Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hurdy Gurdy

I took this picture of some model Thirty Years War Swedish Pikemen in the Army Museum in Stockholm on my last visit. The figures are 1/6th scale, hence the amazing detail.

I’m feeling a little Swedish at the moment. This is not surprising as I am part Swedish, with family originating in Malmo on my mother’s side. Maybe partly this can also be explained by our recent snow in Surrey with lots of people taking to cross-country skis.

Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)

Also, I have been listening to a lot of Swedish music lately; notably Lars-Erik Larsson’s first two Symphonies and his wonderful piece Dagens Stunder which is like jolly Sibelieus. I am also working my way through his 12 Concertinos which were written to be performed by amateur players with rather more experienced soloists. Very similar in conception, in fact to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana which was designed for amateur choir and orchestra. My friend from Stockholm (who introduced me to Larsson's music: he is virtually unknown in the UK) is over in London this week too. Unfortunately, I am in Qatar so I will have to catch up with her in Stockholm later in the year; which is always a pleasure.

My not very Swedish view as I type this. Palm trees in February is always a good thing!

All of this Scandinavianism is being reflected in my painting plans as well. Not actual painting, as I am in Doha (which is about as opposite to Sweden as you can get) but mental painting. I recently finished ten more Great Northern War Swedish infantry and, as a result my first two regiments are starting to look well on the way to being finished. Given that the Musketeer figures are so easy to paint I am inspired to just get on with them and finish them. I recently picked up quite a few more for a good price on eBay which included the flag for the Jonkoping Regiment whose red facings will make a change from the yellow ones of my first two regiments. This however, means that I will be working on three regiments at the same time. Next I would like to do some Russians but we are all still waiting for Musketeer to come out with their long promised pikemen (let alone Grenadiers).

I was initially attracted to the Musketeer figures by the striking blue and yellow uniforms. Some years ago for the same reason, I bought a lot of the Revell Thirty Years War plastics. As a set they probably remain the best plastic figures ever produced. I painted quite a few and even started to buy some of the Tumbling Dice 20mm ECW metals to fill the gaps (especially as regards pike men). I started thinking about the Thirty Years War again with the announcement of the new Warlord plastic ECW figures. They claim that they are suitable for both ECW and Thirty Years War but, in fact, there are quite a few differences in the fashions of the period not least of which is headgear, baggier trousers and the length of jackets. Recently, however, The Assault Group have released some proper Thirty Years War Swedes and I have just ordered a couple of packs to see what they are like. They are sculpted by Nick Collier who did the wonderful Renegade ECW figures. I expect them to be slightly smaller than the latter as, apparently, he wasn’t that happy in being asked to sculpt them so large. I gather that the Warlord figures will be compatible with the Perry ECW figures which are much smaller than the Renegade ones. For ECW I will stay with Renegade and Bicorne, I think. I am trying to finish some of the part-painted figures on my workbench and have four Renegade Musketeers to do to complete my second ECW Regiment so I hope to do this as soon as I get back from my current trip.


  1. Yes the Revell figures were good there are a few painted & based in the cabinet near me now, the artillery were particularly fine. Zvesda figs are equally good if bigger but a joy to paint I have some Swedes and Polish Winged Hussars. When Warlords ECW are released I will be very tempted as I have some unpainted Perry's & just need that 'nudge' of new figures to start on them. There is too much interesting stuff to research and paint & still only 24 hours per day to squeeze family,work and hobbies into!!!!

  2. I unexpectedly came into 4 sets of the Revells as a couple of friends I was buying some other figures from tossed in the 4 boxes free. Two of Imperial infantry, one of Swedish infantry, and one of Swedish cavalry.

    I find myself wondering if it would be possible to do a reasonable battle with them using Hordes of the Things, which is en route off of Ebay at present.