Having captured both Fort George at Inverness and Fort Augustus, at the southern end of Loch Ness, the Jacobites moved on to the third Fort in the chain down the “Great Glen” formed by Loch Ness, Loch Lochy and Loch Linnhe. This was Fort William, which although constructed in a Vauban style was of a very irregular shape due to its position on the junction of Loch Linnhe and the River Nevis, as shown below.
In my last post I described how the Jacobites captured Fort George at Inverness in February 1746. They then moved south to besiege Fort Augustus, which was at the southern end of Loch Ness. This was a “modern” Vauban style fortress, with four bastions, but it suffered from a couple of fundamental flaws in its design. Here is an old print of it.
The “modern” Fort George is a Vauban style fortification to the north of Inverness, but this was built after the Jacobite Rebellion. In 1746, Fort George was the name given to the old medieval castle guarding the bridge to the south of Inverness. I decided I needed a Medieval castle to represent this, and explained how I created it in my last post.
The castle reverted to its original name of Inverness Castle after the Jacobite Rebellion and was considerably expanded in the 19th Century. However I found an old print of it in 1746 and realised that at that time it was mainly a keep plus curtain walls extending out along the banks of the River Ness towards the town.
All of the 19th Century extensions were built on the ground in front of the castle from this view.
I realised that I needed a medieval castle to represent Fort George in Inverness. The “modern” Fort George is a Vauban style fortification to the north of Inverness, but this was built after the Jacobite Rebellion. In 1746 Fort George was the name given to the original Inverness Castle, overlooking the bridge to the south of the city.
I looked around for various card medieval castles and decided that the Usborne one was most suitable for my needs. It is to the same 15mm scale which I use for all of my buildings, one size down from my 23mm (1:72) wargame figures.
It is designed to be made on a fixed pattern, stuck down to a 24″ x 18″ (60mm x 45mm) base. However I decided to make it in modular sections to give me more flexibility in its use.
I have decided to model the various forts which played a part in the Jacobite Rebellion. The first of these is Ruthven Barracks, which is in the Cairngorms, strategically placed to control the road from Perth towards either towards Inverness or Fort Augustus. Today the barracks looks like this:
The Jacobites conducted several sieges, but were hampered by the lack of suitable artillery. This was partially solved by the landing of some heavier French guns in November 1745. These comprised 2 x 8 pounders, 2 x 12 pounders and 2 x 16 pounders. I decided to model these on my standard 18th Century ratio of one model per two real guns, so just one of each calibre. I use different manufacturers models to portray guns of different calibres and mix up carriages and tubes (gun barrels) to suit as shown below:
I have two versions of a 15mm PaperTerrain Vauban Fortress, one the original and also the smaller one seen above, which has the original bastions (the diamond shaped corners), but half length walls and a modified gatehouse. I wanted glacis (the outer banks) for both of these, but felt that the PaperTerrain card ones were too steep an angle for my figures to stand on them, so I made my own. This blog describes how they were made. Continue reading
I have nearly finished my modular siege works, although I have fallen slightly behind my original schedule due to other distractions (setting up a website for a Veterans’ Association). My siege works should now be finished by late November.
Once it is completed, I plan to show a whole siege. My only 18th Century figures are British and Jacobite, and there were no sieges involving major trench works during that campaign.
I have therefore decided to base my siege demonstration on the Napoleonic era. However I had no suitable siege engineers, so I have now made some British Napoleonic ones. This is Lieutenant Colonel Sir Richard Fletcher, who commanded Wellington’s Engineers at most of the Peninsular War sieges. He has a map, as do all of my engineer officers, and is pointing out work to be done.
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.
A couple of years ago, I made up a PaperTerrain model of a Vauban fortress. This is suitable for both the 18th Century and Napoleonic era. You can see more details of this on my Fortifications page.
I needed some artillery for this, and the only suitable garrison carriages were those of the Hät British Sailors and Marines set. However I thought that the gun barrels themselves were too large for fortress artillery, so I used Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery barrels instead, and assumed that they were short 12 pounders. I painted the gun barrels black to represent iron guns. Continue reading