All of these field defences and gun emplacements covered in my last post needed men to construct them. In the 18th Century the British Royal Engineers were all officers and they relied on infantry or civilians for their labour force.
I had already made two Infantry Sappers when I made my Siege Works, but now I thought I would make some more. These were originally on mud coloured bases, but I decided to change them to green.
Having made my British siege guns and mortars, I wanted to make some emplacements for them. I had already made some as part of my siege works, as described in this earlier post on Siege Artillery, but felt that I needed something less elaborate for use in a less formal siege. I had two sets of Italeri Battlefield Accessories, each of which contained a pair of gun emplacements, of slightly different designs, so I thought I would use these.
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 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 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.
My current project is modelling a modular set of siege works, based on illustrations in Christopher Duffy’s book “Fire & Stone – the Science of Fortress Warfare 1660-1860”. These siege works are entirely scratch built, and I thought I would describe the technique in this blog. Here you can see a sap, running away from a parallel, through a couple of zig-zags, and a pair of 18th Century British Infantry sappers working on the sap head, with a British Engineer Officer looking on. Continue reading