Gisby's Gaming Blog

August 22, 2022

Space 1889: Skrill Rider

I was looking for flying dinosaurs to use as skrill, and I came across a picture of the Rafm Um-Cijo Cliff Flyer. It looked interesting, and I put it on my list, while thinking ‘That is one miniature I never would have expected I would buy.’

Days later, I was searching through a box for some other figures…. and there it was, RAF3035, ‘Um-Cijo Cliff Flyer,‘ still in its package. The price tag was for a shop I had never heard of, and I certainly had no memory of the kit.

Sculpted by Bob Murch, it is superbly engineered – the wings slot into the body, and the outer wings fit in such a way that they almost don’t need glue. There was no need to pin the wings or any other parts.

The lower half of the rider is moulded as part of the flyer. I replaced the upper half with a Grenadier elf as a surrogate Martian.

I used the base supplied, glued onto a CD, with a length of coat-hanger wire to support the creature. Here he flies with a few lesser skrill.

August 21, 2022

Space 1889: More Skrill

Recently I have been looking for skrill. Like many others, I have been substituting flying dinosaurs for actual skrill. I have also used small-scale Nazgul mounts and dragons as small, niusance skrill. (They are cheap, which is nice)

Larger flying dinosaurs are usually quite expensive, fine if you want to use them as if they are a dragon, less useful if you want to use them like lions or wolves.

Antediluvian Miniatures has, in their Lost World range, a lovely Rhamphorhynchus, and not only is it well priced, but you can order a set of five for the price of four. This gives you a nice-sized pack of flying predators, and they are large enough to be threats even as individuals.

They are supplied with plastic flight bases, but I used bases of my own design. 40mm washers with sintra ‘rocks’ anchoring a wire support. The bottom end of the wire is bent and glued/puttied in place in the washer’s hole so it won’t twist loose.

The Rhamphorhynchus’s are far better painted on the Antediluvian site, but I wanted the pale blue look of the Space 1889 skrill. They are painted a pale sky blue with a lightly-pigmented brown wash.

Of course they are still useful for VSF, Pulp, and Lost World games!

Here they are with a skrill rider, allowing you to compare them to a Martian for scale.

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 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.

April 25, 2022

VBCW: BUF Cavalry

Filed under: Footsore Miniatures, Pulp Gaming, VBCW — gisby @ 05:24

Like many others, I am happy to field mounted forces in my VBCW despite the huge numbers of machine guns I have available to my units. Am I optimistic or foolhardy? Only time will tell.

One of the first I made was my BUF Cavalry, although I suppose they are more of a mounted infantry force, purchased during a sale at Footsore Miniatures. The miniatures are well sculpted and cast, with little or no flash.

The mounted troops come in packs of three poses, as do the mounted command. This is handy if you are building 12-man units, but with 10-man units I wound up with a couple of extra figures.

The figure on the left is made to take a wire standard pole, which I did not do. I am not certain why, given my love for units with flags. I have a choice of Officer or NCO to command the unit.


Of course a mounted infantry unit needs a dismounted version. I can also field them as BUF infantry if needed.


The vaguely blurry photos (and my painting skills) do not do the figures justice.

There are a few extra figures, useful as scouts, observers, or command troops. The fellow attempting to fist-bump the officer is another standard bearer. (The fellow on the right was the third figure from the HMG set)

April 23, 2022


Filed under: Footsore Miniatures, Pulp Gaming, VBCW — gisby @ 03:28

The BUF are handy Villains in the VBCW world – Depending on your tastes they can be brutal and efficient, or cowardly buffoons, or anything in between. They let you have SS-light, without the social stigma of swastikas.

Generally they are done all in black, so they look sinister and fascistic. I have a general aversion to all-black clothing, so MY BUF wears natty blue tunics and hats, piped red.

Standard Bearer and Officer

These figures are from Footsore Miniatures, and are among the few VBCW figures I have that are actually intended for VBCW. In general they are clean sculpts, and well cast with no flash.

Officer and Observers/Scouts

The figures come in packs of three or four, so I wound up with a few extra troops to use as HQ types, Scouts, etc.

They produce infantry, Vickers gunners, HMGs and cavalry (As well as a complete range of non-BUF VBCW figures!)

VBCW: The Rani’s Bodyguard

When fighting broke out, the young Rani of Kandibar brought her bodyguard to England to support the Crown. She has led these stalwart sons of the Empire herself, with no concern for her own safety.

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Pulp Figures released a set of ‘Dangerous Dames‘ that contained The Rani. She cried out to be in my VBCW. The two figures with her are her personal bodyguard and her loyal Vizier, both figures from the ‘Thugs’ pack.

Although intended for my VBCW campaign, they will also prove useful in Pulp, Colonial, or VSF games – Will they be allies or enemies?

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The bodyguard unit is WW1 Sikh infantry from Woodbine Designs. They come in packs of 10 assorted poses, available with either Sikh or Hindu heads. There are plenty of poses, so you probably won’t get two the same. (I specifically asked for only certain poses)

The fit is great, and they are a joy to assemble and paint.

NB: The region of ‘Kandibar’ is not my joke, I stole it. I stole it so long ago I don’t remember whose campaign I stole it from. All credit goes to the original author.

February 19, 2022

VBCW: Pankhurst Battalion

Like many gamers, I have a fascination for all-female units, especially in eras and armies that had none. I’d prefer to not go into the psychology behind it, but I cannot deny it.

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Minifigs has, in their Matchlock MiniaturesForgotten Front‘ range, four uniformed females for a ‘Pankhurst’ Battalion. The uniforms appear to be based on WW1-era nursing uniforms with webbing added, and they look the part. They are single-piece castings, and generally cleanly cast. I only chose to use one casting for the ranks, as the other is a firing pose, and the last is a standard bearer. (But she is a rather dynamic figure!)

As supplied, their rifles and bayonets are rather flimsy and prone to breakage. I strengthened them with putty, but didn’t file them down enough, so the bayonets look like cleavers.

The Officer is blowing a whistle and waving an umbrella rather than a sword, a rather charming touch.

The figures are fairly tall and hefty, giving a definitely Amazonian feel to the unit. They may not fit well with a lot of figures, or you can just not worry about it.

Overall a pleasing unit, and I am happy with it. I’d use it in Victorian or Pulp settings as well.

October 19, 2020

VBCW: The Cricketers

Filed under: Irregular Miniatures, Pulp Gaming, VBCW — gisby @ 00:49

These are the Irregular Miniatures armed Cricketers.


My little town of East Boxley has a fine Cricket pitch, and the locals are more than willing to come out and defend it.


They are actually rather well armed, having both a SMG and LMG in their ranks.

The figures were clean castings, with no flaws or flash, and the service was as always fast and friendly.

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