Those familiar with Greek Mythology are probably aware that gadflies are creatures that the gods use to ruin your day. They are either bot flies or horse flies (stories are not really clear on that), and the gadfly is best known for being used by Zeus to kill Bellerophon by biting Pegasus (in some versions of the story, in others Athena saves him).
With that out of the way, I present the Gadfly Gun. It is the nickname given to a steam-powered, self-propelled siege mortar that the chuyinka developed. This thing will ruin your day. Or your fort. Or your entire city. Or all of the above. And it could kill you in the process.
The gun itself looks dinky, but it has a 60cm bore, and fires shells weighing in at 2000 kg! I based this design on the Karl Gerät of World War II, a German self-propelled siege mortar that lobbed the exact same two-tonne nasties at Allied cities. However, the Karl Device (that’s what the German name literally means) was a logistical nightmare to operate, whereas the Gadfly Gun’s problems lie entirely in its production. This 280-tonne monstrosity is made from two steam locomotives bolted together, with the engines themselves powering the drive sprockets. There are four sets of tracks in a very similar configuration to Object 279. Once built, operating this contraption is fairly easy, as it has a substantial operational range, and an on-board magazine. Given the many different types of shells that can be used, however, separate loading vehicles do accompany the Gadfly Gun. The primary vehicle can carry a dozen charges, but only three shells at a time. Both the propellant charge and the shell are loaded via a telescoping steam ramrod directly behind the cab (unlike the Karl Device, the Gadfly Gun is a muzzle-loader). Meanwhile, in case you’re wondering, the coal box is at the rear, and coal is brought to the fireboxes (inside the cab) by means of augers inside chutes.
(This next paragraph has nothing to do with the model, so feel free to stop reading) I mentioned in my last post that I might not have any miniatures up for a while. That was a mistake, as inspiration can strike any time. For me, a lot comes from music, and a scene from the Nine Empires played in my head as I was listening to this. Yes, even though I am all caught up on Game of Thrones, I can’t help but sometimes put the music to the swirling images that my own brain comes up with. A bit of mad typing and clicking later, and the Gadfly Gun came to life. However, as of this writing, it is not yet available in my Shapeways shop. By the way, that is not the only instance of music giving me such an idea. In fact, yet another piece from Game of Thrones, titled “Hold the Door,” inspired an airship chase involving the Zaphnora, Aeronautical Development, and Talos. As it stands, that chase is slated to be the final chapter in book five of my series (out of nine), though I’m not writing the chapters in any particular order (hence the reason book ONE isn’t finished yet).