Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Airfix Amusette - WIP

Not the most common type of skirmisher. 
I have had the idea for some time to make an amusette for my AWI British. (For more information on what an amusette is - click here) The idea came to me after reading this thread on TMP, and thinking that I could build one!

The business end of the stand.

The design was inspired by the very nice one produced by the Perrys(click here for link), as well as the Fife and Drum one featured on TMP.

First I needed a larger scale musket, but Ion was kind enough to provide me with one. The wheels and mantlet were from a package of useful stuff that I received from Paul a couple of months ago, while the Airfix figure is one of a number that I had received from Glenn.

One of these flintlocks is not like the other.

At the moment I am thinking of painting up as a Hessian piece, rather than a British one, so I don't have to do any head conversions as a British one should have crew in Light Infantry head gear. I have also mounted it on a skirmisher base for V&B as I intend to treat it as just being a more interesting skirmisher stand with no additional game effect - although I have thought of a number of ways of treating it under the rules.

11 comments:

  1. Nice ! good conversions and re-use of stuffs !
    "amusette" is quite a strange name: means almost a "pastime" but it could have a different meaning a bit more ... her ... fun !

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    1. Thanks Sam! The name does tend to suggest something somewhat less warlike.

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  2. Great idea and a well thought out and planned bodge.

    Merry Xmas!

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    1. Seasons Greetings to you too Paul! Thanks for the kind words and the material assistance!

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  3. Far out!! Excellent adaptation and marriage of three disparate manufactures: Airfix, ESCI and Wargames Factory. Of course, I shall simply have to pinch the idea and supply amusettes for my 18th Century armies for siege operations at least. Thanks Brian: I would never have thought of it myself!

    I found the accompanying article interesting, but it seemed to me the author might have been overlooking something when discussing whether or not these pieces were rifled. But he describes the pieces as being 90 to 200 calibre - by which I infer that the length of the barrel was 90 to 200 times the diameter of the bore.

    That is a very long piece relative to its bore. Consider the Brown Bess musket, Long Land Pattern. Its bore was 0.75 inch; its barrel length 42-46 inch - that is from 56-57 calibre.

    The makers of the Brown Bess allowed a windage of 0.04 inch - that is to say, the ball had a diameter of 0.71 inch. This was to allow escape of gases and unburned residue and reduce the effect of fouling. Although I don't know this for certain, I should not be surprised if (relatively) less windage was necessary or wanted for an amusette, especially if a long range weapon was the aim.

    The long calibre weapon, with (possibly) a small allowance for windage, would yield a long range. But the thing would need to be very stoutly constructed, and heavy too. It is not surprising that they would need to be mounted on some sort of carriage, not only for transport, but also to absorb much of the recoil.

    Imagine a 200 calibre weapon with a bore of 1 inch. It would be 200 inch long - 16 foot 8 inch (close to 5 meter). Man, it would carry a cart horse kick, wouldn't it?

    Cheers, and Merry Christmas to you and Kat -
    Ion

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    1. Thanks Ion! Seasons Greetings to yourself and Karen! The sheer weight of the piece would actually help absorb recoil, as could using better quality powder - not all C18th gunpowder was of equal quality. This site explains some of the relevant factors better than I can:

      http://www.chuckhawks.com/muzzleloaders_recoil.htm

      So the recoil on these was less than you would think - to quote the Jaeger site I linked in the post;

      "Some may postulate that the bracing provided by the trunions or other mechanisms to some stocked amusettes is due to some extreme recoil, I am afraid based on personal experience firing amusettes this is incorrect with any reasonable accurate powder charge. It is a firing brace yes, but not for recoil but rather to improve the accuracy of the shot, much like firing a modern sniper rifle from a bipod or other rest. The mass and barrel length involved in these stocked amusettes really absorb a great deal of recoil, they are not uncomfortable to shoot at all. It is much more due to the fact they are bloody heavy to try and hold up un-braced for firing"

      To quote another web article on the subject, the length of ones used in the AWI was generally somewhatless than the one you describe:

      "A typical amusette measured up to seven feet from butt to muzzle – more than two feet longer than a British Brown Bess. While standard European and North American muskets varied in caliber from .69 to .75, an amusette fired a much larger ball — sometimes 1.2-inches (30 mm) in diameter. And it fired much farther too. The average smooth-bore long-arm of the era was accurate to about 50 to 100 yards – an amusette’s 60-inch barrel could propel a a lead ball weighing a tenth of a pound or more 10 times as far. And they were accurate too. American general Charles Lee of the Revolutionary War boasted in a letter that practice shots from his newly acquired amusettes had struck paper targets at up to 500 yards. [1] Some fired as far as 1,000 yards."
      Source:http://militaryhistorynow.com/2013/09/18/big-shots-amusettes-jingals-and-other-super-sized-muskets-and-rifles/

      It is something a little different, and I look forward to seeing you build some.

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  4. I now think those bloody great musketty things I saw in the Topkapi in Istanbul were weapons - or the gun parts thereof - similar at least to an amusette. I don't recall that they were particularly long - relative to their bore at any rate - but, man, they were huge otherwise.

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    1. Those Turkish guns sound interesting - I assume they were also black powder flintlocks rather than something older?

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    2. Check out this picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Istanbul.Topkapi074.jpg
      These apparently are arquebuses, as it transpires, but they were huge things - the butts would have been, measured horizontally 'at the shoulder', 4 to 6 inches across at least.

      A 60-inch barrel with a 1.2" bore is 50 calibres long. I find it hard to see why it should be capable of carrying a shot farther than the 57-61 calibre length musket. Perhaps better powder quality and reduced allowance for 'windage' are sufficient explanation. Or maybe the weapon's recoil absorption, which would tend to make the expanding gases act as it were more on the projectile whilst still in the barrel - yes I can see how that would work.

      At any rate, I now have a use for my LEGO firearm...
      Cheers,
      Ion

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  5. Very nice looking conversion work there Brian! Merry Christmas.

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    1. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too Rodger! Thanks for your kind words -now I just have to paint it!

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