Another Model Cannon?

by John

I had thought that the 1:10 scale model Armstrong 80pr rifled muzzle loader would be the last cannon which I would make. It is currently being given finishing coatings to the woodwork. Later this year it will be given as a gift to a family member.

To be honest, having made five 1:10 scale model blackpowder cannons, I am ready to move back to my first modelling passion, which is steam engines. I had no real interest in weapons or guns or artillery, except as a means of increasing my understanding of history, specifically military history. I have no interest in firing guns, although I must admit to an illicit satisfaction in watching You Tube videos from USA of cannon modellers who can actually fire their creations.

My interest in cannons started when, as a newbie in CNC machining, and looking around for a project to use my newly acquired CNC lathe in 2015, I made a model long gun.

1:10 scale models of a 1779 24 pounder long gun, and 1804 carronade of the same bore. Making them was interesting, and the associated history was totally engrossing.
Then the Ottoman cannon of 1465, again 1:10 scale, over 500mm long.

The Armstrong 80pr muzzle loader, scaled from the originals at Port Fairy and Warrnambool.
Another Armstrong RML 80pr. I kept this one.

And the most recent Rifled Muzzle loader, the same 80pr Armstrong Barrel, on a Dwarf carriage, and wooden traversing platform.

Almost but not quite completely finished in this photo. Since then it has been cleaned, stained, and lacquered.

I truly thought that this would be the final cannon which I would model. So I could get back to my model steam engines.

Like this one from 2-3 years ago, now gracing our kitchen, with decorations by SWMBO.

Trevithick dredger engine and boiler, of about 1805. 1:8 scale. The possum and the budgerigar are not real. Neither are the two T. Rex’s fighting on the boiler.

BUT….then my eldest daughter, who has absolutely NO interest in cannons, asked ” are you going to make a cannon for me?” I must point out that this daughter rescues injured animals and takes them to her vet, is vegan, the most pacifistic and socially conscious person that I know. I questioned why she would want a model cannon. “I just do” she replied.

Oh well. I guess that I will be making one final model cannon.

I spent a day searching my books, Google Images, Wikipedia for a cannon which would look interesting as a model, be interesting for me to make, and for which some plans or drawings are available. I offered my daughter the choice of my existing models, but no, she wanted one built just for her.

Then I thought of jefenry, my reader from the USA, who has made several model cannons, including one which intrigued me when I first saw his pictures and videos several years ago. It is a 1:9 scale Armstrong rifled breech loader, 110pr, of 1861. One of the first breech loaders of relatively modern times. (Breech loading cannons have been around since medieval times, but they were less reliable than muzzle loaders, more inclined to explode and kill their own gunners.). The Armstrong 110 pr RBL saw action in several wars, including against Japan, the NZ Maoris. It was the largest cannon on HMS Warrior, but was replaced by the more reliable muzzle loaders.

So that is what I will model for my daughter. An Armstrong 110pr, rifled breech loader, on a dwarf carriage and wooden traversing carriage. Here are some pictures.

110pr Armstrong at Fort Henry, Canada. I presume that the traversing carriage is a reconstruction.
And the 1:9 model of a naval version of the gun, which was made by jefenry. Check out the making of the cannon, including rifling, at and watch his video of firing the cannon at

So, my plan is to make a 1:10 model of the barrel, on a carriage and traversing platform like the Fort Henry example above. Not sure how much of the build will be featured on this blog. I am again very close to my memory limit.