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!

Harrington On Sea: My Very British Civil War Setting!

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Mosley…

What I imagine the sleepy port town of Harrington On Sea looks like! (Actually its Whitby! But just like Walmington On Sea its standing in!)

Walmington On Sea. Little Whinging. The Island of Sodor and St. Mary Mead. The United Kingdom is full of fictional places. For most VBCW players however, it seems that playing your local area is the most popular option. And honestly, I wish I could do that! Getting attached to your community and seeing it on the tabletop is a fantastic thing.

But for my VBCW group, we are Canadian, and live an hour and a half apart. Our local area would have been firmly out of the fighting unless things got really dicey. And I spent half a year look for a place in the UK to set our games. We settled on Dorset, but no specific town. It was about a month ago that we decided instead to ‘make up’ our own settlement to fight over and tell stories about.

It took a while, but we eventually decided the name of this sleepy port town would Harrington On Sea, in Dorset, on the Southern English Coast. While I haven’t got all the history down completely, I am however still laid up in bed, and this is hobbying to a degree. So let me share what I have so far!

Harrington On Sea is a rural seaside community, with a population of roughly one thousand residents, both in town and around the nearby countryside. While the port was very busy with Royal Navy activity back in the 19th century, the 20th century has not been kind, as larger ships have led to the departure of the Navy to larger ports. Fishing, is now the primary occupation, and civilian unloading of merchant vessels a close second.

The town has gotten a second lease on life as a seaside resort for the upper class, and many estates and mansions dominate the surrounding countryside. Hunting is a particularly popular pastime for the idle rich. The towns urban poor work the docks as mentioned, and there is no small degree of tension between the classes. The middle-class, the most populous demographic, are a moderating influence, and are mostly engaged in the mercantile trade. Traders from overseas enjoy the harbour, a fairly large one for a town of its size, and while not bustling, work at the docks is steady as goods are offloaded to be sent all across Dorset.

Stevedore - Wikipedia
Harrington On Sea Dock Workers unload precious cargo.

In 1938 the town fell under Anglican League control early on, simply due to geography. The vicars raised a Local Defense Volunteer unit under a Captain Hawthorne, a pious man who served in the Dorsetshire Regiment in the Great War, and had ended the war as a Sergeant. The dockworkers instead chose to raise their own defense corps, called the Harrington Dock Workers Union Defense Corps. A grandiose name to be sure, but the unit numbers only fifty men, and have elected ‘Comrade’ Harry Price as their commanding officer. Price is a Canadian who served with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion in the Spanish Civil War, and unable to return home, managed to get to Harrington On Sea, where he has worked for the past few months. His wartime experience has made him leery of the Communist Party’s ‘Popular Front’, as he has grown a dislike for Moscow’s methods. He has thus far loosely aligned the Workers Defense Corps with the local Anglican cause, as in his words “Defeat Fascism now, Progress will come!”

Comrade Harry Price of the Harrington Dock Workers Union Defense Corps. A committed socialist, but also an anti-stalinist, this puts his forces at the very edge of supply, as few are willing to equip them.

Harrington On Sea had little need for such defenders until Autumn of 1938, when a major BUF/Royalist offensive broke through the Anglican lines. Led by General Fuller, a master of armoured warfare, this ‘lightning war’ quickly swept up smaller towns on his way to secure the Channel Ports. Almost simultaneously in nearby Devon, the Albertines, a faction committed to putting Prince Albert on the throne, had made landfall. Heavily reinforced by Canadian ‘Volunteers’, the Albertines looked to make another landing, choosing the hitherto untouched Harrington On Sea as their next potential landing site.

General Fuller would lead a Brigade sized force toward the Channel Coasts, and Harrington On Sea stood in his way. It would “Be conquered in the new fashion, quick, and decisively

The Albertines sent a forward emissary to the town, seeking their assistance for the landing in exchange for protection. The Anglican LDV had no issues with this, and pledged their forces readily. Unfortunately, Albertine policy toward the Socialists is overwhelmingly negative, and the Worker Defense Corps was therefore equally unwilling to help. It was at this critical juncture that Harry Price and the Canadian liaison officer recognized each other. Lieutenant James Kolinski, an officer from the Canadian Volunteer Rifles Regiment, the famed ‘Purple Puttees”, turned out to be an old friend of Comrade Harry Price. Price fired up, spoke a great speech about unity against the Fascist aggressor, and of Britain coming together to defeat Mosley. The WDC was convinced, if just for now, to fight with the Anglicans and Albertines.

Juno Beach | Facts, Map, & Normandy Invasion | Britannica
Albertine Canadian Volunteers land at Devon. A scene High Command hoped would be repeated at Harrington On Sea.

A BUF Spy was present at the meeting however, and stealing away in the night, he brought the news to an ecstatic General Fuller. A chance to push the Albertines back into the sea, pacify the town, and kill some Socialists was too big an opportunity to ignore. He committed a battalion to crush the town, consisting of his BUF XX ‘King William’ Legion, the Territorials of the 1st London Fusiliers, armour from the Royal Tank Regiment and BUF Armoured Corp, and most threateningly of all, he committed the few Grenadier Guardsmen he had under his command. A potent force to defeat an untested Canadian Volunteer Army, Anglican League LDV, and a few Socialists.

The Anglicans prepared their secret weapon, a Renault FT smuggled in from France. This one tank was all they had outside of a few civilian transports. The Socialists pitched in with their meagre force. The stage was set for a battle of some significance!

And back to banter. This is all I have thus far, as I need to play a battle or two to establish what happens next! Will the BUF/Royalist force crush the tiny town, causing them to scatter and fight as Guerillas? Will the plucky townsfolk survive and dig in for the inevitable second attack?

I’m quite excited to see how this project will grow. With a setting established I can now work on acquiring the needed buildings and scenery. It’ll be a large undertaking! Harrington On Sea can only be further embellished upon, and if any of you have any ideas on how to expand, some critiques, or anything else I’ll be glad to hear it! It seems as if my Province is heading into another 28 day lockdown, so I’m hoping my job isn’t too affected, but it does mean I should be able to churn out hobby content as soon as my foot heals well enough to sit and stand again!

For now, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and I hope you have a pleasant day!

*A note on pictures: I have repurposed historical images for fictional effect. If you are the owner of these pictures and would rather they not be used, please let me know and I will take them down right away. As well, no disrespect is intended in their use.

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!

Reinforcements from Empire: Indians in Very British Civil War!

India sends some of her finest!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Royal Reinforcements: More Toys for the VBCW Royalists!

And some Video Gaming too!

Some heavy firepower and someone to command them!

My VBCW army is a project I particularly enjoy working on. With such an interesting setting, it is easy to get motivated into getting them done before Lockdown ends and finally use them in a game.

I got a Vickers MMG, a Peerless Armoured Car, and a Major and Warrant Officer done. My hands fought me the whole time, as they were shaking quite badly today. Still, they have a simple paint scheme so they came along quite nicely. Lets show them off!

I do love me a Vickers! With such an iconic look, I had to have one in my army.
Of course, you need the armbands in these times of Civil War. A white armband may be all that saves you from ‘friendly’ fire.
A simple grassy base, with a tuft of yellow flowers for taste.
All in all, a fun little team to work on!

Next up is the Peerless. This was a 3D print I did a few months back, one of my early successes. It is from Deweycat on Wargaming 3D, and I heartily recommend it.

With two MMGs, it can be a nasty mobile pill-box, giving me firepower where I need it most!

A really simple paint job, nothing fancy.
I’m torn on how the identification stripe looks, but at least it will be an obviously Royalist vehicle.
The wash came out quite nicely!
And with sturdy armour, it will take some Molotov’s or Boy’s Anti-Tank firepower to kill it.

Finally, and the units I worked the hardest on was the command team, a Major and his Warrant Officer. They provide my High Command, and since I’m using Bolt Action rules, the ability to activate four other units is going to come in very handy!

I like to imagine that the officer is an old hand, veteran of the Empire. Serving in the Great War was just his last posting. The Warrant Officer puts steel into the Territorial Army troops I field. Together they form a unit.
The Warrant Officer was a lovely sculpt to paint, and didn’t fight me at all to get done.
The small insignia is all that gives away his rank. I love that it actually resembles a crown!
Not as old as the ‘ole Major’, he is nonetheless a veteran of the Great War, and knows how to fight!
The ‘Ole Major’ is getting up there in years, and doesn’t even bother carrying a sidearm. He has people for that! His fighting days may be done, but his oath to King and Country means he serves as best he can.
Lovely detail on his face! I have since cleaned up that armband, and it looks much sharper in other pictures.
The pose has such a commanding presence. Leading his boys from the front, he knows the risks but no longer cares. He’s had a good run.

All in all, a good two days of work! I had a lot of fun painting these guys up. Next up is another squad of BUF infantry and perhaps another squad of Territorials. Four squads will give me plenty of board control!

In non-tabletop news, I am super stoked to see that the Very British Civil War mod for Hearts of Iron 4 has come a long way in the past few months. I’m not affiliated with the project in any way, to be absolutely clear. I’m just super interested in it!

For those of you who are not into computer gaming, Hearts of Iron 4 is a grand strategy game where you control a country during WW2, from industry to fighting with divisions on the front line. The Very British Civil War mod is a hyper focused modification of the game that lets you command one of the factions in the Civil War, and decide the fate of the British Isles!

A good menu! Custom art sets it apart. It’s no Kaiserreich, but its getting there!
Even the menu screens are full of character!
The major players! Everyone important is in attendance, and you can even select smaller factions by hitting ‘select country’
This map is amazing. Focusing only on the UK allows you to focus on the important parts of the VBCW period. This is also a helpful map for the tabletop!
A lovely menu upon start will give you the whole story behind the VBCW, great for newcomers!
This whole ‘tree’ allows you to decide the path and decisions of your faction. This one is for the Royalists!
Clever tech trees allow for some building of WW2 units, should you spend the time researching them.
The one for tanks is particularly interesting!
Cities are multi-stages, as opposed to regular Hearts of Iron. You actually fight for the suburbs first!
London is going to be a hard nut to crack…

Being able to immerse myself both on the Tabletop and now online with friends, really means I can keep the creative juices going on making my tabletop army! I’m also using the mod as a gateway drug to get some other people into the tabletop side of things. I hope that the mod continues its steady progress, and if the guys working on it see this, great job!

But that is all I have for now. Happy Wargaming wherever in the world you might be, and stay safe everyone!

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!.