Gisby's Gaming Blog

February 16, 2022

VBCW Birch Gun

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is byrch1.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is byrch3.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is byrch2.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is byrch6.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is byrch4.jpg

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)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is byrch5.jpg

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.

October 21, 2018

Wargames Factory Celts

Filed under: Ancients, Celts, Wargames Factory — gisby @ 16:39








Although this is rather out-of-date, I love the Wargames Factory Celtic Chariots. So very much. A plastic model that makes three Celtic chariots? Just wonderful.

I’ll be honest. I don’t love the Wargames Factory Celtic infantry. The poses are sort of iffy, and they really take a fair amount of work to get them to look normal. But they beat out the competition in many ways. (NB This was before the Victrix Celts, who look quite lovely)









Their poses, iffy or not, were far better than the Warlord Celts who all seemed to be imitating Christ on the Cross. And their shields – o joy – were gems. Thin, well-shaped, and lots of them. Warlord supplied oddly-shaped targes, and nowhere enough for the figures unless they included supplemental metal shields. (Although that might have been their plan, so they could use the Celts as other types.)








At this point, I have built enough WF Celts that I know what works with what, and what arms don’t fit, etc. I also replace all weapons with hammered wire. As a result, I have come to appreciate them more than I originally did. The figure mix on my units is also different because I have a lot of chariot crew figures mixed in – I used infantry figures on the chariots for variety.

I have several other units of WF Celts, but to be honest, they all look much the same.

The pictures below are my first WF Celts. I took a 32-man box and split it in two to make different troops, just to see.








The first unit is a group of Caledones, a group living between the Picts and Britannia. They have Pictish-styled shields and tattoos, but wear trousers. Their hair has been filled out with putty.

4cal2   4cal3

The last group is Gauls or Britons. Like the troops above their hair has been filled out with putty.









4celt2  4celt3

April 13, 2009

Wargames Factory – Plastic Zulu War British – A Review


When Wargames Factory announced their intention to release a set of 1879 British, I was very excited.

First of all, because it was an indication that they were going to do Victorian subjects (pun!) but more, because it suggested that they were going to do ZULUS!


After all, no groups will benefit more from cheap reinforcements than the various charging natives of the Colonial Era: You just need a lot of ’em to face the massive European firepower.


Although they were not the first set announced by WF, they were the first set actually released, so are in some ways, a learning experience for the company.

That being said, they still aren’t bad as a first attempt.

The set comprises 20 figures, with two body poses, and arms to do a mixture of firing, at ready, and loading poses. There is no Officer included.

There are also 24 heads, with 5 styles of helmeted heads, and 2 in forage caps. Helmets are separate, so bare heads are easy enough if you want them.


When first I attempted to assemble these figures, it seemed less like I was making wargames figures than assembling Tamiya-style model figures.

The parts were tiny and fiddly, and ill-suited to my elderly ham fists.


I’d suggest a production line approach for efficiency:

First of all, remove, clean up, and sort the pieces.

One-by-one, attach the left arms to all the figures. (I use tube cement: It fills gaps, and allows a bit more ‘wiggle’ time)

Next, attach the right arms: The left arm will help align everything.

Attach the heads so they sight along the weapon, or look wherever you want.

Put on helmets, adjusting heads as neccessary.

This speeded things up considerably.


The Officer

Of course I needed an Officer…

This proved amazingly easy to do. (One of the advantages of plastic)

I pared away any straps or details I didn’t want, and repositioned the ‘loading’ arms.

With a revolver and scabbarded sword from the parts box, he was done.

(The hardest part was deciding on a pose)


What Did I Like?

Once I came up with a method, the figures went together easily and quickly.

Ultimately, they were ‘fun’ to make.Well done faces with personality. (and yes, the helmets fit well)

Loads of variety: Between the head, arm, and body choices, no two figures need be the same.

Being plastic makes them easy to modify and assemble.

Price: They are dam’ good value.


What Didn’t I like? (NB: What I DON’T like may well be a GOOD thing to other people)

Delicate weapons: While the figures were proportioned like wargames figures, the rifles were delicate, like traditional plastic figures. I like my rifles a bit more sturdy.

Soft detail: The detail is there, it’s just not as ‘crisp’ as it could be. (Later sets have improved on this dramatically)

I don’t like firing figures (boo hoo. Poor Tim)

Above you can see a size comparison with a Wargames Foundry Brit of the same era.


All in all, I’d recommend this set to anyone wanting to start or increase their Zulu War forces. The figures are also suitable for service anywhere in the 1870’s and perfect for Victorian Adventure Gaming or VSF!

Wargames Factory LLC

c/o Triangle, Inc

420 Pearl Street

Malden, MA 02148

Blog at