Friday, November 3, 2017

Making Gun Carriages

     Having built a couple of boxes of the old Wargame Factory War of Spanish Succession cannon kits (currently available from Warlord Games) I found myself in possession of several spare gun barrels. As these were beautifully sculpted cannon barrels it seemed a pity to just throw them away, besides, I needed cannons to mount on the walls of gradually completing Castillo de San Marcos. The biggest stumbling block is that fortresses use cannons on garrison carriages (the classic "ships cannon" on the small heavy mount with little wheels) not the two wheels and a trail style carriages that the model provides. It was clear that I was in for a building project.
       Not fancying the idea of making dozens of tiny symmetrical wheels I cast around for an idea as to what I could use as a substitute. After some thought I hit upon the idea of using small flat beads to replace the wheels. A trip to Hobby Lobby provided both the beads and the bass wood strips to build the rest of the carriages.

the components, 3/32 square basswood strips,  a string of beads and the "donor kits"
wood glue and a fresh blade in the X-Acto knife

the first step is to recruit some cannon barrels

then clean them up and assemble them

from the many photos that I have it looks like garrison carriages were about 2/3 of the length of the longest gun intended to be mounted on them, I eyeballed this measure (of course)

then I got four "wheels" off of my strand of beads

wheels need axles, so that was the next step, 
this part was cut to be an 1/8 of an inch longer than the width of the 
cannon barrel and the thickness of two strips of basswood

the ends were trimmed down to produce (roughly) cylindrical axle shafts

once you get the hang of it the process goes pretty quickly

the lowest level of the carriage sides need to notched to grasp the axles properly

check to ensure a tight, square fit

prior to gluing I lined up all the parts, 
the four smaller pieces of strip wood are the rest of the side of the carriage

first the axles, again make sure that they are square and flat

then the other side pieces are added

the top of the side is notched to accept the trunnions of the cannon barrel

tiny dabs of glue and the beads are added as wheels
I may go back and super-glue these

and the barrel dropped into place
some detail work still needs to be done and then a bunch of painting,
 but this is nearly complete

now I just need to build three more carriages 
(and find where I put those other artillery kits)

after completing the three additional carriages I thought that I would 
like to see how they compared to the field carriages and crew


  1. Dude impressive, idle hands are the devils workshop;)


  2. These look great - are you taking orders?

  3. jmilesr

    Send me the length of your gun barrels and the width at the widest point and I can knock a few together for you.

  4. Very nice, and simple. Thank you for sharing this.