Sunday, 19 December 2021

Sale of AB Napoleonic Army


It is about six weeks since I last mentioned trying to find a new home for my unused AB Napoleonic Army.   Despite the lack of comment on the blog, there has been a lot going on in the background.

I always expected that the sale would be complicated and time consuming, and I have not been proved wrong.  It is largely for this reason that I have put off the project for many years.

You may recall that the whole army consists of 1320 foot and 210 mounted figures.   There are also 16 guns, an ambulance set, a pontoon set, a caisson and a baggage vehicle.  .   The whole is organised for use with my 1813 campaign.   There nine army groups, plus an assortment of skirmish stands.  

The first step was to ask for advice about how best to approach the sale of these figures.  I asked for suggestions both on here and on TMP forum.   I received a lot of useful advice, but I was then left with three decisions.

First whether to try to sell the whole collection together, or to break it down into smaller groups.

Second how to price the figures

Third how to pack and post the figures

I decided that before I offered any figures for sale, I would have to answer all three questions.   But not necessarily in the sequence shown above.

I think the most important one is the second, how to price the figures.   After some consideration, and many suggestions, I think double the purchase price of a new unpainted figures is reasonable.   One correspondent who sells large numbers of figures suggested that they might be worth more, but that they should find a buyer quickly at that price.   At present a foot figure is £0.80, a mounted figure £1.55 and a gun £3.80.   I have not been able to find out how much the different vehicles currently cost.   The whole collection would come to about £3000 plus post and package.

Packing the whole collection would be a huge task, and I have no idea how to even start on it.   I would probably have to pack them in national groups, which would mean ten boxes.    Would it then be better to send ten separate boxes through the post, or pack them all in a much larger box.

 I doubt very much that I would ever find a single buyer for such a large and expensive collection.

So I decided that I would offer them in national armies.   These would be Austrian, British, Prussian, Russian, and Spanish for the Allies.   Plus French Guard, French line, French allied and Bavarian.  The skirmishers would be rebased and included with the main armies.   There are not sufficient guns for gun crews, so some sets would include guns, others not.

Each set would have about 150 foot and 16 cavalry.   This size would be reasonably easy to pack, and the average cost would be about £300.   Leaving aside whether I can find buyers for all ten sets, at least the prospect seems more achievable than a single buyer for the whole lot.

This would mean that I would have to rebase the skirmishers and include them with the national army. 

I will then have to take photographs of the new groups.   And in doing so I want to try to get better quality close ups of the figures.   My camera is a basic point and shoot model, and not really suitable for close up of so many figures.   I will have to see what I can do about that.

Then I will have to find out about postage.   I would like to get options for sending each package to UK, EU, America and Australia.   If possible I would like a basic post and a fully insured option.   The latter would be my preference, but at lot will depend on the cost of each option.   Before I can do any of this I will have to pack one box to determine the size and the weight.


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    A daunting task, but one that will no doubt free up some storage space once it is over. I only wish that I had to money to buy your collection … but alas, my pension won’t stretch that far!

    May I wish you both a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year … and hope that you stay safe and stay well.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments

    The AB figures were bought to replace my earlier 15mm Minifigs army. They in turn were bought to use during a short membership of Devizes Wargames Club. 20mm, 25mm and finally 28mm had always been my preferred scale. So neither of the smaller scale armies were used much. But I did enjoy painting the AB ones, they are beautiful figures.

    Consequently the AB army has only been used a handful of times, and is in very good condition. So it would be nice to find a home where they are appreciated. And more important where they are used.

    Best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year. Hard to believe another 12 months has gone by, and still no end to this damn Covid. We have tried very hard to ignore it all year, but it is depressing that once again it is raging in the UK, and no doubt soon will be in Spain too.

    It does not do to dwell too much on depressing things which we can not change. So lets look forward to a new year and try to make the best of it

    best regards

    Paul and Jan

  3. I'm sure some readers here may be interested once you work out the three decisions. Maybe post some more pictures here and see if there is any interest?

    Re: the first decision: In the past, I've acquired some collections - but usually along national lines (i.e. I'm interested in the Liechtenstein, but not the Luxembourg one).

    Best of luck!

  4. Hi Kris

    Thanks for your comment

    I shall certainly post again once I have finalised the packing and postage.

    In the meantime there are already plenty of photographs of the figures here on this blog.
    If you look at labels 80-92 on the right you will see them.




I have set the settings for comments to come to me before posting so that I will not miss any