Sunday 4 December 2016

Artillery Ideas?

Updated 06/12/2016 - artillery crew in discussion.
Updated 07/12/2016 - Russian Unicorn added

I am told that Prince August are getting a number of requests for artillery to support the SYW range, so have decided to make an initial release of some artillery. Their plan is to release the first artillery soon after the Austrian cuirassiers, which are being sculpted. Chris Tubb (the sculptor) has asked for advice on what to release?

Artillery Pieces

There were a great many different artillery pieces in use during the war, making it impractical for PA to release everything, so a plan is needed........................


The Austrians are the easiest to deal with, as they had a standardised system for the field artillery (it gets more complex if siege guns are included). There were just four pieces, a 3pdr battalion cannon, 6pdr and 12pdr cannons for use in batteries, and a 7pdr howitzer, also used in batteries.

The Austrian system was simplified by the fact that all the guns used the same 50 inch diameter wheels. From a modelling perspective it is further simplified by the fact that the carriages for the 6pdr cannon and 7pdr howitzer were very similar, and could probably use the same one for casting.

It should therefore be possible to produce the whole  Austrian system with just the following eight main parts:
  1. 50 inch wheel
  2. 12pdr cannon barrel
  3. 12pdr carriage
  4. 6pdr cannon barrel
  5. 7pdr howitzer barrel
  6. 6/7pdr carriage
  7. 3pdr cannon barrel
  8. 3pdr carriage
Back in February I posted an image of the Chris' start on an Austrian 6pdr cannon. Once this model is completed (to match the image at the top of the page) we will be able to see what can be squeezed into the moulds, and how things fit together?

Earlier this year I went to the  Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) in Vienna, and took a lot of photos and measurements of the barrels.

Unfortunately they did not appear to have any carriages. However I think we have most of the details needed for this range, as I have a lot of information in the books by C. Duffy and S. Summerfield on the subject. This I have I supplemented by the Osprey book on Austrian Napoleonic Artillery, this has the missing details of the carriage dimensions, which I think are very similar.


The subject of Prussian artillery is much more complex. Although they used a similar range of calibres there were many types within each of these categories.

The best place I have found for information on Prussian SYW artillery is the excellent 'My Seven Years War' blog , which has many drawings such as the one of the 12pdr 'Brummer' below.

In view of the wide variation in Prussian guns it may be possible to 'make do' with some of the Austrian guns, as for example they copied the Austrian 12pdr, and made use of captured Austrian 3pdrs.

I think there is a good case for producing the famous 12pdr 'Brummer' - if it will fit in a mould, and possibly a battalion gun with smaller wheels and longer barrel then the Austrian counterpart.

Russian & French

For discussion later!

Artillery Crew (updated 06/12/2016)

Updated 06/12/2016, I have tagged this onto the bottom of the previous post to keep comments together.
  • I suggest there need to be 4 members in a crew - 2 moulds?
  • Prussian, Austrian, Russian & French crews all had different uniforms. That would be 8 moulds - is it too many?
  • Could we use 'generic' crews in waistcoats/shirtsleeves instead?
  • What poses would be best?

Artillery Crew in Waistcoats

Thanks to Allan an Ross for feedback.

I have had a further look at the possibility of crews in waistcoats, and history is again conspiring to complicate matters as uniforms were all a bit different:
  • Prussian - sleeveless waistcoats and gaiters
  • Austrian - sleeveless waistcoats and cavalry style boots
  • Russian - sleeved waistcoat and gaiters.
  • French - sleeved waistcoat and gaiters
I have seen prints of both Russians and French gunners in the waistcoat (they are very similar),  so it would make sense to do those, but that would mean sleeves on the waistcoat.  I suppose they could all be made close enough with a paint job.

Artillery Crew in Coats

I've been looking further at crews in coats, and again they are all different:
  • Prussian - belt over left shoulder, turn backs and gaiters
  • Austrian - chord over right shoulder, turn backs and cavalry style boots
  • Russian - belt over right shoulder, turn backs and gaiters.
  • French - belt over left shoulder, full coat and gaiters
However were things really that regimented, below are two prints by Harald Skala taken from Kronoskaf.  These show the Austrian with the chord over the left shoulder, bot also with belts over the right and left, chords over the right - and none.  Also one has gaiters. Does anyone know if these can be relied on, if they can I suggest we just do some generic crew in coats with turnbacks and gaiters - thoughts.?

Artillery Poses

How about something like the picture above?

The No1 (front left) should be the loader, so relatively upright carrying a ball or cartridge (could it be made to carry either?)

The No2 (front right) could have an open hand (I don't like open hands but there are advantages here) to accept various tools.

The No3 (straddling gun) obviously not practical pose, but could either be stood to left and aiming, or stood with portfire.

The No4 (handspake) if open handed and a little more upright he might also pass as using a shovel?

Crew Suggestions

How about 4 moulds in total?

  • A generic 4 man crew in sleeved waistcoats who would cover the Russians and French
  • A generic 4 man crew in coats with turnbacks?

Russian 1/4-Pud Unicorn - added 07/12/16

Refer to Rahway's comment below:
  • Is this a 1/4-Pud Unicorn?
  • Scale - did it have a 4ft wheel?

I have a few others like these, so if they are SYW they are very useful?

Enough for now, as always feedback welcome.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

French Infantry - painting masterclass

Just to whet your appetite a little more - here are some photos of the figures Richard Hattersley has painted up for the packaging artwork - not bad I suppose?

I think that these look some of the nicest figures so far - well done Chris and Richard.

Now he needs to paint some fighting units - and Prince August need to get them into production!

Sunday 16 October 2016

French - Swiss Guards

In case anyone is still interested in the French infantry - I thought I would post pictures of a unit I have just completed.

I went for the march attack figure with the coat tails loose, as these are something a little different. I decided to paint them as Swiss Guard as I fancied some for my French 'Karoliner' army. (They would probably have been better with turn backs, but I wanted to try the figure without them.)

With the lose coats the range has become useful for earlier periods.

You should be able to put them on your Christmas list!

Friday 2 September 2016

Cavalry - Digital Sculpting

Austrian Cuirassier


Back in July last year I posted a picture of the 'green' for the Austrian cuirassier, which received encouraging feedback.

Soon afterwards PA decided to move over to digital sculpting. The changeover has not been as smooth as hoped, and nothing has been added to the range since the Russians, which were that last of the traditional sculptures. Things are now moving again, the French infantry are ready to go, with a few production problems being ironed out.

The figure has now been replicated digitally, and we think it is pretty much complete. In response to  comments last year the reins have been stylised a little to give the impression of being double, without making the area around the bit too heavy 

There are a couple of minor changes I have asked Chris to make:
  • Modify the buckle positions on the harness, remove the top one at the intersection and replace with two more on the straps below.
  • Add a line around the holster cover similar to the one on the saddlecloth.
I think it looks very nice, if there are any error/omissions please let me know.


Progress on this is not quite as advanced, and the horse, sword etc. will be replaced with the one above - so please just consider this as a taster.

I asked him to base the pose on the old Holger Eriksson mould PA26, and I think it will end up looking great.

Officer and Standard Bearer

There will also be an officer with a sword pointing forwards and a standard bearer, both based on the trooper.  Progress is not sufficient to show, as the plan is to tidy up everything on the trooper first and move on from there.


Once the Austrian cuirassier are complete, in order to keep things moving we are considering issuing a 'Prussian' dragoon mould. This will just provide torsos and heads to fit the same horse, and would contain:
  • Trooper, similar to above unless there are any suggestions (needs to fit this horse)
  • Officer
  • Drummer
  • Standard bearer
Dragoons were pretty generic, and with minor changes such as tricorn style and the way the carbine is slung (it will be separate) the Austrians, Prussians, French  and quite a few others could be covered.

If we can squeeze them it we could add some horse grenadier heads - if not they will have to be taken from the infantry.

Russian Cavalry

Unlike the Austrians, Prussians etc the Russians had their sword belts on the outside of the coat, so these will need some additional moulds.

The French cuirassiers also had belts on the outside.

Prussian Cuirassiers

These will need separate moulds as they wore coats with shorter tails. always comments welcome.

Friday 26 August 2016

French Infantry Update..............again

Nothing very exiting, just the mould listing for the French infantry, which are sculpted and waiting for packaging design etc.

I have not seen the moulds yet, but they look OK from the images I have.

 Mould 3113 - Infantry in full coat - march attack and advancing

1.  March attack figure
2.  Arm & musket for march attach
3.  Fusilier head - tricorn
4.  Sword
5.  Grenadier head - bearskin
6.  Sword
7.  Advancing figure

(The casting has a groove in the coat to accept the sword, which is fine early war, and for those troops which carry a sword.
If you don't want a sword there might be a bit of work to fill the groove if it doesn't paint over).

Mould 3114  - Infantry in  with coat turned back - march attack and advancing 

1.  March attack figure
2.  Arm & musket for march attach
3.  Fusilier head - tricorn
4.  Bonnet-de-police head
5.  Sword
6.  Fusilier head - tricorn
7.  Sword
8.  Advancing figure

Mould 3115   Drummer and officer

1.  Drummer body
2.  Sword
3.  Fusilier head - tricorn
4.  Officer head  - tricorn
5.  Officer body
6. Grenadier head - bearskin

Mould 3116  Standard Bearer and NCO

1.  NCO body
2.  NCO partisan
3.  Officer bare head  - with curled wig
4.  Grenadier head - tricorn (moustache)
5.  Officer head - tricorn
6.  Standard  bearer  body
7.  Officer's sword

As I said, I haven't got my hands on any of these moulds yet, but they do exist and cast - so hopefully not too long now (have I said that before)! 

Saturday 18 June 2016

Battle of Chotusitz

Last weekend I spent a very enjoyable weekend with a group of gamers from the AMG (A Military Gentlemen) group, which is a group of gamers with a general interest in 18th Century Gaming.
A group very worth joining - to do so you will need to buy the book 'A Military Gentleman' from the above website - a very nice book - but not cheap.

Over the two days we played the Battle of Chotusitz twice, using the 40mm semi flats on a 12'x6' table. The table was of a size which allowed us to represent each of the units shown on the map below with one of my gaming units of either 16 infantry or 8 cavalry.

Figures were a bit of a hotchpotch:
  • There were 16 units of Austrian infantry, of which about half were my new SYW Austrians and Hungarians - the remaining units being white coated French.
  • The 17 units of Prussian infantry were all blue coated 'Prussians', again about half new and the rest 'Karoliners'.
  • The 25 units of cavalry were just a mix of what we have (not helped by the fact that I left 6 units at home!). Like many of you I am waiting for the new Cuirassiers.
The initial Prussian starting  positions are shown below, however we did remove the two long ranks of foot which were still on the march when the battle started. Only the exposed units of Leopold's foot, the 24pdr battery and Buddenbrock's foot were available when the battle started.

And the long lines of Austrians eager to crush the Prussians in front of them before Frederick arrived with the bulk of the infantry.

I took a few photos, but not really with sufficient regularity to describe the game, so I will just show a few shots of interest.

Part way through the cavalry melee on the west of the field. The Austrians are gettingthe better of it, but there is no way I can tell you who is who!

In more detail - just to show off my new Russians (Austrians today).

And at the other end of the field, east of Chotusitz, another very confused cavalry melee  - again I can't remember which units were Prussian and which Austrian!

And the Austrian infantry assault on the centre, after seeing off Leopold they are confronted by Frederick's infantry lines.

The situation just prior to the end of the second game. The infantry in Frederick's 'square' is pretty much all that remains; Leopold's infantry and most of the cavalry having been swept from the field. Shortly after this point the far end of the square caved in under a combination of short range musketry followed by a charge of the Austrian cavalry; at which point we called it an Austrian victory.

The games were played with the 'Field of Battle' rules, which allowed the games to be played to a conclusion on both days. The card driven approach gave rise to some odd/amusing swings in play, which most players enjoyed.

There are some more photos on Mark Dudley's blog:

And just something which might be of interest - Chris has found space in one of the moulds for an officers head without a hat - oh the shame!

Thursday 2 June 2016

French Infantry - Sculpting Complete!

I've not posted anything for over a month, so I thought it time for an update - just to show I am still here!

It's been a long learning process..........however I'm pleased to say that Chris has now finished the sculpting of the French infantry - and they have been tweaked a bit to make them fit in even better with the older figures.

He has also taken the opportunity to add two new figures - a standard bearer:

And also an NCO without turnbacks (so the chap with a sword I discussed in the last post is an officer).

In addition to the tricorns there will be a grenadier head

And a bonnet de police (not quite finished)

The 3D printing is now all sorted, below is a casting of the French infantryman with turnbacks advancing (right), shown alongside an advancing Austrian (er left), as you can see they are a pretty good match. (Since this version the facial features exaggerated a little, and the tricorn enlarged, see image).

I should get a set of test moulds shortly - AND THEN THE CAVALRY!