18th Century Artillery, Engineers & Logistic

Artillery Model Ratios

I normally dislike the over representation of artillery in many wargame rules, so my Napoleonic artillery is modelled with just one gun model per battery, crewed by the same number of figures as there were guns in the real battery (normally 6 or 8).  Deployed battery frontages are based on 20mm per real gun, thereby creating the same battery frontage as many other rule systems would produce. I only have one limber per model gun.

However, I realised that this approach would not work for 18th Century artillery, since they were normally deployed in pairs of guns, spread across the Army’s frontage.  I therefore have modelled my 18th Century artillery with one model per two real guns, crewed by just two figures per gun.  Because of this high proportion of guns, compared to Infantry or Cavalry, I have also kept train horses per gun to a minimum, and each train has one model conductor (civilian walking driver).

The artillery crew figures are all on 15mm square bases.  I kept the same deployed artillery system as for Napoleonics, by having a base with cut-outs for the artillery crewmen to fit into, but these deployment bases are all only 40mm x 40mm.

British Artillery

I have used different makes of artillery, with different gun barrels, to represent different calibres of artillery.  These are:

1½ lb Curricle Guns – IMEX British AWI Artillery with barrels from an Airfix HMS Bounty ship model (because the guns are very small).  Gun carriage converted to have two long trails which clip directly onto the train horse.  One Airfix French Napoleonic train horse per model gun.

3 lb Guns – IMEX American AWI Artillery, using the barrels as supplied.  One Airfix French Napoleonic train horse and limber from that same set.

6 lb Guns – Revell SYW Austrian Artillery, using the barrels as suppled.  Two Hät French Napoleonic train horses in single draught, plus limber from that same set.

12 lb Guns – Hät Napoleonic Prussian Artillery carriages, using Airfix French Artillery barrels (assumed to be short 12 lb, not the long ones used in the Napoleonic era). Three Hät train horses in single draught, plus limber from that same set.

18 lb Siege Guns – Italeri Napoleonic French Guard Artillery carriages with gun barrels from Hät Napoleonic Naval and Marines set.  Four train horses in double draught.

Coehorn Mortars and Royal Mortars – scratch built mortar beds with barrels from Hät Napoleonic Prussian howitzers and Italeri French Guard howitzers respectively.  Carried on scratch built 2 wheel carts, pulled by single Airfix French Artillery horses.

18″ Siege Mortars –  entirely scratch built.  Carried on scratch built 4 wheel carts, pulled by two Hät train horses in single draught.

Pictures of some of these are below:


Battery of three 1½ lb Curricle Guns at Prestonpans.  Normally these would have two crew per gun, but at Prestonpans they had very few men to man the guns, so I have only shown one per gun.  Most of the crews were Royal Navy, so there is one Royal Artillerymen, in the centre (IMEX American AWI artillery), flanked by two Royal Navy Sailors (Hät),  The sailors were originally stripped to the waist but I modelled them with rolled up sleeves and naval T-shirts, for service on land.

coehorn-mortarsBattery of two mortars at Prestonpans.  These have barrels from Italeri French Guard howitzers. The mortar beds have been weighted with lead (recycled from broken Zulu figures) When I originally modelled these, I intended them to be Coehorn mortars.  I later discovered that the British inventory included Coehorn Mortars and the slightly larger Royal mortars, so I renamed these as Royal mortars, and used the slighly smaller Hat Prussian Napoleonic howitzers as Coehorns.  Again, these would normally have had two crew per mortar but I have modelled them at Prestonpans with only one.


Prestonpans artillery train is above.  The two carts in the front are to carry the Coehorn mortars.  They are scratch built, with wheels from Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery guns and pulled by horses from those same sets.  The walking civilian conductors are converted from Airfix George Washington’s Army figures.  The two horses in the second row, and the right one in the rear row, are for the 1½ lb Curricle Guns.  They have no limbers, but the long gun trails fit directly into clips on the horses harness (you can just see one on the right rear horse).  The left rear cart is identical to those for the mortars, but is carrying ammunition boxes.  These are three boxes from the Italeri Napoleonic French Supply Wagon, welded together and weighted with lead.

Here is a 1½ lb Curricle Gun and a Royal Mortar cart on the move.


The walking conductors can be slid in and out of the bases.  This allows the same trains to be used with different conductors, since all of this Prestonpans artillery was captured by the Jacobites and accompanied their Army into England.  The models below are British 3lb, the guns from the IMEX AWI American artillery set, with the limber and train horse from Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery.


Jacobite Artillery

All Jacobite artillery was either captured British or borrowed French.  Both guns and train horses are therefore British or French, with only the artillery crews themselves and the walking conductors being Jacobite.  There are a few attached French gunners.  A picture of Jacobite artillery manning 3 lb guns, as at Culloden, is below.  The Jacobite gunners are IMEX AWI American artillery, originally just in shirt sleeves, but converted to include tartan plaids over their shoulders and blue bonnets.


The only exception to the use of entirely British or French trains by the Jacobites, is that the French did supply the Jacobites with some siege guns, including two 16 pounders, and some accounts say that the Jacobites moved these with oxen.  I will therefore model one train of a pair of oxen.  These ones are actually plastic bulls, which the Spanish Torres wine company used to attach to the necks of their bottles of Sangre de Toro (Bulls Blood) red wine.  I have over 50 of these bulls, such sacrifices for my model soldiers, particularly since my wife does not drink red wine!!!

French Artillery

The only ones I have made so far are a battery of 4 lb (Swedish) guns, so called bcause they were based on a lightweight Swedish design.  This has three gun models, representing six real guns.  The figures are Strelets Russian Artillery of Peter I and the guns are Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery with Hät Prussian Artillery barrels.


The limbers and horses are Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery and the (removable) walking  drivers are converted from Airfix AWI George Washington’s Army figures with their coats welded into grey smocks, their original tricornes removed and replaced by caps with a red bag,

Again I plan to use different makes of artillery, with different gun barrels, to represent different calibres of artillery.  These are:

4 lb (Swedish) Guns – Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery carriages with barrels from Hät Prussian Napoleonic Artillery.  One Airfix French Napoleonic train horse and limber from that same set.

8 lb Guns – Hät Napoleonic Russian Artillery Carriage with barrel from Italeri Napoleonic British Artillery.  Two Hät French Napoleonic train horses in single draught, plus limber from that same set.

12 lb Guns – Hät Napoleonic Prussian Artillery carriages, with Italeri French Guard Artillery barrels (assumed to be long 12 lb, the same as used in the Napoleonic era).. Three Hät train horses in single draught, plus limber from that same set.

16 lb Siege Guns – Strelets Artillery of Peter I, carriages and barrels.  Four Hät train horses in double draught, plus limber from that same set.

French Siege Mortars –  entirely scratch built.  Carried on scratch built 4 wheel carts, pulled by two Hät train horses in single draught.

Other Nations Artillery

As I expand into the war of Austrian Succession, I will model other allied artillery, Hessian, Hanoverian, Dutch and Austrian.  These however all used the same calibres as the British, therefore the same model gun system, although in different colours for their gun carriages.


When I began to model my siege works, I realised that I needed some model engineers.   The British Army Engineers were all officer, with no soldiers, in this period, so the picture below shows two British infantry sappers working on the head of a parallel.  It is based on that in Christopher Duffy’s book on Siege warfare “Fire & Stone”.  The siege works are entirely scratch built, as described on the page Siege Works.  There is a scratch built mantlet (Wills model railway fence panel with wheels from Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery limbers) to hide the soldiers from view as they work at the front of the trench.  The figures, working in their shirt sleeves, are IMEX AWI American Artillery.  I normally give my figures green bases, but I thought since they were working in the trench then mud brown would be better.  They were originally kneeling with ramrods, but I converted them to crouching and gave them a scratch built pickaxe and shovel (both from hairpins with plastic welded on to form the pickaxe head and shovel itself).



My British Army Engineer Officer is converted from a IMEX AWI American Artillery figure.  He is carrying a map (or plans) as I model for all of my engineer officers.

I plan to also model some French and Dutch engineers.


I also have some Jacobite Pioneers, based on those used to assist the Jacobite Artillery and baggage train on its march into England.  They are converted from IMEX AWI figures, one British and one American.


I wanted some baggage train vehicles and made one for Prestonpans, based on several sketches of such baggage heaped high on wagons, with wives, children and other camp followers arranged on top.


The wagon is scratch built, with the front wheels from Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery and the rear wheels from Esci Crimean Russian Artillery.  The sides of the cart are Wills Fencing (model railway supplies).  The horses are from the Hät Napoleonic French Limber set.  The rather flirty female figure sprawled on top of the baggage is from an Atlantic Ancient Life set, with a mop cap added plus puffed sleeves to her low cut top.  The baggage itself is a bed from that same set, already manufactured so that the lolling figure fits into it well. The hollow bed sides have been shaped by welding to fit into the wagon, then scored with my miniature welding iron to make it look like a series of bundles, rather than one large item.  The more staid female figure in the front is from the Airfix Wagon Train set, and I have welded a baby figure for her to hold.  The child in the centre is also from the Airfix Wagon Train set, as are the barrel and sack in the front of the cart.  The walking conductor (converted Airfix George Washington’s Army figure) is removable.


I also have a pair of two wheel supply carts as used by the Jacobites.  It is scratch built from a piece of Wills (now Peco) model railway planking, with sides from Wills fencing and wheels from the Airfix Napoleonic French Artillery set.  The horse is from the Airfix Wagon Train set, as is the chest and sacks.  The main pile of baggage is welded plastic sprue.

I plan to also model logistic vehicles for my future French, Hessian, Hanoverian, Dutch and Austrian armies.