|My two new scratch-built wagons with Italeri wagon in background.|
Full disclosure here - I honestly have no evidence wagons like these were ever used by the French in the Napoleonic Wars! These two are roughly fashioned on the four-wheeled Italeri wagon. Certainly two-wheeled wagons existed at the time and were used extensively by the Portuguese and Spanish (a while ago I took a crack at the primitive Portuguese carts which you can see here). Mostly my build was motivated by the fact that I only had large wheels in the extras box and imagined that a wagon with four large wheels would look rather awkward! And in my defence I can only imagine that if two-wheeled carts existed and, as indeed they did, negotiated the rough roads of the Peninsula better than a four-wheeled wagon, then surely they would have been employed. Sadly, convoy wagons aren't all that sexy a thing and don't figure too heavily in the visual or written historical record.
So, having said that, the build was still a lot of fun. I enjoyed the problem-solving as I went along and am pleased with the results. I've included a step by step of the build below if anyone is interested. These, along with my Portuguese ox carts and Italeri wagon now give me a nice bit of Peninsular transport and, with removable drivers, will doubtlessly see service in the Spanish and British armies as well.
|Front view. The driver on the left took a bit of slicing to reposition the arm and leg.|
|Wagon 1 left side view.|
|Wagon 2 left side view. Foraging party?|
And the build...
|Bases were made from balsa and styrene and the armature for the canvas a sturdy bent wire. Wheels were from a Hat Prussian cannon.|
|Four wires were bent to serve as the shaft armatures.|
|Shaft armatures attached.|
|Under view, shaft armatures attached.|
|For the canvas I used a thinnish handmade paper with lots of weave, soaked in white glue and draped over the wire hoops. The front was cut out and attached separately.|
|Rear view of canvas in place.|
|Ready to prime.|
|Primed and ready to paint.|
After sharing this on Benno's forum, I received an avalanche of support for the existence of carts similar to these. Here is a bit of what came in...
|I had seen the French ambulances previously...|
|And I think this was identified as Austrian.|
|But then one forum member identified it as possibly a vivindere's cart (right background), carts used by women who sold food and drink to the French army.|
|And then - ta da! - this beautiful Franznap model was offered.|
|And finally another scratchbuilt model from the forum member who first ID'd it, one that he had to dig out of the box.|
Less helpfully but certainly relevant, someone contributed this Youtube video...https://youtu.be/6SeZe1CKRv8