Fighting for the Crown: The Royalists Arrive!

The King commands, and we…half-heartedly obey?

Ah, another package from across the Pond. What could be in this one?

After a brief interlude into Warhammer 40k, we return to 1938. I have some background lore I have thought about for my force, and without further ado, lemme bore you with it!

King Edward VIII rallies his armies after the Civil War begins, and across the United Kingdom and her Dominions and Possessions, local loyalties are being tested.

For an initial period, the British Army is in ruins. Whole Regiments turn-coat and join the Anglican League, taking both precious equipment and trained men over to that cause. The Socialists poach a few, causing desertions, when they offer a more equal future for a soldier who could expect little in life beyond being told what to do by his ‘class’ superiors. Scotland takes a great deal of regiments home, and they form the nucleus of the Republic’s military. Wales is in open, if not organized, rebellion. The Irish, holding Ulster hostage, remain neutral, but with the Irish Guards back home, they at least cause issues with the occupying authorities as Catholic fights Protestant once again in open warfare.

Horrendous fighting south of London, in Anglican controlled territory (Real photo is of the London Regiment in the First World War. No disrespect is intended. From the Imperial War Museum.)

The Regiments that remain loyal are rarely loyal as an entire body. For the men of the 1st City of London Regiment (The Royal Fusiliers), they find themselves at around 70% percent fighting effectiveness. With little time to do proper training and recruitment, the Territorial Army (reservists, to us Canadians, or Militia back in the day.) Regiments find themselves thrown into battle along the loose border with the Anglican League, and the Royal Fusiliers finds themselves fighting a tough, but undertrained foe. They also have the backup of the BUF Legions; Tough fighters, but ill-disciplined, prone to heights of cowardice and heroism in equal measure. Worse, the Fascists prioritize reinforcements that show particular zeal toward Mosley into the BUF, leaving the Territorials with unwilling ‘recruits’.

An old, WW1 Recruitment Poster for the 2nd Battalion. Touched up, this will see further use in 1938. (Public Domain)

However, despite all of King Edward VIII many problems, he was a soldier, and aims to be a soldiers king. In an inspiring speech, he extols the virtues of loyalty, country, and duty, as well as understanding the difficulty each man must face in staying loyal when many have not. It works, and overnight flagging enthusiasm for fighting for Mosley’s Parliament is replaced by increased enthusiasm in fighting for the Monarchy. While not as fanatical as Mosleys Black-shirts, the Regular and Territorial Army now fight as a counter-balance; Stoic, and professional, and well trained behind the lines before being blooded properly in minor engagements. And holy terror once fighting for real!

The revived colors of the unit, going into the later part of 1938. (All Copyright belongs to the author, and will be removed upon request.)

This has led to issues in the field with the more fanatical Mosleyites, and fractures are starting to appear in the once united Government front…

Now with all this lore and background out of the way…lets see the men of the 1st City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, eh?

These fine fellows are from Gripping Beast, more specifically, the Woodbine Design Studio WW1 British. Splendid models! Always wanted an excuse to buy them, but as war-gaming World War One in 28mm sounded less fun then just getting my friends to shoot me with pellet guns as I crest over a trench, I never committed.

I’m using the conceit that the the Army in 1938 was in the changeover period to Battledress, and it was not yet complete. As such, my men in the Territorial Army fight in stuff their fathers might have, but with a greater supply of grenades, Lewis Guns, and Vickers Machine Guns available. About the lack of helmets…I chose instead to order Service Dress Caps. No reasoning here…I just liked them!

Finally, all characters in the army, despite the real Regiment, will be fictional. I do not wish to step on anyone’s grandad! That is, unless they want me to include them!

After opening the box, this is what I was left with. A whole mess of pewter, and perhaps lead?

I make a point of washing all my metal models. Given that I was going to use a primer known for flaking off metal models, I made sure to be thorough, just to be safe. No broken models this time, so I set to work finding my bases and gluing the separate heads on.

This took hours, not because it was hard, but because it was tedious. Well worth it, and I have the perfect color picked out to paint them too!

All scrubbed up, assembled, and put into formations. Four Infantry Sections, each with a Lewis Gun, provide firepower. A Vickers offers a fixed emplacement, to make ‘beaten’ zones. Two sets of officers, one at the company/platoon level and the other at battalion. Two vignettes offer something neat to paint/fight over. And a whole wack of extras…
Two Sections; Each Corporal model is unique! I love the simplicity of these models, but they don’t lack for detail either. Just a joy to work with.
The other two Sections. Same sort of deal.
A nice, simple, if not a bit fiddly to assemble, Vickers. Going to add some shrubbery to the front part of the base, once its basing has begun!
The company/platoon commanders. They will get names, and ranks, shortly. I love the guy ready to punch some Anglican League traitors with his walking stick!
The battalion/regimental command. The guy learning on his cane will be the Regimental CO, while the man holding a truncheon will be the Regimental Sergeant Major. Finally, the man loading his Webley has to be something, he’s just too cool NOT to use!
My two favourite models from the collection I have got. They both have loads of character! They will probably recieve the most attention painting and lore-wise.
Two privates making improvised explosives. At this point, supplies are running thin, and jamming a bunch of nails in a tin and packing it with gunpowder is an old trick. Lots of First World War veterans in the regiment who have taught them how…
The regimental surgeon offers the best he can do to this not overly serious injured young man. “Chocolate, you’ll feel better” The boy will live, but will hate the taste of Frys going forward.

Now when I purchased the sets from Gripping Beast, I failed to take into account how much of each Infantry Section would be replaced with specialist models. As it turns out…quite a few.

I’ve heard of losing your head, but this is just silly! No, I have enough heads to outfit the whole ragtag bunch, but I have an idea…anyone got bearskins?

If anyone has any, or knows of a manufacturer of Bearskin Grenadier Helmets, I’d love to know! These headless chaps will become my elite backbone of my army, a section of Grenadier Guardsmen, sent to stiffen their resolve. I might be able to organize a cross-channel trade, in the spirit of Global VBCW….

On another topic, how do these lads rank up next to my British Union of Fascists thugs? Glad you asked that incredibly specific question, here is a scale photo between two very similar models.

Footsore BUF Yeomanry on the Left, and the Gripping Beast WW1 on the right! Hope this helps!

And that is it, until I go spray some models. I’m waiting for a low humidity and heat day, something you wouldn’t imagine would be an issue in Canada, but certainly is, at least where I live.

Misha too wishes for some colder weather, otherwise its simply too hot for the poor doggo!

Anyways, that is all the Very British Civil War goodness I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did feel free to comment! And if you didn’t, actually, comment why you didn’t too! All feedback is appreciated. I’d like to thank the VBCW community on Facebook for the warm reception. My buddy and I in Canada will aim to please!

Look for our landing in Dorset; We will arrive with Mounties on Moose Cavalry, Machine Guns, and Tim Horton’s for all. Oh, and King George. The real King!

Happy War-gaming, wherever you might be. And God Save King Edwar….even I can’t commit to it. Sorry! You guys have a wonderful day!

The ‘Chains’ That Bind Us: Further Progress with the Templars!

In which I attach more chains to things!

My new Primaris Lieutenant draws a bead with his pistol, safe in the knowledge his sword is not going anywhere…

In my last Templar post, I had begun the arduous task of painstakingly attaching chains to the wrists and weapons of the Indomitus box contents. While it was a slow start, it was addicting; the new models have many places where the chains like to fit and hang naturally.

I had a decision to make, in both a time, money, and logic sense. Where would I draw the line on what weapon would get chained or not? On my previous models, I had done ranged weapons as well as their various melee weapons, but such a thing seemed a bit much going forward. As well, as a gamer on a budget (that printer, and the money sunk into maintaining it and keeping it running, are initially quite high) I had little in the way of chain left. For visual consistency, I wanted the whole box to have chain cut from the same source, therefore I was a bit more miserly then I would be normally.

In the end, I decided to only do the melee weapons; this is a melee focused box, and I made a decision that if a Black Templar had to drop a weapon, it would be the ranged one. After all, while you can pistol whip someone quite hard when your a 9ft tall demigod, you can do so even better with a sword. And the sword features heavily in the lore of the Black Templars, and I imagine, viewed with some reverence.

Mind made up, I started with the Bladeguard Veterans.

They received custom Black Templar Chapter insignia on their shoulder pauldrons, but the main event is the chains on their wrists. The crosspiece can easily accept glue underneath, and the chain ‘likes’ to get stuck there, allowing you to easily and naturally wrap the chain around the arm.

Maybe it was the practice I had with the previous models, but the chains went on quite smoothly! A good tip here is to let it hang naturally once you have found a point to anchor the chain; gravity will help you make it look good. Using gel superglue, dabbed on very slowly, I then went along the chain-links, setting each link in turn. I took care to not let the glue ‘dribble’ into places that had details I wanted to retain. The chains are to improve the look, not obscure it!

I then did the Primaris Lieutenant (Castellan, if we are being Black Templars, here), shown above. His was an interesting case; his sword was sheathed! I contemplated breaking the rule, but figured it would be visually interesting having the chain loosely draped across the front of his body, as he shoots his Volkite (Think martian heat ray, for those of you not familiar with the weapon).

I thought it through from the models point of view; he holsters his weapon as the Tyranids close in, then draws his sword, carefully wrapping the chain around his wrist as he does so, a picture of calm on a chaotic battlefield. Finally, the relentless xenos crash into the shield wall, and he is prepared. His weapon is not leaving his hand, not until he draws his last breath…

Next up was the Primaris Captain (Marshall, if we are being Black Templars, and we are, at least here!), who luckily is wielding his sword normally. This was a fun little thing to do, little to no effort expended, even if it took a bit of time.

A brutal, broad-blade, for a butcher masquerading as a Knight.

Having made decent progress, I then turned my attention to the Ancient. The Bladeguard Ancient has no weapon to speak of, besides the skeletal hand Games Workshop thought would count. What would I chain in this case? I had to think quite a while on this, and eventually decided to run the chain through the standard he bears. After all, he has something more important then a weapon that could fall; He bears a reliquary, and should it fall, the line of Marines very well could follow.

This was a harder task, and took some serious time to think of the logistics of how such a job would be accomplished. In the end, I let my gut and gravity decide.

While I was at it, I glued a Chain-sword from the MK-III kit to his belt on his back. Every Templar should bear a melee weapon, and no, the sacred hand does not count!

Of course, I then turned my attention to the Assault Intercessors. Finally, Primaris melee troop choices! As a Black Templar player, my heart sung with joy when I saw these models, and was quite happy to bring them into my crusade properly.

Luckily, my task was mostly an easy one. The crosspiece on the chain-sword made my life incredibly easy, and I simply put on some music, and went about the task at hand. The only challenging model was the ‘not sergeant’ from the second, five man sprue. Since he was not a sergeant, I equipped him instead with a drawn pistol but holstered sword. I took the same approach as the Primaris Lieutenant, and had it drape naturally across the body to wear the sword sat on his hip.

Proper Templars; No silly Bolt Rifles here (Although, those have their place, and I will elaborate in a later post…)
Ready to rip and tear, until the job is done. And in the 41(2nd?)st Millennium, it is never done.

Of course, this leaves the Eradicators and the Chaplain. The Eradicators, while a stupidly good unit, are going without chains; They are ranged warriors not out of choice, but out of a job that needs doing. Temporarily putting honour aside to focus on killing; the Black Templars don’t have to like it, but at the end of the day, we are here to kill Xenos, Heretics, and Mutants. A melee weapon is preferable…not needed.

On the other hand, the Chaplain is not done simply because he deserves more. With such a badass pose (finally, a Primaris Chaplain without a stupid, Dark Angels style, robe!), he deserves only the greatest of what I can do. With Grimaldus being added to my Crusade roster, the Indomitus Chaplain represents a ‘line’ Chaplain of the most zealous, loyal Chapter around. And that cannot be a rushed, or half done job. He must be an exemplar for all his Primaris brethren of what it means to one of Sigismund’s Crusaders.

And with that massive, evil tease, I shall leave you. Hopefully, I have something before long to show you. But for now, Ave Imperator, and Happy War-gaming, wherever in the world you might be!

No Pity, No Remorse, No Fear! Converting Indomitus!

The Templars charge into the new Edition!

Yours truly, in the centre, surrounded by boxes. Tyler makes an appearance!

Like many others on the blogosphere, and as I have previously said in a previous post, I got myself Indomitus on release. I was lucky! If your just reading this post, a quick recap: a good local store was able to secure enough copies for our surprisingly large rural community, and no one who pre-ordered went without, and until the 28th of July you can get one made to order. Go buy that if you missed it, if you want one that is!

Now half the world has done an unboxing of the contents, so that is not what I’m going to talk about. Instead, I will mention my plans for the contents of the Space Marine portion, of which I kept. The rest went to a friend for a reasonable cost. But I would be amiss if I did not share how much I love the Crusade system. It is a glorious, buggy mess, and is fun beyond anything Narrative 8th offered. It is far from perfect! First thing though, some pictures, for those only here for the “articles”.

The Vostroyan 78th take a severe beating at the hands of the Necron menace, but manage to win the day through bravery…not really. It was Lascannons. All the Lascannons.
The Leman Russ Annihilator was the MVP of the match. I paid a significant outlay in Requisition Points to make it an Ace. It has now got an Elite Crew, and Enhanced Targeting, allowing it to re-roll ones, and hit on threes. A devastating combination. However my opponent also gained a large amount of Experience killing the rest of my army, and thus it all evened out.
Living in a low Covid-19 affected area lets us take our chances, and get some games in. But we still TRY to have some caution…

It is horribly convoluted, and and I’m going to link a video by a Youtuber I follow who explains it far better. (If you are reading this by chance, Zorpazorp, thank you so very much!) It is a great tool for getting people not usually into Narrative into that side of the hobby, and as already converted many in my local area. They are even making less game only decisions, and ones based more on ‘feelings’ that their units might carry out. As well, units gaining perks and flaws based on events in-game is something hard to make work, but so far, it has been pretty good! My Tank Ace certainly feels like an Ace, and now plays even more like one. A Pask in the making? Maybe! It also doesn’t overly punish failure or over reward success, and also allows for an in-built command point buff to armies with a lesser Crusade total, something I greatly appreciate as someone who loses a lot….

Figures it takes an Australian to explain upside-down rules!

My personal two Crusade armies will be my Templars, which are a work in progress, and my Vostroyans, fully complete and ready to go. That way, I can take pretty pictures with one, while the bare plastic is never seen on camera!

Back in December 2019, I traded my old Citadel castle set for a full Black Templars army. At the same time, I helped a friend do some work, and instead of pay, I asked for some of his Black Templars. Long story short, I got a lot of the crusading Space Marines.

A blast from the past of December 2019, three centuries ago.

This has been added to, with the addition of Dark Imperium models and a whole wack of Primaris Marines and the Space Marine Heroes Terminator models. This helped bring the force more into contention with other, stronger, lists I’d face.

Loud, proud, and deadly. A Redemptor carrying a Hero of the Black Templars is a force indeed…especially if he looks the part!
A much simpler addition; just a few chains to properly move the model into the Chapter.

I was however faced with the small, niggling issue…I hate painting power armor. I’ve always been fairly awful at it; the large flat or curved areas with smooth detail confounds me. To show that I have both made at least some attempt to paint some models, and that I kinda suck at painting black, here is my work in progress ‘Sergeant Jovan’, now a Castellan in the Black Templars. Using the Lieutenant Stat-line with a Master-Crafted ‘Power Sword’, and Bolt pistol, he should be fine; He’s representing a new Primaris recruit who has proven himself sufficiently zealous and angry enough to earn his place among his Firstborn brothers!

He’s not taking a break; He’s simply catching his breath before tearing another Ork apart with his bare hands.
The tilting shield is the only new part added to the original model; I also added damage to it, to bring it inline with the rest of the kit. The Crusade badge will be applied to the whole army, eventually.
A torn gash on his face, earned in close combat. The orange is supposed to be fresh, hot rounds still burning in his ceramite. I admit, its not worked as I hoped, and will probably go back to a lighter grey, representing chipped armor.
I don’t paint eyes; I suffer from badly shaking hands from nerves, and that is beyond me at my current skill level. However, this is my favourite face I’ve painted; I think it looks suitably gritty! There is a lot of room for improvement…

The problem in completing the army was two-fold; I was having trouble playing such a radically different army then my usual gun-line, and the weaker, older marines, outside a few very strong units, both lore friendly and not, meant I had trouble competing. On top of that, since the Black Templar upgrade kit was rather dated, I couldn’t make some of the new units look sufficiently ‘Templar’ enough to justify the amount of time I’d spend working on them, and that killed a huge amount of my interest. As a primarily fluff gamer, the looks mattered a great deal….

However, Indomitus looked promising right from the get-go; the models had all the gothic, baroque styling I missed from previous iterations of Marines, and the new 9th edition rules favor melee a lot more then 8th did. I managed to split the box with a friend, and got myself a full box minus the Xenos scum. If I had left them alone, and just used decals, they would have made damn fine Templars right away, but such a thing was such a waste of potential. Granted, they don’t need a lot of work, a chained weapon here, a reliquary and Maltese cross there, and I would be set. As well, as we are starting with Combat Patrol level games of Crusade, getting a force painted up is a breeze. A few models is far easier to pull off and motivate yourself to paint then a full, 2000 point behemoth of a list.

I started with the Judiciar, whose helmet I hated, and the Bladeguard Ancient, who I love in almost all respects, minus his skeletal hand being a weapon.

I wear a mask in real life, I don’t need a model with one! He’s got a Chaplains helmet since he is a member of the Reclusiam. He’s a Chaplain in training, or a different branch, depending on what you read. But he can have the vow of silence and still don the scary skull helmet; if Reivers can, so can they! I chained up his executioners sword…you really don’t want to drop the weapon that defines you, and Templars don’t like to so much they attach the damn things to themselves!
A quick 45 minute print on my 3D printer, and I have a suitable helmet! I picked this one since it bears a resemblance to Grimaldus in his depiction in the Helsreach animation on Youtube! The lines usually disappear under my primer, no worries there!

The Ancient was an easy model, all I did was give him an appropriate Templar cross on his shoulder. This was a custom file I had made for me by a member of our Clubhouse, and is not publicly available. However, Pop Goes the Monkey does a very good version, even if shipping is a bit rough depending on where you live(not his fault, blame external factors!)

60x Maltese Cross : Shoulder Insignia pack

Not bad looking from a distance! It adds a 3D element that decals simply can’t match. You can objectively prefer one or the other, but I prefer the 3D design from a painting angle.
Again, the lines will be far less apparent once painted. I could paint them off the shoulder, but I will be painting my Bladeguard Veterans and Ancients as Sword Brethren, and a red cross on a black shoulder is a piece of cake. On my normal guys, they will be primed and put on after painting is done.

These two models needed very little conversion, and most of the others won’t either. The models look sufficiently Templar out of the box as is, and don’t need heavy work to look the part. However, that is not the case for my Outriders, or for those not aware, the new Primaris Bikers.

While I always liked Templars, I like them for both their lore and “black tide” approach of waves of angry zealous Marines charging across open ground, butchering all who stand in their way. But bikes, while a part of Templar lore, aren’t a huge part of it. Dark Angels do ‘Knightly’ bikes better, and that look is distinctive and very awesome. But, as I am not a traitor in waiting, I chose not to make them Dark Angels, and instead make them something totally different! Something…more….Eastern.

Oh no. I shouldn’t have listened to this.

Yeah, my bikes will be White Scars. I decided this early, upon release of the pictures of the bikes, and before everyone and their second cousin twice removed on their mothers side figured out they are death on wheels in the rules. I will not complain, but I want to make clear this is not a meta decision, instead a badass decision.

While I have yet to assemble mine, that is because I await the delivery of White Scars upgrade packs, and the printing time of additional Mongolian themed flavours of weapons, insignia, and overall awesomeness. I will keep you good folks informed! While I cannot take both Chapters together, not without losing Doctrines and other awesome flavour, I will be building up an all mounted detachment for Crusade and beyond of angry, space, Mongolians. For the Khan!

After extensive reading of their lore, I love them for entirely different reasons then their Templar cousins. Both are melee Chapters, both have a big emphasis on honour. But where that honor comes from in both cases vary wildly, and neither Chapter particularly likes the other….

Anyways, that is all I have for today. 40k was a big part of this blog in the past, and while it won’t be the only focus by far, it will be a more common sight again, among other, more niche topics. The hatred and brutality of the far future is back!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed the read! I will have more pictures in the coming days. In the mean time, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and may the Emperor keep your dice rolls high!

A Return to Warhammer, and(not related) a whole lot of Blackshirts…

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Oh Boy! One copy for me, one for an unlucky friend who got beaten by several hundred bots on pre-order day.

For those of you new to this blog, it may surprise you to hear that this started, originally, as a 40k-centric blog. While over time this has evolved, I always did play it, in the background, as well. I just get very focused on my passion projects of the moment, presently Zona Alfa, Very British Civil War, and many more.

That never diminishes my love of the lore of the distant future, but while 8th Edition was a great time, it had started to wear me down with constant FAQ’s and meta shifting. While my Clubhouse peers are not an overly competitive bunch, we do like to play hard with what we have, and we do have a fondness for shiny gubbins, which means a lot of Forge-World. Which, let’s be frank, hasn’t been always the most balanced of toys. So a new edition, promising balance tweaks, new Forge-World indexes done by Games Workshops own rule team, not the chaps who ought to be writing Horus Heresy stuff, and a spiffing new Crusade system that promised a lot of narrative goodness, was obviously going to cause a bit of a local hype-fest. My local store, the Giddy Goblin in Hanover, Ontario(No, I am not sponsored LOL) was awesome, and managed to secure a copy for everyone that wanted one.

My Clubhouse hosted(socially responsibly, in a low Covid-19 area, I’m talking one case here, and fully masked at all times…) Launch Party, which kicked off at 12:01. The boxes were dropped off by our friendly local store Manager.

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A whole lotta boxes, for a whole lotta people. No one left unhappy!

We did a quick overview of the rules, then jumped fully into the new Crusade system. As a Narrative gamer, this makes my heart jump for joy(Or, is it the 3 Monster energy drinks coursing through my system….) and I am very happy to report my Vostroyans, Praetorians, and new Black Templars, which I purchased more then a Crusade’s worth from two people in December, will be seeing the table, and covered in more depth later.

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My buddy, defiling my new rulebook. Disgusting.

 

While I was mostly busy building my new models, I did take time to do several things. Firstly, I took a few action shots of the games in progress, shown above. One guy was the painter for the stores demo copy, and thus had Marines from that set ready to go. However, they stayed in their Impulsor(think a weird floating Rhino if you haven’t been around 40k in a bit…) and thus I got no pictures of the dang models in action!

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Trevor, a friend of mine, filling out his campaign roster post-game. This whole new mechanic is awesome! I can’t wait for later today when I head out again to have a go myself.

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My part of the workstation, temporarily abandoned while I scarfed down donuts and drank a frankly unhealthy amount of caffeine.  The new models look great, and will be covered in greater detail in a longer post later today.

Of course, work continues on Zona Alfa. While I personally didn’t get much done, my friends have made excellent progress on 3D printed monsters and terrain. Some truly disgusting horrors await in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone…

But, as I am very easily distracted by my most recent project, I was reminded by a certain picture in the Clubhouse….

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Salutes-God Save the Queen?

And remembered I had a veritable horde of Fascists for A Very British Civil War show up the other day, and that the faster I paint them, the faster I can play that game.

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A whole lot of Blackshirts looks a lot less imposing when they are in silver…

 

I had brought along the whole lot to paint at the Clubhouse, so after priming them all black, I decided, while we counted the hours until 12:01, to paint something to pass the time. A Sergeant model was selected for the honour, and I set to work.

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His Enfield arrived broken, and beyond repair. I gave him a spare Bolt Action Thompson, and a magazine pouch so he had a few reloads.

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Of course, this makes the bandolier entirely useless. Think of it as full of random utensils, cigarettes, and a picture of Mosley in a compromising position that he keeps for those long nights alone….

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A good comment I got on the guy online is that I should increase the contrast between the bandolier and belts with the black uniform, as they are too similar. I’m inclined to agree, after seeing it on camera.

Not perfect, but I now know what to improve for the full batch painting run. Of course, this does mean I have Zona Alfa crews, Canadian modern in…wait, didn’t talk about those did I!

For my Canadian Zone project, I needed modern Canadian military. A company in Canada called Full Battle Rattle Miniatures does a line of them! Representing ISAF forces in our countries foray into Afghanistan, they will do great work representing a uniquely Canadian Cordon Defense Force…

 

Of course, this means I need to paint CADPAT, which is going to suck. A lot. I hate painting camouflage, and this is one of the hardest to get right. I sure do pick em, right?

To finish the thought, I have Zona Alfa, Canadians, Black Templars, Praetorians, etc to paint. But I like to be too busy. These days, any distraction is welcome, and if one painting project bores me, I can simply paint something else!

But as I’m pulling an all nighter, and possibly longer, to fully cover the release of the Indomitus box for our Badly Painted Minis website, I should probably drinking a nice calming up of peppermint tea, and steady my nerves for a long day of hopefully eventually fruitful tabletop Journalism. If you guys want to check out what I did over on the other site, here is a link!

The Era Indomitus: Bringing in the new Edition!

For now though, Happy War-Gaming, wherever you might be! From the distant future of a galaxy at eternal war, to radiation sunsets in the Ukraine, to rainy ole England in the throes of an abdication crisis, may you enjoy any hobbying you do today! Have a good one folks!

For King OR Country: First Steps into A Very British Civil War!

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They aren’t perfect. But I printed them at home!

In my last post, I mentioned that my 3D printer was arriving the day after. As one can guess from my utter lack of posting since, I have been busy enjoying my personal resin miniature machine. It’s a not insignificant learning curve, and I can’t claim to be 100% proficient at the process yet. But, for my stated goal of printing tanks, it has not failed me.

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The Phrozen Sonic Mini, doing its black magic. In goes liquid resin, out comes Tanks!

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, I mentioned that a friend and I had bought into A Very British Civil War, a setting based on King Edward VIII’s abdication crisis in 1936. Before I give you a quick synopsis, fair warning here, I’m not a Britisher myself, I may get some details wrong, but lets carry on with it, shall we? King Edward had attained the throne upon the death of his father, King George V.  However, the young king was sort of a playboy, and had fallen away from his womanizing ways by wanting to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. To our modern eyes, this doesn’t seem so bad.

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Prince Edward in the First World War. He was a member of the Grenadier Guards, but never allowed to see service. Admittedly a rather handsome young man, and his leave in Paris was…educational for the young Prince on the art of wooing ladies.

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However, he met his match in the 30’s in Wallis Simpson. An admittedly pretty lady, who proceeded to nearly cause a country to crumble!

But back then, it was a massive deal, and one that threatened to cause a serious issue in the United Kingdom. Parliament, to not go into too much detail, had said they wouldn’t support such a move. King Edward deliberated for pretty much the entirety of 1936. During that time, he showed an inclination towards supporting Fascism, which is probably the more dangerous part of this whole crisis. He was friends with Hitler later on!

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The Duke of Windsor, as Edward was styled after his adication, during a trip to Germany. He did the whole touristy thing, did as the Germans did. Which, in 1937 was Nazi Salutes and meeting good Ole Hitler.

Now, in our history, King Edward abdicates the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, and while a thorn in the side of British foreign relations, he played no serious further part in history. In the timeline of A Very British Civil War, however, he decides he’d like both, please. By keeping the throne, and marrying Simpson, Parliament collapses on itself. Some stay loyal to King Edward, but most resign. The government is on the brink of collapse. In order to keep things going, King Edward decides to invite someone to take charge, and appoints a Prime Minister.

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King Edward opening Parliament during his brief reign.

He chooses Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, and confirmed absolute jerk, who then proceeds to fill Parliament with a heavily Fascist majority, and placing his Blackshirts as an actual, legal, paramilitary. This does not sit well with a large part of the country, but he still manages to keep a lid of things. This is, until, a royal parade.

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Like a British Hitler, with a much more stupid mustache!

Traveling via armored car out of fear for his life, King Edward was being escorted by the Guards regiments, and several columns of British Union of Fascist “police”men. Someone fires a shot. Utter pandamonium reigns as King Edward makes his getaway, but the British Union Fascists turn their guns on the crowd. The Guards, in part but not entirely, fire at the Fascists! No one knows who shot first. In the aftermath, the country falls into collapse. The non-English Guard regiments are disbanded, and the Welsh, Irish, and Scots Guards are sent home in disgrace. The perceived insult leads many of these men to join the ever increasing and violent opposition to Mosley and his King. The many, many factions start to group together into loose coalitions.

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The Anglican League, middle class England, starts to form militias out of cricket teams, former soldiers, and various parts of your typical British village. They rally around Anglican dioceses, and start to form a mild-large religious front. They are a loose federation, all fight Mosley, but few groups agree what happens after. Some even consider working with the Socialists for a greater say in post war reconstruction.

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The Socialists get a huge shot in the arm, now convincing many lower class workers that the time is right for vast social reform, a revolution! Support from the Comintern is forthcoming, and many veterans of the Spanish Civil War join the ranks. They too differ in ideology; Some are more Leninist, some prefer hard-line Stalinism, and a few broach the dangerous territory of being Trotskyites. Some are willing to work with the Anglicans on broad goals, some refuse on principle. Some actually don’t want Soviet help, while others jockey to please Moscow.

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The Royalists are in a bad spot; They control most of the Army, and the Royal Air Force overwhelmingly supports Mosley and the King. The Navy is actually not touched upon in great deal in the setting, but I’d like to think that, inspired by global events elsewhere, some go Socialist, as mutineers rise up on their ships. Some go to follow the other claimant to the throne, Prince Albert, to Canada. And some stay loyal, but probably with the least amount. What they do maintain is extremely well trained Regulars, a good Territorial Army system, but with some of the major arms suppliers being now in rebel hands, they are fighting a war of attrition, in both losses of men to bullets or desertion, or difficulty maintaining supplies.

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The Fascists, while nominally on the same side as King Edward, are jockeying and using the turmoil to make themselves more and more ingrained into every part of governance and warfare, a move that Royalists can’t stop but don’t have to like. Mosley recruits fanatical youth, forming a military around his BUF. His new Legions take the name of famous kings and folk heroes of Britain. But really, the jackbooted thugs find themselves in a gamble; if they win this war, Fascism is entrenched and the UK saved from undesirables. If they do not, the reprisals will end them. Simple as.

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The Scots, having had quite enough of this silly stuff, turn into a self governing Republic. They suffer from internal issues as most of their officers wish to reunify upon Scottish victory, and become part of a Union again. Jacobites in the Highlands bring up the Stuart claims to the throne…again. The Scots really just want to defend their ancestral lands, and force a peace deal to secure this.

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The Welsh, ever fractious, can’t form a national resistance, and naturally form into similar groups as the English did. A few want an independent Wales, however, and are willing to fight for it. Now if only they could all agree on how to do that….

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The Irish, wisely sensing they can get away with it, occupy Ulster and Belfast. Ireland is now united, albeit temporarily. Ireland now sits, and waits to see how the sides respond. Eamon de Valera might be able to keep Ulster if he backs the winning horse, but will the luck of the Irish help them choose right?

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Finally, Prince Albert, in exile in Canada(from this point on, this is conjecture. And this is the lore we are using in my games among friends.) seeks the aid of the Canadian government. An Expeditionary Force is authorized, and while badly under-equipped in aircraft and armoured vehicles, a few of each are attained. Fellow British exiles join this Force, and they make for the coast of Wales. Upon landing, and setting a defensive perimeter, they are approached by envoys of the local political factions. He dismisses the Socialists outright, unwilling to work with a party that seeks to abolish the throne; He will fight them as hard as he will Mosley. The Anglicans are a much more interesting case; interested in fighting for a claim to the throne, back the Albertines. However, some talk in the Anglican ranks seems to push them to ask for concessions, and perhaps stricter religious laws. The Canadian bulk of the Expeditionary Force is seen by some as foreign invasion; to alleviate concerns, detachments of local Anglicans are embedded into the command structure of the Force. The Canadians are eager to restore who they feel is the true King to the throne, and bring a staunch professionalism and grit to the otherwise undertrained militia flocking to the Albertine banner.

Okay, now that the ‘brief’ summary is out of the way, for those of us unfamiliar with the setting. I honestly got carried away writing it! It was an absolute blast. I really enjoy the setting, what can I say?

As I said last time, My buddy is playing the Albertines, with Anglican support. A very traditional faction, with some cricket teams and some other goofy stuff planned for late. Here are some pics of what he’s started on!

A BEF box, Command, Vickers Machine gun, and a boat to carry them home to the Rainy Isle. He’s got more coming!

As for me, I did two large orders of infantry, one from Footsore Miniatures for my BUF, and another from Gripping Beast for WW1 Infantry, to be used as Territorial Army(Reservists) serving the Royalists. They have not yet arrived; Hopefully soon! Both companies have been in touch to ensure that they do.

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A whole of bad dudes; And, what I presume, is a large amount of black primer!

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The good ole Territorial Army. Going to war with what their father’s would have, and dressed pretty damn close. I have 4 platoons in there! so I should be set for both BUF and Territorial Army.

 

Of course, what is clearly lacking here is vehicles. Having already got a 3D printer, I decided to try scaling up two 15mm models, and adding in a 28mm tank on that as well. Now this is a learning curve, a lot went wrong at first until I learned my machine a little better.

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The Assembly Line of Resin Goodness!

My first prints were a couple 40k and Fantasy related things, but I wanted to print an armored vehicle. I settled on the Rolls Royce Armored Car, model of 1920.

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Hmmm, something doesn’t look right.

After this failure, I fixed the issue with the supports, and produced my first battlefield ready model! It is far. far from perfect. And I can tweak it to make it better! But let me show you!

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Much better! A few issues with the tires, but very gameable.

 

With a nice solid coat of a nice green, it is ready for painting! I’m quite pleased, even thought its far from perfect. These were a common vehicle, and it’ll serve as a fairly quick machine gun position, moving along roads to secure key positions.

Morale restored, I decided to do a small Vickers “Dutchman” tank, an export model meant for the Dutch East Indies. Meant for police and enforcement, this tank was woefully under-equipped to fight the Japanese in 41-2. But in the VBCW setting, they will be nimble, small, decently well equipped gun platforms. My intention is that General Fuller has requested as many fast, light, tanks as he can get a hold of, trying to prepare for a blitzkrieg across the English countryside, and the Dutch order gets cancelled and vehicles pressed into service.

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It’s so widdle!

Finally, feeling confident I could tackle something larger, I started on a Vickers Medium Mk2. This tank is a key part of many VBCW armies, as it was common in service and training roles, and many could see service on any side. On this tank, the Turret Peg simply didn’t print, and as a large piece to hold the turret in, it was kind of important. This was fixed by a convenient off cut of plastic pipe a plumber left behind; perfect fit, and cut to size!

As well, the 3 Pounder Barrel didn’t print entirely. I decided to replace it with a pen tube. I can always print more, and I have gone back and fix the print. The real disaster came when the tracks came out seriously warped; it took a lot of rubber bands and hot water warping tricks to get it to this not entirely satisfactory result. But, it’ll serve just fine, and while very noticable, won’t affect my enjoyment of using it in a game! I love this tank, and this will form the core of my tank force. with a 3 Pounder gun, it is actually well equipped to deal with other armor it might encounter.

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Tissue armor, slow, slab sided. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love this model.

Now since two of these models are scaled up from 15mm, I needed to see if they still looked the part! So I did a scale test with a Bolt Action plastic 8th Army soldier.

No major issues, and consulting the internet shows that while a hair too small, they are perfectly usable. 1/56th scale is common for Bolt Action, and seeing as we are using that rule-set, we decided to keep the vehicles that size. As well, my infantry in the mail are much smaller and finer in detail then the Warlord plastic model I’m using here. It should, altogether, make a striking force to look at on the table!

That is all I really got for today! But look on Monday for some sweet Zona Alfa related content!

This has been a fun experience, the printer. For printing obscure models from the Interwar years, it has been invaluable. I will continue to collect store-bought and boutique models, but as a tool to make some cool stuff, color me happy and impressed.

If you are a old school veteran Very British Civil War player, please let me know if I’m off to a good start. As a foreigner, some concepts here might escape me. And If anyone can help with flavour, I’m all ears! Happy to be joining a setting that has interested me for almost seven years!

Until next time, Happy War-Gaming, where you might be! I’m off to watch some Blackadder Goes Forth, Bertie and Wooster, and some Peaky Blinders to get into the flavour of things. Have a wonderful day!

 

Soviet Steel: 3D Printed BTR-70

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Great detail, low cost. Is this the way of the future?

When I needed to procure terrain for Zona Alfa, I looked at a great deal of Soviet armor on many websites. Some, like Empress Miniatures, offered beautiful sculpts with great detail, but it had one issue; price! I needed abandoned vehicles, not wrecks, but simply left to decay in the Zone after their crew disembarked and never returned for some reason or another.

While talking this over with a few of my fellows at https://badlypaintedminis.ca, one guy, Cody, offered to print me up a few. I was skeptical, as I thought the resulting model would look like trash. I had seen his own 3D prints before, and while frankly amazing, it was primarily bits for his 40k army to lend flavour, nothing on this scale. But, it was for terrain, so I decided I didn’t care if they didn’t turn out perfect; after all, I’d be covering the thing in rust, mud, moss, and other detritus.

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Damn, that looks good? What is this?

After a while, he sent me an in-progress picture, shown above. I was astonished, this looked considerably better then I imagined. Especially since we had decided to scale up a 15mm print to 28mm. The details, gun barrel, and vents especially, came out sharp and extremely detailed. Sure, it wouldn’t hold a candle to a dedicated 28mm model such as what Empress offers, but it was still incredible!

(for reference, this is the file we used: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4062110, go check it out! Thank you, Ollie1269! )

It took several weeks for Cody to make his way up from the City to come over to the Clubhouse, where we have a limit of ten people currently at a time. Finally, we did meet up, and I took possession of two great looking BTR-70’s!

They weren’t perfect of course, but honestly? They still looked far and away better then I thought. And the cost, as I had paid for the resin used as a courtesy, was minimal. I was looking at a much higher budget for one, and instead got two, with plenty of change to spare. Now the usual scale for Zona Alfa is roughly considered anywhere from 1/56th to 1/43rd for vehicles, so these are a little smaller then you might expect. But on the consumer-friendly printer Cody has, we couldn’t go much bigger!

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Here, shown in scale with three Lead Adventures miniatures. These BTR’s will look even better with my smaller Eureka sculpts. This is still a very reasonable size!

While Cody was in the City, I asked him to buy me a couple cans of Vallejo Spray, one color being Russian 4BO. I wanted to get these primed quickly to see how they would look, and I rushed to do so. After all, I had a game lined up for Zona Alfa and these would be far better then the Sherman hull I had used previously.

This color worked great! It filled in the very small print lines, and left models with a very smooth, almost store bought quality, finish. Suitably dressed up with some moss, and thrown unto a table, they turned our Citadel Realm of Battle table into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone quite effectively!

The game we played was fun, fast, and violent. As we are testing the waters and rules before going in deep for a campaign, this was a one-off game, and all sides were therefore incredibly reckless and trigger-happy, something I don’t anticipate will continue once we start for real.

All in all, we are quite happy with the game! One of us with an FDM printer is printing a full Soviet Bunker complex from Black Site Studios, a process he believes will take a couple weeks. https://blacksitestudio.com/bunker-16, if your curious. It’ll be a great set-piece for our final campaign excursion.

This whole thing has also convinced me to purchase my own Phrozen Sonic Mini, and quite luckily a supplier in Taiwan was having a screaming deal, and I managed to get it at a decent price. It arrives tomorrow! It’ll be a learning curve, but being able to print some terrain and bits for all my games will be nice. And tanks, a lot of tanks. Frankly an unneeded amount of tanks. So. Many. Tanks.

Of course, as you may see, there are three BTR’s in the above picture. Not everything goes perfectly each time when you print something. And the third BTR…well it suffered a bit of damage.

The nose of this BTR has warped and broken off a bit. Again though, this minor issue was easily overlooked for the purposes of making terrain, especially Zone terrain. Something clearly sliced through this with a massive claw, or it drove into a temporal anomaly. It’s easy to imagine a scenario where this could happen!

These miss-prints are sort of a learning error, and in this case it was because it was a new resin to Cody and he hadn’t worked out the kinks yet. His other two are practically perfect, for the purposes I’m using them for at least.

I’m quite excited to get my printer, learning mistakes be damned. I found quite a few Patreon’s, Zona Alfa related or otherwise, and I’ll be doing prints from them as soon as I can. You will still see lots of classic, metal miniatures on this blog, I simply love them too much.

But the times, they are a changin! I’m going to be trying this new part of the Hobby, with gusto! I really think this will disrupt the industry, in both good and bad ways, and with easily available, and affordable, 3D printers now commonplace, will we see the demise of certain parts of the hobby?

But, to leave you on a happy note, I will continue to document my progress in the Zone, fellow STALKERS. For now, Happy War-gaming, wherever you might be! Have a great day!