Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Björnborg


 I've finnaly finished my Björnborg battalion, it's been almost done for sevral months, but got distracted.
Unlike my other GNW Swedes this unit is made with Musketeer/footsore miniature figures, they where left over from a long dead first attempt at GNW, I'm not a fan of the figures. while well sculpted, clean and easy to paint, they are very limited in poses. 2 musketeers, 1 pikemen, 1 offficer, 1 NCO, 1 drummer, 1 standard barer, and 1 grenadier. So while it looks ok, they are to limited for me. They come in both karpus and tricrone, but the poses are the same, only the head is diffrent.
My Swedish force is now 63 infantry and 36 cavalry for a total of 99 swedes. Thats a records for how long I've gotten in a project in many years. It's a long time since a single project has gotten close to 100 figure strong.

I wasn't sure if I was going to keep this unit or not, as the style is quite diffrent from Warfare, but now that I seem them next to my warfare, they blend well enough!














 I'm quite happy with this picture

 Forward brave Swedes and Fins!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hanoverian Garde du Corps

So another unit done for my Minden project. This time the Hanoverian Garde du corps representing the Hanoverian cavalery under Sackville.

This might be the "division" I finish first. As it's only 3 cav units total. The two othes will be painted as Royal Horse Guards(The Blues) representing the heavy guard cav. And the Scots Greys representing the dragoons.

The miniatures are from Minden, They aren't an exact match, as the regular heavy Hanoverian cav don't have collars, While the Garde du Corps does have them. I decided not to simply paint them. As I've said my free hand is at minus 20 skill. Also the shoulder knots are missing again as the regular heavy cav don't have them.

Even knowing that I decided to paint them as Gard du corps, Because there is so much white in this project. Some 15 white french and Saxon infantry, Some 4 french cav, Hessian cav and two more Hanoverian cav. So pleny of more white to do. So any excuse not to paint white, and I'll take it.

 Flag is Maverick.



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Belzunce Infanterie And life








First some life stuff. I got Married on June the 4th. It was a wonderfull day. Perfect weather, good food, good company.

Sadly a week and a half later(on this Tuesday my grandma died. She couldn't take part in the wedding. But we stopped by on last Wendsday and gave her, her name stone, some photoes of the wedding ect. She died in her home she had lived in since just after WW2. Died in her sleep. She was 96 years old hand a good life. It's not that sad. While I will miss her imensly having seen her every day until I was 28 years old(she lived just 5 minutes from my childhood home) It was much better for her to die at home. With her own food, tv, gossip magasines. Then having to move to a nursing home and dying just two weeks later. She died in the best possible way for someone her age. She probebly only held on to she me get married. And I'm very glad she got to see it.


Now on to what The blog is about.

So wellcome to the Belzunce Infanterie,
I choose to use the Crann Tara WAS french, even tho they had the wrong bags and swords. Simply because I like the look of firing figures.




 Apertnatly Belzunce Infanterie was one of the few french units that did not use the royal livery. But I could not find the Belzunce livery.
 I do like the look of this. Only thing is the flags are not center enough. So for my next units, The command will be split between the two bases. So they are actually in the center.
1 down. 17 and a half to go(For the infantry of the french for my Minden OOB)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Half a Pike Block and life stuff












 So no updates for well over a month now. This is becasue I got hit with the flu that knocked me out for 2 weeks and it ended up as bronchitis so I'm on some nice antibiotics!

It was quite inconvient with wedding coming up. I finnaly managed to drag my self to the mall to get my, shirt, tie, socks and belt to finish the new fancy suit I bought!

So in 5 days the wedding is on, I'm still on antibiotics and coughing like a MoFo. But it does look like we will get nice weather which is nice as it's a outdoor wedding.

I did paint some artizan landsknecht a few years back. And they where a tiny 18 figure. Now with the help of 18 pro gloria it's no a sligtly less tiny 36 figure pike block. I now do have enough pro gloria to finish the 72 figure pike block!



 With 36 figure it does look somewhat blocky!
It's not often I get to use purple and especaly tourqoise

No two is exacly the same!

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 Tacticus.nu (if you see that page as a reliable source) The man that runs Tactics.nu 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 tacticus.nu 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!