Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Royal Artillery 6pdr

Seemingly the 18th century has become main focus of my brushwork in 2009. Funny enough, at first my aim was to paint at least another regiment of the line, and that's almost all I'm still lacking... Anyway, here's what I painted lately - or in the meantime, so to speak: a 6pdr field gun of the Royal Artillery.

6 pounders were the largest field guns in most AWI battles. Therefore you don't need a lot (to none) of them in an average game. 'Battalion guns' of 3lbs (or less) were more common. In general, however, the use of guns in the field was rather limited - until a certain French artillerist introduced more effective tactics.

Obviously, the miniatures are Perry sculpts. The accuracy of the crew portrayed in Southern campaign dress has been questioned. For example, I found no evidence for the Royal Artillery adapting their uniforms to the Southern style; and some reenactors doubt the usefulness of wide brimmed hats when manhandling guns. Besides these objections, in the end I'm willing to trust in the Perrys' own research. And, of course, being a fan of this special campaign look made my choice much easier.

For the carriage I don't wanted a screaming blue but a pale, weathered appearance. So I painted it with Foundry's British Blue Grey 75, one of their Napoleonic colour sets. The same colour was used for the 'roundabouts', on a coat of Deep Blue 20A. The gun barrel is simply done with Burning Gold 44 and two layers of ink (Vallejo's Sepia Brown & GW's Gryphonne Sepia).

It was quite tricky to squeeze all crewmen onto a 60x80mm base as they all have set positions. Therefore I cheated a bit in turning the gun itself as well as the gunner behind. However, the shifted angles give a nice effect, too.

At first the large base seemed to offer some possibilities for a diorama. But as the positions of the miniatures are somewhat determined I had to abolish my initial plans. Unfortunately, there are no tiny bits like spare muskets, buckets, casualities or sentries in my collection. Furthermore, by a superficial scan of contemporary pictures I found the emplacements of 18th century guns rather 'tidy'. That's probably because the crew stored as much as possible of their equipment in the boxes fixed to the carriage? For now I let the base plain, but any idea for a nice addition is appreciated.

So, what's next? There are two brigadiers about to be finished. You might ask: Why two of them for just one brigade? - That will be revealed in one of the next entries.


Giles said...

Beautiful, and I do like the way you positioned the gun - it looks like it's been manhandled to point at a new threat.

I haven't tried the Foundry blue-grey yet. I have tried the "British Royal Blue" on the trousers for my British Legion carlist troops. The colours are so dark that they are very difficult to work with (you can't actually see where you're painting), but I've found that using the "Deep Blue" A and B colours on top as extra highlights does give a rich, dark navy colour that works reasonably well. Would be interested to know if you've tried these colours yet.


Sire Godefroy said...

Giles, thanks for your comment - and the inspiration! I had to look up your version of this model several times. There are so many tiny details, and checking how you had painted them was a great help.

I haven't tried "Royal Blue", but it's now on my list. Sounds like a good substitute for an aged bottle of GW colour called "Storm Blue" that I'm still using. "Deep Blue" gives the highlights here as you said - maybe a bit too bright to be 'historically accurate' for Navy uniforms. Therefore I've experimented with darkening the colours by layers of black/dark blue ink. Unfortunately, it looked rather dull, so I'll go for the inaccurate version next time. ;-)


Fly said...

Great work again!

Secundus said...

Nice work as always.


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