Thursday, September 11, 2014

OK NOW we have a Maxim

Beautiful sunny fall weather here, good for yardwork and good for sleeping at night but not as good as rain for the well or for working on miniatures but the Maxim gun is done.

I hate the glare from the gloss varnish when it hides something I thought turned out well
 but love it when it disguises faults.
I couldn't stand the bent legs on the gun so pulled them out and redid them and shortened the breech a little. A water can seemed a bit too fiddly for a toy and I just didn't have the enthusiasm to try and make a proper structure in between gun and tripod, especially keeping in mind the need for rugged durability and my lack of eye for detail, especially on mechanical things. The crew are all Zinnbrigade homecast Prussian artillery figures with a headswap and boots marked with a knife to suggest puttees.

The gunner began life as a seated limber rider. I modified him using techniques learned from Peter Blum's Model Soldier Manual in the early 70's, back before I turned from model soldiers to wargaming. For bends, cut a wedge on the side that will be bent forward and a slit on the other side so that the body, knee etc pivots in the middle when you bend it, on where the joint would be a in a real person. On a 40mm figure, cast in hard pewter, cutting a wedge in the knee proved beyond me so a slit had to serve and as a result I broke the right one causing me no end of grief getting it to stay glued afterwards, hence the base.

The figure's arms were cast against his legs so there was no option but to hack them off, drill a hole for a wire inset, bent to the right angle, with putty arms added. I trimmed the wire to what looked like the right length and partway through adding putty, pulled the putty back and trimmed them again. It was only while priming the figures that I realized that with the elbow added, the forearms were still too long. At that point, the only options were to live with it or rip the arms off and start again. Luckily its less noticeable on a dimly lit wargame table at arms length and surrounded by scenery and other figures.

Next up, some dismounted German cavalry made from Zinnbrigade Prussian infantry with equipment ground off, back ammo pouch added and headgear converted to lancer cap or busby. For now I am just doing one dismounted figure per squadron as a marker but I am getting good mileage from these Zinnbrigade molds..

Hopefully Sunday will be a rainy day, suitable for testing my latest rules, scenario conversion and orbat thoughts in a game.
posted from Bloggeroid


  1. Dear Ross,

    Congratulations on an excellent job of modification for the basic figures. The paint job successfully covered over any incidental marks or minor damage and the completed work certainly makes these figures a wonderful add-on to your collection. Good job.


  2. Yes! All painted up, the Maxim gun, gunner, and his cohorts look very nice. All of this 1914 stuff is giving me the dangerous itch once again to take a stab at my own August-September 1914 Eastern Front version of Wells' Little Wars. You know, maybe 4-6 units of infantry per side, 2-3 of cavalry, and a couple of guns with crew (along with some staff in open staff cars and the like) ambling around somewhere in East Prussia. Yikes! This is becoming a dangerous butterfly!

    Best Regards,


    1. Well it should be, the opportunity to do it during not after will not last, 1 or 2 little vignettes wouldn't hurt surely.....

  3. That really is excellent work - I admire your patience and skill Sir!

  4. Glossy or no, both Hiram Maxim and I think it looks great. I celebrate your victory in the war against overpriced toy makers!


    1. Thanks to both of you! I hope that means there is no issue with patent viiolation......

  5. Nice custom work there! Old school at it's best.

  6. Ross

    After all that hard work I hope they have a successful first outing.


  7. Fine little piece, indeed! Love to see it in action, with your wonderful battle reports!