Sunday, March 31, 2013

Building some Swedish houses

Here are some pictures of how I built some Houses for my Finnish War project as well as my Medieval settings, at least the gray one that you have seen in a Baltic Crusade AAR.

The red house are bases on the numerous "Soldattorp" in english I think it would be "Soldierscottage". The Soldierscottage was where the Swedish soldiers and their familys lived in peace time.

The allotment system (Swedish: indelningsverket; Finnish: ruotujakolaitos) was a system used in Sweden for keeping a trained army at all times. This system came into use in around 1640, and was replaced in the early 1900s by the Swedish Armed Forces conscription system. The soldiers who were part of these systems were known as "tenement soldiers" (indelta soldater, the Swedish term, does not have the same meaning) due to the small tenements or crofts allotted to them. You can read more about the Swdish allotment system here.

Back to the building of the houses, I used a very nice house kit from Pegasus Hobbies "Russian Log Houses"

The Box contained 2 identical houses, the scale are 1/72 but I think they work fine for 28mm to.

I cut down the side walls on both houses so I would get a  less pointy roof and on the one that  also would be used for my medieval projects I filled one window and used the sides without windows as Swedish medieval houses just had few small, if any, "windows". 

PVA glue and a terry cloth towel to make the grass roof.

Medieval house to the left and the 19th century house to the right, ready for soem painting.

The Medieval house was painted gray as untreated logs turn gray by time. The 19th century house got the typical swedish deep red paint with white bargeboards.

About the Falu Red paint
Falu red or Falun red (pronounced "FAH-loo", in Swedish Falu rödfärg (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfɑːlɵ ˈrøːfærj])) is the name of a Swedish, deep red paint well known for its use on wooden cottages and barns.

The paint originated from the copper mine at Falun in Dalarna, Sweden. The traditional colour remains popular today due to its effectiveness in preserving wood. In Finland, it is known as punamulta ("red earth") after the pigment, very finely divided hematite. Since the binder is starch, the paint is permeable to water.

The earliest evidence of its use dates from the 16th century. During the 17th century Falu red was commonly used on smaller wooden mansions, where it was intended to imitate buildings with brick facing. Except in bigger cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg, and in the far south of Sweden, wood was the dominating building material.

In the Swedish cities and towns, buildings were often painted with Falu red until the early 19th century, when the authorities began to oppose use of the paint. At that point in time more and more wooden buildings in urban areas were either painted in lighter colours (e.g. yellow, white) or sided with stucco. The number of buildings made of bricks (with stucco) also increased.

However Falu red saw a surge in popularity in the countryside during the 19th century, when also poorer farmers and crofters began to paint their houses. Falu red is still widely used in the Swedish countryside. The common Finnish expression punainen tupa ja perunamaa "a red house and a potato field", referring to idyllic nuclear family life in a separate house, is a direct allusion to a country house painted in Falu red.

Falu red during manufacturing

The actual colour may be different depending on how much the oxide is burnt, ranging from almost black to a bright, light red. Different tones of red have been popular at different times. Recently a mix giving a dark green colour, Falu Grön, has also been produced by mixing black and ochre.

The paint consists of water, rye flour, linseed oil and tailings from the copper mines of Falun which contain silicates iron oxides, copper compounds and zinc. The current recipe was finalized in the 1920s. Aging Falu red will flake off, but restoration is easy since only brushing off of the loose flakes is required before repainting.

A traditional Finnish falu red log house in Äänekoski, Central Finland

Traditional Swedish houses in the countryside, painted with Falu red paint.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

And the winner is...

Thanks for all the god guesses about my next project, some of you was spot on, +20 points in history to The Wilde Goose and also to Thomas Nissvik, Engel and Jonas M, but as they all are Swedish it might have been to easy for them... ;)

The Finnish War 1808-1809

The Finnish War 1808-09, i.e. the war between Sweden and the Russian Empire was fought from february 1808 to september 1809. As a result of the war Sweden lost about a third of its territorie and a quarter of its population...

My first goal for this project are to preper terrain (much of my 15th centery terrain will be re-used) and paint 10-15 minis for each side to be able to play out some small skirmish games during the Swedish retreat in april and may 1808 , and then we will see...

I´ll give you a short historical background today and more about minis and rulesa in the following posts.

After the Russian Emperor Alexander I concluded the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit with Napoleon, he suggested in his letter on 24 September 1807 that the Swedish King Gustav IV Adolf should join the Continental System. The king, who viewed Napoleon as the Antichrist and Britain as his ally against Napoleon's France was apprehensive of the system's ruinous consequences for Sweden's maritime commerce. He instead entered into negotiations with Britain in order to prepare a joint attack against Denmark, whose Norwegian possessions he coveted.

On 30 December 1807 Russia announced that should Sweden not give a clear reply Russia would be forced to act. Although most Swedish officers were skeptical about their chances in fighting the larger and more experienced Russian army, Gustav Adolf had an unrealistic view of Sweden's ability to defend itself against Russia.

The situation was problematic for Sweden, since it once again faced both Denmark and Russia as potential enemies requiring Swedes to split their forces. The king had thought it impossible to defend Finland should the enemy attack during the winter and chose largely to ignore the repeated warnings of Russian threat he received in early 1808. Most of the Swedish plans assumed that warfare would be impossible during winter, disregarding the lessons from recent wars. The Swedish plan was mostly based on passively defending and on holding to the critical fortifications in the southern Finland and then counterattacking with naval support in the spring and retaking the lost areas.

On February 21, 1808, 24,000 Russian troops under Friedrich Wilhelm von Buxhoevden crossed the border. Since the Swedish Commander in chief General Wilhelm Mauritz Klingspor had not arrived Lieutenant General Karl Nathanael af Klercker acted as Swedish commander in Finland. He was notified of the Russian invasion already on 21 February and since it was impossible to hold the predefined defense lines as the army had not yet fully assembled he ordered army to assemble at Tavastehus. 

Before the engagement started Klingspor finally arrived on 2 March and assumed command. Instead of facing the Russians at Tavastehus he ordered the army to withdraw. In Savolax Russian also forced the Swedes to withdraw. The king was quite unprepared for the attack, especially as war was not declared until April. About 21,000 Swedish troops were stationed in various fortresses of Finland, while the rest of his army was unable to leave southern Sweden for fear of Danish attack. 

Russian advance was swift. On the first day of the war they had captured the town of Lovisa and besieged the Swedish seafortress of Svartholm. Borgå was captured on 24 February and Helsingfors on 2 March. Abandoned Swedish fortifications Hangö Peninsula were taken and manned on 21 March and on 21 March Russian army took Åbo while a small detachment was sent to Åland. Before the end of March 1808 even Vasa was taken. In Savolax Russians also advanced rapidly and took Kuopio already on 16 March. Swedish forces had mostly just withdrawn before the advancing Russian often destroying usable materials. For example the Swedish archipelago fleets ships that been docked in Åbo (nearly 50 gun sloops) were torched to prevent their capture. 

The Swedish fortress of Svartholm under command of Major Carl Magnus Gripenberg was ill-prepared for a war. While the garrison was 700 men strong only third of the men had actually functional weapons while most of the fortress' guns had no carriages. The fortress had fallen into disrepair and lacked both adequate food and ammunition stores. Even the wells were found to be unusable. After starting the siege on 21 February Russians issued surrender demand for the fort which was refused. Demand was repeated on 2 March but without success. After meager Russian bombardment Gripenberg agreed to negotiations on 10 March. The fortress surrendered to Russians on 18 March after a siege that had lasted roughly a month with just one man having been wounded in action. 

Sveaborg under Admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt had been well prepared for the war with garrison of 6 000 men and having over 700 cannons, and enough stores to last until summer of 1808. Defenses were strong enough to prevent Russians from trying to storm the fortress by surprise. Instead Russians laid siege against Sveaborg. Fortress surrendered on 6 May 1808 after prolonged negotiations with the Russians as the commanding officer Carl Olof Cronstedt and his council thought that resistance was futile.. Russians gained main body of the Swedish archipelago fleet intact as well as large stores of supplies and munitions.

Russians had advanced considerably but they had also gained the long and vulnerable coastline with it. After sea would be cleared of ice there would nothing to prevent Swedish forces from landing troops to the shore. With the Royal Navy supporting the Swedish battle fleet there was little the Russian battle fleet could accomplish. Capture of the main body of the Swedish archipelago fleet had been a real boon to the Russians since it allowed them to gain superiority in the narrow waters of Finnish archipelago where large ships of the line could not operate. Even the powerful explosion at Sveaborg which destroyed several of the captured ships did little to chance Russian superiority in Finnish archipelago. Russians utilized the guns from the burned ships, and of those which burned during the winter, and constructed several fortifications to the coast, both to Hangö as well as to narrow passages leading to Åbo.

Under Colonel Carl Johan Adlercreutz the Swedish army counter-attacked at Siikajoki and started halting the Russian offensive. Soon after at Battle of Revolax Swedish army under Colonel Johan Adam Cronstedt started the Swedish advance towards south. These successes yielded promotion to Field Marshal to Wilhelm Mauritz Klingspor. Swedish advance very slowly however as operations were mostly halted due to the thaw, exception was brigade under Colonel Johan August Sandels which swiftly advanced towards Kuopio. Nikolay Tuchkov, a Russian general who was dispatched to the north of Finland, left garrisons in every fort on his way, thus reducing his unit to 4,000 troops, which proved insufficient to pacify the hostile country. The Finns rose up in guerrilla fighting as far as Hamina (in Russian "Old Finland").

In May, the Russians suffered further setbacks when they were driven from Gotland and Åland, where a Swedish flotilla, supported by the local population, compelled the small Russian force left on the main island of Åland to surrender and then invaded the island of Kumlinge where bulk of the Russian garrison of Åland had been based. After two hour long fight the local militia together with Swedish landing force overcame and Colonel Vuich together with the garrison was compelled to surrender. On May 26, a British fleet carrying 14,000 troops under Sir John Moore entered the port of Gothenburg but, due to various disagreements with the king, never landed and proceeded to fight the French in Spain after leaving 16 battleships and 20 other ships at Sweden's disposal.

So that was a short recap of the historical situation during the spring of 1808.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My New Project...

...are not reveal just now...BUT I will give you some clues...

  • 28mm
  • Connected to Swedish history, of course...
  • a completely new part of history for me...
  • I have had thoughts of doing it before, BUT the minis out there for one of the participants arn´t good enough., so I will have to convert all minis for one of the sides...
  • Due to the converssions it all will start as a realy small skirmish project and depending on how the conversions turn out it might grow.
  • The Badguys (my point of view;)) I have mostly ordered from BrigadeGames.
  • The Heros will mostly be converted from Perry minis

I give you a Swedish history time line below, its in Swedish (sorry, didn´t find one in English) but one of the pictures might help you ;)

Any guesses?

By the way...a few of you out there already know as you helpt me out with some bits for the project, thank you ! but you are not allowd to guess, wouldn´t be fair ;)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lion Rampant AAR #4

1240 AD
Early spring, the ice had just broken on the baltic sea and the warriors had gathered at to make a sacrafice to Freyja for good weather. As they carry out their ritual they out on the sea noticed some ships approacing, as the ships got closer it was sertain that is was a Ledung fleet from the other side of the baltic sea and they didn´t seems to be here for the trade...

Here comes a 4th Lion Rampant AAR. This time I and Jonas used full  forces by the rules and we played it out on a 120x180cm table.


Baltic Heathen Hoast
1x6 Elit Warriors w Leader
3x12 Warriors
1x6 Skirmish archers
1x6 Skirmish hosre archers

in total 48 foot minis and 6 mounted minis

Swedish Crusaders Hoast 
1x6 Knights w Leader
1x6 Knights
3x12 Ledung Soldiers (mix of spear and bow)

in total 36 foot minis and 12 mounted minis

The Crusaders started in the ships and had to reach the land and unload to plunder and burn convert the village inhabitants...

The Heathen, that started with their Skirmishers and one group of warriors by the Sacredground, just had to stop them...

The crusaders ships approced land very fast... each ship carried 4 mounted and 14 foot minis that had to be organised in to fighting groups as they had landed on the beach...

The first Ledung soldiers and Knights are on the beach...

As the Crusaders had approached land and started to unload their ships the inhabitants had gathered reinforcements from all around. Chief Gudrik with his hird and mercenary horse archers was amongst the first to arrive...

The horse arches make some fast moves and engage the Crusaders by distance shooting, not causing much damage, most annoyance...

Swifth disembarkation by all ledung soldiers...some of the horses seemd seasik after the journy and didn´t want to move at all...

As the heathen approach the Crusaders a group of ledung soldiers form a shieldwall to recive the fierce heathen warriors...

Protected by the ledung Soldiers the Knights manages to get their horses of the ships...

Heathens approaches but get some cassultys by the Ledung soldies archery...

An unexpected reinforcement for the Heathens arrive by the flank of the Crusaders that as a responce sends a group of ledung soldiers to set up defence by the fence.

CHARGE !!!!!!

The heathen warriors charges in to the Crusaders shieldwall...

Only because of the shieldwall the ledung soldiers manage to force the heathens back...

The Heathens charges one again and manage to break the shieldwall and get the ledung soldiers on the run but they also have recived loots of casultys during the fight and retreats from the battlefield...

Chief Gudrik once again sends his horce archers forward to harass the crusaders...

The Knights have had enought and charges after them but the horse archers and the heathen skirmishers just easily evade...

Meanwhile the Ledung soldiers that protect the flank manages to get the Heathen warriors on the run by just good use of their bows and crossbows...

By the main line a group of ledung soldires have reached one of the houses and starts to set it on fire...

Chief Gudrik order his hird and warriors to be prepared for the Knights charge...

The Bishop and his retinue charges Chief Gudrik and slays 3 of his hirdmen to the cost of just one Knight. This was apparently to much for Gudrik and the remaining Hirdmen as they lose their hart and run for the forest...

Might be a change of Chieftain again...

This was a realy fun game, the rules worked fine and gave a good and nice looking game. The Knights are still very tought... BUT as this game was played with the old rule draft and Dan have in the latest one changed the combart rules some the Knight dominance might have been ended;)

The use of a 120x180 table worked fine, we might have been just fine with a 120x120 table as some of the groups had to move for a long time to get to the heart of the battle...

There will for certain be more Baltic Crusade games with Lion Rampant:)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mohawk Warriors #4

Here are some pictures of my 4th and last group of Mohawk warriors.

They was schedule for their first fight on monday evening, agains my friend Jonas and his Frenchmens. Unfortunally I had to cancle the game as my 3,5 year old son had falen on kindergarden and hurt his foot, so I spent the evening at the emergency instead... luckely it was only a nasty wrench and no fracture this time (he fractured his big toe at the gymnastic training just before christmas...).

So no first thoughts about the ruleas and AAR today, only some pictures of the 4th group of Mohawk warriors.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mohawk Warriors#3

With the Baltic Crusade project finished I can focus on geting the Muskets & Tomahawks interlude sorted out. Here are some pictures of my 3rd group of Mohawk Warriors, all minis from Galloping Major.

I hope they will fight well in tonights game with Jonas and his frog eaters;) our first time playing the Muskets & Tomahawks rules.

You also get a picture of the Warband leader.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Swedish Crusaders and Baltic Heathens

Here are the promised groupe pictures of my Swedish Crusaders and my Baltic Heathen warbands.

First we have a bunch of pictures of the heros of this story, The Swedish Crusaders;)

Crusader Knights with leadership of Bishop Thomas of Åbo and the Swedish Jarl Birger of the House of Bjelbo

No Swedish Crusade would last without the Ledung Soldiers, fighting in Shieldwall formation with integrated Archers and Crossbowmen, and under firm command of dissmounted knights.

The last picture are of the storys badguys, the Baltic Heathens, hardened by climate and continuously fighting these warriors will put up a real fight...unfortunally not so far on the games we played...but they will...put up a real fight...

It feels realy good to have worked through this project and be able to start some real Baltic Crusade wargaming.

Now I will also finish of the Muskets & Tomahawks interlude by finishing the rest of my Mohawk be realy honest I actually painted them at the same time as the Baltic minis, just have some basing left and that is quite good as I and Jonas will have our first game of Muskets & Tomahawks tomorrow evening...

After the Mohawks I have a new exciting project in the pipeline...more about that later... ;)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Swedish Crusader Knights

The last? minis for my Baltic Crusader Project are these 5 Swedish Knights.

The Banner are for the House of Bjälbo also known as the House of Folkung as the leader for my Swedish Crusaders will be Jarl Birger Magnusson from the House of  Bjälbo.

Here are some pictures of the Jarl and his retinue.

All minis from Curteys Miniatures.

YES ! There will be group pictures of the Crusaders AND the Heathens :)

EDIT 2013-03-16, Seems like Gripping Beast at last will release their plastic Unarmourd Dark Age Warriors at Salute this year, it have been a long wait...

From the back of the box: 

"Inside you will find parts to assemble 40 finely-detailed Dark Age Warriors. Each Warrior can be armed with a spear, but for extra flexibility the set also contains additional parts for you to make up to 8 of these warriors with swords, up to 8 with hand axes, up to 32 with slings or up to 16 with javelins. The box also contains extra parts to create horn-blowers and plastic bases for all your figures."