Gisby's Gaming Blog

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 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

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: 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.

VBCW: Regulars in Broderick Caps

Filed under: VBCW, Woodbine Design, WW1 — gisby @ 02:19

I have a great affection for the Woodbine Studios WW1 range: They are lovely little sculpts, and given the choice of (separate) heads available useful for many troop types and campaigns. I also use their heads to improve other figures. They are also useful for WW1, who knew?

The infantry comes in a set of ten, mixed random poses, command and support troops come in packs of four. I always request advancing/running poses, and ask for NO firing or marching poses. They have always been quite accommodating. They also have HMGs and Artillery.

Here’s a selection of the riflemen, in this case, wearing Broderick caps. They are useful as Naval troops or Marines.

Here are a Lewis Gun team (Gunner and Assistant, carrying extra drums) and an Officer, also appropriate for Marines or Navy. I’m pleased with the unit, and the Broderick cap gives them a unique look.

This is the other half of the Lewis Gun set, done for another unit. There are 18 head choices available, so you can have a LOT of individual units.

I find these a pleasure to paint. No idea why, but when painting them, they seem sort of blah, until I get to a certain stage, then suddenly, they are great! Have a look at them, they have great possibilities.

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 25, 2022

VBCW: Indian Infantry

Filed under: COLONIAL WARS, VBCW, Woodbine Design, WW1 — gisby @ 00:52

This is a unit of Woodbine Design WW1 Hindu infantry, with a British officer. Intended as Colonials come to support one side or the other in the VBCW, they could be deployed just as easily in WW1 or on the NWF. If I am honest, I bought them just because I wanted to paint them.

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It’s no secret, I am a big fan of the Woodbine 28mm WW1 packs. The infantry comes in packs of 10, perfect for VBCW, and generally with separate heads. This allows them to provide a lot of troop types using the same bodies, and allows me to buy heads to replace crappy heads on other figures.

I specifically request only advancing/charging figures as I don’t like marching or kneeling figures, and they have never let me down yet. The fit of the heads is good, and they are pleasant to assemble.

But most of all, they are a joy to paint: I have units of Indian troops and British troops, and without fail painting them has been both calming and satisfying, and I have been pleased with the results.

There are plenty of pose variations, so if that’s your thing, you won’t be disappointed. They are also available with Sikh heads.

L to R: Great War Games, Woodbine Design, Wargames Atlantic, Crucible Crush

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.

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.

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