As readers of my blogs will be aware, my current project is a scratch built modular system of Siege Works. I covered the principles behind this in my earlier blog Siege Works. I have now completed the first of my siege gun and mortar batteries, so thought I would describe how I did this.
My British Siege guns are made from the longer gun barrels from the Hät Sailors and Marines set, mounted on carriages from the Italeri French Guard Artillery set. They represent 18 or 24 pounders, and I will use them both for the 18th Century and Napoleonic eras.
My British Siege mortars are scratch built. They represent 18″ mortars and again I will use them both for the 18th Century and Napoleonic eras.
The gun and mortar platforms are made in the same way as those in my fortress artillery bastions (as described in my blog Fortress Artillery), apart from the fact that the Siege Gun platforms are 50mm x 40mm and the Siege Mortar platforms are 35mm x 30mm.
The barrel for the Siege Mortar was converted from the tubular parcels in a set of OO/HO model railway parcels made by Wills (now part of Peco). I used some of the other parcels as beds for Royal and Coehorn Mortars.
The parts which I used to make the 18″ Siege Mortar are shown here.
The brown piece on the left is a section of Wills fence panel. The yellow piece is a base from an Airfix sitting casualty, the barrel is half of a tubular parcel, the transparent plastic is cut from a paintbrush protector and the last piece is a section of cocktail stick.
I also used a piece of magnetic tape stuck below the Wills Fence panel piece, to give the model more weight. Is use this tape to add weight to all of my bases, not because it is magnetic, but because it is heavy. It is self adhesive on one side and once I had stuck it to the underside of the Wills Fence panel piece, I welded plastic sprue all around it to bury it within the base.
I then cut two strips from the old Airfix casualty base and fixed these to the Mortar Bed, both by gluing and plastic welding. One end of the Mortar Barrel was welded around the cut off cocktail stick to make the trunnions. Lastly I added the circle of clear plastic to represent the Mortar Barrel reinforcing, and glued it into place.
I welded depressions in the Mortar Bed cheeks for the trunnions to sit in, placed the barrel in position, welded plastic over the trunnions to represent the Cap Squares then welded some sprue as a wedge at the front of the barrel to hold it at the correct angle.
Lastly I painted the Mortar Bed in Humbrol 79 Blue/Grey, the barrel in Humbrol 55 Bronze and the fittings in Humbrol 21 Gloss Black. The illusion of the hollow barrel is created with a circle of Humbrol 33 Matt Black.
I made Siege Gun battery positions using the techniques described my earlier blog Siege Works. The Gun Platforms are permantly stuck in position.
I made similar Siege Mortar battery positions (photo taken at a different time of day).
The gunners in the Siege Gun battery could look through the Gun embrasures to aim their guns, but obviously that was not possible for the mortars, so I made observation platforms at both end of the mortar battery position, with steps leading up to them.
I also made Magazines to fit behind the gun and mortar battery positions. These might be purely decorative, but could be useful if ammunition supply rules were being used. They are separate modular pieces so can be used if desired.
Here is a Siege Gun battery, complete with Magazine.
Each gun has a pyramid of 10 cannon balls beside it (stacked 6, 3, 1) to represent that they have full ammunition supply. I also have smaller stacks of 4 cannon balls (3, 1) to represent low supply and if they had none would be out of ammunition. The cannon balls are ball bearings. An ammunition cart is delivering a new supply of three boxes of cannon balls to the Magazine, to add to the set of three boxes already on the right of the Magazine. There are three barrels of gunpowder behind the Gabions at the rear of the Magazine. The boxes and barrels come from the Italeri French Supply Wagon set.
Here is a similar Mortar Battery. The access to this magazine is from the right, as opposed to the left of the one above. Which one was used would depend on the overall layout of the siege works. A Royal Artillery officer is on the right hand observation platform, looking through his telescope to observe the fall of the mortar bombs.
A photo of these batteries from the enemy point of view is below. I have shown them with a short parallel section between the batteries, but the whole system is modular, so many other layouts are possible.
I should finish all of the modular sections of the Siege Works system in two or three weeks and will then post a blog showing an entire siege.