Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Things To Do With Cheap Plastic Artillery

A few weeks back, I came across four inexpensive field guns online. The price was excellent, working out to $1.75 a piece.

I have no idea who the manufacturer was. There are traces of a manufacturer under the trail; one could almost make out "Italy". Regardless, the field guns are decent enough, and offer plenty of potential. You see, these appear to be plastic copies of the Britain's 25 pounder, right down to the breech.

They aren't perfect, of course. The tires are abysmal, and there is a bit of warping.

Since they are so similar to the Britain's gun, I wondered if it would be possible to not only convert the guns so that they can fire, but if they could be made to look even better, perhaps by replacing the wheels. But they wouldn't be made into 25 pounders. Instead, they would be made up to look like late Great War 18 pounders.

The conversion was very simple. I used the spoked wheels from BMC limbers, and these in turn were mounted on a length of 3/32" aluminum tube, mounted higher up on the carriages. 1/16" plastic washers were used to provide a bushing to keep the wheels in place.

Using a 1/8" drill bit, I opened up the barrel to the breech; it is almost as if they copied not only a Britain's 25, they did a pantograph copy of one with the firing mechanism still in the barrel, because it certainly seems as if it is cast in there. A firing mechanism was made using a paperclip and a spring. Since the trail could detach, the spring was attached to the right trunnion.

It still needs to be painted, and of course there are some minor details. Once this one is finished, the remaining three will be likewise modified. The end result is what matters, and I think these will work out very well. (Note: Edited on 17 November to correct image links. Been doing quite a bit of editing of late, it seems...)

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