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"12lb Napoleon barrels" Topic

18 Posts

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American Civil War

1,943 hits since 28 Sep 2015
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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bmcfarln Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 7:27 a.m. PST

I've just purchased a battery of 12lb Napoleons. Do I paint the barrels black or bronze ?

MajorB29 Sep 2015 7:43 a.m. PST


Wizard Whateley Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 7:51 a.m. PST


Wizard Whateley Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 7:54 a.m. PST

And they should shine. Artillery pieces were the army's pride and joy, and were polished even on campaign

45thdiv Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 8:24 a.m. PST

What about other gun types? Like a parrot gun? What color for them?

jeffreyw3 Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 8:25 a.m. PST

Speaking of which, I saw a demo of a scale modeler using a brass acrylic paint for his tank ammo that could be buffed to a very high shine. Looked perfect for cannon. I believe it had wax in it? Anyone used anything like this?

MajorB29 Sep 2015 8:32 a.m. PST

What about other gun types? Like a parrot gun? What color for them?

The Parrott rifle barrel was cast iron with a wrought iron reinforcing band on the breech.

bmcfarln Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 8:37 a.m. PST

Bronze it is. thanks for the info.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2015 8:38 a.m. PST

The Parrotts and the 3" Ordinance Rifle would have black painted iron barrels. The Napoleons and the various 6, 12, and 24-lb guns and howitzers would have bronze barrels. Not sure about the "esoteric" Whitworths, etc.


vtsaogames Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 8:44 a.m. PST

I saw a 6 pound smooth bore at Fort Jay recently, tended by reenactors. It was highly polished bronze.

Scott MacPhee29 Sep 2015 9:51 a.m. PST

I paint mine gold, rather than bronze. Model bronze paints look way too coppery.


Personal logo Condotta Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2015 10:04 a.m. PST

I paint mine shiney gold, like scomac's and others. Unlike scomac's, mine is 28mm.

45thdiv Inactive Member29 Sep 2015 10:31 a.m. PST

Thanks all. I think I will see what I painted wrong and correct it. That picture is great.

The Wargames Room29 Sep 2015 11:09 a.m. PST

I would agree bronze.

However, from 1863 Tredager Foundry in Richmond cast 12pdr Napolens in iron, so for late Confederate War in the east an occasional black Napoleon would be an option. I'm not sure how many were produced but I have seen two examples in recent visits. One at Tredager and one in the Petersburg National Park.

donlowry30 Sep 2015 8:19 a.m. PST

Smoothbore field guns were bronze (lighter than iron) and left unpainted. You see them on battlefield parks all oxidized to a light green, similar to the background of this page, but when kept clean and polished, they were a light golden color.

Most rifled field guns were iron (held the rifling better than bronze) and were painted black to prevent rust. The only bronze rifle that I know of was the 12-pounder James, which was just the 6-pounder smoothbore gun that had been rifled. It wasn't popular because the rifling in the bronze barrel soon wore smooth.

So the basic rule is: Rifles black, smoothbores bronze.

xanthippus Inactive Member23 May 2018 10:28 a.m. PST

The Confederates cast 6pdrs and 12pdrs in iron. due to shortage of bronze..often iron guns had banded breaches.

historygamer01 Jun 2018 6:42 p.m. PST

I use brass paint.

KPinder28 Jun 2018 4:13 p.m. PST

I too use gold for bronze. I apply a super thin black wash to provide shading.

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