Saturday, 11 December 2010

28mm Cannon Review - Budget options

Irregular LM31 & 25/63 parts.
As explained before, your author is always on the lookout for a bargain.  In this spirit I decided to buy some artillery pieces from Irregular Miniatures and Parkfield Miniatures.  Both of these manufacturers offer products at what could be termed "budget" prices.  The artillery pieces available include some highly suitable C17/18 mediums and a pair of intriguing "Galloper" guns (destined for use as the infamous Beimbach-Schönau "Schmetterling"!).  Anyway, let's get to the meat of the posting - the reviews.

Irregular Medium Cannon

First up Irregular's LM31 & 25/63 (£2.50 as of Nov 2010)  These represent "medium" pieces from the C17 to early C18.  I ordered one of each and the only difference appears to be in the wheels (LM31 has the old-fashioned cleated type).

Upon handling, it is a nice solid model.  The woodgrain is not over done and there is a fair level of detail.  In some areas this is a little indistinct (vent hole and rear of the barrel especially) but I am not sure if this is due to the mould or the master.  Either way, this was not enough to prompt me to ask for a replacement.

The cleated wheels show a distinct mould line along the rim which will have to be removed.  This is not difficult but is tedious.

As can be seen the assembled model is quite substantial when standing next to miniatures (the artillerist trio comprises a brace of Dixon and a single Trent chap)

The model bears a startling resemblance to Dixon Miniatures' excellent "Marlburian 6 pounder EG4".  There are differences but these are very slight and the two could be used side by side with few people able to tell them apart.

Considering the price, I certainly recommend these models to impoverished Generals looking for something a little different.

Irregular Galloper Gun

Irregular LM32 "Galloper Gun"
Next to feature is another by Irregular.  This time "LM32 Galloper Gun" from their Marlburian range (£2.25 Nov.2010)

This depicts a much lighter (generally below 3lb) piece that was towed by a single horse or indeed two or three men!  I wanted a source for my "Schmetterling" Battalion guns and thought this was a strong contender.

The gun is suitably slender - some would say flimsy - and thus captures the feel of these pieces.  As before, the woodgrain and other details are pretty well done.  Sadly my example had a lot of flashing as can be seen in the picture to the right.  This will be simple enough to remove from the carriage and barrel but the wheel spokes would be very difficult to sort out.  I called Irregular and they duly sent me a replacement wheel.

Once the parts are put together the gun looks rather rickety but it must be remembered that it is a very light piece.  One thing I don't care for is the slimness of the wheels - they just look too thin to my inexpert eyes.

I will not be relegating this to the bits box but it will certainly take a little bit of work to make it look the part.

Parkfield Galloper Gun

Parkfield GRA100 "Galloper Gun"
Last on today's list is Parkfield's "GRA100 Galloper Gun" from their "Glorious Revolution" range.  I chanced upon the Parkfield stand at Warfare 2010 and saw this little cannon sitting on the shelf.

Priced at a very attractive £1.90 (Nov 2010) and supplied complete with tools the kit represents great value.

The carriage is less detailed than the Irregular version and shows little woodgrain.  However the barrel and wheels are slightly superior.

When assembled, the model is certainly sturdier looking than the Irregular version but as they depict different prototypes, it is rather unfair to compare them in this way.

I bought three of these at Warfare and sadly had some trouble with the wheels.  In one bag I had received large wheels and in one of the others a small wheel was miscast.  An email to Parkfield resulted in prompt mailing of replacements.

Due to the more compact look of the Parkfield Galloper, I have decided that this will be the best option for my army.  However, the Irregular model will find it's way into service somewhere - waste not want not!


Considering the fact that many suppliers charge £5.00 or more for a simple cannon, I think all the options above offer good value for money.  Although not as sharp as some of the higher priced options, they are nonetheless perfectly acceptable models of rather unusual prototypes.

I would recommend them to anyone after something a bit different (always good for the ImagiNation crowd!) and gentle on the wallet. Well worth a visit to the websites of Irregular and Parkfield.


  1. I use the Irregular Miniatures cannon - I find them execllent value for money. I also have few battalions of their figs including those from their SYW and Marlburian ranges - they look good when painted.

    You might like to take a look at

    Their early 18c range of figs may also be of interest.

    -- Allan

  2. Your two "bad" wheels . . . use them for "battlefield debris" to stick on bases or for general terrain stuff.

    By all means, try to cut out the flash on the one . . . but if you cut through a spoke, so what? That is why is it now debris.

    -- Jeff

  3. Good idea Jeff. Parkfield kindly sent me 5 replacements and this will allow me to replace the bicycle wheels on the Irregular Galloper.

    A wheel here and there on bases does add a bit of flavour. They will have to compete for space with the multitude of hounds!

    Now - got to get sculpting a Shaman's rattle...