A number of the battles in the Great Paraguayan War featured attacks on Paraguayan fortresses, so it was inevitable that I needed to create some fortified positions like the one below.
While gunners weren’t a problem because the Perry’s sold gunners as a separate set of six, I needed to find a source for guns. At one point a few years ago there was a great set of suitable American Civil War fortress guns manufactured by the Honourable Lead Boilersuit Company, but they have vanished, gone to that void where all discontinued ranges go. However, a Google search turned up some 3D printed options.
First was a Swedish company Speira Miniatures who do a vast range of Civil War items that includes fortress guns (https://www.speira.net/product-tag/artillery/). Second was OTP Terrain and Miniatures in Western Australia who had a set of six guns produced under license from Jens Najewitz of Germany. I opted for the latter and placed an order for two sets. The guns are not strictly correct, but they look suitable on big fortress carriages.
Being 3D printed they was a lead time of four to six weeks, which was fine as I wasn’t in a rush. But it took a bit longer. A follow up enquiry after six weeks was met with a response that they were on the printer now. Three weeks later I received confirmation that they were ready to ship. Two weeks later they arrived…eleven weeks and two days after ordering them. Not quite the service I have come to expect these days, even with COVID delivery problems, but I had them…in one big plastic bag of about 100 bits with absolutely no assembly instructions.
Fortunately the Jens Najewitz site has good photographs of the models so I was able to figure out which bits made up which model and then selected and assembled five of the models that looked suitable for Paraguayan guns, that is the ones that looked the most old fashioned.
They are actually really nicely made models with very little clean up required. I was impressed how robust they are too and how well they take paint.
Once the models were painted I needed to build a fortified position. I decided this needed to be in a modular form so that I could build a position that could mount the guns that could link to infantry trenches. I have not decided the finer details of how all of this will fit together (and need to wait until some gabions to arrive from the UK before I build this), but I do know that the guns will sit on a platform that is 80mm square. The actual gun will be mounted on a 60mm diameter disk (at the centre of which will be a rare earth magnate) will be recessed into the square. The square with a piece of steel sheeting underneath will then be mounted on the top of whatever I build as the actual fortification. In this way the gun will be held in place by the magnate and the steel sheeting, but can be rotated or, more importantly, removed for safe storage.
Here are the five guns on their bases with their crews, showing how the guns are able to be rotated.