Friday, 2 March 2018

Ultima Ratio

As promised, I have a new set of gunners to display. First off, however, is the gun, which is a rather rickety Der Kriegspielers French howitzer. This ranked as possibly the worst gun model I'd ever encountered when I saw it in the raw, but I think it's painted up reasonably well.



To man it I have four more Der Kriegspielers French gunners, from set #22: French Line Artillery, 1809.


Well, they're mostly DK 22s. The chap holding the ramrod is actually a combination of a DK gunner holding handspikes and a Prince August figure. I didn't have a DK rammer so I decided to have a go at another conversion. He's not my greatest effort, but he'll do.



The base is a standard Muskets and Marshals 6cm x 6cm artillery base, made from 2mm plasticard and, as I explained last week, painted with a green emulsion that was the closest match I could get to Humbrol 80: Grass Green. I'm really pleased with the effect.



The last couple of shots are of them lined up with my other two French batteries. The French artillery is really starting to look quite formidable.



They're not the only gunners I've been working on, however. All will be revealed next week...

WM

31 comments :

  1. They look marvellous - especially impressed by the conversion involving the Prince August casting. The gun looks pretty good too. If that was previously the worst gun model you've ever seen then you've performed more miracles!

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    1. It's the weirdest thing, Foy. The wheels don't even match (one has a cast-on hubcap, and the other does not) and there's very little in the way of axles to actually attach them to. The barrel is also somewhat squashed - starting to sag through overuse, perhaps. I've no idea what was used as the master - who knows, perhaps it's a DK origianal. Never mind. If it's vintage I'll paint it.

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  2. Those look really nice - there is something satisfying about lining them up wheel to wheel. You're not far off a grand battery now!

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    1. I'm relying on the cheerleader effect, Ian. They all look lovely when crowded together!

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  3. Nice. Black powder artillery..great stuff. Years back I was going to start collecting every type of field gun (black powder only) ever made in 1/72nd, paint em, add a Crew etc but as with a lot of my ideas..it didn´t happen.
    I still like the "two tone" basing.
    Question. What glue do you use to stick them to the bases?

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    1. They guns are held together with PVA, Paul, but there's nothing holding the gun or gunners to the artillery bases. This is so I can represent casualties by removing figures (it's the old school standard) and because I'll want limbers for all the guns eventually, so the guns will need to stay detachable.

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    2. There´s no School like old School :-) And how are the gunners stuck to thier bases? The bases not stuck to the artillery bases but the bases under the figs.

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    3. Aaah, yes, I see what you mean. All my figures are stuck to their bases with PVA glue. I chose PVA because its easily reversible. They can be unstuck if needed by soaking them in water for a wee while. This proved very useful when I decided to rebase all the skirmishers.

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  4. Lovely as ever - is this going to be a howitzer battery or is just a standard battery - it's nice to not have the howitzers always crowded out by the more numerous cannon. Similar question to Paul's Bods - what is glued on? Are the artillery pieces glued to the battery base (excellent job if so with no glue showing) and are the crew also glued to the battery base? It's all in the eye of the beholder but the crew with their cast on, and individual plasticard, bases make the guns look small. I often build up the bases on my artillery to to make up for the crew having cast on bases.

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    1. M&M has no special rules for howitzers, but I think it might be fun to invent some. Perhaps the ability to fire over troops and obstacles, and a greater chance of setting fire to buildings? It would need to be offset by shorter ranges, however.

      I thought about gluing everything permanently to the bases, but as I said to Paul, it lacked old-schooliness.

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    2. I know what you mean about 'old-schooliness' - I've kept my SSMs entirely on single bases even though it makes movement a bit slow. I do use magnetic tile cut size to move 8 infantry or 4 cavalry at a time but they don't 'stick' too well - they have Litko flexible steel 'pill' bases. I have invested in some steel multi-figure bases but when I priced up some bespoke thin neodymium magnets for the figures I baulked at the cost c. £2k! Not completely given up on this but need to come up with a fairly easy way to counter-sink circular magnets into figure bases or come into some money... now where's my lottery ticket?

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  5. Another mammoth session proving I'm not a robot - it might be me but if the street sign even just slightly extends into an adjacent square I'm assuming that it counts as being in both - is that right?

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    1. I've no idea, Rob. Recaptcha has no difficulty spotting me, for some reason. I'm clearly rather flawed.

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  6. They look superb...like any French gunner who respects himself! Very nicely done...

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    1. Cheers, Phil. There are no Hinton Hunt 1809-ish French line gunners, so it was very nice to come across these DKs. I'm pretty certain they started out at HH guard foot gunners with swapped heads!

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  7. Yes the Prince August is a wow. Just how do you get him not to dwarf his team mates??

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    1. The only Prince August bits employed were his hands and the ramrod, LG. It was a fairly tricky soldering job to attach these to the DK, but I got there in the end. The rammer needed shortening a bit too.

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  8. My own experience of not being a robot is that recaptcha hates Habsburgers and that the tiniest smidgeon of a road sign/car/shop front counts towards one's humiliation. Wiser men than I have told me that Kriegspieler gunners do indeed have the provenance you have described, WM, and I know a man who makes line gunners pre 1812 by the same process. Now, having dealt with the extranea, WM, your new battery is yet another jewel. Felicitations and Gluckwunsche.

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    1. I always suspected everyone else was a robot, Archduke. Recaptcha is clearly similarly delusional.

      They're getting ready for an artillery jewel.
      Sorry. I'll shut up now.

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  9. I do like artillery and their uniforms tend to be simpler , a fine battery there !

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    1. Thank you, Tony. Gunners are my favourites, I think. They always remind of the box of Airfix French Waterloo artillery, with its superb box art, that seduced me all those years ago.

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  10. Lovely looking toys...
    I do have a soft spot for French Napoleonic Artillery...Dark Blue ,Red facings and white belts a great combination and surprisingly colourful.

    All the best. Aly

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    1. You are a man after my own heart, Aly. I think the French artillery uniform was the loveliest of them all. As you say, simple, elegant, practical, stylish - French!

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  11. Very nice as always! I must say I really enjoy the cheerleader look of the massed cannon. I have considered the idea of making the standard battery in M&M a two gun model to expand the frontage to what would seem to me to be more in line with the spread of an actual battery. Of course doing so would probably require toying with the combat strength etc. Haven't actually been able to play a game yet so don't really know what that would entail. If I fly up to New Zealand, do you think you could give me a tutorial? :)

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    1. I'm fairly sure I've been playing M&M incorrectly the whole time, David, but you'd be more than welcome nonetheless! Perhaps we could figure it out together.

      I like your two-gun battery idea. The problem, however, is finding enough gunners. They seem to be exceptionally rare and fetch astronomical prices on the few occasions any appear for sale. I was extremely fortunate to get even these.

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  12. Hi WM

    That is an impressive collection of heavy artillery. I think the bases make the massed artillery look more menacing

    Maybe I should bump my French Guard artillery up my painting queue.

    Mark

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    1. There's nothing like adding a few guns. The army suddenly starts to look serious. They're also good for morale - not least that of the painter. It's only four figures!

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  13. Beautiful, proper wargaming figures, guns and terrain

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    1. Thank you, PL (or should that be Your Highness?)!

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