Home Forums Horse and Musket General Horse and Musket Artillery tools: what were they made of?

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  • #81070
    General Slade
    Participant

    I’m painting up some Napoleonic artillerymen and I am unsure what colour to paint the tools they are carrying.  Were trail spikes and ramrod shafts generally wood or metal?  And were they painted or left natural?  Also, did the practice vary from nation to nation?  The figures I am currently painting are Duchy of Warsaw horse and foot artillery.

    #81075
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Wood. At least all the ones I’ve seen were.

    The colour doesn’t matter. Anything going up and down a hot barrel that’s fired black powder is going to get to be a uniform shade of dirty in short order 😉

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #81077
    General Slade
    Participant

    Fair point.  Mind you my troops are all in parade dress without a speck of dirt on them so to be consistent I would like to paint the equipment the colour it started out as rather than the colour it became (we fight a very clean, orderly war in my house).

    #81079
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Not something I’ve ever really thought about TBH, I’ve always painted them a darkish brown.With dark grey sponges, not nice white lambswool!

    I suppose it’s possible that they were painted the same colour as the artillery carriage.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #81080
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    There’s this example,  from the War of 1812.

    http://images.ourontario.ca/1812/71297/data

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #81082
    General Slade
    Participant

    Thanks NCS,

    I think you are right dark brown is probably the way to go. (As a rule of thumb, when I can’t work out what something is on a figure I paint it dark brown).  Mind you, painting the tools the same colour as the gun carriages sounds plausible too.  As far as I know Duchy of Warsaw gun carriages were the same olive green as used by the French and I suppose the tools could have had a coat of paint slapped on them as well.

    #82176
    General Slade
    Participant

    Since posting this I have got hold of the Osprey Artillery Equipments of the Napoleonic Wars by Terence Wise with plates by Richard Hook:

    I was hoping that it might provide an answer to whether tools were painted or not.  It doesn’t seem to be covered in the text (I’ve only had a quick scan through so far) but in the colour plates the tools do often appear to be the same colour as the limbers.

    Looking at the plates has also raised another question.  Would the wooden poles (whippletrees?) that hung behind the draught horses be painted the same colour as the limbers or were these natural wood?

    #82192
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Swingletrees.

    I don’t know, but if your hosses have collars then the limbers won’t have swingletrees. 🙂

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #82195
    General Slade
    Participant

    Maybe I’ve got the wrong name?  It’s the wooden pole that hangs behind the pairs of horses except for the lead pair:

    Judging by this picture the British don’t appear to have used them but I think there was a similar kind of bar behind the ridden wheel horse (the one on the left closest to the limber)

     

    #82707
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    Dunno about the swingletrees/whatever, but that Osprey book convinced me to paint all the rammers and such the same as the carriages. I suppose I could hit them with an extra coat of dark wash to show the black powder…

    This too shall pass

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