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Martin S-C

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Martin S-C last won the day on May 13 2019

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    Pre-grouping, fictional, small empires.

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  1. I fear this may be as off-topic as we've ever gone. I am 260 years off target.
  2. Yes, but its a case of how common might it have been and how easy/cheap to obtain. Military vehicle economics is the opposite of railway vehicle economics (he said, desperately trying to angle the discussion back nearer to trains) - railway companies spared no expense in making their trains look superb, especially in places where large numbers of potential customers would see them. Military hardware had to be entirely functional so no point in painting a cannon green at a cost of 2s 3d when a red lead oxide paint job would only cost 10 1/4d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green (Scroll down to the section headed Pigments, Food Colouring and Fireworks) You also bump into lovely useful websites like this while searching for "Paint pigments in the 1600s" http://www.webexhibits.org/pigments/intro/history.html
  3. For gun models I am well supplied; in any case they varied considerably depending on the weight of shot from tiny things that a couple of men could push to absolute monsters needing 12 to 16 oxen to haul. It was the colours that first made me stop and think. Like railway modelling I then went off for a very pleasant evening into the wild depths of the internet reading about renaissance paints and dyes. I happen to have a pot of Railmatch LNER Doncaster green which is a really lovely colour and wondered if a green cannon was a thing but have since decided it would not be owing to the lack of a readily available green pigment in the 1640s. Here's a couple of tiny guns called Falconettes which were only about 1 1/2 pound weight of shot. These are Thirty Years War styled carriages from the 1630s but were still around, if a little ornate. Then a light leather gun with twin barrels - I am uncertain about the blue carriage on that one but it makes a nice difference - and finally a Saker which was a 5-pounder. If you know your artillery, compare the massive barrel on this to a Napoleonic 6-pounder and you'll see how primitive these barrel castings were. Everything about these bigger guns was massive since they needed to bear the weight of the colossal barrels. The yellow ochre colour is very tentative as well. There was jaune d'antimoine available from the 1620s which gave a yellow pigment but whether it was even available in 1640s England and at what price I can't say and I suspect soldiers wouldn't have thought in such decorative terms but again it makes a nice change among a sea of dull colours on a wargame table.
  4. Thanks for the replies. The link to the blog about red/grey paint is just what I was looking for - thanks Stephen. Regarding the general situation in the 1640s and the sudden need to acquire artillery I'm aware this was a very haphazard procedure and despite Parliament handing out contracts to supply guns was essentially an amateur process. Interestingly there are apparently extant contracts that specify "lead colour" for the woodwork and its this that generated my curiosity. Parliament had access to England's principal arsenals in London and Hull and so could turn out artillery in a more homogenous manner than the Kings forces, if they had such a need. However there were a multitude of reasons why artillery of medium and heavy calibre was so little used in the ECW and I won't go into that. But one tends to find that cannon barrels were often cast and then kept in store at the principal arsenals and even in private homes (manors, castles, etc) and when they were needed a wooden carriage was sourced locally either by a village carpenter or the troops themselves, with the necessary ironwork also being forged locally on an as-needed basis at the same time. Pre-production of standard parts kept in store was unknown. I therefore suspect that most timber used would not have been seasoned and since no artillery piece would have been protected from the weather at all other than maybe a tarpaulin thrown over it at night or on a long march now and then, unseasoned wood would quickly have begun to distort. Not a huge deal except for issues like the trueness of the cradle supporting the trunnions and so on that would make aiming as well as overall strength/integrity of the artillery piece doubtful! There is also something of a tradition that the troops would tend to lavish some affection on their artillery pieces, naming them and so on, a tradition carried on all through the centuries with soldiers and their weapons. Naming of guns, planes and tanks was common in the 20th century by all armies. These issues make me think that the soldiers would take some care of the cannons and probably cover the bare wood with at least something, even if it was only grease or fat from an animal, or some form of vegetable oil obtained on the march by pounding some locally gathered materials. Re-enactors of course have invested a personal amount of cash in replica cannon and so tend to take greater care of them and therefore painted replica artillery is the norm and a dull red oxide colour is the most commonly seen on re-enactment battlefields. I would think some protection of the wood was desirable but that needs to be balanced against the fact that there may not have been much time, money or technical knowledge to apply any sophisticated covering. The artillery crews tended to be non-specialists and even infantrymen seconded for the job but the gun captains and one or two other specialists who were skilled technicians and highly sought after would certainly have been aware of the need to protect the wooden frames from the weather. One issue in the 1640s in England was a dearth of skilled artillerists. Artillery was a branch of engineering at this time and skilled gunners were rare so it may have been an embarrassment to lose one's artillery in a battle but the guns themselves could be replaced more easily and quickly than these vital specialists, most of whom were effectively mercenaries and would fight for whoever paid them most. Several wargamers have told me that ironwork was blacked; whether this means a chemical process or a black paint I am not sure but clearly it was important to ensure that critical iron parts didn't exhibit so much rust that the weapon's integrity was compromised. Exotic colours like greens and blues were probably never used, simply out of cost and a yellow ochre colour maybe likewise although I have seen one replica ochre coloured cannon and very smart it looked. I think I shall go therefore with a mixture of raw wood effects, stained/greased (that is darkened) wood, red oxide and greys. I think that's the safest course, if a little dull visually. By the mid 1700s in the time of Frederick the Great paint pigments had technically advanced and artillery was becoming more militarised and homogenous and you do therefore begin to see more distinctive colours applied to all the cannon of a nation's armies - Prussians = dark blue, Austrians = yellow ochre or pale brown, French = pale blue, Hanoverians and Russians = a fairly bright red; and so on but that's a hundred years after my current period of interest.
  5. Hello everyone. It's been a while. Edwardian, I really do hope you don't mind if I drop in here to ask a quick question. I am asking here because I think this is the best place to find the largest gathering of astute minds who will know the answer. There was a discussion about railway liveries somewhere in RMWeb some time ago, perhaps a year, perhaps more, where if I recall, there was discussion of the colour "lead" which I think the railway research fraternity used to think meant "grey" but which we now know means a dull brick-red colour. Is anyone here able to recall this conversation and possibly point me to the thread where it occurred? Are there any other railway research documents (HMRS?) where a similar discussion took place? My other hobby which is wargaming is currently focussed on the English Civil Wars period and I am presently painting model artillery pieces and was wondering what colour(s) they tended to be. Apparently someone very senior in the Pike & Shot Society has written in their journal that many guns were painted with their woodwork grey because (and yes, you guessed it) he has found many references to "lead colour" in original written contracts that have survived from the 1640s. I wanted to open a correspondence with the gentleman concerned because I'm coming to the realisation that what he thinks was a grey colour was actually a red oxide colour and I wanted to be armed with the discussions that have taken place in the railway research and restoration community in recent years about the types of colours that oxide of lead will generate. I do apologise if this is taking things off topic and for non-railway reasons but if its possible that we can address this issue of colour for the wooden carriages of cannons dating to the 1640s it would be quite the significant achievement.
  6. Thank you Schooner. I am still here, very well, virus-free but just taking a break from railway modelling for a bit. The layouts electrics and track are still about 90% done but Neil is missing a few small electrickery gizmos from DCC Concepts and of course nothing is coming out of China right now. In any case we'd agreed to halt things until the warm weather came around because we'd then tackle the scenery and things like Celotex and such need to be sawn and sanded outside. Then the virus came along and Neil isn't working at all. So we are taking a bit of a longer break than we planned. I am wargaming instead, my other hobby. I shall definitely be back later in the year though.
  7. I would like to send my very sincere thank yous and best wishes for the season to everyone who has contributed here. Your comments have been very much appreciated. I am however going to be taking a break from RMWeb. Negativity from the admins when raising the issue of poor site response times has been the last straw. I'll come back in the spring, or when I'm feeling able to deal with life generally, if that happens to be sooner. My love and respects to you all. Take care.
  8. Ah yes, the old "see if you can do it better yourself" argument. Well done. Very constructive. If potential users are coming here and experiencing poor page load times, you may well have to eat your words as someone might well go off and do just what you propose.
  9. Don't put words into my mouth. That is not what I said and you know it. What I said was that if this sites code were configured correctly and it functioned as a large web community site should, THEN it becomes deserving of people's financial support. I pay an annual subscription greater than RMWebs to a site I no longer visit because I once was involved in that community and site membership allows me to store unlimited numbers of images on its servers. It works. Therefore I give it my support. There is nothing wrong in this. You might have missed a few posts up the page where I offered Andy my support and testing time. It was turned down, so don't lecture me about people wanting something for nothing. This is the web presence of BRM magazine. Andy and his team should not be doing this voluntarily. BRM mag should finance it - or should finance it more if they are already doing so. "More" being sufficient to fix any problems. The fact that the site is not 100% smooth and fast ought to be a problem for one of the premier model railway magazines in the country. If people are working away for free and its not working right then people need to be paid according to their efforts, or paid professionals brought in. If RMWeb became a pay-to-use site only I'd happily subscribe, providing of course it worked correctly. Its the code that's the issue as I think any IT professional would confirm. I know exactly what you mean.
  10. So if its free we should just put up with it? Is that what you are suggesting? The issue is not just about current site members. Imagine how a prospective new member might react if they arrive here looking for a modelling community but every page takes 20 seconds to load and each time they post it takes 30 seconds, or the page hangs completely. The current state of the site could well be driving people away. Bear in mind also that the sites sluggish behaviour is a major reason I haven't bought gold membership. I'm not happy putting up with this for free but I'll certainly not pay for it!
  11. I doubt its Firefox. As I said I have tried with Internet Explorer and its equally slow using that. Firefox is fast on plenty of other websites. I can't test with Edge as I refuse to have it on my PC! It could be a combination of the code in some browsers and the site but I wish anyone good luck in finding that conflict. For me this has become a real chore. I think it first began in about mid or late September... maybe early October... and its been like it every day, no matter the time of day, since then. It has made the site very unattractive to visit. I wonder if it would be possible to disable certain site features one at a time and see if that has any effect? My guess is its still image related. I genuinely expect a version of the site that had user uploaded images disabled would fly along. @AY Mod Andy - I would also be happy to do some testing if you were to set up a mirror site and play about with it. I imagine a few others would volunteer to see if we can make any progress in a live environment but without tinkering with the main site.
  12. To my eye the problem is definitely site related. Other web pages load very quickly but RMWeb has been as slow as treacle for me for several months now. Consistently. And I mean sometimes 20 or 30 seconds to load a page or post on a thread, and some posts failing to action so that I refresh the page after a few minutes to find my post has uploaded. I'm using the most recent release of Firefox but checked on IE and it is the same on that browser as well. The site is so slow I now use it less than I used to because I just don't have the time and patience to sit watching nothing happening. Something in the forum code is the culprit I expect and I wonder if its to do with images, maybe the caching of them? There were some instances of all images being displayed twice in some threads for a short while after the new forums went live. That can still be seen on some threads.
  13. Curious. That's a well known photo of a 517 tackling the lowest part of Butts Bank on the Highworth line. Hannington station is about a quarter mile behind the tail of the train around a right hand curve. The image is in the Wild Swan title "Highworth Branch", page 14. The caption claims the second vehicle is an all third with a centre perishables compartment but no diagram number is given. It could be a mis-identification. EDIT: "The Highworth Branch" book caption claims a date of "early 1900s".
  14. The Highworth line had the steepest gradient in Wiltshire at 1 in 44, a grade which commenced soon after leaving Hannington station and ended at Highworth terminus making it extremely tricky for the crews. The grade was called Butts Bank and a pair of reverse curves at its base were of 10 chains radius which I think was also the tightest non-industrial curved standard gauge track in Wiltshire as well. It was lightly built with limited headroom caused by several timber overline bridges. Locomotive use was heavily restricted. Usually only 4-coupled locos were permitted along the line but two classes of 0-6-0 tank were allowed on it. Metros, 517s, 850 STs, 4-4-0 No.13 and in later years 48xx and 1361 class PTs were used. The last train in 1953 was hauled by BR Class 03 D2182. BR Class 08s were permitted on the lower sections of the line up to the Kingsdown Road junction which gave access to the Vickers aircraft assembly works at South Marsden. The line had a six and later 4-coach 4-wheel set which lasted until 1935 when a specially built B set pair were provided with the roof ventilators moved down the curve of the roof to allow clearance under the low bridges. No.13 was probably well suited in terms of wheel base but with only 140psi boiler pressure and a tractive effort of 13,328 lbs may have lacked power for the final uphill climb. In early workings 2 of the 6 4-wheel coaches were left in the loop at Hannington and only 4 coaches were taken to the terminus, the pair being collected on the return trip. Now there's a bit of railway operation it would be nice to see modelled. I'm in very slow discussions with a friend regarding a 3D print of No.13 in 4-4-0 form but it is a very slow discussion
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