Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Guns of Late September

Before any conflict begins, during the run-up to the first shots echoing across the countryside, there must be an arms race. So it is with our little conflicts that will take place upon the floor.

Troops are only part of the equation. Since we are choosing early 20th century land warfare as a model, we must have the weapon of choice for that period, and that would be artillery. At this time, one working cannon has been built, another earlier attempt has gone missing, and another is in the planning stages with a few parts made.

That's not to say that there isn't artillery in the collection, for truth be told I have a decent start on lighter artillery.

The first weapons acquired were from my good friend Doug, basically surplus pieces from his huge collection. Foremost among these is a plastic British 18-pounder, possibly from Atlantic but currently from BMC.

It looks decent enough, except for those wheels; They're simply dreadful. They look like plastic bottle caps with spokes carved out of them. On the upside, though, is the fact that it's springloaded and capable of lobbing a small round eight or so feet. The newer ones are not so equipped, but little doubt that this is an easy fix. The wheels are best replaced, and indeed that is the plan.

Doug also gave me a number of diecast "pencil sharpener" cannons, and the one amongst these that works looks like either a Whitworth or Armstrong gun, 12-pounder size.

The spring is a real beast in this gun. It takes a bit of pull, but the result is yet another weapon capable of eight or so foot range. Aside from the colors, it looks quite handsome, right down to the 14 spoke wheels.

A short time after acquiring those, I managed to find a Britain's 25-pounder online.

Many places refer to this as a 25, even Britains labeled it thus. However, it looks more like a later 18-pounder, the ones made between the wars. Its paint is chipping, it is a bit stiff, due in no small part to the dirt it has acquired from years of play. Unfortunately, it is also a bit too modern.

Then there is a very beat up Barclay.

This was an eBay purchase. It looks sad, and one has to wonder what sort of stories it could tell. One wheel is broken, the barrel has a piece knocked off the muzzle and the shield is misisng the entire upper half. But the spring was intact, and a little work got it to move freely again. There is quite a bit of work needed here. Since its collectors value is in the tank, I'm going to make changes to it. Not quite sure how I'm going to tackle the wheel, but the shield will surely be replaced, the muzzle repaired, and ultimately the gun repainted. It appears to be based on the M1906 4.7" field gun, which will serve as the prototype for the repairs.

There are more guns as well in my collection, namely cheap little cannons from BMC.

I'm sure one of these is destined for something. But they can't fire, something I'm sure I might be to address.

We'll see.

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