War of Austrian Succession French Artillery

The French supplied the Jacobite Army with a number of artillery pieces, including six x 4 pound “Swedish” guns (so called because they were based on a lightweight Swedish design).  I decided to model a complete French six gun battery (3 model guns) then I could use these for my planned expansion into the War of Austrian Succession, as well as use the same guns with mainly Jacobite gunners, plus a few French crew, for my Jacobite Rebellion set-up.

I based my “Swedish” French guns on those described in the Kronoskaf Seven Years War website (http://www.kronoskaf.com/syw/index.php?title=French_Artillery_%C3%A0_la_Su%C3%A9doise) with gun colour, horse furniture and drivers uniforms as per the print from the New York Public Library below:

WAS French Artillery Drivers

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The guns themselves were based on Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery (because they were small and I had a lot of them).  I modified the trail to make it look more like the one in the Project Seven Years War website.

 

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Here is a completed gun.  I used Hät Prussian Artillery barrels since they were smaller than the original Airfix French ones, and in fact were about half way between the barrels I have used for British 3 pounders and those which I plan to use for British 6 pounders.

 

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Since my 18th Century 1:2 representation of guns is so large, I reduce train horses to the absolute minimum, for these French 4 pounders only one train horse per gun.  The limber base is 40mm x 80mm and I used Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery horses, just like the system previously described in my last blog on Mortar & Ammunition carts.

 

I also added a piece of plastic (cut from an old ice cream container) to represent the unusual shaped board attached to the neck collar of 18th Century French train horses.

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The limbers are from Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery.  The original ones are on the left.  I cut the single shafts off and paired them up with spare ones from when I used axles (without shafts) for my mortar and ammunition carts.  Finally I welded the shafts to the axles and pushed the wheels on, as seen on the right.

They are really too simple for Napoleonic limbers, but interestingly are very similar to the illustration of French 4 pounder “Swedish” limbers on the Seven Years War website.

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I painted the horses and limbers separately, then welded the shafts on to the horses and welded the limber wheels to the “ground” of the limber base.   Before I painted the limber base, I used my welding tool to create ruts in the plastic base where the wheels of the limber and guns run, which facilitates positioning of the gun.

 

For the French artillerymen themselves, I had purchased a couple of boxes of Strelets Russian Artillery of Peter I.  They were not particularly suitable, but I wanted different figures to the AWI Imex ones which I was using for British and Jacobite artillerymen.   There is not a lot of choice and the otherwise excellent Zvezda ones are too large for my other figures.

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They needed massive conversion as seen here.  I also originally planned to have their coats closed, but every print I have since seen of War of Austrian Succession French Artillery has their turnbacks folded back so I subsequently welded them all back.

 

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For the artillery drivers I used heavily converted old Airfix AWI British and American figures.  This figure has had a headswap with the Strelets figure above and then his hat has been welded into a cap like the picture at the start of this article.   His coat has then been welded into a smock.  He was originally carrying a barrel, but I have cut that off and will incorporate it into one of my baggage or supply wagons.  The crew and drivers are all on 15mm square bases.

 

Here is a finished gun and limber, complete with its driver.

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And here is the complete battery of three model guns on the move.

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I use 40mm x 40mm deployment bases for my 18th Century artillery.  These are made from two pieces of card glued together, the top one of which has 16mm square pieces cut out where the crew will be placed.

 

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I then weld spare sprue all over the top of the base, and make depressions in this where the gun wheels will sit, to assist in positioning the guns.  Finally I paint the deployment bases green.

 

Here is the complete three gun battery in action.

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