Savolax jägers

These are some very nice Perry miniatures for the 1808 Finnish war. The Savolax jägers were an important unit in the war for the Swedish side. The regiment consisted of enlisted men, as opposed to the main part of the Swedish army which was based on a form of militia system (the allotment system or indelningsverket). The militia system had been neglected for a long time and the alloted soldiers had received little training. In this situation, professional soldiers such as the Savolax jägers became central to the Swedish army in Finland.

The nature of the terrain also favoured jägers. Finland was, then as now, covered by large areas of forests, but also much marshy ground and both small and larger lakes. The fighting occurred along the major roads and line infantry could only operate effectively in open fields, which were relatively rare and always interspersed with wooded areas. It was therefore common to see “chains” of jägers moving slowly through the woods in front of a main body of line infantry. All infantry in Finland had to learn to move in open order to some extent, but professional jägers such as the Savolax jäger regiment certainly excelled in that respect.

1808 Finnish infantry

These are the standard infantrymen for the Swedish/Finnish army of the war of 1808-09. The grey uniform with yellow cuffs and collars is the uniform of the Savolax infantry regiment. The regiment had two battalions, which were in turn subdivided into four “half-battalions” in at least some of the battles in Finland. In practice, the “battalions” which appeared in the Finnish war were often not much stronger than a full-strength company. This also means that for wargaming purposes, many of the small battles can still be represented using a relatively large number of units, with the basic unit being a half-battalion or company rather than a full-sized battalion. This is similar to how the French-Indian War and American War of Independence are often represented in wargames (as in the Black Powder-supplements Rebellion and Dark and Bloody Ground).

As you can see, I base my miniatures on 20mm round bases which can then be mounted on movement trays. Bases and trays are made by Warbases. Warbases have the excellent option of adding holes for magnets to the bases and trays, which I have used on these as well. The magnets fit perfectly and the minis stick well to the trays. There are also various options for skirmish type trays which are more appropriate for jägers and irregular troops.

Karelian dragoons

One of the Karelian dragoons by Perry. The dragoons were attached to the famous Savolax brigade during the Finnish war in 1808-1809. The Karelian dragoons were not a full regiment, only a couple of squadrons. But as there were few other cavalry units in Finland, they were present at many engagements. The uniforms are among the more colourful of the Finnish army; the infantry wore mostly grey.

Hand-painted flags

These are some of Perry’s swedish napoleonic infantry. For a long time I hesitated about working on this project as I found it very difficult to make good-looking flags. There is only one or two manufacturers of suitable flags for this scale, and I didn’t particularly like them.

So, I tested a few techniques and found that it was’nt impossible to paint OK flags using a black/white printout of the basic design and them filling in the colours. To give them a bit of depth I shaded and highlighted the flags just like I would a miniature, and I used the same colours (in this case, Vallejo’s).

Russian hussar officer

I am slightly unsure about the uniform on this figure, please let me know if you notice any inaccuracies. This certainly is a lovely figure by Perry, although some details are very small so that it was a bit tricky to paint. This will work both as a leader for my Mariupol hussars and as a general (rather a colonel perhaps) of a Russian cavalry brigade, when playing Black Powder or something similar. Whenever I finish one or two more cavalry units, that is (some cuirassiers are on their way).

Paint scheme

The paint scheme was as described below. It is very similar to that used on the troopers, with a few additional highlights here and there:

Uniform, sabretache and shabraque: Coat d’arms Royal Blue, successive highlights with Coat d’arms Marine Blue

Collar, cuffs, lace and shabraque ornaments: Vallejo Gold Brown, successive highlights with white

Collar and cuff edges, braided belt, shako lace: Coat d’arms Gun Metal highlighted with Coat d’arms Enchanted Silver (some orange was added to the belt, but this is hardly visible)

Leather straps for sabretache, edges of sash: Vallejo Hull Red, highlight Coat d’arms Blood Red

Sabre hilt, chin straps, sash ornaments, etc: Vallejo Glorious Gold, highlight with Coat d’arms Enchanted Silver mixed in

Sabre: black base, mix of Coat d’arms Gun Metal and black, highlighted with Gun Metal and successively added Enchanted Silver

Boots, shako, reins, etc: black, successively highlighted with Vallejo Black Grey and Vallejo Dark Rubber

Human skin: Coat d’arms Tanned Flesh with Coat d’arms Flesh highlights, final highlight with Vallejo Pale sand

Horse coat: Vallejo Light Grey, shaded with Vallejo London Grey and Black Grey and successively highlighted to pure white

Horse mane and tail, and shako plume: Vallejo Dark Sand highlighted with Vallejo Pale Sand

All colors except metal and boots were also shaded with AP Quickshade Strong Tone.