February 25, 2023

Assembling the baggage train....

Work has commenced on putting together a full baggage train of carts, wagons and limbered artillery!

Something I've been considering whilst planning this is what 'story' do I want these figures to tell? Of course you can't go wrong with scattering some carts on the battlefield just for fun, but rather than having them being calmly unloaded, the wagoneers having a chat together.... I want them to appear as they would if they were actually on the battlefield, close to the action. The most obvious reason for them being there is if a marching column is being attacked, in some sort of ambush. So I want to try and model them as if they are under attack, with the wagoneers perhaps looking a bit panicky, some soldiers rushing about on the same bases maybe...

With that in mind I would probably prefer the horses in stationary poses rather than walking, but as there is a limited number of suitable draft horses in the Perry range, it's going to be a mix of both. 

Here's three I've got assembled and in the painting queue. Two are from the Perry Wars of the Roses range of course, but the third is actually from their American War of Independence range (link). As far as I can make out  cart and draft horse harness design didn't change much over the centuries, which means various 17th and 18th century carts, horses and wagons can be used for earlier periods. If anyone can point out any anachronisms here, I'd be interested to learn about it, but I won't be changing anything - I definitely think it's a case of 'close enough'! I swapped the WOTR and AWI horses around, just to blend things in better.

I'm going to need to convert multiple extra wagoneers. I glue them to the base in advance where they won't get in the way of painting, but some I'm keeping separate for now. I'm thinking I might use more than one per base.

I've also wanted some limbered artillery - the guns had to be transported somehow! This will also make the scenarios more interesting, the attackers trying to capture the artillery for their own use, or prevent it reaching a nearby siege. Simon Chick put together a great limbered gun which can be seen on his blog here. I'm daunted by the idea of modelling traces and such (the ropes that connect the horses to the limber or wagon), but equally wouldn't want to leave them out, so was curious if there was any evidence of simpler one-horse arrangements for transporting artillery.

I then found that the wonderful artist Graham Turner had depicted just such a thing in one of his more recent Wars of the Roses paintings. I don't know what his source for this is, but he clearly puts a lot of research behind his paintings, so if it's good enough for him it's certainly good enough for me!

Simon has since pointed out to me that there are also similar one-horse arrangements depicted in the Swiss chronicles.

To model this proved ever so simple - turning to the Perry AWI range again, it seems they have a limbered 'butterfly' gun that has a more or less identical arrangement (link). It was just a case of replacing the gun with a suitable 15th century one - the one I chose comes from Old Glory. Handily this can be put together in the 'folded up' transport position, and also has an iron hoop which I was able to put a bit of plastic offcut through to represent a wooden pin. Clearly there would have to be some other form of attachment underneath though, as this pin alone wouldn't work by itself! Looks good though.

I'm planning to do probably two more limbered guns and a big wagon, and will return to the AWI range for more parts. I'm still going to avoid the full four-horse setup to preserve my sanity, but the AWI range has some two-horse arrangements that I could make use of, and I'll try my hand at making some traces out of twisted wire. The reason the four-horse setup scares me is I'd want to glue it all together before painting, to avoid getting superglue all over the painted components when it comes to putting it together - I'd rather get the glue everywhere first, and then paint over it! With four horses that would be too tricky, but a two-horse limber or wagon could be done this way.


  1. I added a bunch of wagons several years back (28 mm Blue Moon/Old Glory in my case), and really enjoyed doing them. I am slowly adding a few limbers to my armies, but I confess that I do not doing them!

  2. Lovely! I've long thought on making baggage trains for my armies... As soon as I paint those couple hundred soldiers... oh dear