Friday, April 22, 2016

Swedih TYW Gun

Well a mix, gun is empress ECW, figures are 1st corps, the gabisons, mortar table and chest are warfare miniatures.

The gun deck is balsawood. The earth in front of the gabisons are fine wood filler, same as I now use on my bases, with a watered PVA glue and real dirt from the garden, the drit is also sprinkled on the gun deck it self. A small mortar is on the back of the deck, it's in for repares as it's wheels are on the table.

 I'm quite happy with the gabisons, took quite a few layers of diffrent browns to get them ok. 
 I painted the mortar red simply to get some color.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Review Great Northern War Comendium

So where to start?

Lets start with what you get for £115 pluss shipping.

You get to Volumes each about 300 pages long. They are both filled with lots of illustrations, maps, pictures of uniforms, drums, cannons, muskets and swords. All of which are great help for wargamers. A very good picture of a Swedish grenade pouch helped alot!

Besides all the viusual goodies. You have various articles places more or less in chronolgical order.
In between the articles dealing with what happend, You have articles dealing with armies, uniforms and the players in the game.

The books has around 20 comtributers, ranging from amateurs like us that has delved into the subject. to acedemics with lots of letters infront of their name,

There won't be much pictures in the reivew sinply because in theory they might end up random places online and people use them for references with out paying!

I'm dividing up the review into the diffrent types articles that is in the compendium

Part 1: Army/uniform info.

All major armies in the war gets their own article, Naturaly Sweden gets a big one, And Denmark, Russia and Saxony are all there. As well as smaller players like Polen-Lithuania, Cossacks ect.

The articles are some 5-10 pages long for the "formal" armies there is atleast 2 pages of uniform plates one for infantry and one for cav/dragoons/artillery. For army with less formal uniforms like Cossacks and polish hussars and light cav, There aren't plates as such but lots of texts and other illustrations. As well as photos from museums showing for instance Hussar armor.
They also deal with organistation, and recruitment for the countries and armies. This does not only give you lots of info but also really lets you compare armies. There is a striking diffrence between how the armies of Sweden was made and trained and equiped vs say Saxony. More then you would think since they where both modern European armies.

Allready I have gotten quite a bit of good info from these Army/unifom pages. I learned that Provincial regiments in sweden, did not have all their grandiers in a single company like most countries did, but spread them out! This was great info to get!
Also the very fleshed out Swedish article have lots of photes of drums, grandiers equipment ect. There is a great photo that shows a grandiers grenade pouch. This was very helpfull when painting grenadiers.

I should note that even with all the info you can't get it all in the volumes. Like in the Swedish article they do point out the Karpus was used at times by some swedish regiments. But if you want to know which regiment used the karpus in which battle. You still need to go to (if you see that page as a reliable source) The man that runs is also a contributar to the compendium.

Part of the Swedish army article. The Swedish article is very good and filled out!
Not suprising as they are the stars of the show!

Part 2: Campaigns/battles

So there is alot of info here, Some of these articles are purely a campaign/battle desicription, while others like the one dealing with the Polish-Lithuanian civil war, has a broader scope to.

Some of the campgains/battle articles about eastern europe are very intersting, a period i personaly knew little about, Ofcourse others will know much more about this then what is coverd in the volumes.

This is where i feel the books lacks the most, tho it's purley my subjective opinion!
General a campaing/battle articale is less then 10 pages. The part leading up to the battles are generally very good, They are clear, gives you a great view of what lead to the battles.
How ever quite a few of the battle descritions are very short(almost all are 2-4 pages long) And they are often very dry. I can best describe them as wikipedia style. Very clear and good in info. But also dry. There is nothing that pulls you into the action most of the time. It's simply this happend, then this and it's over.

This might be because I'm used to reading books of 350-450 pages dealing with just one campaign/battle mostly Napoleonic period. In these books there is alot more personal stories descriptions. They help to paint a vivid living pictures of things.

Now I get you can't spend 30 pages pr battle in a compedium. I get that. But even a single page more pr. battle would help if that mean it helped paint a vivid picture. They might have choosen to to keep it this way for space? It might be the authors they don't normaly write that way? Not sure.

I'll give you two examples. One will be the most disapointing battle description and one will be the best. And the diffrences aren't that big.

The worst is Narva. It was short and very A-B-C. It made is sound like the Swdes just walked up and the won. Yet they did loose about 1800 dead and wounded. Granted thats not a lot for a battle that size. But still I did not get drawn into the battle. I'm painting Björneborg regiment now and I knew it took part in the battle. I was hopeing to know what that regiment did in that battle. But no. None the wiser.

The best so far has easly been Fraustadt, I dont't think its actually that much longre. But it paints a much more vivid picture. About how the Saxons fired to soon and the Swedes run up place their muskets on the chevaux de frises and fire point blank into the Saxons. (yes I'm a warmogorer) It little things like that that help. It also mentions regimental names more. who fought who ect. I want to know which Saxons or Swedish regiment that did what ect. As I said I don't think the battle description is any longer. Just much more enganging.

Poltova is ofcourse a biggy, it gets two articles with slightly diffrent angles on it. It's quite good stuff. but still Fraustadt is my favorite.

Don't get me wrong. the campgain and battle info you get no mater what battle you read in these volumes  are the best you are going to get. Nothing online comes close!
Also all articals have a list of other sources to read. So those sources might very well have more detailed info on battles.

Each Campain/battle article starts with a great piece art!

Part 3: Miscellaneous articles

So these are the type of articles like Siege warfare during the great northen war, or how chaplins worked in the Swedish army.
They provide a good insight into the period, fleshing out the parts that don't get mentioned in to much detail other places. The one on siege warfare is quite straight forward, most that will read this book allready have a good grasp on how this worked in this period. But still it has lots of illusrations and pictures of siege cannon, mortars ect. And ofcourse like all wars there are slight variantions from GNW or say NYW or WSS. So there is always something to learn. It also explanes in breif how many of the the sieges in the war played out. And how most of them in one or more ways where diffrent from the "classic Vauban" siege.  Another one is about the plauge that hit Sweden.
There are many more, about what ifs ect.
The articles are well writen and lovely to read.

Part 4: Biographies 

Many of the big names of this period gets a bio, So far all of them have been very good. Peter The Great bio is not so much a bio of him, more what he did during the GNW not much about his early life ect. I'm glad to see that Tordenskiold got his own bio, me being a Norwegian patriot! I also very much enjoyed the bio of Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld. And I now what to paint his Swedish volunteer regiment that fought against the french!
Another one is Poul Vandelbo Løvenørn(Poul Vendelboe de Lovenorn in he book) A Danish soldier, minister and diplomat. He had the honor of overseeing three Swedish surrenders. I also want to do his regiment now!

Part 5: Finaly thoughts/is it worth it.

So I have added 3 points here to judge if it's worth it. Because I want this review to help people decide if they want to buy it.

1: Is it worth it for me?
Yes it is. I do not regret getting it, It has been great inspiration infact because of reading this I've decided to change my GNW project focus from Sweden vs Russia. To Sweden vs Saxony.  Partly becasue of many of the articles about the Saxon war are very well writen. Also it will let me do a brigde or so of Russian in suport. There was even a battle where the Saxon had Polish hussars on their team(so finnaly an excuse to paint this iconic soldiers) And as mentioned I want to paint sevral regiments what where the regiments of some of the people that have bios. Not only inspiration but great info on uniforms and organistation.

2. Is it worth it for you!
I think I can say yes! Infact I would not only recomend it for those very intrested in GNW but all that are intrested in late 17th cenutry/18th century warfare. Yes it does have a high price but some of the info you get get here, you can't get any other place in english. Just one example is Poul Vandelbo Løvenørn. This man does not have an english wiki page, so unless you can read Norwgian/Danish/Swedish or Polish you are out of luck. It's perfectly possible you can find some info on him in english some strange dark place of the internet. Or a book writen in english. So even those with just a hint of intrest in ther period should get it, if they have the money.

3. Did the compendiums forfill the auther/editor goal?
From reading the introduction, Reading just how monumental the task of making this project happen. And the goal of the project. To bring the most comprehensive english source of the GNW  I would say they deffinalty succeded. Yes some wikipedia aritcles might be longer. There might be more words on Peter the great in wikipedia then in this compendium. But I would say 80% of what is in this book is not avalable for free online. Atleast not in english. And a decent part of it is not even avalable in english even if you pay for it. And honestly I can read swedish, but I do find it tiresome. Hell I find reading danish tiresome and that basicly bad norwegian. And so I will probebly not read swedish books on the GNW, Reading sevral 100 pages in swedish not enjoyable for me.
And i can just forget to read German, Polish or Russian. So even for me that is capable of reading Danish and Swedish this is a great thing!

This is a book that is a must for any GNW wargamer or 18th century wargamer. The book even mention miniatures at the end, as well as list of museums that deal with this period. All in all stop reading and buy these two volumes.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Swedish" "cuirassiers"

 So long ago   I orderd some empress miniature ECW figures, mostly because of the figures looked great, As I excepted they did not get painted. As I have ZERO intrest in that period. Sadly they have been spread to the winds. Me being totaly unstructured plus the move. Ment that all my Empress ECW figures got devided into half a dozen boxes with no contol of where.

But I did find 10 of the ECW armored cav. They have have comanderd them tobecome late war cuirassiers in swedish service!

The figures are fantastic, The reigns are actualy seperate not "melted" into one that they so often are under the head of the horse. The brindle and other leather things are also much thinnner and more realistic! The horses them self are fantastic too!

To bad they are so expencvie, but I'm  still thinking  my late war cuirassiers and some of the swedish horse will be these figures. Sadly infantry is not usefull at alle for TYW. My infantry will probebly by 1st corps. I do have some, I'm test painting now. to see if I can get them well enough for me to be willing to use them. They are quite diffrent from the style and detail I'm used to. Which means I general can't paint them well enough. Also verious other makers will be used like TAG and warlord(for fully armored cuirassiers)

 I painted them in the classic swedish blue. 
 They will not be a historic unit as the figures are not 100% right for TYW, 

I also reviced my birthday gift from my Fiance, The Great Northern War Compendium, 
I'll post a propper review of it (which seems to be all the rage for us doing GNW) 
But I'll give a very brief first impression:

I've not even opened the 2nd vol. The first day I only tok a tiny lookie(I couldn't get to inspired as I still have 2 cuirassiers to paint)

I have red alteast half of the articals of vol. 1 now. So far very very good. I do have some nit picking to do. But I'll save that for full review.
What I can say if you want info on GNW this is the stuff for you. I've tried hard to find info on this war for many months and honestly the info you get in this book can not be found on line not even close! So if you want this info you'll have to sell your soul/first born/car becasue this thing is expencive!

Also info on the uniforms are great. Not only general uniforms, all the info you would want on the armies, recruiting, organisation ect. How ever, The uniform plates are generic for the whole of the war in general. If you want more spesific(especaly when units used karpus or not(for the swedes) You still need to look at The owner of tacticus has contribiuted to the compendium.

I want to write more, Because I allready have alot to say about it and I'm very excited about this! But it would not befair untill I have atleast read quite abit of vol. 2. I will not wait for the review untill I've read every single artical tho!

I will say one last thing about the compendium, I was reading the rather hefty artical about the swedish army. And I read that in the provincial regiments(Those with place names in their name, So like Jönkøping ect) Spread their grenadiers out among the companies. Which came just in time, I'm about to start on some old Musketeer/footsore swedes and paint them as Björneborg. And I had planed to put my grenadiers at the right most place in the battalion(which was standard practice then and well into the 19th century) So that helped me alot! So Björneborg will get grenadiers everywhere!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Swedes 1/3 done

I have now completed 2/3s of my half way goal and thats also the 1/3 of my total goal.
First up is Småland they looked impressive with 30 figures, Even more so with 36. The Småland regiment still needs 12 more figures! 

 36 Småland
 Two deep line

Ride of the Swedes! 

And here the force in in all it's Glory. 
44 infantry Kalmar and Jönköping regiments and ofcourse Småland cavalry. 

 Only 80 figures, but damn that cav takes alot of room!
 Lots of Flags
 I've found a good tool on photoshop that gives good pics. 

I have some footsore/musketeer miniatures that I'll try and paint next. Just to see how they will turn out. Not sure if they will be part of my force or not.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jönköping regiment

 So I have a personal connection to Jönkjöping,  mabye not so special I'm from south eastern norway Jönköping is in central south sweden. It's less then 5 hour drive. So it's not like it's Antartica. But I remeber something from Jönköping. My dad and me always went to a lot of museums when on vecations, we went to alot of old military museums and Airplanes where always a favorite. My dad is the forman in Norwegian Radio Historical Sociaty, so any audio museum was a must stop for him. At Jönköping there was a radio/audio museum, I there was one thing there i found very facinating.  It was a wire recorder, It uses a thin metal wire that is magnetised. And work much like a video or cassete tape. Only steel wire instead of plastic.

I remember i found the audio very clean and clear, this was from a period when 78s where the norm to play sound and music. And they have a noticable grainy sound to them(which alot of people like, hence the new popularty of LPs) I remember it very clearly!

Any way this regiment is now done, painted as they where at Poltova. I did conicder painting them as they where at Helsingborg. But They had more red on them at Poltova so thats what they ended up as.

They are painted the same way as Kalmar, one base of 6 musketeers, one base of 6 musketeers and 1 drummer. And command/pike base with 4 command and 5 pikemen. They pikes are about 90mm long, which is much to long for this period. But They don't look like pikes if I do them shorter!

I love the Jönköping flag!

I only have 6 swedish cav left and I'm out of swedes again!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Back to Småland!

So I got a gift card to Warfare miniatures for christmas from my fiance, It was enough to buy 18 cav and 20 infantry. I have now painted 7 of the infantry and will paint 6 more today. 
I also painted 6 of the cav many months ago, But then I got distracted by Napoleincs and Seven  years war stuff. I painted 6 more of the horses then got distracted again, and my 6 troopers lay primed on the table for a couple of weeks. I finnaly finished them yesterday. And now my Småland regiment is 30 strong! 

I hope to keep it up to finish the last 6 for the regiment and the infantry. If I do that I will be 2/3 done with my half way goal! 

The standard barer in the center front is Lieuteant Engebakken, The ansestor to my Fiance, He is of course Norwegian in Swedish service as she can't have any swedes in the linage.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Colonel Général Cavalerie and some WIPs

So quite a long time since last post. Still doing SYW but a bit bigger stuff.
I have painted quite a few prussians and austrians, but somehow they don't do it for me, I love the look of some of the units, but I don't feel inspired to paint them I have had 8 half finished prussians laying around for ever.

So I decided to change things up and do France vs Allies.

First unit up is  Colonel Général Cavalerie. As I'm doing Might & Reason, Colonel Général Cavalerie actaually represent quite a few other regiments, the "offical" M&R Minden OOB gives the french 6 "regular/legere/cuirassier" units, So I'll paint 3 of them in the more "exotic" colors with Colonel Général Cavalerie being one Bourgogne Cavalerie being other, Not sure which will be the 3rd "colored" unit. the remaining 3 will be in the more standard white uniforms.

On to the figures! These are Crann Tara miniatures, Crann Tara produces miniatures for The 45 rebellion, WAS, and some SYW stuff. It's also the european distribuater of Fife & drum miniatures, aswell as select figures from Minden miniatures range(so far Hanoverians)
The Crann Tara miniatures are sculpted by the same sculpter as Minden miniatures, They are very similar and don't hasitate for a second to mix them.(I know I will)

My Colonel Général Cavalerie are actualy Fitz-James figures but the uniforms are the same.
They are fantastic figures, and I'm very happy with the ressault(with one execption)

I found a new red while shopping for some painting and basing supplies. That is a perfect mix for my other reds. I have a good shade and good mid tone. But my mid tone and highlight are to far apart. This red(astrorath) is perfect to use between my mid and highlight.

The only thing I don't like are the checkerboard on the saddlecloth. it looks horrible, I can't free paint at all.

 As these are for Might & Reason The unit is 2 bases of 4

Next up is the first WIP, The french have some german units, but No figures fit the uniforms quite right. As I understood it there are two options, French in turnbacks, But then you have to paint on the lapels, Or Austrians, But then you are missing the swords, the vest got laced button holes and tricornes have pompoms, pluss ofcourse the bread bag ect is wrong.
Since I can't free hand lapels and I did have a few austrians I decided on them. The general cut of the uniform looks to be very close. And I can simply pretend they lost the swords in some gambling hall.

 I only had 12 austrians so the unit is just half done. 
 I don't often get to paint mid blue, all my blue is almost always dark, with some sky/bravarian blue. So it was fun. Mid blue and yellow is  nice color. 
Given the french got 19 infantry units for Minden and almost all French and Saxon infantry are white, I will take any opertunity to get in a few units with a little color.

And lastly a second WIP and this time it is WHITE!
The Hessian Miltitz Cavalry, Again No propper Hessians so these are prussians!
 So even on the Allies side I can't escape the WHITE!
Again I only had enough figures for half the unit.