Gisby's Gaming Blog

August 8, 2022

VBCW/Great War British lancers

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW, WW1 — gisby @ 23:48

In the Great War, they soon learned that Cavalry could no longer be readily used in its traditional roles. In my VBCW, they completely forgot.

I had a spare unit’s worth of Renegade Miniatures British cavalry, and I figured they’d be more useful defending Dorking than sitting unpainted in a box.

The lances are made from floral wire, with pennons printed on my computer (In outline, with the colours painted in)

The only thing that makes these VBCW rather than BEF is… well… The shelf I keep them on? Yes, they are just Early War British cavalry.

But all in all, they are a good-looking unit, and will no doubt deal harshly with the foe.

VBCW/Great War: Woodbine heads

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW, Woodbine Design, WW1 — gisby @ 23:21

I have recently been using Woodbine Designs separate heads to convert and/or improve other companies’ miniatures. These are all intended for VBCW, but they are all WW1 miniatures, so just as useful there.

This is a unit of Renegade Miniatures Highlanders, with Woodbine Tam O’Shanters. The original heads were large, crude, and ugly.

The figure on the left has the original head – The new head is quite an improvement.

I avoided painting the Highlanders for years, because I hated their heads. I also had Highlander HMG crews and a gas hooded crew that I really had no use for. But it was simple and easy to replace the heads with the Woodbine heads.

I snapped off the old heads and drilled a hole in the centre of the collar. I then twirled an Xacto blade in the hole to widen it, and the neck stub on the new heads fitted perfectly.

The Highlander HMG also benefitted from the head swap.

This is the same crew, but with a Balmoral Cap.

This crew was wearing gas hoods – I did a second crew with Balmoral caps.

I have also used their heads to make vehicle and artillery crew, they are all over my VBCW battlefields. They also allow me to feel clever for all my brilliant conversions, without my needing any talent!

April 23, 2022

VBCW: Renegade Militia

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 02:30

I was never a big fan of the Renegade Austrians. The figures were fine, I suppose I was just never a big fan of the ‘look’ of the Austrian troops. But I have a bunch of them, so I may as well paint a few for use in VBCW. 


For my first attempt, I decided to paint a unit all in black. I’m not sure how much I like them. I was originally going to paint them with silver buttons and red detail work, but the red details just made them look like Nazis, and the silver buttons made them look like they were wearing leather fetish gear.


So they wound up a rather dull black. (Ironically, my lacquer didn’t come out very dull, so they look shiny.)

Renegade didn’t make any command figures, so I had to convert an officer. I removed the rifle from a shouting rifleman and substituted a pistol.

February 19, 2022

WW1: Mark V British Tank

Filed under: Brigade Games, RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW, WW1 — gisby @ 13:25

Years ago, I was Renegade‘s webmaster, a job that came with lots of figures. But one day, they announced that they were selling 1/56 resin WW1 tanks – They were originally from Brigade Games in the USA. Since I had both early and late WW1 British armies, they sent me one.

It’s a Mark V ‘female’ tank, armed only with machine guns. There were no rails for unditching beams, no steering trail, just a lovely, rather plain-looking tank. It is still available through Brigade Games.

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Although I was delighted with the model, it sat in a box for many years, until I started painting my surplus WW1 figures for VBCW.

It was pleasant enough to build, and well-fitting, with no bubbles in the castings. Detail was crisp and the castings clean and without flash.

There was a one-piece hull, and two track sections, with locators so you could not misalign them. The two sponsons fitted in the sides (and could be replaced with the ‘male’ sponsons, as in real life) two cylindrical MG mounts fitted into each sponson (from the inside)

The five MGS were provided in white metal, and were quite delicate, so I made new assemblies from floral wire. There was also an exhaust system in white metal, which I also replaced with wire.

Some rudimentary research suggested that the British painted their tanks brown in WW1, so brown it was. If I am wrong, I still have a brown tank. It’s a lovely kit, a joy to build, and very satisfying to deploy on the table.

February 17, 2022

VBCW: Renegade British Infantry

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW, WW1 — gisby @ 09:11

These are figures made by Renegade Miniatures: they are not representing renegades of any sort. Although intended for VBCW, they would be appropriate for the Western Front in 1914-15.

When I was building my VBCW forces I realized that I had several units’ worth of troops that I never added to my WW1 British. Some were wrong for 1914, some were just in poses that I didn’t like. These two units were just surplus to requirements. I had finished the army.

Thankfully, that can’t happen with VBCW. Since I’m just painting units, I can never finish, I’ll have to get sick of it. All in all, I found 70 surplus Renegade British, that I formed into units according to their headgear and equipment. Here are some of them.

These were painted the same as my 1914 British, so were a nice, relaxing task. (And of course I can drop my Early and Late WW1 British on the table alongside them.)

The first two units are identical, and have the same mix of figures. They are far less exciting than the title would suggest.

The next unit is wearing ‘gorblimey’ caps. I had to convert a couple to get the numbers up.

Then we have two units of bombers. I was out of Officers, so they got NCO leaders.

Again, both units have the same mix of figures, with conversions to get the numbers up..

These are the conversions: The far right figure is as issued. Renegade used the same pose for a bareheaded figure. I made blue stuff moulds of two caps, and stuck the bare heads in with some putty. Surprisingly, it worked.

There were also a couple of HMGS that I threw together.

I am pleased overall with these troops: There is a certain satisfaction about pulling 5+ units out of the ‘surplus’ pile, it’s like getting free figures. Plus it builds my VBCW forces (disregarding the hundreds of near-identical painted figures I already had)

They aren’t anything exciting, but they are different to me, and that’s what’s important.

October 10, 2020

VBCW: Renegade Gorblimey Caps

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW, WW1 — gisby @ 09:57

This is another unit made made from ‘spares’ that I didn’t want in my WW1 forces. It’s intended for use in my VBCW, but it’s appropriate for use on the Western Front in 1915. There are no armbands or modifications particular to VBCW.

As fond as I was of the Renegade Early War British, they did one thing that annoyed me a lot. They had several packs of early war infantry, but in two of them they included figures in gorblimey caps. These figures were useless for a 1914 army. And I was building a 1914 army.

If they had put them all in one set, it would have been a nice option for folks building 1915 armies. As it was, it just meant that only one of their sets was useful for 1914. When I started, I converted some gorblimey caps to field caps, but eventually just didn’t get any more of the sets that had them.

When I searched my spares, I found 6 figures in gorblimey caps. To round out the unit I added an officer, and an NCO with a converted cap. To finish it, I took two of the rifleman with bandaged head, another despised pose.

I used blue stuff to make press-moulds of gorblimey hats, put putty in them, and pressed the figures’ heads into the putty. Surprisingly, it worked.

Above we see a converted bomber and gorblimey cap – both done with press-moulds and heads shoved into the putty. The third figure is the same pose, but already had a service cap.

In the end, they turned out to be a nice little VBCW unit, and a great use for otherwise unloved figures.

June 10, 2020

VBCW: Renegade Miniatures Post Office Rifles

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW, WW1 — gisby @ 10:45

When I sorted all my unused Renegade Miniatures WW1 Early War British I found two units worth of of marching/at trail figures. I’m not normally a fan of these poses, so they had been languishing in a drawer for many years.


The first I painted as a red-coated militia unit. This one I painted as a unit of Post Office Rifles. The British Post Office raised regiments for several wars, so they seemed quite likely for the VBCW.


I gave them navy jackets and stone grey pants, and blue puttees. It only now occurs to me that I don’t actually know what a British postman’s uniform looked like. I like them anyway.

See also: VBCW: Renegade Miniatures Militia

June 6, 2020

VBCW: Renegade Miniatures Militia

Filed under: RENEGADE Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 09:53

After I painted all my VBCW regulars, I started going through my ‘spares’ to see what I had that I could paint up as random units. I knew I had a bunch of Renegade Miniatures WW1 Early War British that I hadn’t used for various reasons. As it turns out, there were 70 of them.


I found a couple of drawers of marching/at trail figures. They had been mixed in with advancing/firing figures in the Renegade packs, so I had put them to one side.

As it turns out, there were enough for two 10-man units, if I added an officer and an NCO to each.


I painted them as a red-coated militia unit. I can use it for either side as needed, and provide another splash of colour. I think they look OK, and not completely unlikely.

See also: VBCW: Renegade Miniatures Post Office Rifles

December 17, 2019


Filed under: Ancients, Celts, RENEGADE Miniatures — gisby @ 16:57

No surprise, I have a bunch of RENEGADE Celts. They are tall, hefty figures, well-detailed, and well sculpted. Their swords are a bit big, but could be worse.

The pictures are a bit overexposed,  sorry.


My one and only RENEGADE chariot. Compared to my other chariots, it’s huge. The base is still OK at 40mm width, but it had to be lengthened to fit the chariot.


12 Gallic cavalry. They too tower over my other cavalry, those horses are big. They barely fit on the 20mm x 40mm bases.


3 units of 50 LMI. They are a mix of all the various packs. RENEGADE has/had 4 packs of warriors, plus slingers and archers.


To get maximum variety in the units, I took packs of slingers and archers and converted them to spearmen.


I painted and based them all, then separated them into 50-man units.


I’m left with an extra 16 figures, to be mixed in with some of my other random Celts.renli

There’s a 12-man LI javelin unit converted from archers…. Shields are thumb tacks, javelins are wire.


And 12 archers with no conversion.

Nice figures, and big enough to have held their own against scale creep. I like ’em. I wish RENEGADE was still in production.


October 16, 2016

SPACE 1889: Ship’s Artillery

My SPACE 1889 kick was started when I bought a Crossover Miniatures Omura class airship. It’s a 28mm laser-cut MDF ‘not-a-Hullcutter’ and is pretty darn big, with room for a lot of crew.


It also needs a lot of artillery for the deck, with various long and short guns, and a massive Lob Gun amidship.

The Lob Gun (above) is an ECW mortar from RENEGADE. It’s a lovely piece, and comes with huge cannonballs and a powder charge.(Plus an ECW crew, of course)

The Master Gunner is converted from a Wood Elf archer, and the assistant is converted from the open-handed Elf. All figures are from Forlorn Hope Games.


All other gunners are also made from the same open-handed Elf, with slow matches and rammers added from wire.


The guns are from the Irregular Miniatures Pirates range: There are three different barrels, but all carriages are the same. Each gun comes in four parts: Barrel, carriage, and two very tiny  trunnion straps.

As it happens, I needed three different rates of cannon, so they were perfect.


The rammers are made from a piece of wire. One end has a brush made from crochet cotton wrapped around the end and hardened with cyano adhesive. The other end has a block made from a strip of paper wrapped around the shaft and hardened with cyano.


The slow match is a fine wire wrapped around a heavier wire. I made a prototype y-shaped linstock, but it looked too high-tech to me. I wanted more primitive gunnery for my Martians.


I went for a dark grey-blue uniform because gunnery is a dirty business, and this shade won’t show the grime so much.


This gun is on a prototype deck base. It’s about the right size, but the final bases will be planked rather than a plain square of wood.


If worst comes to worst, they make a fairly worthwhile battery for a fortress.

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