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!

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