Australian wargamer Ian Fainges has given me permission to reproduce some of his images on Photobucket of his 40mm Civil War figures. Of particular interest is this scratch-built so-called “coffee grinder” machine gun, a device which saw limited use on the battlefield during the war but was a technological advance which with other similar weapons such as the Gatling gun eventually led to the development of the machine gun. Some fifty years after the Civil War, machines guns played such a horrific role in the trench warfare of World War I.
Ian’s friend Brad Smith adds, “The ‘coffee grinder’ is the Agar machine gun that featured (not super successfully) at Peninsular campaign battles such as Williamsburg and Garnett’s farm).”
Here are some of Ian’s other photos.
An officer commands a two-gun battery as it prepares to unload double-canister at 100 yards at a massed line of Confederate infantry approaching the position. Actually, this is a drill for the inexperienced newly painted crew and the wee guys are going through the motions in preparation for an eventual encounter on the tabletop battlefield.
Brad Smith notes, “The 2 cannons are actually 28mm scale but in 40mm are representing 12pdr Mountain Howitzers in Dilger’s battery that featured at Valley Campaign battles such as Cross Keys and Freeman’s Ford.”
Their goal is to put their concurrent shots as close to the yellow conical-shaped target as possible, which simulates the oncoming enemy color guard in the center of the Rebel regiment. This will tear a large hole in the Confederate assault column.
The coffee grinder gun is rolled into position to toss a few hundred rounds of its own at the target. It is fresh off the factory floor.
Though gallant and dashing in his physical appearance and striking a good pose for his crews, no one knows how the commander will fare on the battlefield once the enemy bullets and counter-battery fire commences. Will be prove equal to the task, or will he gallop his bay to the rear at the first sign of trouble? Will be bravely inspire his men and fend off the overwhelming attack of the secessionists?
Only the dice know!