Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Last Great Northern War Regiment....For the Moment

 This is my sixth and final Swedish GNW Regiment. A second tranche of six more Swedish regiments is hopefully en route from Nick at Ebor in the UK. In the meantime, I have plenty of other things to keep me busy at the painting desk - expect an appearance from some Russian Civil War types on the not too distant future.

The last regiment to be completed in this phase of the project is the Estlandska Regiment, chosen for their orange facing colour rather than anything particularly interesting about their flag, which is quite plain in comparison to some of the previous Swedish units.

The rather uninspiring standard

The grenadier cap and drummers reversed colours uniform are both speculative.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Marking ANZAC Day

 25th April is an important date in New Zealand and Australia - many will already know why, but for those who may not, please see below

Anzac Day

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).


Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand; however, the ceremonies and their meanings have changed significantly since 1915. According to Dr Martin Crotty, a historian at the University of Queensland, Anzac commemorations have "suited political purposes right from 1916 when the first Anzac Day march was held in London and Australia, which were very much around trying to get more people to sign up to the war in 1916–1918." 

Gallipoli campaign, 1915

In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied deaths totalled over 56,000, including 8,709 from Australia and 2,721 from New Zealand. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

Though the Gallipoli campaign failed to achieve its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman Empire out of the war, the actions of the Australian and New Zealand troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an "Anzac legend" became an important part of the national identity in both countries. This has shaped the way their citizens have viewed both their past and their understanding of the present. The heroism of the soldiers in the failed Gallipoli campaign made their sacrifices iconic in New Zealand memory, and is often credited with securing the psychological independence of the nation.

Commemoration in New Zealand

The number of New Zealanders attending Anzac Day events in New Zealand, and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For some, the day adds weight to the idea that war is futile.

Dawn Marches and other memorials nationwide are typically attended by the New Zealand Defence Force, the New Zealand Cadet Forces, members of the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire Service, Order of St John Ambulance Service (Youth and Adult Volunteers) as well as Scouting New Zealand, Gir lGuiding New Zealand and other uniformed community service groups including in most places the local Pipe Band to lead or accompany the March, and sometimes a Brass Band to accompany the hymns.

Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war.

Paper poppies are widely distributed by the Returned Services Association and worn as symbols of remembrance. This tradition follows that of the wearing of poppies on Remembrance Sunday in other Commonwealth countries.

The day is a public holiday in New Zealand. Shops are prohibited from opening before 1 pm as per the Anzac Day Act 1966. A prior Act passed in 1949 prevented the holiday from being "Mondayised" (moved to the 26th or 27th should the 25th fall on a weekend), although this drew criticism from trade unionists and Labour Party politicians. In 2013, a member's bill introduced by Labour MP David Clark to Mondayise Anzac Day and Waitangi Day passed, despite opposition from the governing National Party.

Commemoration at Gallipoli

In Turkey the name "ANZAC Cove" was officially recognised by the Turkish government on Anzac Day in 1985. In 1934, Kemal Atatürk delivered the following words to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields. This was later inscribed on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach) which was unveiled in 1985. The words also appear on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra, and the Atatürk Memorial in Wellington:


Those heroes that shed their blood

And lost their lives.

You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnnies

And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side

Here in this country of ours.

You, the mothers,

Who sent their sons from far away countries

Wipe away your tears,

Your sons are now lying in our bosom

And are in peace

After having lost their lives on this land they have

Become our sons as well.

Commemoration in other countries



In St. John's, Newfoundland, the Gallipoli offensive is commemorated each year on 25 April by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, which was the only unit from North America to fight on Gallipoli, who hold a march from Government House through the streets ending at the National War Memorial. Members of both the Australian and New Zealand armed forces are invited each year to participate in the march and wreath laying ceremonies.

In Ottawa, Ontario, a service starting at 9 am is held at the Canadian War Museum.[109]

In Toronto, Ontario, Anzac service is held at the Armour Heights Officers' Mess, Canadian Forces College.

In London, Ontario a dawn service starting at 5:45 am was held in 2017 at the Worseley Barracks.

In Winnipeg, Manitoba Anzac Day was commemorated by the Down Under Club of Winnipeg on Saturday 29 April 2017 from 6 pm until 10 pm at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre.

In Calgary, Alberta, a Cenotaph Service is held annually at Central Park with participation from the local military, held in the evening.

In Edmonton, Alberta, Anzac Day ceremonies have been held since 2009.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Anzac service is held at Victory Square, Vancouver.

In Comox, British Columbia, Canada, "Vancouver Island Anzac Day" is held on the Sunday closest to 25 April. Hosted by the HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial, the ceremony is held in various locations each year on Vancouver Island

United Kingdom

In London, a 5 am Dawn Service is held, alternating between the Australian War Memorial, and the more recently constructed New Zealand War Memorial, both of which are at Hyde Park Corner. The day is also marked by a 9 am Wreath Laying Ceremony and service at the Gallipoli Memorial in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral and an 11 am Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade at The Cenotaph, Whitehall, both of which are attended by official representatives and veterans associations of Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other countries. The Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Cenotaph is directly followed by a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. The Dawn Service, ceremony at the Cenotaph and the Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving are usually attended by a member of the Royal Family representing the Queen, and by the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand. Anzac Day has been officially observed in London since 1916, when King George V and Queen Mary attended the first commemorative service at the Abbey.

In Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, a March is held on the nearest Sunday to Anzac Day. A march followed by a service is held in Leighterton Cemetery, which has several war graves of servicemen from Australia and New Zealand. Veterans and cadets from the local ATC squadron attend.

In Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, an Anzac Day service is organised by the Oxford University Australia New Zealand Society. In 2015 the service was held at the University Church on 25 April, followed by dinner in Somerville College Hall. Representatives of the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions attend and Australian, New Zealand, and Turkish students are all involved in the service.

A service of remembrance to commemorate Anzac Day and Gallipoli is held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. This commences with a service in the chapel followed by wreath laying at the Gallipoli memorial.

United States

At the Los Angeles National Cemetery, the New Zealand and Australian Consulates-General host the service, held at 9 am. The largest expatriate community of New Zealanders and Australians were in Southern California as at 2001.

In San Francisco, there is an 11 am service at the Log Cabin in the Presidio on the Sunday nearest 25 April. Dignitaries from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, The United States and The United Kingdom attend. It is followed by a BBQ picnic.

In Santa Barbara, California, Anzac Day is remembered by the expatriate Australian and New Zealand communities. In the absence of an official World War I remembrance, several dignitaries from many countries including Australia, New Zealand and the US attend an 11.11 am morning service held at the Elings Park Veteran's Memorial Walk on 25 April of each year.

In New York City, two memorials are held: the main one at dawn, hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Consuls-General at the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, and a commemorative service on the nearest Sunday to Anzac Day, in the roof garden at the Rockefeller Center British Empire Building in Rockefeller Plaza; it is an annual tradition that has been held at this locale since 1950.

In Washington, D.C., Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women observe Anzac Day at a dawn service at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on 25 April and there is also a Washington National Cathedral commemorative service.

In Honolulu the Marine Corps hosts an Anzac Day ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as "The Punchbowl".

In Fort Rucker, a dawn service is held on 25 April led by the senior Australian liaison officer at the Fort Rucker memorial garden adjacent to the aviation museum.

Commemoration services are also held at Bloomington (Indiana), Boston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Leonard Wood, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, San Diego and Seattle.

A feature of every ANZAC Service is the reading of The Ode. 

The Ode is from the poem For the Fallen, written by Laurence Binyon.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning 

We will remember them."

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Variety is the Spice of Life.....

 ....which is why I often have a number of different projects on the go simultaneously. Some of these have been three quarters completed for a while, a couple have been fully completed and just not photographed, and others are fresh off the painting desk....

My last (for the moment) Swedish Great Northern War unit is underway. I decided to go with the Estlandska (Estonian) Regiment. The flag is quite plain but the bonus is the orange facings!

Here is the best angle on the Estlandska flag.

Next some of the recent arrivals from Caliver - four of the Pulp Figures female adventurers, painted for use in my Russian Civil War project

Machine gunner

Cheka Agent

Siberian Rifles Leader

Interrogator - well, what else is she going to use that whip for?!

These ladies have been finished for several months, I just never got around to photographing them - some servants hanging out the washing for the Border Reivers collection - but useable in many other situations I am sure

Really nice resin figures from Fenryll in France.

And finally, a batch of The Assault Group Border Militia and Reivers that will form the forces of the Crown if we ever actually get a game of Reivers on a table!

Command group - I think the flag is Mary Stewarts coat of arms as Queen of Scotland....

Four of the TAG Reivers on foot

A firing line of government calivermen

That's it for now, The second base of the Estlanska Regiment is based and just needs finishing off and I hope to complete the last six figure over the next couple of days.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Great Northern War "Osterbottens Regemente" Completed

 I have now completed the other 12 figures of the Osterbotten Regiment in my current Great Northern War project. One more Swedish regiment to go - with a desire for some facing colour variations, I am tossing up between the Estlandska (Estonian) and Bremiska (Bremen) regiments as below:

Anyway, following are nine images of the completed Osterbotten Regiment with their red facings

Front and rear views of the entire unit in all its glory

Officer, drummer, grenadiers and two fusiliers

I used some artistic license on the drummer as the Swedes do seem to have done "special" uniforms for their musicians, including some in reversed colours

Grenadier caps are "speculative" as we say when we have just made them up!

Five fusiliers and a sergeant with halberd

Following my recent discovery about NCO uniforms, I gave this guy blue facings on his coat but the red stockings of the regiment for a bit of interest. He has silver lace on cuffs, collar and tricorn.

I have also painted up three command figures for the RCW Latvian Rifle Division but they aren't based yet so they can wait for another day.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Great Northern War "Osterbottens Regemente"

 I have commenced work on the fifth of my current batch of six Swedish GNW units, the Osterbottens Regiment, which appears to have been Finnish in origin - I chose it because I had the flag again and also because they seem to have had a red faced uniform.

Swedish name: Österbottens regemente

The regiment was first established in the 1620's as Österbotten Regiment. The regiment was linked to the Allotment System in 1733. The regiment's history goes back to the Finnish Grand Regiment. In 1620's the Grand Regiment was split up into three smaller units. As a result of the constitution of 1634 the Army was reorganized. The Åbo County Infantry Regiment was then referred to as the "20th Regiment". The regiment was allotted with 1200 "rotar". Hence, the Regiment had 1200 soldiers organized into 8 companies. Uniform before the standard uniform: Blue coat with red cuffs

This is the flag - its from a different source and not as "arty" as the previous ones but I think its adequate for 28mm figures,

The command base of officer, two standard bearers and three pikemen. I do like the red facings for a change!

I used the white "CRS" flag that comes with the other batch of standards, so this will retain some uniformity amongst the regiments when they are together on the table

I touched up the six white animals on the standard with paint - I am not 100% sure what animal they are...horse, stag...?? This angle gives the best view of the standard

And to add to the excitement, both these small parcels turned up yesterday - 10 replacements from Nick Wragg at Ebor for a few of the original batch that were damaged in transit, plus a small order from Caliver.

I must commend Ebor again for their great customer service ethic. Nick has sent ten figures at no charge to me, and the postage was £10! That's a ridiculous cost for about 300g but it shows his dedication to his customers. He is getting his reward through the fact I have just ordered another six battalions and most likely will get a reasonable force of cavalry thereafter!

Contents of the Caliver order - firstly, 20 early WW2 French infantry that I will repurpose as the Latvian Rifle Division in the Russian Civil War - (they wore the Adrian style helmet, dontcha know?)

I have been looking at some of the Canadian "Pulp Figures" for several years and have finally taken the plunge with these two packs - I expect more will follow in due course, as they look like very nice, crisp figures that will go well with the likes of Copplestone etc.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

A Second Batch of Extra Pikemen.....

This is the second batch of six extra pike men, one base of three for each of the two Danish WSS Regiments they have been added to - being the Livgarden til Fods (Foot Guards) and the Prins Georg infantry regiment.

First up the two additional stands

The Lifeguards in their straw yellow coats, faced in red

The Prins Georg Regt in light grey faced red

The Prins Georg Regiments as it is planned to appear

The Lifgarden til Fods ready for Beneath the Lilly Banners

Next up will be the command element of another Swedish Great Northern War regiment - this time Osterbotten.