The Muster of the Loyal: Royalist and Reactionary Progress for VBCW!

Ready to fight for the Throne and Mosley!

WW1 British recruitment poster: PropagandaPosters
The Royalist Cause may very well re-use WW1 Recruitment Posters!

It’s been a long road on my VBCW journey. It has been slow but steady progress since the Lockdowns of last year started this “little” project. I still have some more to paint, but I’ve hit a watershed moment; I have more painted then unpainted models in the collection!

I started on some Territorial Army infantry earlier this week, and decided to try something I don’t usually do; batch painting! I hate doing it, and honestly I got pretty burnt out by the end of it, despite it only being 21 models. But after I got them mostly done today(the base rims need to be done!) I decided a parade was in order, to see what I got.

I was pleasantly surprised! The collection looks great massed on my spare table. I still need to build a sleepy English village to fight over, but I have many more models then I really need to play!

First up, lets look at the models I got done this week!

First up, a section of infantry! Most of these poses are repeats, so I’m focusing on the unique ones.
The Corporal keeps his section moving at a good pace! A great pose, a simple but effective one!
This soldier is lobbing a Mill’s bomb at the enemy, and has many more at his disposal in his sack.
The Lewis gun gives the section some serious firepower.
Next up was the another Section of infantry!
This corporal is looking ahead with his binoculars, planning the attack!
A pretty great pose this!
This soldier is throwing a stick grenade!
A lone Lewis gunner. I forgot to take a picture of the loader!

Next up, I did another Officer. I’m swimming in these, as I got both the Battalion command and regular, company level officers. I forget which pack this Officer belonged to, but he has a yet another great Woodbine Design pose!

“Can’t take down a Rebel trench without this!” Wielding his walking stick as a cudgel, this officer draws his pistol…probably a more lethal implement.
A lovely side profile. I’d follow this chap anywhere!
Requisite arm-band so he doesn’t get shot at by my own side!

Finally, I laid out all my painted models on my spare table! Lets see how the platoon(s) looks like all together!

Oh yeah! It’s all coming together. A solid 50 men, of which ten are Grenadier Guard’s on detached duty, and ten Indian Army regulars.
A Vickers Machine Gun and Vickers 6-ton are ready to support the Poor Bloody Infantry.
Watched over by King Edward himself, I have my officers and warrant officer.
Militia cavalry form on my right flank, ready to charge in!
A Vickers Medium MK2 and a Peerless Armoured Car, even more British Steel to bring the hurt on.
The Territorials make up the bulk of my fighting men.
My Rajputs and Grenadiers are tough, hardened troops. They’ll stiffen the line.

I also decided to bring out the BUF, and line them up as well. Unsavory allies they may be, but for now they are all fighting together.

Thirty BUF and their support. Useful idiots one and all.
These fanatical but unreliable troops give me a reserve force, just in case the Regulars can’t cut it.
Another Vickers Mk2 and a Cruiser tank give the Blackshirts some support.
A Vickers, because no platoon is complete without one it seems!
My Command section! A banner, a Lewis, and two Sergeants help to keep the boys in line.
A lesser officer and JFC Fuller himself!
A BUF Assault Section with Body Armour and Submachineguns, just what is needed to break a trench-line.

And finally, a complete army shot! It’s been a year of work to get this far.

Watch out Anglican League, we are coming for you!

All in all, I’m really chuffed with this whole force. I have some more to paint, namely a section of Territorials and the Grenadier’s second section and support elements. The addition of a Boy’s Anti-Tank rifle or two will not be amiss either…

Now that the UK is allowing travel from Canada again, I’m considering flying out to an event in the UK. I just need to wait and see if the Delta Variant doesn’t lock down either country again, and in any event I’d have to save up, and talk to the community to see if someone can’t show me around.

Either way, I have more then enough to play games, and to make a good showing in a larger game as well!

But that is all(!?) I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this project progress, and I’ll see you in the next one! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save the King!

Taking Hell Part Two: The 9th Roane Deepers!

The sons of Roane storm the beaches, starting with their Command Squad!

Rough and tumble, and tough as nails.

Ah yes! A Part Two. I actually got some progress on the 40k Gallipoli project. On Monday I recieved my Victoria Miniatures order. First up was the Tallarn, which I assembled a couple days ago.

But alongside the noble Desert Raiders, was three and a half squads of “Van Diemens World Devil’s”, Victoria Miniatures love letter to their homeland. Australian as all get out, with all the fixings. Slouch hats, big knifes, and big bush packs for carrying all that gear. As is, they make excellent jungle troops, a perfect alternative to Catachan Jungle Fighters if one wanted a less Vietnam and more Kokoda Track feel.

But, as I stated in the outline for this project, these men would become Roane Deepers. If you are reading this first and haven’t read the outline, the Roane Deepers are from Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series, a side-regiment known for lax discipline and a carefree attitude, but hard as nails on the defense and dogged on the attack. Mr. Abnett has described the Roane as influenced from the ANZAC’s of WW1 and WW2, and it was from here that I took a different route then some others. Many had done the Roane as a Western Front WW1 army, complete with Brodie Helmets. This is brilliant, and I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. But I decided on an altogether different angle…the debacle that was the Gallipoli Landings.

What that meant was no Brodies for starters, as I wanted Aussie “Slouch” Hats(Kiwis, don’t be offended. I’m looking for Lemon Squeezers and I asked Victoria Miniatures if they had any plans to do any!), and stripped down equipment. I would use GW Lasguns to give them a 40k feel, and paint their tucked in fatigues as blue undershirts, which are so common in depictions of Gallipoli.

But first, to assemble them. Lets see how that looked.

Before paint! The GW lasguns look out of place here; I like to think the paint helped with that.

First things first, I forgot to mention it the other day. Man, has Victoria Miniatures resin improved over the years. This stuff was absolute gold to work with. Any flash cleaned off really easily. There were a few mold lines/slips, but I missed a lot of those sadly until I saw them during painting. It is what it is, and minor enough to be forgiven here.

Unlike the Desert Scorpions, I had better luck giving these Roane Deepers their lasguns. It took a little finesse, but I got them looking mostly like they belong.

The first guy I assembled was actually the hardest; The Standard Bearer. I saw him as an older fellow, a recruit like the rest of them but with years of hard-bitten experience in the “Deeps” of Roane.
Next up was this guy! Great pose, but doesn’t give you much of a look at his face. This Lasgun looks alright though.
That being said, he looks a lot better from this side.
This guy is my favourite of the bunch; It’s a strong pose, and the Roane Deeper is smoking an Iho stick, giving him a real “devil may care” feel.
I was going to omit the backpack, but they really add a good look to the models. Not everything had to be exactly like Anzac Cove!
A simple pose. This Guardsmen advances with his lasgun fixed upon the enemy.
“You call that a Knoife? Now THIS is a Knoife.” One of my Clubhouse friends dubbed him Sergeant C. Dundee, almost immediately. This guy is actually going to be a Platoon Commander, but the name might stick….they have a tendency to do so unfortunately.
Absolutely festooned with pouches and gear, this Officer is ready to lead a charge up the gullies and bluffs of Space Gallipoli.

Now, I was on a bit of a roll, so I decided to toss some paint on them. Why these guys and not the Tallarn? Simple! I had English Uniform spray, and didn’t have a Tan spray. The Tallarn will wait till I have paint. In the meantime, the Roane will play!

I’m not the best painter, and I take a few shortcuts, the main one being that I prime the models the colour that they will have the most of. In this case, the brown fatigues.

The shirts I decided would be a light blue, which is excellent for contrast here. They certainly will pop on the battlefield!

Lets see how I cracked on!

First up was this guy! I kept the colours simple, as I have loads of these guys to do. I’m pretty happy with the colours!
A pretty glaring moldline there! Oops. But other then that, this is a good view of his pack and canteen. The Slouch hats were a delight to paint!
My favourite pose looks even better painted! I love the simple glow of his narcotic!
All the Roane carry their belongings with them, and carry a knife as well. The packs really set them off, and I’m glad I included them.
Definitely the most boring pose of the lot, but he looks functional.
The basing is simple, to evoke the sand of the landing beaches.

With the Guardsmen out of the way, lets take a peek at the Officer and Standard Bearer! There were a joy to paint, and I really enjoyed the challenge. I kept them simple; A Guardsmen is a Guardsmen, no matter how fancy.

First, the Platoon Commander!

“Charge!” The Officer urges his men to charge, knife in hand for the bloody close quarters business.
There was actually a pretty bad casting bubble in this torso, but my slapdash painting covered that up a bit. Honestly, its hard to notice when you play.
The big “Knoife” really adds to this character. He’s no gentleman, that’s for sure!

Now the hardest one…the Banner. Oh boy.

I won’t say he was easy, but he was far easier then I thought. Deciding the colours and pattern was the hard part, really.

I was going to make this a game of guessing, but I copied the colours of the Australian Defence Force Ensign. I left out the military crest, but kept the pattern and added a number, in this case, a 9. I feel that it makes for a simple, yet evocative banner.

There is some minor clean up work that I can do on the banner, but nothing too strenuous, and definitely good enough for tabletop use. The “9” was chosen as it was not affiliated with a current Roane Regiment.
The Regimental Standard may draw enemy fire, but it’s place at the front of the advance will get the men going!
An old man even before enlisting, this Standard Bearer brings steely nerves from years working in the deeps. A True Roane “Deeper”.

It was a fun days work! I have some more memory testing tomorrow, so this was a fun project before some not so fun mental gymnastics. These Roane weren’t overly hard to paint, and I can see a squad on them being done pretty quickly.

I have the other 30 left to build, and I need to order 30 more to make a competent list. But at least it has begun, and it is no longer just a project in my head.

I’ve done a lot of research into Gallipoli for this project, and enough so that I might collect a historical army for the period. I might not wargame it(that doesn’t seem like a particularly fun part of the war to fight with dice!), but I feel the itch to get some Gripping Beast metals.

Anyways, that is all I have for today. I hope you like it! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and have a great day!

The Line in the Sand: “Tallarn” Desert Raiders!

“Mankind has had ten-thousand years of experience at fighting and if we must fight, we have no excuse for not fighting well.”-Lawrence of Arabia

Looks like I have quite the bit of work to do!

Another day, another Regiment of the Imperial Guard. The Tallarn Desert Raiders are a classic Games Workshop regiment, from the distant year of 1994. They are almost as old as I am! They had a really distinct look, equal parts Bedouin tribesmen and British LRDG/SAS.

As a fan of the North Africa campaign of WW2, these guys always called out to me. And over time, GW had began to portray them as distinct Arab in theme, always nice to see in a sea of more European themed regiments, and something that also appealed to me.

Unfortunately their model line is also a product of 1994, being quite dated in appearance. It was a bit of a turn off when I was younger and could have bought them, and while that style appeals to me now, it is far too late to really acquire a full army of them.

Enter Victoria Miniatures. Based out of Adelaide in Australia(although now shipping from the USA), they make a line of “Regiments of the Galaxy’s Finest”, which are clear homages to the GW regiments of old. I’ve purchased from them in the past, as far back as when it was just a small bits shop run from Victoria Lambs own website. I’ve seen them go from Lead to Resin, and from Australia to the USA. My Roane Light Horse are from them, and while I didn’t go with a full army of them in the end, I do have quite a few Victorian Guard from them as well!

Last year, they brought out the Desert Scorpions, an amazing looking regiment with a distinct Tallarn influence. I was lacking funds when they came out, so I missed out on them at release.

Desert Scorpions 10 Man Squad
Well, that’s a Desert themed Guardsmen if I’ve ever seen one!
Desert Scorpions 10 Man Squad
And with some great looking sculpts, especially the heads!

When I decided to do my Gallipoli themed Guard Army, I also at the same time purchased 30 Desert Scorpions and 3 Missile Launcher teams to go with them. This had the benefit of leaving 6 men spare, as the missile launcher teams went into the squads. This lets me make Platoon Commanders and a Command Squad as well!

So I set up my station, and got to work.

Wash the resin, rinse it off, to get all the mold release off! This took time; 30 men took me all day!

I spent the better part of a day working at them. I did make the controversial move of using GW weapons; this was intentional, to tie the Desert Scorpions into the Warhammer 40k universe and to give my opponents a clear view of which weapon is which.

After about 6 hours I had some models to show off! I’ll admit, the GW weapons work better on some poses then others, and the Plasma and Melta guns are gigantic, and while they would be equally gigantic on GW bodies, they look even more so here. While I think a good paintjob will tie them in a bit better, I will admit they could look better. And they are very securely glued in, they are not coming out now!

Let’s start with the Sergeants!

Lots of pointing and Bolters facing upwards, but they still look pretty good!

The Sergeants turned out really well. I really liked the Bolters they came with, so I kept those. The heads are integral to the bodies, so I took care to pick bodies that would match the pose. My favourite is the Sergeant shielding his eyes from the sun.

Next up is the Vox-Caster operators.

Ready to receive orders!

These Guardsmen turned out pretty well! The GW Vox Units and Lasguns are large, but I like how cumbersome they look. The Kantreal Pattern Lasgun really sells them as Imperial Guardsmen, in my opinion at least!

Now for the most controversial models.

Wow! Those look heavy!

These Tallarn Guardsmen carry the squad special weapon. These weapons were scrounged from my bits box, and I do not know the original kit they are from. I did compare them to my Cadians armed with the same weapons, and they look just as big there!

The arms did not want to cooperate with the Plasma guns, and many glued fingers awaited me. The Meltagun oddly fit really well once I removed the stock from the arm, and lined up with the hand well.

Still, more then one person has expressed confusion as to why I picked them. Honestly, it is so my opponent won’t get confused, and and I do actually like the look of these iconic weapons too!

Next up we have the humble Lasman. Let’s see how they look!

Oh yeah, now those are some Raiders!

These Guardsmen were not particularly hard to put together, outside of some fiddling with the arms to get them to fit. Some fit better then others; while they all look pretty decent from the front, some definitely have some issues viewed from above or the side.

But, as I have said to some critics, I quite like the look of the Kantreal lasgun. I think a solid paint job will make them look right at home!

Now there are an awful lot of them, so I picked out the best to show you.

Ready to ambush any pesky Xeno or Heretic they might see!
The masked heads give them some definite protection from the sandstorms that could blow in at any moment.

Now for the real stars of the show! The Missile Launchers are really neat looking, and have a stripped down and portable look about them.

Portable and versatile, one cannot underestimate the humble Missile Launcher!

These Heavy Weapons will allow my squads to hurt targets much larger then themselves, as well as giving them a long range frag rocket for softer targets.

These I didn’t mess with too much; they looked really good as is!

The business end!
From this angle one can see the unique look to the Missile Launcher. It looks light and easy to carry, excellent for a Guardsmen on the go!
The detail on these models are incredible!

All in all, a good days work. Tomorrow I will get the Officers and Command Squad sorted! I did buy a banner pack so I can make a really nice Regimental Standard for these Tallarn to wave. I might start on the Roane Deepers tomorrow as well, but we’ll have to see!

I do intend to run 6 squads of Tallarn Desert Raiders for my list, so I will be ordering quite a few more from Victoria Miniatures on payday. I sold some spare Airsoft gear(which, with my health problems I might have trouble playing…) to help fund that.

The blog upgrade is looming as well. It is a decent chunk of change!

Anyways, I will be continuing progress on the Gallipoli project soon! Look for that in the coming days! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and مع السلامة!

Taking Hell: A Project Log, Part One!

A peek at my next, Anzac inspired project!

Landing at Gallipoli | New Zealand troops were part of the A… | Flickr
Kiwis and Aussies land at Anzac Cove, entering into a brutal, unremitting hell that lasted 8 months.

I’ve been on a Warhammer 40k kick recently, despite all the new drama surrounding the hobby. Having a chance to read the Sabbat War anthology book had given me the inspiration and motivation to work on my Imperial Guard(Astra Militarum, to you new players) forces again, and to play some more rousing games of 9th Edition Crusade. A friend of mine suggested we take two Guard armies against one another, fluffing the 25 Power Level starting games as ‘Military Exercises’ and then opening it up to everyone else once we hit 50 Power Level. An intriguing idea, with one very important caveat; It had to be a custom or lesser known regiment, using the custom regiment rules.

But what regiment could I do? I have a significant amount of Cadian troops that could easily be a custom regiment, but that wouldn’t be as exciting or new. All my other regiments are either big names or used to be, with loads of established lore. It had been many years since I had thought of doing something fresh. I had just sold some Airsoft equipment, and therefore had the funds to acquire something new. But what regiment?

The idea came, oddly enough, by listening to the song “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” one day. It wasn’t a song I hadn’t heard before, nor was it any special day for it. But my love of Australian and New Zealand military history made me think.

Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series introduced a regiment, the Roane Deepers, that he went on to say on his blogs were inspired by Anzac troops of both the Great War and the Second World War. They are often thrown into meatgrinder campaigns, used as cannon fodder by uncaring Guard commanders, doing the thankless and inglorious work while other regiments get the credit.

This is often depicted by other hobbyists doing the regiment as Western Front style trench warfare, with the ubiquitous British Brodie helmet and trench coats. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that approach. But the ‘thankless, inglorious work’ reminded me of a different WW1 campaign.

The ill-fated and tragic Gallipoli landings.

Gallipoli campaign | National Army Museum

There were three main inspirations for this army beyond the battle itself. Firstly, the beautiful and haunting soundtrack from Battlefield 1 for their Gallipoli missions. Secondly, many documentaries covering the campaign in detail. And thirdly, and most of all, the amazing Chunuk Bair diorama and artwork that Weta Workshop, Peter Jackson, and hundreds of painters around New Zealand did a few years back. 5000 figures in all!

ArtStation - Gallipoli: The Scale of our War - Chunuk Bair, WĒTĀ WORKSHOP  DESIGN STUDIO
The amazing Weta Workshop painting of Chunuk Bair by Gus Hunter. A major inspiration behind the project.
The vast 5000 figure collaborative diorama of Chunuk Bair, an amazing achievement for NZ hobbyists and a great and haunting piece of art.

So why do this in 40k, as opposed to 28mm Historical gaming? The simple answer is that I will be able to educate people about the battle more readily with a more popular system, and to both get some creative license on how to approach the subject matter…and that the original subject matter might make for incredibly depressing and boring gameplay. That, and if I’m completely honest, to have an excuse to paint some very different figures!

I was doing an order anyway from Victoria Miniatures, an Adelaide based company that does a great range of 28mm scale Sci Fi soldiers. Many of these are nods to older, out of print Games Workshop regiments, and that is what I intended to order, using the companies Desert Scorpion models to do a Tallarn list that I’ve been wanting to try.

But one regiment that she does has no real GW analogue(although they are often done as alternate Catachans), the Van Diemens World Devils. These models are clearly Australians, with the name a subtle nod, and the Slouch Hats a far less subtle one. I had in fact used the heads from that range for a Roane Lighthorse Rough Rider unit many years ago.

Van Diemen's World Devils 10 Man Squad.
The squad in question. That’s a serious Knife!

The uniforms are depicted in Jungle colours. But the tucked in shirt, suspenders, and cut of the uniform in general struck me as awfully easy to work into a Gallipoli style uniform. I’m thinking of painting the shirts light blue, and the trousers in English Uniform to get a close approximation of Anzac uniforms of the late Gallipoli campaign. The biggest glaring gap in my project is the lack of ‘Lemon Squeezer’ campaign hats worn by some of the Kiwis at Gallipoli. I hope to source a few of those before I do the next wave of miniatures! Otherwise, the slouch hat without the side folded up will suffice, as not every Kiwi wore the Lemon Squeezer in 1915, and it was only post Gallipoli that it was adopted across the board by the New Zealanders.

Van Diemen's World Devils 10 Man Squad.
A very simple uniform, and with some colour palette swaps, easy to get into theme.
Mustering the Troops: Painting guides
A example of the uniforms common to the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. Shouldn’t be too hard to replicate!

So to start, I’ve ordered three 10 man squads and one 5 man squad(to make a command section and a Company Commander out of) to start, and unlike so many of my projects I will start with this and finish them before buying more, unless it looks likely that I won’t be able to get more later.

This will be a thematic army, and the backstory of these poor Roane Deepers is that they will be attacking a key strategic Renegade position, located on the coast of a landmass I have yet to name. Protected by a powerful Void Shield network, Imperial Command must take it by seaborne landing craft, and to establish the beachhead the Roane Deepers have drawn the short straw. The terrain is unsuitable for armour, and the rocky coastline also prevents the use of most Imperial equipment that would make the attack any easier.

Therefore, the Guard has chosen an attrition approach, feeding in Roane Regiments piecemeal until they can either take their objective and disable the void shield network, or they decide such a position is untenable, and stop. Unfortunately for the Deepers, they have yet to decide to stop. Frontal attacks with little chance of victory are the norm.

Since this is in the end both a tribute to the Anzacs as well as a shoutout to a lesser known Imperial Guard regiment, it’ll be a careful balance of what is fun, what is realistic and thematic, and of staying a fictional homage to a real event. It’ll be tricky, but I’m hoping people will see the genuine interest I have in the subject, and that I’m not trying to either glorify or diminish the real event.

There will be more about the Roane Deepers when I get the models in the mail! For now, I will plan the project further, and get ready.

For both the fictional Roane Deepers and the very real Anzacs, Taking Hell will be a project I can see myself sinking a lot of time, effort, and money into. No half measures.

That is all I have for today, and I will have more in the near future! I hope you enjoyed this! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and have a great day!