One of the many things missing from my nascent Empire force is a cannon. I had one of the old citadel field guns, the ones that are now available at foundry, in my ‘to paint’ pile for a while. Then I realised what was putting me off was its size- it’s hardly imposing, barely a pea-shooter. Not the magnificent construction of brass and wood that has giants quaking in their boots.
It was at Salute! that I first saw her, crammed into a blister pack. I snapped her up, along with a couple of other Landsnekt figures from the same range. Unfortunately I have forgotten the name of the manufacturer, although I recall there were several other cannons in similar styles, but with different barrels. Shout if you can help!
Inspired by nippy’s excellent artillery bases, I decided to have a go at one myself. I found an old unit tray, then using some styrene strips made some 20mm squares for the crew. I added a fourth spot for an engineer, this will be filled with an old empire great cannon tinder box when he isn’t involved (or until he’s painted at least!). Then using some foamboard offcuts and milliput I filled the gaps. Upon adding a couple of barrels, also purchased at Salute! we were ready to paint.
The biggest decisions for the paint job were the wood colour and the barrel. In days gone by I would have painted the wood au naturel, but this empire force is a bit showier than that. I chose to follow the livery colours of green and yellow, with the bulk of the machine in green, with the dark yellow only on the wheel spokes. The barrel was painted with brass, washed with aquamarine to give a blueish hue and darkened with a black ink. It’s not as grimy as you might expect, but it has just rolled off the production line, purchased at great expense by the local leige lord. That’s a lot of peasant tithes and drunkenness fines.
Every cannon needs a name… I setteld on Mad Alda. Germanic, with a bit of fantasy panache. It’s better than Old Reliable or Big Bertha!
The crew were pretty standard, although I think with hindsight I should have departed from the green livery a little bit, perhaps in more muted browns, not to distract from the cannon so much. The other mistake I made was fitting the squares too closely to the bases, the figures are a little tricky to take out.
As a final touch, I sculpted some lunch for one of the crew- if he lives long enough- there’s a hungry giant around here somewhere.