Friday 20 September 2013

Getting the small men painted

A while ago I started to count all my unpainted figures and it struck me that I would never get all my miniatures painted. I'm not talking about a few unpainted figures here or there, I have whole armies that will never be finished. Around 1000 figures! And that excluding a few hundred fantasy figures. Instead of giving up and throw away everything, I started to think about using a painting service. I send a few Russians to Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka to see what they can do.
The figures are from Brigade Games' Storm in the East range (World War One/Russian Civil War). The figures themself are very nice so I asked Fernando to use their "Super Showcase" quality. I send them the figures in the middle of August. As painting guide I send them a picture I found on internet.
Random picture from internet, used as painting guide
Today, a month later, I got the first two pictures for approval.
They look nice; it will be interesting to see how they look in reality.

What am I going to use them for? Fight the Swedes for the control of Åland of course!

Friday 30 August 2013

And another review

Just got the news that WSS (Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy) has reviewed the Swedish Interwar range!

Monday 26 August 2013

Part Four of my merry band from Strängnäs

After I saw PanzerKaput's brilliant boy scouts I have to do some for me. They are a little bit different from english scouts, they have blue shirts! I will just make a small group of seven.
I will tell you more about their background when I have painted the Scoutmaster.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Bought a few new books

Got a few new books this week. Two of them are about the Russian Civil War. They are translations from russian. Seems to be very good.

Thursday 22 August 2013

What are they good for? Part 5 Russian Civil War

The Estonian War of Independence was a small part of the much larger Russian Civil War. When the Russian Empire collapsed into civil war the Estonians and many others made a bid for independence in 1918. First they were invaded by the Germans, but when they surrendered to the allies they evacuated Estonia. Shortly afterward it was instead the Red that invading the country. They quickly took Narva and advanced quickly toward Tallinn. At Christmas Eve they are just 34 km from the capitol.

At this point the first of two Finns regiment arrived in Estonia to help their neighbors. Many, if not all, of the Finns were veterans from the Finnish Civil War. Estonians and Finns are closely related and their language is very similar. With help from armoured trains the Estonians counter-attack and push back the Reds to Narva.

A force of 1000 Estonian marines and  Finnish volunteers made a surprise attack on Narva and pushed out the Reds. At the end of January Estonia was liberated and instead they attacked into Russia and Latvia. But the Germans hadn't disappeared from the Baltics; there was a large army in Latvia fighting the Reds. Now they invaded again Estonia to create a Baltic state under German influence. To make a long story short a year later the Estonians had defeated both the Russians and the Germans and now they were independent!

The Estonian army had during spring 1919 volunteers from Finland, Sweden and Denmark. There were as many as 300 Swedes in the Estonian army. Most were in Finnish or Estonian units, but they did also have a unit of their own, Svenska Kåren i Estland (The Swedish Corps in Estonia). There were around 100 men in it. Many had fought in the Finnish Civil War, but instead of being an elite unit it was a disaster.

While the soldiers and officers were in Narva, the staff was in Tallinn, drinking. It looks like they used all the corps money for booze. A few months later the unit had a new commander and it took part in battles in southern Estonia or northern Latvia. Very soon half of the men were wounded. Instead of recruiting more Swedes to replace the losses the unit was disbanded. It is possible that low moral made it unusable for battle. It is even possible that there was a mutiny just before the end.

After the disbandment a few joined Finnish, Danish or Estonian units, while others formed "Svenska Vita Legionen" (The Swedish White Legion) and fought for the Russian North-western army.

But did they use Swedish uniforms? In the Osprey book Man-at-arms 305 there is a picture with Swedish volunteers. They don't have Swedish uniforms, but they have helmets that look like the early Swedish. The caption says that it is from 1918 and the helmets are Swedish. The problem is that all my sources say that the helmet was being used from 1921 by the Swedish army, so the text must be incorrect, either it is later or it is some other helmets.

Swedish soldiers at Narva

Thursday 15 August 2013

Expanding the range

Without saying to much, I can say that Aaron of Black Crab Sculpting (who did the first batch Swedes) are right now making a second batch for the Swedish Interwar range!
Just remember that this is Work-In-Progress pictures.

Tuesday 30 July 2013


I'm really bad at making terrain. So when I saw 4ground's new houses I took a closer look. Nice ready painted houses sounded too good to be true. But after ordering a few from Warlords Games I can say that I love them.
So what is good? Good looking, cheap, light.
Bad? Takes an hour to build, smells bad at first.
Verdict? I love them!
The one in the middle and maybe the one on the left could be used for Swedish games. The one on the right is not correct for Sweden. Traditional Swedish houses in the middle of the country (where our campaign take place) are painted red. The paint is actually a by-product from the copper mines in Falun. You can se what they look like here.
And when I shoot the pictures my "assistant" (you can see paint in his face from when we earlier painted the walls in the living room) wanted to be in it too. The shirt is part of a traditional Swedish x-mas character called Pepparkaksgubbe. Why he got it now in the middle of the summer? Beats me, but he was happy.

Sunday 28 July 2013

The third part of Strängnäs Defenders

I10, Royal Södermanland's Regiment. Strängnäs is home to I10, an infantry regiment under the command of Bygg Per Bjällermalm. Even through the regiment have had problems with desertion since the outbreak of the civil war most of the soldiers are left with the regiment. Mostly they are 18 to 22 year olds from Strängnäs and they do actually believe that they defend the towns from enemies, like Dalmasar, that want to loot it and take their girlfriends. They have only had four months of basic training.

At this point in time bicycle troops belonged to the cavalry. This one is the first of a full bicycle squad. I converted a Warlord games British by cutting of his head and gave him a Swedish instead.

Part of the militia comes from the Fria Automobilsällskapet (Free Automobil Society). They are a volunteer group for helping the military with cars and motorcycles in war. Kind of Landstormen (Home Guard) but bikers!

Friday 26 July 2013

What are they good for? Part 3 Fighting SA and SS

This is the third article about what you can do with your WW1 and Interwar Swedes. In part 1 we talked about fighting Russians, Germans and Finns 1918, part 2 was about VBCW and getting an excuse for fighting the English and now in part 3 we are going to fight the SA and SS in Germany 1935! If that doesn't sound fun then you don't know what fun is!

3 Peace keeping in Saar 1935 - Facing Evil!

Background: After World War One France took over Saar (in south-western Germany) and all their coal mines. In January 1935 the people in Saar voted if they wanted to belong to Germany, France or continue being ruled by the League of Nations (LN). Many anti-nazists had fled to Saar, because it was the only part of Germany not rule by Hitler, and they were for continued rule by LN. Hitler on the other hand saw it as a great propaganda opportunity and wanted the people to vote for merging with Germany. The situation before the voting was therefore tense. LN sent peace-keeping soldiers from United Kingdoms, Italy, Nederland and Sweden to help the local police.
At this point Sweden had no troops that were any good, so instead of sending a battalion they were forced to make a new battalion by recruited a lot of NCO, cadets and officers from all the other regiments. The battalion, known as the Saar- or sometimes Zarbattalion, had only 261 men organized in two companies and a battalion staff. 50 of the men were officers.
The battalion arrived in Saar the 22 of December and because of their inexperience they were placed in Merzig and Becking in northern Saar, which was considered to be quite. It was a correct assumption, the Swedish troops didn't need to deal with any unrest; instead they enjoyed their stay by playing a lot of table tennis with the locals. On the day of the voting some of the Swedes were out on patrol, while the others were ready if anything would happen. Nothing happened. They went home on 18 of February.

What-if: There is at least one possible scenario

There were irregular SA and SS troops in Saar, making trouble. What if they wanted to test the inexperienced Swedes? Then there could have been some skirmishing in the towns and hamlets between the soldiers from the NL-force and SA/SS militia. And what about the German police forces, would they just look on or take part in the skirmishing? Would anti-nazist take part in the fighting?
Then there could have been three-way fighting between LN (Sweden, UK, Italy or Nederland), anti-nazist militia and SA/SS militia.

Forces: 1500 from UK, 1300 Italians, 250 Dutch, 261 Swedes and unknown number from SA/SS.

Herman Berglund in front of the building where the Swedish soldiers were stationed

Wednesday 24 July 2013

More of Strängnäs' defenders

Now when we have met the leaders of the military and militia forces in Strängnäs we will meet the troops. First the militia:

Strängnäs Militia (miniatures by Musketeer Miniatures)
Chief Designer Mjältbring (miniature by Musketeer Miniatures)

Strängnäs Militia. They were mostly recruited through the masonic lodge. Most of the members in the lodge did send their sons or servants instead of joining themself. The leader of the militia is Gunnar Bladmyr and his second in command is Olof Mjältbring, the chief designer at "Bladmyr Textilier". Mjältbring is very loyal to Gunnar Bladmyr, but not long ago they fought over the colour of the militia's uniform. Mjältbring thinks that black is threating and instead wanted a light blue uniform. Since Bladmyr is the boss he got it as he wanted it, but Mjältbring got the permission to make his uniform as he wanted it.

Sunday 21 July 2013

I'm back!

Now I'm back from holiday!
I have been in Turkey, on the south coast, with the family. Just sun, bath and no internet. Since my biggest interest is the Hellenistic time (from Alexander the Great and his dad to the late Seleukids and Baktro-Greeks) you would think that I have been looking at old ruin cities. No. I have not. Only bathing, eating and reading books about Alexander stuff. The book Alexander's Veterans is really really good. It's about the soldiers' perspective and  not the generals.

Anything new on the Swedish front? Well, when I got home I got 4 packages from different parts of the world! Among them are a lot of ww1 russians for gaming the Åland conflict and some interesting stuff from Warlord that will be converted into Swedes and BUFs (more about it later).

Wednesday 10 July 2013

The stout defenders of Strängnäs

As I have told you about earlier our club is running a small campaign called A Moderate Swedish Conflict. It is about a civil war in Sweden during the early 30s.

Today I want to show you my gang: AfSS (Alliansen för Strängnäs Skydd), the proud defenders of Strängnäs, a middle sized town (middle size in a Swedish context, mind you) near the frontline.

M ayor Fjätterbom (miniature by Dan Binsack Memorial Fund)

The town's defense is led by Mayor Peter "Patte" Fjätterbom, who is also the Worshipful Master of the local masonic lodge. He has united three different factions in the town and believes that without him AfSS will fall apart and the communists will loot and destroy the city.

Since the outbreak of the civil war he has started to feel paranoid and have recruited a small bodyguard to protect him from would-be assassins. As most sees him as a dork that is more dangerous to himself than anyone else, he is in no danger of being assassinated.

Colonel Bjällermalm (miniature by Ådalen Miniatures)

The leaders of the AfSS factions:

Colonel Bygg Per Bjällermalm is the commander of I10, the local infantry regiment. When the civil war broke out he sided with the Whites and smashed a small uprising Eskilstuna, a town very close to Strängnäs. After this he was contacted by a family member (the family is from Dalarna, which is controlled by the Reds) and he started to doubt the righteousness of the Whites. This has led to the point that he has started to sympathize with the Reds and has started to share secret information with them. He tries his best not be put in a position where he openly must choose side.

Schoolmaster Fjätterbom (miniature by Ådalen Miniatures)

Schoolmaster Anders "Ankan" Fjätterbom is the commander of the Landstormen units (Home Guard) in Strängnäs. He is a younger brother of Mayor Peter Fjätterbom, which he idolizes. Before the war he was a teacher at Thomasgymnasiet, the local upper secondary school. He believes he is popular with both pupils and his privates, but because he threats his privates as if they were his pupils they despise him. Most of them are after all older than him and can’t stand his inept leadership. Anders popularity doesn’t improve by the fact that he has his ruler with him on the battlefield, so he can punish disobedient privates.

Senior Warden Bladmyr (miniature by Musketeer Miniatures)

Chairman Gunnar Bladmyr is the leader of the local militia, number two in the town's masonic lodge and the chairman of a local cloth factory. But that is not enough because he sees himself as the rightful leader of both the masonic lodge and the town itself. He has recently started to demand that people address him as "The Great Leader". He has, for his own expenses, let his factory make uniforms for his militia. The reason is that he believes it is very important that you look sharp when you defend your Country against the Communist Hordes. Since Colonel Bjällermalm has denied him military equipment and arms for his militia, he has instead bought it from his business partner in Manchester.

Monday 8 July 2013

What are they then good for? Part 1: The Åland crisis

What are these Swedes good for? What conflicts did they fight?

Well, almost none actually.

So what good are they then?

You can game a lot of different what-if scenarios! Here are the first of many ideas:

1 The Åland Crisis 1918 - part of the Finnish Civil War and part of World War One.

Background: Åland is a archipelago in the middle of the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. The population is Swedish speaking, but belongs to Finland since the war in 1808-09. During the Finnish civil war the islands had a Russian garrison of 2000 men. White Guards (Sydvästra Finlands Skyddskår/Nystadskåren) from Turku/Åbo decided to go over the frozen Baltic Sea to confront the Russians. Soon after they arrived, Red Guards, also from Turku/Åbo, arrived too. The two groups started shooting at each other. At this point the Swedish government sent a few warships to help mediate between the Finnish forces and protect the civilians. They all agreed on a peace agreement. A little later the Swedes sent over a battalion (from Göta Livgarde) to help the Finnish and Russian troops to evacuate the islands. At this point the Germans arrived with a reinforced battalion! They were here to help the Finnish government (white) in the civil war. Everyone went home (except for the Germans who went first to Finland and then to the west front). Crisis over.

What-if: There are at least two different scenarios

1 What had happened if the Finnish forces had continued to fight each other? Then there could have been fighting between an alliance of Sweden, White Finland and Germany against Red Finland and Russia.

2 There was at this point a strong opinion in Sweden in favour of making Åland a part of Sweden. The population on Åland was not considered, by Sweden, to be Swedish speaking Finns (like those on mainland Finland) but "real" Swedes. Finland, including Swedish speaking Finns, saw the islands as a part of Finland, and was very suspicious about the Swedish forces on Åland and why they were there. They suspected that they were there to “take back” the islands. So the second scenario is a Swedish invasion of Åland against White Finland supported by Germany and Red Finland supported by Russia. We could here have a nice threesome!

Forces: 1000 Germans, 2000 Russians, 200 Red Guards, 600 White Guards (Nystadskåren), a few hundreds civilians from Åland and 600 Swedes. Both the White and Red Guards were from Turku/Åbo, which by the way has many Swedish speaking Finns.

Nystadskåren was badly equipped; they had only 115 rifles and a machine gun when they left Nystad for Åland. The whole reason why they went to Åland was to try to take guns from the Russians.

The 200 Red Guards were only a vanguard; 400 more arrived after the peace agreement.

The Russian garrison had plenty of good and modern weapons, but their motivation is low, the war is over they just want to go home.

The German battalion is the Prussian Jägerbattalion no 14.

The Swedish forces are three infantry companies from Göta Livgarde and a company of coast gunners.

Swedish artillerymen and Russian cannons in Haraldsbyn, Åland
Prussian Jägerbattalion no 14, the German battalions at Åland


Saturday 6 July 2013

Anatoli's Game Room: A review of the range!

Have you seen the review on Anatoli's Game Room?
If you have not seen the miniatures and want to know some ones (that is Anatoli's) impression you can read it here:
And if you have any question don't hesitate to send me a mail:

Thursday 4 July 2013

A real Colonel doesn't walk!

Dalaupproret has converted one of the officers from this range so he became mounted. Really nice work, you should take a look. A real colonel is of course not walking, he is looking over his men from the back of his noble steed.

I found his picture of, what I belive is, a monted officer in m/10 uniform.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Another game played and an important book

It has been quite here for the last few days. I have not forgotten the password again; just have been busy with work, family, work and a fantastic Pet Shop Boys concert (and after the concert I went clubbing, which is not recommended in my age).

Yesterday we played another game of our Moderate Swedish Conflict. We continued were we finished last time. We were something like 8 people trying to run a unit each, and Dalaupproret was the umpire. It was a very nice and pleasant game!

In the last game the White had a tank. It was a little to brave and drove to far away from the infantry. The tank got stuck in the strawberry patch and the driver was taken prisoner by the socialistic Young Eagles. The army brought forward reserves to take back the tank.

Here you can see the soldiers in front and the Young Eagles in the woods at the tank. What happened? Well that is a story I think Dalaupproret want to tell you at his blog. It is the story called: "Gruvettan and A Very Moderate Swedish Conflict #2".

But I have totally forgotten to show you this book! It is the most important book about the Swedish army 1910-1936. Simon Olsson "Svenska arméns uniformer 1875-2000". It lacks details about equipment, helmets and weapons. It is not so detailed about shoes and trousers, but it knows everything, and I mean exactly everything about the jackets, hats and insignia.
Highly recommended!

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Swedish uniforms in culture

Military life from the early 20th century is not big in Swedish pop culture nowdays. One of the few exception is a comic called "91:an Karlsson", that is about a private that hates being a conscript. It started in 1932 and is still being published to this day (summer 2013!). It is based on the creator's time as a conscript during World War One, and that is very obvious when you look at the uniforms. The figures are using both the older m/ä and the newer m/10 uniforms, but for some reason not the m/10 hat.

Correct military details has never been the top priority for comic writers (or most other people) so most uniforms have many incorrect details, but who cares? :-) So don't use these pictures as reference when painting.

First some early pictures, which are pretty accurate.

And now some newer, and as we in Sweden says: Finn Fem Fel! (Spot the difference). They mix equipment from 1880 until 100 years later!

And of course he got himself a staty in Halmstad!

All pictures are "© Egmont/Semic Press"

Sunday 23 June 2013

Uniforms from late 19th century to 1936, part 1: m/ä and fm/06

In the late 19th century and early 20th Sweden was a very poor country. Other countries did actually send food to help feed our children (thanks everyone!). In 1917 there were hunger riots in Stockholm, and we hadn't even been part of the First WSorld War.
What's the point of all this talk? The point is that the military was poor before the First World War, and afterward the politicians thought that we wouldn't need a strong army so they cut the budget even more.
So the military had to save money as much as possible. Therefore when a new uniform was introduced they didn't throw away the old ones, nothing was wasted. Instead they used the old ones until they were beyond repair and then you could get a new uniform. Because of this you can see soldiers mixing different uniforms in the same unit.
Soldiers wearing uniforms m/ä

The oldest uniform is called modell äldre (m/ä, model older), and that's the name all uniforms before the fm/06 uniform (more about that one soon) got. The m/ä uniform was not identical in the whole army; different units had different looking m/ä uniforms. You can here see the different models.

How to convert from m/23 to m/ä: They are very similar so you will only need to cut away the four front pockets with a sharp knife! This uniform did also have more buttons.

Next model is called fm/06 (test model 1906, försöksmodell 1906). The idea was to get a modern unity uniform, one that the whole army would use, instead of having many different. Here are some of the sketches of what the new uniform would look like. Some ideas was used from the sketches, some not. You can see that they were heavy inspired by the look of the Swedish soldiers of the Great Northern War.

The fm/06 uniform evolved into the m/10, which was the official uniform until 1923 for the army and from the First World War until the Second for Landstormen (Home Guard).
But more about the m/10 at a later point.

Tunic fm/06

How to convert from m/23 to fm/06: Cut of the epaulettes.

Friday 21 June 2013

Painting guide, part 5: NCO 1910-1936

And here is part 5 of the painting guide, the NCO's. They were equipped identical to the privates, except for the insignia on their hats.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

A Very Moderate Swedish Conflict

A Very Moderate Swedish Conflict (En Lagom Svensk Konflikt) is our campaign setting. The idea is that civil war broke out in 1931 between White and Red forces. It is of course inspired by VBCW and the Spanish Civil War, with a hint of Russian and Finnish civil wars in it.

As I am concentrating on the regular army I made a map of what the regiments in Svealand and parts of Östergötland are up to.

The regiments in Falun, Gävle and Örebro have joined the Red uprising, while those in Stockholm, Uppsala, Strängnäs, Linköping, Karlsborg and Skövde stay loyal to the government. The region of Bergslagen, which is controlled by the red faction, is very important for both sides because of the industrial production.
Bergslagen is sparsely populated and most part of it is a large single forest, but in the small communities along the waterways there are a lot of iron mines, ironworks and other factories. Karlskoga is also the main center for weapon production in Sweden.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Landstormen - The Home Guard

In the end of the 19th century Landstormen (the Home Guard) was created as a local defense force. From the beginning all males in the age group 27 to 32 years old was part of it, but in 1914 the upper limit was raised to 42 years of age.

When World War One started the Landstorm was mobilized to guard the borders and coasts. Until this time the uniform was civilian clothes with a tricorn hat (just like the one in the army) and a armband. But now it was obvious that it was not enough so during the war the Landstorm was also equipped with the grey m/10 uniform. The m/10 uniform was used until 1939 when they got the new m/39 uniform.

Later they also got the m/21 helmet and the m/26 hat. The hat was identical to the army's m/23 hat, except that their's was grey.

The Home Guard mostly used the army’s m/96 rifle, but also the older m/67 rifle.

Landstormen was badly organized and trained. Except for five days, training was largely voluntary.

Here is some pictures of the Home Guard in 1914.


Thursday 13 June 2013

The first battle involving the Sweding Interwar range

Have you seen the battle report on Dalaupprorets blog? He had done a marvelous scenario and prepared a very nice table for our club night. I was very impressed!

Here you can watch the soldiers advancing from the cows' perspective. (Click on the picture for a large view)

Painting guide, part 4: Private 1890-1910

Here is the fourth part of the painting guide series. This time it is the m/ä (model older) uniform. The figures are not supposed to be used for this uniform, but since it looks so close and it was still in use during the 30s I will show it.
There are some small differences, to make the jacket you have to remove the four pockets on the m/23 uniform.
You can find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Painting guide, part 3: Private 1910-1923

Here is the third part of the painting guides. It is a riflemen for the years 1910-1923, or he could be a Home Guard from 1914-1940. The tricorn hat m/10 is more correct than the older m/ä hat, especially for the Home Guard. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here.