I really like some of the classic art depicting the Great Northern War era (1700-1721), not just the big battle scenes but also some of the powerful character portraits. Most of the most famous ones were done long after the events during the so called national romantic era in the late 19th century. I am doing to quickly share a few of these and its purpose will become clearer as we progress.
Magnus Stenbock at the Battle of Helsinborg 1710
The first one is the painting showing Magnus Stenbock at the Battle of Helsingborg in 1710. A decisive victory over the Danes and stopped Denmark’s final military effort to regain the southern provinces of Scania that had been bitterly fought over since the 1650ies. The painting is by Gustaf Olof Cederström (1845-1933) and shows Stenbock raising his hat and a young drummer boy looking up to him – Sweden’s faith was in the balance after the disaster at Poltava 1709. My father had the picture in a book at home and told a very young boy about the newly raised army rising up to the task and winning on that glorious day. The accolades, not just from the Swedish people, from around Europe including the Great Duke of Marlborough himself. Stenbock was appointed Field Marshal after the victory. It is a fantastic painting.
Charles XII of Sweden and Ivan Mazepa after the Battle of Poltava
The next painting is another Cederström and shows Charles sitting down at the Dneiper river with the Cossack Ivan Mazepa who had aided the Swedes during the lead up to Poltava. Maybe Ivan is telling him to hurry up before the Russian comes and take him prisoner. The disaster at Poltava in 1709 was the worst day in Swedish military history.
Charles XII at horse
And finally and perhaps my favourite Charles XII on a horse by David von Krafft (1655-1724) who was a Swedish court painter. The painting shows the king in his simple blue uniform like his soldier and without any embellishments.
So why am I sharing these pictures with you? Well before Christmas I commissioned a few 6mm miniatures to enable be to do some Command bases inspired by these painting as the arrived today and I put some paint on them. I hope you like them.
All based on a Penny!
And the commission was with Combat Miniatures 6mm, you can find them on facebook @6mmcombatminiatures. I am really happy with the miniatures and the service.
I bought a 3D printer at the end of last year but it stood doing nothing for some time. Work was crazy leading up the Christmas break and during the break I got otherwise engaged. However I recently got it all up and running and how much fun I have had with it.
So far I have printed 1/3000 ships and 1/100 tanks and a lot of 2mm city buildings and walls (but more about that some other time).
The first thing I printed was the ships for the Battle of Denmark Strait 1941, where famously HMS Hood was sank by Bismarck.
These 3d files can be bought from Ghukek’s Miniatures,
I painted them in grey, gave them a black wash highlighted some of he detail with the same grey and painted the deck details with a light brown. I gave the decks a light wash of brown.
For the basing and wanted to get a quick results and painted the base in blue then outlined the bow wave in light blue and some streaks around the boat, then when dry some of the Atlantic blue from Vallejo (it is a modelling paste, link here). Let dry and carefully add some white to enforce waves and wake, and here and there. Really happy how they came out.
We will try these out in battle shortly, I will write about it then. The Little One is reading up on the Naval Thunder Rules.
As you may know I like using adhesive vinyl floor tiles that you can get cheap from Poundland as bases for my terrain projects and have used both the long plank variety as well as the square foot type (as shown in a few old posts, like this one way back (link) or this one (link).
For the Lund 1675 project I want to make a wintery mat (later post) and also add some frozen fields with bushes etc around them. These would be stand alone fields and I wanted to make a test section to see how it would work out using some tiles and well as draught excluders. I got some of ebay, and the smallest one 9X6mm or something like that, they are handy in that they are adhesive. I think they are sent in container from China.
The steps in the captions
Hope that was of some use, these tiles will enhance the table and I will make them bespoke to the scenario and then a few generic ones. They are really easy to make and relatively cheap.
Now I just need to get some more vinyl floor tiles,
Gosh, how do you review 2020? It was a bloody miserable year from many aspects and I think better analysts will summarise the world events like COVID-19, Brexit, American Elections and whether historical wargaming is dying. This review is more personal…
Well given all the time I have had working from home rather than getting into an office my blog activity has been really poor – this is only the 24th blogpost this year, that is about half the number of blog posts I normally do. However I do a lot of mini-blogging on Twitter and sometimes wish that I could link the two in some way. The blog posts feel more permanent and perhaps more like an achievement and gives time for a little bit more thought and wider information compare to doing tweets – I do not know.
Anyway thanks to everyone who follows this blog, the facebook group (not sure what to do with it) and/or my twitter account. All your encouragement has been really helpful this year, keep it up!
In terms of the hobby it has been a fantastic year and a few highlights for me have been playing in Jeremy Short’s Runequest campaign with some great people, attended the virtual Grogmeet that was an absolute blast and again catching up with new and old friends, hosted my own RPG on Roll20 for the Gang running a 28 year old scenario I wrote for the first Dalcon in 1992 (The Dweller in Darkness). Mike Hobbs set up a virtual paint club that I have really enjoyed and again met new and old friends for some casual chat. Thanks to all of you!
The Little One and the Others
The Little One is always up for a Game and playing with him is not something new I have discovered during lock-down but we had a blast playing a lot of games including Chain of Command, What a Tanker, Twilight of The Sun King, Men who Would be Kings, Dragon Rampant and many others. We have even got the rest of the family involved in some RPG and board game fun which I have to say is an achievement, Cheers mate!
Painting for Charity
I also had this idea that now seems like a no brainer about paining an army together as a community projects and try to make some money for charity. Well what a total blast that was and in 2021 we will take it further. This project actually makes me really proud and I take my Tricorne, of is it floppy hat off to all the painters who participated.
Here are some links about the project, including painting guides, etc.
Below a few pictures when we fought a Battle using these two amazing armies, with the help of the Twilight of the Sun King rules.
The high level plan for the project moving forward is
Doing a booklet with the armies
I would like the Army to fight a Battle at a Proper wargames show
Raising monies to Combat stress by doing a Raffle to win the army
More about this in 2021, again thanks to all who participated and encouraged.
Gods Own Scale Podcast
Sean Clarke re-launched the Gods Own Scale following some, I hope positive pressure, from Peter Berry and I. Sean has a relaxed style and brings out the best in the interviews he carries out, his passion shines through and the his list of guest have been varied and some new voices not previously heard, I especially enjoyed the episodes on Irregular Miniatures and Heroics and Ros.
I was invited together with Daniel Hodgson, Alex Sotheran to the Christmas special. It was a long show and I hope it came across like a few hobbyists having a good talk in the pub, because that is how it felt.
After a long and relentless campaign of trying to get Dirk at Grognard Towers to do an episode on MERP he did TWO episodes and he even brought Legend Liz Danforth to the party – what an absolute delight. Dirk also asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything”, you can listen to it in the link below.
The project got some attention from the Dala Radio and it was fun to talk about the project and I wrote about that here. I have also made some suppression markers and jump off points here as well as some river assault boats, here. This is a great project and I will try to start playtesting some scenarios for a Swedish Half-Pint sized campaign in 2021. You can find the latest Swedish Platoon lists here.
I also did some strange base forces for Infamy! Infamy!, more here. This is expanding the Mutant 1984 world in an early era.
I did some cool 2mm bases and that I will use to try out Mark Backhouse’s upcoming rule set “Strength and Honour”. More here. This will be my early 2021 focus.
So for 2021 it will be more of the same, I wish you from the bottom of my heart a fantastic 2021!
But before I go, we had a fantastic game last night and I am too tired for a write-up and there are other things to do, so a few pictures from the Twitter Feed – Another Mutant 1984 diversion using a variant of “The Men who would be Kings” rules, with some freaky events.
One of the scenarios I am envisaging for the “What if”German Invasion of Sweden 1943 project I am working on is a river crossing over the Dalecarlian River (Dalälven) – as it is such a central feature of the county.
The German army used the Leichtes Sturmboot 39 that were small high-powered assuault boats with by an 30 HP “Powered oar” outboard motor, they were used for river and small waterway assaults, crossings and to push pontoon boats. They were mainly used by Engineering typically to form a bridge head to build a pontoon bridge. Below is a small video showing them in use from Youtube.
I made a few improvised boats that I wrote about in an earlier blog for my Continuation War Finns.
Anyway the new ones are based on the actual boats and 3d printed. You can buy the files from 3D wargaming here. You can print out two versions one is an uncovered version (open boat, as can be seen in the video above) I believe the covered versions were used by the Marine. Well in my 1943 campaign they came from some marine units in Norway just before the invasion. I also have some uncovered ones that I will use to “redo” the Finnish ones I showed above. I asked Paul Edwards at Sabotag3d (https://www.sabotag3d.com/) to print them out in 1/100 or 15mm scale.
As for the crew I used some Germans from the lead mountain – yes mine is substantial. For the “drivers” I used pointing NCO or artillery models and for the others a selection of different infantry types. As the models are close together pay attention to helmet size as they tend to vary between manufacturers and can look strange next to each other. I cut most of the bases off and also the feet or parts of the legs to make some interesting positions. In reality the were probably less obvious targets when crossing in them but I think you agree that it looks nice and dramatic in the pictures below.
I added a base to them and painted the boats in a dark and light grey, most pictures indicate this type of camouflage pattern being used. I tried to create some effect of water and some foam by painting the bases dark blue, the drybrushed with a medium blue before adding some vallejo Atlantic water effet, finally I paintes some white to represent the foam. Here are the finalised pieces, I am really happy with them.
During the hostilities of WW2 the Royal Swedish Army was undergoing a number of changes and the most significant at the Platoon level was the 43M reorganisation. This organisation was ordered for the Army in 1940. The objective was that all units would have completed this reorganization by 1943. This re-organisation introduced more fire power to the Rifle Section by equipping the NCOs with SMGs and adding 2 No. Semi-Automatic rifles to each section. Further firepower was also provided by the introduction of a fifth Specialist Section with a 47mm Mortar team and an Anti-tank rifleman to each Platoon. In addition, a rifleman per section was a designated Sharpshooter and had a scoped rifle.
These lists allow you to field a normal Rifle Platoon (Skyttepluton) or a Ranger Platoon (Jägarpluton). The latter was more than often used to do specific recon missions and to distress the enemy.
These platoons would most often march onto to the battlefield, with a platoon cart and a horse. Some platoons may be equipped with bikes and some may even be driven to the battlefield in a truck.
The changes were gradual, and we suggest that the player can choose to play either the 1940 to 1943 or the 1943 to 1945 Rifle Platoon for the 1943 campaign.
You can download the latest lists in a PDF format below (they are work in progress, if you have any views or suggestions let me now).
Been busy with work and other stuff the last few weeks and as seems to be the case this year suffered in doing any regular blog updates. Will try to get back in the saddle at some point. If you are using twitter you could always go and find me there as “Per at Roll a One” @Roll_a_one, I am currently running a #36traystochristmas series “showing off” some of the many trays of 6mm I seem to have produced over the last few years. Breaks the isolation boredom.
I bought a few packs of peasants from Baccus to use in my 18th centry games. These are the WEC13 from the Wars of the European Range.
Really fun to paint them and different, not a battle winner but will look good around towns and cities on the table.
A small undead force
I bought myself a small set of skeletons and some other undead types on ebay from Microworld games (Cavalry, spear, sword, bows, etc), I did a black primer and a heady white drybrush followed by the bone horde contrast splash all over, then did the details in an evening sitting. Really happy with the result and based them in line with my Ancients on 50 by 20mm bases.
Finally, for this time, I would recommend this book from Osprey if you are interested in the Finnish Continuation war. I read it a relaxed afternoon and really enjoyed it.
It is really nice to see a book from this theatre in English. The publisher’s blur goes like this.
” In the summer of 1944, the Red Army staged a massive armoured assault up the Karelian Isthmus with the intent of eliminating any remaining German and Finnish forces facing the Leningrad region.
Most of the Soviet units sent into Finland were new to the region, moving mainly from the fighting in the Leningrad area. As a result, some had the latest types of Soviet equipment including the new T-34-85 tank, fielded alongside the older T-34-76. Germany refused to sell the Finns new tanks without a reinforced military alliance, but in 1943 began selling them a few dozen StuG III assault guns. This made the StuG III battalion the most modern and powerful element of the Finnish armoured division, and it saw very extensive combat in the June-July summer battles.
Featuring specially commissioned artwork and an array of archive photographs, this is the absorbing story of the parts played by Soviet and Finnish armour in the epic battles in Finland during June and July 1944.”
In a recent blog I set out my idea on how I would use the excellent Too Fat Lardies rules in the Post-Apocalyptic era following the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters in their role of protecting the civilised parts of world against the marauding wild gangs and monsters in the forbidden zones. You can read more about it in an old blog here.
“Some of you may recall the Pyri-Commonwealth Monster Hunters I have been doing for my warped Mutant 1984 project (based on the first version/incarantion of the Swedish RPG, now known as Mutant Year Zero). Well my take on Infamy!, Infamy! will be to expand my Monster Hunters and detail their exploits in the early days of the Pyri-Commonwealth when they fought for the Emperor against feudal warlords, wild beasts and marauding mutant warbands in the forbidden zones – trying to re-build a lost civilisation.”
I have been working extensively on this project since that orginal post when I had two units of Pyri-Commonwealth Soldiers.
Based on the Early Imperial Roman Legion Force in the Infamy! Infamy! Rulebook.
I am fielding this with 4 Groups of Monster Hunters (Legionaries) and 1 group of Auxiliary Archers. Will add some Auxiliary options in the next phase.
Here some pictures of the individal units.
The Laug Gang
This is a Marauding gang causing all kind of problems in the area, the are based on the Gaul list.=, with 2 Groups of Cavalry, one group of Elite Warriors, two groups of warriors and one group of tribal slingers.
In doing the cavalry groups I used Oathmark Wolfriders and then use all kind of things from the different sprues and the kit box. Basically buy some loose sprues and just mix it up (there are some WW2 helmets and more modern hat thrown in there for good measures, as well as the occassional animal head and additional limb). The same approach was used for the other Groups and they are a mixture of basic bodies, arms and heads. I wanted to create a non-uniform look apart for the elite warriors that I painted with a base Jade colour.
Next I will be working on some additional units and support options. Having fun!
Another weekend coming to an end, but some hobby time was found.
Mark Backhaus, who you may know as the General of the Denswe Army of the Charity Project I am running (or perhaps as the chap who turns out all those interesting articles in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy) asked if I wanted to do some playtesting of upcoming ancient rules Homunculus Est using my collection of Punic war 6mm stuff. Of course I was! I will play test it with the Little One.
The rule set aims to be a fast resolution Ancient battle wargame, playing very big battles on smallish tables. It is specially designed to be played in smaller scales creating a spectacle of big formations battling each other. Mark has done some amazing bases showing massed formations in 2mm and although I do have miniatures to try out the rules in 6mm I thought I could have a go at making a few big 2mm bases.
I ordered a starter pack of 2mm Romans from Irregular Miniatures (link here) to have a see how it would be to work with the scale. I had a done a try as few years ago and I did not like it, it felt like there were just small blobs shaped in some kind of manner to look like something but too small to get into some detail, compared to the 6mm and above I was used to.
However I have been blown away of some of the works done by some of my friends recently like Mike Hobbs, Vlad Seabrook-Smith, Sidney Roundwood and Mark himself.
The trick is just the same as I found in my large 6mm battles where I try to create a spectacle reminiscent of the old battle paintings that fascinated me as a youngster (here are few examples). It is really about focusing on being artistic to reach something looking realistic. A massed line of 28mm miniatures will look realistic but you need a bloody big line to really give the realistic look of a “big” battle.
Anyway some pictures and some narrative how my little test base went.
On the whole I am really happy with this and will get some more to do the bases for playtesting Mark’s rules using 2mm big bases, my notes are:
I will be using 100mm by 50mm bases (slightly smaller than the one used for this project)
I will use an early Imperial Roman formation for Legions
I will use another base coat and will spray the base with Matt Brown before I start painting it and make the bases look a little bit greener, more like my normal 6mm bases.
I will also need to make some warbands etc.
It will be fun and they paint up very quickly, possibly a little bit longer doing warbands assuming differing shields and clothes, etc.
Infamy! Infamy! Mutant 1984
I wrote last time about my take on Infamy! Infamy! setting it in my childhood haven of Mutant 1984 (more here). I did do my first unit of some cavalry in my Laug Warband, loosely based on the Gauls in the rules.
These are the Red Riding Wolf Riders and were made using a combination of Oathmark Wolf riders, some ancients plastic sets and some WW2 plastic sprues and some animal heads from Sally 4th.
/ Hope that was of some interest! Have a good week.