EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Quarters

OK I admit it, I've been letting myself get distracted, playing at Sapper and so on.
This snow bank was knee high yesterday.....
But I have managed a few minutes at my workdesk now and again.

The Blue Dragoonsand the new Hougal Light Horse each  now have a dismounted marker figure. More importantly, I now have an affordable, easily made, kluged prototype of a late 19thC artillery piece.
40mm conversions of Scruby and Zinnbrigade miniatures 
When I look about for a 40mm fieldgun for late 19thC Colonial wargames, there isn't one really. STS and Irregular have various toyish guns, none looking even remotely like a 12pdr rifled breechloader and all too expensive for my budget, esp with exchange and shipping, for something that's not what I'm looking for..

The Sash & Saber 10lb Parrott  is not right but close enough and an attractive  little model to boot but again beyond my budget at the moment and perhaps a little too serious looking for this project.

The ACW canon that Historifigs sells is a nice, simple OS 12pdr Napoleon. Its a little small, esp for figures on a base, and the wheel rims are a bit thick but it suits the figures well. Its just that its a bronze smoothbore muzzle loader and it looks it.

So, after some pondering of options,  such as whittling a new longer barrel out of wooden dowelling, and looking at pictures of various rifled breech loaders of the last quarter of the 19thC, I cut off the trunnions of a Historifigs gun then took some epoxy putty and built up the breech, incorporating the cascabel, thus lengthening the overall length of the barrel and giving the rear 1/3 that typical  swollen look due to the need to reinforce the breech.

Not great, not accurate but I think it gives the right impression and should be quite a serviceable toy hun. To lessen the height deficit vs figures on bases I added wooden blocks under the wheels and trail with "grass" to lessen the oddity of a gun floating on blocks.

A closer look.

Now to order 3 more guns, and some crew in slouchhats for various purposes.


  1. Enjoyable post,great figures & gun and atmospheric photograph!

  2. Brrrr ! I can feel the cold !, Tony

    1. Luckily its warm inside. Well the house anyway, that shed is where I cast, when its warmer.

  3. NFNS ... Normal For Nova Scotia (a variant of NFN ... Normal For Norfolk).

    I like the new cannon. A very simple but effective conversion.

    All the best,


    1. Not typical but within normal extreme parameters, 3 or 4 times a decade.

  4. That is a lot of snow! Perfect excuse for spending more quality time with your toys.

    1. Somehow that keeps turning into 'slumped in a chair staring at them with glassy eyes" time!

  5. Perfect weather for an outdoor game...