Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gabions for Kunersdorf Scenario

Russian redoubt in the Seven Years War


I am working on a game scenario for the Battle of Kunersdorf - August 1759 - that I may run at the 2019 Seven Years War Association convention. The battle features Frederick the Great's Prussian army versus a combined Austrian and Russian army. One of the features of the battle is the extensive defensive earthworks that the Russians built. The Prussians had the unenviable task of assaulting these works.

The left corner of the redoubt covered by a Shuvulov Howitzer.

The Battle of Kunersdorf starts with the Prussian advance guard attacking the Russian Observation Corps, which was hunkered down on the Muhlberg behind some field works similar to the ones shown in the various pictures on this blog thread. To make a long story short, I need gabions. Lots of gabions. And other field works bits and pieces such as cheveau de frises and fascines bundles.

After doing a lot of searching for suppliers of resin and metal gabions, I settled on items from Warfare Miniatures extensive selection of field works components and the large metal gabions that RSM95 makes.

The picture below shows how all of the siege equipment pieces can come together in sections of earthworks, using the Warfare Miniatures accessories. Barry Hilton has done an impressive job on this diorama.

Barry uses cork backed dinner table place mats for the bases of his earthworks. I went to my local Target Stores location and found some cork table mats in the kitchenwares section of the store. The mats measure 16-inches by 8-inches and I cut mine in half, scoring the cork backside with a heavy duty box cutter.

Once I have come up with combinations of gabions and fascines to use on my mats, I will spray paint them a dark brown color, then glue the painted pieces onto the base, add my mix of spackle compound + brown paint goop, and spread it across the mat. While the spackle goop is still wet i will sprinkle fine railroad ballast over the surface and wait for it to dry. Finally, when the spackle dries, I will do a little bit of dry brushing with a lighter color (tan?), followed by some tufts and grass to finish the mat.
Barry Hilton's defensive works with pieces from his Warfare Miniatures range of figures.

Field works "work in progress" by Barry Hilton.
Click the picture to enlarge and get a better view of the gabions and fascines.

Here is a picture of a potential gabion redoubt that I will use in my Kunersdorf game. I still have a lot more pieces on order from Warfare Miniatures so I don't want to finalize my configuration until I have painted the reinforcments.

The right corner work in progress.
The gabions, fascines and cheveau de frise pieces are easy to paint. I prime them with black primer and then dry brush a dark brown across the surface of the piece. I continue to dry brush consecutive layers of ever lighter colors until I get the look that I want. I finished off 50 gabions and 20 cheveau de frise over a weekend, so the work goes relatively fast.

RSM95 minatures has some nice large gabions that I will place around the gun battery positions. RSM does not have an on-line ordering system on their web site and so getting your order involves getting ahold of proprietor Richard Masse via email and then working out a way of charging your credit card. I'd suggest mailing your credit card info in an envolope or call Richard, but do not email your credit card information as your data is not secure using convention email. Most of you already know that, but I thought that I would mention it anyway.


  1. That will be quite a showpiece when it's all done. Wow!

    Best Regards,


  2. Renedra also do some nice inexpensive plastic gabions

  3. Looks fantastic already. Can't wait to see the finished model.
    If you need any more baboons take a look here....

  4. A great start and look forward to seeing the finished piece:)

  5. Nice "Real Estate", Jim! The Prussians will have difficulty cracking this nut! Cheers, Rohan.

    1. Enfilading fire from two directions plus from the front will help the Prussians. 😄