View Full Version : January Entry: Carlsborg 1890

01-06-2009, 06:36 PM
Heres my first WIP. I'm working on the ground texture. No buildings as of now but I'll get there. I'm currently on the cobbled areas. There will be a lot of different land layers for different textures, working with a new style and it takes some trial and error.
I'll put in grass (the green is just placeholder), cobbles, sand, dirt, mud and gravel if i can get the textures right.
It's a map of Carlsborgs fortress, the reserve capital of Sweden. It was built between 1819 and 1909, and I'll make the map from 1890, right after the big building reform (due to the long range artillery demonstrated in the franco-preussian war of '71). I have some research to do to find out what buildings were in place at the time, but I've got all the material.
/Hoel -certified historical guide at Carlsborg

01-06-2009, 06:41 PM
Nice start... and I am very interested to see how you are going to handle a map like this.

01-06-2009, 06:47 PM
Right now I'm banging my head coz I forgot the main entrance on the heightmap. Back 12 steps right there

01-06-2009, 08:02 PM
Ok. a cobblestone layer done. Looks nice, will work great with my gravel.

01-06-2009, 09:25 PM
Last update tonight.
Grass, gravel and sand layers added. Starting to look nice. Will take a stab at the buildings next.
### Latest WIP ###

01-07-2009, 01:41 AM
Looking good, I'm liking the progress so far! I can't wait to see what you do with the buildings and the labeling to know what each specifically are. Maps of real places are great teaching devices of those locations.

Looking forward... ;)


01-07-2009, 05:47 AM
The great teaching map, with arrows and little soldiers...
I'll se what i can put together. I'll mark the gates and main buildings. Maybe the major fortification features. I'll do one in english for the forum. It is a quite special kind of fortress, but the land front makes a good example of the new german school

Steel General
01-07-2009, 07:17 AM
This is coming along nicely.

01-07-2009, 07:35 AM
Good start Hoel, can you remove the latest wip tag from the keywords section and put the same text in at the end of your post just before your latest wip image attachment that you want the thumbnail page to show. Your thumbnail is showing just the first image otherwise. You can check previous months to see the normal way to do it.

01-07-2009, 11:15 AM
I put the wip tag in the tag section when i started the post. Now i can't seem to remove it.

01-07-2009, 11:23 AM
Hope some passing CL might be able to fix this then.

For now you can still add a new WIP tag each time and it will be alright. Fortunately in the html code thats scraped the keywords are at the top so its picking the next image. So edit another one in just above the last image and ill run the scraper again.

01-07-2009, 11:23 AM
A community leader can probably remove that. Some things you place in a thread or post can't be changed by the user, including the title. Someone should get to this in next day or two.


01-07-2009, 03:17 PM
Ok. Here's what I'm up to.
Added the foundation for the walls. The texture is very WIP. I'm trying to get a specific effect, but it'll stick for now.
I'm in the process off adding foundations to all the buildings. It'll look better since i can play with the shadows. Haven't decided on how to do the roofs, but I guess they will be hand painted elements. I'll do a dozen or so and use...
The main walls and the dry moat looks kinda nice i think. I want to add some gun emplacements on the main wall looking out over the glacis.
If anyone wants it I can put together a short essay on fortifications, I'm getting all read up on the subject again after all the research

I should change the date on the map too. I found the date on the reference map, 1918, and my books on the subject all have a gap around 1870-1918. i think most of the buildings are correct for 1890 but the final buildings was added on the east side and I don't really know what was built where, when.
### Latest WIP ###

01-07-2009, 05:27 PM
Heija Sverge! And all that.

So what are you sourcing the map of? I googled Carlsborg (Karlsborg as well) and the fort and couldn't find anything better then an areal photograph taken at a steep angle.

Looking good by the way.

01-07-2009, 05:56 PM
As i noted before, I'm a certified guide at the fortress, followed in my grandfathers fotstep there I quess. Took a 3 moth class in the history of Carlsborg, the history of fortifications and artillery, swedish history of war and how to perform the guide tour. They sure crammed our heads.
I've got a bunch of books and a binder full of copied papers. I've got a few dozen good and not so good maps of it. Most are building plans from 1817-1832 or modern maps from 1942 and on. I know I've got one book that is on loan to my uncle, and that has some maps I could use right now.
My primary source right now is a map from 1918 and I think it's the best for the time period. I'm still not what to do with the east side, outside the walls. There's an ammunition factory there and a railway station. I need to finds some info on when those were built. Otherwise I'll jsut rename the project Carlsborg 1918 and leave it at that.

01-08-2009, 06:07 AM
Thats good. Maybe the fortress would license your map once your done.

01-08-2009, 07:42 AM
I'll ask them nicely. Maybe the museum can buy it. I'm taking a pause from mapping today, so expect no updates.

Greason Wolfe
01-09-2009, 11:12 AM
I like the texturing. It's subtle but visible and gives a nice feel to what we're looking at. It will be interesting to see where this goes, particularly when (or if) you start labeling stuff. Looking forward to seeing more.


01-09-2009, 02:49 PM
The tag is taken care of. :)

I really love the colors of this map! The depth of the map is very nice as well. The only criticism I can offer is that the scale of the flagstone on the buildings looks a bit too big, but maybe they are that big. :shock:

01-10-2009, 04:59 AM
The building foundations will be mostly covered by roofs, and all textures are subject to tweaking at the final stage, they're all made with layer styles (almost everything except the heightmap is. All layers are gray for now.
I've started some labeling and have found a nice font and style i like. I need to start working on roofs tonight. Might post a scaled down version of the whole map later tonight so you can see the scale of the thing. The walls are 5kms long, the land front is 678m long and there's some 100 buildings all over.
I could really use CD for all the roofs *sigh*

01-10-2009, 05:38 PM
Here we go. Latest WIP in full scale. I've started on building roofs (using three layers to get the different roof heights) and labeling the main parts. I don't know how much i should label since I have a good reference map with a numbered list of every building. I think I'll go down to labeling the most important building inside the fortress istelf.
The roof colors are coming and the next big thing is going to be the artillery emplacements on the walls. Also thinking about the final touches;
-how and if i should frame it
-if I should put in some nice drawings of important buildings in the upper left corner
-if i should add a compass or something like that
What do you think?
### Latest WIP ###

01-10-2009, 07:25 PM
I think you should do everything you suggested - Compass, illustrations, etc. Not absolutely necessary, but I do think you should add some type of framing, where the map stops and a white margin to the edge. Also consider some kind of grid in one hundred or 500 meters just to help us understand scale of the structures and complex. Then perhaps label/number your grid at the edge before the white margin.

Its only January 10th and the challenge is open to changes until the 26th - you've got plenty of time. However, if you're own life is too busy, its understandable. I think these added details would complete your map!


01-10-2009, 07:40 PM
I'm unemployed and single. I've got all the time in the world!
A grid.. hmm.. must try that.

Steel General
01-10-2009, 07:45 PM
Very nice Hoel...I'll second GP's comments as far as additions to what is already fantastic.

01-11-2009, 10:15 AM
Lookin pretty snazzy there. I try not to put in all sorts of extraneous stuff as I think it detracts from a map (unless it's a crap map then that's what ya want). All I'd do is a title and scale and maybe a matte frame in white or tan.

joão paulo
01-11-2009, 11:55 AM

What app are you using?

01-11-2009, 12:43 PM
So far Photoshop CS3 only. Some non standard plugins used in the texture making (seamless tiling scripts, mosaic filter). I've used some custom brushes too. The font is Augustus.

01-11-2009, 02:01 PM
Got to say that I like what you have done.

As it stands atm, I would only label the major buildings because it looks like a "minimalist" type map and in order to keep that feel you should keep it "simple" and not too busy. If you do put a frame, I would suggest keeping it simple and subdued.

As far as the drawings in the corner, I would council against it. I do not think that you could do proper justice to them (at least not as good as the main map) at the scale that you would have to do it at to fit in the space you have.

Just my two cents worth

01-11-2009, 02:09 PM
What makes it look minimalist?
I'll put in a lot of trees and some elements for scale (cannons, carts and maybe market stalls on the sqiare) and the roofs will have different colors and maybe textures too.
I was thinking of a picture of Götiska Valvet (gothian arch or should it be gothic arch?), but since it's in the city crest I might skip it. The city crest will be in there by the map title.

01-11-2009, 02:29 PM
I was looking for the proper word, hence the "". By minimalist, I was not saying that there were no detail, which I can see and appreciate the work that went into this map, just refering to the fact that as it stands right now in the wip above, it is a very clean map without any "clutter" to take away from it as a whole. Adding things for scale is never a bad idea, but please do not add too much.

As someone said somewhere (I have forgotten where and who) "the hardest thing to do when trying to keep something "simple" is having the competence to know when to say that enough is enough."

One of the details that I am eagerly waiting for is the arty emplacements (Korash is a former Gunner of many years). Please do not take what I am saying as negative commentary, because I LIKE what you have done here, and was only commenting on what I saw above, not what you are planning on doing.

01-11-2009, 05:09 PM
Oh, I didn't take it negatively. I just wondered what you defined as minimalist. I'll keep the elements to a minimum but I'll put in every single tree (they're in the ref. map I'm using). I love making trees.
The arty will be 48 pounder breach loaded cannons with rifled barrels. Made by Åkers Styckebruk in 1863. I think there's 120 or so, but only about 20 on the walls, most of them are on the second floor of the land front and 30 or so are in the bastions in the moat. The land front was used as barracks as well as the main defense. It was the first pemanent indoor quarter for soldiers in sweden and was critizised for making the soldiers soft with heating and running water. The top floor was officers aparments and some of them had a big cannon in the living room (the officer got a pay bonus for maintenance of the cannon).
The southern wall of the land front is 2-2.5m thick limestone while the peace side (north side) is much thinner.
The western bastion was a water cistern as well as a gun emplacement.

01-11-2009, 07:40 PM
Wow Hoel, that latest WIP is stunning! I love it.
It's good to be able to see all the pieces together :D

01-11-2009, 09:43 PM
The top floor was officers aparments and some of them had a big cannon in the living room (the officer got a pay bonus for maintenance of the cannon).


The only times I have EVER seen officers cleaning guns was on their basic arty officer course (all our arty officers are basic gunners first).

Looking forward to the rest.

01-11-2009, 09:53 PM
Actually every apartment had a plaque on the wall detailing the obligations of cleaning and maintaining the gun emplacement (i think cleaning the actual gun was done by soldiers, they had a test firing every couple of months). It stated clearly that it was the responsibility of the wife to keep the gun mount clear and clean, so no officers cleaning guns.
One plaque is mounted in a diorama in the western moat bastion. It's one of the stops on the tour. One of the cannons is displayed next to it and and we load and 'fire' it on the tour.

If you're ever in sweden you should swing by. I'll take you on a tour.

01-12-2009, 11:55 AM
I finally found some pics of the fortress.
Here's (http://www.samlaren.org/karlsborg/index.html) a gallery, and this (http://www.samlaren.org/karlsborg/a27.jpg) is one of the guns. I'm having probs with making a plausible gun that works on scale.
Anyway, here's the latest WIP (forgot it and had to go back and edit my post). Trees and roof colors added.

Steel General
01-12-2009, 01:13 PM
This is coming together very nicely Hoel.

Any special trick to doing the trees?

01-12-2009, 02:51 PM
1. Use a tree brush. I have a couple of different sizes, but the small chalk brush (looks like a cloud) will suffice. This was 25px size and 120% spacing
2. Pull up size jitter and angle jitter to max. Use 4-5 counts under scattering (you can use minimal scattering and count jitter)
3. Foreground/background jitter to max, 10-30% hue jitter (depending on how much color variation you want), 10% saturation and brightness jitter. Purity 0.
4. Choose two greens (or maybe orange/red/yellow for autumn), I usually make one a light green based on the grass colour and the other one a darker shade with a slighly different hue.
5. In a new layer turn on drop shadow (tweak it when your done) and bevel (chisel hard, tweak softness when youre done)
6. You can now draw with a mouse or tablet. Everytime you click PS will put down 4-5 (depending on count) brushprints in slighly varying hues.
If you want more uniform size of trees adjust minimum size under size jitter. Use sharper brushes for larger scale.
This is the same way I made the hedgerows in my Lilium map, but with a smaller brush and I tweaked the spacing since i drew lines instead of placing individual trees.

When trees overlap, they tend to blob together so for dense areas i put in 2-3 layers of trees and adjust the drop shadow a bit.
I'll do a tut with screen when I feel like it, but there you go. Anyone familiar with PS should be able to follow this right?

Edit: Just made som experimentations with dual brush and i noticed that with the fussball brush set as dualbrush and with a slightly bluegreen light color is could doubleclick and make something that looks like pine trees. I had to adjust the bevel a bit too.
I'm thinking that with a second layer where every tree gets a click of white/blue they will be snow covered pines.

01-12-2009, 05:35 PM
2 posts in one day that mention the chalk brush...I never used it so I dumped it from the preset manager...dang! Guess I gotta reload those standard brushes.

Steel General
01-12-2009, 05:37 PM
Thanks Hoel, have to give that a try sometime.

01-13-2009, 08:26 AM
This is looking utterly superb, Hoel. Lovely work. The trees really make the maps sing.

01-13-2009, 09:53 AM
Latest WIP. We have cannons!
I think the actual map is quite done. Now it's down to all the tweaking. The .pgn was 16megs, so I used a .jpg again. It kills alot of detail so I'll need to find a host for the final map.
I did a full res png of a section just to show off the textures and fine details.
The .psd is coming up on 180megs now and is starting to slow the system down a little.
### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
01-13-2009, 10:38 AM
Looking good Hoel!

01-13-2009, 10:39 AM
Can't wait to see the hi-res version of the entire map. Been quite interesting for me to see how it went from what seemed to me a random set of shapes to this.

That and I like forts and castles :)

01-13-2009, 10:41 AM
If you click the thumbnail, and then click the picure again, it loads the whole picture in a new tab and you can zoom in and see the high res.

01-13-2009, 04:58 PM
You are rocking my world, Hoel :D

01-13-2009, 06:27 PM

I think I have found MY front-runner.

I love the detail. Like the swivel track on the guns 8) among others.

have some rep!! (if I could, dammit!! this deserves some)

01-13-2009, 06:38 PM
What do you guys think of the water color?
I'm tweaking colors and shadows now and I can't decide if it's too blue

Steel General
01-13-2009, 06:39 PM
It might be a little bright, but not enough to say....burn my eyeballs out of their sockets. :D

01-13-2009, 06:44 PM
It might be a little bright, but not enough to say....burn my eyeballs out of their sockets. :D


more subdued water would really make the grass stand out I think

01-13-2009, 06:50 PM
Ok. I'll mute it a bit, maybe make a gradient from deep blue to muddy/light blue at the shore.
Btw. I went a little overboard with the cannons. In the original they have open breaches and sight scews too.
Sadly they don't show, but I have a nice element to use if I make some other fortress.

01-13-2009, 10:27 PM
"Overboard on the cannons"? I should think NOT ;)

I like the way they turned out. Maybe a blow-up of an emplacement in the upper left will allow you to show them in all their glory. *hint* *hint*

/me luuuvs his guns/cannons

01-14-2009, 05:41 AM
I'll make a fortress just for you as soon as this is done.

01-14-2009, 01:22 PM
I really like where this one is going.... niiiiice

01-14-2009, 06:41 PM
I'll make a fortress just for you as soon as this is done.


ahhh, now you are making me blush....

01-15-2009, 05:48 AM
Wow, I'm very excited. That is the best work I've seen in the last month!

01-15-2009, 01:44 PM
This is a seriously cool Fortress/Castle map. I mean, seriously. Mad props, kudos and all that that entails.

01-19-2009, 04:58 PM
Ok. I've was down with the flu last week, couldn't get any work done. I'm up since this weekend (Alchohol is good for killing germs) I'm getting something done.
-Right now I'm experimenting with a frame for the map but can't get it right.
-I've added a grid, but I don't know if I'll keep it.
-I did the scale as someone suggested, I tried to tie it into the overall map style.
Any helpful comments or suggestions? I'm kinda stuck
### Latest WIP ###

01-19-2009, 05:17 PM
I'm fine with the grid, it looks subtle enough to me. No suggestions on the frame, I think it looks fine. There's only two things I might tweak a lil: the scale bar...make it more like the frame in alternating hues and the glow on the smaller text seems to be more pronounced than the larger text, maybe drop the opacity or size a bit. Both of those are very minor things, though, and it's a great map.

joão paulo
01-19-2009, 05:25 PM
This is very detailed.

Steel General
01-19-2009, 05:50 PM
Pretty much agree with Ascension.

01-19-2009, 05:57 PM
I'll post an update later. I picked throug some of my font collection for SGs entry and i think I found something to give the title a really cool effect. Stay tuned kids!

01-19-2009, 06:58 PM
I will third Ascension about the scale bar.

01-19-2009, 08:15 PM
Here we are then. Barring some tweaks and details, this is most likely the final, or release candidate 1 in any case.
I'm really happy with how it looks and I do think I got a nice subtle gold effect on the main title.
I don't know how I can post a map with good res since there's restrictions, I'll link it in if i find a host.
Since i hope this will be the final post I'll give you the back story to the place as well. It will be a bit long but I hope someone reads it...

The fortress of Carlsborg has for 60 years been the reserve capital of Sweden. It was build between 1819 and 1909. The technological developments in artillery, ammunition, communications and railroads during the 1800s led to extensive revisions and changes in the plans. This prolonged the building time to 90 years instead of the planned 10 and required defenses to be built up to 5kms from the core fortress, this includes two heavy fortifications on Vaberget. The first 20 years of construction was spent removing the sand ridge along Wanäs peninsula. The sand, enough to build 20 pyramids, were used to build the 5km long walls along the lake shores. 1832 Karl XIV Johan (a former french marshall who was adopted as king of Sweden) officially dedicated the fortress to his adoptive father Carl XIII and changed the name from Wanäs to Carlsborg (Carls fortress).
The plans were drawn up according to the new german school of fortification by Lt. Kleen.

The reason for this huge fortification in the heart of Sweden came around 1719. The great nordic war ended with defeat and russian troops invaded Finland and raided the east coast of Sweden. The king realised that if they could take the capital Stockholm they would break Sweden in one stroke. All important goverment assets were concentrated in Stockholm which were in the heart of Sweden at the time (Finland was a province).
90 Years after the great nordic war, Russia attacks Sweden again and conquers Finland, raids the east coast and an army stands on the ice ready to take the capital. A storm saves Sweden but in the peace that follows, Finland is lost. Now Stockholm lies at the eastern edge of the country with a sea border to Russia.
The new defense doctrin that is adopted calls for central defense. One big fortress in the heart of the country will be used as a fall back position and the enemy will be allowed to land on the shore. Long supplylines for the enemy and longer time for the army to mobilize will make it harder to win a war.

Between 1844 and 1866 the land front was built using 250 000 tons of lime stone (it is 678m long). The south side was 2m thick but even before it was finished, they were obsolete. New cannons and grenades could penetrate the tough walls. The response was to build walls right up to the land front and add 2.5m to the main wall.
Most of the construction was done by army prisoners in so called Pioneer companies, but local labor was hired for skilled labor.
The south defenses had three layers. First a wall and trech system with block houses (not on the map), then the main wall with it's dry moat and bastions and the last line was the land front itself. The guns were positioned on the main wall and in the land fronts upper floors. The roof could be removed to make room for more emplacements. The cannons on the walls were 24 and 48 pound, breach loading cannons with rifled barrels and in the moats bastions there were 60 M52 24pound breach loaded smooth bores for firing grapeshot in broadside salvos along the moat.

The fortress could house a garrison of 5000 men after a mobilisation, their quarters were in the land front and in the rifle galleries under the main wall along the moat. The nothern side of the main wall housed a huge armory with arms and supplies for 50 000 troops, half the army. In the main armory inside the fortress an additional 100 000 rifles were kept for the conscripted regiments of each province.

1928 the fortress was deemed to obsolete and is no longer operational. Since then it has served as a depot and training facility. To day the ranger regiment Livregementets Husarer K3 (Hussars of the Royal Guard) and the Fallskärmsjägarskolan (Paratrooper school) uses the fortress. Some special units have facilities there too, the Army survival school and some UAV units.
In total there's about 500 recruits per year.

There's some buildings to note in Carlsborg. The church in the center of the land front is built on the second floor and could serve as parliament in case of war. Under the western land front there is a vault for storing the gold reserve. The town of Carlsborg was confined inside the fortress until 1928 when a small town grew up around it. The town center remained the main square inside the fortress until 1942, when it was moved to Rödesund.

God bless the artillery,
God keep the pioneers,
God emend the fortification administration, if at all possible!
-Per Nyman, Batallion Chaplain

### Latest WIP ###

01-19-2009, 08:34 PM
Gonna be tough to beat, nice work.

01-19-2009, 10:31 PM
Man does this belong on a wall!!!

Might even need to pick up a print myself 8)

Just being picky, cause I couldn't stand this winning and know that it got printed with a minor glitch.....

in the cluster of building to the left of the main square, the top left hand building has a slight miscoloring (grey) on the upper right corner of the roof.

Beyond that...... AWESOME!!!

Steel General
01-20-2009, 06:41 AM
Well done Hoel!

01-20-2009, 08:53 AM
Ok. I've gone back to the original and found i made some really bad mistakes (Gate I was finished and I missed the docks). I guess I'll be tweaking a bit more.
I've tried really hard to make a good jpg this time, I think it keeps the detail better than the previous post
### Latest WIP ###

01-20-2009, 01:51 PM
wow O_O

that is just plain amazing

Steel General
01-20-2009, 03:57 PM
The coat of arms on the scale bar is a nice touch. :)

01-20-2009, 03:57 PM
Instant win ;)

Well, not really sure about that, but an awesome map nonetheless. Very good use of textures, colors, effects and fonts.

01-20-2009, 04:39 PM
This map is very nice indeed. I have a couple of small queries with it. Firstly, I can't see the gate that Emma's Gate refers to - I can't see a feature in any of the surrounding walls that suggests the location of a gate. That might just be me being blind. Secondly, the map labels on the buildings and on the darker regions of the gravel areas are pretty tricky to read. Perhaps slightly heavier text for these (again, could be my eyes :) )

Other than these small points, this is a very clear map. It's great to see such a careful diagram of a real world fortress. It highlights many useful featuers of fortress design in a gunpowder era.

01-20-2009, 04:59 PM
Emma's Potern and Potern III Are smaller gates leading through the wall out along the bastion. The entrances are not carved into the walls as the other gates so they don't show up on a top down map.
I've thought about how to visualize that, but other than drawing lines on the walls for all the underground passages, I can't figure it out.
Here's one of the detail sketches i made when i considered adding a lot of those. As you can see, there's a lot happening inside the walls. There are somewhere around 3kms of passages just in the southern walls. In front of the bastions there's 2 passages leading south for 500m all the way to the block houses on the first line.

Found a photo that shows the gate fron the inside.. somewhat. In the middle of the brick are is the gate (the other doors are into supply vaults and the ones on top are doors to the ammunition storage)

01-21-2009, 11:05 AM
I'd suggest drawing in the sectin of visible roof and the hump in the earth rampart that appears to be right above it. Essentially all you need is some feature that will draw the viewer's eye so that they can make a good guess at where the gate is. I agree that drawing in all the passageways is probably not worth it.

01-21-2009, 11:11 AM
Apologies, I posted this twice for some reason. Carry on, nothig to see here....

01-21-2009, 11:13 AM
Although they would be really cool to add outside of the challenge if someone were to want to use this map in an actual game setting. ;) Maybe put them on a separate layer/map so that they can be overlaid on the main map as needed?

01-22-2009, 06:03 AM
torstan: I'll look into giving it a hump. May add the casuns too. It's getting more and more detailed...
RPMiller: I could create some sort of overlay for all the gates, galleries and stuff, maybe another map that covers a bigger area. If someone requests it, I'll do it.

01-25-2009, 11:11 PM
Hoel! I'm glad you entered and created such a professional showing. This one is certainly one of my favorites - though I might abstain from voting, for the same reasons as not participating. I'm the prize-giver, so I shouldn't show any favoritism. I see a future for you in the industry. Don't give up - you will soon be "discovered" by some publisher, I am sure!

Good luck!


06-27-2009, 11:55 PM
I just remembered that I had promised to share the drawing I made based on this map. I am not sure exactly what part of the fortress my photo reference depicted, but here's a rendition in graphite.

Apologies for the unintentional vignette. My illustration board was not flat, and my light was insufficient. Maybe the next time I need to photograph my large format work I'll overcome my laziness and set it up right.