Sunday, May 2, 2010

Artillery Hoist Is Completed

A front view of all three artillery park vignettes after completing the static grass phase of the basing process. On the left, a Minden Prussian dragoon officer has been converted into an infantry officer. All I did was file off the aigulette on his right shoulder. He is slightly different from the mounted colonel in that his right arm is bent and his hand is in a jaunty pose, resting on his hip.

Note: click the pictures to enlarge the view. Double click for a really large picture.

I completed the final phase of the artillery hoist vignette that you saw yesterday. All that I had to do was to affix the static grass onto the base with Elmer's White Glue (pva glue in the UK) and then it was ready for its photoshoot. In the picture above, you can see how all three artillery vignettes fit together and complement one another.

A view of the model during its construction.

In the picture above, you can see the hoist frame during its construction phase. The legs are made from bass wood (1/8 inch square) cut to 2.5 inches in length. A spare offcut from a North Star flag pole was used to provide the connecting rod at the top of the A-frame and similar pieces were used to make the turning handles on the lower axle. The lower axle is a piece of dowel rod. I used wooden bead sleeves to act as a sort of washer at the ends of the lower axle. Since these were made from wood, it was easy to drill four holes in the bead to accomodate the turning handles. Florists' wire was used for the rope on the block and tackle suspended from the top of the hoist.

Left side view of the hoist vignette. The officer in the blue coat is from RSM. I clipped off the lapels on the figure since Prussian artillerists did not wear lapels. Note the coiled rope on the ground running from the hand of the labourer in the foreground. The rope was made by twisting two pieces of florists' wire together.

The view of the front of the model.

A view of the right hand side of the vignette.

Another view of the complete artillery park and a long view of how it fits with the rest of the Minden Miniatures Prussian army. Supply wagons are now in the painting que.

The will be it for the vignettes for the rest of this week, unless something strikes my fancy and I embark on some new project that catches my eye. I was working on the second battalion of Itzenplitz (IR13) this evening and I want to finish it this week. So after Itzenplitz is completed, I may work on some more vignettes. I am almost out of Minden labourer figures to use in these projects, but never fear, a new package of inventory is winging its way across the ocean, even as you read this post.

By the way, I am very close to surpassing my 200,000th visitor and we should pass that milestone sometime this week. Click on the little Sitemeter logo at the bottom of this page to see how many visitors have passed through. You can also click on the map inside Sitemeter to see where other readers of this blog come from. It's kind of a cool thing to see.

Oh, and keep the comments coming -- I love to read the feedback. There is no telling what might come next as I build on and expand this wonderful Minden Project.

A big fat box of miniatures arrived this evening chock full of Minden figures including Prussian fusiliers, Austrian grenadiers and labourers for vignettes. I've got my work cut out for me now. Kudos to Frank on the super fast service. I am looking at some of the Prussian fusilier NCOs and I see pioneers holding their tools in their hands. I was going to lop off heads and do some swaps, but the NCO figure for the fusiliers is a ready made pioneer in mitre hat.

Update II - Monday Night
This evening, after watching the Blackhawks vs. Canucks Stanley Cup Hockey game, I went down to the basement and started converting the Prussian jager standing firing into an officer holding a telescope.

I cut out the rifle and kept the left arm and hand that held the rifle. This would eventually hold the telescope. Then I had to amputate his right arm at the shoulder - I tried but I couldn't save it and use it by bending the arm into position. I measured out the length of the old arm at about 11-12mm and cut a piece of wire the same length.

Then, after drilling a hole in the shoulder socket, I glued the wire armature into the shoulder and started applying green epoxy putty to form the arm. The hand is much better on this model. I seemed to learn a thing or two from my last arm conversion. Then, as an afterthought, I decided to remove the jager belly box and turn the figure into a dragoon instead of a jager officer. So I filed away the belly box and covered up the scratchings with a new officer's sash around the waist. It looks fairly decent. The telescope was just a piece of brass with some putty building up the end of the spyglass.

Then I got really crazy and decided to make a dragoon shabraque and saddle set for a standing RSM horse. The idea is that this will be the officer's horse as he will be dismounted. I may add a horse holder to the stand using one of the existing Minden generic horse holders, or I could just have the horse and the officer on the vignette stand. I will decide on that later.

It will probably take a couple days for the epoxy putty to cure, so I will prime the figures on Wednesday and start painting on Thursday, if all goes well. Preliminary basing on Friday and then I can finish off the base and shoot some pictures on Saturday May 8th. Stay tuned for that.


  1. I am visitor # 198,218 at a bit after 2300 hrs PDT.

    -- Jeff in Canada

  2. Love the artillery park photos- you efforts have been well worth it. Congratualtions on the forthcoming milestone.

    Alan in Scotland

  3. Wowww
    A beautiful com,position. I hope they behave well in actual wargaming....

  4. I must admit uncle Jim I am very impressed. That is a fun looking conversion that will bring some life to the table it is upon. Cheers! I am actually finally starting the Hannoverians tonight so I feel your excitement.

  5. Herr Fritz,

    It is a very nice vignette and I definitely see the similarity to the piece on the Augsburg site.

    The first two pieces you built look like crews working feverishly to get their guns into action. I just wonder about the third peice and its place in the front of a battery.

    I don't know where barrels would be replaced so it may fit perfectly. Just seems to me that such activity would take place a little behind the lines, and if so diminishes the effect of your excellent art.

    I ask the question only because your attention to detail in historical matters sets a high standard and I wonder....

    Inspiring work as always.

  6. Chris: in an actual game, I wouuld probably put the artillery vignettes off to the side of the action rather than using them as "live batteries". I have the Berlin Zinnfiguren field forge model yet to be painted and so I would pair the hoist vignette witht the forge behind the lines.

    I could maybe use the drag line and the broken wheel vignette in the game as live batteries. It is all done to enhance the look of the game.

  7. Nice models and unusual too.

    "pvc glue in the UK"

    LOL! I think you mean PVA glue!

  8. Morning Jim,

    Your artillery park calls to mind a scene we might have seen in those early issues of Miniature Wargames, which featured figures by Peter Gilder and Doug Mason, using all of those wonderful figures from the Wargame s Holiday Centre collection. Well done and terribly inspiring!

    Best Regards,


  9. A very nice and worthwhile exercise. How well the Minden figures lend themselves to conversion. Another excellent demonstration of how to produce something a bit out of the ordinary with readily available bits and bobs. Looking forward to the supply train.

  10. Very nice little touch there and some creative thinking.


  11. This is thinking 'outside the box', Jim? I did wionder about its appearance on the table - not as a battery in action, I dare say, but after a bit of thoughtI can see how you might be thinking of employing them.
    You have called it a park - and so it is. So one might imagine it somewhere in the rear areas, probably not too distant from Frederick's Field HQ... It can of course represent at least part of the close logistic support, for e.g.
    But the individual elements could equally well (in some rule sets) as a damage to a battery in action (comme ca 'Fire & Fury). The park can be drawn upon for such symbols.
    And, finally, what of 'rear area' actions, perhaps at skirmish level, with raiding cossackssurging about and having to be driven off by the infantry company escorting the army's artillery park...
    A fine addition to your army!

  12. Splendid creations from a talented imagination. Brigadier Fischer and friends may want to admire the work as well up close. They may impertinently ask for samples. I hope you will forgive them.
    C'est l'guerre,

  13. One of your finest vignettes yet - beautifully executed! I haven't seen anything like it for a while - very few tackle such technical subjects. There is one recent Napoleonic example where they've done some Russian artillery field repairs:

    Its unremarkable that the 'technology' involved is the same (it would be a pig of a job one would imagine). And whilst very good, I don't think their models have the character of yours. Well done on another lovely vignette.


  14. Your model continues to inspire me. I found on the Art miniaturen website in the Prussian artillery section a v similar hoist for 7.9E. I think it would be a bit small for the 28mm models but should fit fine for my plastic Revells. It is called 'montage + reparaturbock' and has 4 uprights and a slightly curved top section with a block and tackle section below with 2 winches like yours. Teamed up with a forge it would look great.


  15. Guy: thanks for the reminder about the field forge. I should prime it up and get it painted real soon. I have a blacksmith from the Hovels range that fits right in.

  16. I do not know much about the period, but your projects certainly are a treat to look at. I like the way you manage to convey a story with your little army men.

  17. Great vignette of the artillery hoist,

    -- Allan