Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rapid Fire! 20mm, French Army 1940, Pt 3 - Building Schneider 105mm guns

 The idea is to build a battalion of French medium artillery with the 1913 Schneider 105mm gun.
In order to build it from scratch you need some good reference books/internet images and articles; that box of parts you kept for years without never knowing exactly what to do with it; Evergreen tubing, rod and plate; pencil; X-Acto; plastic glue and superglue and one of those rainy weekends in which you only think LET´S DO IT... whatever it may be...

You also need to find the correct lenght of the gun (9 cm lenght) so you can work more freely inside it, without too many worries about this or that half milimeter,  something that the late Dave Howitt tought me.

According to Dave Howitt the most important thing on building a wargames piece was sturdiness and the enhancement of the main details, avoiding flimsy parts that will self destroy with use.

First you build the barrel out of Evergreen. One of the barrels was taken from the Airfix 5,5 inch gun after some shortening.

The carriage is also Evergreen and its the most difficult part of the gun. Be careful measuring this one.

The irregular shape of these parts is challenging, but if you do it carefully you can have a very reasonable Schneider carriage. Bend the carriage in the middle to produce its characteristic shape.

Glue the carriage to the barrel and you will have the gun in a skeleton shape.

Then start to add more details as the back cover of the carriage and filling the carriage with other thin stripes of evergreen until you feel satisfied. You can avoid this trouble if you have the correct length of Evergreen rod, which I didn't.

Its wheel time: I used a pair of Britannia metal and two of Emhar´s plastic from its 18pdr.

The gun shield was a true headache (the ones we like...) as this gun had a multitude of different shields varying from time and country. You need careful planning in this one too!

After assembling the two part shield dip the bottom part in very hot water and bend it to shape, as this kind of shield was slightly curved. Evergreen works well with hot water. Then quickly dip it again in cold water for final shape.

Add last details, specially at the back part of the gun.

Finally place two very thin stripes of Evergreen along the shield.
And here you have it: a cheap three gun battalion of 105mm Schneiders for the 1940 period.
Next: crew, painting... and who knows what else...


  1. Excellent! Great instruction for the manufacture of virtually all artillery systems Schneider.PS Drawings on the Russian 107-mm gun and a 152-mm howitzer system of Schneider's Russian army is in the edition of "Russian field artillery" 1382-1917 years.

  2. Este gajo é um génio...só tem o defeito de ser sportinguista...

  3. Fabulous mate

    Your scratch building is very well done!