Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dotting the i’s and Crossing the t’s

I’ve recently completed a phase of what I like to think of as ‘admin work’.
To be more precise I’d took advantage of Northstar’s WW1 goodie bag offer and also bought a bunch of second-hand miniatures from the LAF, and used the resultant lead pile to convert and/or paint individual figures for my varying factions.

Why? To give me more flexibility when fielding a force. For example, larger games using the Brigadier 38 rules calls for infantry units of 9 riflemen and an officer, while smaller scale rules such as Went The Day Well? suggest 10 infantrymen, lead by a separate NCO and officer.

So by knocking up and extra ‘eleventh man’, I can chop and change my force compositions. I’ve also done some figures to represent certain specialists, such as NCOs, tank killers, signallers etc.


First off some figures for my Hereford Municipal LDV and Landowners’ Protection Association factions.

The two guys at the back are RAFM gangsters, one of which is now sporting a BAR over his shoulder. The big game hunter NCO at the front is Copplestone, while the chap with the cigar is the CO of the LPA, now given a slightly less lurid paintjob.

Next are some reinforcements for the Herefordshire Territorials.

The NCO chap on the right with the Tommy gun is a giveaway figure from Too Fat Lardies, while the tank killer wearing the Hereford United scarf is a converted WW1 German stormtrooper. His fellow tank killer (carrying the red petrol can) and the other two ‘eleventh men’ are rough conversions of some second-hand 25mm Indian minis.


The Blackshorts are back!
Mainly converted Chindits (Foundry I think), this bunch include two tank killers, one of whom carries a ‘Mk I Spode Sticky Bomb Remote Applicator’, while the other one throws a grenade. There is also an NCO with Tommy gun and a couple of ‘eleventh men’.

The BUF also have some extras, including a helmeted NCO with SMG and an eleventh man (Brigade Games Askari with Foundry Home Guard head). Also Included in this bunch is a Lewis Gun ammo carrier for the Interim Governor of the Marches’ personal retinue.

Anglican League and allies

These chaps are all eleventh men for my various Anglican League units: namely the Archenfield LDV, Archenfield Amateur Athletics Association and my converted Dixon militia (henceforth named the Ex-Servicemen’s Temperance Militia.

The two guys on the left are Chindits, while the two on the right are converted Askaris, (the one in the beret will replace a missing Archenfield LDV figure, who went AWOL sometime between the battle of Colwall and the 2nd Battle of Ledbury). The chap at the back in the green jacket is an extra figure for the Welsh Nationalist ‘Mountain Goats’.

And finally the socialists.

The mortar team was bought second hand, while another Chindit, and a Brigade Games RCW Russian storm trooper have been roped in to reinforce my socialist militia/mercenaries/bandit unit. A Black Tree commando serves as an NCO, while a RAFM gangster has been pressed into service as a signaller.

It's been great fun revisiting some of my older units, and hopefully they'll do battle soon!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

You Wait Ages for One, Then Two Come Along At Once

One of my stated aims of the New Year was to sort out some transport for my various factions. My first instinct was to go for a fleet of trucks, but after being outbid a few times on eBay I hit on another idea - if you can’t get a lift in a truck, why not take the bus?

Luckily I managed to get hold of a couple of cracking Corgi models on eBay and even better they were for bus companies that would have plied the highways of Herefordshire during the 1930s – Red & White Services and Midland Red.

I was going to follow my usual plan for vehicles – apply a coat of shade, ‘distress’ with drybrushed mud and/or rust and then give them a coat of matt varnish.
However upon taking them out of their boxes, I found them to be such lovely models that I couldn’t bring myself to mess with them, and so they will grace the tabletop as nature intended (cue sighs of relief from Corgi model collectors!)

First up is a Leyland Tiger from Red & White Services Ltd., which was formed in 1929 from an amalgam of local bus companies owned or acquired by John Watts of Lydney, Gloucestershire.

Operating from its headquarters in Chepstow, the company operated buses between Gloucester, Stroud, Hereford and South Wales whilst also running long-range services, initially from Gloucester and between London and South Wales, but expanding into services between London, Liverpool and Glasgow and between Cardiff and Blackpool.

Next up is a Midland ‘Red’ Guy Arab Utility double decker. Midland Red has its origins in the British Electric Traction company which acquired the assets of horse bus operators the Birmingham General Omnibus Company in 1899. Three years later the City of Birmingham Tramways Company Ltd was also acquired.

Moving from horse buses and trams to motor buses, the company expanded outside Birmingham to avoid direct competition with Birmingham Corporation Tramways, and established headquarters at Bearwood in Smethwick. During and after WWI the company opened depots in Worcester, Walsall, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Hereford, Stafford, Banbury, Bromsgrove, Shrewsbury, Nuneaton, Leamington and Leicester, and started coach services to Weston-super-Mare and Llandudno in 1921.

Placing a Guy Arab Utility in VBCW Herefordshire is actually historically inaccurate (like that’s ever stopped me!) as Midland Red was only allocated these during WWII (having previously manufactured their own vehicles).

Both companies were nationalised in the post-war years, before being broken up and privatised in the 1980’s.

Dingding! Room for one more on top!