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!

Day of the Jackboot: The BUF gets reinforcements!

The BUF get buff!

Finally, some BUF progress!

When my friend and I first decided to play The Very British Civil War setting, it was I who suggested I play the bad guys. I will be up-front: I prefer to paint my Royalist contingent, in their old WW1 style uniforms, as opposed to the more striking British Union of Fascists(BUF) paramilitary uniforms.

For example purposes only, a picture of said Royalist uniform.

This is for two reasons, firstly since the Royalists are fairly easy to paint! Nice chunky detail, an easy basecoat, and they take well to washes. The BUF, in black, suffer from all the problems of painting black uniforms: contrasts and an overall flat feeling.

Secondly, my primer. I used Rustoleum Flat Black, which went on a bit satin and overly smooth. Nothing likes to stick to it! All my BUF were sprayed in one go, and all will suffer this problem unless sprayed over with a flat black from a different manufacturer.

Of course, all this complaining is very much a case of a bad craftsman blaming his tools, and it isn’t getting my Fascist jerks painted any faster. So after doing important housework….

Hard to say no to this face when she wants walksies.

And I had at it! Now, I was given some good constructive criticism from members of the Very British Civil War group on Facebook, namely to punch up the contrasting colours to make the black less flat. I’ll let you, dear reader, decide if it was worth the effort.

These guys fought me tooth and nail to get done. It’s almost like they knew they were the awkward cousin no-one wanted at the party. I went for grey jodhpurs to strike up the contrast, and khaki coloured webbing. Their helmets are a nice shade of grey, just for contrast purposes.

Khaki puttees and blond wood Lee Enfields give a splash of colour.
Not my cleanest painting ever, but serviceable. Ready to fight the Anglican League!

Now my painting isn’t as sharp as it used to be, which I suspect is a combination of the bad primer causing issues, and more frighteningly an issue with my hands from medication I’m taking. Hopefully this passes in due time, I got a lot of unpainted models!

Now for comparisons sake, here is a picture of one of my BUF Yeomanry models, compared to a regular paramilitary BUF soldier. I’d like some thoughts on the comparison, especially with the increased contrast! Be harsh!

Left, a BUF Soldier, Right, A BUF Yeomanry constable.

I think the difference is a positive one, but I think for consistency the Yeomanry lads will stay in that colour scheme.

On a different note, I’d like to weigh in on a discussion that seems to come up whenever the BUF miniatures range gets brought up. That is, historical accuracy.

The British Union of Fascists: Newspapers and Secret Files, 1933-1951 |  British Online Archives
The bastard himself! I may hate fascism, but man those uniforms are spiffy.
Australia & the Fascist Idea of Greater Britain – Imperial & Global Forum
However, the average joe made do with a black shirt and pants. Hardly a military organization!

In real life, the BUF were little more than thugs, with a very basic uniform, and they certainly weren’t toting rifles around! For miniatures like this, the range from Warlord for their Operation Sea Lion expansion works really well! And for some people’s Very British Civil War setting, this works. For me, it doesn’t. Allow me to explain why!

BUF Fifth Column – Warlord Games Ltd
Warlords great offering of BUF miniatures, a much more realistic take then the route I took.

In the Very British Civil War, Mosely is Prime Minister. I’m extrapolating here, but I like to imagine that the BUF goes legitimate; an armed paramilitary force for both policing and bodyguard purposes, with elements trying to integrate into the British Army or stand apart as an armed, military wing of the Party in general. For this, Footsore Miniatures offerings are fantastic, a much more wild extension of the historical record, and very ‘Waffen SS’.

For my friend and I’s VBCW, we have gone with the latter interpretation, to make for a neat enemy for his Albertine forces to fight. I’ll be running them as inexperienced, badly trained fanatics using the Bolt Action rules, brave but not particularly well drilled and prone to breaking off an attack if it goes south. Maybe using the Italian rules? They’ll be backed up by Royalists using the British rules, stiffening the back of the army I play as a whole. I want the BUF to be dangerous, but not overpowered.

Anyways, I’ve said my opinion. If you disagree or want to debate it, I’m more then happy to! Just comment away.

In other news…and a little teaser of what’s coming. I’ll leave you with a model to ponder over…

Redcoats? On my blog? Its meant to be!

As well, my battle report from a while back for Zona Alfa was very well received! I won a prize in the associated contest, and got a signed copy of the rules from the author, Patrick Todoroff! I’m quite chuffed with my win, and hopefully I can get back to Zona Alfa fairly soon!

Signed by Uncle Vanya himself! Maybe another Zone expedition is coming?

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

*Not Prime Minister Mosely though, he’s an absolute jerk!

Royalist Reinforcements: Vickers Medium for VBCW!

Vickers Medium Mk2, reporting!

A section of Royalist infantry take over my painting desk, supported by a Vickers Medium

Sometimes, you just need a palette cleanse. An easy paint job to brighten your spirits and fire you up for additional painting.

I chose for just such a task a Vickers Medium Mk2, a very interesting interwar design. Large and slab sided, and not particularly fast, these tanks are out of date by the Very British Civil War timeline, and in our timeline only saw use in small numbers in Africa in World War Two*.

This was one of my earliest prints that I have done, and the bow-legged tracks betray my lack of skill at the time. Still, painted up, I’m hoping it will do sterling service on my gaming table, and look good doing it!

I primed it Vallejo Russian Uniform, a colour that seems, for some reason, to really resemble the off-green the British Army used.

Even with its wonky tracks, it still is an imposing mass of steel.

The tracks I did in an Eshin Grey, and the metal components Army Painter Plate Mail. I then sponged Plate Mail around the tank as severe weathering. Finally, I used Nuln Oil to fill in the metal details on the tank, giving them a more worn appearance.

Free-handing is hard!

I found the free-hand detail to be quite difficult, but serviceable. In my excuse for painting, I have decided that these are hand-painted by the crew, and this crew is particularly sloppy!

Going to have to fix that free-hand here….
The bow-legged tracks are particularly noticeable up front and rear!

Still, for a quick paintjob to get it on the table, its not the worst! I can always go back and add more later.

Behind the tank you can see a section of infantry! Those will be next, bringing my force to twenty royalists and a tank. An HQ section is after that, and I can start fighting for King Edward VII in style! Of course, for such a battle one needs an opponent, and luckily my friend has been working hard on his Albertines! For those fresh to Very British Civil War, that is our timeline’s King George he’s fighting for, to put on the throne.

Quite awkwardly, he too has decided to use Woodbine Design Studios WW1 figures as his base for his army…meaning the only difference is our paintjob!
He has gone for purple puttees instead of armbands for his army. Purple accents show up quite regularly!
And unlike me, he has gotten his officers ready too! I have some catching up to do!

As lockdowns and shutdowns, and other various bits of stressful news come in, I will admit I sometimes find it hard to work up the hobby energy. But I’m really keen on getting my Very British Civil War guys done before I next see my friend next. Goals keep us going!

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

*Note, I may not get my history right. Don’t quote me without doing your own digging first!.

For King and Empire: More Royalists, and Reinforcements from India!

More VBCW goodies!

A fancy picture for the Defenders of the Realm!

Wow, what a crazy month. While I can’t get into too much detail, suffice to say I had a medical issue, compounded into a family one. All is resolved now, but it was a harrowing few weeks. I’ve drastically culled my sugar intake, as well as caffeine, and the crash is pretty harsh.

As one can imagine, this does impact your ability to keep up the momentum I had going. But, King Edward expects and I obey, so lets show you what I did get done.

Tally ho!

Now some of you might be coming from the VBCW Facebook page, in which case a lot of this is stuff I’ve posted already. Sorry!

What you have here is a section of Fusiliers, and their attached Peerless armoured car. An excellent example of combining 3D printing and old school models to good effect. I had a great time painting the infantry; crisp detail, and easy to do detail makes the figures a joy to work on. They are by Woodbine Design Company, which you can get through Gripping Beast in the UK. The Peerless is from Wargaming3d.com, and is by Deweycat. A paid for file, and you get in return excellent detail and a model meant to print well.

The Sergeant. I want to add Sergeant stripes, but just need to get some decals. In the interwar period, the British had a low opinion of submachineguns, so this man is using his SMLE.
At the charge, this Fusilier is making a “point”. I had issues with my superglue of choice being quite heavy, and leaving marks. I decided to paint these as scarves, in royal purple to show their allegiance, along with their armbands.
His rifle somewhere off the base, this Fusilier is throwing Mills bombs, and has many more in his pouch of many things.
And the old classic, the Lewis gun. I have one per squad, as per interwar theoretical allotments. This Fusilier is crucial to my fire support, having the firepower of several of his fellows in one gun.

As for the Peerless, I was quite happy to see this file pop up. I love the utter ridiculousness of the design!

I love this model. A great looking inter-war vehicle, the Peerless was less effective off-road then its Rolls Royce equivalent. But in did good service in Ireland.
With a armoured body meant for a smaller chassis, the Peerless has a section of the back completely unarmoured.
However, its twin turrets, each with a Hotchkiss machine-gun, make it fairly deadly in Bolt Action, using the VBCW rules available on the Facebook group.

Now, I have also been using my printer quite extensively, not only for VBCW but for other things. But occasionally, a tank finds it way onto my build plate…

This time, it was a Vickers 6-ton, the export variant. This is a file from Thingiverse, by Tiger Ace. I’m super glad he did one, as this is possibly my favourite inter-war tank! This became in Soviet service, the T-26 as it was called was quite famous! In Polish service, it was heavily modified.

In my army, I have imagined that the Government has impounded any foreign exports, and these tanks have found their way into Army service, despite being denied by the Army before the civil war. They have proven most effective….

For an upscaled 15mm tank, the detail remains sharp. It looks great!
With a short, stubby, 37mm cannon, this vehicle is meant for infantry support. But it will still be somewhat dangerous fighting equivalent tanks.
With either a Hotchkiss or Vickers machine gun, this tank can also provide some machine gun fire.

Pretty neat! I’m happy with it, and want to slap some paint on it, once my sugar and caffeine crashing subsides.

Now, when I did my Gripping Beast order, I didn’t realize that by replacing four men in each section with specialists, I’d end up with a large amount of spare riflemen. While some of these will go to be adjutants to officers and such, this still left me with ten spare bodies…

Now originally my idea was to make a unit of Grenadier Guards, but the lack of ‘proper’ bearskins bothered my perfectionism a bit. So, I had a think. What kit did I have spare heads from?

The British 8th Army kit from Warlord offered a solution. It comes with enough heads to outfit all of the models the same way, and it left me with Sikh, Rajput, and Scottish heads. The Scottish I have plans for later, and the Sikhs are well represented in the Very British Civil War setting. So I decided to make a unit of ten Rajputs, from the Rajput Regiment. I imagine the 1st Battalion has been summoned by the King to offer the military its experience from the Frontier.

Some muscle from the from the East! These men have served on the Afghanistan frontier, and have plenty of counter-insurgency experience. A good skill to have, when fighting a civil war!
I had mostly charging poses, and that works really well with these guys. I’m going to give them a separate rule then their British counterparts.
The Vallejo English Uniform really ties the plastic head and metal body together. They look like they are meant to be, not some slapdash conversion done by a rural Canadian.

Now, I have to catch up on all this painting! I’m excited, but I have to get my anxiety shakes out of my system again, as well as get over the crashing. But I really enjoy this little(little? HA!) side project I have, and I want to have a painted platoon to fight my friend soon. I’ll post his Albertine project progress as I get them.

But for now, that is all I got. Some of it, most of it, is already been spoiled on Facebook. But for those of you who haven’t seen it, I hope you enjoyed this. I’ll have more progress done when I can!

For Zona Alfa, I have a new scenario written up for this weekends shenanigans. I shall share with you that when I have some pictures!

Happy War-gaming, wherever you hail from. For the King!

Fighting for the Crown: The Royalists Arrive!

The King commands, and we…half-heartedly obey?

Ah, another package from across the Pond. What could be in this one?

After a brief interlude into Warhammer 40k, we return to 1938. I have some background lore I have thought about for my force, and without further ado, lemme bore you with it!

King Edward VIII rallies his armies after the Civil War begins, and across the United Kingdom and her Dominions and Possessions, local loyalties are being tested.

For an initial period, the British Army is in ruins. Whole Regiments turn-coat and join the Anglican League, taking both precious equipment and trained men over to that cause. The Socialists poach a few, causing desertions, when they offer a more equal future for a soldier who could expect little in life beyond being told what to do by his ‘class’ superiors. Scotland takes a great deal of regiments home, and they form the nucleus of the Republic’s military. Wales is in open, if not organized, rebellion. The Irish, holding Ulster hostage, remain neutral, but with the Irish Guards back home, they at least cause issues with the occupying authorities as Catholic fights Protestant once again in open warfare.

Horrendous fighting south of London, in Anglican controlled territory (Real photo is of the London Regiment in the First World War. No disrespect is intended. From the Imperial War Museum.)

The Regiments that remain loyal are rarely loyal as an entire body. For the men of the 1st City of London Regiment (The Royal Fusiliers), they find themselves at around 70% percent fighting effectiveness. With little time to do proper training and recruitment, the Territorial Army (reservists, to us Canadians, or Militia back in the day.) Regiments find themselves thrown into battle along the loose border with the Anglican League, and the Royal Fusiliers finds themselves fighting a tough, but undertrained foe. They also have the backup of the BUF Legions; Tough fighters, but ill-disciplined, prone to heights of cowardice and heroism in equal measure. Worse, the Fascists prioritize reinforcements that show particular zeal toward Mosley into the BUF, leaving the Territorials with unwilling ‘recruits’.

An old, WW1 Recruitment Poster for the 2nd Battalion. Touched up, this will see further use in 1938. (Public Domain)

However, despite all of King Edward VIII many problems, he was a soldier, and aims to be a soldiers king. In an inspiring speech, he extols the virtues of loyalty, country, and duty, as well as understanding the difficulty each man must face in staying loyal when many have not. It works, and overnight flagging enthusiasm for fighting for Mosley’s Parliament is replaced by increased enthusiasm in fighting for the Monarchy. While not as fanatical as Mosleys Black-shirts, the Regular and Territorial Army now fight as a counter-balance; Stoic, and professional, and well trained behind the lines before being blooded properly in minor engagements. And holy terror once fighting for real!

The revived colors of the unit, going into the later part of 1938. (All Copyright belongs to the author, and will be removed upon request.)

This has led to issues in the field with the more fanatical Mosleyites, and fractures are starting to appear in the once united Government front…

Now with all this lore and background out of the way…lets see the men of the 1st City of London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers, eh?

These fine fellows are from Gripping Beast, more specifically, the Woodbine Design Studio WW1 British. Splendid models! Always wanted an excuse to buy them, but as war-gaming World War One in 28mm sounded less fun then just getting my friends to shoot me with pellet guns as I crest over a trench, I never committed.

I’m using the conceit that the the Army in 1938 was in the changeover period to Battledress, and it was not yet complete. As such, my men in the Territorial Army fight in stuff their fathers might have, but with a greater supply of grenades, Lewis Guns, and Vickers Machine Guns available. About the lack of helmets…I chose instead to order Service Dress Caps. No reasoning here…I just liked them!

Finally, all characters in the army, despite the real Regiment, will be fictional. I do not wish to step on anyone’s grandad! That is, unless they want me to include them!

After opening the box, this is what I was left with. A whole mess of pewter, and perhaps lead?

I make a point of washing all my metal models. Given that I was going to use a primer known for flaking off metal models, I made sure to be thorough, just to be safe. No broken models this time, so I set to work finding my bases and gluing the separate heads on.

This took hours, not because it was hard, but because it was tedious. Well worth it, and I have the perfect color picked out to paint them too!

All scrubbed up, assembled, and put into formations. Four Infantry Sections, each with a Lewis Gun, provide firepower. A Vickers offers a fixed emplacement, to make ‘beaten’ zones. Two sets of officers, one at the company/platoon level and the other at battalion. Two vignettes offer something neat to paint/fight over. And a whole wack of extras…
Two Sections; Each Corporal model is unique! I love the simplicity of these models, but they don’t lack for detail either. Just a joy to work with.
The other two Sections. Same sort of deal.
A nice, simple, if not a bit fiddly to assemble, Vickers. Going to add some shrubbery to the front part of the base, once its basing has begun!
The company/platoon commanders. They will get names, and ranks, shortly. I love the guy ready to punch some Anglican League traitors with his walking stick!
The battalion/regimental command. The guy learning on his cane will be the Regimental CO, while the man holding a truncheon will be the Regimental Sergeant Major. Finally, the man loading his Webley has to be something, he’s just too cool NOT to use!
My two favourite models from the collection I have got. They both have loads of character! They will probably recieve the most attention painting and lore-wise.
Two privates making improvised explosives. At this point, supplies are running thin, and jamming a bunch of nails in a tin and packing it with gunpowder is an old trick. Lots of First World War veterans in the regiment who have taught them how…
The regimental surgeon offers the best he can do to this not overly serious injured young man. “Chocolate, you’ll feel better” The boy will live, but will hate the taste of Frys going forward.

Now when I purchased the sets from Gripping Beast, I failed to take into account how much of each Infantry Section would be replaced with specialist models. As it turns out…quite a few.

I’ve heard of losing your head, but this is just silly! No, I have enough heads to outfit the whole ragtag bunch, but I have an idea…anyone got bearskins?

If anyone has any, or knows of a manufacturer of Bearskin Grenadier Helmets, I’d love to know! These headless chaps will become my elite backbone of my army, a section of Grenadier Guardsmen, sent to stiffen their resolve. I might be able to organize a cross-channel trade, in the spirit of Global VBCW….

On another topic, how do these lads rank up next to my British Union of Fascists thugs? Glad you asked that incredibly specific question, here is a scale photo between two very similar models.

Footsore BUF Yeomanry on the Left, and the Gripping Beast WW1 on the right! Hope this helps!

And that is it, until I go spray some models. I’m waiting for a low humidity and heat day, something you wouldn’t imagine would be an issue in Canada, but certainly is, at least where I live.

Misha too wishes for some colder weather, otherwise its simply too hot for the poor doggo!

Anyways, that is all the Very British Civil War goodness I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did feel free to comment! And if you didn’t, actually, comment why you didn’t too! All feedback is appreciated. I’d like to thank the VBCW community on Facebook for the warm reception. My buddy and I in Canada will aim to please!

Look for our landing in Dorset; We will arrive with Mounties on Moose Cavalry, Machine Guns, and Tim Horton’s for all. Oh, and King George. The real King!

Happy War-gaming, wherever you might be. And God Save King Edwar….even I can’t commit to it. Sorry! You guys have a wonderful day!

A Return to Warhammer, and(not related) a whole lot of Blackshirts…

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Oh Boy! One copy for me, one for an unlucky friend who got beaten by several hundred bots on pre-order day.

For those of you new to this blog, it may surprise you to hear that this started, originally, as a 40k-centric blog. While over time this has evolved, I always did play it, in the background, as well. I just get very focused on my passion projects of the moment, presently Zona Alfa, Very British Civil War, and many more.

That never diminishes my love of the lore of the distant future, but while 8th Edition was a great time, it had started to wear me down with constant FAQ’s and meta shifting. While my Clubhouse peers are not an overly competitive bunch, we do like to play hard with what we have, and we do have a fondness for shiny gubbins, which means a lot of Forge-World. Which, let’s be frank, hasn’t been always the most balanced of toys. So a new edition, promising balance tweaks, new Forge-World indexes done by Games Workshops own rule team, not the chaps who ought to be writing Horus Heresy stuff, and a spiffing new Crusade system that promised a lot of narrative goodness, was obviously going to cause a bit of a local hype-fest. My local store, the Giddy Goblin in Hanover, Ontario(No, I am not sponsored LOL) was awesome, and managed to secure a copy for everyone that wanted one.

My Clubhouse hosted(socially responsibly, in a low Covid-19 area, I’m talking one case here, and fully masked at all times…) Launch Party, which kicked off at 12:01. The boxes were dropped off by our friendly local store Manager.

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A whole lotta boxes, for a whole lotta people. No one left unhappy!

We did a quick overview of the rules, then jumped fully into the new Crusade system. As a Narrative gamer, this makes my heart jump for joy(Or, is it the 3 Monster energy drinks coursing through my system….) and I am very happy to report my Vostroyans, Praetorians, and new Black Templars, which I purchased more then a Crusade’s worth from two people in December, will be seeing the table, and covered in more depth later.

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My buddy, defiling my new rulebook. Disgusting.

 

While I was mostly busy building my new models, I did take time to do several things. Firstly, I took a few action shots of the games in progress, shown above. One guy was the painter for the stores demo copy, and thus had Marines from that set ready to go. However, they stayed in their Impulsor(think a weird floating Rhino if you haven’t been around 40k in a bit…) and thus I got no pictures of the dang models in action!

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Trevor, a friend of mine, filling out his campaign roster post-game. This whole new mechanic is awesome! I can’t wait for later today when I head out again to have a go myself.

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My part of the workstation, temporarily abandoned while I scarfed down donuts and drank a frankly unhealthy amount of caffeine.  The new models look great, and will be covered in greater detail in a longer post later today.

Of course, work continues on Zona Alfa. While I personally didn’t get much done, my friends have made excellent progress on 3D printed monsters and terrain. Some truly disgusting horrors await in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone…

But, as I am very easily distracted by my most recent project, I was reminded by a certain picture in the Clubhouse….

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Salutes-God Save the Queen?

And remembered I had a veritable horde of Fascists for A Very British Civil War show up the other day, and that the faster I paint them, the faster I can play that game.

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A whole lot of Blackshirts looks a lot less imposing when they are in silver…

 

I had brought along the whole lot to paint at the Clubhouse, so after priming them all black, I decided, while we counted the hours until 12:01, to paint something to pass the time. A Sergeant model was selected for the honour, and I set to work.

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His Enfield arrived broken, and beyond repair. I gave him a spare Bolt Action Thompson, and a magazine pouch so he had a few reloads.

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Of course, this makes the bandolier entirely useless. Think of it as full of random utensils, cigarettes, and a picture of Mosley in a compromising position that he keeps for those long nights alone….

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A good comment I got on the guy online is that I should increase the contrast between the bandolier and belts with the black uniform, as they are too similar. I’m inclined to agree, after seeing it on camera.

Not perfect, but I now know what to improve for the full batch painting run. Of course, this does mean I have Zona Alfa crews, Canadian modern in…wait, didn’t talk about those did I!

For my Canadian Zone project, I needed modern Canadian military. A company in Canada called Full Battle Rattle Miniatures does a line of them! Representing ISAF forces in our countries foray into Afghanistan, they will do great work representing a uniquely Canadian Cordon Defense Force…

 

Of course, this means I need to paint CADPAT, which is going to suck. A lot. I hate painting camouflage, and this is one of the hardest to get right. I sure do pick em, right?

To finish the thought, I have Zona Alfa, Canadians, Black Templars, Praetorians, etc to paint. But I like to be too busy. These days, any distraction is welcome, and if one painting project bores me, I can simply paint something else!

But as I’m pulling an all nighter, and possibly longer, to fully cover the release of the Indomitus box for our Badly Painted Minis website, I should probably drinking a nice calming up of peppermint tea, and steady my nerves for a long day of hopefully eventually fruitful tabletop Journalism. If you guys want to check out what I did over on the other site, here is a link!

The Era Indomitus: Bringing in the new Edition!

For now though, Happy War-Gaming, wherever you might be! From the distant future of a galaxy at eternal war, to radiation sunsets in the Ukraine, to rainy ole England in the throes of an abdication crisis, may you enjoy any hobbying you do today! Have a good one folks!

For King OR Country: First Steps into A Very British Civil War!

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They aren’t perfect. But I printed them at home!

In my last post, I mentioned that my 3D printer was arriving the day after. As one can guess from my utter lack of posting since, I have been busy enjoying my personal resin miniature machine. It’s a not insignificant learning curve, and I can’t claim to be 100% proficient at the process yet. But, for my stated goal of printing tanks, it has not failed me.

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The Phrozen Sonic Mini, doing its black magic. In goes liquid resin, out comes Tanks!

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, I mentioned that a friend and I had bought into A Very British Civil War, a setting based on King Edward VIII’s abdication crisis in 1936. Before I give you a quick synopsis, fair warning here, I’m not a Britisher myself, I may get some details wrong, but lets carry on with it, shall we? King Edward had attained the throne upon the death of his father, King George V.  However, the young king was sort of a playboy, and had fallen away from his womanizing ways by wanting to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. To our modern eyes, this doesn’t seem so bad.

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Prince Edward in the First World War. He was a member of the Grenadier Guards, but never allowed to see service. Admittedly a rather handsome young man, and his leave in Paris was…educational for the young Prince on the art of wooing ladies.

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However, he met his match in the 30’s in Wallis Simpson. An admittedly pretty lady, who proceeded to nearly cause a country to crumble!

But back then, it was a massive deal, and one that threatened to cause a serious issue in the United Kingdom. Parliament, to not go into too much detail, had said they wouldn’t support such a move. King Edward deliberated for pretty much the entirety of 1936. During that time, he showed an inclination towards supporting Fascism, which is probably the more dangerous part of this whole crisis. He was friends with Hitler later on!

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The Duke of Windsor, as Edward was styled after his adication, during a trip to Germany. He did the whole touristy thing, did as the Germans did. Which, in 1937 was Nazi Salutes and meeting good Ole Hitler.

Now, in our history, King Edward abdicates the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, and while a thorn in the side of British foreign relations, he played no serious further part in history. In the timeline of A Very British Civil War, however, he decides he’d like both, please. By keeping the throne, and marrying Simpson, Parliament collapses on itself. Some stay loyal to King Edward, but most resign. The government is on the brink of collapse. In order to keep things going, King Edward decides to invite someone to take charge, and appoints a Prime Minister.

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King Edward opening Parliament during his brief reign.

He chooses Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, and confirmed absolute jerk, who then proceeds to fill Parliament with a heavily Fascist majority, and placing his Blackshirts as an actual, legal, paramilitary. This does not sit well with a large part of the country, but he still manages to keep a lid of things. This is, until, a royal parade.

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Like a British Hitler, with a much more stupid mustache!

Traveling via armored car out of fear for his life, King Edward was being escorted by the Guards regiments, and several columns of British Union of Fascist “police”men. Someone fires a shot. Utter pandamonium reigns as King Edward makes his getaway, but the British Union Fascists turn their guns on the crowd. The Guards, in part but not entirely, fire at the Fascists! No one knows who shot first. In the aftermath, the country falls into collapse. The non-English Guard regiments are disbanded, and the Welsh, Irish, and Scots Guards are sent home in disgrace. The perceived insult leads many of these men to join the ever increasing and violent opposition to Mosley and his King. The many, many factions start to group together into loose coalitions.

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The Anglican League, middle class England, starts to form militias out of cricket teams, former soldiers, and various parts of your typical British village. They rally around Anglican dioceses, and start to form a mild-large religious front. They are a loose federation, all fight Mosley, but few groups agree what happens after. Some even consider working with the Socialists for a greater say in post war reconstruction.

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The Socialists get a huge shot in the arm, now convincing many lower class workers that the time is right for vast social reform, a revolution! Support from the Comintern is forthcoming, and many veterans of the Spanish Civil War join the ranks. They too differ in ideology; Some are more Leninist, some prefer hard-line Stalinism, and a few broach the dangerous territory of being Trotskyites. Some are willing to work with the Anglicans on broad goals, some refuse on principle. Some actually don’t want Soviet help, while others jockey to please Moscow.

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The Royalists are in a bad spot; They control most of the Army, and the Royal Air Force overwhelmingly supports Mosley and the King. The Navy is actually not touched upon in great deal in the setting, but I’d like to think that, inspired by global events elsewhere, some go Socialist, as mutineers rise up on their ships. Some go to follow the other claimant to the throne, Prince Albert, to Canada. And some stay loyal, but probably with the least amount. What they do maintain is extremely well trained Regulars, a good Territorial Army system, but with some of the major arms suppliers being now in rebel hands, they are fighting a war of attrition, in both losses of men to bullets or desertion, or difficulty maintaining supplies.

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The Fascists, while nominally on the same side as King Edward, are jockeying and using the turmoil to make themselves more and more ingrained into every part of governance and warfare, a move that Royalists can’t stop but don’t have to like. Mosley recruits fanatical youth, forming a military around his BUF. His new Legions take the name of famous kings and folk heroes of Britain. But really, the jackbooted thugs find themselves in a gamble; if they win this war, Fascism is entrenched and the UK saved from undesirables. If they do not, the reprisals will end them. Simple as.

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The Scots, having had quite enough of this silly stuff, turn into a self governing Republic. They suffer from internal issues as most of their officers wish to reunify upon Scottish victory, and become part of a Union again. Jacobites in the Highlands bring up the Stuart claims to the throne…again. The Scots really just want to defend their ancestral lands, and force a peace deal to secure this.

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The Welsh, ever fractious, can’t form a national resistance, and naturally form into similar groups as the English did. A few want an independent Wales, however, and are willing to fight for it. Now if only they could all agree on how to do that….

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The Irish, wisely sensing they can get away with it, occupy Ulster and Belfast. Ireland is now united, albeit temporarily. Ireland now sits, and waits to see how the sides respond. Eamon de Valera might be able to keep Ulster if he backs the winning horse, but will the luck of the Irish help them choose right?

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Finally, Prince Albert, in exile in Canada(from this point on, this is conjecture. And this is the lore we are using in my games among friends.) seeks the aid of the Canadian government. An Expeditionary Force is authorized, and while badly under-equipped in aircraft and armoured vehicles, a few of each are attained. Fellow British exiles join this Force, and they make for the coast of Wales. Upon landing, and setting a defensive perimeter, they are approached by envoys of the local political factions. He dismisses the Socialists outright, unwilling to work with a party that seeks to abolish the throne; He will fight them as hard as he will Mosley. The Anglicans are a much more interesting case; interested in fighting for a claim to the throne, back the Albertines. However, some talk in the Anglican ranks seems to push them to ask for concessions, and perhaps stricter religious laws. The Canadian bulk of the Expeditionary Force is seen by some as foreign invasion; to alleviate concerns, detachments of local Anglicans are embedded into the command structure of the Force. The Canadians are eager to restore who they feel is the true King to the throne, and bring a staunch professionalism and grit to the otherwise undertrained militia flocking to the Albertine banner.

Okay, now that the ‘brief’ summary is out of the way, for those of us unfamiliar with the setting. I honestly got carried away writing it! It was an absolute blast. I really enjoy the setting, what can I say?

As I said last time, My buddy is playing the Albertines, with Anglican support. A very traditional faction, with some cricket teams and some other goofy stuff planned for late. Here are some pics of what he’s started on!

A BEF box, Command, Vickers Machine gun, and a boat to carry them home to the Rainy Isle. He’s got more coming!

As for me, I did two large orders of infantry, one from Footsore Miniatures for my BUF, and another from Gripping Beast for WW1 Infantry, to be used as Territorial Army(Reservists) serving the Royalists. They have not yet arrived; Hopefully soon! Both companies have been in touch to ensure that they do.

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A whole of bad dudes; And, what I presume, is a large amount of black primer!

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The good ole Territorial Army. Going to war with what their father’s would have, and dressed pretty damn close. I have 4 platoons in there! so I should be set for both BUF and Territorial Army.

 

Of course, what is clearly lacking here is vehicles. Having already got a 3D printer, I decided to try scaling up two 15mm models, and adding in a 28mm tank on that as well. Now this is a learning curve, a lot went wrong at first until I learned my machine a little better.

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The Assembly Line of Resin Goodness!

My first prints were a couple 40k and Fantasy related things, but I wanted to print an armored vehicle. I settled on the Rolls Royce Armored Car, model of 1920.

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Hmmm, something doesn’t look right.

After this failure, I fixed the issue with the supports, and produced my first battlefield ready model! It is far. far from perfect. And I can tweak it to make it better! But let me show you!

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Much better! A few issues with the tires, but very gameable.

 

With a nice solid coat of a nice green, it is ready for painting! I’m quite pleased, even thought its far from perfect. These were a common vehicle, and it’ll serve as a fairly quick machine gun position, moving along roads to secure key positions.

Morale restored, I decided to do a small Vickers “Dutchman” tank, an export model meant for the Dutch East Indies. Meant for police and enforcement, this tank was woefully under-equipped to fight the Japanese in 41-2. But in the VBCW setting, they will be nimble, small, decently well equipped gun platforms. My intention is that General Fuller has requested as many fast, light, tanks as he can get a hold of, trying to prepare for a blitzkrieg across the English countryside, and the Dutch order gets cancelled and vehicles pressed into service.

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It’s so widdle!

Finally, feeling confident I could tackle something larger, I started on a Vickers Medium Mk2. This tank is a key part of many VBCW armies, as it was common in service and training roles, and many could see service on any side. On this tank, the Turret Peg simply didn’t print, and as a large piece to hold the turret in, it was kind of important. This was fixed by a convenient off cut of plastic pipe a plumber left behind; perfect fit, and cut to size!

As well, the 3 Pounder Barrel didn’t print entirely. I decided to replace it with a pen tube. I can always print more, and I have gone back and fix the print. The real disaster came when the tracks came out seriously warped; it took a lot of rubber bands and hot water warping tricks to get it to this not entirely satisfactory result. But, it’ll serve just fine, and while very noticable, won’t affect my enjoyment of using it in a game! I love this tank, and this will form the core of my tank force. with a 3 Pounder gun, it is actually well equipped to deal with other armor it might encounter.

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Tissue armor, slow, slab sided. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love this model.

Now since two of these models are scaled up from 15mm, I needed to see if they still looked the part! So I did a scale test with a Bolt Action plastic 8th Army soldier.

No major issues, and consulting the internet shows that while a hair too small, they are perfectly usable. 1/56th scale is common for Bolt Action, and seeing as we are using that rule-set, we decided to keep the vehicles that size. As well, my infantry in the mail are much smaller and finer in detail then the Warlord plastic model I’m using here. It should, altogether, make a striking force to look at on the table!

That is all I really got for today! But look on Monday for some sweet Zona Alfa related content!

This has been a fun experience, the printer. For printing obscure models from the Interwar years, it has been invaluable. I will continue to collect store-bought and boutique models, but as a tool to make some cool stuff, color me happy and impressed.

If you are a old school veteran Very British Civil War player, please let me know if I’m off to a good start. As a foreigner, some concepts here might escape me. And If anyone can help with flavour, I’m all ears! Happy to be joining a setting that has interested me for almost seven years!

Until next time, Happy War-Gaming, where you might be! I’m off to watch some Blackadder Goes Forth, Bertie and Wooster, and some Peaky Blinders to get into the flavour of things. Have a wonderful day!