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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.