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.


  1. Artillery and cavalry are both equally important. I don't know what the mould production order is but I would suggest


    my thoughts for the artillery
    --- cannon, initially go with the Austrian kit with variants for Prussians
    --- limbers and draught horses ?? use Karoliner ones ??
    --- 4 generic crew in waistcoats/shirtsleeves
    --- poses: carrying shot, carrying bucket, standing with sponge, standing with porte-fire
    --- if possible pose open handed with separate artillery kit: porte-fire, sponge, rammer, bucket, etc
    --- option for heads - tricorn or bare headed

    1. Allan
      I think that PA have decided that due to demand they want to release some artillery, so the running order is more likely to be:
      - Cuirassier
      - Artillery
      - Dragoon

      With regards limbers these have not even been discussed yet. I think/hope they will come later as PA do not seem to want the range to stand alone without the need to use anything from older ranges. However there are a lot more things need doing before these.

      Heads, these will be interchangeable.


  2. I hope I don't represent the average market on this. I'm not sure what it will take to induce me to buy another split trail canon mould (if someone would do a mold for a 19thC single trail canon I'd dance a jig while ordering one).

    That said a 6pdr with howitzer option and a 12 pdr would be my choice and let the Prussians use captured guns until the cavalry are done. Gunners I will buy and Allen's recommendations sound good to me.

    1. Ross

      This is a SYW range, so a block trail is not really in the offing - jig or not :-)

      I think I will suggest the 6pdr/howitzer first.

      Are you in agreement with generic gunners in shirt sleeves/waistcoats?

      An alternative could be some with coats, but without the cross belts - perhaps with a casting to represent a pile of belts on the floor, or over an ammo box. (There could be some jackets to go with the waistcoats).


    2. I don't have anything like the reference material that I had before deciding to never do W of AS or 7YW again ..... but looking at what I do have for the French in NA the illustrations usually show gunners in waistcoats, no equipment or in coats with turnbacks without equipment or just a swordbelt either over a buttoned coat or under an open coat.

      Given that your proposed 4 moulds sounds good, vety flexible.

      In the past I have converted trailspike figures to shovels so endorse that option. I rather like a few open handed gunners, good for engineers but for waggoners, townsfolk, militia, also camp dioramas etc

  3. Waistcoats would be fine for gunners in action. Good conversion fodder as well.

  4. Steve, I think you are on the right track. Some variety but keeping the number of molds down would likely be preferable for PA. Could the gun carriages be done to simply accommodate different barrels to represent lighter or heavier guns and howitzers? Food for thought!

    1. Steven

      It's a difficult balance between how many of each mould will PA sell and what is the minimum number to give a reasonable representation?

      As above I think the full Austrian range would be relatively simple to produce. But what would be wanted to give a reasonable representation of other nations???

      Feedback will be very useful.


  5. Your choice of an Austrian 6/7 pound mold is a good place to start and the proposed treatment of the Austrian system is more expansive than I had expected.

    Of the contemporary sources, Albertina shows the cord over the left shoulder. Bautzerner shows the German artillery with the cord over the left shoulder and the Netherlands artillery having it over the right shoulder. The fellow above with the white belly box and musket is an Artillery Fusilier, not an artilleryman.

    If you really want to simplify this you might get away with a staining figure and a striding figure, both with a swappable arm. They could be available with coats and with waistcoats. Two molds total.

    When you do the Russians I think a 1/4-Pud Unicorn would be called for.

    It is odd but for some reason this seems to be the week for SYW Austrians. PA is pushing for the artillery and Hat is trying to crowd-fund 54mm Austrian infantry.

    My French SYW infantry bundle arrived today so I am going to try to find some time this month to work with them.

    1. Rahway

      With regards what will be produced nothing is agreed, however the Austrian 6/7 mould seems a good start. Producing the rest would be relatively simple, it depends what PA want.

      If there were a single Russian gun what would be the best choice? With regards the Russian 1/4-Pud Unicorn, I have some prints of what I think might be what you refer to (I have added them to the post) I am struggling a bit with the scale. I have some later information suggesting a 4ft wheel, which if the scale bar on the drawing is 6" ties up.

      With regards the figures in coats, I think go with gaiters - but what to do about belts?


  6. Yes. That drawing is part of the gallery here:

    The 1/4 Pud had a wheel diameter of 47.5 inches according to Summerfield.

  7. Steve, any idea how the Matthias Manske guns will compare for size? I have a couple Prussian 6 pounders and they seem large compared to the PA figures which is not surprising given that his figures are bigger in general. Maybe I can use them as 12 pounders?

  8. Steven

    I have not seen anything from PA yet, and have never seen anything from Matthias Manske.

    All I can say is that I think Chris sculpts the figures at 1/43 scale.


  9. Rahway

    Do you have any other wheel diameters to match up with the illustrations in the gallery?

    I don't have the Summerfield book relating to the Russians (I only have the Austrian one). Is there much information in it?