Sunday, May 5, 2019

French Artillery Vignette

French artillery battery composed of Valiere 8-pound and 12-pound cannon

I made this French SYW artillery vignette several years ago to use as a display piece for my trade booth for Fife & Drum Miniatures.

The diorama depicts a French battery of one 8-pound (AE-009) and one 12-pound (AE-010) cannon, each with four crew (MF-006). A mounted artillery officer  (MF-005a) directs the firing of his cannons.

The artillery caison is the AE-045 Russian 4-wheel ammo wagon, which is suitable for any country, point in fact.  I now wish that I had included a pair of limbers behind the wagon along with various workers, but obviously the wooden base was not large enough to accomodate more figures. However, it is something that I might do in the future. I could also make additional display dioramas for some of the other Minden and Fife and Drum Miniatures figures.

The figures did not require any conversion, other than the extra long rammers that I gave to the two gentlemen pushing the sabots down the barrel. The longer barrelled guns, of course, would have had longer rammers and the ones that come with the artillery tools were not adequate. So what I did was to take some wire and then make the sponge and rammer tips out of green epoxy putty, which is a fairly simple exercise that anyone can do. Water buckets from the artillery tools sprue were placed beside the cannon and a couple of spare ammo chests were placed on the ground near the wagon.

The wood base was purchase at Michael's Stores ( a craft goods retail store) and stained with a walnut brown stain. I troweled a light amount of wallboard paste (Red Devil Pre-mixed Spackle Compound) across the base and then sprinkled some extra-fine railroad ballast onto the spackle while it was still wet. After it dried, in about 3-4 hours, I added a few tufts and some static grass to complete the ground terrain.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Should I create more SYW dioramas?


  1. An excellent display of wonderful wargame figures Jim.

    Happy gaming,
    Will Harley.

  2. Wow, I bet that vignette helped you sell a shed load of figures!

    1. I hope so, but next time I will have more display pieces at conventions.

  3. Absolutely brilliant work Jim.

  4. Such heavy guns are always impressive. I would prefer to see them on your Tabletop and you gaming Fontenoy properly with Frenchies instead of Prussians vs. Austrians.
    Nevertheless great effort and very nice guns and crew!

    1. I'm gradually working on it. 😄 I currently have 4 British and one Hanoverian battalion and one British cavalry regiment versus 4 or 5 French battalions and maybe 10-12 French cavalry regiments.

  5. Wow! This takes things to the next level. What a lovely piece of work.

    Best Regards,


  6. It's outstanding. The painting and presentation are first rate.
    Sure, produce more of these if they give you joy and if you have a way to display them. That would look superb in a glass cabinet of some sort.