Saturday, 29 September 2012

"Roderick Spode" Armoured Brigade

 The Royal Tank Regiment flatly refused to support either King Edward or Mosley in the Civil War so Roderick Spode's Blackshorts had to create their own Armoured Brigade, the "Roderick Spode", from old WWI light tanks that they acquired. The column was led by a company of Whippets (Emhar kit) with two battalions of French Renault FT 17s built in Spain, each of two companies of MG tanks and one company of HE armed.

Note there are no tank killers as tanks are not there to fight other tanks.

The FTs are from the HaT fast build kits. You get two sprues, tanks, in a box for around £7 and each one has only seven parts. They are great for wargaming.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How we see ourselves

I found this on the No High Scores website. Absolutely wonderful and so true. The author is a boardgamer but the sentiments apply equally to us toy soldier people.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

1938: Independent Labour Party Militia

A battalion of the Independent Labour Party Militia armed with Russian weapons: the command unit, a stormtrooper company with smgs (front right) and three rifle companies one with an AT rifle and two with LMGs. The battalion has a support weapon in the form of a Russian AT/field gun.

The Independent Labour Party is forgotton now but it was a significant socialist movement before the war. It was the ILP that bought George Orwell's ticket to Spain and it was why he fought in the POUM militia (socialist/anarchist revolutionaries) rather than the communist forces. That was also why he had to flee Catalonia with a communist price on his head.  You can read all about that in Homage to Catalonia, one of the finest books on the Spanish Civil War, warfare and the human condition ever written.

Into the Hinterlands: paperback edition

The Paperback version of "Into the Hinterlands", the first in The Citizen Trilogy, goes on sale in the USA today.

eBook available here for $6.

Wish me luck,


Friday, 21 September 2012

Warlord Games Imperial Japanese: Cultists

I have finished painting and basing my  box of Warlord Games Imperial Japanese troops. A little under £30 gets you twenty metal soldiers. They are in chunky 28ml scale and are compatible with 40K. I think they make excelent cultists or a planetary militia. The first photo shows the command unit of an officer, bannerman, radio operator, heavy MG team, and light mortar team. The platoon flag and devotional banners come with the kit but I supplied the bases.

The devotional flags on the guns are a great idea and I wonder why we don't use them on our 40K models. A generous supply comes with the kit.

I used Citadel sepia and dark brown washes and the mud is Citadel textured paint. The bamboo is straw kindly donated by rabbit.

A rifle squad led by an officer charging with a sword (katana?). It includes a light MG.

Second rifle squad led by an NCO, at the right rear. The gunners are changing mags on the LMG.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Warlord Games: Sons of Heaven

I have been painting up a few of Warlord Games' Imperial Japanese Army. I bought their £29 box of twenty figures and have started with the officers and bannerman. I don't have the time to do a micro-art job on each so have opted for a wash technique. Reasonably pleased with the results although I need to do more work on the bases.

These are great figures and good value at about £1.50 each. I may need to get some Chindits to battle them and a Chi-Ha tank; slobber, foam, shiny toys.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Top Secret: Level Pale Pink

TO: Wing Commander Stebnitch, 155th Reconnaissance Group, Imperial Navy
FROM: General Von Clump, 153 Garrison Corps, Danika, Imperial Guard.

One of our shuttle pilots recoded a microwave of this - see above - on a routine logistics mission to Base Gamme-Five-Gamma. The base had been comprehensively sacked, no survivors. Could you ask your chaps to fly a few snoop missions into Orky air space to see if we are up against something new?

Yours, Herbie

Zombie Vixons

They are now being advertised on the Wargames Factory American website but don't seem to be available in the UK yet.

Apparently there's a no kissing rule: how drunk would you have to be?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sea King

This weeks helicopter in Smiths is a British Sea King in IFOR colours.

1/72 and a steal at a Fiver.

Church of England Battlewagon

Church of England Prime Mover for towing a gun and transporting dragoons.

Olive-geen galvanised iron has been welded over the open-topped truck to provide protection against strafing by Spode's Blackshort fighters, in direct contravaention of Archbishop Cosmo Lang's order that the Forces of Canterbury cathedral should eschew camouflage as cowardly and showing a heretical lack of faith in divine protection.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Alice by Nocturna

Nocturna are producing a new range of Fairy tale girls in 1:22.

The first is Alice.

I can't find a painted pic of the model but the sculpting is scrumptious.

The cost is E50 plus E8 shipping.

I am very tempted.

Chato Fighter

The Polikarpov I-15 was arguably the third best biplane fighter ever produced. The number one and two spot are held by the Gloster Gladiator and the Fiat CR42, in what order being a matter of opinion.

It is most famous for its use by Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. It also fought at Khalkhin Gol, China and as a ground attack plane on the Eastern Front.

I have painted this one in the colours of the Comintern. The Comintern was supposedly an international federation of communist parties but was actually a Soviet front organisation under Stalinist control.

The British Communist Party was a member so it seems possible that in the conditions of a civil war around King Edward's Coronation that the Comintern would sponsor an Air Force for the Communists.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Have a butcher's at this!

Painted by James Wappel.

We are not worthy, master.

I feel like breaking my paint brush over my knee and taking up bowls.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Roderick Spode's Air Force: The Flying Blackshorts

Spode, King Edward VIII's Prime Minister, has 'acquired' some Heinkel He 51bs for his chaps. Surplus to the Condor Legion in Spain where they proved no match for Soviet fighters, they have been transferred to the Blackshorts Legion and are flown by RAF deserters who have passed the Scientific Firm British Knee Test.

It mainly faced the Hawker Fury's of the St Augustine Brigade.

He 51, Speed 205mph, range 354 miles, ceiling 25,256 ft, wing loading 14.3 lb/sq ft, armament 2 7.92mm Mgs - 6 22lb bombs.

Fury, Speed 223mph, range 270 miles, ceiling 29,500 ft, wing loading 14.4 lb/sq ft, armament 2 0.303 Mgs - light bomb racks.

The Fury is faster and slightly less manoeuvrable with a higher ceiling. Otherwise they are a close match.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Warlord Games: Sdkfz 251 Halftrack

This is the SDKFZ 251 half-track IFV of the 3rd Reich, Usually referred to as 'Hanomags'. 

Popular culture gives the impression that the army of the 3rd Reich was a modern, mechanised force but nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the army was WWI in composition relying almost totally on horses and shank's pony for transportation. They bought the horses from the British Army when it fully mechanised in the 1930s.

Even in the Panzer Divisions there were never enough Hanomags to transport the panzer Grenadiers and most were carried in lorries.

I built this from a Warlord Games kit 'straight out of the box' The photos below shoe the model 'out of the box' and assembled and undercoated. You can build it empty or with a gunner and I opted for the latter. The resin was remarkably flash and bubble free and was easy to trim with a knife.

Interior decoration is good with slatted seats and stowage bins filled with 'stuff'.

A very nice model. All I have to do is add some sinister crosses from one of my decal sheets and it's finished.

1: 72 Blackhawk

If you modern wargame with 1/72 models it may well be worth you taking a trip down to Smiths. There is one of those Magazine Helicopter deals and the introductory issue is this little beaut for £2.99.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Anglican League: Horse Artillery

I have quickly painted up a horse drawn field gun for my Thursday night game with my regular opponent, Shaun of the Dead. I will paint the horses and trailer later. The gun is an obsolete WWI Royal Artillery piece. It will be interesting to see if the St Augustine Brigade, the "Bluebells" can get it working.

We intend to try out a first test of the Brigadier 1938 rules by Solway. I have read them through and they seem straightforward and quite flavourful.

Watch this space for a full review.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

St Augustine Brigade: Cavalry Command

I have painted up a command unit for my St Augustine (Canterbury) cavalry command unit.

I intend to develop a Kent Campaign for the 1938 British Civil War.  The Forces at the moment are as follows.

British Army/RAF/RN
There are three army units, the East Kents, the Buffs, the West Kents and the Yeomanry, the sharpshooters. The Yeomanry are field artillery and the others infantry. Theoretically these are under the control of King Edward.

The RAF is technically under the control of the King but No 500, Kent Squadron, armed with Hawker Harts and Furies has defected to the Church.

The RN favours Prince Albert, the Lord Protector.

Anglican League St Augustine Cavalry Brigade.
Under the control of the Church of England. I envisage cavalry, lancers, mechanised infantry and horse artillery.

Rural Militias
Land owners, their employees and small farmers. They are antichurch but otherwise non-aligned. Light weapons only

Trade Union Militias/Workers Army
Socialist, anti-facist and anti King Edward. These are found around the industrial regions such as Chatham. They tend to be disorganised and democratic. Armed with light weapons but ingenious at creating home made equipment.

Communist Columns
 Stalinist shock troops armed by Russia. Loathed by everyone else, especially the Workers Army.

British Union of Fascists
The stormtroopers of Prime Minister Mosley. They are represented in Kent largely by Spode's Black Short Legion.

And then there are the wierdos.....

Rules? I may use Rapid Fire as I am playing this in 20mm.

Now to create a map!

Modern Wargame General

I am the very model of a modern wargame General
I've information historical, martial, and statistical
I know the kings of England, and I quote battles metaphorical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical

I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotepotenuse

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus
I know the scientific names of beings only fabulous
In short, in matters historical, martial, and statistical
I am the very model of a modern wargame General

In short, in matters historical, martial, and statistical
He is the very model of a modern wargame General

I know all mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's
I answer all rule queries, I've a pretty taste for paradox
I know the rulebooks inside out from 40K to Hordes of Things
I’ve nicely painted armies from obscure nations like the Sinhalese

I can tell my pikes from throwing spears and muskets from the arquebus
I can describe the Parthian campaign of Publius Ventidius Bassius
I know my colour theory including shades thought hypothetical
I can paint the tiniest model from ten mill to infinitesimal

And paint the tiniest model from ten mill to infinitesimal
And paint the tiniest model from ten mill to infinitesimal
And paint the tiniest model from ten mill to infinitesimal

I can re-write Warhammer rules in Babylonic cuneiform
And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
I am the very model of a modern wargame General

In short, in matters historical, martial, and statistical
He is the very model of a modern wargame General

In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin"
When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin
When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at
And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat"

When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery
When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery
In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy
You'll say a better wargame General never charged his cavalry

You'll say a better wargame General never charged his cavalry
You'll say a better wargame General never charged his cavalry
You'll say a better wargame General had never charged his cavalry

For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury
Has only been brought down to the beginning of last century
But still, in matters historical, martial, and statistical
I am the very model of a modern Major-General

But still, in matters historical, martial, and statistical
He is the very model of a modern wargame General

Monday, 3 September 2012

Anglican League: Aircover

   The league has added Hawker Fury Fighters to protect their Hawker Hart strike planes. The official RAF has Gladiators and even a handful of Hurricane monoplanes and it is rumoured that the British Union of Fascists have been shopping at Fiat and Heinkel.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

New Warlord Plastic Napoleonics

While visiting Warlord Games I came across these little plastic beauties sitting on top of paul Sawyer's computer.

I don't do Napoleonics. No, I really don't do Napoleonics, .....gibber, shiny new toys....must be firm....

Andy Isherwood

While on a tour of Warlord Games Towers, I was introduced to this gentleman, Andy Isherwood, who is their professional painter.

You cancan get a quote for his services for private commissions by emailing: paintedmini[at]

Note I have removed the @ and replaced it with [at] to stop him being spammed to email hell by the dreaded pron bots.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Onward Christian Soldiers: The Anglican League

A mechanised company of the St Augustine Brigade, currently guarding the Medway Crossing against the Fascists. Known to their allies in the Workers Defence Corps of the TUC as the 'Bluebells'.

Kent bluebell wood in the spring.