not new listings many of the current listings have had their associated images updated with painted figures – front & back. If nothing else these provide a wonderful painting guide.
  • there are new images of painted units sprinkled through the figure listings and also repeated in the gallery. See the …. errr … “borrowed” image of the Grenadier Battalion Spiegel 1813 at the bottom of this post.

Above: additional painted images – front & back – have been added to Saxon listings

 

Calpe News

And then there was the new News item “October Update” which von Peter himself will fully recreate here for the education, entertainment and pure excitation of The dear readers

October Update

I have finally managed to finish the new march attack Saxon Musketeers as you can see from the updated website. I must admit that the multiple head variations – covered, uncovered and calfskin covers – make the Saxons a bit of a pain but the end result is worth it. I have been asked many times now why these new march-attack figures were necessary when the old SM codes were such nice figures. I’ll explain one last time. The original master mould for the SM codes was damaged by a defective vulcaniser (mould making machine), making new production moulds a tricky proposition. I decided some time ago that the best option was to remake the figures – and here they are! Hopefully I can now turn my back on this and move on with the Saxon range. The next set of releases will be the Saxon musketeer skirmish line or firing line figures. The ‘dressed dollies’ for these are complete and I hope to have the first pack of completed figures ready by the end of next week. I will not release these until the set is complete – probably before Christmas at some point. If things go well, I also hope to have some skirmishing Grenadiers and the light infantry firing line ready for release at that point. 

New to the website is the ‘Items For Sale’ section. Some of the items in this section will be painted battalions of my figures that I no longer require in my collection. Others are higher value items such as the SM moulds together with a variety of master moulds made for this set of figures.  At the time of writing, I am not sure what form this new section will take as it is still in the hands of my website designer.  The important thing is that it will be a new feature of the website. 

I am now in my 60s and quite keen to pass on some of the skills in the trade that I have acquired in the last 25 years. I am looking for figure designers who want to ‘learn the trade’ or update their skills.

Although my intention is to continue producing figures in metal, recent ‘experiments’ in digital design have convinced me that a tie in between traditional sculpting and digital sculpting is the way forward. I do not have the time to properly develop my digital sculpting skills – I recently found a large part of my day disappearing  (pleasurably but unproductively) while dabbling in this medium (zbrush). I need to find competent digital designers to work with to develop this side of the production process. Particularly the hard surface design work necessary for the production of guns and field equipment. I am fluent in Spanish and am reliably informed that over 60% of the world’s population have a working knowledge of either English or Spanish.  This gives me a fairly substantial catchment area for finding new sculptors, traditional or digital.

If you are a traditional figure sculptor or a digital figure designer send me an email to peter@calpeminiatures.co.uk  – in English or Spanish, and I’ll take it from there. Please don’t phone as I am frequently in my workshops where no phones are allowed. If you have absolutely no sculpting talent but know someone who does, please pass on the message!

Finally, thank you all for your continued support.

Peter

The news of the approaching firing line figures is great, especially of the light infantry for von Peter himself who has developed the habit of portraying his high infantry battalions as firing lines.

The revelations re digital sculpting will warrant keeping an eye on the happenings in that direction … though it is the end result that von Peter himself is really interested in. It is hoped that any digital sculpting will not remove the Calpiness of the end result. Then again perhaps digital sculpting may remove the problem of defective vulcanisers destroying masters and necessitating the resculpting of figures!

And finally such a shame that von Peter himself is so totally devoid of any sculpting talent and is so far from Harpenden in Hertfordshire. It seems that a trainee Calpe artisan he is not set to be!  👀

Above: Grenadier Battalion von Spiegel 1813 as painted within the walls of Calpe Towers. This unit is on the ‘to paint’ list for von Peter himself. There will be no comparison images ever presented on this here blog!!  😃  Click for a larger image.

 

It’s all too much excitement for a self confessed Calpe zealot.  😇

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Snippets #3

Another odds and sods ends post. Looking to the future one of the numerous mini projects of von Peter himself  is somewhat surprisingly coming to fruition. With a little luck the presentation of said mini project will form the core of the next bulletin. But now we need to start with the traditional Snippets random picture from the archives … from March 2011 …

Above: The first battalion of the Saxon Prinz Maximilian Infantry Regiment marches through a village somewhere in Saxony in 1813. The Allies are out there somewhere and the village may soon be the site of some bloody fighting.

Calpe Miniatures Saxons painted by mineself von Peter himself. The European Village is a Hudson & Allen model sourced from Vatican Enterprises and pigmented with aplomb by Craig Watterson. Tufts added to the village by von Peter himself!  😃

Don’t forget to click the pictures for a larger and clearer view.

Salute 2017: discounts

Once upon a time long long ago von Peter himself and The son & heir were fortunate enough to visit Salute Zero Nine the 2009 iteration of the famed Salute convention in London. It was their first ever major wargames show and it was quite the experience and eye opener.

Above: Barry Hilton’s Peninsular demonstration game for Victrix at Salute Zero Nine. The game was played using Barry’s The March of Eagles rules which at the time were provided in every box of Victrix plastics. I wonder if they still are?

While admiring the game von Peter himself said “hello” to a busy Barry H. and Barry H. said “hello” back. Another precious memory locked away!  😃

Catastrophically a repeat Salute visit is not to be scried in von Peter’s Crystal Ball of Future Seeing. No matter how hard it is rubbed. So it is with a tinge of envy that this blog reports on some of the pre-order discounts available to the attendees of Salute 2017 which by the way is scheduled for 22 April 2017.

Wargame News and Terrain have the article Salute 2017 Convention Pre-Order Discounts Summary for them fortunate enough to be heading off to Salute 2017. Some vendors have been of a thoughtful enough disposition to open up the discounts to them not so fortunate to be attending.

Update for General d’Armee 

Not only will The dear reader be able to avail themselves of discounts if they attend Salute 2017 but they will also have the chance to view a demonstration of the incoming General d’Armee rules by Dave Brown. Gardening at Dresden will feature apparently. This from the Lard Island News.

From the same source comes the news that the these same General d’Armee rules will be released at Partizan on the 21st May. This is a slippage from the previously mentioned April but in the end it will be what it will be. Hopefully a tantalising pre release deal or two will be offered on the TheTooFatLardies site.

A painted TravelBattle

Alan Perry has painted the soon to be released TravelBattle to represent Waterloo Allies and their French opponents. s painted game in a box? See the Perry Miniatures Facebook page for more.

A caged eagle

While browsing through The family’s photo collection von Peter himself stumbled across several photos of the captured Eagle of the Napoleonic French 82nd Line Infantry Regiment. The bird can be seen in the Royal Fusiliers Regimental Museum situated within The Tower of London. So with no further ado …

Above: In 1809, the Royal Fusiliers joined an army sent to capture the French colony of Martinique. After a difficult fight, the French were besieged.  Four days later they surrendered and three Eagle Standards were captured by the British.  The Royal Fusiliers were awarded this standard as a reward for their accomplishments in the battle.

 

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

And so 2017 begins

The year 2017 is about a week old and von Peter himself has not yet posted a post. Such idleness is unforgivably outrageous!! The following should correct that outrage. If only all outrages were so easily mended.

At the beginning of 2017 it seems only fitting to complete that which was initiated in 2016. The newly released Saxon grenadiers and French light infantry command referred to in the last post of 2016 have now all safely arrived on the Calpe Miniatures website. Hurrah!

knoetel-saxon-infantry-1810

Above: image kindly provided by Richard Knötel

Further there is news on the recent past and future plans from Calpe Towers. To plagiarise part of that news …

Towards the end of the year, I decided to push on with the Saxons. I am keen to get them finished so that I can move on to something else. Over the next year the Saxons will be the main thrust of my work with occasional new additions to the French line (advancing French infantry in greatcoats will be next).

You will see from the new additions that the Saxon Grenadiers have been completed and that three sets of command figures have been added for the Saxon high command. I am currently working on the re-sculpted Saxon musketeers in march-attack poses to replace the figures that were damaged when my mould-making machine failed some years ago. I have explained in the past that I cannot re-make the production moulds for the existing Saxons in march-attack poses (SM codes found in the Veterans section of the website) due to the damage caused to the master mould. I have had to accept that remaking the figures was the easier option. Once the march-attack musketeers are complete I plan to add some skirmishing musketeers. The Saxons trained their third rank as skirmishers. Some Saxon divisions had no light infantry component, so you will need the skirmishing musketeers to provide a skirmish screen. Saxon light infantry in advancing, march-attack and skirmish poses will follow. I have decided to deal with the artillery and cavalry once I am happy with the infantry.

Finishing the Saxons and moving on to something else. Intoxicating stuff!

Another bit of news from the post is one of those inevitabilities of modern life …

I am also announcing a price increase of 5pence per figure, 10pence per horse and 50pence per cannon, effective as from the 1st of January. I have held my prices for two years now. I was able to do this as the price of tin fell in 2014 and I was able to absorb the price rises in just about everything else, particularly electricity. In the last year, tin prices have risen sharply again and my profit margins have plummeted. In January I will be ordering my first consignment of metal of 2017 and I am expecting it to be eye-wateringly expensive!

And if The dear reader is interested in the recently released three new packs of Saxon high command from Calpe Miniatures there is a YouTube unpacking and then visions of the painted articles at 28mm Calpe Saxon Napoleonic High Command 1813.

Calpe logo1

From the “my gawd … he’s finished some figures” file

Once upon a time von Peter himself finished the two yellow faced battalions required for his 1813 24th (Saxon) Division of Generallieutenant Lecoq. The next Saxon battalion on the painting schedule was the first battalion of the green faced – and brassed buttoned – Prinz Frederich August Infantry Regiment. But which green to use? An official test figure was duly ordered … partly as a delaying tactic some insightful yet cruel commentators might assert. Ignore them!  😇

But painting a single figure is a little fraught as it can easily fall prey to the vagaries of chance. So a second figure joined the first. Now those paying close attention to the battalions of von Peter himself will have noted that his line infantry are presented to the world four to a base. Why not paint a complete base of four figures then? So the two figures became four. Somehow during the initial painting the four figures became eight. von Peter himself cannot offer a satisfactory explanation as to why this occurred!!

The green chosen for the green facings changed several times during the extended pigmentation of the trial figures so job completed and the trial figures performed their task admirably. And as a bonus two stands of the required six for the battalion are now complete.

8-figs-1-prinz-frederich-august

Above:  the aforementioned eight trial figures of the Saxon 1/Prinz Frederich August Infantry Regiment. The figures are from the Calpe Veterans range, ie. the original Saxon marching musketeers, not the remodelled Saxons. Caveats: The light has conspired with the white to removed much of the shading of the white … and the close up does the figure painters skills no favours!  😂 They look much better on the tabletop. Honest! 😎

But there’s more!

Ok … not a lot more. To provide overall command for the Bavarian troops based at Neu Schloss von Peter a base representing Generallieutenant Raglovich leading the 29th (Bavarian) Division of 1813 was commissioned from Nigel Fun-nel – pigmenter of figures Bavarian for von Peter himself. Shamefully the pigmented figures have been lying in wait for horses to be procured via the paint brush of von Peter himself. More on Generallieutenant Raglovich in the future. But in reviewing the figures procured it was decided that there was one dismounted figure too many.

von Peter himself is proud to present this figure in the image below. No longer will he be one of the dandys at the Bavarian HQ. Rather he will be a dashing Leader in Sharp Practice games or potential eye candy in the higher level games.

The figure is from Front Rank Figurines, pigmented by Nigel Fun-nel and based by von Peter himself.

bavarian-kapitan-franz

Above: Bavarian Kapitän Franz practises his voice of command back in Bavaria prior to joining his regiment. One must be firm with the “other ranks”!

Unit of the day: Long suffering Austrian Hessen-Homburg Hussars

A blast from the past. The Austrian Hessen-Homburg Hussars have been on the payroll of von Peter himself for literally decades. They have fought bravely, suffered casualties – sometimes needlessly – without complaint and on occasion rapidly manoeuvred to the rear  of their own accord with aplomb.

Again the figures are provided by Front Rank Figurines, pigments applied by Nigel Fun-nel and horses and basing by von Peter himself. The bases were quickly upgraded a couple of years back with the addition of the static grass. The long suffering hussars are surely overdue some war honours … perhaps in the form of some tufts added to their bases! Never let it be said that von Peter himself does not reward exemplary and extended service!  😀

austrian-hessen-homburg-hussars

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself