Swedish commander, 1808

Here’s another figure for the Finland 1808 setting. This guy is a slightly converted Foundry Napoleonic Austrian. I only removed a few small details, such as medals, and added others, such as the armband.

The miniature is supposed to look like a Swedish general who commanded the 4th brigade at Oravais in september 1808 (lt. col. Cedergren). He wears the uniform of the fortification (engineers) branch of the Swedish army, model 1802. I am not as pleased with this figure as I was with my other commanders, but I think that is down to the original figure. He and his horse are a bit too chubby. Also, the white on the horse looks a bit strange through the camera. Still, the blue and yellow colors work well, and as long as I dont look too closely, he will do just fine.

The model 1802 uniform as seen in the contemporary illustration by Eben.

Finnish reserve battalion of 1808

I havent done much painting lately, but I managed to finish one more Finnish battalion. This one does not have a flag, which was the case with the reserve (vargering) and so-called rusthållsbataljoner. The latter were formed in the 18th century, when a number of Finnish cavalry regiments were disbanded and converted into infantry. The former cavalry units were added to the existing infantry regiments, in which they formed extra battalions (normally, the regular regiments of the Swedish army consisted of two battalions).

The uniforms are the grey and blue worn by the Nyland and Björneborg regiments. The Åbo regiment wore a slightly darker blue facing color. I have painted them in a darker shade, but if I were to start over, I would do all three regiments in the same blue facing color, as the difference is hardly noticable on the tabletop. The grey-and-blue color scheme is also appropriate for the regiments which had received the new model 1807 uniform (with the same facing color for all regiments).

For these, I also varied the color of the trousers on a couple of figures. I will try and do this on more of my figures in the future, as I know that many regiments of the Swedish army in Finland had very well worn clothes by the summer of 1808.

A game of Chain of Command

We played scenario 4 (if I remember correctly) of the 29 let’s go campaign this evening. I played the German side. I used a motley selection of figures that I felt fit the Normandy setting relatively well. The game opened with me deploying a section in one of the central buildings. At first I thought this was a mistake, they were immediately pounded by a Sherman. But they survived. And this also lured my opponent into deploying his infantry in the bocage in front of the building. This led to them being caught in a crossfire out of which the Americans were not able to escape. One squad was wiped out entirely. In addition the Marder was able to engage and put some some shock on one of the tanks, while the leiG 18 and MMG hurt the American infantry even more. At that point my opponent threw in the towel.

The last game we played I felt that the Germans had no chance whatsoever of winning and was therefore surprised at the outcome this time around. The forces involved were pretty much the same. I think we both made mistakes, but I did roll better dice than I usually do.

Sdkfz 251/10

Another addition to my ww2 Germans. This model is by Blitzkrieg miniatures. I now have one 251/1 and one 251/10 painted up, and I also have one 251/1 unassembled in a box. The ultimate goal would be to have a full platoon’s worth, i e three 251/1s and one 251/10. Time will tell if that ever happens. In any case, my collection of Kursk-themed vehicles is growing.

Late war Brits

Just started some late war British infantry, made by Empress miniatures. Very nicely detailed figures. The camo pattern on the jackets is supposed to be quite toned down, but I think I managed to paint it distinctivley enough for it to be visible. If you look closely…

Swedish/Finnish jägers

These are the first two figures of a small unit of jägers I am painting for my 1808 collection. These are primarily meant to represent the jägers of the Nyland and Björneborg regiments. Perry make a set of Nyland jägers with shakos, but as far as I know, only the Savolax jägers had shakos. All other (Finnish) jägers had hats. The Swedish Värmland jägers had hats that look similar to the Swedish grenadier hats, and Perry do those as well (they did not take part in the war in Finland). So I exchanged the heads of the Nyland jägers for heads with the standard hat.

The jägers are distinguished from the regular line infantry by wearing black belts and a green pompom. Many illustrations show jägers of this time period with yellow pompoms. The regimental jägers were selected from of the regiments only when on campaign, and so the belts were blackened by the troops themselves, in the field. Presumably, the pompom color was also changed on campaign. In other words, it is quite possible that these color changes werent always implemented in practice…

The uniform also works for Swedish regiments who wore the 1807 uniform. At least the Kronoberg regiment wore this uniform when they took part in the landings in Finland in the summer of 1808, if I remember correctly. As you can see in the background, I am working on several different units at the same time. But at least I am getting some painting done…

Boxing my brigades

I have recently organized my napoleonic figures in sturdy cardboard boxes. I have used a magnetic mat in the bottom and as the figures are all magnetized they stick very well to the box. Previously I stored these figures in Feldherr cases, with every single figure in an individual foam slot. Needless to say, that wasnt very practical when setting up a game. With one brigade per box they come all organized and ready to play. These boxes dont take much more space than the Feldherr boxes either, although Feldherr’s foam system can be very good when not travelling in your own car (e.g. flying).

More Finnish artillery

I just finished a couple of figures and a cannon which are painted as belonging to the Finnish artillery regiment. The figures are Perry Austrian artillerymen with Swedish heads. The gun is a Hessians AWI piece. The gun, a 4-pdr, is called “Swedish”, but it was really a French gun which was similar to the Swedish system of 1725 (Cronstedt). Similar guns were in use in the Swedish army in 1808, of the Cronstedt system, as well as the later Ehrensvärd, alongside the more modern Helvig system. From the sources it is clear that roughly half of the guns fielded in the battles in Finland were of the new (1804, Helvig) system, while the other half were of various older types. Some of the older guns were iron, some metal (bronze). The older guns were much heavier, partly because they had oak carriages. Many of them were 3-pounders (the Helvig guns were all 6-pounders).

I painted the gun as a bronze gun with a blue and yellow carriage. This was common in the 18th century, and it seems likely that some older guns would have still looked like this in 1808. Below is a late 18th century model gun in the collections of the Army Museum in Stockholm. The iron bars attached to the carriage were used when the gun was pulled by “action horses”, i e when the gun was moved around the field of battle, but not limbered. This practice was discontinued just prior to the war of 1808, and by then the gun was drawn by the men using ropes instead.

101st airborne reinforcements

I am working on the last few Warlord Games US airborne figures that remain in my lead pile. I have already painted up a basic Normandy platoon (2×12 men, bazooka, officers, 60mm mortar). These additions add support options such as an extra bazooka team, a 30 cal mg team and/or an extra squad. Some of these I have re-painted and some of these had broken weapons (a common problem with these figures unfortunately). I repaired them with steel pike/flag poles which are much more sturdy. I am still short about 6 riflemen (to make a full third squad), so that when I am finished with the last of these, I will have to buy some more. I contacted WG and asked them if I could order just the riflemen separately, but that isnt possible anymore (as it used to be). Apparently the molds for these figures are worn out and will not be replaced. The squad boxes are still in stock in many places, but they will eventually be replaced by the new WG plastic set. The squad boxes also contain a large number of models that I already have more than enough of. WG often put together sets with too many smgs and in this case also carbines, which really werent normally issued to riflemen.

Some figures are already completely unavailable, such as the pathfinders, which I dont have and cant find anywhere. That is very unfortunate; I much prefer these older metal figures, as they have more character, in my opinion.

Resin church…

This resin church made by Total Battle miniatures recently arrived in the mail. The level of detail is great on their pieces. The internal details are particularly impressive, and the internal walls and staircase are loose so that you can remove them during play to fit figures inside. As always, there is some cleaning up of flash and mold lines etc to do before it can be primed, but the quality of casting is very good with almost no air bubbles at all. Overall, this is a great piece. Pricing was reasonable for such a massive piece (£60) and it arrived here in Sweden about a month after ordering, which is very good considering everything with the pandemic, Brexit etc. Now I just have to give it the paint-job it deserves…