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