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.