Thursday, April 15, 2021

Limber Day


The AE-005 British Limber set shown with civilian train drivers.

No, Limber Day is not a jazz saxophonist, but rather, my focus on adding limber teams to all of my horse and musket armies saw recent additions to my AWI armies. Last week I added two Hessian artillery teams manning British 6-pound cannon, so I needed to give them limbers too.

Hessian Artillery 6-pounder battery.

The Hessian artillerists are conversions of the Continental Artillery crews with the simple conversion of a pom pon on the top of their cocked hats. I needed a pair of Hesse Hanau 6-pounder, commanded by Captain Pausch, for my Saratoga game. The Minden Prussian artillery crew would also work as Hessian artillery crew (these could have the gaiters filed down to look like one-piece overalls, or could be left as is with gaiters).

Side view of the three limbers. The two grey limbers will support the Hessian guns 
and the wood brown limber will go to the American army.

I had to give some thought to adding reins and traces to the limbers and I settled on fine wire to represent the traces that connect the horse to the limber. My initial idea was to wrap the wire around the arm of the limber, but later versions employed my pin vise drill.

I found that there is enough metal in the limber to drill a small hole through the limber pole and then insert the wire through the resulting hole. Next, I drilled a small hole through the back of the limber horse, placing the hole just below the piece of leather that runs from the neck of the animal and back to its tail. This proved easier to do than I first thought so I will use this method on all of my horse drawn vehicles in the future.

I could have added wire traces from the first limber horse to the lead horse (with the rider) but didn't feel like spending the extra time required to pull off this bit of modelling.

Civilian train driver wearing waistcoat and brimmed hat.

Civilian train driver wearing coat and tricorn hat.

Another view of the limber and train driver wearing waistcoat and hat.

I also assembled and painted a two-wheel munitions wagon for my British army. I can use this vehicle for all of my British armies: Philadelphia Campaign, Southern Campaign and Saratoga Campaign. The cart is from Perry Miniatures, but the limber horse that came with that model seemed too large relative to the size of the wagon and the horse holder. My own Fife and Drum limber horse selection does not include a standing at the halt pose, so I used a spare RSM limber horse from my lead pile; the horse holder is a Minden Miniatures figure. The three pieces go together quite nicely and illustrates how sometimes we need to pick and choose parts from multiple product ranges to get the look that we seek.

Two-wheel munitions wagon consisting of a Perry wagon, an RSM limber horse,
and a Minden  horse holder. 

I have one more American limber team, this one painted an iron pigment red, to finish and add to my army. Adding limbers to your artillery teams may seem like a time investment, but it really is easy to do and the visual payback is well worth the effort. An artillery piece looks so much better when there is a limber parked behind it.