Thursday, 21 July 2016
French Siege Train - Heavy Metal
I've painted the guns for the siege train now. They are varnished, based and stored away in a new box (titled "French Siege Train" - how's that for organisation?) to wait for a small matter of 52 gunners plus (maybe) one or two senior officers.
This may be the least colourful photo of the year so far. I maintain a house tradition of 2 model guns per battery - the reasons for this are fading into obscurity, but as I recall they included:
* it is possible to field a half-battery (if you need one)
* 2 model guns have a definite front, and there is less scope for crafty spinning on the spot
* I prefer the look of the thing (important)
* somebody (Charles Grant Sr?) recommended 2-gun batteries years ago, and I duly obeyed (even more important)
You can see here 3 batteries of Vallière-system 24pdrs (heaviest guns were the last to be converted to the Gribeauval system, since advantages of weight saving and standardised spares were less relevant - French siege train in the Peninsula had some very old guns) - models are Minifigs; 2 batteries of howitzers (different types) one lot are by Finescale Factory and the other are Hinchliffe 20mm; 2 batteries of Gribeauval 10" mortars (recently repatriated from the British and repainted - see "oops" reference in previous post) - these are also Hinch 20mm.
On the general topic of drab appearance, I was asked recently why I had adopted brown bases for siege equipment and personnel. I ignored any faint suggestion that it was not such a great idea, and explained that, since siege guns and sappers and similar people would spend most of their working time in specially-dug earthworks or sitting on (muddy) timber platforms, a nice shade of mud was felt to be appropriate for my Old School bases. At times, I confess, I have had doubts about it, but it would be a major project to change it now, so brown bases it is. Certainly, a siege battery sited on a beautiful croquet lawn, like my field artillery, would look spectacularly daft, so I'll cheerfully stick with this. However, olive green guns on a brown base are a bit dowdy, so I'll have to make sure the artillerymen get plenty of red plumes and so on, to brighten things up.