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"What is the difference between" Topic

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Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2021 2:36 p.m. PST

an American log cabin and a Russian log cabin?
I thought I'd try to make one or more cabins, and I wondered what the differences might be. I'd hate to build the wrong sort of cabin, but the pictures I've seen don't indicate any major differences. Still, maybe I'm just totally missing the obvious. Or maybe it's just something I don't see, like American cabins have 110 wiring and Russian cabins have 220.


SpuriousMilius01 Sep 2021 3:36 p.m. PST

I have a cardstock model of the log cabin that was Stalin's dachau--his country "Get-away" place. It's made of logs & has a thatched roof but it's vey well finished with a front porch & stairs, 2 rooms + an entry hall, window & door frames & some outside decoration, but as you say it's basically the same type of structure. I suppose that the American & the Russian frontier cabins were very basic structures built by the settlers to provide minimum shelter ASAP & then finished inside & outside eventually.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Sep 2021 3:47 p.m. PST

Mainly the roof. Thatch was pretty uncommon in the US. Usually split wood shingles. So make one structure with two rooves and you're there.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2021 4:03 p.m. PST

I'd agree with EC. If you wanted a difference, probably more windows in the North American version--milder winters and no glass tax. But for economy and ease of storage, one set of buildings, two sets of roofs.

Spurious, Stalin had a "dacha." A "Dachau" is seriously different. It's where the ruled go, and not the rulers.

DyeHard01 Sep 2021 4:15 p.m. PST

Window glass was pretty rare in American log cabins.
As above, roofing systems.
Russians like long vertical boards:
Note fancy windows.

This might be usefuk:

enfant perdus01 Sep 2021 5:28 p.m. PST

One big difference is that American log houses were built for expediency, whereas Russian ones were built for permanency. No American pioneer ever built a log cabin with the hopes that his family would still be living in it seven generations hence.

Besides the aforementioned roofing and decorative differences, American log cabins tended to have a lot of chinking or infill between the log courses, due to their hasty construction. Russians, on the other hand, spent more time and effort on carefully fitting each course. Another big difference would be the placement and construction of the chimney. Russian cabins were dominated by the large masonry "Russian stove", rather than the fireplace of American vernacular architecture.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2021 8:39 p.m. PST

Enfant perdu (or enfants perdus, n'est-ce pas?) has it right.

Cuprum201 Sep 2021 8:47 p.m. PST

Methods for fixing a log house during construction.



Windows until the early 20th century are usually small to conserve heat. In the city and in wealthy houses, there are more, usually elongated upwards, often richly decorated with wooden carvings. There are often no windows at all on the windward side. But on the "quiet" side of the windows there may be several (for an abundance of light in the house).




A "rubble" is sure to be made around the house. A wooden box around the perimeter of the house, into which insulation is poured, which does not allow the house to freeze from the ground. Almost always "canopy" and "porch" are made – otherwise in winter there may be problems with leaving the house due to a large amount of snow. For the same reason, the outer door often opens to the inside of the house.
A large brick oven (dimensions approximately 2x1.5 meters and more) is always located closer to the center of the house. And her brick pipe too, respectively.
The roof is covered with straw or wooden planks in several layers. Wealthy houses cover their roofs with painted iron.
Log houses are usually not painted. But such houses are often sheathed with boards, and then these houses can be painted, mainly red-brick, blue, less often – green.

Photo for inspiration. Of course, richly decorated houses are rare.


John the OFM01 Sep 2021 9:58 p.m. PST

Fascinating discussion.

John the OFM01 Sep 2021 10:00 p.m. PST

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Townsends.
Here he shows how to build a hasty American log cabin.
More episodes follow.
YouTube link

enfant perdus02 Sep 2021 9:31 a.m. PST

Enfant perdu (or enfants perdus, n'est-ce pas?)
It was supposed to be enfant perdu when I registered on another site circa 1997. When I tried to complete the registration there was a failure because it was the internet in 1997. When I tried again, enfant perdu was no longer available because, of course, I had just claimed it 2 minutes before, and it was the internet in 1997. So here we are.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2021 10:27 a.m. PST

The American log cabins should have loop holes for shooting through.


John the OFM02 Sep 2021 10:30 a.m. PST

@enfant perdus
That makes so much sense.
And even today, Autocorrect tried to force "Perdue" on me. Go Boilermakers!

Stephen Miller02 Sep 2021 2:46 p.m. PST

Wolfhag, never heard of cabin walls having loopholes. What they did have, I believe, were heavy wood shutters for each window and these shutters had slots cut in them to allow the defenders to fire out at any attackers.

Mark Plant02 Sep 2021 4:08 p.m. PST

From a wargamer's point of view, Russian log cabins aren't generally much use. Few of their wars were fought in the area with the rounded logs we are talking about here.

Most Russian wars were fought in the Ukraine, Polish and Baltic areas, where they tend to flatten the logs or cover them. And often paint them (generally white).

Cuprum202 Sep 2021 5:20 p.m. PST

Very intensive fighting took place in Ural, Siberia and the Far East. In addition, the Allied troops carried out the most active military operations against the Bolsheviks in the North of Russia. And this is just the zone of mass distribution of log houses.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2021 8:03 p.m. PST

Many thanks for all the input, especially the pictures! Saturday, I'm off to the craft store to buy dowel. I believe I will make two roofs for each house.


Mark Plant02 Sep 2021 10:45 p.m. PST

I didn't say none of their wars, just few.

In general if you want a generic Russian village for RCW, then white sided thatched houses cover much more of the fighting.

If you look at log houses of the period, they aren't generally thatched. They have coloured window frames as Cuprum mentioned above, and are often hipped.

link has loads from the Urals in particular. "Village" gets your rural ones.

DyeHard03 Sep 2021 7:48 a.m. PST

Mark Plant

What a fantastic link:

Here are just a few selections from the very beginning of the large collection:




Blasted Brains06 Sep 2021 8:18 p.m. PST

Wolfhag and Stephen Miller: I think you may find loop-holed cabins in the period of the French and Indian War in the northeast. Not sure about out west in the later periods but an interesting data point to research.

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2021 9:51 p.m. PST

Mark Plant… great link for those who 'delve'.
Dye hard… that 3rd photo would make a fantastic 'Russian''battleground'!
Thank you Both!

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