Geoff Kidd, of British Columbia, Canada scratch-built this 1/6 scale M1857 12-pounder Napoleon gun along with a limber cart, and a caisson ammunition cart. The models were made with conventional tools and a Sherline 4000 lathe and milling machine. Interestingly, the materials consist almost entirely of reclaimed wood, steel, and brass that was salvaged from decommissioned coastal vessels. Geoff spared no details when crafting this remarkably accurate model. The Napoleon gun and carts include everything from a spare shovel and axe to a full arsenal of miniature ammunition in the caisson box—all scratch-built.

The M1857 Napoleon gun was a bronze smoothbore muzzleloading field artillery piece that was incorporated into the United States Army in 1857, and used by both sides in the American Civil War. The gun was the American-manufactured version of the French “Canon obusier de 12,” which combined the functions of both field gun and howitzer. The gun was pulled behind a small two-wheeled cart called a limber, which was pulled by six horses arranged in pairs. The caisson ammunition cart would also be towed by another limber with six horses.

Geoff’s 1/6 scale model Napoleon gun and accompanying transportation carts were built over a period of six years. He got most of the measurements for his Napoleon gun from the Artillery for the Land Services of the United States 1849-1865 Field Artillery Plans. Geoff was kind enough to donate this impressive set of scale models for permanent display at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA. Read more about Geoff Kidd and the construction of his Napoleon gun.

Exhibit added: October 13, 2023 - Last modified: October 13, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship