The first step in Shaping the Gun is similar to that of shaping the field artillery gun. Whittle off the edges of blocks A and B as shown in Figs. 328 and 329. The sides of block B must be kept straight; the sides of block A must taper to a smaller diameter at the muzzle end. Figures 330 and 331 give the diameters for the finished ends. In trimming up block
Fig. 324. - Detail of Siege Artillery Gun
A, cut the flange at the muzzle end to the same diameter as the opposite end (1-inch), then taper the wood from the opposite end towards the flange, making the thickness over the bore directly back of the flange, not much more than the thickness of paper. Round block B at both ends, as shown in Fig. 331. The pieces will then be ready for sandpapering.
Pieces A and B are connected by the tube C, a spool (Fig. 332) with its flanges cut off, and its sides whittled to fit snugly in the bores of A and B (Figs. 325 and 332). Before joining the gun-tube sections, however,
The Plunger for projecting the toy shells (D, Fig. 325) must be prepared, and be fastened in place in the breech end of the bore. Drill a hole through rod D 1 1/2 inches from one end, stick the end of a piece of spring-brass wire through the hole (Fig. 333), and wrap several turns of the wire about the rod to form a spiral spring (Fig. 334). With the spring prepared, stick the rod through the breech opening, and fasten a spool-end upon it with glue and a brad (E, Figs. 325 and 335).
When you have tried out the gun and found it to fire satisfactorily with
One-half Inch Shells (Fig. 336), cut out of dowel-sticks in the way that the shells for the other gun were made, glue together parts A, B, and C.
The Gun Carriage is shown in detail in Fig. 337. Cut carriages A in one piece, out of 5/8-inch stuff (Fig. 338), then saw in half for the pair. Drill a hole where indicated, through which to run the trunnions on which the cannon is
Fig. 325. - Longitudinal Section of Gun Shown in Fig. 324 Figs. 326 and 327. - Wooden Blocks Required for Tube of Gun Figs. 328 and 329. - How the Blocks are Bored and Shaped Figs. 330 and 331. - Tube Blocks Completed Fig. 332. - Spool Connector
Figs. 333-335. - Details of Plunger Fig. 336. - Half-inch Shell to be mounted. Cut base block B to the dimensions given in Fig. 339, nail the carriages to its sides, and drive lever C into a hole bored in one end. Cut turntable base D of the size shown in Fig. 340, bore a screw-hole through its center and drive a screw through the hole into base B of the gun carriage. The trunnion screws on which the gun is mounted, can be screwed through the holes in carriages A directly
Fig. 337. - Detail of Gun-Carriage Fig. 339. - Carriage Base Fig. 338. - Pattern for Carriages Fig. 340. - Turntable Base into tube B of the gun, because the thickness of the wood around the bore is 3/8 inch. Do not drive the screws deeper than one-half of this thickness.
The Elevating Device is the same as that provided for the other gun (Fig. 337).
You can leave your guns without
Painting, but a coat of black or grey paint will much improve their appearance. Do not attempt to paint the inside of the bores; in fact, be careful not to let any paint run into them, for this would gum them up, and possibly spoil the action of the plunger.
Figure 341 shows
A Fortification made out of a piece of 2 by 4. Figure 342 shows how to mark out the embrasures, or openings for guns.
Fig. 341. - Fortification
Cut down the sides of the embrasures with a saw, and split out the wood between the saw kerfs with a chisel.
Pieces cut from a 1/2-inch dowel-stick, 2 3/4 inches long, with a hole started in one end of each (Fig. 343), will answer admirably for play
Disappearing Guns. Drive a tack into the breech end of each gun, and another into the fortification, beneath each embrasure, then connect the tacks with pieces of string (Fig. 341). The purpose of the strings is merely to keep the guns from becoming separated from the fort, and getting lost.
A Flagstaff is mounted in the center embrasure of the fortification, instead of a gun (Fig. 341). Stick a small flag in a block of wood, set the block in the embrasure, and connect a string to tacks driven into the block and into the fortification. As the flag is to be fired upon, don't use an American flag. That would be an act of disloyalty.
Fig. 342. - Pattern for Fortification Fig. 343. - Detail of Gun Fig. 344. - Flagstaff
You can make a small flag by fastening a piece of cardboard to the end of a stick, as shown in Fig. 344.
Laying Out the Battlefield will be obtained from the photograph of Fig. 304. Books piled up along a wall of a room, and covered with a rug, will give elevation and perspective to the background. Notice that the borders of the rug used in the battle scene shown in Fig. 304 make roads. Hang a sheet from tacks driven into the picture-moulding, for a sky background. Build small houses, churches, and other buildings out of cardboard. Use evergreen twigs for trees. Make tents out of small pieces of cardboard folded V-shape. The author wishes that he might show some of the other battle scenes he has modeled, with hills, valleys, streams, bridges, etc., but space does not permit it.
There are many ways of waging miniature wars. You can make and develop your own rules for fighting, and for determining the victors. Mr. H. G. Wells, the English author, literary critic, and war correspondent, wrote an interesting volume several years ago, entitled "Little Wars ," which, if you can procure at your local public library, will give you many valuable suggestions for operating on both a large and a small scale. Mr. Wells has spent several days at a stretch, with friends, in working out miniature war manuevers, and you will find his descriptions of battles won and lost, intensely interesting. The author's miniature battles, participated in by his brother, and his chum Captain David Ross Fraser, U. S. A., will always be remembered by each as among the most thrilling of their boyhood pastimes. Battles were fought out to a finish, until every gun on one side had been silenced, every man slain.