Wednesday 12 September 2012

Molly Pitcher - Airfix AWI Artillery

These started life as Airfix Waterloo French Artillery gun crew and cannon. I did a simple head transplants on some of the gun crew and converted a female figure to represent Molly Pitcher - more details here. I had a great deal of fun making these stands, both in doing the research on uniforms, etc, and in the actual process of creating them. And of course, enjoying yourself is the whole point of the thing...

The front gun is served by Molly Pitcher, an infantryman, and  a corverted artilleryman.
My research quickly showed that using the barrel carrying infantrymen as part of the gun crews was quite wrong, but they do look good  as gun crew - despite being painted as infantry - so I decided to stick them on regardless. It is not unknow for infantry to be pressed into service as gun crew, and the use of the barrel could represent a non standard solution  to a  temporarily logistics problem.

The cut of  the gunners uniform s is definitely wrong, but has been painted in  correctish colours. The worst part is my retaining both the epaulettes on all the converted French gun crew. I have reason to believe that only NCOs were meant to wear a single red one on their right shoulder. Unless they were in the artillery, then, they were to be yellow, and sergeants were to wear one on each shoulder. I have however painted mine red and left a pair on virtually every ex Frenchman!

This stand got three artillery men to join the infantryman with the barrel.

Why did I do such a thing? - Probably because I thought leaving them on looked nice, and my original painting sources didn't mention that the artillery had epaullettes, let alone yellow NCO ones. I was more worried about getting the gun carriages the correctish colour red. Of course I could have painted them to be unpainted wood, or light grey to represent captured British guns.

Molly Pitcher - surely this gives this stand a +1 to morale!

The painting technique was brutally simple as I am trying to develop a simple speed system for painting up V&B forces - I can't always rely on a supply of prepainted figures! I based everything black, painted on the flesh, then drybrushed on white, and then added on other colours on top. I then gave  it a wash of brown - this time using Vallejo Umber Shade.

Both artillery stands, and two casualty markers - one I used autumn flock on as an experiment.

And now I have two stands of AWI American artillery for use in V&B games - with some more fearsome looking guns than in the Imex set. Although, I do rather like the idea of having a variety of pieces in my AWI gun park.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words! I enjoyed doing it, and am looking forward to their first outing.

  2. Very nice work there Brian. +1 for Molly would be a must!!

    1. Of course I might have to drop RoF by 1 due to only having three gun crew figures...

  3. Nice little conversion on those froggies. Your comments about the Imex guns sent me scurrying off to PSR as I had always considered the Airfix 4 pounders to be underscale pea shooters but I now see what you mean!

    Cheers, Dave