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"Problem with the Russian limbers?" Topic

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16 Jun 2022 1:30 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Problem with the Russian limbers ?" to "Problem with the Russian limbers?"Removed from Napoleonic Discussion board

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2022 8:17 a.m. PST

Hello everyone,

I have the references of the Russian limbers, NFA18 from MiniFigs 25 mm, 25/AL from Hinchliffe and NEQ21 from Essex, but not yet the references from RXE-11 / RXE-13 Old Glory (the only differences are their crews).

For those that I have, none suits me ..!

Unfortunately for the 25 mm MiniFigs, the box is not in the right position.

And alas for the Hinchliffe reference, if you can put it in the right position, then you can't hang its Hinchliffe Russian guns anymore, which is incredible for a limber !!!

For the Essex reference, the only problem, unfortunately, is that the wheel rods of the limbers cannot be mounted even if they were supplied with the model, which is also the case for the MiniFig 25mm and Hinchliffe models…

Moreover, these rods for the front wheels do not exist on any of these models; These wheel rods are, however, specific to Russian and Prussian limbers.

Do you know of other manufacturers selling Russian limbers?

For the Russian artillery of that time, is it the 1805 system?

And later there were other systems?

I am writing this because the three models I have purchased do not look the same and do not quite resemble the Russian limber featured in the M.A.A. #96…

If the three models I bought don't look like the Russian limbers pictured in the M.A.A. #96 is it because there were several different models due to different systems?

How many types of limbers did the Russians field between 1799 and 1814 for their artillery pieces?

On the other hand for the limbers and the various pieces of the Prussian artillery, no problem, after comparison with the Wargames Foundry, the best for me are the references 25/AF, 25/AJ, 25/AG and 25/AH from Hinchliffe.

Do you know any better ones?

Thank you,


Michman16 Jun 2022 9:04 a.m. PST

From 1797/98 to well after 1815, the Russians fielded essentially the same artillery tubes, carraiges and limbers.

That said, there was a group of changes cut in from 1805 that have been called, by some, an updated system. These changes were quite small. If any changes were made to the limbers, they would not be visible on 25mm models.

The battery limber (12-lber guns and 1/2-pud unicorns) had a box with a flat cover. Inside the box was divided into two parts by a longitudinal partition and the box was used to store small items or 2-4 charges.

The light limber (6-lber guns and 1/4-pud unicorns) had a larger box, with a round lid, and inside it was placed a wooden frame, divided by partitions into cells, where part of the set of charges supposed to be used for the guns was stored. There were 12 such cells in the frame for 1/4-pud unicorns, and 20 cells for 6-lber guns.

The wheels of diameter 114.4 cm and axles of all limbers were the same and were also used for the carriages of light pieces. The pins and pin supports for the heavier pieces were slightly bigger/stouter. See following design drawing.



look for "Изображения" here :
remove spaces

h t t p s : / / r u . wikipedia . org/ wiki/ Передок _ (повозка)

1st photo is a museum example

contemporary model


contemporary (?) model


contemporary (?) model


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2022 9:55 a.m. PST

Congratulations and thank you Michman,

Now my knowledge has progressed well thanks to you!

The first and third photos correspond exactly to the reference NFA 18 from MiniFigs 25mm, it is a limber for which piece of Russian artillery?

And the second and fourth photos correspond almost to the reference NEQ21 from Essex !!!

It is a limber for which piece of Russian artillery?

On the other hand Terence Wise (page 5 of M.AA. # 96) gives for the Russian material, 50 inch (127mm) wheels for the carriage and rear caissons, but does not indicate anything for the limbers and front caissons.

What other manufacturers (that I don't know) sell 25mm limbers for the Russian army at this time?

Thank you,


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2022 10:34 a.m. PST

Great pics. Thanks for posting.

Michman16 Jun 2022 12:01 p.m. PST

Box with round top (1st & 3rd photos) = lighter pieces
Smaller box (2nd & 4th photos) with flat top = heavier ppieces
Both are shown in the design drawing.

I don't understand "rear boxes" and "front boxes". I apologize for my mis-understanding English.

--- carriages for heavy pieces (12-lber guns and 1/2-pud unicorns) – wheel diameter : 137.1 cm
--- carriages for light pieces (6-lber guns and 1/4-pud unicorns) and all limbers and caissons and larger rear wheels on the standard army wagons – wheel diameter : 121.9 cm (I used the wrong conversion in my prior post)

difference in diameter in 25mm = 2.3 mm or about "90 thou" English measure

--- smaller front wheels on the standard army wagons and wheels for commissary carts – wheel diameter :97.4 cm

(artillery dimensions per the de Morla tables published in the era based on measuring actual pieces)

It is not likely that anything in the Russian artillery measured exactly 50 English inches. The specifications of length for elements pertaining to canon were measured in units called "parts" of 1/24th of the piece's calibre (diameter of the bore) and for unicorns in units of 1/48th of the piece's calibre.

For examples ….
1 "part" for a 12-lber gun was equal to 1/24 * 4.7400 English inches = 5.0165 mm
1 "part" for a 1/4-pud unicorn was equal to 1/48 * 4.843 English inches = 2.5628 mm

Side comment : Note that the diameter of the bore of the 1/4-pud unicorn was only 2.6 mm larger than a 12-lber gun. Thus you may see it called a "12-lber unicorn" – and in an emergency it could fire, with some awkwardness, 12-lber roundshot. However, a "pud" was an ancient measure for stones, with 40 pounds of stones equal to 1 pud. Thus you will see the *exact same piece* referred to as a "10-lber unicorn".
The same for 1/2-pud unicorm = 24-lber unicorn = 20-lber unicorm.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2022 12:48 p.m. PST

@ Michman,

" rear boxes " = " Rear wheels of the caisson "


" front box " = "front wheels of the caisson ".

Michman16 Jun 2022 6:59 p.m. PST

A-ha ! ….
You found 4 wheel / 4 horse Russian caissons ?
Those were used 1797-1800. An innovation of the Emperor Paul.
Not well-received. Especially not liked by Suvorov, Arakcheev and their protégés
Not too widely issued, except with seige artillery where they proved useful.

Or maybe you saw an standard army wagon fitted out for ammunition re-supply : 1 wagon could re-supply one heavy piece (3 caissons), or 2 light pieces (4 caissons) or an infantry battalion (4 caissons).

The Russians returned to 2-wheel, 3-horse caissons as used during Catherine's reign, an updated design of which appeared from 1803.
All guns and unicorns, and infantry units for their ammunition, used the same. The difference was in the number issued and the load-out inside the box. Wheels and axles as described above.

12-lber gun : 3 per piece : each 40 cells and 6 compartments for storing pulp, slow match, rapid-fire fuzes, and special incendiary and illumination rounds.
6-lber gun : 2 per piece : each 51 cells, plus 2 large and 4 small compartments
1/2-pud unicorn : 3 per piece : each 40 cells
1/4-pud : 2 per piece : each 54 cells
Counting rounds on the limber, this makes 120 rounds per piece, or a little over that.
infantry : 1 per company : supplies and equipment to make-up and store 7,500 rounds (about 40/man at full strength), or 10,000 factory pre-made, pre-packaged rounds (about 60/man)

There were also light field forge and mobile religious variants.

Model 1763/1768 Caissons (top : infantry, bottom artillery)


Model 1803/1805 Caisson






contemporary model


contemporary model


Model 1805 for Siege Artillery


contemporary model


contemporary model


Model 1807 Light Field Forge




contemporary models

von Winterfeldt16 Jun 2022 11:32 p.m. PST

great information, interesting to see the different shades of green on the contemporary modells, the lighter one for the earlier Napoleonic period?

14Bore17 Jun 2022 2:02 a.m. PST

Have a few troika cassons and want some more
Have picture of 4 wheel 1797 ( I think right) ammunition wagon used for infantry or artillery but have to find it
I scratch built 2 of them and it's posted here on another thread

Michman17 Jun 2022 3:22 a.m. PST

"lighter one for the earlier Napoleonic period"
I think so.
I believe the so-called "apple green" for the reign of Paul and at least through 1816.
I believe the so-called "dark green" from at least 1824 through the reign of Nicolas.
I believe it was a change in pigment material.

Note the much lighter shade on the light field forge model : I think we see the Russians adding white lead to make the paint more heat resistant/protective.

Also intresting are the "pictographs" to identify the use of the vehicles in Catherine's era. Similar info was just painted on in letters (typicaly white) in the Paul & Alexander eras. I think this reflects increasing or near total literacy for officers and senior under-officers in the later period.

"Have a few troika cassons and want some more"
I am now, with essentially no skill and expectably poor results, trying to build an 1803/1805 caisson with plain box interior for an infantry company (in 40 mm).

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2022 3:26 a.m. PST

To make it simpler, please Michman try to see in [PdF] the M.A.A # 96 and give me your opinion, thank you.

Please could you also tell us what you think of the Russian limbers and caissons of Old Glory, are they historical?


Michman17 Jun 2022 5:16 a.m. PST

I am sorry – I dont have "M.A.A # 96" – and I am only 50% sure I know what it is. Are there not enough illustrations here to let you decide for yourself? Maybe you can scan the image of a limber and post a link to it ?

I really hate to make judgements, especially of a commercial product limited by technology, regulations, cost constraints, etc., etc. But ….

The linked "Horse Limber With Crew" shows maybe a 12-lber gun or 1/2-pud unicorn Model 1803/1805 limber being operated by a "horse artillery battery company" – fielded in limited numbers 1813-1815. But it should have 8 horses. With a bigger storage box it could be a similar limber for a 6-lber gun or 1/4-pud unicorn. Then it should have 6 horses.

The "Light Limber With Crew" shows maybe a 12-lber gun or 1/2-pud unicorn Model 1803/1805 limber. But it should have 6 horses. With a bigger storage box it could pass for a similar limber for a 6-lber gun or 1/4-pud unicorn. Then it should have 4 horses.

Looking at both of the above, I think they were trying for the more common limber for a 6-lber gun or 1/4-pud unicorn, but got the box wrong (thinking smaller box for smaller pieces, instead of lighter loaded box for heavier pieces) and did not give the horse artillery enough horses.
I am sure that due to losses, the horse artillery would cut out a team's lead horses if injured, but the others would be weaker and not used to leading. They would go back to 6 as soon as possible.

The "Mortar Caisson With Crew" and "Gun Caisson With Crew" look like 4-wheel / 4 horse caissons of Paul's reign re-puposed for seige artillery in Alexander's reign. The Russian field artillery did not have mortars in this era.

The "Ammunition Cart With Crew" is a mystery to me. It looks like a scaled down 2-wheel / 3 horse ammunition caisson for infantry from Catherine's reign. It is very small. I know of no Russian equipment used with 1 horse. Even 2 horse rigs were rather rare. Maybe some "innovation" from Paul's reign ?

14Bore17 Jun 2022 11:18 a.m. PST


14Bore17 Jun 2022 11:25 a.m. PST

My scratch built of these was taken from a picture without the rag top, then found this from
And has a few other vehicles. Thought of adding the rag top.
My understanding is was used for infantry and artillery ammunition.


Michman17 Jun 2022 9:20 p.m. PST

Yes – standard army wagon, Model of 1807
*Very* nicely made and painted !

Odd-number wagons carried a spare smaller front wheel and axle. Even-numbered wagons carried a spare larger 122 cm rear wheel and axle (which was the same as used on limbers, caissons and light artilllery carraiges). Weight (empty) about 1200 English pounds. Max. cargo weight about 1200 English pounds (about 600 English pounds per horse – the typical Russian max. loading).

Like the caissons, the standard army wagons came in many fit-outs :
- provisions wagon : 1 per infantry company (for example) : standard load was 900 English pounds of flour, 300 English pounds of other foodstuffs – about 3 days' rations
- ambulance wagon : 2 per battalion, 6-8 stretchers
- tools & spare parts wagon : 1 per infantry regiment, 10 (or 6) per heavy (or light) artillery company (for examples)
- treasury, religious and records wagons : 1 each per heavy infantry regiment (for example)
- infantry munitions replenishment wagon : Army level (or Separate Corps), refillls two infantry caissons or 2 companies (15,000 – 20,000 rounds)
- artillery munitions replenishment wagon : Army level (or Separate Corps), refillls four light artillery caissons or 2 pieces (about 200 rounds plus supplies)
- artillery munitions replenishment wagon : Army level (or Separate Corps), refillls three heavy artillery caissons or 1 piece (about 120 rounds plus supplies)
- heavy field forge : 2 per pontoon company

I *think* (not sure) the intended configurations were :
- flat top : munitions
- leather/oil-skin top over hoops : ambulannce
- cloth/oil-skin top over higher hoops : forage
- rounded solid top with or without cloth cover : all other

Typical munitions usage (similar for provisions) :
--- 24 infantry munitions replenishment wagons, 24 artillery munitions replenishment wagons to replenish 1 infantry division (total 48)
--- 1 mobile magazine per 8 infantry divisions, reporting to the General Wagenmaster of the Quartermaster Suite at the Army (or Separate Corps) level of command : 1 brigade commanded by a field-grade officer divided into 2 demi-brigades (1 "outbound" from interior depots or arsenals and 1 "returning") : each demi-brigade of 4 companies : each company (supplies 2 infantry divisions or 1 corps) :
- 1 company-grade officer
- 3 NCO's
- 4 wagon repair artisans
- 1 farrier or blacksmith
- 1 wagon for tools and spare parts with driver
- 96 munitions wagons with drivers









contemporary model


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2022 10:36 p.m. PST

@Michman: Thank you that's all I wanted to know.

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