Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Christmas in September

The Package Arrived

Some months ago I sent some rare figures over to Peter from Peter's Cave (see Blogroll) and now he has sent a bunch of figures back my way. The package arrived today, and I have been sorting these figures out like a happy wargamer's jigsaw puzzle.

There are about a hundred of them, infantry, cavalry, Nassau Grenadiers, men with Baker Rifles and sword-bayonets, Old Guard Grenadiers, the Dutch or Belgian Jaeger bugler, cuirassiers and carabiniers--it is a bunch of them. It is very enjoyable just sorting them out by their colors and characteristics to try to figure out (pun intended) what they all are.

Well that pic emphasizes the bottoms of the bases, where they were cut from the sprues.

So here's a view flipped around.

There must be elements of between seven and ten sets here at least, and it feels like a kid at Christmas. These are figures I have never seen before in person, only in pictures, and I did not pick them out myself as I usually do, so there's a feeling of surprise and wonder that is beyond what usually happens when you open your new figs.I can recognize them, but at first glance I can only see--they are Napoleonic.

There are Zvezda, Italeri, Hat, who knows what, all mixed to be sorted.

To save on postage, they are cut apart, and so the sorting is based on colors, and then off clues in the uniforms, like the Baker rifles, or the shape of the shakos or other headgear, and even from counting the buttons.

More Bloggers Should Try This

This is great, and other wargamers should try this. Send some other blogger a mystery pack of figures and let them figure out what they are.

The rare figures are from the American Revolution, where Imex took over a line from Accurate, and changed several figures so there would be Cavalry and a few others, and sold them for several years...but then they changed their minds and changed the figures back to the first design with no Cavalry.  So now you cannot get them any more.

Even if you follow Plastic Soldier Review's advice and try to know what you're getting, that won't work They forgot to change the boxes, which still say there are cavalry, but there are not. You just can't get them any more.

"Es Suyo!"

When Peter commented about them saying he hoped one day he would find them, I went into the Es Suyo mode. That is Spanish for 'It's Yours!"

In some of the Latin American countries, if you pick up and/or admire an object, even in another Caballero's home, he may stun you by announcing Es Suyo, and now it is yours. The only way out is to immediately and insistently refuse in an increasingly firm voice three times at least, and even that may not work. To get out of what?

Dramatization of Chivalry

I will slightly exaggerate to explain the interplay of Honour that the Host has launched here, and remember that this occurs silently, inside the recipient's conscience. He realizes all this, and then has the feeling that he must get back to an even keel. That he must now do something in return, every bit as equally dramatic, every last bit or it is still not enough to equal the original grand gesture. Unless, of course, he is a Pirate. But for the Chivalrous it is not so easy.

Women never understand this, either.

This gesture demonstrates silently that the object itself, regardless of its value or how precious, even one's grandfather's watch or anything, is not nearly so important as your pleasure right now. Also the tremendous magnanimity of the host, in seeing that what you said you would like, you will have and you will have it right now. Because the Host has it in his power to see to it that you shall have it, as fast as you can clap your hands twice, it is done.

Of course this doesn't usually happen in my country because it would be seen as an exaggeration, even a caricature of Honour, to a degree that regular guys do not carry it. Just get the beer next time, they would say, or else Don't worry about it.

That was why I said at the time, along with the Es Suyo, that all I need back is that Peter paint the figures that I sent him, and let me use the picture as a Header picture for this blog, since I don't have one. Most of the good pictures out there are copyrighted to someone else, unless you make your own, so I thought that was good enough compensation. Anyway he would paint them better than I would.

That would be completely satisfactory.

But I recognize the interplay of the Es Suyo thing, since it has happened to me many times in other situations, and that Conscience and Honour demand something dramatic, so I have added some imitation Belgian Lace to the backdrop.

When I let my brother stay in my place, I refused to charge him rent, and he almost went crazy from it. But what's even worse is that when it happens to me, I almost can go crazy from it too, so I have had to eliminate most of my social life except with confirmed and known cheapskates, just to be able to keep up. It's a crazy thing, the Es Suyo thing. Be careful with it; it can cause madness when carried to extremes.

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There used to be another Imex figure considered rare, that is no longer rare. This was the General George Armstrong Custer figure. He was added to the ACW  Union Cavalry but sold only in a large boxed set of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. There was no other way to get it, and regular US Cavalry sets did not have the special figure. But then when people were scrambling around   trying to get the rare figure, they changed it so now all the
US Cavalry sets have one, so now every eleventh figure is a Custer. I have a bunch of them.

We never know when the American Revolution Dragoons may reappear like that.

Many thanks to Peter, and do go check out his 'Happy  Wargamer' post.

*                           *                             *


  1. Its always nice to get a pressie in the post, I bet you was like a kid in a sweetshop!! Sounds like you had a great time sorting all the figures out. It's great that you and Peter could do your swap over the pond, its great that there's a little bit of honour and trust left in this wicked world. Well done to both of you!!!

  2. Always like to get a wargames package waiting at home as you get in the door and it's sitting there begging to be opened.Good work from both of you.

  3. The consensus at the Salt Mines is that the Americans can't understand anything but getting money for such a thing, but that it does raise interesting issues. The Mexicans understand perfectly.

    Careful there Ray, I think Fran might think he thought he heard you say somewhere that even for a confirmed and known leadhead such as yourself the plastic is starting to look tempting.

    You might find yourself painting those Russians.

  4. Hey my friend! I'm pleased the package arrived. I was beginning to be a bit scared that it would never reach you.

    Thank you for the nice words written here. They make me turn red. You helped me out with some figures, so now it was my turn. ;-)

    I'm also pleased you like them. And yes, if I'm right it are seven sets. I didn't count them you see. One incomplete, but from the others you have a complete sprue. The last brand is ACTA (a call to arms) the cavalry.

    And you will get the pictures of the painted figures in some kind of scene. Don't know yet how I will fix that, because I keep them on the base. But I will find a way to do it.

    PS: don't bring me in the seduction for those american civil war figures! I'm a collector you know that!

    Also thanks to Ray and Fran for the kind words!


  5. In the first pic I think the first blue figures are Strelets, marching and attacking French 1808-1812, with some elites with big plumes and some either Grenadiers de la Garde ou Chasseurs.

    The small partial sets work out great because I like very small units of only a few figs anyway.

    There are enough Custers now that I just painted one gray, to mix the hats and weapons up a little.

    I think we will soon see a blue one over on Gataskog, (see Blogroll) where he is trying to reach his Sioux, but has the box two meters up in the closet and can't get the ladder set up right. But he is already working on the horses.

    Thanks again. Maybe we will start a new trend for the Bring and Buys, it is good to sort these out like this.

  6. Okay, I have got it. Not Strelets but Hat 8095 French 1808-1812. Then Hat 8147 Nassau Infantry in the green. The yellows are Italeri6066 French Infantyr and the 6083 Italeri British 95th Rifles, and the fig I identified with is Sharpe himself.

    Zvezda Old Guard, ACTA cuirassier and carabiniers.

    PSR Plastic Soldier Review has better pics of all of these.

  7. :-D It all goes to show what a nice bunch we are..and Peter is one of the best of the bunch. Lovely comments mate :-D Now all you have to do is paint them all. ;-D

  8. Hey my friend, I see you figured it out. Seven sets indeed.

    Now it's up to you to paint them! I can tell you I started to paint the Imex figures, but it will take some time because I will do this in between some other prjects.

    Enjoy the figures!

    @Paul: thanks for the compliment , but you, Ray and Fran are also part of that bunch. And count our friend from this blog in. He was the one who said I could have those rare Imex figures!


  9. Yes, Paul is right about that.

    I was hoping someone else will get a moral from the story and it may spread generosity and other positive values around by encouraging them.

    Last weekend I brought six full sets of ACW to about 75-80% complete state, and now switched gears to Napoleonic, and done 110 faces, 330 hands, about 40 or so French pants with a slightly dirty white, and about six navy blue coats before heading back to the Salt Mines.

    But I was trying to do the Saxon Artillery like Scheck's from the previous post using excess AWI Artillery, the day before the ACW distraction, which I think started just to use up a certain color of paint already on the palette without wasting it.

  10. Hi
    Being a Spanish myself, I only can say that your dramatization of the 'Es suyo' is very correct... hahahahaha
    Best regards

  11. Yes, and I only said "exaggerate" because of the many Pirates in the audience, who could not otherwise understand.

    As a US Cavalryman, I can further confirm that every eleventh man in the Cavalry IS a Custer, and further that every second officer is a Polish Casimir Pulaski.

  12. Nice post! Great read.

  13. Don't know where you are my friend, but I invite you to have a look on my blog. A little surprise ;-)