Gisby's Gaming Blog

October 26, 2020

VBCW: Woodbine Indian Infantry

Filed under: Crucible Crush, VBCW, Wargames Atlantic, Woodbine Design, WW1 — gisby @ 18:04

I was building a trio of Birch Guns, for which I needed a number of Woodbine Designs WW1British heads. Since I was putting an order together, I decided to add a unit of Indian infantry to my VBCW forces.

These are from their WW1 Indian Infantry range. I specified ‘All advancing or charging figures’ and they were kind enough to provide a great selection. They have separate heads, and I chose Hindu rather than Sikh heads.

The officer is a Woodbine British officer. I had a few spares, so I just slotted one in.

Thinking about it, I already have plenty of Indian troops in my WW1 and Colonial forces, so there was no real need to get more. But I am very glad I did.

The Woodbine Indians were a joy to build and paint, I actually felt like they were painting themselves. The detail is good, and well-defined without being coarse or overdone.

Here’s a comparison with Great War – Woodbine – Wargames Atlantic – Crucible Crush.

All in all, lovely fellows, and highly recommended.

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.

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.

October 3, 2020

VBCW: Boy Scouts

Filed under: Pulp Gaming, Siberia Miniatures, VBCW — Tags: , — gisby @ 11:28

When I started my VBCW forces, I made a BUF Youth Corps unit from Studio Siberia Boy Scouts. As it turns out, Hitlerjugend uniforms looked like Boy Scout uniforms with a side cap. (Note that they would also be perfect for a ‘Blackshorts’ Youth Corps.)

So I figured I’d make a unit of Boy Scouts for the Good Guys too.


 Studio Siberia has armed (Polish) Boy Scouts in their RCW range. They are available with several choices of head, so I just chose the lemon-squeezer style.


The troop leader has a hiking banner showing his authority, and identifying the Troop.

scout3I went online to look up the colours for a 1930’s Scout uniform. The blue shorts make for a nice splash of colour.

scouthmg1  scouthmg2

There are two HMGs available, both Austrian Schwarzlosses: One is on a tripod, the other is mounted on a handcart. I had already used the other for the BUF Youth Corps, so I went with the handcart.


There was a third crewman with the BUF Youth HMG. He will be useful as an observer, a scout, or a runner.

I bought the figures directly from Studio Siberia, and the service was fast and friendly. They also sell single figures from sets if you ask. The figures themselves were cleanly cast with no flaws.

September 26, 2020

VBCW: Spode’s Black Shorts

Filed under: Crucible Crush, Pulp Figures, Pulp Gaming, VBCW — gisby @ 23:12

I wanted a unit based on Roderick Spode’s Black Shorts in the Jeeves & Wooster stories. I found a perfect base in The Crucible Crush 8th Army figures: Early war British equipment, and short trousers.

I had enough figures for two units. The first unit was built straight from the box. They were given black shorts and socks.

I put the figures with helmet covers in the second unit, and added helmet covers to their companions. This made for an easy way to tell the two units apart.

I also had two Bren gunners – A bit late for the period. So I converted them to Lewis gunners. I’m not thrilled with my Lewis guns, I may buy a couple and replace them.. someday…

The figures are lovely, and a joy to paint. With these and the Pulp Figures Highlanders, I really wish Bob had also done some inter-war/early war British infantry.

September 10, 2020

VBCW: Crusader British Infantry

Filed under: Crusader Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 10:41

When I started with VBCW, one of the attractions was the fact that I could field wargames versions of toys I had lusted after as a child. Sometimes it has been a joy: The HLBS 8-in Howitzer stood in for the Britains 18-in Howitzer. Sometimes it has been a disappointment: It turns out that the dimly-remembered Crescent cannon was an 18-pounder, and I already had plenty of those.

But these were not a disappointment.

As a child, a very good friend gifted me a bunch of Britains Swoppet British Infantry. They were beautiful, and I loved them dearly.

I tried to paint my Crusader Miniatures British to match the Swoppets, and when I see them on the table, I see the beloved toys of my youth.

They also have a HMG for support. It’s painted bronze-green like the Britains artillery.

and a 2-pounder AT gun, also painted bronze-green.

It was a bit fiddly to assemble, but in the end, worth it.

Between the gun and the command pack, I have some spare officers for officerly tasks.

L to R: Crusader, Great War, Pulp Figures/Crucible Crush, Woodbine

September 1, 2020

VBCW: She-Wolves of the BUF

Filed under: Hinterland Miniatures, Moonraker Miniatures, Pulp Figures, VBCW — gisby @ 15:11

When I started building VBCW forces, I bought some BUF troops in side cap and jodhpurs. It struck me how much they resembled a bunch of troops I already had: The Pulp Figures She-Wolves.

I already had many of these figures, and they were painted to match the police in a SF campaign I was running. Rather than repaint them, I chose to put my BUF troops in blue uniforms.


I picked up enough figures to make a unit. They are armed mostly with MP38s. This SMG is just outside the VBCW period, but I just ignore that fact.


The unit has an officer and an NCO, and several extra figures not shown – There are several packs of She-Wolves, including a unit builder.

The figures are well sculpted and cast, and the service is great.


I have a few extras from other manufacturers. Left to right:  A converted Moonraker Future Warrior, a Hinterland trooper, and an Artizan Designs miniature.

August 8, 2020

VBCW: Old Glory Militia

Filed under: Old Glory Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 12:30

I bought a pack of Old Glory Boxer Rebellion British Marines, because they looked like they’d make good-looking militia troops. With 30 figures in a bag, I would get 3 units.


The first unit I painted in khaki, and they wound up looking like WW2 Home Guard. I really like the look of the unit. I gave the bugler a slung rifle over his shoulder, even though you can’t see it at this angle.


The second unit is in RAF blue: they can be used as RAF ground troops, or as a citizen’s militia. There were only two buglers in the bag, so they don’t have a bugler.


The third unit is in field grey: they can be BUF Auxiliaries, or more militia. Since there were only two officers in the bag, I had to convert a bugler into an officer.

I really like the look of these units. Although well cast, being Old Glory there are a few wonky head poses, and they arrived bent in every direction. But they straightened out without breaking.

EDIT: In response to some questions, here’s a comparison shot with stuff I had close to hand.


Left to right: Moonraker, Woodbine, Old Glory, Irregular, Renegade.

August 2, 2020

VBCW: Scatter Terrain

Filed under: terrain, VBCW — gisby @ 14:48

When I started building forces for VBCW, I had plenty of terrain for Near Future, Old West, and Ancients, but nothing right for the English countryside. Rather than spending a bunch of money, I decided to make a bunch of cheap terrain. Then I spent a lot of money, but that’s another post.

They are all made from coffee stirrers, lolly sticks, match sticks, and toothpicks. The bases are MDF, sometimes offcuts that MDF kits have been pressed from, or cut from dollar store clipboards.

The Bee Hives


The bee hives are made from small dollhouse baskets atop wooden blocks. (Note: I have no idea what real bee hives look like) The tree is a cheap Chinese product.


I like them as cover that explodes into a cloud of stinging bees when hit.

The Chicken Coop


Made from coffee stirrers and match sticks, with a pair of ERTL PVC poultry clipped  from their base.

The Pig Pen


An enclosure designed to hold a couple of ERTL pigs. The fence is made from toothpicks and match wood.


The food in the slop bucket is unraveled embroidery floss and mustard seeds. Mustard seeds are useful as apples, onions, potatoes etc. whenever you need to build a fruit or vegetable stall.

They are also useful as pig or horse turds.


I was very pleased with the sty, but I cannot find my ERTL pigs.

Wattle Fencing


These are made with toothpicks and crochet cotton. I soaked the cotton in a mixture of PVA and brown paint, and dragged it through a paper towel to squeeze the excess out. I then let it dry.

The toothpicks are glued into holes 1 cm apart on a strip of MDF. Having learned from the short test piece, the end posts are strengthened at the base with putty, allowed to harden before I weave the fence. (So they don’t start to lean in when I tighten the weave)


When I finish the weave, I paint it with a diluted PVA mix to harden it all. I mitre the ends in a mitre box when it’s all dry, so the sections can butt closely to each other.


July 19, 2020

VBCW: BUF Youth Brigade

Filed under: Siberia Miniatures, VBCW — gisby @ 19:26

When I was starting my VBCW forces, I wanted something unusual. I decided to make a BUF Youth Corps unit. (I have no idea if there really was a BUF Youth Corps)

The Hitler Youth uniform looked very much like the Boy Scout uniform, so I used that as a basis.

Studio Siberia has armed Polish Boy Scouts in their RCW range, and they have a choice of heads. I chose the wedge cap to match those on the BUF uniforms.


The officer figure does not come with a separate head, but they included a spare so I could do the conversion myself.


The uniform colours are based on Hitler Youth uniforms.

bufy1 bufy2

There are a couple of Machine guns available: Both are Austrian Schwarzlosse guns, one on a tripod, and the other mounted on a handcart.


I bought the figures directly from Studio Siberia, and the service was fast and friendly. They sell single figures from sets if you ask. The figures themselves were cleanly cast with no flaws.

Older Posts »

Blog at