Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Gabion - Ironclad Miniatures

Gabion – from the Italian word “gabbione” meaning "big cage”.

I bought these little beauties from Ironclad Miniatures, codes: Gabion-2 & Gabion-3, at the Birmingham Wargamer last December. Painting them made a pleasant change from producing detailed figure work. Painted with a combination of Tamiya and GW acrylic I might alternate between figures and terrain/scenery in the future which may help temper my staggeringly short attention span. Hidden away in my lead pile somewhere I also have several individual gabions from Front Rank.
Anyway, during any 18th & 19th century siege gabions would have been a common site. Made from wickerwork and filled with earth and loose rubble they were used in great numbers to all types of siege works, temporary fortifications, magazines, and shelters. A typical gabion was a cylindrical basket between 33 and 36 inches high and an exterior diameter of about two feet consisting of two basic elements: pickets and rods.

The modern day equivalent to the gabion is the Hesco bastion. Developed by a British company the welded mesh units are lined with non-woven polypropylene.

“A typical wall of HESCO Concertainer®, equivalent to a wall of approximately 1500 sandbags, can be erected and filled by two men and a single common loader in less than twenty minutes. An equivalent wall constructed of sandbags would take 10 men 7 hours to build.”
It is now used for flood control and by major military organizations around the world and can typically be seen Iraq and Afghanistan.