Martian artillery is primitive by modern standards: Heavy and unwieldy. But they have an advantage we do not have…. Liftwood. They don’t need to drag heavy guns through sand and rocky terrain, they can just pull it with no problems.
The gun carrier is a simple platform fitted with liftwood, operated by a trimsman who hovers the gun 6 or so feet above the ground. It can then be pulled by whatever creatures or troops you have handy. It won’t get bogged down or break axles, and it’s less tiring for those hauling it.
Because it’s only hovering at a low altitude, and carrying a comparitively light load, it can be made using low-quality, scrap, or past-it’s-best liftwood, and the trimsman doesn’t need to be awfully skilled.
For best stability, the gun should be in a rigid frame, but they can also be hung from ropes.
Of course the same concept can be used for carrying freight, or for making smooth-riding carriages.
It’s not supposed to be a cheap flying gun-platform, or a piece of game-beating technology, more a bit of local colour.
It could also be a ‘Flight of the Phoenix’ plot point, where stranded travelers build a ‘life raft’ from bits of a crashed flyer and hope the wind will blow them to safety, barely skimming the ground.
I’ve been making cavalry, from various ex-Grenadier Elves, (from Forlorn Hope Games) and mounts from various companies. I have ‘Thoats’ (Formerly Hexatrixes, bought from Ral Partha) ‘Tauntauns’ (ex-Grenadier Traveler riding beasts) and Gashants from Rafm. I can’t guarantee the provenence of every one: I bought some from the manufacturers, some from ebay, and some from other 1889 gamers.
A General or champion: A GW Elf from a bargain bin in a comic store many years ago. He’s riding a Thoat and waving a RENEGADE shield. He originally had a spear, that I replaced with a flattened wire sword.
Steppe Martian light cavalry. An ex-Grenadier Elf riding an ex-Grenadier riding beast from Traveller. The beast looks like a Tuantuan, so that’s what I’ve been calling it. They’re not bad looking, and the mount is nice and alien looking. This was my first try, I have since finished the unit, but have not yet photographed it.
Because of the angle of the saddle, I had to bend the legs into a more seated position otherwise the rider leaned back in an odd fashion.
Martian heavy cavalry. An ex-Grenadier Elven Knight riding a Gashant. They did not want to fit together. I had to carve away a lot of saddle, and inside the rider’s legs, plus clip the bottom of the surcoat. I have never been a big fan of Gashants, they always looked to me like they would have sore backs. But it’s not so bad after all.
Again, I have since finished the unit, and they don’t look bad at all en masse. The Gashants might look better with designs painted on them, or colourful toucan-style beaks.