Calpe Miniatures make high quality 25mm wargames figures for gamers and collectors. Although the figures fall into the 25mm figure bracket, they are large 25s and measure approximately 30mm from the sole of the foot to the top of the head (without headdress). The figures were originally designed by the sculptor to match an existing collection of Peter Gilder's famous 'Connoisseur' figures and remain a good height match for these figures. Compatible manufacturers are Front Rank and Elite figures.
At present the range of figure releases only covers the Prussian Army of 1807-15 and the Saxon Army of 1810-13.
19th September 2011
I would like to apologise to those of you still waiting for figures. It is two weeks since I returned from my summer holiday. I arrived back to find a considerable number of orders awaiting my return (for which I am very greatful). I decided to clear this backlog of orders before settling to the usual routine of sculpting and mould making but progress has been slower than I would have liked as my packer/caster has still not returned from her holiday. For the moment, I am trying to cope on my own. I also had an irritating computer problem last week which stopped me from sending any orders out as my 'wireless' computer keyboard effectively lost it's connection to the computer and had to be replaced...and, yes, I did check that it was not flat batteries causing the problem!!
My packer returns next week and my computer is working, so orders are going out again. I hope to have caught up with the order backlog by the end of this week and will continue with the French releases as promised.
5th September 2011
I'm now back from my summer break and looking forward to continuing my French releases. In the next couple of weeks I will release the head variant packs F7 to F9 and possibly a head variant pack for the regimental command group as I want this for my own collection. I am also working on the battalion command pack and hope to have this ready for release early next month. More officer packs (both foot and mounted), an NCO pack and ‘dynamic’ packs (with casualty figures and enthusiastic figures) will be released to complete this set of figures before the end of the year. The next set of French figures will be in 'march-attack' poses but before this I will release some additions to the new Prussian line infantry.
18th August 2011
Just a short note to let you know that I am going to be away from the office for the next two weeks on a late summer break. Please do not phone until I return in early September as there are other family members staying in the house. They will not be able to help you as they know nothing of figures or military history.
Pictures of the new French figures should start appearing on the website in the near future. So far Packs F1 to F6 have been released and last week the first command pack F10 (regimental command), was added to these. In early September packs F7, 8, and 9 will also be released with head turns, bare heads and forage caps. Toward the end of September or early October a second command pack (battalion command) will be released.
Once these 'route march' figures have been completed to my satisfaction, I intend to release a few more of the new Prussians while I work on the next set of French in 'march attack' poses.
Enjoy what is left of the summer, as I intend to do, and I will let you know when I am open for business once more.
7th February 2011
It is some time since I updated this news section. I need to start with the bad news. Like most other manufacturers, I have to put my prices up. Towards the end of last year I noticed my metal supplies were running low and decided to put a metal order in to my supplier before the VAT increases kicked in. As usual I phoned around for the best prices. I was shocked at the prices I was quoted by all three of the suppliers I use. I have come to know one supplier in particular and asked him why the price was escalating this way. His answer was that it is all down to market speculation. There is no real shortage of tin. The prices are being artificially inflated by commodities traders. Annoying as this is, there is nothing he, or I, can do about it. He has to pay the market rate and then has to pass it on to me and so on down the line. I cannot continue to sell figures at the current prices if the metal prices stay where they are. We can only hope that the prices stabilize but the current trend is for a continued rise. In order to cover the cost of the metal I have just bought, I need to put my prices up to £1.05 per figure but if metal continues to go up at the current rate I will need to have sold at £1.10 to afford metal the next time I need to buy it. I am going to put my prices up to £1.10 per figure and £1.60 per horse. This price rise will take effect on 1st March 2011.
I am aware that at £1.10 per figure they are now more expensive than some other manufacturers’. All I can say is that I have done the sums and that they will have to put up their prices to this level as well, sooner rather than later, unless metal prices fall. Just to put the scale of the rise in price in context – I have just finished my accounts for the last two financial years. This has allowed me to look at the prices I have paid for metal in the last 24 months - it has risen by over a third in two years. At the start of the 2009/2010 tax year I was paying between £10 and £11 a Kilo. Now I am paying over £16 a Kilo.
On to figures now...
I have had some teething problems with the musketeers I released late last year. The figures and moulds are fine but there is confusion when it comes to ordering the figures as they share the same codes as the two previous musketeer releases. When a customer orders PM1 but fails to specify which musketeers he is referring to the whole packing process grinds to a halt as there are three PM1s to choose from. I have to put an end to this, as from 1st March the 'New' musketeers I released before the machine problems started in 2007 will be withdrawn from production as some of these figures have been re-used with the new heads. The 'Old' original musketeers will be retained until the new musketeer packs have replaced them. Please, please, ensure that you specify which musketeers you want until the new packs completely replace the old sets. The Grenadier conversions of the new PM packs 1-10 are now ready. You can order these by requesting PG packs 1-10. They are identical to the PM packs with the exception of the fine moustaches they display! I have decided that the Grenadiers will only be available in two poses Advancing and March Attack as even Corps sized Prussian collections will only have two grenadier battalions at most and making tens of moulds just for moustaches is tedious in the extreme!! The fusilier conversions for this set are progressing nicely and should be available soon.
Note: Martin, who looks after my website, will soon update the Prussian Musketeers page to reflect these changes.
There is a lot of information to digest in what I have written so far so I am going to stop at this point. My New Year resolution (now that my machine problems have been resolved) is to update the news on this website on a monthly basis. In my next update I will write about the French and Saxon figures I am working on and possibly even show you some pre-release shots of the first French figures.
19th August 2010
I'm back from my Summer break and working my way through production moulds for the forthcoming releases. Any of you wishing to send in orders can now do so.
I've been contacted by Mark Latham from Warhammer Historical Wargames who's presently working on a set of rules for the Waterloo campaign (I think). He's asked me for the loan of painted figures for the photos which will accompany the rules. My own collection of painted figures is short of cavalry and artillery in particular so if there are any of you who want to have your figures appear 'in print' please let me know. The 'shoot' is next week and he will need to keep the figures for two weeks. You will, of course, get credited for the painting.
29th July 2010
Once again there has been a rather lengthy pause between updates on thissite; please accept my apologies but read on and I hope you will understand the reasons for this. My March update filled you in on my continued problem in finding a suitable vulcaniser. I explained that this had led me to link up with Ray Tutt (ex of S&R engineering) and C&G Hydraulic Services. Ray has provided us with the designs for his excellent machines and has also supported us with the occasional hands on help, as he lives locally to the C&G facility in Newark. C&G have not only taken on the manufacturing of the machines but have also updated the rams and hydraulic mechanisms of the new vulcanisers. As a result I am now the proud owner of a new vulcaniser(delivered in April) and a new casting machine (delivered in late June). C&G have also reconditioned my old MCP vulcaniser, retrofitted it with the new ram and hydraulics and replaced the heating system completely. So I have two superb vulcanisers and a spanking new casting machine. You may wonder why I have not rushed to release new figures.
There are two answers to this question:
First of all I will always look back on this year as 'The year of the machines.' Once it became obvious that I could not function without a suitable vulcaniser, I made the finding of a supplier of quality casting machines my absolute priority. Everything else came second; it was simply a case of no machines no business! I can sit here and look at my new vulcanisers and casting machine with some satisfaction as the acquisition of these machines has been anything but straight forward. I cannot praise Ray Tutt and Glen and Craig at C&G enough but they will all agree that there have been teething problems and uncertainties along the way. Even when we had overcome these and manufactured the machines, delivery and installation has brought its own challenges. Every time a machine has been delivered I have had to strip down my workshop and then put it back together again. This process takes about a week from beginning to end. I have another casting machine and vulcaniser on order. These should be delivered before the end of the year. Once this is all over I will have three excellent vulcanisers and two casting machines of the same quality on my books - enough to ensure that I am never put out of action by a faulty machine while I choose to stay in this business. In brief, my primary reason for not having released new figures despite the new machines is that the machines themselves have taken up, and are continuing to take up, a major portion of my time. This will continue until the end of this year.
The second reason is that, after an enforced two year break, I have had to sit down and reconsider where I am and where I want to go with my figure releases. Take the Prussian Musketeers for example. I started re-sculpting these prior to the machine problems and had already released two sets of figures. The sculpting on these figures was several generations removed from my original musketeers and yet there was something about them that left me feeling dissatisfied. I have had two years to ponder this and realised that it was the heads on these figures that was causing the problem. I was using the original shako so that the new figures would match in with the old and this single item 'jarred' for want of a better term. Since the new vulcaniser was delivered, I have re-sculpted the shakos, making them historically more accurate and harmonised the look of the figures. No, they will not match the old figures but after the two year break I might as well have a new start! It really is now or never. The new shakos have been fitted to the two new sets of musketeers and several new sets have been made. I have not released these for the simple reason that I need to have enough figures in production to make the alterations financially viable. I will start a programme of new releases towards the end of September. By the end of the year I hope to have most of the new musketeers released. The new fusiliers will be alterations of these musketeer figures as I am now a proficient enough sculptor to do this without damaging the figures. I have decided to do it this way as I can then maximise the number of figures for both the musketeers and fusiliers without making the operation an impossibly tiresome task. One of the most frequent moans I with the 'old' figures concerned the lack of sufficient fusilier poses! As with the Saxons the figures will be organised in packs of sixes and threes. The fusiliers are targeted for the beginning of next year. A set of grenadiers will be sculpted separately and will follow the fusiliers. To finish off the infantry a set of Guard figures will also be sculpted towards the end of next year.
I am going to sign off now with the usual reminder that, as from now, I am now officially closed for August. The last orders are going off in today's post. I will be around towards the end of August should any of you require information but no orders will go out until the first week in September.
Thank you all for supporting Calpe during the last two very trying years. I hope to be able to reward your loyalty with a raft of new releases starting in late September. Have an enjoyable Summer.
4th March 2010
Most of you will have noticed the lack of information or new releases recently. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I think I need to take some time to explain what has been going on. Read more...
2nd August 2009
Please note that it is now August and that Calpe is closed for business for the rest of this month. No orders will go out until the first week of September.
It has been an interesting year so far. The replacement of the vulcaniser and the release of the first new figures in almost two years should have put an end to my problems. In fact they have just given rise to new challenges(I can't really call them problems). The renewed interest in the figures has kept me packing and casting since the release of the Saxons. This, of course, is good news, but it also means that I have done very little sculpting and mould making during this period. It has rapidly become clear that I need to train someone to run this part of the business. My forte is the sculpting and moulding of the figures. Spending my time casting and packing ensures you get your orders but slows down the appearance of new figures. The Saxon grenadiers have been half finished on my sculpting table for two months now. I have managed to get the Saxon artillery pieces to the pre-production stage and all the artillery guns and associated limbers and caissons are looking very promising but I simply have not had the time to make the production moulds or to sculpt the figures that will man the guns or drive the teams.
I will make the search for an 'assistant' one of my priorities on my return to business in September. In the meantime I would like to thank you all for your continued support - and your patience if you have had to wait for an order recently. I hope you all have a good summer (or what is left of it) and if you are staying in the UK that the damp August we have had forecast turns out to be incorrect.
21st June 2009
I know there are a number of you waiting for your orders and I must ask you for continued patience as I am going to be away next week visiting the Italian suppliers of the new casting machines. The release of the Saxons has brought a large influx of orders. I am casting and packing as fast as I can but the orders are coming in faster than I can send them out at the moment. I would have preferred a visit to Italy at some later date but have had to fit in with the requirements of the Italian company. I am going with some feelings of guilt as I know you are waiting for your orders but an invitation to the Nicem factory and several days of moulding and casting using their machines and moulding compounds is not something I can turn down. In the long run, this visit will benefit both Calpe and the resulting figures. Orders will start going out again on 29th June.
18th June 2009
The painting notes for the Saxons are now ready. Sorry for the slight delay but I needed to have them checked by a number of colleagues who are familiar with the subject before releasing them. The notes have turned out to be more substantial than I had anticipated so they will retail at £2.50. I have also been waiting for supplies of Peter Bunde’s Brigade plates on the Saxons. I have now received these and I would like, once again, to recommend them to you. They are the perfect supplement to my notes and will provide you with the pictures which are presently missing from the notes. Each of the four plates on the musketeers/grenadiers deals with a specific regiment but Peter has intelligently organised them so that the four facing colours are covered and information is given about the 'twin' regiment with the same facing colour. If you do decide to order a plate let me know which regiment you are interested in and I will send you the relevant one. The plates retail at £5.50 or £7.50 bundled with the Calpe notes.
I forgot to mention in my last update that the new Saxon figures have a 'runner' from the tip of the sabre to the back of the leg to ensure that the sabre casts properly. This just ensures a good supply of metal to this part of the figure. It needs to be cut off and filed prior to painting the figure. The best tool for the job is a 'side cutter' which is available from most good model shops. It gives a straight cut leaving very little trace of the 'runner' thereby minimising the amount of filing required. If you have difficulty obtaining one let me know and I will get in some stock of these.
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