Not even Justice, I want to get Truth! Dougram 3D Prints for Battletech and Beyond!

Fang of the Sun Dougram has given us many things, one of them being awesome Mecha designs!

Dougram Lance(+1) is go!

So firstly, I must apologize. I said I wouldn’t do 3D Printed Battletech on the blog, but this is a special case. Firstly, I own all but one of these Mechs in plastic, and they are either in my possession or on the way, so I don’t feel overly bad about these guys. I’ve still supported Catalyst Game Labs. And two, I was not motivated to print these designs because of Battletech specifically, rather the Anime the team at FASA licensed some of the designs from.

I’m not actually the biggest Anime fan. I watch a hell of a lot of Slice of Life stuff, that being mostly mindless brain bleach for when I need to get my mind off something, but mostly I tend to get turned off the melodramatic plots that so plague some of the more serious offerings.

An exception to this is Mecha anime. Whereas western Mecha productions tend to be cartoons aimed at kids, like Transformers, or an excuse for some amazing action, like Pacific Rim, the Japanese have taken an altogether different tack.

The Japanese tend to aim their Mecha shows at children and young adults as well, but they aren’t afraid to tell much more adult storylines. Gundam is actually a pretty brutal premise after all, and my first anime was Gundam Seed, which while very melodramatic, didn’t shy away from incredibly violent deaths and adult themes like genocide and extinction. However, Gundam tells very grand stories, about grand heroes.

The original, that launched an industry!
What I watched in High School. Appropriate, considering the plot was full of teenage drama.

I prefer, overall, more down to earth stories. It was recommended to me a while ago to try out Gundam 08th MS Team, a short-run offshoot that focused on the ground war. It is best described as Mobile Suit: Vietnam, with Romeo and Juliet added. While also excellent, and I highly recommend it, it still has the ‘super-weapon’ plot of many other Gundam shows. It did scratch my itch for realistic Mecha anime for a while however.

This is a fantastic Gundam series…but it remains Gundam, so expect all the pitfalls that entails.

That was until earlier this week, while on a Battletech lore binge, I discovered one of it’s influences, an anime called Fang of the Sun Dougram. While I knew Battletech pulled much of their early mech designs from the show, I didn’t know just how realistic the tale it told was. As Tv Tropes puts it, “unlike Mobile Suit Gundam, Dougram doesn’t threaten the characters with superweapons which might end civilization at a stroke; it threatens them with politics and economics instead, which, over enough time, will have the same effect.

Down to earth Mecha fans rejoice, for the perfect show for us does exist!

That was very interesting to me. And I’m glad I gave it a chance! While I have yet to complete it, it tells a very strong story of how independence movements and revolutions end; not in battle, but at the negotiation table. And it helps that the action is very much a ground war. Gone are Mobile Suits flying in the air in dogfights, these ‘Combat Armor’ Mecha fight slow, plodding fights on the ground, where the most you have is jump-jets to maneuver vertically. Ground vehicles and infantry kill Combat Armor regularly, and the hero mecha, the Dougram, is simply better armoured and adapted for the local environment, and were it not for the skill of the pilot, Crinn, it would be just as easily destroyed.

A good example of how the show has down to earth fights! Very Battletech already!

Now, how does that lead into Battletech Tabletop? Well, while I was waiting for my plastic Mechs to arrive from Quebec, I found online some amazing Dougram Mecha in 6mm. While designed for use in Battletech, and equipped accordingly, they take their inspiration from the original source material. These designs were called the Unseen, because of all the legal trouble FASA had when it turned out the place they licensed the designs from may not have had the legal right to do so in the first place. To avoid any further litigation, these designs were shelved until redesigned much later.

What Thunderhead Studios has done is re-invent these older designs, and brought them up to a modern standard. While definitely old school, they are as crisply defined as a 3D printer can do, and look frankly amazing. I was completely smitten as soon as I started printing them! While I was a bit of a muppet removing the supports, and leaving an awful lot of damage on the models, most will be able to be fixed later. For now, let’s take a look at them!

First up, the Soltic H8 “Roundfacer”, or in Battletech, the Griffin. This is the Earth Federation’s standard Combat Armor, and sees use right until the end of hostilities. A beautifully crisp print, and probably the easiest one to print to boot!
The big bubble cockpit is my favourite feature, as is the main armament. A simple Mech, for when you don’t need the elite.
Next up is the Abitate T-10C “Blockhead”, or Wolverine for Battletech fans. This is the Earth Federations other mainline Combat Armor, once they get field-tested enough.
The only Battletech specific thing on this model is the removal of the pretty goofy chin machine guns in the Anime, being replaced by a medium laser. The rest is an extremely faithful reproduction!
The Autocannon is beautifully crisp, and the side-mounted handle is present, but stowed.
Next up is the Soltic H-102 “Bushman”, the only Combat Armor not to have a Battletech equivalent. Meant for mountainous terrain, this unit is lightly equipped and agile. Head mounted missiles and a mag-cannon give it some offensive punch. This print was a good example of why you should clean your FEP, as my printer had gunk on it that severely affected the bottom parts of the legs. I had to take a file and knife to clean it up, and it wasn’t a perfectly done job.
Next up is the famous Hero combat armor, the Dougram itself! In Battletech this is the Shadowhawk, a relatively common design. But in the Anime, the Dougram is a one-off prototype, specially made for the Deloyer environment. Amphibious, equipped with jump jets, and armed with a fearsome array of weapons, this is a combat armor that can really do the work!
This pose is great, a callback to the anime, where Dougram has to pull down the Linear Rifle from his back to fire it. Beautifully captured by the designer, this was a joy to print.
The fearsome Linear Rifle is but an AC/5 in Battletech, but is more akin to a Gauss Rifle in the Anime.
I have saved my favourite for last. This is the Hasty F4X “Ironfoot”, a combat armor originally fielded by the Earth Federation but became a mainstay of the Deloyer rebellion when an entire Army Group switches sides. In Battletech this is the Thunderbolt, but the designer saw fit to include the Dougram specific version, which is what I printed here.
Armed with powerful missiles, a linear rifle, and machine-guns, this is a well rounded Combat Armor. This one is also ‘flipping the bird’, which amuses me because I’m secretly a five year old.
This print actually has some missed supports, but they printed regardless, if poorly. Luckily they were all minor parts, and easily missed. Still, I have fixed the supports for it going forward if I want more of them.

All in all, a solid day’s worth of printing. I really enjoyed doing these, and I really want to get some paint to spray them all up. I used up my Grey, Russian Uniform, and Red spray cans, which leaves some German Field Grey and Silver. I’m probably going to hold out for another can of green coloured spray paint, as I want these guys to have a very down to earth, military paint scheme.

My 3D printing might have to take a hiatus soon, as my resin stocks are running low, and there is no stock available of Elegoo Grey resin available. I might switch to Phrozen Aqua Green, which has the advantage of being calibrated for my printer already. We shall see!

Anyways, that is all I have for you fine folks today. I’ll try and get these, and my official mechs, painted as soon as possible. Then I can show them off!

Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and keep your heat low!

Kettle Helms and Grit: Feudal Guardsmen for 40k!

Not every planet produces Guardsmen quite the same…

Cadians may be the standard, but almost every planet pays a tithe of men. Feudal Worlds are no exception!

It is a good time to be an Imperial Guard player, at least from a modelling perspective. While Games Workshops offerings may be limited compared to yesteryear, there has never been such a proliferation of 3rd party parts and kits to build exactly the kind of Imperial Guard Regiment you want. Wargames Atlantic, Victoria Miniatures, Anvil Industries. All are options(not necessarily cheaper though!) for adding a bit of the custom touch to ‘Your Dudes’.

3D printing is possibly the best option available, and with pre-supported models and bitz now commonplace it isn’t even a difficult task. It is also considerably cheaper; one can print the parts at home, saving on shipping and giving you immediate gratification to boot. I personally haven’t delved too deeply into printed Regiments as much as I could have, due to my love of the metal Regiments Games Workshop used to put out, especially the Praetorians and Vostroyans. However, The Makers Cult, a Patreon and Cgtrader store, offer one of my favourite options. While they make a ‘not Krieg’ regiment that looks amazing, it is their Feudal Guard that got my attention.

A picture from the 3rd Edition 40k rulebook. The only mainline 40k product to show us a Feudal World to my knowledge!

The Imperium of Man is a diverse empire, and within its borders lie worlds of every conceivable type. One of these is the Feudal World, a type of planet that usually but not always is locked technologically in the Middle Ages. These planets often offer some sort of resource that doesn’t require more advanced technology to harvest, and the Imperium is loathe to waste resources bringing them up to space-faring status when it doesn’t actually make the job any easier.

Often, these planets are easier to rule in their backwater state then many other planets, and their feudal hierarchy perfectly meshes with the Imperium as a whole. The Emperor is seen as a distant but powerful monarch, with the feudal lords owing their fealty to him. Sometimes a King or other titled ruler will act as the go-between of the people and the Imperial Governor, but this is not always the case. In any event, due to these planets generally having a smaller population, their tithe is mostly resource based and not manpower.

However, it is not unheard of for the Imperial Guard to raise regiments from such worlds. These recruits are in for a rude shock upon learning just how vast and unforgiving the galaxy is, and often require a bit of extra training and time to get into fighting trim. Such a Regiment might look like medieval soldiers given primitive and easy to use Lasguns or Laslocks to go with their plate armour and tabards. This is a really striking and distinctive look, and one many a hobbyist has tried to tackle. Historical kits, Warhammer Fantasy models (particularly Bretonnians) and such are kit-bashed with the good ole Cadian kit. The results can vary from amazing to mediocre, but the famous Dave Taylor Genswick 33rd are probably the best example of it being done extremely well.

The Makers Cult Feudal Guard range has both heavily armoured, plate mail encased soldiers, and more recently men with a more peasant appearance. It was these latter troops I was very keen on. I learned quickly that my original idea to use spare Cadian lasgun arms wasn’t going to work, as the models just don’t quite match up. However, the laser rifles provided with the kit grew on me, and I like to think of them as primitive and easy to use Lasguns provided to the regiment.

Just what I always imagined Feudal Guard to look like!

The ‘Kettle Helms’ were what tipped me over the edge into printing a set of these soldiers. The Militia kit looks like just the kind of levy that might be conscripted from a Feudal World, with the more heavily armoured men perhaps being from a different class or caste, and therefore in a command position. The parts were all pre-supported, and I was keen to get cracking on so I loaded up a build plate or three and got my two printers going.

Here are the bodies in Chitubox. As you can see, these are multi-part models. With three build plates to produce 9 Guardsmen with full equipment it certainly took some time to print!

Being multi-part, it was a time consuming project. But around evening I had all the parts ready to go. The quality was excellent, with lots of deep relief and crisply defined detail. The paint will go on tommorow, but we can take a peek at the models before I paint them!

The first 4. These were fiddly to put together, and my fingers have a nice coating of superglue.
4 more! The sculpts really look quite good, and while being more semi-truescale compared to the Cadian line of models, this is actually an improvement. Primaris Marines will dwarf these guys, as they should!
Lets take a closer look. The lasguns are very arquebus in appearance, with a top-loading energy cell. Perhaps the function of these lasguns is supposed to be similar to ease training? That’s the excuse I’m using!
The backpack sits on a square nub on the torso, and lacks any straps. Perhaps the armour underneath the tunic holds it on? Either way, it is a nice looking backpack.
While being multipart, the parts line up quite well with only a few gaps. I must say I really enjoy the sculpts on these guys.

I have saved the Plasma gunner for last. This model was particularly fun to work on, with a really dramatic pose full of energy. The cable broke off when I was removing the supports during cleanup, but it was an easy fix.

This unlucky peasant seems to have drawn Plasma duty. The brutal and simple design of the plasma gun gives it a unique look and fits the bill of being a simpler and easier pattern given to Feudal Guardsmen.
The plasma gun has a bespoke backpack just for this weapon, and it looks great. Getting the model to stand on one foot was a ‘fun’ challenge.
Something the fully plate-armoured soldiers lack is visible faces, something these helmets allow. They have some great character, and add a lot to these models.

Now this was a project I really shouldn’t have started. I have loads of projects on the go, but being stuck at home combined with my hobby ADHD means I couldn’t resist. I needed to use the resin in the vat of my printer as well, so while these models didn’t use much resin at least it helped keep it ‘ready’ for other prints. I have had resin go unusable on me before, so I try to print at the very minimum of once a week.

These are cheap models to print, and now that I know the workflow I might print up a lot of them! I needed another regiment like I needed a hole in the head, but sometimes you just can’t resist the pull of a cool idea.

For now, I’ll print them 9 at a time and paint them as I go. That way I don’t have to stare down a pile of unpainted models, which can be discouraging. You’ll notice I said 9, not 10. That is because the Sergeants are going to be kitbashed from the rest of the Feudal Guard range and I have yet to purchase all the needed sets to do so. But lets take a peek at the plan for them!

I originally purchased this set to make my Feudal Guard, but had a rethink when I saw the Militia kit. I’m thinking of using the tabarded models at the bottom…
…Combined with the Sergeant upgrade kit. The Kettle Helms with feathers are what I am after. No capes!

I’m keen to see how these models paint up, and I will share progress of that when I do so!

Now, it would be remiss to say that Games Workshop hasn’t also finally thrown Guard players a bone or two officially. They have announced a new Cadian upgrade frame with plenty of heads, special weapons, and more importantly for me, a bolter for the Sergeant. Like many other Guard players I started with Cadian models and such a frame fills me with a little bit of glee as I think about overhauling my older models.

And that is without talking about the new Tanith models! I’m super excited for these new Ghost models, even though I own a full set of the old Metal Gaunts Ghosts.

Men of Tanith, do you want to empty your wallets?

All in all, a fun day of 40k flavoured printing! My Feudal Guard need a name and backstory, and I’ll be back with painted models and lore to boot! But until then, Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and Forwards! For the Emperor!

Might of the Royalists: Grenadier Guards, Part Two!

“Proper Bloody Guardsmen!”

A section of the King’s Finest, ready to fight!

I decided a little while ago to take a tiny break from VBCW and get some other stuff painted. I had gotten tired of painting uniforms, and as I’m playing the Government aligned forces there were a lot of them! After a short trip to Middle Earth, I’m back with some Grenadier Guard goodness!

In my last post about these guys, I had just assembled them. I did paint one and show them off on the Facebook group, but that is where I stopped. If you didn’t see my last post on them, a quick summary; I got the heads done for me as a private commission(a free one, as it turned out, thanks to the generosity of my friend who made them), and I slapped them onto some Warlord Games BEF models.

I have a bunch of them, enough to field a sizable force given the scope of the game. But, they will more likely see the field in sections at a time, as the Grenadier Guards are a particularly strong unit with modern equipment for the era, and would mostly likely be split up to ‘stiffen’ up other units. This first section will slot in nicely with my already completed Royalists until the rest of the Guardsmen are completed.

Lets have a look, shall we?

The NCO. This is a photo some people have seen before, but for sake of completeness I have included him here. A nice model wearing a leather jerkin underneath his webbing.
The face detail on the 3D print isn’t that great, a fault of my printing not the file. But its the price I pay for having simply epic hats!
Lots of detail on his webbing. Pattern 37 webbing is rare in VBCW, but a unit like the Grenadier Guards would be among those wearing it.

Now, the NCO has been seen on the internet before…so lets move on to the Bren Gun team!

It’s not too clear, but he’s carrying a Bren gun magazine in his hand. A simple running pose, to keep up with the rest of the section.
Still, simple doesn’t mean boring. Lots of neat detail here. The SMLEs on these models have been my favourite to work on in 28mm so far!
His pack is chock full of detail as well!
Dakka Dakka Dakka! Wait, wrong game! Still, there is just something about a machinegun being hipfired…
More detail on the back, and I do love the little enamel tea-cup!
Walking fire toward the enemy barricades, this Guardsmen doesn’t mess around.

Now onto the normal Riflemen! These are the unsung heroes of any army list, putting down effective rifle fire and doing the most of the work.

A little(a lot) blurry. But this kneeling riflemen does the job. Nothing too fancy…short of his enormous hat!
The hint of an armband adds the obvious affiliation to these units…although with the hat is it really needed?
Another enamel mug!
A Guardsmen lobbing a Mills Bomb someplace!
The enamel mug strikes again!
Some of these heads don’t work quite as well…but that is the cost of having a unique unit!
I must say I like the 303. rounds in a bandolier on some of these guys, a great character detail!
Another Guardsmen closing in for bayonet-fightin! A good view of the face; nothing to write home about but considering most of it is covering the eyes…
The ever-present armband. Don’t leave home without one!
I love these SMLEs! So much chunky detail that takes the paint wonderfully.
Probably my favourite! Some bayonets with guts behind it will carry the day, anyday!
Even the cameraman was afraid to take this photo…at least that’s my excuse for blurriness!
The enamel mug strikes again! Tea time? In my VBCW? It’s more likely then you think!

Since two poses are repeated, I left those out. I had a great time painting this section. Nothing too difficult, and a nice days relaxing painting. The bearskins will certainly draw my opponents eye when I play them! As I play using the Bolt Action ruleset primarily, these guys will ranked as Regular(no Veterans in our VBCW!) but will feature a variation of ‘tiger fear’ as the enemy gets spooked by their presence enough that they focus too much on them. Mind you, only solid playtesting with my friend will iron out the kinks in the unit…it very well might be too powerful!

I was recently given a copy of the ‘Went The Day Well’ ruleset, a classic in the Very British Civil War community. I do wonder how my friend Ty and I will get on once we try them, and how our rather more military forces will play out. As we both play ‘Government’ style forces, Bolt Action seemed like an easier fit…but the Went The Day Well ruleset looks flavourful and fun, and is actually meant for the setting entirely…now just to print up a copy of the random event decks!

I do have a lot of civilian models to paint up, and a whole wack of Socialists to do as well. I just got an order of paint so that’ll be in the works shortly!

But for today, that is all I got. I hope you enjoyed the Grenadier Guard, and more of them will follow when…well I feel like it! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save the King!

Huzzah! The Grenadier Guards for VBCW Part One!

But of all the world’s brave heroes, there’s none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.

They look so plain, without their signature headgear. Lets fix that!

When I first introduced VBCW content to my blog, I mentioned that I wanted to do Grenadier Guards in full combat kit but with their distinct headgear on. Of course, that turned out to be a much harder task to accomplish then I could have imagined. A years worth of searching turned up nothing that would work to my exacting standards.

It was in the course of printing some stuff for a friend that I realized this same friend was a 3D designer, and I asked him nicely if he could make some Grenadier Guard hats for me in exchange. He agreed readily, and was willing to waive any commission fee as a “I really want to help your project” sorta deal. Here is what he knocked up for me!

Oh yeah, the plan is coming together.

Now I wanted them to go on bodies that would suit what I wanted to use the Grenadier Guards for, which was heavy line-breaking infantry. They also have the newest gear, including Bren Guns, and are wearing the dumpy Battledress uniform that many, especially Guardsmen, hated, to the extend that one Guards Major went on record as saying “I don’t mind dying for my country but I’m not going to die dressed like a third-rate chauffeur!” in the Second World War.

This contrast between Dress Uniform pomp and combat equipped, well drilled soldiers, was what I wanted to show. These guys are trained and drilled to the highest extent of the Interwar British Army, and they had to look it. I as such used Warlord Games British Expeditionary Force as the base model.

Great looking models! And this is a great box to get a lot at once!

These are excellent models in their own right, and come with loads of head options. Which I proceeded to toss directly into my bits box. My printers produced me a nice tub of heads to work with, and I got cracking. This wasn’t easy; The head joins on these models are slightly different then the test model the file was designed for, so careful trimming and sanding was needed to fit them. The superglue I use fills gaps pretty well, so I’m hoping that is enough to make them ‘look convincing’

The idea behind these models is that they started the VBCW quite practically, ditching their bearskins for steel helmets except on special occasions. While on ceremonial duty guarding one Lord Cirenchester, they were attacked by a force of Socialist militia. With no time to switch back into more practical headgear before being overrun, the Grenadier Guards went into the fray in full battle kit but with Bearskins on. The Socialists, with a shout of “Bloody hell its the Grenadier Guard!”, broke and ran instead of giving battle.

The lesson was learned. Against militias and non-regular armed forces, the morale shock of fighting one of the feared Guard Regiments has made the practice of wearing the hats a field expedient tactic to break poor quality militias. And if the foe doesn’t break, the full force of modern warfare can be leveraged against them, proving that they are not just Palace Guard but well trained, modern soldiers.

Lets have a look at what I got done!

Section leader for the 1st Section. This Guardsmen has the standard issue rifle alongside standard issue ‘NCO pointing arms’
An Officer in the Guards. His Webley drawn as he walks, not runs, towards the foe.
An average, if that word can even be applied here, Guardsmen with his SMLE.
They don’t like it up em! This Guardsmen is ready for some close-in action.
Fix Bayonets! This Guardsmen is looking over the field, bayonet ready for the bloody task at hand.
Sometimes the job just calls for good, aimed, rifle fire.
Yet another bayonet charging Guardsmen. My kind of man!
Sometimes enemy tanks will make themselves known, and out comes the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle.
A Bren gun ready to lay down supporting fire.
And here, with his loader.
That hat looks heavy…
Vickers crew ready to lay down accurate, precise, and deadly fusillades.
And the whole force. An elite force…we shall see how Harrington On Sea does repelling their attacks!

All in all, a really fun nights work. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will spray a few with English Uniform spray, and get a head-start on this cool looking force!

That is all I have for now, but there will be more tomorrow. Happy War-gaming, wherever you are, and God Save the King!

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!

A ‘Self Portrait’ in Miniature: 3D printing myself for VBCW!

Heroforge ain’t just for D&D!

Here I am, or at least a decent facsimile of me in the 1930’s! I’m quite chuffed with this!

Sometimes I plan for days what I am going to write for this blog of mine, and sometimes ideas or inspiration strikes and I just go for it, and today was very much the latter.

I have played around with Heroforge quite a bit, but never ordered any. I was never quite pleased with how the bases were integral, or that it was a primarily ‘fantasy’ oriented tool. However, earlier this year, I had noticed a rather nice addition: modern weapons! With an accompanying amount of modern clothing to go with it, I played around with making a couple Zona Alfa characters….but I got distracted with other things and never quite pulled the trigger.

Someone on the VBCW Facebook page had made a Socialist banner bearer for her VBCW project using Heroforge however, which piqued my interest, as I had never considered using the program for such a purpose. In hindsight it appears rather obvious, as there is a lot of ‘Pulp’ options in the program now that really suit the Interwar period.

So, I had another go this morning. I had nothing else to do; my foot is healing rather slowly after my surgery so I’m mostly stuck in bed, with limited mobility. I hit upon a rather silly idea…what if I made myself? After fiddling with the options for a good couple hours, and figuring out how to make myself a little more round around the middle(I’m definitely no Conan the Barbarian, which seems to be the default setting!) I was pretty set! I had a couple things I wanted for sure: A Thompson submachinegun, a tobacco pipe, and a Mk1 ‘Brodie’ helmet, and civilian clothing.

After another hour, I had this!

A nice static pose. I like to imagine I’m taking a nice smoke break after a skirmish.

I had to sacrifice one thing: no glasses! Glasses on miniature models can look dodgy, and 3D printing is no exception. So I left them off. I’ll be sure to give myself a -1 to hit penalty for nearsightedness!

Of course, this was just the start. You can choose to print without a base now, and I took that option, as none of the Heroforge models I have been asked to print with the bases have ever turned out alright. After purchasing the STL, I had to wait about 15 minutes, but the then the file was ready for me. A few minutes supporting it in Chitubox and I slapped it on my printer. Two and a half hours later I had this!

Not too shabby! Supports came off nicely, but some cleanup was required.
The pipe, probably the most important part, came out pretty good! My face came out as alright as my printer will get it, until I get a 4K printer!
I scaled down the model in Chitubox; I managed to get pretty close, and I’m happy with the scale.

Of course, at this point my foot was really starting to ache, but I found a way to elevate it at my painting desk, which I didn’t think was possible. I hobbled outside and sprayed the model with an undercoat, and decided to paint it! After all, it was better then sitting around in bed even more!

After about an hour or so, I was done! Lets have a look shall we?

Not looking too bad! The Brodie helmet seems to make taking pictures of the face an absolute pain in the rear however!
The white shirt took a few coats, but I got there in the end. The rest of the colours went on super easily, and the detail from Heroforge popped quite well!
Normally I try to keep my fingers out of photos, but I couldn’t help it if I wanted to show off the facial detail. While I can’t paint faces worth a damn, the jaunty expression and round face came out quite well!
The best part about 3D printing miniatures is I can totally print another when I learn to do faces better. As it stands, I’m pleased as punch the goofy expression I put on my face came through!
The Thompson is definitely heroic scale, but the detail therefore popped quite nicely. The pipe coming out at all was great! A nice touch is I wear my watch on the wrong arm, and I was able to reflect that little detail in the model!
The Red armband gives away that I made myself a Socialist! The start of many more to come, I assure you.

As another fun detail, I did the armband Red instead of my usual Royalist white with blue stripe. This is actually the first of my hopefully many Socialist models for VBCW. If I had been around in the 1930’s I definitely would have gotten caught up in the whole volunteering for the International Brigades thing. My character for VBCW will reflect that, being a veteran of the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion, a Canadian contingent of the International Brigades. More on that in another blog post!

I had an absolute blast making this model from online builder to print to paint! The wonders of the modern age indeed! I got so caught up making characters I made my friend for VBCW as well.

My buddies potential model. He’s got a whole 1930’s John Wick thing going on.

It is absolutely crazy to think that this whole thing is possible these days, and I must admit while I’m definitely a fan of the older school metal models, there is something to this whole 3D design thing that almost makes up for it. While the rest of my Socialists will be plastic or metal, at least their glorious leader(humble too!) will be from the new wave of 3D printing.

Anyways, that is all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this pretty radical departure from my normal content, and didn’t overly mind my narcissism! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and No Pasaran!

Reinforcements from Empire: Indians in Very British Civil War!

India sends some of her finest!

Brave veterans of the Afghan frontier, these men from Empire bring both courage and skill to a nation at war with itself….although the Vickers 6-Ton certainly doesn’t hurt either!

A while back, I posted a little conversion I made. Some Rajput infantry made from leftover parts. It was a happy accident; by adding four men into each section of Territorials, the spare riflemen started to really add up. Given that they had separate heads, and that I had tons of British 8th Army sprues from Warlord Games lying around with the appropriate heads, it took no time whatsoever to get them assembled.

Getting them painted was a different story entirely. I had a lot of other projects on the go, and so they were shoved in a drawer until they could be given the time needed to do them properly.

Work has been keeping me busy, but I decided to get some painting done today, and I was resolved to get some VBCW troops done! There has been a lot of very inspiring work on the Facebook page lately, and I really wanted to ‘do my bit’. I also had a Vickers 6-Ton lying around, so I went for a double whammy.

With all that rambling out of the way, lets have a look at what I got done!

I didn’t get all 10 done. I simply didn’t have it in me today. But 5 will suffice, another day will see the section complete!

Adding Indians into Very British Civil War was a bit of a departure from my normal Royalist and Fascist troops. I wanted to add some Colonial flavour, and while it would be incredibly controversial at the time for King Edward to involve Indian troops in the civil war, I could see him doing it. They offer veteran troops, ones involved in putting down rebellions and border skirmishes, the very kind of Counter-Insurgency troops the King could really use on the Home Isles.

Another hobbyist on the Very British Civil War Facebook page had brought in some Sikh troops, and I wanted to be distinct. My Rajputs offer a slightly different turban shape and lack of beards to the usual Indian troops one might see. I went with Navy blue turbans, a slight nod to the armband stripe that all my Royalist troops wear.

Adding the Indians was a personal touch of my own oft-neglected heritage. My family comes from Anglo-Indian background, and I often forget that, favouring(Not intentionally!) my English background over my Pakistani/Indian background. Bringing in some soldiers who actually look like me was surprisingly a really fun project, and the research I did helped me learn more about my own lineage.

Painted mostly the same as my Territorial Army units, these British Indian Army units were nonetheless a nice break from my usual 40k painting shenanigans.
I choose for them mostly running poses, bayonets fixed. They will be using distinct rules on my table to make them more fearsome up-close. The locals don’t like it up em!
One cannot forget the Armbands! Even if these soldiers from Empire will not be mistaken as often for the foe in combat, redundancy doesn’t hurt here!
Charge!

On a different note, I also got a tank done up. While the tank itself is not from the British Indian Army, it also has an interesting story behind it.

The Vickers 6-Ton was not adopted by the British Army, and Vickers produced it mostly for export, where in our timeline it was a success, if a bit outdated by WW2. The Soviets copied the tank almost wholesale, and the Polish and Finnish made good use of the Vickers in their wars.

In the VBCW timeline I’m making an assumption that the export orders were seized, as every armoured vehicle suddenly became a hot commodity. Those taken by Royalists or Fascists were turned over to Territorial units and formed into Ad-hoc Tank Squadrons, crewed by whomever they could find. This Vickers is one such example.

Lightly washed and probably over-weathered! Still, I’m happy with it! The Royalist icon on the side helps to identify the tank in combat.
This vehicle is labeled #1. But I have yet to decide what that means!
Imagine my surprise when I found out the running gear was usually painted the same colour as the rest of the tank! Boring, but simple and effective.

All in all, nothing too fancy. But still, an honest days work. I’m still really happy with them! I may be distracted by all the big-name projects like Star Wars Legion and 40k, but I’m still enamored with the VBCW setting. There is just so much potential to tell your own story!

I plan on getting the other five Rajputs done soon, and then its back to regular old Territorials and Fascist thugs. But that is all I have for today! If you liked what you saw feel free to leave me a comment, I love talking about all this stuff! In the meantime, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save King Edward!

A Tale of Two Empires: A Little Something for Legion and 40k!

For the Emperor(s)!

“Today, the Rebellion Dies”

I really, really wanted to have some Valentine tanks painted for today. But as I didn’t have tan primer, some 40k and Legion models will have to suffice! I’ve gotten back into the painting game a bit, despite my shaky hands. I really want to put even a little dent into my ever-growing backlog.

I started with something special. A while back, I made a post about painting a Praetorian Guard Warhammer 40k army. While I let that project slip from my schedule, I decided to paint another test mini. My problem with the first was time; it simply took far too long per Guardsman to be viable. for me at least!

Swish, but you took 2 hours to paint!

This is my older test mini, done when I had hands that weren’t fighting me constantly. Its rather good, and the grey is unique among Praetorian Guard armies I have seen. But it simply takes too long to do, and might even be impossible given my tremors situation.

His replacement! In classic colours, I must admit I like it a teensy bit better.
I even managed to do the helmet strap!
The two models side by side.
And from the back. The yellow lace is so classic that it’ll stay no matter which paint scheme I stick with!
Not a bad bit of painting.

The new Guardsmen is painted in Classic Praetorian Guard colours, navy paints and simple tunics. He was much faster to paint, and importantly, still doable! I might end up going with a compromise. Grey facings and turnbacks but yellow lace and simple tunics. Let me know your thoughts!

Next up was a Terminator with a Banner. This was a daunting model to paint, and I must admit I messed up royally in parts, which is even worse given the rarity of the model! I don’t think its beyond salvageable however, and it still looks a decent tabletop standard mini.

The actual terminator went fairly well, it was the banner that caused me the worst issues. White paint that refused to cooperate no matter how much I thinned it, and shaky hands to make the detail nearly impossible!
As a Terminator of the Black Templars, he is a member of the Sword Brethren. This meant a red cross, and theoretically, a white helmet. I kept the red cross but omitted on purpose the helmet, given that white had been such an issue on the banner that turned out for the best!
An all over drybrush of Eshin Grey and Dawnstone was the basis of the armour, thoroughly soaked in Nuln Oil afterwards to darken it back up. The Fist I particularly like, and this Templar may have fought with the Crimson Fists in the past. Sons of Dorn stick together!
Ugh….the Banner. It would be alright if it wasn’t so chunky. Still, it looks OKAY enough for gaming. I just wish my white paint and shaky hands had not gotten in the way. Decals saved me from any major free-hand work. What is the V mean for this banner? Its a roman numeral for sure but I’m not sure for what yet!

Next up, something totally different. Watching a few Star Wars Legion Battle Reports really got my creative juices flowing, and with an unbuilt Iden Versio lying on my ‘to finish’ pile, I got right to work. Just like my previous Imperial Special Forces, I use the same recipe from my Black Templars and drybrush the highlights then dull down with washes.

Major difference here was red piping on the uniform and helmet. I need decals to properly make the helmet ‘pop’ but at least Iden clearly reads as something different then my blue striped ISF. I picked the helmet on purpose, as I want my Imperial Special Forces and Empire army in general to have helmets wherever possible. Its uniform regulations, what are we, rebel scum?

I went with the E11 Blaster. She can take a sniper rifle or repeating blaster, but I’ll let cards do the work here. Additionally, this leaves her hand free to do commander things!
Honestly, I find ISF and Inferno Squad easy to make look good. This was simply dry brushing and red striping to get done quickly. I have another box on its way to me, and I’ll be able to fill up my Special Forces slots with them, a nasty, and easy to paint, army!
The detail is crisp, and somebody more inclined then me can probably make them pop really well. That being said, the dry brush was effective.
Iden’s little droid was simple and easy, but has good effects on the table and I’m keen to put ‘Dio’ to work.

Finally, a 3D printed model. I really want my Empire army to evoke the ‘Battle of Mimban’ as depicted in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and I got from Skullforge Studios (I’ll include a link down below) their ‘Grunge Trooper’ set. These are Imperial Army troopers in wet weather gear, and are known by many names, ‘Mudtroopers’ and ‘Swamp Troopers’.

They actually aren’t Stormtroopers (Stormtroopers make an appearance during the Mimban battle and trench scenes, and are notable for being considered elite during when Solo is set.) Being part of the Imperial Army, they were eventually fully integrated into the Stormtrooper Corp much later, closer to the Original Trilogy timeline. But for now, they form the bulk of the Empire’s forces on Mimban, and are sent to die in massive human wave tactics. In old Legends canon they never got amalgamated, and continued in service until the end of the ‘Palpatine’ Empire. Imperial Army troopers do not currently have rules. My idea is to run them either as custom, hand-made units similar in strength to Rebel Troopers but with worse morale, or as simply Stormtroopers without Precise.

A simple uniform, and I was able to further make use of my random can of German Field Grey to get the basic colours on. I went extremely overboard with the mud details; I love filthy models! This model I believe is supposed to represent Han Solo as he was in the Imperial Army.
Corporal Han Solo is having a bad day. His cloak is completely covered in crud.
These miniatures should prove easy to paint, and Cpl.Han Solo here took no time whatsoever to get done.
The only flying he gets to do on Mimban is from explosions.

All in all, a good busy few days. I’m expecting to go back to work soon as Lockdown nears its end in Ontario. I’m looking forward to being back out there but I’ll miss the sheer amount of hobby time I got to do!

My plans right now are to get my Legion army finished, as it really isn’t that many models left, then get my 40k Praetorians ready for a ‘Glazers Creek’ refight I have planned in the summer. On top of my Flames of War and Team Yankee. Oh, and my Very British Civil War and Bolt Action/Konflikt stuff. Oh boy, I have a lot of stuff to get done!

I hope you all are staying safe out there, and Happy Wargaming wherever you may be in the world. Have a great Valentines Day, and cheap Chocolate Day afterwards!

*If you’d like your own Grunge Troopers, here is where I got them from! https://gumroad.com/skullforgestudios

British Steel: Matilda II in VBCW!

And ‘Boney’ Fuller too!

So Majestic! So Slow!

There has been a lot of 15mm Flames of War stuff on my blog recently, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten my other projects. A setting I was eagerly wanting to return to was the Very British Civil War. But how to make it a nice, dramatic return?

I figured the easiest way was a big, chunky piece of British Armour. After much research to see if it was plausible(more on that later!), I decided on an early Matilda II. These tanks were a nasty surprise to the Germans in 1940, how bad would they be in 1938 in a civil war?

My printing set-up has not dealt with full-plates as well as I would have hoped, and watching this print was nerve-ranking. A corner of the raft was peeling off the bed, yet somehow despite everything the tank printed mostly fine!

Not pictured: A failed print! Huzzah!

Actually, as far as I can tell, it is good enough for table use. This is a file from the legendary M_Bergman on Thingiverse, and was originally scaled at 1:100th for 15mm use. I used Wargaming3D’s suggestion of scaling it up to 28mm, using 178.57% as my scaling guide. While I still think it might be a hair too small, all of my other 15mm rescaled VBCW uses the same scale number so it’ll match.

The file has tons of options, and I opted for a British Expeditionary Force version. I’m hoping that is it is a close enough resemblance to the early marks from 1937-39.

The business end of the 2-pounder. Weak by 1940 standards, but quite powerful for the Interwar period!

Now, this is a controversial tank to use. Most VBCW tanks are much older, 1920’s or early 1930’s designs. However, by June 1938 an order was placed for 140 of these wonderful tanks. Work was slow, and in our timeline only two were completed by 1939.

This early model has a ‘trench tail’

I’m both speeding that up and slowing it down for my particular rendition of VBCW. The first production models were made by Vulcan Foundry in Lancashire. From here on out, it is all alternate history, be warned!

Rather conveniently, Lancashire falls under Royalist control early on. With war kicking off, the Government forces are desperate for these behemoths to enter service, and an inter-service tug of war kicks off on who gets to use these, the BUF’s Armoured Corp led by General Fuller, or the British Army’s Royal Tank Regiment. With two vehicles completed, it is decided that they will see service as ‘breakthrough’ tanks, and General Fuller pushes for the BUF to be granted use of them to break the Liverpool Free State. One is sent via rail to break that Socialist stronghold. The second is sent to the southern front, to be based out of London and sent via rail to where it is most needed. Production is however slow, and reinforcements of this ‘Queen of the Battlefield’ is held up by lack of supplies.

I see these behemoths being used much like a King Tiger would be in Bolt Action; Prohibitively expensive, but capable of controlling the battlefield like nothing else in this timeline can. Short of the French selling Char B1’s to Anglican forces, very little has this kind of armour. However it is painfully slow.

I am considering using this as a scenario only tank, with the capability of it being captured! Those rail-lines are only so secure after all…

With troops next to it!

But wait, what is this?

Oh yeah, its General Fuller time.

This is a fantastic rendition of J.F.C Fuller, who in this timeline is a major player in the BUF military wing, by Footsore Miniatures. I got him with my intial VBCW order, and have been waiting for a moment to paint him up!

Fuller was a major advocate of early modern tank tactics, and helped plan the usage of tanks at the Battle of Cambrai. His ideas were shunned in his own country….but were adopted by such figures as Heinz Guderian in Nazi Germany, who paid to translate Provisional Instructions for Tank and Armoured Car Training into German. He was the only foreigner present at Nazi Germany’s first armed maneuvers in 1935. In 1939, as a guest of Adolf Hitler, he witnessed a parade held in the Fuhrer’s honour. When Hitler asked him “I hope you were pleased with your children?” Fuller responded with “Your Excellency, they have grown up so quickly that I no longer recognise them.”

In WW2 he was sidelined because of his rather obvious Nazi sympathies. In VBCW, he has seen considerably more success. How successful is up to each individual club or groups lore, but as discussed with my friend I have made him a Major General in the BUF, leading a Armoured Corp set up along his doctrines.

A gorgeous model, that I hope I even slightly did justice too. His facial features are finely detailed.
I purposely used a shinier wash on his black uniform, as if he is meticulously cleaning it. The badges are sculpted with detail and picked out nicely. The medal bar was harder: I sort of just dabbed colours onto it.
Done up in my traditional basing scheme!

All in all, a productive evening! My hands decided to cooperate today and remain steady, which made General Fuller doable.

We are expecting a large snowfall tonight, so it will be a while before I can get the Matilda painted. Which gives me time to consider which of my VBCW forces gets it! I’m tempted due to my royalist leanings to give it to the Royal Tank Regiment, but Fuller has strings he can pull to procure it for the BUF. I’ll print two eventually, but for now I am torn.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s ramblings, and I’ll more to show you folks soon! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and stay safe everyone!

Mobile Coffins: Italian M13/40 Tanks!

North African Reinforcements!

It’s so cute! And deadly too…to its crew!

When you think of North Africa in WW2, you think Crusaders, Panzer IVs and IIIs, Tigers, Grants. And rightly so, as all these tanks carved out a reputation, for good or ill!

I particularly like that the designer of this STL included stowage. I often forget to add it. The sandbags are a nice touch, a bit of a desperate move by Italian crews that only further slowed the tank down.

This tank, an Italian M13/40, is unfortunately more on the ‘ill’ side. A dated design even as it just started reaching units, this tank wasn’t as bad as it could be. It had reasonable armament, decent armour in comparison to its British foes, and a good deal of machine guns. However, it lacked speed, often-times radios, and was not something their would-be crews had training in. A recipe for disaster.

Still, it at least looks like a tank. Can’t say that for most early-mid Italian designs!

However, they were plentiful, and these tanks made up a good deal of the Afrika Korps, people often forget that not only were Italians part of the unit, Rommel was actually out-ranked by the Italians in theatre! In my previous post, I showed an interest in doing El Alamein and North Africa in general. Not having even a token Italian contingent would be an unfortunate oversight.

Eight of them, enough for two platoons. The commanders ride is on the printer for tomorrow!

In Flames of War, specifically the Avanti book for Mid-War, this tank isn’t present. However, the book does feature its replacement, the M14/41, and this tank, the M13/40, are very, very similar. I’m hoping that among my small play-group, I can use these as suitable proxies. I certainly won’t be carting these off to a tournament, but they will do to test my theory.

The theory is that I can take a minimum size company of these rolling deathtraps as mobile bunkers, as they do have quite a few machine guns. The folks over at Battlefront have been rather generous with their stats.

Hobby
Well, that is a pleasant stat-card, make no mistake!

The M14/41 has been given HEAT ammo to represent early Italian faffing around with such ammo types, quite successful attempts at that! It also has great crew stats that can only get better with a good roll at the beginning of the game. Most happily for me is the sheer amount of machine-guns it packs. Sure, it has only Firepower 6, but against infantry that roll doesn’t matter. And you pay very little in points for such firepower.

I have to admit, these things are growing on me.

I have an Avanti book on its way to me, along with the unit card park and command cards. While due to Lockdown I won’t be getting a game in anytime soon, that simply gives me more time to work on these little beauties.

I still have to clean up some supports, but they came out rather cleanly.

All in all, an easy evenings print. It had been a while since I fired up my 3D printers, and I was starting to think I lost my groove. I’m happy to be proven wrong, and to get some tanks out of it!

Anyways, I need to get some sleep. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and stay safe everyone!