Thursday, 27 September 2012

Countdown to Evesham 2012

The 5th Evesham Big Game, to be played over the weekend of October 27/28th at Gripping Beast HQ, is looming closer, and all the principle players are assembling their cast.

VBCW supremo ‘Mort’ will once again be at the helm and will be continuing his long-running Somerset campaign.

Using the ‘Went the Day Well?’ rules, players will take control of a platoon of troops, either as part of the BUF / Royalist coalition or the opposing Anglican League and the wildcard Somerset Freedom Fighters.

For my part, my Herefordshire forces will morph into a royalist platoon as I take the mantle of Capt. Stanley Horne. I will be operating under the command of Royalist hero Col. Dunbar, who himself is subordinate to the BUF commander Lord Winterfield.

Previous battles in this campaign have proved that there is no love lost between Dunbar and Winterfield, and as a Royalist, I will have to keep a weather eye on the BUF, as well as the enemy (in fact I have already accused Giles, playing BUF Capt. Oliver Cunningham-Smyth, of planning to knobble me in some way!)

Alas recently it looked like the Big Game would have to be cancelled due to space issues at the venue, but a reduction in player numbers (for instance I will only be playing on the Saturday, while Giles takes to the stage on Sunday) means that the game is back on – hopefully I will acquit myself better this time!

(That's torn it!)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Sign of the Times

One of the necessary evils of wargaming is the use of markers to denote the status of the units and figures on the tabletop. Such markers can range from bits of stone or card to spare dice or commercially produced tokens and can be quite intrusive.

I thought I’d do something different – something that blended in(ish) with the tabletop scenery whilst retaining the character of VBCW, and came up with the idea of using road signs.

These markers (made for use with the ‘Went the Day Well?’ rules) were inspired by the road signs of the period. They are quite simple to make – the signs were printed on a sheet of adhesive A4 and stuck to some thin plastic. They were then cut out and glued to plastic cotton ear-bud sticks (with added black stripe for authenticity). I have currently based them on hexagonal drawing pins, painted black, but the resultant marker is a little top-heavy, so I may have to rethink the bases.

Still, not bad I think! Here are some examples of how they can be used:-

After a spot of off-roading, this chap has got bogged down. He is also in the vicinity of a routing friendly unit, and must take a nerve test in the morale phase.

This HMG crew have taken casualties and are down to 2 men. Unfortunately their weapon has also jammed – bad timing…

This untrained LDV unit have come under mortar fire and have failed a nerve test, thus becoming jumpy.

These old timers are drawing sustained fire from their opponents and have failed a second nerve test, making them suppressed.

After taking casualties, the cowardly Whateleys have had enough and are making a run for it!

Little Red Ryding-Hudd

Please allow me to introduce Miss Jennifer Ryding-Hudd, debutante-turned-revolutionary. An ardent armchair socialist since her early teens, Jennifer absconded from her wealthy family to join the socialist uprising after becoming something of a cause celebre (giving a clenched fist salute whilst being presented to the king no less!)

She fled to the Midlands and joined the People’s Assault Column, where her infectious enthusiasm for the revolutionary cause quickly earning her a position as morale officer for the Joseph Arch People’s Column, among whom she can be found, clutching the latest edition of the Morning Star.

Here she is conversing with the commanding officer, Comrade Commander Fred Gibbons, while in the background another comrade proudly waves the columns banner (the eagle-eyed among you may recognise this mini – a repaint of an earlier standard bearer who has obviously switched sides!)

A trio of HMGs

Some of the diverse factions that I am building for my VBCW collection are lacking in support weaponry. Luckily in amongst spare lead pile are some Renegade Miniatures French WW1 Hotchkiss machine guns models – time for supporters from across the Channel to ship some 'humanitarian aid' over to Blighty!

Each pack comes with the MG, an operator and loader, so a quick delve among the spare figures and the odd head swap or two was needed to create the third crewmember.

Firstly, the Welsh Nationalists, the ‘third man’ being a spare loader with the ammunition clip replaced with a pair of binoculars.

Secondly, the Anglican League – all crewmembers with with Westwind British heads; the third guy (standing) being a Foundry WW2 German.

Lastly the Socialists – the operator and loader with Westwind German heads; third guy another Foundry WW2 German (stick grenade removed) with a head from… well, can you guess?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Armoured Forward Observation Vehicle

Hmmm… as scratchbuilds go, not my finest hour…

I wanted to experiment a little, after doing such a great job on my Rattling Rosie (if I do say so myself). So I tried to carve a more complex shape (for me at least) out of packing foam, and rather than glue on some card, decided to try thick double-sided tape. The plan was to get a hammered-on plate metal effect (I had used double-sided tape for the rear doors on my steam wagon and it worked really well).

I also wanted to try out a method for making rivets from one of the chaps on the GWP, which entailed gently poking a ballpoint pen onto strips of paper, thus creating rivet shaped bulges on the other side. Rather than fiddle about with gluing paper strips, I decided to use some metallic sticky tape that I had lying around, and use quite a lot in my scratchbuilding. These were then stuck onto the chassis.
The plan was to take the resultant armoured car and glue on the remaining ‘Purdue’ turret I had left from 6mil Phil.

However my skill with a saw leaves a lot to be desired, resulting in a rather asymmetrical foam block. Stiff card would have probably hidden this somewhat, but thick tape does not. Still I persevered, adding plastic spacers for wheels, and cut-in-half plastic washers for mudguards. I also added a few other bits of sprue and wire (for a window hatch and circular rear hatch, with hinges) and rear steps, and a bit of corrugated card for the radiator grille.

I decided not to waste my spare turret on this, so instead added a short length of plastic tube on the front as a telescope, thus creating a rather lopsided forward observation vehicle, to give a bit of protection to any artillery spotters.

A basic block camouflage paint scheme in an attempt to hide some of the defects, and there you have it!

5/10 – must do better.

EDIT:- One of the guys from the Steve Dean Painting Forum has suggested that this vehicle is actually draped in a temporary camo sheet, and isn't a hamfisted scratchbuild at all - well done that man!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

...and it's back!

After much copying, pasting, uploading and general straining of eyesight, the VBCW Miniatures Guide has found a new home!

It can now be found at - I hope you enjoy the slightly different layout and don't find too many mistakes!

Monday, 3 September 2012

VBCW Miniatures Guide - No More :(

As some of you may know, I maintain a website called the VBCW Miniatures Guide.

Well, that is to say I used to maintain it, as the webhosting company has decided it doesn't want to do webhosting any more...

The good news is that I have backed up -most- of the information, so I'll try to find a new home for the website, possibly in the easier to navigate/update form of a blog, in the future.

Apologies for the outage - normal service will be resumed, er, sometime...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

My Little Tank

My gaming buddy Giles has about a gazillion tanks in his collection – it’s only fair to redress the balance a little, so I bought a model Soviet T-26 tank from one of the chaps on the Gentleman’s Wargames Parlour.

It’s missing a couple of bits, so I decided to hide that fact with a camouflage paint scheme. As I wanted to have a ‘faction neutral’ tank, I decided to go with a WW1 German block camo scheme, to balance out the Soviet-ness!