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.

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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.