Gisby's Gaming Blog

September 9, 2022

VBCW: A9 Cruiser Tank Mk I

Filed under: 3D Printing, Paint and Glue Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 23:55

I admit, I have a fondness for multi-turret tanks. They look so much like kids’ fanciful drawings, yet someone, somewhere, thought they were a good idea. But they never turned out to be effective. So of course I will field as many as possible.

But the A9 is a bit of a problem. It has three turrets, and was the right era for VBCW, but had enough armour and speed that it served well into WW2, and wasn’t bad at it’s job.

That means that among my other tanks it’s a dash’t King Tiger. But I suppose that’s their problem. At least it still looks sort of clumsy. And it’s one of the few among my vehicles that could be there without a fair bit of hand-waving.

This model is a 3D print from Paint and Glue Miniatures. It’s a hull and three turrets, and I added a wire aerial. Aside from popping the turrets in place there was no further assembly needed. The print was clean and complete. (and a lovely pearlized mint green – I could hardly bear to prime it)

For more information on the A9 Cruiser Tank look here.

August 22, 2022

VBCW: Burford-Kegresse Half Track

When I saw the Burford-Kegresse in a photo of manouevers in the 1920’s it was the first I had ever heard of it. It looked ungainly and awful, so I knew I needed it for my VBCW armies. I bought an STL file, and obtained permission to have it printed by a third party. (Paint and Glue Miniatures)

In real life, there was only a small batch made, and found wanting, they were scrapped in 1929. (They worked well enough, but the tracks, being a rubber/canvas composite, were prone to failing) I had thought they would just be a colourful piece of transport – imagine my surprise when I found they each had two (perhaps overscale) HMGs on a 360 degree mount. Suddenly they are a real threat.

They were also apparently difficult to print. Garry at Paint & Glue eventually printed the guns and mount separately in resin (I had ordered the cheaper plastic) to overcome the difficulties, and even threw in one of the ‘incomplete’ prints in case I wanted to use it as a wreck. It was complete enough that I was able to make a third half track.

But Garry went above and beyond on this commission.

The drivers and passengers are homemade, using blue stuff to cast putty bodies. The heads are Woodbine Designs WW1 heads, because all you really see of the drivers is their heads.

The gunners are Wargames Atlantic WW1 German officers, also with Woodbine heads. I had to narrow their shoulders to fit in the mounts, and fix the guns in place so I could remove the swivels (to widen the space for the gunners) The gunners are standing loose, held in place by the gun ring. The guns can rotate, and so can the gunners.

August 21, 2022

VBCW: Matilda I

Filed under: 3D Printing, Paint and Glue Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 03:16

Tanks, in general, look squat and powerful: The wide fenders and skirts disguise what is essentially an armoured box with tracks attached to the sides, carrying a deadly gun to the foe.

The Matilda I (Infantry Tank A11) is not such a tank. It is very obviously a narrow armoured box, suspended between rather frail-looking track assemblies, carrying a single machine gun into battle.

It was however, well-armoured, allowing it to slowly get close enough to the enemy to be not very effective.

But it is a perfect vehicle for VBCW, where it is not facing 88mm guns, and a mobile armoured machine-gun is a lovely thing to have.

This model is a two-piece 3D print from Paint and Glue Miniatures. They provide good service, and I recommend them.

For more information on the Matilda I look HERE.

August 19, 2022

VBCW/Great War: Renault FT

I bought this tank for several reasons: To go with the Wargames Atlantic WW1/2 French infantry, to bolster my VBCW forces, and because I really wanted one.

The FT (commonly called the FT-17) is one of the earliest ‘modern’ tanks, with a rotating turret atop a tracked hull. It was used by (and copied by) many nations in both WW1 and WW2.

This model is a 3D print from Butler’s Printed Models. He offers a number of different variants, and also sells the turrets separately so you can switch turrets if you need a different version. It was a clean print, and takes paint and glue well – Of course I broke the main gun and replaced it with wire.

I chose a rather colourful scheme for the tank because it reminded me of a lithographed tin tank I had as a child. I keep wanting to wind this one up!

There are no markings on it, so I can use it for VBCW, WW1, Pulp, Back of Beyond, or even WW2. I could use it dam’ near anywhere.

For more information on the Renault FT, look here.

VBCW: Vickers Independent

Filed under: 3D Printing, Pulp Gaming, VBCW — gisby @ 00:26

The Vickers A1E1 only ever reached the prototype stage and only a single example was built, but it is so beautiful I needed one for my VBCW forces. (I have a weakness for multi-turret tanks)

In theory it should be a terror on the battlefield – A 47mm main gun, plus four independently-firing machine guns, it was designed to dominate the cover of ‘Boy’s Adventure’ magazines.

This model was 3D printed in six pieces, but is a bit of a franken-tank.

A good friend printed it for me, and it was a flawless print – But he didn’t cure the resin sufficiently, and on it’s way to me, the fenders warped like a flooded basketball court. The turrets were great, but he had printed all the small turrets the same, although there are two types.

The second print was commercially done. Plastic rather than resin, the dome turret had lines like a phonograph record, and he only printed two small turrets – Even more of the one I already had! But the hull was useable.

My friend tried again, just the small turrets, and printed two of each, so I finally had a complete tank. The original turret, commercial hull, and a mixture of machine-gun turrets. I had an extra of the anti-aircraft turret, which I sent to a friend in the UK who had similar problems.

In the process, I dropped the main turret and snapped the gun off. Luckily I had wire of the correct size to make a new gun.

For more information on the Vickers A1E1 Independent look HERE.

August 13, 2022

VBCW: Carden-Loyd SP Gun

In 1930, Belgium purchased six Carden-Loyd carriers for use as artillery tractors. By 1933 they decided the carriers were not up to the job, so instead mounted the 47mm anti-tank guns directly onto the carriers.

Needless to say, they still were not up to the task, losing stability, mobility, and overwhelming the crew. But Belgium had a mobile anti-tank gun, of sorts.

In my VBCW, nobody has learned anything, but they remember the Belgian ingenuity, and copy it for British use. They have plenty of carriers, and small anti-tank guns to mount on them.

The carrier is a three-piece 3D print from Paint and Glue Miniatures. It was a lovely print, crisp and clean.

Because the model is so light, when I added the crew, it sat back on it’s heels, and required a weight be added under the front hull so it would sit flat.

The crew are from Reiver Castings, with new heads from Woodbine Designs. (There was nothing wrong with their heads, they were just wearing the wrong hats)

Read more about the Carden-Loyd Anti-Tank gun carrier HERE.

August 9, 2022

VBCW: More Mounties

In past years I have recruited a band of RCMP to serve in my VBCW, and a Musical Ride to serve as Cavalry. They have always been my favourites, but somewhat under gunned.

I found a solution on a VBCW Facebook page – Someone had taken the Woodbine Designs Vickers gun & crew, and given them the ‘lemon squeezer’ hats to make RCMP. (This is not my original idea, and full credit goes to the OP.) So that’s what I did.

There was also a photo found online – Not really RCMP, but they look like them, and that’s good enough for me. A motorcycle combo, with a Lewis gun on the bike, and a passenger with a Bergmann SMG (or similar.) I have NO idea why the APP thought they needed this, but I fell in love with it. For YEARS I had hoped someone would make it, but no luck.

Paint & Glue Miniatures has a lovely Polish motorcycle combo, and the passenger already has a small drum-fed SMG. A bit of carving, a pair of woodbine heads, and a Lewis gun, and I finally have my RCMP bike.

The bike is delicate in places, so you really have to be careful with it until it is based. (It’s a 1-piece print!) I avoided the problem by just breaking the two pieces apart (for ease when cutting, drilling, carving) and pinning them back together with wire. But it is a beautiful piece, and the print was perfect.

August 8, 2022

More Barsoom Beasts

Filed under: 3D Printing, Barsoom, Classic Miniatures, Wargames Atlantic — gisby @ 19:35

The creatures of Barsoom are fierce and terrifying, and have been copied in many lesser works of fiction. They can be found in the wilderness, or deep under cities, both inhabited and abandoned. They will provide a challenge to adventurers, and a change from the usual sword duels.

The Banth is a fierce predator, referred to as a ‘Martian Lion’ it tracks it’s prey tirelessly on it’s ten strong legs, and is feared by both man and beast.

This is the Banth first made by Heritage, 45 years ago, and recently made available again through Classic Miniatures.

It’s a single piece casting, and it has not aged particularly well. It seems a bit crude compared to other offerings, and it’s not the fault of the new moulds. (Because of better metal they are crisper than the originals) But remember, when this miniature was released, it was world-class sculpting.

The face has a definite Asian look, with curling whiskers like a Fu dog.

They were also sculpting before there was epoxy putty

Even the Green Warriors were wary of the White Apes of Barsoom. Gigantic in size, they had six limbs and an aggressive nature.

This figure is a 3D printed White Ape. (three views) It matches well in size with the Bronze Age apes and the D&D plastic Grillahs, although its head seems to be a bit smaller in proportion.

The pose is dynamic, and could be modified easily with a saw and glue. There are apparently three poses in the file, and this is just one.

There are Giant Spiders in the Valley Hohr, and deep in the tunnels under many cities – Who knows where else they may be found?

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These are the Wargames Atlantic Giant Spiders, and they are horrifying in aspect but fun to assemble. They come 12 in a box, perfect if you want to use them as mounts for depraved cultists from a lost city. There are also smaller spiders (not the ones under the big guys in the photos) and web-wrapped victims included as well.

The set includes mechanical arms and SF weapons for those of a more SF and less VSF bent. (Although they would be great for Barsoom, where weird science was the norm.)

April 22, 2022

VBCW: Scout and Machine-Gun Carriers

Filed under: 3D Printing, Butler's Printed Models, VBCW, Woodbine Design — gisby @ 10:28

Before there was a Universal Carrier, there were several specialised carriers in service with the British forces. The most common were the Bren, or Machine-Gun Carrier, and the Scout Carrier, and these are perfect in time frame for the VBCW.

Machine Gun Carrier

Mine are 3D printed models from Butler’s Printed Models. The service was great, the prices good, and the models are great. Each was a single-piece, with a number of supports to trim away, but nothing difficult.

Machine Gun Carrier

The Machine Gun Carrier comes without any weaponry – The rear crew compartment is on the left – The right side is completely open.

Scout Carrier

The Scout Carrier comes with a Boys anti-tank rifle in place. The rear troop compartment is on the right, and is similar to that of the Universal Carrier. The left side is open, almost a mirror of the MG Carrier.

Scout Carrier

I have a particular conceit about my VBCW vehicles and guns: I try to paint them as if they were Dinky or Crescent die-cast toys from the period. It’s cheaper and easier than searching out originals (If they were even made) and it keeps me from falling into the trap of AFV modelling rather than wargame modeling. – Nothing WRONG with it, but it’s not the look I am after.

The lack of crews is very apparent, so I made crews for the vehicles. I took the torso from a Plastic WW1 German, and added legs and arms from putty. I also modified the collar to accept Woodbine Design WW1 British heads. (Above is a body before the arms were slimmed down, but with head attached)

Dry fit of driver

I made a blue-stuff mould, and cast six crew bodies from putty. It’s easier to sand than plastic or metal, so you can get your crew to fit in some oddly small spaces.

They aren’t beautiful, but the crew figures on Dinky vehicles weren’t beautiful either. That being said, the Woodbine heads improve them greatly. (It also means I can use these same bodies with different heads for different vehicles)

I added a HMG to the front of the MG Carrier. I am not certain it would work, but it counts in the rules the same as a Bren, so it does not matter.

The rear crew compartment was rather tiny, so it took a lot of filing to get him to fit. I also had to be careful with my sanding, so the crew would sit upright and not lean in any direction.

There was a mount on the back, so I added a floral wire aerial.

All in all, I am pleased with how they turned out. The models themselves were great (and Butlers has a lot to choose from) and the crews really make them ‘mine.’

February 16, 2022

VBCW Birch Gun

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The Birch Gun was the first practical British self-propelled artillery gun, built at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich in 1925. The Birch gun comprised a Vickers Medium Mark II tank chassis originally fitted with a QF 18-pounder (83.8 mm) gun. The gun had a 360 degree traverse, and could elevate 90 degrees, making it useable as an anti-aircraft gun. Although a design before its time, it was not adopted for use, and only three were built.

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Once I learned of the Birch Gun, I decided I must have one. I looked at various 3D printers, and they seemed to want more for a 1/56 model than a real Birch Gun would have cost.

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But Wargaming3D had a 1/100 (15mm) STL file for a reasonable price, so I bought it and asked a friend to print it for me at 178%, as this SHOULD scale it up to 1/56.

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The rivet detail isn’t as sharp as it could be, but that’s all right, as I paint my VBCW armour as if it was 1930’s Dinky Toys. The less-crisp detail actually improves the look.

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The gun crew are made from Wargames Atlantic kneeling WW1 German infantry (They will be releasing WW1 British very soon) They have been given Service Cap heads from Gripping Beast’s Woodbine Designs range. They are removable, and the gun rotates. (It does not elevate)

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The driver is a putty casting made with blue-stuff moulds. He started as a Reiver Castings driver, copied in putty. This was then filed and trimmed to fit: Because the driver’s position is very narrow, he doesn’t actually have a left arm. He too has a Woodbine head.

All in all, I am very pleased with the way the vehicle turned out, I am developing a fondness for 3D printed tanks.

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