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Archive for the ‘Baltic Crusades’ Category

This is a niche that I have really wanted to see filled — plastic medieval Russians. If you check out my previous blogs about Fireforge Games you’ll know that I can be a bit critical about their style, while still strongly supporting their overall effort of churning out plastics for some really important forces.

My favourite set so far is their dismounted Templar knights. If they manage to get their Russians up to snuff they just might take that first place. The reason is off course that medieval Russians from this period (around 1200-1300) have such interesting and varied styles of armour and gear. Just have a look at the shields (five per sprue) and helmets (11 different per sprue). I also like that Fireforge are containing the sizes of the swords and the bows. There will be five sprues in the box for a total of 25 soldiers.

From the pictures of the sculpts that Fireforge has released I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will be able to get the scale/lamellar armours to look good, as in overlapping correctly and with the right detailing. Since these pictures are work in progress its hard to say how they’ll end up looking. I’m carefully optimistic.

Some guys are wearing scale/lamellar and some are wearing mail. I’m sure that Fireforge are doing the right thing by not over representing scale/lamellar, but whether historically correct or not I wouldn’t mind exchanging one of the mail bodies for another scale/lamellar variety (there are five different bodies in total). Given off course that they manage to finish the scale/lamellar properly.

Ok, I’ve got more to say but will hold my tongue until we know what these actually looks like when finished and in plastic. This might actually be the first time I support a kickstarter/preorder. What speaks against me joining is that I can’t find an option to preorder without paying for their ruleset, which I’m not looking to buy.

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I originally posted this to another blog June 14 2011 under the title “The bascinet is almost finished”. This is part of a project to create an armour from ca 1340-1350. The bascinet is raised from one piece of metal.

Having attached the vervelles*, the lining and the mail the only thing that’s left is a slight trimming of the mail and to attach the rings to one another in the front. What bugs me now is the inferior leather work. The band is too thin and the mail is not attached to it properly so it looks too bulky. It will work for now though.

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*The vervelles are the tunnels that comes through the leather band to which the mail is attached.

Edited to add progress pictures:

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And here is my equipment stashed away at my parents place (200 kilometers up North so rarely used). The propane burner works fine but the railroad anvil is not properly hardened and is not stable enough. When there is a will there is a way..

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Here is the current progress of my assembled and primed Fireforge Games troops in the guise of Swedish Order knights, sergeants and troops. I have done some modifications by adding noseguards, some mail, and extra plates on a couple of helmets. Also gave one of the crossbowmen a moustache.
Mounted knights (and a couple potential sergeants).

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Dismounted knights.

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Order sergeants.

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Infantry

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Crossbowmen

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It’s finally official — I’ve gotten my Ph.D! Since I want to try to keep up a resemblance of anonymity I won’t tell you the subject except that it has to do with contemporary warfare. With that little detail out of the way.. I have started updating my own wargaming rules and hope to playtest them within a couple of months. Also ordered a box of victrix archers and light hoplites and a box of fireforge games mongols that i will convert to scythians. In other news the figure swapping i did with nobby went well and we both got what we wanted.

I have primed my fireforge Swedes and have continued painting my perry mounted men at arms. Will show some progress pics soon.

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I have spent some time assembling more Fireforge Games miniatures. A few more knights (Swede chivalric order, not yet defined), some foot sergeants (of said undefined order), and a bunch of crossbowmen (Swede ledung militia). Just wanted to share how I had to use green stuff to fit the knights to the horses. The unbarded horses might work without green stuff but the fit is hopeless with the barded horses. For one of the knights (the one to the left) I had placed the shield too low so I had to use a lot of green stuff to get a solid fit.

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So I ordered one box of FFG Teutonic Knights (mounted), one box of dismounted Templars, and one box of foot sergeants. I also have some parts from the mounted sergeants pack that I throw in the mix. Right now I’m leaning towards creating a mix of Swedish Hospitaller knights and Swedish non-order retinues. There were Hospitallers present in Sweden during the Baltic Crusades but I’ve seen no indication they participated in any crusades under Hospitaller banners. But that doesn’t bother me since I am in no way recreating any particular battles. I’m just after the flavour of the time and this project is more for my own amusement than the other projects I’m working on that I want to keep slightly more historically sound. As a side note I’ve seen some information of a Swedish nobleman that was supposedly head of a monastery while still wearing silver greaves and silver belt (both indicating an armed and armoured nobleman) and rearing sons. So there could potentially have been other militarily inclined monks in Medieval Sweden, just as Swedish bishops seemed to have no trouble fighting in wars. So even if I don’t paint these as Hospitallers the troops could represent a family with interest in monasteries and mixing monk robes with armour.

The plan as it currently stands is to use the best proportioned heads from the Teutonic knights pack for both the Teutonic knights and the dismounted templar bodies. I also  use the heads with mail hoods for dismounted knights to represent that dismounted troops might throw off their great helms to improve breathing and vision when on the ground. I take some of the heads from the Templars and use with a couple of the mounted miniatures to give them a slightly more archaic look. I also use Templar heads to create sergeants since they could be more old-fashioned than their knightly equivalents.

The troop types I’ve currently settled on are:

Mounted and dismounted knights. These have the most modern equipment and wield lances from horse and swords on the ground (might hang some maces on their belts also). They tend to wear the smallest shields and the most armour.

Mounted and dismounted sergeants. This is the highest tier non-noble troops. Armed like the knights but with slightly worse equipment.

Spear or crossbow-armed foot sergeants. These troops can be used as mid- or low-tier troops depending on whether they are considered semi-professional foot sergeants or amateur militia. They have bigger and more old-fashioned shields and a lot of kettle hats, mail hoods, and some archaic helmets. Mainly gamboised (fabric) armour.

I’m also experimenting with putting together some Eastern troops using modified FFG parts. Will see how that goes.

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