Clipity Clopity get off my Property: Royalist Cavalry for VBCW!

Sure, this will work against Vickers guns!

Definitely not the noblest cavalry in all Europe…but they are still probably the worst led.

Cavalry! As much as tanks and machine guns rule the interwar period, there is still very much a place for the ‘humble’ cavalry(ha!). While relegated mostly to scouting for larger formations, they can still catch poorly disciplined troops off guard, and are great for taking advantage of breakthroughs. In Very British Civil War, cavalry are very popular among players for looking dashing, anachronistic, and a great chance to stretch your painting muscles for something unique.

I had bought these Great War Miniatures Early War British Cavalry, which I chose to get with swords, on a lark a few months ago. While really nice sculpts, I expected a lot of work on them, and with my life getting very, very busy lately, I just didn’t have the time.

Or, so I thought. It turns out that these are amazingly easy to build, posing little to no trouble!

A little bath to get any leftover mold release off, and straight to gluing together. Took less then 30 minutes!
And built! Luckily, I had a bunch of square bases a friend was getting rid off handy, and I put them on my preferred raised bases! They have quite a classic look to them!

The next trouble was how to paint them. I figured I would start with an English Uniform spray, as if nothing else the horses would be easy. Then I posed the question to the VBCW Facebook page. I got many great suggestions, and the one that I went with was looking at Yeomanry regiments! I wanted to avoid red uniforms, as my buddy Ty over at https://hussarsandhandgrenades.ca is doing Mounties eventually.

Whilst the Yeomanry themselves had mostly been converted over to other roles by 1938, I figured that the very flashy uniforms would be popular among militia units who want to look ‘dashing’, ‘cavalier’, ‘bold’. I looked at first the Dorset Yeomanry, as my VBCW takes place in a fictional town in that region.

http://www.uniformology.com/ is where I grabbed this uniform plate! I like it, but the red wouldn’t look as striking with my pudgy fingers!

I then looked at the Hampshire Yeomanry, which have a simpler, but just as dashing uniform! I was quite taken with it, and while in the end I just used the pants, it was the primary inspiration.

A simpler cut, but one I prefer! Quite bold!

With a paint scheme mostly decided, it was time to prime…and it being a beautiful day in my part of Canada, I decided to prime all the remaining VBCW figures I owned!

First, the stars of our story. A nice smooth Vallejo spray was just the ticket.
And all the civilian LDV militia and villagers! I went with grey because of the civilian clothing I will have to painstakingly do.
And the rest of them! I lied a little…I ran out of spray for the banner bearers.

With a productive day well spent, I figured I’d start the militia cavalry early the next day.

Now these may be militia cavalry, but they are Royalists fighting for King Edward. So with that in mind, I got cracking on the painting, and learned something really annoying half way through; there was a massive mold line running right down the face of half the models! But, c’est la vie, it was too late. So I just hunkered down and finished them.

Lets have a look at the finished unit eh?

Not too fancy, but the pants look pretty neat! The horses were fun and easy to paint, aside from their tack and harnesses.
I did a blue band around the service cap, and a white button. I kept them pretty simple. The regular cavalrymen all carry rifles, and I will buy the dismounts to allow them to act as Dragoons later.
Excellent and characterful faces, which I just slapped paint on and called it done.
The officer! He’s got a custom uniform, because of course he does, its VBCW! I originally had him all in blue…and he looked like a police constable. So I repainted his tunic to match his troop.
He’s not carrying a rifle. He’s got people for that.
He’s got a smug look about him. I like it!
The bugler! He is carrying both a bugle and a trumpet, no idea why, but the sculpt had it.
He’s not got a lot going on this side. I made sure to include armbands for easy recognition on the table, and it matches the rest of my army.
Just a hint of his blonde mustache.
Another cavalryman with a very, very bright mustache!

All in all, a solid two days of work from blister to fully painted. They are not the fanciest cavalry ever done, but they were meant to be a relaxing build and paint, and who knew, they turned out to be!

Now for some alt-history for them! These fellows will be members of a fictional unit.

The Loyal Dorset Dragoons are a volunteer militia unit raised by General Fuller’s command as they move toward Harrington on Sea. As the local gentry and aristocracy holds a lot of sympathy for King Edward, many have snuck past the Anglican lines and been given basic cavalry training. Acting as local scouts for the army, their job is to report troop movements and harass the local Anglican forces.

If only someone told them that! The rascals of the Dorset Dragoons tend to pillage Anglican settlements, hitting hard and fast before the LDV can muster in full to see them off. More interested in loot and glory then acting as scouts, they often neglect to report even their own movements, much to Fuller’s annoyance.

They also tend to neglect their rifle training, preferring the sword. Many have grown up on their grandparents tales of glorious cavalry charges in far flung parts of Empire. While these tactics worked well on less well equipped foes, and have proven effective against the LDV’s they encounter, it may well be the end of them should they try it against the hardened Anglican and Albertine forces mustering at Harrington On Sea.

Their uniforms are ‘officially’ just khaki service dress, but many have chosen to wear fancier, Yeomanry inspired trousers. Their service caps have a bold blue stripe and white button for the enlisted, and blue caps with a white stripe and silver button for the officers. Completely against uniform standards, but the General has better things to do then to reprimand them.

And that’s all I have for them so far! Who knows, they may just prove decisive, or be shot down by machine gun fire. It’s anyone’s guess!

As my 100th post, I’m quite happy with this! The whirlwind last two weeks have proven crippling for my view count, but that is okay. As long as my peer’s both here on WordPress and over at the Facebook page for VBCW enjoy the content, I’ll keep making it!

But for now, that is all I have. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save King Edward!

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!

A VBCW Collaboration: My Friends new Blog!

Oh yeah, its all coming together.

See? My ‘Albertine Friend’ exists! I’m not crazy.

Me and Tyrell have been plugging away on our joint VBCW project for quite a while, but it has usually been me posting progress and stuff. No Longer! I’m happy to report he has started his own blog over at https://hussarsandhandgrenades.ca/ and will now be posting his work there.

The Albertines are his chosen faction, fighting for Prince Albert to oust King Edward. Our war of succession will be legendary!

Please go check it out, and leave a comment or two! The VBCW community is growing!

Rattenkrieg: Stalingrad Part 2, The German 6th Army!

The humble Landsers in the ruins of a dead city…

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R1222-501, Stalingrad, deutscher Soldat mit  Zigarette.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
A German soldier enjoys a cigarette, but the tension on his face never leaves-From the German Federal Archive

“The army’s exact losses are still uncertain, but there was no doubt that the Stalingrad campaign represented the most catastrophic defeat hitherto experienced in German history.” -Antony Beevor, Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943

When the 6th Army and 4th Panzer Division marched into the bombed out city of Stalingrad, they hoped that the fight would be a quick one. The Luftwaffe, in its wisdom, chose to bomb the city into the stone age. This instead made for a labyrinth of ruined buildings, sewers, and streets that instead become the grave for over 300,000 German soldiers. Fewer then 5000-6000 would return home.

For wargaming, the German Army is often depicted as the pinnacle of excellence, an elite force that defeats any foe with ruthless efficiency. Part of the alluring truths of Stalingrad was its utter rebuttal of this notion, and when I recieved my Winter German starter, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make an unstoppable force at its prime when they entered the city. Instead, I wanted to depict the period from November to December when the encirclement of the would-be besiegers happened, and trapped them.

In all honesty, the Winter German kit is excellent, but perhaps a tougher choice to make work then the Blitzkrieg German kit. A few anachronisms sneak in by the fact the kit was obviously stretched to fit the Late War period so popular in Bolt Action. I had to make some allowances.

I had two major rules; no Panzerfausts or Stg-44s could be used. This was annoying since the kit had so many of these two choices. This was still easy enough to work with on the plastic models…but the metal ones were a tougher nut to crack. As well, I wanted no MG42s. While there were prototypes being fielded there in small numbers, I wanted to stick with the MG34 as that was far more common. This ruled out the included MMG team, which will have to be sorted out later.

Lets see how I cracked on!

I built 40 plastic landsers, with one MG34 and one MP40 or PPsh-41 per squad. This was interesting test to see just how far I could stretch the included bits to make it appear as if there were 4 distinct poses. The PPsh-41s came from my Soviet Winter starter, which had them in ample supply.

This NCO has got his hands in mittens to keep them from freezing off. He is moving from cover to cover, not expecting to shoot. This was an absolute pig of a model to put together. I took the extra step of removing the Mauser pouches in favour of the SMG pouches. That wasn’t so bad. The arms on the other hand didn’t seat right, and took some fancy glue work.
Ah the accursed mold lines that you only notice when you take a photo! I quickly fixed that up after I was done taking the photo. This Landser has acquired a Soviet PPSh-41, a popular weapon in Stalingrad on both sides. The Germans even rechambered a few for 9mm Parabellum, but many more were used as is. At this late stage in the battle, it might even be easier to find ammunition for!
Another NCO, another PPsh, this time with a stick magazine. This landser also has taken mittens off a dead Russian, but has taken them off to fire his weapon. They are attached to his sleeves, as his mittens are probably more dear to him then his weapon in the cold.

The NCOs were fun, if a little fiddly to put together. That was almost entirely my fault; I wasn’t happy with just slapping the MP40 pouches on top of the Mauser pouches, and so for the two NCOs(one is not pictured because honestly he just isn’t worthy of being photographed, being rather boring) armed with MP40s I shaved off the Mauser Pouches. No green stuff was needed luckily, and I was able to put the SMG pouches right over where the old pouches were.

The PPSH was very popular in German hands, so I made two NCOs with them instead. I didn’t file off the pouches on those models, but I might find some Russian pouches for them later.

Lets see some more, this time the squaddies.

The MG34 was a fantastic weapon for its time, and I’m glad that it was included on the sprue. I have given one to each squad, with one man acting as a loader and carrying ammunition drums. These were fun models to make, and a fun tiny challenge to make the no variety in arms work with different poses for a degree of diversity.
It is a little hard to see here unpainted, but this Landser has a grenade in his right hand, ready to be lobbed at Ivan.
This infantryman is armed with a Teller Mine; while I am using them as simply ‘Anti-Tank Grenades’ these mines were considerably more powerful in real life. Still, as visual shorthand it should remind me that I can blow up tanks with my squads.

Next up were the metal models. I love metal models…most of the time. These were not bad, but unfortunately they are more geared toward the late war period and I had to make do for now. Still, lets have a look!

A German Captain, complete with a fancy fur-lined coat. This might make him a tempting target for Soviet snipers…
A senior German NCO, which I will be fielding as a First Lieutenant(Oberleutnant). Lots of nice detail here, but no greatcoat, being lucky enough to have a shorter more practical jacket. This I believe was available to a lucky few at Stalingrad, but was by no means common and is one of my many minor anachronisms that I hope to resolve later.
Another great model that appears to be a little anachronistic is this Medic carrying a wounded soldier. They are both wearing the shorter winter jacker favoured in the Late War, and is a field expedient until I can find a suitable replacement.
Finally, some metal models wearing greatcoats! This mortar squad will keep enemies heads down.
Wearing a combination of short jacket and greatcoat, this Artillery observer won’t look too out of place and can remain as is.
This model was almost perfect, wearing the combination short jacket and greatcoat. I could almost forgive the helmet cover which is distinctly later in make….but what I could not forgive was it having a stonking huge STG-44 on his back! I cut it away…
….and added a much more accurate MP40! I got a bit clever here, as my greenstuff skills lie mostly in filling gaps.
So instead I used a bit of metal flashing from his base to make a sling, and attached it to where the plastic MP40 had its original sling.
Short of gluing my fingers together, this was actually pretty easy! While this model is actually from the included MG42, I at least found a new home for him as the Mortar Squad’s spotter!

Now let’s talk anachronisms and gaming. I would, if had been able, supplied all the models in this force with period accurate weapons. However, as the sleeves must remain distinctly greatcoat in appearance, I had to make some allowances. I firstly had to use the included Gewehr 43s, which are standing in for the slightly less anachronistic(if only just!) Gewehr 41. I was not entirely happy with this, but it was a decision to get these guys into the painting queue faster then I would have waited for replacement arms. It also, tellingly, still counts as just a rifle in-game. This to me is a forgivable anachronism, as these are at the end of the day wargaming models. My goal is historical accuracy, but at the end of the day I really just want to play some games too!

Secondly and more egregiously is the metal models…they are definitely meant for Late War, and only a few pass muster. I will be ordering some replacements for them once I get a chance, probably from Great Escape Games. I still made some effort to ‘back-date’ them a smidge, but they still aren’t perfect. However, they will still pass muster for the average layman, and being that I am one myself I will content myself with that for now.

Anyways, with this done I can move on from the irresistible force of the Wehrmacht to the immovable object that is the Red Army. Chuikov’s men are significantly more work to put together, being that their arms and weapons are separate, but Comrade Stalin is a harsh task-master and the city must be held.

I hope you enjoyed today’s ramblings, and I’ll catch you tomorrow! Happy War-Gaming wherever you are, and Auf Wiedersehen Kameraden!

Rattenkrieg: Stalingrad Part One!

The fate of the world hangs in the balance…

The mighty but slow KV tank vs a practical and lethal Panzer IV

“Do not count the days, do not count the miles. Count only the Germans you have killed. Kill the German – this is your old mother’s prayer. Kill the German – this is what your children beseech you to do. Kill the German – this is the cry of your Russian earth. Do not waver. Do not let up. Kill.”-IIya Ehrenburg, Soviet Poet.

Stalingrad. It is a name that resonates with many who have even a passing knowledge of history. The battle that took place there was one of no mercy, no pity, and appalling violence. It was a personal grudge match between two merciless dictators, but its importance in turning the tide of WW2 is without argument.

For many years I have wanted to refight the epic duel between Communism and Fascism on the Volga, but such a proposition was expensive. I knew two things; I wanted to do it in 28mm, probably Bolt Action. And that I wanted to do it right. Flames of War is an excellent system, but Stalingrad was a battle of inches, close in, barbaric fighting. Flames of War would be excellent for the later battles on the Russian Steppe, but Bolt Action with its focus on infantry combat would portray the ‘Rattenkrieg’ much better.

I got my chance a week ago. I was able to find both the German Winter Starter Army and Winter Soviet Starter Army for a great price in Canada. While both sets have some issues in respect to portraying the battle, they offer an amazing start; and for the price I paid, a relatively inexpensive one. The Soviet one in particular comes with so many infantry models that you cannot fit them all into one generic reinforced platoon! Both sets come with metal command and support options, allowing you to focus on building the infantry as fighting squads. While for the Germans I’ll need to find an MG34 team, I’m practically set for now.

Minus the anachronistic MG42, I will be able to make use of all the contents!
And the Soviets; never has ‘Quantity has Quality all its own” been so affordable!

There is a lot of stuff to build here. So I’ve broken it into manageable chunks. Yesterday and today I got the armour completed.

It was an interesting ‘compare and contrast’ moment. The KV-1/2 is an Italeri/Warlord joint kit, and has much more in common with traditional model kits then a wargaming kit. On the other hand, the Panzer IV is a Warlord ‘In House’ model, and is much more akin to putting together a wargaming kit.

I have to be honest with you; I prefer the Warlord kit. The Panzer IV went together rather well, and feels like it can take some tabletop abuse. The KV by Italeri feels delicate, almost as if it would shatter if handled poorly. Both however were easy builds, under an hour. Lets take a look at them!

The KV-1/2 is a beast, but the brittle plastic and fragile feel ruins that a little. Still, it cuts an imposing figure!
I lost the rear turret machinegun; it was such a small part that when I dropped it I could not find it again. Still, look at that turret! What an absolute unit!
I will hand one thing to Italeri here; having the option for both the KV-1 and KV-2 and being able to build both turrets was really, really nice. The KV-1 is a far more practical tank for actual Bolt Action, at least I think it will be!

Now the Panzer IV! I originally was going to build a short-barrel one, but a lot of the tanks I found pictures of from the battle had the longer F model barrel. So that is what I went with! The instructions were…vague. I had very little idea where exactly to put some of the stowage, so I winged it a little.

The Panzer IV is iconic. Few can argue its effectiveness in battle, especially in the Early-Mid war period.
This kit went together smoothly. I was particularly impressed by the tracks, which went together with almost no gaps.
While there is still some gaps to fill, there are fewer then I expected. This tank will be fun to use!

Now lets compare the two! The size difference is pretty amazing. The KV-1 really looks like the beast it was!

Whoa, now that is a tank! While I preferred building the Panzer IV, the KV is simply massive, and looks like it will be an absolute blast to use.
The length of the tanks isn’t as much of a difference as the width and height, but it is still obvious just how much bigger the KV is. I can see how the KV would shock the German Wehrmacht when they first encountered it!

Now, Stalingrad was at its heart an infantryman’s battle, not one of armoured might. So I won’t be adding too many tanks to this roster. Tomorrow, I will start on the Soviet 62nd Army. I will be running them closer to the history then just copying ‘Enemy at the Gates’, so hopefully I can keep the force ‘authentic’.

The Germans are a harder nut to crack. The sprue is filled with STG-44s, which I cannot use at all. I will have to really make the rifles work! The Early-Mid War selectors will keep both armies mostly armed with rifles, although I will field some Soviet and German squads with more SMGs.

I will be using the Stalingrad campaign book to refight this struggle, and as an added treat, it came with the famous Vasily Zaitsev! As far as snipers go, he is pretty crazy for Bolt Action. I will field him occasionally with his actual rules, but more often he will be just a generic sniper. However, the book does have rules for the fictional Major Konig from Enemy At the Gates, which despite my wish to fight this mostly historically, is too much of a tease to not attempt to kitbash him.

Hero of the Soviet Union, Zaitsev has an interesting career that Enemy at the Gates almost completely ignored. When I paint him, I’ll be sure to point that out when I write that article!

Now the good news; I have all the blown up city terrain I could possibly ever need to do most of the scenarios. I will get the Tractor Factory at some point, but fighting that battle I will need some factory workers and factory fresh T-34s, so that will be some ways off.

Anyways, that is all I have for today. I have written a lot of ‘Part Ones’ recently, and I will be chipping away to make those have ‘Part Twos’. What can I say, I like to have a lot of projects on the go! I have been laid off from work temporarily during Ontario’s third lockdown, so I have nothing but time…

Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and remember; Not one step back Comrades!

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, Come Rally! Part One!

The Internationale Unites the World in Song! The Socialists arrive for VBCW!

The research begins! Or, rather continues. I’ve read this over a dozen times!

For Very British Civil War, it was only a matter of time before I would start a Socialist army. The army reminds me of the heady days of High School, where I was, at least for a time, a massive communist. Time has tempered my politics a tad, but the stirring tune of the Internationale never ceases to make my heart sing for a while.

I had focused on the British Union of Fascists for a spell, to get them done. The Royalist force is something of a favourite of mine, but it is still an army of the Government, the ‘Man’ so to speak. There is something about the little guy trying to get their voice heard that is very heroic.

Now, there is no shortage of great metal models to build one a great Socialist army for the period. But, as a bit of a challenge and inspired by others using the great Wargames Atlantic French Resistance kit, I wanted to try making this out of plastic.

The kitbash, ironically for being for a socialist army, would make any capitalist happy as I spent a tidy sum collecting the parts, far more then intended. I used the basic Wargames Atlantic kit for the heads and bodies, but didn’t use the arms at all, since they were mostly later era weapons from WW2 that wouldn’t suit the period. I instead used Warlord Games Soviet Infantry, specifically the Siberian Veterans kit(more on why later!) using their arms and weapons to make a distinctly Soviet-influenced force.

Now I haven’t begun to paint them, which is why this is Part One. And I have a bit of backstory as well before I get to the models. The Harrington On Sea Workers Defense Corps are led by a former International Brigade member, Comrade Harry Price. Price is an ardent socialist, and enlisted in his native Canada in the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion.

The experience in Spain however, especially the ever-present influence of Stalinism in the International Brigades, has soured him a tad. And the WDC, because of his influence, had eschewed full Soviet support. The weapons may be of Soviet make, but are supplied by a gun-runner from the Liverpool Free State. The WDC pays them in supplies acquired by sympathetic farmers in the area, and in return get some of the Soviet weapons that Liverpool has in abundance. This trade is under the table, and the powers that be in the Liverpool Free State would probably not be happy with this arrangement.

Okay, enough wasting your time with fluff! Onto the models!

The first section! Armed with Mosin Nagants, and further equipped with one PPD and DP-28 Machine Gun, they are ready to take the fight to the Fascist dogs!
I particularly like this section leader. He’s got his PPD at the ready, and is pointing out a target to his comrades.
The DP-28 offers the section some serious firepower. However, with ammunition low, they haven’t had a lot of practice with it!
The ever-present Petrol Bomb makes for a decent Anti-Tank option in a pinch. With General Fullers armoured push on its way to the sleepy town, this worker will need to aim true…
This comrade is a former British International Brigade member, and wears his old hat. Here he is giving a rousing speech to his fellows, fist raised!

The first section was a dawdle to assemble, and some real characters were able to be made. I’m quite pleased with them. I had a comment on the Wargames Atlantic Legion Facebook group that they looked like Soviet Peoples Militia, and they definitely can pass for that! Onto the next ten!

Much the same as the first. Still, they don’t look exactly the same which pleases me to no end.
Another section leader, and this one also has a PPD. But he is instead firing it at the enemy. He has nicked a Brodie helmet from the Anglican LDV, giving him a bit of protection against shrapnel.
Another petrol bomber, and this one looks determined!
Hang on, that’s a beret! It looks like a Frenchie has snuck into my Militia. Still, as long as he hates the Fascists as much as the rest of the Corps, he can stay. This one likes to point and yell excitedly in French, much to the confusion of his Section.

Now, with the Lockdown still in effect, getting grey spray to start on these fellows could take a while. I promise I’ll show them off painted as soon as I can!

While that is all I have for the Socialists, for now at least, that wasn’t all I was working on this week. My friend playing the Albertines/Anglican league side of the defense needed some proper armour. The Renault FT was nice, but he wanted something a bit bigger, more like a proper tank.

For this, we turned to the French. Specifically, a Somua S35. This was obtained as a file from Eskice Miniatures on MyMiniFactory, and while it took forever to print it turned out nicely.

The supports that come with the tank looked a bit flimsy, and the tank wasn’t hollowed. I hollowed it in Chitubox, and added my own supports. While most of the S35 looks fine, the tracks are a bit rough. Nothing mud can’t fix!
A beautiful tank, one of my favourite from the Interwar-Early WW2 period. A design ahead of its time, it was poorly used in the Battle of France and were mismanaged badly.
Lots of great detail on the back!
Scale wise it seems alright, at least for the usual ‘slightly too small’ Bolt Action style I have going on already.

Hang on, is that another hull in the back?

when there is one too many | Prequel Memes | Know Your Meme

Yep. I couldn’t let my friend have all the fun. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the second one, and it very well might end up in my Socialist list. I’m keen to paint it!

One is good, Two is better!

As you may have noticed, there is a third tank hanging out in the back. The BUF couldn’t just let the Socialists steal all the fun, and an A9 Cruiser Tank came off the printer as well. Luckily, I have lots of black paint, so it got painted right away!

Ah yes, more free-hand. Still, doesn’t look too shabby!
With three machineguns, this lightly armoured tank certainly isn’t lightly armed!
Scale-wise, it is still a tad small. But its good enough for gaming!

Finally, a bit of a Royalist surprise. Another friend of mine needed some printing done, and being that he is a 3D artists, I asked him to make me something. I expected to pay a commission fee, but out of the goodness of his heart he made it for free!

Oh yeah, its Bearskin time.

I finally got my Grenadier Guard/Coldstream Guard bearskins! I have a kit on the way that these heads are destined for, but for sake of example, I have put one on a spare WW1 British model.

Unwieldy. Top heavy. Utterly ridiculous. Beautiful.
These guys will be my Royalist shock troops, supremely well disciplined, and savage on the attack. However, they are few in number.

I’m very excited for the bodies to arrive from Warlord Games to stick these heads on. They will look every bit the elite unit they are supposed to be! Unfortunately, I cannot share them; I’d need his permission, which he would probably give, but we used a paid file to make the faces, and therefore I’m limited to just using it for myself. I apologize in advance!

It certainly has been a busy week! Lots of projects to work on, and just because I’m a massive sucker for punishment, I have also got myself a Soviet Winter Army Starter from Warlord Games. A store in Canada had it for a great low price, and the 80+ Soviets in the box will kickstart…my Stalingrad project. I have loads of destroyed buildings, and I’m excited to hold off the Fascist invader. There is no land beyond the Volga River! There will therefore be some regular Bolt Action goodness coming up, so stay tuned!

Anyways, that is all I have for you fine people today. I hope you guys enjoyed the read! Paint will come, as soon as I can actually get some! Happy War-gaming wherever you might be, and have a good day…Comrade!

Comrades, The Voices: Fully Painted BUF Platoon for VBCW!

Finally, these jerks are done! For now at least….

A very productive Easter weekend!

Oh boy, I’m finally done a platoon. As my very first VBCW playable army, I’m very pleased with how they turned out. I really, really dislike the BUF in real-life, but they are fascinating and there is something to be said about playing the bad-guys. I’m going to twirl many a mustache and do many naughty ploys with these jerks.

When I first began collecting Very British Civil War, after convincing my friend to play, I really wanted to play the Albertines. Of course, we both couldn’t, and with the Anglican League usually on-side with Prince Alberts forces, that left the Royalist cause or Socialist revolutionaries. I was always going to do the Socialists, but I decided to start with the British Union of Fascists and Royalist Army to give us ‘baddies’ to fight.

If one is going to do a job, one should do it well. So I started these guys a few months ago with the intention of trying my best to make them look good. A black uniform may be menacing but they do look really good massed together. Of course, right from the start these guys fought me to paint. A primer that was too satin, easily chipping off paint. Paint not adhering to the model and just sliding off. These were just two of the things that made these guys a real pain in the rear to do.

I completed the sections ten men at a time, to get through them at a decent clip. After completing the last section on Saturday, I decided Easter Sunday that I would just power through and get the platoon done, so that I can move on to other projects like my Territorial Army. In total, I got a Vickers Medium MKII, a Vickers machine gun crew, and my command done today. Lets take a look!

First up, the Command Section. While they might be broken up into smaller groups for Bolt Action rules, these guys came together and they were painted together.
First up is my Lieutenant. Or Sub-Lieutenant, or Storm-Lieutenant. I haven’t decided yet!
With a mustache to twirl evilly of course!
Second up is the Lewis Gun. I’m figuring that in my army the Lewis Gun is a platoon level asset, and will be assigned to a lucky squad before battle begins.
I rather like how he turned out; a result of all the sections I had done previously as he shared many of the same features.
Thirdly, my Sergeant. Again, he’s the second in command and will probably be with the Lieutenant as a bodyguard. The regular sections will be led by a senior member of the section. This guy has an MP28, a German made submachinegun.
The Sergeant stripes were cleaned up after this photo was taken. A good example of the paint chipping off the primer a little too easily. I’ll seal these models once I get some good weather.
Last but definitely not least, my Legion banner. I really like how this turned out. The flag was designed by another blogger many years ago, and was released as a free asset. I’ll link the blog below so that you can grab your own if you wish!
The banner is being held downward, and the flag with PVA glue folded quite well.
All in all, quite happy with the flag! When reviewing this post post-publishing, I realized to my horror I put the banner upside down! this is the fixed version.

The Command section was fun to paint, and a good ‘final exam’ after finishing the sections proper. All the skills I had learned painting the regular infantry were applied, and I quite like how they turned out.

The Banner especially was an extremely fun model to paint. The flag was sourced from another blog, https://6milphil.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/vbcw-flags-of-convenience , and if he reads this, thank you so very much! It is a damn good looking flag!

Next up was my Vickers Machine Gun, and oh boy was that an issue. I had glued the model together, and whilst I removed the sergeant for painting the rest was still a mess to get to. I wasn’t too picky in the end, and just let the Machine Gun hog all the spotlight, hopefully diverting attention away from the more shoddy crew.

A British mainstay, even the BUF uses this fantastic machine gun.
The crew were a colossal pain to paint, and in the end I just sorta rushed them. It doesn’t appear to have shown too badly.
These fellows will lay down suppressing fire for the rest of the platoon to move up.

Finally, I got a tank painted up for them. This was one of my earliest 3D prints, and the tracks are bowlegged. It’ll do fine in a pinch, but it will be far from the last tank painted BUF black! General J.F.C. Fuller demands more!

Primed black, drybrush a black-grey, and details picked out. Jobs fast and easy. I might add mud to the tracks later!
I hate free-handing, but just painting a lightning bolt looked too much like an SS rune. So I had to do the whole roundel. It’ll pass for now, but I will get decals from somewhere for the rest.
These are some of my favourite interwar period tanks. Solid and reliable for Very British Civil War, and nothing too fancy.

And then, to put it all together. I have here three sections of ten men, a command section, General Fuller himself, and my tank. They really do look the business all massed together like this! Of course, an army is never done….who knows what the dastardly BUF have in store for the poor residents of Harrington On Sea!

Ok, I admit, I really like how they turned out. A solid effort! I have many surprises on the way to add to this army.

A good looking army at the end of the day! That being said, I am relieved to be moving onto my Royalists again. They have a certain touch of class, unlike these brutish thugs. My Socialists are still, sadly, in the mail, and given the state of UK-to-Canada shipping, it could be a while before they show up on my blog. Hopefully soon however!

Anyways, that is all(all?!) I have for today! I will of course post more as the VBCW project continues. I’m stuck at home anyways given the Lockdown in effect, so I should have some more painted goodness to show off in due time. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and Happy Easter!

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!

The Sinister Minister Calls for More: BUF Section #2!

More Thugs for Mr. Mosley!

Every baddie factions needs its mooks, and the BUF have them in spades!

As April approaches, I am down for part two of my supposedly one part surgery. This, as of today, will leave me with plenty of time off as I recuperate, thanks to the generosity of my boss. While today and tomorrow are probably a wash because of pain, I’m viewing the rest of the recovery as another opportunity to get more hobby work done.

I was going to focus on the Royalists for my VBCW project, but the BUF, nasty brutes they are, shoved themselves to the front of the line. I actually got these done yesterday, before the surgery, but I intend to at least make a dent in these guys before my recovery period ends.

The BUF are a paradox for me. The priming job went down too satin, and while the actual primer is adhered to the miniatures good and solid, any other layer of paint comes right off if not handled carefully. And their facial features are particularly soft, proving to be difficult to shade well. But despite that, I can burn through a ten man section really fast once I put my mind to it.

I have less of these blighters then my rather massive Royalist force, at only three sections and support staff and weapons. So knocking out ten at a time really makes the job go by quickly, and as I plan on running the BUF and Royalists together, I actually have a fairly decent collection of painted models now! But enough of my ramblings, lets have a look at em!

Rough, but I don’t think I’ll do much better short of stripping and trying again. As metal models, I very well might do that down the road!

As before, the models fought me tooth and nail to get done. The faces look especially rough. These models are from Footsore, but originally were made by Musketeer Miniatures, a company no longer with us. As such, I imagine the mold is starting to get old, and the faces seem to suffer most from this. Of course, being a naff painter is also going to make that worse, so its hardly just the fault of the models!

Still, not too shabby for a nights work. They’ll do sterling service for the bastard over at Downing Street.

I’m probably going back to alternating Royalists and BUF. I don’t particularly enjoy painting the BUF, at least not the squaddies. As support for my Territorials, I could even stop here; twenty blackshirts is plenty of extra bodies on the table.

While I was painting, I decided it was about time to update my single Sergeant model I painted a while back. He had black trousers, and it all blended together quite blandly, and people online(in a gentlemanly fashion of course!) pointed that out. So I went over his pants in grey, just like the rank and file.

Here is him originally….
And now with spiffy grey trousers!

I think it looks a lot better! I might do his garrison cap again as well with a red stripe, but he isn’t actually meant to totally match the sections I’ve done. This brute I see more as a ‘Special Constable’, a Black and Tans sort of fellow. The different cut of uniform should help with that effect, being that the model is meant to be dismounted cavalry!

And the ‘to do’ list!

As you can see, I still have quite a lot left! The Vickers Team and Command beckon to me though, just because they are different then doing yet another section! But, I think I might do some more Territorials first, just as a palette cleanse.

I still have loads to paint for my VBCW games, but I could foreseeable play a game with entirely painted models now. My friend has been insanely busy however so a fight with the Albertines might be a long way off, and that is not even mentioning my complete lack of terrain on that front!

Anyways, that is all I have for now. I look forward to getting more of the collection done, and when I do I shall show off yet more of em! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and God Save the King!