Monday, June 20, 2016

Swedish Napoleonic Soldiers in 28mm (Part III) - Uniform Colours and a Painted Sample

Part III

The uniform colours of the Swedish Napoleonic line infantry - a painted sample

A Soldier of the Uppland regiment

Part I Swedish Napoleonic Soldiers in 28mm - an Overview
Part II Swedish Napoleonic Soldiers in 28mm - a Modeling Tutorial

Rather than a tutorial on what specific colours to use this, Part III, is a guide on what colour that goes where including some information on the regimental facing colours on the Swedish Napoleonic line infantry soldier uniform.

Uniform colours varied between regiments, jackets often being blue (at least for the regiments from mainland Sweden and with the grey unity uniform of 1807 as a given exeption to the rule) and different regiments used different facing colours. Some good guidance on the colours for different regiments can be found here (its for the Early Uniform of 1802 but gives a good idea of regimental facing colurs for the later uniforms aswell). Trousers were often grey wool or, in particular during the warmer months, white linnen. It should be noted that in particular during the Finland War 1808-1809 supplies were scarce and the Swedish-Finish army were at times quite a rugged band of soldiers in worn clothing or with soldiers missing pieces of uniform.

In this example we will focus on a soldier of the Uppland regiment wearing a Mid Uniform of 1806 (a modified and re-sewn version of the Early Uniform that is).

A side view - showing the white pompom indicating the first
company and the white collar of the Uppland regiment
The Hat
The close to corsican style hat with its upturned brim was black with a brass metal band. The decorations of the hat is maybe the most unclear subject of the Swedish Napoleonic uniform.
The regular line infantry used yellow plumes. The pompom located at the base of the plume varied in colour according to company. We have yet to find the pompom colours used by the Uppland regiment at this time but know for certain that the first company used white. Other company pompom colour examples - used by the Dalregiment in 1805 - was red, blue, yellow, red/white, blue/yellow, red/yellow, red/blue. As mentioned in Part I some regiments might have worn a patch with a coloured cross on the front of the hat. As far as we know the Uppland regiment did not implement that in the field however.

The Jacket
The Uppland regiment jacket was blue, a blue not as dark as the French blue but still not a light blue. We painted it using a mid blue, washed with black and drybrushed with the mid blue again. The Uppland cuffs were yellow piped white (note that we haven't bothered to paint the piping on our miniatures *gasp!*). The turnbacks on the jackets tail was also yellow. The high collar, however, was white for the Uppland regiment.

The Uppland soldier again
- showing the striped cloth belt and whitened leather belts

The Cloth Waist Belt
The cloth waist belt was striped in a deep blue and yellow as for all line infantry. 

Trousers, gaiters and shoes
For our purposes we have chosen to paint grey wool trousers. White linnen trousers were used by the Uppland regiment however, for instance in Pomerania during the summer of 1807. Gaiters were black with brass buttons. Shoes were black.

Leather Belts
The buff leather strap for the catridge box was whitened for regular line infantry. Some other leather belts and straps were whitened aswell but that might have varied in the field due to shortages in field equipment. The musket sling was not whitened, instead it was in red leather.

A rear view - showing the yellow turnbacks of the Uppland
regiment, the woolen grey trousers and black gaiters.
Also visible is the rolled up greatcoat or kapott.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Swedish Napoleonic Soldiers in 28mm (Part II) - a Modeling Tutorial for Line Infantry

A Swedish 1806 Line Infantry Uniform in 28mm

Green stuff additions!


Part I - An Uniform Overview - can be found here.

Today is the National Day of Sweden. Lets celebrate with some more Swedish Napoleonic information.

This Part II - A Modeling Tutorial - will give some clues on how to model Swedish line infantry in the 1806 model uniform, what could be described as a Mid Uniform, a transition between the Early and Late Swedish Uniforms.

Sweden's involvement in the Napoleonic Wars included fighting the French in Swedish Pomerania 1806-1807, again during the Leipzig campaign of 1813 and Swedish forces were also involved in the 1814 campaign against Napoleon. Also, Sweden fought Denmark-Norway several times during the Napoleonic Wars. Probably the most significant war during this period from a Swedish perspective however was the war against Russia 1808-1809. It lost Sweden its eastern half: Finland, that had been a part of Sweden for over 600 years.

Here we have chosen to do a Mid Uniform for line infantry. Depending on the paintjob that wouldn't be out of place in the campaigns of Swedish Pomerania 1806-1807, Norway 1808-1809 or Finland 1808-1809.

When trying to find suitable 28mm miniatures for making Swedish Napoleonic soldiers you run into several problems. The hat is one. The Swedish hat is quite unique. But we have found that the round top hat used by the British marines and in the Egypt campaign provides a good starting point. The other problem is the single strap satchel. Almost every single country (and therefor miniature) had adopted real backpacks. As the Swedes didn't until 1811 it is difficult to find suitable models to use as a basis - without alot of work removing straps and the backpack itself. Another issue is the Swedish lack of crossbelts. The Swedes have a catridge box of course but no shoulder belt for short sword or bayonet (the bayonet sheath was worn on the backside of the catridge box). The Swedes do however have a thinner strap attached to their satchel, crossing the belt of the catridge box. Also, the copper bowl or bulkruka is carried in a strap over the shoulder.

With Perry Miniatures releasing their British for the Egypt campaign - with round top hats AND without backpacks! - we finally had some really good stuff to work with. Also, which is very much preferable for us as we intend to use them in skirmish wargaming, they were not in a marsch attack pose but instead in firing line poses. We have yet to find out if the Swedes - like these Perry sculpts - carried their greatcoats in a roll on their backs or across the torso as the Russians and Prussians - but this is good enough for us. Preferably they would have been without the greatcoats all together but you can't have it all.

The Tutorial 

First off: buy some Perry Miniature BH 96 Centre companies firing line, round hats, 1801-1807.
Excellent miniatures in themselves but now to be transformed into Swedes.

Perry Miniatures BH 96. The answer to our dreams.
(Next to great sculpts of actual Swedes in 28mm that is).
Trim away quite alot: the water bottle, the "wings" on the shoulders, the crossbelt buckle and the lace on cuffs and torso. A wire cutter with a flat back is perfect for this. Often you don't even need to use the file. Also, you might also want to cut away the queue (the long hair) and the bayonet sheath (on the left leg). It should be stressed that you could of course do a less involved conversion.

Use plyers to bend the hat's brim upwards on the side of the plume. Be careful to protect the hat from getting damaged on the opposite side.

Bending the brim of the hat.
Cover the satchel in a thin layer of greenstuff. Don't use too much. Then use a knife or sharp object to create a "fur" texture. You might also want to attach a tiny roll of greenstuff and press it flat to create the strap for the satchel's lid.

Creating fur on the satchel.

To make the copper bowl, roll a small ball of greenstuff. Again, don't use too much. We make ours round, its much easier than trying to try and create the somewhat pearshaped real bowl. Attach it to the knapsack. When the ball is in place, take a tiny flat piece of greenstuff and press it down to create a lid.

A green stuff ball to create the copper bowl.
A tiny round flat piece of green stuff is
pressed down on the bowl to make the lid.
Press some greenstuff to the side of the hat and then cut away excess to make the upturned brim.

Adding greenstuff before cutting away
the excess - making the upturned brim
Put a small ball of greenstuff to where the plume meets the hat and use a tiny amount of greenstuff to make the front metal plate on the hat.

If needed (depending on the result removing the lace and your prefered level of detail), add some thin greenstuff to make the cuffs smooth and to form the wide cloth belt. Also, you might want to add some greenstuff to the top of the plume (it is cut off on the model so it lacks texture at the very top).

Making the belt smooth.
Done! Now make some more and paint them all! :-)

Listing the different stages like this makes it look like a lot of job. It is reasonably fast though as you can make many things at once.

Done - Back
(I see now that I have yet to remove the bayonet sheath on this one...)
Done - Front
Another one - Back
(Another one that still has its bayonet sheath...)
Another one - Front

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Swedish Napoleonic Soldiers in 28mm (Part I) - an Overview

A Guide to the Swedish Napoleonic Uniform

With Sharpe Practice 2 now released its time to get our Napoleonic skirmish wargaming going again. Together with Dalauppror (please have a look here) there will, of course, be a Swedish theme. Our main focus will be on the Siege of Stralsund in 1807 and the Finnish War 1808-1809 where Sweden fought the French and the Russians respectively.

As our gaming will feature Swedish soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars we thought we should post some information on the look and colours of the Swedish soldiers of that era, as that information isn't as widely known.

Before posting for instance a tutorial on how to convert a miniature into wearing a Swedish Mid Uniform of 1806 - for use in the campaigns of Germany (Pommerania), Norway and Finland - it might be useful to provide some uniform context. So here is Part I on Swedish Napoleonic Soldiers that focus on the cut of the uniform and the other equipment worn by the soldiers.

The Swedish line infantry uniform of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) went through quite a few changes in the field - and even more on paper. It is complicated to establish what specific uniform that was worn in the field by a certain regiment at a certain time. Also, we are no true experts but this is our best effort (that we would happily adjust if needed). That said, to simplify, the Swedish Napoleonic line infantry uniform can be divided into three main categories. These categories don't cover all aspects, neither all regiments, but you can sometime benefit from doing 28mm miniatures instead of a re-enactment full size uniform...
- the Early Uniform - with plastron ("front panels")
- the Mid Uniform - single row of buttons, including both the modified 1806-version and the new grey enhetsuniform ("unity uniform") of 1807
- the Late Uniform - double row of buttons

Despite that new uniform regulations were being issued uniforms were sometimes to be worn out before being replaced and also logistics troubles and scarce resources in general made older uniforms being used in later stages of the war.

It should therefor be stressed that although for instance the Finland War of 1808-1809 could be described as a Mid War conflict where you might expect to see the then latest uniform (i e the unity uniform of 1807) it was instead more common to see the modified version of 1806 or the Early Uniform of 1802.

The Early Uniform

The Swedish uniform of the 18th century preserved the look of the Caroleans of Sweden's time as a major European power. After a change of style during the rule of Gustav III (1771-1792) the Early War uniform - first introduced in 1792 - presented a new cut for the Napoleonic Age.

It should again be stressed that although here described as an Early Uniform it lived on with many regiments through out the war in Finland.

The Early Uniform is recogniced by its plastron, a "breastplate" of front panels on the uniform's chest. Gaiters went above the knee. The round tall hat that - more or less unchanged - would stay on for many years, was close to corsican style with its brim turned up on one side. Another item that would stay on was the black neck-cloth that was worn around the neck, under the jacket's collar.

The short sword were in use and hung from a leather waist belt. Instead of a backback a single strap satchel of cowhide was worn together with a bulkruka, a copper bowl for water.

An Early m/1792 uniform, of the Uppland regiment.

An Early Uniform. A m/1802 of Hälsinge regiment
(from the Army Museum - the Digitalt Museum web page)

A side view of an Early Uniform jacket
(again from the Army Museum - the Digitalt Museum web page)

The Mid Uniform

The Mid Uniform is a case of two in one: the 1806 modified version of the Early Uniform jacket and the new so called unity uniform of 1807. The former was simply the older (often blue) jacket re-sewn into a new style. The latter was a concept of trying to replace all the variedly coloured uniforms with a single uniform of the same colour - grey with blue facings - for all line regiments. In both cases the plastron of the Early Uniform was no more and the Mid Uniform instead had a single row of buttons. The grey unity uniform failed to be properly implemented, atleast during the Finish War 1808-1809, and the modified 1806-version (together with the still used Early Uniform) seem to have been the norm.

Gaiters were, at least for many regiments, shortened to below the knee. The black neck-cloth was still used. A yellow and blue striped, wide belt of cloth was introduced and the short sword droped, leaving the soldiers to rely on the bayonett. With the unity uniform, the leather belts for the cartidge box etc were regulated to be black instead of the normal white for regular line infantry. The Early Uniform hat was still in use. It is uncertain to what extent the regulated round patch or cockade on the front of the hat with a coloured cross was actually worn in the field. It was supposed to be differently coloured depending on the regiment. The single strap satchel and copper bowl were both still in use (the satchel was single straped until 1811 when it was ordered to be modified into a knapsack with two straps).

The Mid Uniforms - the unity uniform in grey and the modified version of 1806
in blue, the latter probably of the Södermanland regiment. The officers in the
picture wear long tailed surtouts and white scarfs around their left arm
- a sign of loyalty to the king since Gustav III's coup of 1772.
The Early Uniform compared to the Mid Uniform
A Mid Uniform jacket, from the Jönköping regiment worn at the
battle of Ratan in 1809 (from the Army Museum - the Digitalt Museum website)
A rear view of a Mid Uniform
(The Army Museum - the Digitalt Museum website)

A single strap satchel m/1757 made of calfskin.
(The Army Museum - the Digitalt Museum website)
A bulkruka, a copper bowl. This example might be from a later date.
(from the Bohusläns museum - the Digitalt Museum website)

The Late Uniform

A soldier in the the Late Uniform - introduced in 1810 and as seen during the campaigns of 1813-1814 - has a somewhat different look compared to the Early and Mid Uniforms. The jacket had double rows of buttons. The cuffs got cuff-flaps with three buttons. Also, trousers were worn over the gaiters and decorated with "knots" and sometimes also a stripe along the outseams. The single strap satchel had finally been replaced by (or made into) a real backpack with the great coat straped on top. The copper bowl was still there though, and carried on the outside of the backpack. The hat of the Early Uniform was also still there. Some units might have taken initiative to upgrade the hat to a more modern shako. However, looking at Ljunggren's contemporary illustrations the old style of hat still seem to have been the norm and the shako was not implemented for real until 1815. The distinctive blue and yellow belt was in use.

A Ljunggren contemporary illustration of a Late Uniform.
Note the bulkruka - the copper bowl (pictured somewhat big).
A Late Uniform as pictured by Knötel.
A rear view of another Late Uniform.
This might not be a line infantry uniform because of the epaulettes
but still gives a good example of the cut of the Late uniform.
(The Army Museum - the Digitalt Museum website)
Uniforms of Västgöta-Dals regiment, of particular interest here is the
1815 uniform - a "later than late uniform" using our classification.
Very similar to what we call the Late Uniform though, but it has the 1815 shako.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Napoleonic French Dragoon Brigade in 28mm

French dragoons in the cold Northern winter
A new year! Unfortunally we have not been able to update with the frequency as we would like. Moving to new places, a new baby, lots to do at work. You know how it is. And painting napoleonics takes alot of time, at least for some of us.
In a previous post we showed the finished 2nd dragoons and now we are happy to present the 7th dragoons to be brigaded with them - 54 figures in total (GdB and adc included).

The French Dragoon Brigade
But now we have a new problem! Andreas' love affair with the Waterloo project was all to short! His new mistress is called the 24th (Saxon!) Division in 1813. So we are pretty much back to where we started with our Napoleonic project, back to the 1813 campaign that is. The dragoons were not painted in vain though since at least 10 squadrons fought at Dennewitz. With the addition of one cuirassier squadron and minor adjustments the 2nd and 7th regiments can be altered to represent the 4th heavy cavalry division, who was commanded by GdD Defrance. The French infantry battalions will then represent the 32nd infantry division - problem solved!

So there might be some saxons in the pipeline, who knows? :-) But for now: French dragoons! Lots of them.