Gisby's Gaming Blog

September 2, 2020

Venus 1888: Women at War (1)

Back in 2018, Joe Corsaro of Dragon Bait Miniatures ran a Kickstarter for his Victorian Science-Fiction setting: Venus 1888.

Venus is lethal to human males, but has too many resources to be ignored. As a result, female regiments have to be raised for service there. I present to you the Venus Reg’t of the Honourable Martian Company.

The command pack has an officer, bugler, and standard bearer. While the Officer is a single-piece casting, the others need their packs and a rifle attached.

The standard bearer comes with a pole attached, but I replaced it with a piece of wire, and added a standard I made for the unit. (It is not a Government unit, but a unit of a chartered trading company with a charter for Mars and Venus)

The infantry pack has 9 infantry and an NCO. The NCO is another single-piece casting. The rifle (with hands attached) and pack are separate pieces.

The figures are well-detailed, easy-to-assemble, and paint up well. They are on the large end of 28mm, so should survive scale creep for a while.

The pack has interesting detail bits: A parasol stowed on the back, and a tea cup hung on the side.

There are several variants of the infantry figure, with slightly different poses and hairstyles. I found the faces rather pretty. I don’t know if there’s a certain mix or if they are supplied at random.

All in all, I found them pleasant to work with and to paint. They will fit nicely into my SPACE 1889 forces, and will provide an interesting bit of colour to the battles.

Also see:

Venus 1888: Women at War (2)

Dragon Bait Victorian Science Fiction

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 21, 2020

Wargames Atlantic Irish Chariot

Filed under: Ancients, Celts, Plastic Figures, Victrix, Wargames Atlantic — gisby @ 14:40

I made an Irish Chariot for my Wargames Atlantic Irish: I used a Victrix chariot, because I had one.


The Warrior is Wargames Atlantic, and the driver is the original Victrix driver – With his knee breeches he is far more accurate as Irish than he is as a Briton or Gaul. He has a Wargames Atlantic Irish head, though. The two figures scale well together, and the head fit like it was made for him.


The dogs running alongside are WA as well – If you do this, be careful. I have noticed the tendency is to pick it up by the dogs, and since they each have two feet on the ground, they flex alarmingly.


The gawdawful plastic reins have been replaced with crochet cotton. The shield is painted freehand. It probably shouldn’t have a design, but people seem to expect one…

I had to enlarge the base a bit for the length of the chariot, and the width of the dogs


The Victrix Chariot is a nice kit, but has a lot of pieces for a wargames model. It also seems a bit large, but Victrix figures are pretty big, so it fits with them. The driver is more suited to Irish or Cisalpine Gauls than Britons, but that worked out well for me.

August 20, 2020

Space 1889 – RAFM Martians on Gashants

Filed under: RAFM Miniatures, SPACE 1889, Victorian Adventure Gaming — gisby @ 13:50

TL:DR I bought some Martian figures and put them on the Gashants they were designed for


This unit was actually completely unexpected. I had bought a Baker’s Dozen of the ‘new’ RAFM Gashant, even though I had no cavalry to put on it. I based and painted them, and started looking around for some riders. RAFM made a couple of riders, but they weren’t what I wanted.


Meanwhile, I posted pictures of my British on Gashants on Facebook. A number of the guys responded with pictures of theirs, and one picture was of some lovely armoured cavalry on Gashants. ‘What are those?’ I thought, and then I noticed they had Martian feet.


Apparently I had always looked at the first two cavalry on page 1 of the RAFM catalogue, then ignored the THIRD cavalryman on page 2. He was what I wanted.  I like the figure but not the new Gashants. I feel that they do not display well somehow.

I gave them wire lances and shields from the spares box.

new-gashant-off1 new-gashant-off2

I had a spare Gashant, so I put an officer on it. It’s taken 31 years, and this is the first time I have ever painted the Martian from the Legions set and put him on a Gashant.

August 9, 2020

Alternative Armies Midsummer Druidess

Filed under: Alternative Armies, Fantasy — gisby @ 03:51

hippy1 hippy2

This figure is Alternative Armies FL24-01 Midsummer Druidess. She’s a nice little casting, in an easy-to-work-with resin. Why easy-to-work-with? Have a look:


As cast, she’s a clean, solid piece, posed with one hip cocked a bit. (On a thick base)


But if you remove her staff, you find that her left hip is about a head’s-width wider than her right, and she’s rather deformed.

hips2 hips3 hips4

So I took my handy razor saw, removed her left leg, and cut a section out of the centre. I discarded the centre bit, and glued the leg back on.

hips5 hips6

A small bit of filling and a new staff, and she is completed. The resin was easy to work with, and the parts all joined neatly with almost no filling needed. (This is the figure from their website: Mine is the poorly-painted example at the top.)

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.

July 7, 2020

SPACE 1889: British Cavalry

I was going through a box of figures, and I found a pair of Castaway Arts Sudan-era British cavalrymen. “I know what I can do with these!’ I thought, then remembered that 20+years ago I had bought a unit of British cavalry for use on Mars.


Surprisingly, I was able to stand up, wade through the clutter, and go directly to the container where they nestled, mixed with other forgotten minis.


The figure that started this all: A Castaway Arts British officer. He came with an absolutely beautiful horse, but that’s not what I wanted for him. A bit of bending and filing, and he sat comfortably on a Gashant.

tauntaun-ord1 tauntaun-ord2

The second figure was also from Castaway Arts, I decided to use him as a scout or galloper, mounted on a Tauntaun for speed.


The long-forgotten unit was from the Victorian Classics range (Produced by Frontier.) They were larger than Frontier’s other offerings, and fit in well with RAFM and Foundry of the time.


I had to spread their legs a bit to get them to fit, but fit they did. I was amazed, after 20+ years kicking around in a pile of lead, none were broken – I had been expecting to do some repairs.


I painted them in khaki, but on reflection, they might have looked more impressive in red or blue jackets. The unit as is seems to be all shades of beige.


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

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