Just a brief explanation of where this blog get's it's title. I have my wife, The Lovely Kay, to thank for the inspiration. Having pondered hard on a catchy and self explanatory title, whilst trying to be original was proving to be not as easy as you'd think.
The 'little men' part should be reasonably obvious, the models we game with. It is also what my wife calls them when I go to the club, "are you going to play with your little men tonight" - well I hope she's referring to the models and not my club mates?!
The 'shiny cannons' is more of an in joke within our household. Like many of us I am a little obsessive about getting the representation of uniforms and equipment correct. I wanted to know if Napoleonic cannons were shiny or were left to develop a dull patina on campaign? A perfectly rational question I here you say. These things are important for painting units correctly. So I Googled "How shiny were Napoleonic cannons", as anyone would!? Of course the next time my wife and son used the search engine, the recent search history is displayed. They seemed to find it highly amusing and have since teased me mercilessly since. I can see the funny side and have decided to take ownership of the ridicule :-)
Oh, I know you're dying to know, I didn't get a definitive answer to the shiny cannon question. I think as personal admin i.e. cleaning of one's self and kit is the cornerstone of discipline, I think they were still buffed up on campaign. They regularly had reviews by Generals and let's face it, 6+ hulking artillery pieces with 200 personnel and associated equipment and waggons, in direct line of sight, belching huge clouds of white smoke....A dull cannon tube is not going to make you less of a target!