The Gun Carriage Braces
In order to control the spacing and reduce the flex of the frame, the gun carriage needs bracing. Looking at pictures and painting of gun carriages, I generally see one at the end of the trail - horizontal to the ground - and one at the front - vertical to the ground - to support the gun barrel. Additionally there are one or more in the center, sometimes as a box. As you can see, I added a simple brace to support the center, and the back of the barrel. I'm not trying to be accurate here; this is a representation of a Napoleonic artillery piece.
I found that simply gluing the braces was not enough. There was still too much flex, which in turn caused the bond to break. Out came the drill. As I have been doing with my figures now, for example with the arms, I drilled holes through the carriage into the braces, then inserted the dowels. I used wire snips to cut the dowels shorter.
A side effect of using the wire snips, which pinch the wood before it cuts, is that the dowel ends look like rivets. So, I won't file these flat.
Another view of the gun carriage, showing the front brace.
The Barrel Support
The barrel is supported on the gun carriage by bars on each side of the barrel, which rest on a depression of the gun carriage. For the bars I drilled a hole through the barrel from one side to the next and glued a dowel into the hole.
I sanded a depression into the gun carriage over the axle.
I then sanded a depression into the forward brace so the gun barrel can rest on it.
Here is the final assembled artillery piece. I've placed one of my figures to the right to show it for comparison purposes. From a height perspective, this piece is probably appropriate for field artillery, while the barrel is more proportioned for heavy artillery, like a 12 pounder.
That said, I am happy with the piece and it will serve as an interesting center-piece for a skirmish scenario.
Next up: paint it as a French artillery piece.
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