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"Perry Napoleonic French limber question" Topic

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GiloUK26 Sep 2013 3:05 a.m. PST

I'm a bit confused by the French limber pack, FN 112, and am hoping someone who's painted this up can help. Am I right in thinking that there is no part of the limber that actually connects to the horses? In other words, when basing this set you just glue the wheels of the limber to the base and suspend the long pole in mid-air? I'm just trying to work out whether I'm missing a piece, or whether there isn't anything that you fix to the horses themselves.


Whatisitgood4atwork26 Sep 2013 3:34 a.m. PST

That's what I do.

Better modelers than I (a group which includes most modelers) add scratch-built traces, but I don't.

Markconz26 Sep 2013 3:55 a.m. PST

Most people I know just leave as it is suspended in mid air, but there is a great example of scratchbuilt traces etc here:

Looks so much better and I am going to try and copy this having just asked him how it was done (see comments section) Traces from twisted copper wire 0.5mm, and fine chain. Both of these items available cheaply from online craft/jewellery stores. Plus a few sticks from card for the front wooden bits and a bit of effort and it should be ok.. hopefully!

Augie the Doggie26 Sep 2013 5:56 a.m. PST

I have not seen the Perry wagons first hand so I can't comment on how to attach the traces. In some models there is a bit of the horizontal trace cast onto the horse ( I don't know what that part is called ) and there might be room to drill a hole so that you can attach a wire trace . I often use florists wire for this. On some models, I find it easy to drill a hole where I want to attach the trace to the horse, and then insert a small metal pin in the hole. This provides an attachment point for your wire. It takes a bit of extra time, but the payoff is big relative to the effort involved.

Neojacobin26 Sep 2013 8:12 a.m. PST

Here's a technique I've found visually good. Go to a tobacconist and purchase the cheapest pipe cleaners you can find. Burn off the fuzzy bristles. (This stinks--do it outside)What's left is a flexible wire that looks like braided rope, about the right scale for 25/28. Bends into whatever shape you're looking for.
When I finally get my blog up I'll show examples.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 9:42 a.m. PST

Brass picture wire (for hanging pictures) is braided and ready to use for drag ropes.

Yes, the rear pair of horses is slightly different to any in front. You'll see they have a strap that passes in front of the halter (they also have more straps over their rear end). Both features are to allow them (and this pair alone) to reverse! They do this with a short chain passing from the middle of the halter, at the base to the lead chunk on the shaft. Well worth putting on as looks great.

Right, what about pulling the gun? Ropes.

Each horse beyond the rear pair has a braided moulding from the halter that ends under the valise (or rear strap on the undriven horse). It was meant to carry on to tow the gun. Here is where your brass wire needs to start. Now where does it go? It is meant to be attached to a part that Perrys do not provide. Go back to the limber. Do you see at the very front Three cross pieces attached to the frame? They were not, but at this scale who cares. Imagine the long single crosspiece now attached by a rope to the front of your shaft. In front of that is the same pair of slightly curved bars at half its width. Guess where your four "ropes" now go, each onto the four knobbly bits presented.

Right. Rear pair have ropes now pulling on the twin cross bars Perrys did give us. They also have chains to pull in reverse (hence the enhanced harness over nether regions). The same triple frame is attached to the front of the shaft and the next pair pull forwards only. Never been too sure about the arrangement for the lead pair of six, certainly no central shaft.

Four horses pulling a 6lbr would be quite something, as for a 12 lbr……..good luck to them….but we only have so much space

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 9:57 a.m. PST

OK so now I am an idiot. Why did I not look at the link Markconz pointed out? Apologies.

Those pictures are worth more than all my text. My only comment on fantastic modelling: The chains do not run as shown. They should run from the horses' halter, at the base, to meet each other on the shaft as I explained. They are not for pulling forwards. They are for reversing. The end of the tow bar carried a single hook. That linked into an eye on the long cross bar. All in the midline, almost like a single chain made of only two links.

Empires at War Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Sep 2013 11:04 a.m. PST

I have similar issues with a Russian limber i have painted. Planning on getting another couple at Derby over the weekend so hoping to work it out. As far as rope is concerned perhaps model rigging rope is a better option than the suggestions above. That's what i am using.

Where is Mr Summerfield when you need him?

Musketier26 Sep 2013 1:37 p.m. PST

I seem to recall the Perrys used to provide their limber sets with some sort of metal traces, but stopped doing so as most people didn't use them. Guess you might still be able to get some from them if you ask nicely?

Markconz26 Sep 2013 2:02 p.m. PST

Hi deadhead, is this the correct arrangement you speak of??


GiloUK27 Sep 2013 1:44 a.m. PST

Many thanks to all for your helpful replies.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2013 9:53 a.m. PST

Markconz, oh yes. That is exactly what I meant, but what modelling! I hope this is 54 mm scale or I will give up. Your work?????? I love this……..

KaweWeissiZadeh27 Sep 2013 1:18 p.m. PST

Aren't these 30mm flats with a fully modeled gun much rather?
Quite common practice btw.

Markconz27 Sep 2013 2:48 p.m. PST

No not my work, very nice though!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2013 3:09 a.m. PST

Flats! Of course they are and how clever to spot that. Even more impressive, then, that the painting is so remarkable. What an art form that is, the flat, something we do not seem to have adopted in the UK so much. Seems to me very much a Central European speciality.

I suppose every time I see the work of a painter on a canvas they are showing how an expert can create 3D out of a flat surface. Give us beautifully moulded figures with faces and clothing creases already there, we are fortunate indeed that we can try for our own masterpieces. Bit easier?

1968billsfan29 Sep 2013 4:21 a.m. PST

A very good work that you might like to read on this topic is:

"Artillery Horses: Harness and Draught of the Napoleonic Era"
By Paul Dawson


Garde de Paris29 Sep 2013 7:12 p.m. PST

Does anyone know where to acquire the gun and limber shown above in the painted flat display! Really fine-looking weapon! And truly remarkable display and painting!


Kleist1303 Oct 2013 6:12 p.m. PST

Try Berliner Zinnfiguren ( ) – don' know if they have this one, though. Another source is Gruenewald – zinnfiguren ( link ) – their site is more difficult to navigate though, if you don't know German.

Service from Berliner Zinnfiguren is very good, never ordered from Guenewald.

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