I am a secret fan of the Saxon army during the Great Northern War because they seem to live up perfectly to that idiom of “Live to fight another day”. They successfully avoided a final decisive confrontation with the Swedes for more than 5 years until the Battle of Fraustadt in 1706 (see here). But this may not have led to a peace treaty unless the King (Charles XII, or Karl XII as I prefer to call him), as he did, marched into Saxony and more or less forced the Saxons to the negotiation table. The Saxon army kept its arrogance towards the Swedes during this period and famously the Senior Officers at the Battle of Klissow 1702 (see here) asked the servants to keep Lunch warm as they set out to “crush” the Swedes!. One of the key early confrontations between the Saxons and the Swedes was at the Crossing of the Düna in 1701 (here is the Wikipedia page about the battle).
In a recent blog entry I mentioned this battle when discussing the Twilight of the Sun King’s Second scenario book (see more here). As I said then, I have played versions of this battle with some other rules in the past and have treated the supporting artillery from Riga and the gun boat as off board pieces.
In addition I used a big base and placed some artillery bases on to represent a floating gun battery, but it did not look very impressive. I want to do a refight of this with the Twilight rules but thought it appropriate to make a more inspirational floating gun battery and to pimp up the 10mm boat I got at SELWG a few weeks back (see here). Here is a short note on how I made these. These are 6mm.
The Gun Boat
For pimping up the Gun boat I used some of the Baccus field guns from their early 18th century range (link here) but I cut them down to create the look of guns you would have on a ship as opposed to being dragged around the countryside in your normal artillery train. I was going to add small wheels but felt that it was not needed. I also added some Baccus Artillery crew and a few normal officers and musketeers. I had a few Microworld duelists and a model from their peasant rabble to indicate some civilians on the deck as well (see here). I thought a sack of apples on the deck from the Perfect Six range would seal the deal (see here). I arranged them to show activity on one side only, bombarding the Saxons in their entrenchments.
Apparently it was a 16 gun sloop in reality instead of this 8 gun vessel that probably makes any person “navally” astute turn their stomach inside out – but it works for me.
I then base coated it and painted it up, I did it quickly and I may go over it again when I have time and I also need to add some sails and perhaps a Swedish flag or two – but that is for another time.
Floating Gun Battery
I had seen the following drawing (taken form the Wikipedia page on the crossing, link above) of a floating Gun Battery. However but this kind of model would create a very big footprint, Remember the frontage of a battalion is 60mm (with a front row of 12 No. 6mm, not 150 or so men), the way I have based.
In my searches also saw a the nice floating mortar battery on the eminent League of Augsburg page (see more about this here),
My design is some kind of halfway house between these two designs – with both mortars and field guns and tents as per the original drawing, but shamelessly I stole the viewing platform idea from the League and made my platform roughly the same size.
I used a credit card sized base (a Health Lottery Card), and then some pieces from another card to build the front structure and viewing platform. Glued on three Baccus Mortars in the back, a Baccus tent in the middle (for the gun powder, being protected in case of rain), some cannon ball stacks, and some other stuff from perfect six – barrels and sacks. I then put 3 Baccus field guns in the front and cladded the whole thing with my special spaghetti that looks pretty good as 6mm timber [I have used this material for a number of applications, including snake rail fencing (see here), bridges (see here) and a fort (see here)]. However remember that most spaghetti stuff you find in your local Tesco will not work for 6mm – however pasta called Angel hair or Cappelini seems to be the ones to use. I bought Garofalo Capellini from Amazon in the UK – about £8 for four packs. I kept one for modelling and the rest went to normal consumption. It is fragile, but if you use it like cladding it will work and it does do a recent impression of being timber. I glue it on with super glue and trim it afterwards, I also glued on some Baccus officers and a artillery man on the viewing platform and then cladded this with spaghetti as well.
It painted up nicely and at some point I need to add some more artillery crew to make the base more dynamic, I like the front and the soot, form the firing, around the timber.
Really happy with these and it will be good to see them in action soon. Will need to do some work on a Pontoon bridge and some mobile defenses for the Swedes – as for the miniatures they are proudly standing painted in storage waiting for the gear to be sorted.
I said I was going to do some comparison shots between 6mm Post-Apocalyptic cars, but I am afraid it will be for the blog entry next week.
/ Hope that was of some interest, All the best