Funny, I'm on that forum as well (as I model a narrow gauge RR in a back bedroom in O scale)!
"When all else fails, call for indirect fire on your position, AND GET THE **** OUT!"
-Exact words of one of my 'call for fire' class instructors.
Former US Army Ordnance officer and lover of all things what go BOOM!
That item is not as large as it looks due to forced perspective techniques. I'm pretty sure it's a stripped down carburetor for a 1953 DeSoto. I helped my dad rebuild the one on our family Desoto when I was a kid and it looked just like that.
Artillery brings dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl!