Monday, 31 December 2012

For you all love the screw-guns...



With the introduction of rifled artillery pieces in the 1860s the old smooth bores were slowly replaced.  A steel 7pounder rifled, muzzle loader (RML) weighing 200lbs was issued to the mountain artillery;  more accurate than the original version and with a range of 3,000 yards to boot!  The advent of a slower burning gunpowder in 1876 meant that a longer barrel was needed to achieve the muzzle velocity required for the same range and a new piece nearing 400lbs was issued.  This was all well and good, but it is said that the poor mule can only carry about 250lbs!  The solution, cast it in two parts and screw it together for action! 





Screw-Guns

Smokin' my pipe on the mountings, sniffin' the mornin' cool,
I walks in my old brown gaiters along o' my old brown mule,
With seventy gunners be'ind me, an' never a beggar forgets
It's only the pick of the Army that handles the dear little pets -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
    For you all love the screw-guns -- the screw-guns they all love you!
    So when we call round with a few guns, o' course you will know what to do -- hoo! hoo!
    Jest send in your Chief an' surrender -- it's worse if you fights or you runs:
    You can go where you please, you can skid up the trees, but you don't get away from the guns!

They sends us along where the roads are, but mostly we goes where they ain't:
We'd climb up the side of a sign-board an' trust to the stick o' the paint:
We've chivied the Naga an' Looshai, we've give the Afreedeeman fits,
For we fancies ourselves at two thousand, we guns that are built in two bits -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
    For you all love the screw-guns . . .

If a man doesn't work, why, we drills 'im an' teaches 'im 'ow to behave;
If a beggar can't march, why, we kills 'im an' rattles 'im into 'is grave.
You've got to stand up to our business an' spring without snatchin' or fuss.
D'you say that you sweat with the field-guns?  By God, you must lather with us -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
    For you all love the screw-guns . . .

The eagles is screamin' around us, the river's a-moanin' below,
We're clear o' the pine an' the oak-scrub, we're out on the rocks an' the snow,
An' the wind is as thin as a whip-lash what carries away to the plains
The rattle an' stamp o' the lead-mules -- the jinglety-jink o' the chains -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
    For you all love the screw-guns . . .

There's a wheel on the Horns o' the Mornin', an' a wheel on the edge o' the Pit,
An' a drop into nothin' beneath you as straight as a beggar can spit:
With the sweat runnin' out o' your shirt-sleeves, an' the sun off the snow in your face,
An' 'arf o' the men on the drag-ropes to hold the old gun in 'er place -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
    For you all love the screw-guns . . .

Smokin' my pipe on the mountings, sniffin' the mornin' cool,
I climbs in my old brown gaiters along o' my old brown mule.
The monkey can say what our road was -- the wild-goat 'e knows where we passed.
Stand easy, you long-eared old darlin's! Out drag-ropes!  With shrapnel!  Hold fast -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
    For you all love the screw-guns -- the screw-guns they all love you!
    So when we take tea with a few guns, o' course you will know what to do -- hoo! hoo!
    Jest send in your Chief an' surrender -- it's worse if you fights or you runs:
    You may hide in the caves, they'll be only your graves, but you can't get away from the guns!

Rudyard Kipling



28 comments:

  1. Impressive as always Michael. Looking forward to seeing these in the flesh in 2013.

    Pip pip

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  2. Simply gorgeous. I'm green with envy! I really must get myself sorted out and buy a couple for myself...

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  3. Never knew that about the term screw gun, lovely work and a Happy New Year Michael.

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  4. Great looking dio sir! Have a Happy New Year!

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  5. Great vignette Sir! A great way to see out the old year and welcome the new. Best wishes for 2013 Michael!

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  6. I'm with Fran; I always thought it had something to do with the breech! Do you have this Kipling wallah on a retainer to scribble some stanzas for each new stand off your workbench? ;-)

    Smashing work, Michael. Happy New Year!

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  7. Great figures and great paint Michael .
    Happy New Year ;)
    Cheers

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  8. Nothing like a bit of Kipling to start the New Year.

    Outstanding as ever. Always liked the look of the screw gun and its crouching crew.

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  9. Beautiful work. Now I've gotta get one.

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  10. Beautiful work Michael! Happy New Year.

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  11. Superb look piece Michael, Happy New Year

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  12. A wonderful set , great work Michael

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  13. It's just a lovely piece of work for sure!

    Christopher

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  14. Great paintmanship, Michael. You are off and running already this new year. Have a prosperous-one!

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  15. Wonderful work again, sir! I have one of these in my collection too.

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  16. That is a wonderful piece there once again Michael, well painted and lovely based.

    Have a very Happy New Year

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  17. Very smart work on a tidy artillery piece. Enjoyed the poem too.

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  18. Lovely Stuff, I have a battery myself but not as nice as those lads...nice work

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  19. Happy New Year Michael. Saw these at Curt's place, fantastic work!

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  20. Fantastic stand! A great battery!
    Phil.

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  21. Period - Sudan - approved.
    Figures - Perry's - approved.
    Painter - Mr Awdry - approved.

    You have ticked all the boxes Michael.
    Happy New Year,
    Pat.

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  22. You do some excellent work in a very short period of time...amazing stuff Michael

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  23. Great stuff! Happy New Year Michael!

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  24. Most excellent, Mr Awdry. You can't beat a Gunners for something good to paint and look at. Hope you don't mind but you get a mention on the latest post on my blog at Over Open Sights... a good mention I hasten to add. Cheers. Mark

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  25. The teasing, brother-and-sister kind banter amongst Kathie
    Lee and Regis earned them each a large number of devoted fans.


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