Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

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Robert Reid
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Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:51 pm

So last weekend, I started my 25 pounder that will go with the Limber I did in an earlier thread. I am trying to do it up as 'the Mirbat Gun' but will likely do it in field colors, not in its current guise as a trophy piece.

Up to this point, nothing especially different or difficult in the built, including adding Dave Dibb's brilliant Armorpax bits. One variation from standard is the thin brass plate on the tail plate since trying to line everything up required me to cut the Armortek plate into two and then making a filler piece. I added a few rivets to make it all kind of disappear into the final paint job.

I also made the lever supplied by Armorpax "swing" by adding a pivot bolt. It's a small thing, but fun!

The real modifications will come in the weeks ahead. Right now, just starting to get the carriage moving forward. So far, despite a boatload of rivets, this is actually easier than the limber! But I suspect that will change.

Taking a lot of inspiration from several amazing builds including Jeff and Marcus! And while I was going to make this one blank-firing, I think I am going to save that for the 17 PDR. This one may well get sent back to the UK when finished, so I don't want anything that will make HM customs crap a litter of lizards... pardon my French.

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A small modification to Dave's lever... yes, it has a flat back. If you don't modify it! And swings very nicely with some drilling!


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Rear part of the trail showing my small brass insert piece. I must have made a mistake in the alignment as I just could not 'quite' to get the rivet holes to align. So I cut the Armortek plate in two and made a tiny filet out of brass and added some rivets. Historically accurate... well, it will disappear into the paintwork...

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Overall view. Lots of bits here and there as the modifications come together. Note some resin bits sticking up awaiting brass strips, rivet holes not filled, etc. Lots of work in progress right now.

The real work is going to start with the gun and recoil mechanism! But so far having a great time with the trail/carriage and, as always, Dave Dibb's parts are a great addition!

Cheers,

RPR

Marcus Kwa
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Marcus Kwa » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:59 am

Seeing you starting your build makes me want to build another one........ Have a second 25pdr waiting to be converted into a 17/25 pdr......
I really love this 'little' kit, watching with interest!!!!!

Marcus

Robert Reid
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:22 pm

I have a 17 pdr, too. It has been very tempting to build a Pheasant. May have to do that eventually. I collect 'live' (aka full-sized firing) antique artillery and so love these amazing models!

Your build is definitely inspirational! I just ordered 1,000 small head rivets, too!

Cheers,

RPR

Marcus Kwa
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Marcus Kwa » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:36 pm

Would love to have one of those 1/1 civil war cannons! Do those also come in a smaller scale (1/6 or 1/10) and kit form?
1000 rivets should be enough! I find them everywhere in my house, so some spares are definitely needed!

Marcus

Robert Reid
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:00 pm

HI Marcus:

Thanks for the kind note!

Restoring live artillery is the hobby that modeling goes along with! And it's really the same skill set, only the tools and forces involved are larger. And I'd argue that making a 1/6th scale 25 pounder is a heck of a lot harder than a 1:1 Napoleon! Except for the tonnage.

There are a number of good quality cannon kits in all sizes. Or you can buy a barrel and build your own cannon essentially from scratch. The wheels are the tough part. But with your skills, you would knock them right out! Of course, you could also do a 'late civil War/Victorian cannon' on an iron carriage, which is all about riveting and soldering and welding!

I'll post some pictures of one I am almost finished... an Armstrong 6pdr RML from the Punjab. It's an all iron/steel carriage and would make an amazing 1/6th scale and could be done 'from scratch.' In fact, off to reassemble the wheels and fit the hubs in a moment!

Not sure if you are in a part of the world where 'live' fire is allowed. But there are many barrels you can buy pre-made from golf-ball size down to .50 cal. that when built safely will fire a ball with black powder. CVA used to make beautiful kits and they are not expensive. And as they come lacking a lot of detail, there is a lot of room to go much further than the manufacturer! Here is a 'restorable' one on ebay cheap! But keep in mind that these are a big no-no in the UK as they are considered firearms. But they made a naval cannon and a napoleon that I would estimate are 1/12 scale. To do 1/6th scale, you are probably wanting to find a barrel that is at least 16" long and go from there. Naval carriages are by far the easiest to start with. But so are iron carriages for a modeler with your metalworking skills.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CVA-Di ... SwiRldF7jw

Or you can go all-out and simply buy a full-size barrel from these guys (they are the varsity) and build from there. It's not hard!

http://steencannons.com/cannons/

This is probably a 'winter carriage' which is used for storage, not battle. And kept the wood carriages out of the elements. Note lack of trunnion caps?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarge_schultz/3710567822

But those carriages could be easily replicated with a mill and riveting/soldering skills!

Glad to chat cannons with you any time! And I definitely take inspiration from your Armortek modeling work!

Cheers,

RPR

Robert Reid
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:11 pm

HI Marcus:

Was doing a bit more looking... and these (from Traditions) are available in 1:6th scale! the 14.5" barrel would translate to roughly a 7 foot long Napoleon cannon

https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/pag ... arge+Scale

Fully Firing. I'm going to be down there next month (at Dixie) and if you want me to take some detailed photos of one or look at it for you, I am glad to!

Cheers,

RPR

Marcus Kwa
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Marcus Kwa » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:16 am

Thanks Robert!
That website of Steencannons is amazing!
My first large scale (non plastic) model was a naval 24pdr made by Rhodes limited in about 1/10 scale, say 15 years ago...... Wooden carriage and a glorious brass barrel! Bought it after a visit to the USS Constitution when I was working in the US.

Getting the stuff to Europe is the tricky part nowadays. Have my eyes set on a 6pdr model by Mini Cannon Tech but have not yet had the courage to order it....
https://www.minicannontech.com/store#!/ ... y=19957109

But I am hijacking your post! How is the 25pdr going?

Cheers,

Marcus

Robert Reid
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:53 pm

Not hijacking at all! Artillery is artillery!

I didn't get anything done on the 25 pdr this weekend and won't get back to it before Mid-August. But I did almost finish the Armstrong. Just needs assembly.

Cheers,

RPR

Robert Reid
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:43 pm

So after a long hiatus posting... not a long hiatus working... here's a few pictures from this weekend.

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This is the new breech (The bronze piece below). At the top of the picture is my scale 25 PDR shell, which is an all-brass 28-Ga shotshell... which is an almost perfect 1/6th scale 25 PDR. On left is the barrel, which has been opened up to .750 to take the new breech (which will also serve to align/hold the barrel onto the breech block). On the right is the modified breech block.

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This is the Armortek Breech block undergoing its first modification... which opens up the bore to .750 to take the above bronze breech tube. Four jaw chuck lets me turn an odd-shape object perfectly.

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Here is the block being turned in the 4-jaw chuck.

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This is the finished breech block and the breech tube, waiting for deburring and for the recess to be cut to take the 'shell' so that the breech itself will close over it. Need to do some final measuring. Barrel slips on and will be final attached and pinned. This is not going to be a firing replica (blanks that is) though tempting. I think it's going to end up in a place where shootable things are frowned upon. More on that as things progress.

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With everything machined and ready to go together. Now on to some other stuff....

After looking at a couple of other builds, this gun definitely needed a recoil mechanism. And so I built one up. Not happy with it yet as the springs I had on hand are all wrong... But once I get some new springs it will work just fine.

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Overall, the design is somewhat stolen from Jeff's build, but with a few modifications. It's not a very intuitive thing to engineer. When I finally get springs in and get it working, I'll post a diagram for anyone who wants to emulate. It's not hard. It just takes some thinking.

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Here is a close-up which may help decipher things... or not. Like I said, the springs are all wrong. eBay, here I come!

Cheers,

RPR

More on this in a moment.... as I have to start a new thread for the rest of the photos.

Robert Reid
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Robert Reid » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:00 pm

And after that short commercial break, we are back!

Another feature stolen from Jeff's build is the nuts holding on the front of the recoil mechanism. I didn't have the drive to create a whole bunch of eye bolts, so I just soldered blocks on and then radiused them and put some 'cuts' in them so that when they are painted, they will look like eye bolts. I cheated, sorry.

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Oh, I mentioned Radiusing the blocks... if you don't have a radius gauge set... they are well worth it!

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Knowing the radius, it's easy to pick a drill that will let you match your part to the piece. In the end, however, I just ended up roughing it in with a Dremel and soft-soldering it. And all is good. But didn't want to waste the photo. Radius gauges are helpful in so many places!

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So here are the blocks being made up in another incredibly useful tool... a 5c Square Collet (what kind of witchcraft is this????). To hold a piece of bar stock while I center drill it and tap it to hold the bolts that will hold on the nose of the recoil mechanism.

Once these blocks were made up, I threaded them to 8BA and threaded in some 8ba rod... which when nuts and washers are added will hold the front plate on fine, even under the 'pressure' of recoil (ie, me pressing on the barrel and letting it snap back).

Here are some pictures of the trail as I keep adding features to it. Still a lot of rivets to go (inside and out). Along with lots of small detail parts. But it's coming along well. The black etch primer is to stop some of the rust I was getting... humid shop, fingerprints and time... easy to remove. But on assembled parts, I just shot some black self-etch on. Note some details like braces made of pipe and, of course, ArmorPax great upgrade bits! Always a pleasure to add Dave's bits!

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Note added bits, but I am also putting rivets inside and outside the frame pieces. Since I abhor holes with nothing in them, and I think the rivets are supposed to be inside and out.

More to follow... Because the 'real' detail work is just beginning.

And going to have some interesting things to do with the axle backing plates and hubs, both to match the backing plates and to match the limber wheels, which, if folks remember, are removable with nuts and studs as original.

More to come in the weeks ahead! Loving this kit!

Cheers,

RPR

Jeffrey Goff
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Re: Starting my 25 Pdr... Mirbat Gun.

Post by Jeffrey Goff » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:34 am

Looking good Robert, these 25 pounder kits are very satisfying to build with plenty of scope to embellish
Regards Jeff

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