Huzzah! The Grenadier Guards for VBCW Part One!

But of all the world’s brave heroes, there’s none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.

They look so plain, without their signature headgear. Lets fix that!

When I first introduced VBCW content to my blog, I mentioned that I wanted to do Grenadier Guards in full combat kit but with their distinct headgear on. Of course, that turned out to be a much harder task to accomplish then I could have imagined. A years worth of searching turned up nothing that would work to my exacting standards.

It was in the course of printing some stuff for a friend that I realized this same friend was a 3D designer, and I asked him nicely if he could make some Grenadier Guard hats for me in exchange. He agreed readily, and was willing to waive any commission fee as a “I really want to help your project” sorta deal. Here is what he knocked up for me!

Oh yeah, the plan is coming together.

Now I wanted them to go on bodies that would suit what I wanted to use the Grenadier Guards for, which was heavy line-breaking infantry. They also have the newest gear, including Bren Guns, and are wearing the dumpy Battledress uniform that many, especially Guardsmen, hated, to the extend that one Guards Major went on record as saying “I don’t mind dying for my country but I’m not going to die dressed like a third-rate chauffeur!” in the Second World War.

This contrast between Dress Uniform pomp and combat equipped, well drilled soldiers, was what I wanted to show. These guys are trained and drilled to the highest extent of the Interwar British Army, and they had to look it. I as such used Warlord Games British Expeditionary Force as the base model.

Great looking models! And this is a great box to get a lot at once!

These are excellent models in their own right, and come with loads of head options. Which I proceeded to toss directly into my bits box. My printers produced me a nice tub of heads to work with, and I got cracking. This wasn’t easy; The head joins on these models are slightly different then the test model the file was designed for, so careful trimming and sanding was needed to fit them. The superglue I use fills gaps pretty well, so I’m hoping that is enough to make them ‘look convincing’

The idea behind these models is that they started the VBCW quite practically, ditching their bearskins for steel helmets except on special occasions. While on ceremonial duty guarding one Lord Cirenchester, they were attacked by a force of Socialist militia. With no time to switch back into more practical headgear before being overrun, the Grenadier Guards went into the fray in full battle kit but with Bearskins on. The Socialists, with a shout of “Bloody hell its the Grenadier Guard!”, broke and ran instead of giving battle.

The lesson was learned. Against militias and non-regular armed forces, the morale shock of fighting one of the feared Guard Regiments has made the practice of wearing the hats a field expedient tactic to break poor quality militias. And if the foe doesn’t break, the full force of modern warfare can be leveraged against them, proving that they are not just Palace Guard but well trained, modern soldiers.

Lets have a look at what I got done!

Section leader for the 1st Section. This Guardsmen has the standard issue rifle alongside standard issue ‘NCO pointing arms’
An Officer in the Guards. His Webley drawn as he walks, not runs, towards the foe.
An average, if that word can even be applied here, Guardsmen with his SMLE.
They don’t like it up em! This Guardsmen is ready for some close-in action.
Fix Bayonets! This Guardsmen is looking over the field, bayonet ready for the bloody task at hand.
Sometimes the job just calls for good, aimed, rifle fire.
Yet another bayonet charging Guardsmen. My kind of man!
Sometimes enemy tanks will make themselves known, and out comes the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle.
A Bren gun ready to lay down supporting fire.
And here, with his loader.
That hat looks heavy…
Vickers crew ready to lay down accurate, precise, and deadly fusillades.
And the whole force. An elite force…we shall see how Harrington On Sea does repelling their attacks!

All in all, a really fun nights work. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will spray a few with English Uniform spray, and get a head-start on this cool looking force!

That is all I have for now, but there will be more tomorrow. Happy War-gaming, wherever you are, and God Save the King!

Comrades, Come Rally! Part One!

The Internationale Unites the World in Song! The Socialists arrive for VBCW!

The research begins! Or, rather continues. I’ve read this over a dozen times!

For Very British Civil War, it was only a matter of time before I would start a Socialist army. The army reminds me of the heady days of High School, where I was, at least for a time, a massive communist. Time has tempered my politics a tad, but the stirring tune of the Internationale never ceases to make my heart sing for a while.

I had focused on the British Union of Fascists for a spell, to get them done. The Royalist force is something of a favourite of mine, but it is still an army of the Government, the ‘Man’ so to speak. There is something about the little guy trying to get their voice heard that is very heroic.

Now, there is no shortage of great metal models to build one a great Socialist army for the period. But, as a bit of a challenge and inspired by others using the great Wargames Atlantic French Resistance kit, I wanted to try making this out of plastic.

The kitbash, ironically for being for a socialist army, would make any capitalist happy as I spent a tidy sum collecting the parts, far more then intended. I used the basic Wargames Atlantic kit for the heads and bodies, but didn’t use the arms at all, since they were mostly later era weapons from WW2 that wouldn’t suit the period. I instead used Warlord Games Soviet Infantry, specifically the Siberian Veterans kit(more on why later!) using their arms and weapons to make a distinctly Soviet-influenced force.

Now I haven’t begun to paint them, which is why this is Part One. And I have a bit of backstory as well before I get to the models. The Harrington On Sea Workers Defense Corps are led by a former International Brigade member, Comrade Harry Price. Price is an ardent socialist, and enlisted in his native Canada in the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion.

The experience in Spain however, especially the ever-present influence of Stalinism in the International Brigades, has soured him a tad. And the WDC, because of his influence, had eschewed full Soviet support. The weapons may be of Soviet make, but are supplied by a gun-runner from the Liverpool Free State. The WDC pays them in supplies acquired by sympathetic farmers in the area, and in return get some of the Soviet weapons that Liverpool has in abundance. This trade is under the table, and the powers that be in the Liverpool Free State would probably not be happy with this arrangement.

Okay, enough wasting your time with fluff! Onto the models!

The first section! Armed with Mosin Nagants, and further equipped with one PPD and DP-28 Machine Gun, they are ready to take the fight to the Fascist dogs!
I particularly like this section leader. He’s got his PPD at the ready, and is pointing out a target to his comrades.
The DP-28 offers the section some serious firepower. However, with ammunition low, they haven’t had a lot of practice with it!
The ever-present Petrol Bomb makes for a decent Anti-Tank option in a pinch. With General Fullers armoured push on its way to the sleepy town, this worker will need to aim true…
This comrade is a former British International Brigade member, and wears his old hat. Here he is giving a rousing speech to his fellows, fist raised!

The first section was a dawdle to assemble, and some real characters were able to be made. I’m quite pleased with them. I had a comment on the Wargames Atlantic Legion Facebook group that they looked like Soviet Peoples Militia, and they definitely can pass for that! Onto the next ten!

Much the same as the first. Still, they don’t look exactly the same which pleases me to no end.
Another section leader, and this one also has a PPD. But he is instead firing it at the enemy. He has nicked a Brodie helmet from the Anglican LDV, giving him a bit of protection against shrapnel.
Another petrol bomber, and this one looks determined!
Hang on, that’s a beret! It looks like a Frenchie has snuck into my Militia. Still, as long as he hates the Fascists as much as the rest of the Corps, he can stay. This one likes to point and yell excitedly in French, much to the confusion of his Section.

Now, with the Lockdown still in effect, getting grey spray to start on these fellows could take a while. I promise I’ll show them off painted as soon as I can!

While that is all I have for the Socialists, for now at least, that wasn’t all I was working on this week. My friend playing the Albertines/Anglican league side of the defense needed some proper armour. The Renault FT was nice, but he wanted something a bit bigger, more like a proper tank.

For this, we turned to the French. Specifically, a Somua S35. This was obtained as a file from Eskice Miniatures on MyMiniFactory, and while it took forever to print it turned out nicely.

The supports that come with the tank looked a bit flimsy, and the tank wasn’t hollowed. I hollowed it in Chitubox, and added my own supports. While most of the S35 looks fine, the tracks are a bit rough. Nothing mud can’t fix!
A beautiful tank, one of my favourite from the Interwar-Early WW2 period. A design ahead of its time, it was poorly used in the Battle of France and were mismanaged badly.
Lots of great detail on the back!
Scale wise it seems alright, at least for the usual ‘slightly too small’ Bolt Action style I have going on already.

Hang on, is that another hull in the back?

when there is one too many | Prequel Memes | Know Your Meme

Yep. I couldn’t let my friend have all the fun. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the second one, and it very well might end up in my Socialist list. I’m keen to paint it!

One is good, Two is better!

As you may have noticed, there is a third tank hanging out in the back. The BUF couldn’t just let the Socialists steal all the fun, and an A9 Cruiser Tank came off the printer as well. Luckily, I have lots of black paint, so it got painted right away!

Ah yes, more free-hand. Still, doesn’t look too shabby!
With three machineguns, this lightly armoured tank certainly isn’t lightly armed!
Scale-wise, it is still a tad small. But its good enough for gaming!

Finally, a bit of a Royalist surprise. Another friend of mine needed some printing done, and being that he is a 3D artists, I asked him to make me something. I expected to pay a commission fee, but out of the goodness of his heart he made it for free!

Oh yeah, its Bearskin time.

I finally got my Grenadier Guard/Coldstream Guard bearskins! I have a kit on the way that these heads are destined for, but for sake of example, I have put one on a spare WW1 British model.

Unwieldy. Top heavy. Utterly ridiculous. Beautiful.
These guys will be my Royalist shock troops, supremely well disciplined, and savage on the attack. However, they are few in number.

I’m very excited for the bodies to arrive from Warlord Games to stick these heads on. They will look every bit the elite unit they are supposed to be! Unfortunately, I cannot share them; I’d need his permission, which he would probably give, but we used a paid file to make the faces, and therefore I’m limited to just using it for myself. I apologize in advance!

It certainly has been a busy week! Lots of projects to work on, and just because I’m a massive sucker for punishment, I have also got myself a Soviet Winter Army Starter from Warlord Games. A store in Canada had it for a great low price, and the 80+ Soviets in the box will kickstart…my Stalingrad project. I have loads of destroyed buildings, and I’m excited to hold off the Fascist invader. There is no land beyond the Volga River! There will therefore be some regular Bolt Action goodness coming up, so stay tuned!

Anyways, that is all I have for you fine people today. I hope you guys enjoyed the read! Paint will come, as soon as I can actually get some! Happy War-gaming wherever you might be, and have a good day…Comrade!

Comrades, The Voices: Fully Painted BUF Platoon for VBCW!

Finally, these jerks are done! For now at least….

A very productive Easter weekend!

Oh boy, I’m finally done a platoon. As my very first VBCW playable army, I’m very pleased with how they turned out. I really, really dislike the BUF in real-life, but they are fascinating and there is something to be said about playing the bad-guys. I’m going to twirl many a mustache and do many naughty ploys with these jerks.

When I first began collecting Very British Civil War, after convincing my friend to play, I really wanted to play the Albertines. Of course, we both couldn’t, and with the Anglican League usually on-side with Prince Alberts forces, that left the Royalist cause or Socialist revolutionaries. I was always going to do the Socialists, but I decided to start with the British Union of Fascists and Royalist Army to give us ‘baddies’ to fight.

If one is going to do a job, one should do it well. So I started these guys a few months ago with the intention of trying my best to make them look good. A black uniform may be menacing but they do look really good massed together. Of course, right from the start these guys fought me to paint. A primer that was too satin, easily chipping off paint. Paint not adhering to the model and just sliding off. These were just two of the things that made these guys a real pain in the rear to do.

I completed the sections ten men at a time, to get through them at a decent clip. After completing the last section on Saturday, I decided Easter Sunday that I would just power through and get the platoon done, so that I can move on to other projects like my Territorial Army. In total, I got a Vickers Medium MKII, a Vickers machine gun crew, and my command done today. Lets take a look!

First up, the Command Section. While they might be broken up into smaller groups for Bolt Action rules, these guys came together and they were painted together.
First up is my Lieutenant. Or Sub-Lieutenant, or Storm-Lieutenant. I haven’t decided yet!
With a mustache to twirl evilly of course!
Second up is the Lewis Gun. I’m figuring that in my army the Lewis Gun is a platoon level asset, and will be assigned to a lucky squad before battle begins.
I rather like how he turned out; a result of all the sections I had done previously as he shared many of the same features.
Thirdly, my Sergeant. Again, he’s the second in command and will probably be with the Lieutenant as a bodyguard. The regular sections will be led by a senior member of the section. This guy has an MP28, a German made submachinegun.
The Sergeant stripes were cleaned up after this photo was taken. A good example of the paint chipping off the primer a little too easily. I’ll seal these models once I get some good weather.
Last but definitely not least, my Legion banner. I really like how this turned out. The flag was designed by another blogger many years ago, and was released as a free asset. I’ll link the blog below so that you can grab your own if you wish!
The banner is being held downward, and the flag with PVA glue folded quite well.
All in all, quite happy with the flag! When reviewing this post post-publishing, I realized to my horror I put the banner upside down! this is the fixed version.

The Command section was fun to paint, and a good ‘final exam’ after finishing the sections proper. All the skills I had learned painting the regular infantry were applied, and I quite like how they turned out.

The Banner especially was an extremely fun model to paint. The flag was sourced from another blog, https://6milphil.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/vbcw-flags-of-convenience , and if he reads this, thank you so very much! It is a damn good looking flag!

Next up was my Vickers Machine Gun, and oh boy was that an issue. I had glued the model together, and whilst I removed the sergeant for painting the rest was still a mess to get to. I wasn’t too picky in the end, and just let the Machine Gun hog all the spotlight, hopefully diverting attention away from the more shoddy crew.

A British mainstay, even the BUF uses this fantastic machine gun.
The crew were a colossal pain to paint, and in the end I just sorta rushed them. It doesn’t appear to have shown too badly.
These fellows will lay down suppressing fire for the rest of the platoon to move up.

Finally, I got a tank painted up for them. This was one of my earliest 3D prints, and the tracks are bowlegged. It’ll do fine in a pinch, but it will be far from the last tank painted BUF black! General J.F.C. Fuller demands more!

Primed black, drybrush a black-grey, and details picked out. Jobs fast and easy. I might add mud to the tracks later!
I hate free-handing, but just painting a lightning bolt looked too much like an SS rune. So I had to do the whole roundel. It’ll pass for now, but I will get decals from somewhere for the rest.
These are some of my favourite interwar period tanks. Solid and reliable for Very British Civil War, and nothing too fancy.

And then, to put it all together. I have here three sections of ten men, a command section, General Fuller himself, and my tank. They really do look the business all massed together like this! Of course, an army is never done….who knows what the dastardly BUF have in store for the poor residents of Harrington On Sea!

Ok, I admit, I really like how they turned out. A solid effort! I have many surprises on the way to add to this army.

A good looking army at the end of the day! That being said, I am relieved to be moving onto my Royalists again. They have a certain touch of class, unlike these brutish thugs. My Socialists are still, sadly, in the mail, and given the state of UK-to-Canada shipping, it could be a while before they show up on my blog. Hopefully soon however!

Anyways, that is all(all?!) I have for today! I will of course post more as the VBCW project continues. I’m stuck at home anyways given the Lockdown in effect, so I should have some more painted goodness to show off in due time. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and Happy Easter!

Harrington On Sea: My Very British Civil War Setting!

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Mosley…

What I imagine the sleepy port town of Harrington On Sea looks like! (Actually its Whitby! But just like Walmington On Sea its standing in!)

Walmington On Sea. Little Whinging. The Island of Sodor and St. Mary Mead. The United Kingdom is full of fictional places. For most VBCW players however, it seems that playing your local area is the most popular option. And honestly, I wish I could do that! Getting attached to your community and seeing it on the tabletop is a fantastic thing.

But for my VBCW group, we are Canadian, and live an hour and a half apart. Our local area would have been firmly out of the fighting unless things got really dicey. And I spent half a year look for a place in the UK to set our games. We settled on Dorset, but no specific town. It was about a month ago that we decided instead to ‘make up’ our own settlement to fight over and tell stories about.

It took a while, but we eventually decided the name of this sleepy port town would Harrington On Sea, in Dorset, on the Southern English Coast. While I haven’t got all the history down completely, I am however still laid up in bed, and this is hobbying to a degree. So let me share what I have so far!

Harrington On Sea is a rural seaside community, with a population of roughly one thousand residents, both in town and around the nearby countryside. While the port was very busy with Royal Navy activity back in the 19th century, the 20th century has not been kind, as larger ships have led to the departure of the Navy to larger ports. Fishing, is now the primary occupation, and civilian unloading of merchant vessels a close second.

The town has gotten a second lease on life as a seaside resort for the upper class, and many estates and mansions dominate the surrounding countryside. Hunting is a particularly popular pastime for the idle rich. The towns urban poor work the docks as mentioned, and there is no small degree of tension between the classes. The middle-class, the most populous demographic, are a moderating influence, and are mostly engaged in the mercantile trade. Traders from overseas enjoy the harbour, a fairly large one for a town of its size, and while not bustling, work at the docks is steady as goods are offloaded to be sent all across Dorset.

Stevedore - Wikipedia
Harrington On Sea Dock Workers unload precious cargo.

In 1938 the town fell under Anglican League control early on, simply due to geography. The vicars raised a Local Defense Volunteer unit under a Captain Hawthorne, a pious man who served in the Dorsetshire Regiment in the Great War, and had ended the war as a Sergeant. The dockworkers instead chose to raise their own defense corps, called the Harrington Dock Workers Union Defense Corps. A grandiose name to be sure, but the unit numbers only fifty men, and have elected ‘Comrade’ Harry Price as their commanding officer. Price is a Canadian who served with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion in the Spanish Civil War, and unable to return home, managed to get to Harrington On Sea, where he has worked for the past few months. His wartime experience has made him leery of the Communist Party’s ‘Popular Front’, as he has grown a dislike for Moscow’s methods. He has thus far loosely aligned the Workers Defense Corps with the local Anglican cause, as in his words “Defeat Fascism now, Progress will come!”

Comrade Harry Price of the Harrington Dock Workers Union Defense Corps. A committed socialist, but also an anti-stalinist, this puts his forces at the very edge of supply, as few are willing to equip them.

Harrington On Sea had little need for such defenders until Autumn of 1938, when a major BUF/Royalist offensive broke through the Anglican lines. Led by General Fuller, a master of armoured warfare, this ‘lightning war’ quickly swept up smaller towns on his way to secure the Channel Ports. Almost simultaneously in nearby Devon, the Albertines, a faction committed to putting Prince Albert on the throne, had made landfall. Heavily reinforced by Canadian ‘Volunteers’, the Albertines looked to make another landing, choosing the hitherto untouched Harrington On Sea as their next potential landing site.

General Fuller would lead a Brigade sized force toward the Channel Coasts, and Harrington On Sea stood in his way. It would “Be conquered in the new fashion, quick, and decisively

The Albertines sent a forward emissary to the town, seeking their assistance for the landing in exchange for protection. The Anglican LDV had no issues with this, and pledged their forces readily. Unfortunately, Albertine policy toward the Socialists is overwhelmingly negative, and the Worker Defense Corps was therefore equally unwilling to help. It was at this critical juncture that Harry Price and the Canadian liaison officer recognized each other. Lieutenant James Kolinski, an officer from the Canadian Volunteer Rifles Regiment, the famed ‘Purple Puttees”, turned out to be an old friend of Comrade Harry Price. Price fired up, spoke a great speech about unity against the Fascist aggressor, and of Britain coming together to defeat Mosley. The WDC was convinced, if just for now, to fight with the Anglicans and Albertines.

Juno Beach | Facts, Map, & Normandy Invasion | Britannica
Albertine Canadian Volunteers land at Devon. A scene High Command hoped would be repeated at Harrington On Sea.

A BUF Spy was present at the meeting however, and stealing away in the night, he brought the news to an ecstatic General Fuller. A chance to push the Albertines back into the sea, pacify the town, and kill some Socialists was too big an opportunity to ignore. He committed a battalion to crush the town, consisting of his BUF XX ‘King William’ Legion, the Territorials of the 1st London Fusiliers, armour from the Royal Tank Regiment and BUF Armoured Corp, and most threateningly of all, he committed the few Grenadier Guardsmen he had under his command. A potent force to defeat an untested Canadian Volunteer Army, Anglican League LDV, and a few Socialists.

The Anglicans prepared their secret weapon, a Renault FT smuggled in from France. This one tank was all they had outside of a few civilian transports. The Socialists pitched in with their meagre force. The stage was set for a battle of some significance!

And back to banter. This is all I have thus far, as I need to play a battle or two to establish what happens next! Will the BUF/Royalist force crush the tiny town, causing them to scatter and fight as Guerillas? Will the plucky townsfolk survive and dig in for the inevitable second attack?

I’m quite excited to see how this project will grow. With a setting established I can now work on acquiring the needed buildings and scenery. It’ll be a large undertaking! Harrington On Sea can only be further embellished upon, and if any of you have any ideas on how to expand, some critiques, or anything else I’ll be glad to hear it! It seems as if my Province is heading into another 28 day lockdown, so I’m hoping my job isn’t too affected, but it does mean I should be able to churn out hobby content as soon as my foot heals well enough to sit and stand again!

For now, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and I hope you have a pleasant day!

*A note on pictures: I have repurposed historical images for fictional effect. If you are the owner of these pictures and would rather they not be used, please let me know and I will take them down right away. As well, no disrespect is intended in their use.

A ‘Self Portrait’ in Miniature: 3D printing myself for VBCW!

Heroforge ain’t just for D&D!

Here I am, or at least a decent facsimile of me in the 1930’s! I’m quite chuffed with this!

Sometimes I plan for days what I am going to write for this blog of mine, and sometimes ideas or inspiration strikes and I just go for it, and today was very much the latter.

I have played around with Heroforge quite a bit, but never ordered any. I was never quite pleased with how the bases were integral, or that it was a primarily ‘fantasy’ oriented tool. However, earlier this year, I had noticed a rather nice addition: modern weapons! With an accompanying amount of modern clothing to go with it, I played around with making a couple Zona Alfa characters….but I got distracted with other things and never quite pulled the trigger.

Someone on the VBCW Facebook page had made a Socialist banner bearer for her VBCW project using Heroforge however, which piqued my interest, as I had never considered using the program for such a purpose. In hindsight it appears rather obvious, as there is a lot of ‘Pulp’ options in the program now that really suit the Interwar period.

So, I had another go this morning. I had nothing else to do; my foot is healing rather slowly after my surgery so I’m mostly stuck in bed, with limited mobility. I hit upon a rather silly idea…what if I made myself? After fiddling with the options for a good couple hours, and figuring out how to make myself a little more round around the middle(I’m definitely no Conan the Barbarian, which seems to be the default setting!) I was pretty set! I had a couple things I wanted for sure: A Thompson submachinegun, a tobacco pipe, and a Mk1 ‘Brodie’ helmet, and civilian clothing.

After another hour, I had this!

A nice static pose. I like to imagine I’m taking a nice smoke break after a skirmish.

I had to sacrifice one thing: no glasses! Glasses on miniature models can look dodgy, and 3D printing is no exception. So I left them off. I’ll be sure to give myself a -1 to hit penalty for nearsightedness!

Of course, this was just the start. You can choose to print without a base now, and I took that option, as none of the Heroforge models I have been asked to print with the bases have ever turned out alright. After purchasing the STL, I had to wait about 15 minutes, but the then the file was ready for me. A few minutes supporting it in Chitubox and I slapped it on my printer. Two and a half hours later I had this!

Not too shabby! Supports came off nicely, but some cleanup was required.
The pipe, probably the most important part, came out pretty good! My face came out as alright as my printer will get it, until I get a 4K printer!
I scaled down the model in Chitubox; I managed to get pretty close, and I’m happy with the scale.

Of course, at this point my foot was really starting to ache, but I found a way to elevate it at my painting desk, which I didn’t think was possible. I hobbled outside and sprayed the model with an undercoat, and decided to paint it! After all, it was better then sitting around in bed even more!

After about an hour or so, I was done! Lets have a look shall we?

Not looking too bad! The Brodie helmet seems to make taking pictures of the face an absolute pain in the rear however!
The white shirt took a few coats, but I got there in the end. The rest of the colours went on super easily, and the detail from Heroforge popped quite well!
Normally I try to keep my fingers out of photos, but I couldn’t help it if I wanted to show off the facial detail. While I can’t paint faces worth a damn, the jaunty expression and round face came out quite well!
The best part about 3D printing miniatures is I can totally print another when I learn to do faces better. As it stands, I’m pleased as punch the goofy expression I put on my face came through!
The Thompson is definitely heroic scale, but the detail therefore popped quite nicely. The pipe coming out at all was great! A nice touch is I wear my watch on the wrong arm, and I was able to reflect that little detail in the model!
The Red armband gives away that I made myself a Socialist! The start of many more to come, I assure you.

As another fun detail, I did the armband Red instead of my usual Royalist white with blue stripe. This is actually the first of my hopefully many Socialist models for VBCW. If I had been around in the 1930’s I definitely would have gotten caught up in the whole volunteering for the International Brigades thing. My character for VBCW will reflect that, being a veteran of the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion, a Canadian contingent of the International Brigades. More on that in another blog post!

I had an absolute blast making this model from online builder to print to paint! The wonders of the modern age indeed! I got so caught up making characters I made my friend for VBCW as well.

My buddies potential model. He’s got a whole 1930’s John Wick thing going on.

It is absolutely crazy to think that this whole thing is possible these days, and I must admit while I’m definitely a fan of the older school metal models, there is something to this whole 3D design thing that almost makes up for it. While the rest of my Socialists will be plastic or metal, at least their glorious leader(humble too!) will be from the new wave of 3D printing.

Anyways, that is all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this pretty radical departure from my normal content, and didn’t overly mind my narcissism! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and No Pasaran!

The Sinister Minister Calls for More: BUF Section #2!

More Thugs for Mr. Mosley!

Every baddie factions needs its mooks, and the BUF have them in spades!

As April approaches, I am down for part two of my supposedly one part surgery. This, as of today, will leave me with plenty of time off as I recuperate, thanks to the generosity of my boss. While today and tomorrow are probably a wash because of pain, I’m viewing the rest of the recovery as another opportunity to get more hobby work done.

I was going to focus on the Royalists for my VBCW project, but the BUF, nasty brutes they are, shoved themselves to the front of the line. I actually got these done yesterday, before the surgery, but I intend to at least make a dent in these guys before my recovery period ends.

The BUF are a paradox for me. The priming job went down too satin, and while the actual primer is adhered to the miniatures good and solid, any other layer of paint comes right off if not handled carefully. And their facial features are particularly soft, proving to be difficult to shade well. But despite that, I can burn through a ten man section really fast once I put my mind to it.

I have less of these blighters then my rather massive Royalist force, at only three sections and support staff and weapons. So knocking out ten at a time really makes the job go by quickly, and as I plan on running the BUF and Royalists together, I actually have a fairly decent collection of painted models now! But enough of my ramblings, lets have a look at em!

Rough, but I don’t think I’ll do much better short of stripping and trying again. As metal models, I very well might do that down the road!

As before, the models fought me tooth and nail to get done. The faces look especially rough. These models are from Footsore, but originally were made by Musketeer Miniatures, a company no longer with us. As such, I imagine the mold is starting to get old, and the faces seem to suffer most from this. Of course, being a naff painter is also going to make that worse, so its hardly just the fault of the models!

Still, not too shabby for a nights work. They’ll do sterling service for the bastard over at Downing Street.

I’m probably going back to alternating Royalists and BUF. I don’t particularly enjoy painting the BUF, at least not the squaddies. As support for my Territorials, I could even stop here; twenty blackshirts is plenty of extra bodies on the table.

While I was painting, I decided it was about time to update my single Sergeant model I painted a while back. He had black trousers, and it all blended together quite blandly, and people online(in a gentlemanly fashion of course!) pointed that out. So I went over his pants in grey, just like the rank and file.

Here is him originally….
And now with spiffy grey trousers!

I think it looks a lot better! I might do his garrison cap again as well with a red stripe, but he isn’t actually meant to totally match the sections I’ve done. This brute I see more as a ‘Special Constable’, a Black and Tans sort of fellow. The different cut of uniform should help with that effect, being that the model is meant to be dismounted cavalry!

And the ‘to do’ list!

As you can see, I still have quite a lot left! The Vickers Team and Command beckon to me though, just because they are different then doing yet another section! But, I think I might do some more Territorials first, just as a palette cleanse.

I still have loads to paint for my VBCW games, but I could foreseeable play a game with entirely painted models now. My friend has been insanely busy however so a fight with the Albertines might be a long way off, and that is not even mentioning my complete lack of terrain on that front!

Anyways, that is all I have for now. I look forward to getting more of the collection done, and when I do I shall show off yet more of em! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save the King!

Reinforcements from Empire: Indians in Very British Civil War!

India sends some of her finest!

Brave veterans of the Afghan frontier, these men from Empire bring both courage and skill to a nation at war with itself….although the Vickers 6-Ton certainly doesn’t hurt either!

A while back, I posted a little conversion I made. Some Rajput infantry made from leftover parts. It was a happy accident; by adding four men into each section of Territorials, the spare riflemen started to really add up. Given that they had separate heads, and that I had tons of British 8th Army sprues from Warlord Games lying around with the appropriate heads, it took no time whatsoever to get them assembled.

Getting them painted was a different story entirely. I had a lot of other projects on the go, and so they were shoved in a drawer until they could be given the time needed to do them properly.

Work has been keeping me busy, but I decided to get some painting done today, and I was resolved to get some VBCW troops done! There has been a lot of very inspiring work on the Facebook page lately, and I really wanted to ‘do my bit’. I also had a Vickers 6-Ton lying around, so I went for a double whammy.

With all that rambling out of the way, lets have a look at what I got done!

I didn’t get all 10 done. I simply didn’t have it in me today. But 5 will suffice, another day will see the section complete!

Adding Indians into Very British Civil War was a bit of a departure from my normal Royalist and Fascist troops. I wanted to add some Colonial flavour, and while it would be incredibly controversial at the time for King Edward to involve Indian troops in the civil war, I could see him doing it. They offer veteran troops, ones involved in putting down rebellions and border skirmishes, the very kind of Counter-Insurgency troops the King could really use on the Home Isles.

Another hobbyist on the Very British Civil War Facebook page had brought in some Sikh troops, and I wanted to be distinct. My Rajputs offer a slightly different turban shape and lack of beards to the usual Indian troops one might see. I went with Navy blue turbans, a slight nod to the armband stripe that all my Royalist troops wear.

Adding the Indians was a personal touch of my own oft-neglected heritage. My family comes from Anglo-Indian background, and I often forget that, favouring(Not intentionally!) my English background over my Pakistani/Indian background. Bringing in some soldiers who actually look like me was surprisingly a really fun project, and the research I did helped me learn more about my own lineage.

Painted mostly the same as my Territorial Army units, these British Indian Army units were nonetheless a nice break from my usual 40k painting shenanigans.
I choose for them mostly running poses, bayonets fixed. They will be using distinct rules on my table to make them more fearsome up-close. The locals don’t like it up em!
One cannot forget the Armbands! Even if these soldiers from Empire will not be mistaken as often for the foe in combat, redundancy doesn’t hurt here!
Charge!

On a different note, I also got a tank done up. While the tank itself is not from the British Indian Army, it also has an interesting story behind it.

The Vickers 6-Ton was not adopted by the British Army, and Vickers produced it mostly for export, where in our timeline it was a success, if a bit outdated by WW2. The Soviets copied the tank almost wholesale, and the Polish and Finnish made good use of the Vickers in their wars.

In the VBCW timeline I’m making an assumption that the export orders were seized, as every armoured vehicle suddenly became a hot commodity. Those taken by Royalists or Fascists were turned over to Territorial units and formed into Ad-hoc Tank Squadrons, crewed by whomever they could find. This Vickers is one such example.

Lightly washed and probably over-weathered! Still, I’m happy with it! The Royalist icon on the side helps to identify the tank in combat.
This vehicle is labeled #1. But I have yet to decide what that means!
Imagine my surprise when I found out the running gear was usually painted the same colour as the rest of the tank! Boring, but simple and effective.

All in all, nothing too fancy. But still, an honest days work. I’m still really happy with them! I may be distracted by all the big-name projects like Star Wars Legion and 40k, but I’m still enamored with the VBCW setting. There is just so much potential to tell your own story!

I plan on getting the other five Rajputs done soon, and then its back to regular old Territorials and Fascist thugs. But that is all I have for today! If you liked what you saw feel free to leave me a comment, I love talking about all this stuff! In the meantime, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save King Edward!

Road to Glazers Creek: Praetorians, Full Steam Ahead!

“A prayer’s as good as bayonet on a day like this.”

“Still, a chap ought to look smart in front of the men, don’t you think?”

Hello! It has been a while since I focused on my Praetorians, and a long time ago, I alluded to doing a Glazers Creek refight. Unfortunately, plans fell through at the time. I have made new plans for Glazers Creek, however, and for that I’ll need 25 Power Level of Imperial Guardsmen. And, what better regiment then the Praetorian XXIV!

Glazers Creek, if you don’t already know, is a fantastic scenario for Warhammer 40k featuring an Imperial Guard last stand against the vile Ork menace. Players must survive waves of Greenskins, and if even one Guard model remains at the end, the Imperial player wins! It was originally fought in 2nd Edition Warhammer 40k, but saw a new scenario update in 2018, and is a tremendous amount of narrative fun. Of course, this last stand is inspired by the epic 1964 Film Zulu, and the original scenario wore this inspiration on its sleeve.

Zulu (1964) - (Drama, History, War) [Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla  Jacobsson] [Feature] - video Dailymotion
“Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming, can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming…”

To tease you a little, allow me to elaborate on the refight. It will either be the classic Orks, or altered to feature the Tyranid menace. Unlike GW’s rendition of the fight, I will be splitting the command with another Guard player. This is to represent a Bromhead and Chard scenario, just like Zulu! Both Imperial players will have side objectives, and while surviving is the key, they will have differing goals, and that may cause tension, especially as you can’t tell the other player what that goal is!

Now to do this battle the justice it deserves, I need to get my Praetorian Guard painted. I have made another post detailing the history behind that regiment, and I won’t go for length here, but suffice to say they wear spiffy redcoats and gleaming pith helmets! They are, really, just head-swapped Mordian Iron Guard, but they have gained a life of their own on the internet. I have acquired, slowly and expensively, over the last few years almost a company’s worth of them.

I did a few test models, but this is the real deal now. I was inspired by the blog https://thelostandthedamned.wordpress.com and Subedai’s amazing Praetorian paint scheme. While I could not hope to match the crispness and amazing brush work, I did steal wholesale the paint scheme. Lets have a look at my first completed unit, a Command Squad led by Major Cushing!

This Praetorian is meant to be used on a weapons team, but I like to imagine he has some sort of fancy mini-vox. I love how vibrant I managed to get the red!
The white pouches add some real contrast to the paint scheme. I’m particularly chuffed about it.
Meltaguns. Never leave home without at least one! This model is a one-off, as I can’t see myself spending another $50 Canadian dollars on another one!
I did a bit of muzzle burn on the barrel. It’s a simple effect but I think it works.
Who needs vox-casters when you have good ole Bugles?
The crispness of the yellow lace was fun to paint, and simple too! All it took was a base of Averland Sunset followed by a wash.

Now the other two models are particularly interesting. The banner is an old school, printed banner glued on with white glue, bearing the insignia of the Praetorian XXVI. This was included in the old Praetorian army box, but mine is simply printed out on paper and glued on.

Holding aloft the banner of the Regiment, this lad is ready to fight off those who would bring it low.
I put some kinks into the banner, to give it the effect of wind blowing on it.

Now the officer, this was an interesting case. I never liked, as controversial as this is, the official Praetorian officer model. It seemed too wild, lacking in trim and regimental flavour. On the other hand, I had an old Cadian officer model that didn’t fit that regiment, what with his ‘sneering imperialist’ expression. I simple plonked a pith helmet from Victoria Miniatures onto his head, and presto, a fine Praetorian officer was born! I removed the Cadian Gate from his one pauldron, and painted his flak armour a crisp white.

It is amazing what a simple Pith Helmet can add to a model!
Again, I made sure to keep the red nice and crisp. While he lacks epaulettes I made sure to include yellow details on his scarf.
No Cadian gate here!
With a face like this, he was born to be a Praetorian. That imperial disdain is perfect.

That is all I got done today, but my full list for the refight includes three Infantry Squads. I can knock out ten men a day, like I did my Vostroyans for the Miniwargaming trip. But why stop there? I have 70+ of the lads to do, and that is just seven painting sessions! Having a blog will keep me on track here, as I will want to post them. It is quite good motivation!

Well, I hope you enjoyed your first real taste of Praetorian goodness, because I plan on getting these guys done really quickly! I will be back with more later this week. Until then, Happy War-gaming wherever you may be, and remember to fix bayonets!

Deploy the Garrison: Director Krennic for Star Wars Legion!

The legend himself hits my painting desk!

“WE STAND HERE AMIDST MY ACHIEVEMENT, NOT YOURS!-Director Krennic, Rogue One.

Ever since I saw Rogue One, I wanted a miniature of its primary antagonist, Director Orson Krennic. The role was fantastically played by Ben Mendelsohn, and honestly was my favourite character in the film. Mendelsohn added his native Australian accent to the character, adding a bit of variety instead of the normal British RP accent so popular for Imperial characters. Krennic is so deliciously evil, so driven by ambition, that it is hard to dislike the character, even as you cheer on the Rebellion.

In Star Wars Legion, Krennic adds a lot of flavour to your lists, allowing you to take a detachment of Death Troopers as his entourage unit, not using up your special forces cap, His command cards, used to win initiative and add flavour to each turn, are full of theme. The model as well looks great, with great facial detail and wearing his distinctive white uniform and cape.

Therein lied the issue, his white uniform. White is a notoriously difficult colour to paint, and I had previously had issues with it with my Black Templar Terminator I had painted a while ago. Lets see how I got on!

I used a combination of Contrast Paints from Citadel, and traditional brush work. I used Grey Seer, then applied Apothecary white across the entirety of the white uniform. I then drybrushed over with Vallejo Off White.
I then picked out the details such as the Rank Plate, belt and cape buckles, and blaster. I used two ‘black’ paints, Abaddon Black and Eshin Grey to do his belt and pants. This was to add some visual variety.
To go with my mud basing scheme, I dabbed on some mud onto his cape. White uniforms don’t stay clean!
His face is well sculpted but I’m not up to doing eyes yet. Working off a white base made the Cadian Fleshtone work really well to brighten up his skin tone, and a wash of Reikland Fleshshade finished it off. His hair was done in Dawnstone, as Krennic is getting on in years as of Rogue One.

All in all, I’m particularly happy at how he came out. This white recipe might work also for Stormtroopers, and I’ll need at least three squads so it was a good idea to try it out first. Director Krennic will lead my list more times then not, so I’m glad he stands out so well. My hands cooperated and it seems I am picking up ways to paint that make my shaky hands less obvious.

Next up, I might do some more 40k models. Practice appears to make perfect, so I’ll keep at this painting streak I’m on and see if I get any better. Ten guardsmen at a time could easily be done, so hopefully some Praetorians will be featured in my next article. But until then, Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and stay safe everyone!

Back in Black: Imperial Death Troopers for SW Legion!

“Send my guard squadron into battle. Two men, with me, now.”-Director Krennic

Lethal bodyguards, in sleek black armour.

I’ve been on a good painting kick, and to keep it up, I decided to let these Imperial Death Troopers jump the queue! I got these a long time ago, along with Director Krennic himself, when I first got into Legion. They just look so darn cool!

Honestly, we don’t have a great deal of lore on these scary looking troopers. We know they have some sort of body augmentation, and that they are the elite troopers of the Imperial Intelligence division. They do go on missions, and are trained in everything from guerilla warfare to unarmed combat…but are most often seen in current lore as bodyguards to Director Krennic, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and even Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin at times.

Image result for death troopers bodyguard
Death Troopers hit the beach on Scarif in this still from Rogue One!

More tellingly in the films, Death Troopers hit like a freight train, and actually hit in the first place. They cut through unnamed rebels like a hot knife through butter, and even give the named characters a bit of pause.

With such hype, one might expect that I’d have painted them a lot sooner, but a bad prime job left them overly shiny and tacky. I left them for a few months, and they eventually dulled down and lost their stickiness. And I felt optimistic that I could get them done during this marathon of painting progress.

Lets have a look at them!

I purposely went with a subtler drybrush then on my Imperial Special Forces, as these guys in every reference photo I’ve seen look very dark.

They posed a bit of a challenge, as they are predominantly black overall. In reference photos, very few details are not either a matte black or gloss black armour. I decided to go for a subtler drybrush then on my Imperial Special Forces units, to maintain that dark tone. While this leaves them hard to photograph, I hope that shows up a little.

Here you can see the lack of colour variation. I tried to at least get some contrast in, but it was minor. I wanted to retain that dark, menacing palette.
Here, the drybrush shows up more readily.

I did their helmet filters in green as some of the action figures have, to add some contrast. I also tried out a different wash; instead of Nuln Oil, I used Biel-Tan Green to add some creep factor into the armour. This doesn’t show up on camera very well at all given my current lighting set-up.

I did the weapons in Eshin Grey and the muzzles in Leadbelcher. This adds some visual interest, along with the green helmet filters.
Another trooper aiming down sights at some Rebel foe.
The DLT-19x adds some heavy firepower to the squad. It might be a trick of the light, but I hope you can see the greenish hue I tried to impart.

They were all based as per my Imperial armies theme, the campaign on Mimban. Death Troopers canonically exist by 13BBY(Before Battle of Yavin, a common date nomenclature used by Star Wars) and therefore could see some action there in their intended role as commandos, not just as glorified bodyguards.

That being said, they will be used in-game as a bodyguard entourage by Director Krennic…so I guess that is still a bit contradictory. Legion is a much more ‘gamey’ ruleset then I’m used to, and lore and crunch must exist apart, not necessarily in tandem as I would in 40k. This is not such a bad thing, as the game does seem like a lot of fun from the couple games I have managed to play.

I don’t think I will need another squad of these death-dealing spooky troopers, so this was a fun little unit to get done without any worries about being consistent with a later unit.

Anyways, that is all I have for you today! I hope you all are staying safe, and Happy Wargaming wherever you are!