During the Summer Holidays I dragged my family around the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson, near Portsmouth. Having previously been to the Royal Armouries in Leads and at the Tower of London, this museum was the final one left to visit. Fort Nelson holds the Big Guns of the Royal Armoury, including Saddam Hussain's super gun, and a brace of German '88's'. One of the highlights of the trip for me was discovering a Smith Gun tucked away in a corner. The Smith Gun was one of teh more exotic weaposn developed in World War Two as an Light Anti-Tank Gun. The gun was mounted on two drum like wheels and flipped onto its side to be deployed. In theory it could lob an AT shell about 500 yards. It was developed in 1941, after most of the British Army's AT guns had been left in France after the evacuation at Dunkirk. It never really lived up to the hype and was rejected by the British Army, however it was issued to the Home Guard in small numbers.
I would love to get one of these in 28mm scale for my Home Guard 1941 army. There was a company called Stronghold Miniatures who used to make this and a number of other HG weaponry but they are no longer in business and no one makes them any more. I think it is a great shame, although I understand it is something of a niche market. If I was better at scratch building I would be tempted to give it a go but I am afraid it is a bid out of my depth. If anybody has a spare one kicking around though I would love to get my hands on one.
Other exotic cannon that caught my eye had an all together more artistic fantasy flavour. These are all genuine cannons, although they may have been made more for looking at that for warfare. This one is a mortar in the shape of a sitting tiger made for the tiger obsessed Tipu Sultan in India.
I can't remember where this cannon was from. I think it was somewhere in Germany. It looks like it was made by Games Workshop!
This beautiful Dragon Cannon was made in China. I can't imagine it was vary easy to load in a hurry, but I guess its a case of style over substance.