Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Morris dancers

Yes some more VBCW figures. Next post something different I promise! Again these are all painted for my good friend Matt at the wargames club. And again they are all 28mm and VBCW figures. The sculpts are (I am told) by Woodbine design and several have been converted with weapons added to give them a more military feel. Some came with weapons as well but Matt has added more guns.

The first 2 pics are them all together and then some in more detail. If you are not English you may be forgiven for not knowing what Morris Dancing is. so here is a link to the Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_dance and if you are English you probably think it is a sad waste of time and even try to quote others disparaging remarks about it. But I will have none of that on my blog.

There are in fact several different forms of Morris dancing and they all stem from Pagan routes and are mostly to do with celebrating erhm... fertility... yes, yes Fertility that is the right word! And each of these forms is geographically based but sometimes with linked themes and traditions.

Along with the dancing there is usually plentiful amounts of beer and cider consumed and now adays the Morris Dancing mostly takes place in country pubs. And there is little wrong with that. But Morris dancing is not for everyone and and an be seen as a joke by those city folks who do not understand the feeling of nature and traditions. Each to their own.

These have been painted to represent a generic Morris Dancing Troop and not a specific group as colours and clothing does vary greatly in both eras and locations. So realistically any colours could be taken and still look authentic. But that said I did settle on Dark blue and cream as the feature colours. I also regulated the colours of the flowers in the hats although they could be any colour that would grow in the gardens and fields of England.

The flag is by Solway ( painted by Pete Barfield) and is of Rochester, the Cathedral town in Kent (It did used to be a cathedral city BUT the local council did not fill in the right and proper paperwork so the government has demoted the City to now a town.... Local government, I say no more!)

The flag also has the Kent emblem of the white horse which neatly brings me on to "Oodening!" I do not expect anyone to know that word as it is sometimes spelt "Hodening" but with a deep Kent accent it is actually OOdening as the H gets dropped and the O vowel sound does get lengthened!

Anyway it dates back to 12th century English possibly coming from the Norse god Odin who had a 6 legged horse if I remember correctly. Anyway in Kent Morris dancing also had a pretend Hobby horse which was usually draped in sackcloth as shown in the early black and white picture circa 1905.  While the use of a hobby horse (Now used as children's toys) was "Exported" to other areas of England it was started in Kent where we set our VBCW. And as the symbol of Kent is a white horse I was of course obliged to paint the horse as a grey! (Yes a white one).

While the man/rider is dressed in greens and a few browns as the colours of the forest as he represents the Green man from English pagan folklore. I do realise that most of you will have gotten bored by now and stopped reading so thank you if you are still here. The Green man usually makes his appearance (traditionally) on the 1st of May bringing in the growing season.

Anyway that should explain the colours used and the reason behind their use. I know there has been a bit of reading today sorry about that.


Right at the very end I have put a Youtube video about Morris dancing. But kindly remember while the music and dances my be traditional the clothing is not in most of the dancing troops. Just in case you have never encountered it before and want to know more.

I apologise to anyone if I have any facts wrong as this is just how I see it and not based on participation, just observation.

Thanks for looking today and more in a couple of days, when I get some more painting done!

Cheers Clint








Monday, 2 May 2016

A VBCW AAR

Yesterday at the club we played a Very British Civil War game using the "Went the day well" rules.

The Batteries in my camera gave up before I could finish the game but here is what happened.
My first units arrive, an armoured truck containing my Command Element and a Boys Anti-tank rifle.

A general shot of the table from my seat.

The BUF start to arrive (Boo Hiss!) Also known as Tim and Dick

Peter arrives with a squad and a machine gun in the second truck and I get another spuad and a mortar in the 3rd truck

The Fasists start to arrive in force, 3 trucks of troops and some troops walking along the road.

being card activated my command struck speeds of down the road but the other two trucks fail to activate.

Clearly the BUF now are up to 5 vehicles including a tankette!

Pete takes his socialists into the side road and de busses.
The post box we find out at the very end is the Fascists objective!

Petes Miners having de-bussed take the field and cross to the far side.

Fascist Veteran Infantry arrive behind the tavern

Fascist flying column take the hedge row in front of the tavern

My socialists probably in a committee meeting remain stationary and fail to activate.

View from the fascist table edge., They have a lot of stuff on the board now.

The socialists (Pete and myself) do manage to get a few extra units on the table including and anti-tank gun.
The bad news is that the antitank crew are inebriated and fail to move from this position for the rest of the game and are not even able to set the gun up,
My troops in the lorry behind are stuck behind them in a traffic jam so I get the guys out and set about walking to the front. 

The Fascist get tank support on the table, Along with their veteran troops.
Nothing we can do the boys antitank rifle is out of position and although does manage to fire 3 time in the game it hits nothing at all with any shot the entire game.

Still stuck behind the anti tank gun the remaining troops trudge forward to a position on my right wing.
We do get 2 tanks on the table at this stage, one is armed with a heavy MG and thanks to Pete goes on to do quite well. The one controlled by me only manages to activate twice more in the entire game.

Fog comes down for 2 turns and several units scamper to better positions.
Well if not better closer to the Fascists.
My unit in the field hardly activate for the rest of the game and just become bullet magnets for all the fascists.
Petes Miners do activate a lot  manage to get into the middle of the field  (in the open) and they have to face of against a tankette while they carry no anti tank capability!

This was the last picture before the batteries in the camera died.
At this stage we could still win couldn't we.
 
Well actually NO. The game when it ended was 8 Victory points to the Fascist and ZERO victory points to the socialists. The Fascist did try to coddle me by claiming that we did score 2 victory points for knocking a MG out on an armoured truck. But as the VP table said we had to knock the veihicle out OR destroy it If is was a towed gun that kind of argument makes no sense to me.
 
 
So what went wrong? Honestly it was a combination of not knowing the rules which lead to some less than idea troop placement. (But that was the same for the Fascists as well). The fact that we could not activate anything that could knock out a fascist tank. And they just rolled over us.
 
Yes I did have a boys anti tank gun. In the game it fired a total of 3 times due to not getting activated, the first shot fired at a truck (No other targets) and missed, the second time did fire at a Fascist tank and Miss, The third time with no vehicle targets it fired at a Fascist machine gun and yep you guessed it.
 
 
I did have a tank with a cannon that could penetrate a Fascist tank. It activated twice in the entire game having come on late and spent those activations moving towards the front. The fascist tank it was facing activated MOST (but not all Turns) and was able to fire 3 times at my tank without me being able to fire back.
 
 
Overall I think I just have to say the cards were against us and while we could activate in the first 2 turns after that (and we played about 10 turns) me and Peter weer just sitting ducks and could not even shoot back. All in all very frustrating.
 
 
I am sure the fascists will point out that they had a unit that only activated twice (actually 3 turn as it did activate in the final turn) and you cannot blame them for our VERY bad luck.
 
 
Following te game there are several things I would change in the rules, Morale for a start units tend to get wiped out rather than retreat. The way units are activated. It could have been more balanced and the Fascists dd point out that before they hade anything on the table we did manage to get some units on and moving. And that is true, but in later turns we could do nothing to counter act the Fascist. We had no effective antitank at one stage they drove within 2 " of the Boys as they knew it would not activate and if it did the chance to hit was so small as to be worth the risk. Our anti tank gun was out of the game from the start and the only tank  with a gun and not an MG was destroyed because it could not activate in the 3 turns that it was being shot at.
 
Still them's the breaks!
 
 

 


Saturday, 30 April 2016

Just on the VERY last parts of the Morris Dancers but the dark clouds are thickening the sky and I will finish them tomorrow. Oh yes I will. But Rather than let today pass without a blog trace. I thought to let you in on my current project, which I am only just starting 3 years after I said I would (Ok It might be 4 years!)

At present I am in a bit of a pickle on how to start. If you have not read the books it is set in a fictional Cold War with the heat turn up to full. Yes Chemical, Biological AND Nuclear warfare has broken out in Europe (All pretty bleak but not a bad wargames setting.) There are some "New" equipment like the hovercraft shown on the novel but generally it is all in a 1980's vintage.

So I know one side will be the Soviets (and Allies) so I will start by painting a platoon of them. I only want a platoon size table wargame as that is the size that I prefer to play in most game settings.  3 Squads and a bit of support that should do me.

So in preparation of my toy soldiers arriving I RE-painted a couple of vehicles from my AK47 army, namely 2 Landrovers. The figures are 15mm QRF models and now painted to represent BAOR (British Army On/Of the Rhine). These will MOST likely not be part of any finished force so do not get excited and suggest they will be easy kills for the odd wandering T72. They were only painted to get me in the MOOD! Nothing more.

But they have gotten me in the mood for some Modern wargames. At the Club tomorrow I hope to chat with a couple of like minds and first determine should I use BTR 60's or BMP 1s or even MT-LBs for my main soviet APC. AND what force shall I use to oppose them. Could be British, Canadian, American, West German, Dutch it could even be French! As yet no firm ideas. But It will happen and happen soon I think!

There is very little in my AK Army that I can re use so I may be starting with a blank canvas.

Thanks for dropping by and I should have another post on Monday, probably an AAR of VBCW that has previously been mentioned.

All the best Clint



Thursday, 28 April 2016

Plod and Nosey neighbour!




Well as I hoped, no more puter issues so here is something new again....

I hasten to add these two have nothing to do with my real life and that as far as I know there are no nosey neighbours near me. Unless of course you know differently.

I put these two together just for the joy of making up a story in my head, The Neighbour has seen something sinister and called the Police and the story goes on from there...

Not sure of the make but here are 2 more VBCW figures for Matt and his collection. The lady can be used at any time period but one does tend to think 20th Century but she could equally be used for near future, zombie games or today.

The Copper is easier to date, given the gas mask bag slung over his shoulder and the tin hat he fits WW1, interwar and WW2 as his periods of use,

Right now to paint up the Morris dancers just before the Green Man appears on the 1st May (for those that know British folklore)

Thanks for looking and next scheduled post Saturday afternoon.

All the best Clint

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

One man and his Monitor!

Following a disaster in which my computer monitor faded to black and could not be revived I have spent all day trying to get one locally. Now when you have internet access getting one is easy and about (with eBay) as cheap as you want it to be.

I have limited space but I did finally manage to get one under 22". I Know that bigger is better for quality and picture viewing and everything else, but if you only have a limited space in which to put the monitor you have to go with the smallest you can get and my old on was 15" screen. So now everything is widescreen and a long way away.

Anyway a long story short and trips to neighbouring towns to get to an Argos and a BIG Tesco and BIG Asda and a Staples and it is all sorted.

so without further ado here are my latest. A Hunter and his bloodhound from Gripping beast and in 28mm. The man actually looks very much like one of my neighbours (John). While I do like Bloodhounds in real life I am not a fan of this casting. But I did an internet search and colour matched it so I know it is not far from accurate for a specific dog if not the whole breed.

So once again sorry for the delay, I will try to post again tomorrow and if no computer issues I feel confident I will succeed. (Fingers Crossed)>

I just have to find out how to alter the contrast and get out of widescreen, I suspect I may have to read the Manual!

All the best Clint.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vicar and Hodges.

Yes continuing with some Dad's army figures by Warlord Games. Today we have the vicar and the green grocer Mr Hodges.

Being 28mm they are a little smaller in real life than in the photos but they should be good enough to get the idea. And yes I did muck up Mr Hodges left eye, can't be helped sometimes it happens.

As with most of my 28mm figures they are for Matt and are part of the VBCW collection that will get an outing on Sunday (Barring mishaps). And yes there will be an AAR. (Assuming I remember the camera!)

So 2 more civilians for the project. I realise it is late posting these today so will post 2 more tomorrow! Probably in the morning as they should be finished by then.

The Morris Dancers are still being finished but should be ready by Saturday (I Hope)  as I want to use them on Sunday in the game. I have suggested to Matt that I use the Cricketers and the Morris dancers as they will give a village green feel to the troops and that's about as VBCW as you can get.

Until tomorrow, take care have fun and paint like crazy!

Cheers Clint

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Verger and A German Paratrooper!

I know that sounds like the start of a joke! So expect an "Oooh err! Missus!" to creep in the comments somewhere, I know what you lot are like!

I was going to show you some Morris Dancers today BUT Matt has given me a few more to paint up this week so expect them next week! Now that is something to look forward to! Oh yes it is!

So while I am in a comical mood here are a Nun and the Dad's Army Verger. Or is it a German Paratrooper in disguise, that's the typical shoddy Nazi trick we are so often told about in the Dad's Army series.!  Having looked for the quote I could not find it so I may have made it up and it may be an innocent Nun after all. I will let you decide.

The figures are 28mm and Matt says they are from the Dad's Army set by Warlord Games. I shall take him at his word. Two very nice additions to the VBCW project we will b playing NEXT weekend.  So unless I forget my camera OR have a mishap or Matt has a Mishap that is when they will take the table.

I have provisionally asked for the Morris Dancers and the cricketers to be on my side. So  the chances are Matt will give me something else entirely!

Thanks for looking, All the best Clint

Friday, 22 April 2016

Officers of the Day.

 Yes some more VBCW figures. This time to socialist officers. One with a mega phone shouting orders, possibly a commissar or political officer. The Other with binoculars and pointing. I put more gold on the second figure as I appeared more senior in rank than the first one. Again painted to represent Russian uniforms as befits the Socialist in a Very British Civil War.

As with the others they were painted for Matt and his growing collection of figures and they are already in his keeping. I will post again in 2 days, as some of the morris dancers are now finished, and I am starting on a couple of civilians (a verger and a nun).

After that I may well do some figures for myself, well that's the plan. Not sure what they will be yet as it will have to be whatever takes my fancy on the day. Only time can tell.

Thanks for looking today and with luck see you in 2 days time. All the best Clint

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Lewis Gun Hero!

Honest I am not slowing down and getting doddery! OK I may be.

Here is another 28mm VBCW figure for Matt. This time a Lewis Gunner.  I am told the figure should have a pipe but Matt wanted a cigarette and had adapted the figure to more closely resemble a fag. (Americans please Note that Fag and Cigarette are the same thing in England and neither are to be considered as a sexual orientation!).  He is destined to join the Socialist factions in VBCW, although he could easily fit into any faction. And that is one of the big joys of VBCW so many figures can be used in so many factions.

The Lewis gun would perhaps be too heavy to hold like that for long and the fact that he can at all shows him to be very strong! Lewis Guns were normally slung over a shoulder if being carried simply because they were heavy! So the Sculptor is more GW than real life. That said I do like the pose and for a picture might be very authentic!


 I have painted him in a soviet uniform to reinforce the feeling that he is a socialist but only people who know have a keen interest in Military history will recognise the uniform among all the others and then they probably would not either.... why do I bother?

The figure was great fun to paint and there will be 2 more along on Friday. And a batch on Sunday as I am working on a selection of Morris dancers as well at the moment.

All the best folks have a nice sunny day
Clint

Monday, 18 April 2016

VBCW Socialist MG

Well you should all know by now that I am working through the VBCW Socialist forces, and today we have a socialist MG. Another set of figures painted for Matt and his socialist and they will be getting a game in 2 weeks so there should be an AAR  (Barring accidents).

I am sorry I cannot tell you the make of the figures Matt probably told me but sometimes I make a goldfish look smart. And today is one of those days. Possibly Sloppy Jalopy! And definitely 28mm in size but that is where my brain stops.

 So this will just have to be a socialist machinegun and crew and leave it at that. Additionally I will not be able to identify the next batch. I did say I could make a goldfish look smart!

Have a good day and I hope to post again in 2 days time.

Best wishes Clint

Friday, 15 April 2016

Tomorrows post today!

Bloody hell it's like busses nothing for ages then 2 come along at once. This was to be Saturdays post, but I finished it early AND tomorrow is Salute and I know it would get missed in the rush to see all the show goodies.

So Today I continue with the Empress Miniatures in 28mm for a VBCW. This is a 37mm Bofors anti Tank Gun and crew.  Again this is for Matt and for VBCW 37mm gun should have enough punch to get through most things, OK probably not a Mk1 Matilda but pretty much everything else. The gun was used in WW2 and saw much use in the desert sometimes mounted on the back of trucks "Portee". During the Winter War the Finns did use it very successfully against all manner of Russian tanks but realistically it was not deployed against tanks it could not penetrate. (Unless of course you know better NO KV1's were encountered with this gun.) In fact so many of these guns were captured during the fall of France that it was also used by the Germans!

However this version is to be used in the Very British Civil War. Each crew member has different clothes and head gear so it can easily be used for any side. And while I do not normally paint camouflage on my VBCW stuff Matt did ask for it. It is no particular pattern or colours, just what I thought would look right. and looking at the gun shield the silhouette outlive is broken up so I guess it works.

Thanks for Looking today have a great weekend and I should post again on Monday.

If you are going to Salute have a great time.
All the best from (Raining) Kent.
Clint out.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

RED FLAG!

Yes I know I have been very lazy and not put anything on the blog for more days than normal. It is a combination of things.
  1. Mostly dithering about what to paint after the AHPC this year. I can Procrastinate for England!
  2. Not really enjoying wargaming at present (although this is now passing)
  3. Family illness in Matts Family so no VBCW stuff to paint (rectified now)
  4. My Nephew James. Loading Minecraft on my computer and getting a little addicted. (It does not run on his computer! but does run very well on mine.))
  5. And umming and arrhing about a potential new/old project that got put on the back burners for a few years. AND as I am not going to Salute this year that does free up some cash for the project.
In the mean time here is a single Empress Miniature, from the Spanish Civil War range who will be joining the Kent Socialists. Yes it is Painted for Matt and yes the flag is by Pete Barfield. I will be working on some more socialists this week and hope to have more to show on Saturdays blog post. Obviously men and women did fight in the SCW and one assumes they would do so in the VBCW as well. Not all units in the SCW did have women or allow them to fight in the front line. Many were cooks or nurses, yet some did fight in battles. So this figure carries the red flag for the socialist forces allied to Betteshanger colliery (Painted previously!)

 So enough chatter  and back to the brushes you monkey you!

Have a great couple of days and post again on Saturday.

All the best Clint