Wednesday, October 23, 2013

make cannons


These superb cannon were created by snitchythedog using wire, beads and wooden dowel. The cutting mat on which they are stand in the picture has one inch grid squares so the cannon are perhaps a little on the large side for 'standard' 28mm wargaming however with the use of smaller diameter wire, beads and dowel...
CannonIn the following article, snitchy explains how he made one of the cannon; however the same methods were used to make all three.


  1. 3/8 inch hardwood dowel
  2. 1/4 inch hardwood dowel
  3. Wood coffee stirrers
  4. Wood popsicle sticks
  5. Assorted beads
  6. Poster paper
  7. 16 gauge wire
  8. 20 gauge wire
  9. One straight pin
  10. Matchsticks
Note that if you want to make a smaller cannon than the one illustrated you'll need smaller diameter dowels, wire and beads.


I began by cutting the 3/8 dowel to the required length. A hole was drilled in the center of each end and, using the pin, I stacked three beads and glue it onto the end of the dowel.
Cannon Cannon
A one inch wide strip of card was then cut and glued in place with the edge half way around the largest bead.
Wire was wrapped around an extra piece of dowel to make a coil which was then cut into individual rings. These are used to hide the edges of paper and add detail at the front of the barrel. Two different gauges of wire were using as shown and all of the gaps were lined up on what will become the underside of the cannon barrel i.e. where they will be hidden from view.
Cannon Cannon
Two 1/4 inch dowels were pinned into place for the arms of the cannon. Putty was then applied to all gaps and sanded when dry. This finished the barrel.


I started the caisson with the wheels. I first found a hard round form upon which I could use a clamp. I crimped three coffee stirrers for each wheel and cut these to fit the form. The strips where then glued together, staggering the openings, and clamped into place.
Cannon Cannon
Note that the crimping process is simply a case of 'cutting' a series of notches into what will become the inner part of the strip. The notches are cut across the width of the strip, not along the length, and each notch causes the strip to bend a little. As you work along it's length, the strip curls. A special tool is available from the wooden boat building section of model shops however you can achieve the same effect with a craft knife; using a blade which is not particularly sharp so as to avoid cutting right through the thin strip.
When the strips were dried, I cut and glued a center spoke made out of a match stick. I then cut and added the rest of the spokes after which putty was used to fill gaps prior to sanding all surfaces.
Cannon Cannon
The construction of the rest of the caisson is pretty straightforward. The various section were created by laminating several popsicle sticks together, cutting them to shape, and sanding. I then glued these sub-assemblies together before using more paper, wire and putty to add the remaining details.
The platform on which the cannon stands is made from matchsticks with an edging made from coffee stirrers.

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