Saturday, September 7, 2019
Savolax light infantry regiment, 1808
I already have a 6mm russo-swedish war project with the Savolax Brigade already complete, but since Perry Miniatures decided to do them in 28mm, I simply couldn't resist! I'll probably use these in Sharp practice or something else where I don't need so many figures. Big Battle Napoleonics in 28mm is a level of madness I'd rather avoid.
The army of Finland during the 1808 Russian invasion was an allotment system where farms and villages were required to equip and maintain soldiers for the Swedish army. This meant that every few houses would pool their resources together to recruit a soldier, offer him a small house and a patch of land to farm, pay for his equipment and give him a modest pay. The soldiers of the allotment system were basically farmers who also took part in army excercises and the occasional war. As you might guess, your mileage would vary on the quality of these soldiers as the intensity of their training and the quality of the recruits would vary a lot.
The Savolax light infantry regiment was different to your average infantry regiment in a couple of ways. First, it was divided into four demi-battalions instead of the usual two (I made two demi-battalions for this project which should be enough since the regiment was dispersed around Finland for most of the war). Secondly, a lot of attention was put into training them to operate in open order in the broken terrain of Savolax. Working together with Savolax Jägers they were well suited for the Finnish woodlands.
Painting these seemed to take forever for such, basically pretty simple figures. Don't know why I took so long, maybe I'm out of shape with 28mm historicals. The Perry models are otherwise great, but the uniform on the figures is actually of a later model than the one worn by Finnish regiments during the war. Luckily the differences between the uniforms are mostly obscured by other gear or too minute to be noticed by all but the most dedicated uniform fetishists, so it took only a bit of conversion work and creative painting.
There is an excellent article on the evolution of the uniform on the Northern Wargaming blog, go check it out if you're interested!