Friday, 3 October 2014

Christian V – a gentle king with a arduous mission.

Christian V symbolically charging over a 
broken Swedish cavalry standard.

Dear readers, in a few weeks I head out for Copenhagen together with fellow club members Michael and Jesper, for a visit to this year’s DffCon gaming convention, where we are hosting a string of scenarios based on the Battle of Lund 1676.

For the purpose of these games I’m at the moment finishing up all the command stands.
Last week saw the Swedish King mount his horse and head out for battle – this week time has come to the King of the Danes, Christian V. 

The East Danish provinces;
Skåne, Halland and Blekinge - lost in 1658.
The location of Lund can be seen on the map too.

Christian was born 1646 in the Danish controlled duchy of Schleswig. He was a prince of the House of Oldenburg, descendants of the Jellinge Dynasty (The dynasty which has been in power the longest in all European history, more than 1100 years).

Another shot of the charging king.
The figure is from NorthStars 1672-range.

Ascending to the Danish Throne in 1670, his kingdom had suffered terribly under his father, Frederik III. The economically and socially important East Danish provinces had been lost to Sweden in 1658 during the peace settlement following the ”Karl-Gustav” Wars. 

This meant that not only had Denmark lost some 20% of its population, but also the strategic position as gatekeeper at Øresund, with the profitable trade taxations and most importantly its richest province of them all – Skåne (Scania).

King Christian V.
1646 - 1699.

Christian V would his entire life look across the waters from Copenhagen, eying his lost dominions in the horizon and feeling a call of destiny to take back what had been lost.

Through unintended diplomatic entanglements the opportunity arose in 1675, when France had forced Sweden to make war on Brandenburg, the ally of Denmark. Christian V declared war on Sweden, and preparations for a recapture of the eastern provinces began.

The coronation of the King in 1670.

After a successful campaign against the Swedish foothold in Germany, and the establishing the Danish naval supremacy, Christian V had the opportunity to move the war to Scania by a naval landing of his army.

On the 29th June 1675 Christian V and an army of 15.000 lands at Råå on the Swedish coast, crossing the only 5 mile wide strait. With his army watching from the enormous 500-ship transport fleet, Christian V is rowed in to the beach. As he leaps out of the boat and the sand of this old Danish dominion is again touched by its king, cheers from the many boats are heard. In response Christian V, this wonderful man, treats his audience to a little victory dance as he jumps and skips around with joy. He has his life’s goal in sight.

The massive 17 x 7 meter Danish flag - the picture is from 1977.
It was captured by the Swedes 1677, and is to this day kept in Stockholm.

Initial Danish success in the Scanian campaign saw the Swedish army retreat north to Småland, while awaiting reinforcements. Meanwhile a curious manifestation of Danish victory fever occurred. Christian V ordered a mammoth sized Danish flag to be sewn up, and hoisted from the fortress tower of Helsingborg. The flag was 17 x 7 meter (!!!), large enough to be clearly seen from the Danish coast across Øresund. It was a sign to Denmark that Scania had come back to its former owner.

A frogs view of his majesty.
No shortage of laces on neither horse or rider.

Later that year, well in control of Scania and the war, Christian V returned to Copenhagen in order to prepare for Christmas. However news of the Swedish army approaching from Småland compelled the King to return to his army, now encamped outside Lund in prepared winter quarters.

On the 4th December 1676, the fateful battle of Lund took place. Danish losses were crippling and Christian V was forced to allocate further funds for reinforcements and materiel. But in effect Lund was the beginning of the end. Never again during the Scanian War did the Danish army hold such a tight grip on its former provinces, or on the outcome of the campaign.

Christian V at the capture of Landskrona 1676.
A year later he would meet defeat at this very same location.

A further defeat of the Danish army at Landskrona on July 14 1677 settled the question to any effect. The war would drag on, but the young Swedish monarch had successfully defended his inheritance, and before either Charles or Christian could get a chance to sit down for a proper peace settlement, Louis XIV (Swedish ally) and the Dutch (Danish ally) had passed a peace resolution including a status quo in Scandinavia.

Both Christian and Charles were furious. Both had lead their armies from the front, both had seen war in the eye and risked everything for the price. And now, they had to sit down like two naughty schoolboys and take dictate.  Newer again would Christian hope to gain back Scania, and never again would Charles entangle Sweden into such close an alliance with France.

Front view - the command base is 3 inches wide.
Suitable for the C-in-C.

Christian V lived on for many more years, focussing his energy on renovating his capital, Copenhagen. It is due to his work that we today can enjoy a cold beer in the charming Nyhavn area, and on the “Kongens Nytorv” square next into you find the huge commemorative statue of this gentle but firm king.

Rosenborg Castle in central Copenhagen.

In the fall of 1698 Christian was mortally injured in a hunting accident. In pursuit of a deer, the king stormed up to the animal to finish it off, but the wounded deer kicked the king with such force, that he would never recover, but instead died after a long struggle to regain his health.

Today the “king-killer” deer can be viewed at the Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.

Thank you very much for reading!


  1. Another beautifully executed command stand and interesting history lesson. Appreciate both!

    1. Thanks Jonathan, soon time for the convention now. I'm really hoping that my Scanian War collection will create some attention on this particular point in Northern European history, particularly Scandinavian, when we get to Copenhagen for the show.

  2. Stunning history
    This is also a TV series

    1. Thank you very much Max, glad you liked the write up. I'm also a big fan of this part of Scandinavian history.Yes, you're right; there are a few TV series, both Danish and Swedish, that portray the Snapphanar militia of the Scanian War, and also the gang around Svend Gönge, the militia leader. Which one did you like the best?

    2. Moi.
      I cant remember name.
      I like the series rebels against to danish, tv-series.
      (I like old wallander's polis serie, small old man, and Rolf Lassgard)

  3. A great post, once again...A great paint job, once again...A great base, once again...A great pleasure for us, once again...Thanks!

    1. Hehe, Phil - once again my friend, I thank you for your kind words. They are really appreciated :0) Best regards from Stockholm!

  4. Great post ,history lesson and great figure to top it all!

    1. Cheers Chris, I'm happy to hear. It's always hard to constrain these posts, as I really enjoy the writing part as well. Hope it wasn't too long. I aim at the kind of post you might skim at first, and then return to with a cuppa for a read if interested. Glad you liked it! Wish you a nice weekend, hopefully offering you some time at your painting table!

  5. Another great looking miniature. Nice work.

    1. Thanks Engel - really appreciate the encouragement. Not long to go now, only a few more wing-commanders to do, and then it's off to Copenhagen for the convention.

  6. Looks great! What do you use for skin colour? Cheers!!

    1. Thanks John - its the Foundry Paint System A,B & C tone (5 FLESH).
      I give the A tone a deep tone wash, then build the face with B, and highlight with C.
      The lower lip is given a A tone mixed with a little red, to create extra life.
      Hope this was helpful :0)

  7. Just awesome. I like the style you paint the horses. Any chance on a how to? I find horses always to be a pain in the back to paint.

    1. Cheers M, not a problem. Its probably the greatest compliment a figure painter can get, so thanks - here we go:
      Like you, I was pretty frustrated with my horses, they didn't look realistic. So, to my fiancés horror, I became the "horse boy", Google-imageing a huge stockpile of horse images. This was probably the most important step, to really study how the skin looks, and how the markings on legs and face look.
      This particular horse is painted using the Foundry Paint System (53 Chestnut).
      I base coat in black. Then use the 53A tone. Next a Deep Tone wash. Then build muscles with a mix between the A and B tone. Then highlight with the B tone. Markings are Artic White A tone, with the C tone for high light. (gray + white)
      The horse's hair is a simple dry brush of medium gray on the black base coat.
      Leather is black traced with a medium stone gray to help it pop out.
      Hooves are a flat earth brown, given a deep tone wash, as I want them to be really dark (I always painted them too light prior, but again studying real images of horses will suggest otherwise)
      Hope this can help lessen the pain of painting horses :0)
      Thanks for dropping by for a read, and for leaving this kind comment!

  8. Lovely paint worl Sören !!!

    Like the history lesson very much, especially the part about the big Danish flag captured and keept in Stockholm;)

    1. Thanks Micke, I knew you'd like that one, and I bet you it was the Dalregementet who captured it too. I think they should mount it on a wall at the Royal Swedish Army Museum, or bring it to the football stadium next time Sweden is playing Denmark :0)

  9. Outstanding painting yet again! Also another fine example of background writing. That flag is huge!


    1. Thanks Christopher - yeah it should be about 119m2: So, actually more than double the size of my apartment :0)

  10. Fantastic painting Søren! I particularly like the deep red you've achieved – very nice indeed.

    And a great little history lesson too!

    1. Thanks Jonas! I've pimped him with some special skills drawing on the experience of our test game last week. Lets hope he will have more success on the gaming table in Copenhagen, at least he will be on "home turf" :0)

  11. Beautiful artistry as always. The figures looks like it leaped out of a the painting. That is a humongous flag.

    1. Appreciate the kind words Dean, thanks! Yeah, that flag - I mean, imagine being the Swedish soldier(s) who brought back this trophy! The mother load of all flag trophies! It must have weighed a whale.

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks Ray - he will soon be at the head of the Danish hordes, once again reclaiming Scanian to Mother Denmark!

  13. Fantastic painting and basing and the whole post put together with a great history report and pictures.

    1. Thank you so much for those kind words of encouragement, and for dropping by for a read. Glad you liked the posting!

  14. Outstanding work!!!! I love the history you add to your posts. I brings a lot of life and meaning to the miniatures. Wow killed by a deer, today people are killed by dear when we run them over in our cars. I guess it never hurts to remember to "double tap" a target before getting too close. I learned that lesson from a group of U.S. Army Rangers from 3rd Bn in Savannah Ga.
    See you on Thursday!

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