Gisby's Gaming Blog

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.

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: 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.

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

VBCW: Great War Scottish Infantry

Filed under: Great War Miniatures, North Star Military Figures, VBCW, WW1 — gisby @ 00:42

This is another unit built just because I wanted to paint the figures, sort of. They are Great Wars Miniatures WW1 Scottish infantry. I bought them for VCW use, but they will of course fit in my WW1 forces as well.

Looking through a website one day, I found some lovely WW1 Scots in Glengarry caps. They looked to be nice sculpts, but for some reason they were not available. I was sad about this, because the uniform looked great. But imagine my joy to find figures in the same dress order in the Great War catalogue. The figures looked to be just as good, at a better price, and in production. So because I saw one set of figures, I bought these instead.

I bought them, and I was not disappointed. They are single-piece castings, well detailed and cleanly cast. Of course there were extra figures left over from the packs I purchased – I still have surplus figures, but at least they are painted!

I also bought the matching HMG so they would have some support. (But mostly because I like making HMGs) It goes together well, and looks good, I think.

So I painted these figures because I wanted to paint different figures, but that’s how I roll.

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.

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 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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