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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Franco-Prussian War: French Field Artillery Battery


The first challenge to this build was figuring out what I had in the Old Glory 15s packet. It's a generous offering of six guns and 25 crew. I will need limbers down the track but they will have to be another supplier. What I had to discern was what types of guns I had on my hands - there are two types supplied.

There are four smaller pieces with shorter barrels (20mm) and shorter, stout gun carriages. The other two are longer and larger barrelled pieces (25mm) on longer, slender carriages. Old Glory fails to adequately identify them but both types are muzzle loaders.
A little bit of research is always required of course (it's part of why I'm into historical wargaming). I don't know why but I have relied greatly on open source internet information to inform this build. Perhaps it's because they are 15mm. If I were building this army in 28mm you can be sure I'd have purchased a comprehensive uniform guide and reference library.
Anyway, and these models represent four of the Canon de Campaign de 4 La Hitte (1858) and two of the older Napoleon III 12 pounder re-bored guns.

Normally I'd group my batteries into three gun units but in this instance I'm likely to go for a two gun battery organisation as the 12 pounders formed reserve batteries and the model 4's formed homogeneous field batteries. It's academic anyway because I base my guns separately and I can always arrange them differently on the day if I prefer.
I needed to balance the barrels when fixing them with Selley's Araldite to give time for the bond to set.

For the first time I have deliberately based one of my 4's askew. On reflection, I don't know why I've never done this before but I wanted it to look like it was being man-handled to change facing. When it comes to guns there's so many different modelling possibilities and I must try to remember this for future artillery builds.

The gun carriages as far as I can discern were a grey/green. This would appear to be continuing the Napoleonic tradition. Imagery for extant examples are variable in colour from a pronounced mid-green to grey which I presume to be faded over time. Artists as often as not depict them in a natural wood but I recognise that digital colour reproduction can also vary significantly. So, I've gone for a louder green on the carriage body and greyer green on the wheels which I admit is hedging my bets a little. In the end, I'm not entirely happy the wheels are dark or grey enough and they look the same as the rest of the carriages under the light. Ah well. The barrels are all brass.

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