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

Friday, March 9, 2018

Striking the Diecast Alloy While the Idea was Hot.

Sometimes its best to act on a thought while its fresh in the mind.


After looking at various pictures of the real 4.5" Howitzer, the main things that struck me were:

a) The wheels and overall height were similar to those of the 18 pdr field gun.

b) The barrel was only as long as the recuperator but the configuration with the barrel on top is the same as the Britain's 25pdr (the toy I was starting with) but opposite to the 18 pdr which was the only other gun available for me to work with.

c) The largest wheel in the latest Prince August SYW mould is very similar in size and spokes to the wheels on the Crescent WWI gun.

d) I have become more comfortable working with die cast metal after frigging with the 25 pdr last fall. 

The pre-Christmas mock up with plastic wagon wheels.

So, roughly my steps were:

A. Separate  the one piece gun & shield  from the carriage.

B. Cut off the old axle holder.

C. Drill a hole at what looked like about the right height, insert a trimmed finishing nail as an axle, and add 2 PA wheels from the bits box, making sure the wheels will turn freely (It's supposed to a toy after all.)

D. Deepen the sockets for the gun trunnions to lower the height of the shield and trunnions then use some putty to push out the bottom of the shield thus increasing the angle of the barrel.

E. Glue it all together.

New crew undergoing howitzer training while waiting for their uniforms.

F. and Paint.

Two batteries coming into action. 

4.5" Howitzers later into the war.
I've already forgotten where I grabbed this photo from but hopefully they will forgive me.

OK back to those Cycling Jaegers.

28 comments:

  1. The howitzer and figures look excellent and very evocative of the period.

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  2. Ross,
    Splendid work there on gun and crew- will come up a treat once in Battle. Cheers. KEV.

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  3. Well done. If I may ask, who made the unpainted crew figures? They are quite evocative of the toy soldiers of years past.

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    1. Al, they are from the Schildkrot Zinnbrigade range of homecast molds. Mine came from Berliner Zinnfiguren.
      They're scheduled for Friday afternoon at Huzzah if you're not booked yet!

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    2. I haven't yet, but will sign up today. Looking forward to seeing you again.

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  4. You make it sound so easy! nice little project with a charming result.

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    1. It was easy! Once I figured it out .

      (, (Of course figuring it out took several hours over several months as well as several false starts )

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  5. Excellent - this is a vary 'me' sort of project.

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    1. Yes it was. So,.... bicycles from some wire and rubber washers?

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    2. Nice picture of a bicycle mounted machine from The Great War in England in 1897 - can't work out how to post a picture here (if possible) so put it on my blog. I want one.
      https://easterngarrison.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. Those guns certainly look the business and nicely painted too!

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    1. Thanks. I've been enjoying myself with these. This stuff is why the 20mm guys had to leave and go to a better place.

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  7. This is an excellent post, very well done. Lovely addition to your H.G.Wells looking collection.

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  8. Another terrific job! It's a tribute to what can happen when you "dread naught but the Heavens!" It's also really nice that you take your readers through the step by step assembly process. Good on you Ross.
    Jerry

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    1. Thanks Jerry, the journey was a large part of the fun.

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  9. Great work, great result. Looks very much the ticket.

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    1. I was happy to get there after nearly giving up a coupl of times.

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  10. Looks great. Can't wait to see it on the table!

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    1. Looking forward to a final playtest here in May so hopefully you'll get your chance.

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  11. Think you've pulled that one off rather well, love to see it in action!

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  12. Ross Mac,

    An excellent conversion! It certainly looks right, and will add some substantial firepower to your tabletop armies.

    All the best,

    Bob

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