17 April 2021

Armed train Armstrong 40pdr: components

I want to try and make a reasonably accurate job of the 40pdr for the armed train. I have spent quite a lot of time researching this model – detailing is important if one is going to accept the cost and make the effort.

On the subject of cost, the two models that I have canibalised were £17, and wire rope, hooks, and blocks came to a further £20. That’s quite a lot for such a small model. I reckon the locomotive and rolling stock will cost around £100, and there will be furtheer costs for detailing parts.

Here’s some information on the operation of the armed trains, from the foresnsic Report of the British Naval and Military Operations in Egypt, 1882 (p182 onwards):

The modified gun and carriage with components ready for assembly. The blocks are slightly overscale, but will work, I think. Rigging the blocks will be a challenge …

14 April 2021

Progress on the painting bench

In addition to a number of finished or nearly finished terrain pieces, I have a handful of figures and equipment ready for shading and varnishing.

Bases are 2mm MDF affixed to thin magnetic sheet, and will be prepared with Vellajo sandy paste before painting.

It’s taken me far longer than it should have to get to this stage, but I now have some momentum, which is just as well because I have a large number of figures primed.

Gatling guns, limber, Hadendowa flag bearer, and the staff of my field hospital, with a couple of casualties.

Clockwise: Melton Prior sketching, Captain Arthur Wilson, and Colonel Frederick Burnaby. Bases have been prepared with Vallejo sandy paste, and are ready for painting.

Mahdist brass 7pdr mountain gun battery, with crew members converted from metal and plastic Perry Miniatures’ figures.

Half of the first Hadendowa rifle-armed band, with leader based separately …

… and the remainder. These are a mix of metal and plastic figures.

10 April 2021

Armstrong 40pdr: elevation mechanism

As I mentioned in my 3 April post, the mechasnism by which the 40pdr is elevated needed investigation. I spent a bit of time with my search engine, which revealed a possible answer, but features in the contemporary photographs of the 1882 armed trains raised a question.

Wikipedia has a commons library for the Armstrong RBL 100pdr, with photographs showing a Smith's Elevating Screw mechanism (see the link that follows) below the breach. However, the photographs of the armed train show a pair of what appear to be levers, fitted to the left and right sides of the gun carriage.

I need to discover how these functioned before I commit myself to modelling the mechanism; it’s possible they operated screws and rods for drawing a quoin (an angled block) forwards or backwards to depress or elevate the barrel.

Further search engine work surfaced this rather handsome 1/9 scale model (the videos are particulary impressive):
.778" Bore 110 Pounder Armstrong Gun

HMS Hecla 1882: one of the levers on the side of the Armstrong RBL 40pdr carriage, improvised by the ship’s crew.

HMS Warrior: what appears to be a ratchet mechanism beneath the breach of the much larger Armstrong RBL 110pdr. (Wikipedia commons)