Saturday, November 28, 2009

Confederate M-1841 6-lb. SBML

This light smoothbore field gun was an outstanding piece during the US-Mexican War and large numbers continued in use during the early years of the Civil War, gradually giving way to more powerful guns. In the western theaters, they were prominent in the Confederate forces rather longer than in the Union for obvious reasons. While most were brass, this gun has an iron tube, a pattern not uncommon in the Confederate armies.

Since many 6-lbrs. were bored out and fitted with a rifled tube liner, converting them to 12-lb. RMLs of the James pattern, this model can do service as a James rifle.

The gun model and figures are by Stone Mountain Miniatures.

Contemporary sources list the following frontages for typical Civil War batteries (depth in each case is 47 yards):

Mounted or horse battery of 6 guns (3 platoons): 82 yards (typical US)
Mounted or horse battery of 4 guns (2 platoons): 62 yards (typical CS)

In my rules, the ground scale is 1-in. (25mm) = 100 meters. Most 15mm models cannot be reasonably accommodated if these frontages are adapted to the ground scale, so I suggest using a 1-in. x 1-in. base for a 4-gun bty. and a 1½-in. (front) x 1-in. base for a 6-gun bty. The 4-gun bty. has 2 figs. to represent the 2 ptns. or sections; while the 6-gun bty. has 3 figs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Edward Woodward, RIP

It was very sad to learn that the accomplished English actor Edward Woodward died today. You may remember him for many striking performances in film, TV, and theater. For me, besides his role in Breaker Morant, I remember him as the protagonist in the now somewhat obscure English counter-espionage thriller Callan, which premiered in 1967. Callan basically was a gritty polar opposite of The Avengers, thought at the time to be rather lightweight in the Carnaby Street sense but redeemed by its engaging co-stars. Interestingly, Callan was a wargamer: I seem to remember a permanent sort of sandtable festooned no doubt with Hinton Hunt figures in his flat. Well, that's a memory. I'm told there are no surviving prints of the early episodes.

There is a charming remembrance of him here:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Battery Gun

I have no idea where this little gem came from. It was found among a collection of random guns, mostly 15mm, a few 25mm, which I had stored in a small wooden box years ago. Having a need for some representative VLA for early modern games, I decided to paint it, based loosely on the example in Eduard Wagner’s European Weapons & Warfare, 1618-1648, p. 144, b (top), and George Gush’s description of Scots’ battery guns in Renaissance Armies, p. 47. I think my principal concern was whether the tubes were of iron or brass manufacture. They are brass in both Wagner and Gush. The pan, with its multiple touchholes was painted black, and the touchholes were picked-out with silver. The carriage, really a crude cart, was painted in shades of brown with iron fittings. All in all, this was a fun, simple project. Total painting time was less than 30 minutes.

The gun was mounted on a 30mm sq. base for use with Hakkaa Päälle, Thomas Årnfelt’s and Daniel Staberg's draft rules for the Thirty Years’ War. The gunners are (I think) Mikes Models, painted as Polish artillerymen of the late 16th – 17th c. after the brief description in Gush’s book.