Posts Tagged ‘BEF Miniatures’

Tanks for Everything

July 18, 2012

Biased I am, due to having cast these up,  but I think this is a lovely little tankette perfectly suited for VBCW even though it’s a yet to be released model for Akula’s Armies so meant for WW1 Fantasy.

It’s a seven piece resin kit inspired by French FT light tanks and built by Uncle Crouchie who was the man behind BEF miniatures.

I enjoyed both casting building and painting it but I’m not sure how many might be available so if you’d like one I’d suggest chasing Akula via the link above.

I’m going to have to scrounge another off him myself as I’d like one for my Anarchist band.


Kraut Rock

April 23, 2012

This handsome bunch of burgers are the old BEF miniatures early WW2 Germans. Since the range was taken over by Warlord they’ve been changed slightly making these beauties out of production – as if they weren’t brilliant enough already.

Now before you start telling me just how marvelous I am for this tremendous paintjob I have to hold up my hand and stop you. These lovely little pjs are those of the boy Slug, I think they’re brilliant and I’m a hard hobby taskmaster. I wish I’d managed such a level of painting by the tender age of fifteen and one third.

Actually I’m not sure I could match these, lucky for me I don’t really do old Germans otherwise I’d have to find another excuse.

The epaulettes, rank markings and other emblems are all paint, not a transfer in sight.

Of course having seen what he’s managed with these I’m inclined towards buying the new lot.

Canterbury or Bust!

October 31, 2011

A quiet morning in Canterbury with the birds chirping unaware of the drama of the coming day.

Although some hushed activity is stirring at some pipe laying works down in the park.

A loudspeaker starts blaring out an over-dramatic speech barely masking the hum of several rowdy engines.

This brings forth brave volunteers to man the city edge against the coming attack.

Shop keepers, clerks, policemen and retired armour majors with a tank in their back garden rally to the cause.

With one disgusiing itself as a water feature in the park.

St Peter’s militia decide to rush the flank in a bid to thwart the BUF’s advance.

Meanwhile the Choir, a Belgian elite led by Tin Tin on a heavy machine gun form up on the centre.

Across the fields another group of BUF advance.

A strange 20th century siege tower follows behind a push down St. Dunstans Street.

Matched by the motorised speed of the other flank.

With the BUF making as much use of the cover available.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s the appearance of SuperFascist in his home made costume, his mum will be furious when she realises he’s used her new curtains for a cloak. Although effectively useless as a combatant his endless sloganeering at loud volume does give the BUF a serious boost to morale.

This boost speeds the advance to the river Stour under the destructive defensive fire of the Anglican League.

Tin Tin observes the massive attack with some trepidation and discusses it with Snowy.

Synchronised hedge breaching becomes the order of the day.

Suddenly the defenders open fire and start seriously damaging both armour and infantry. One light tank destroyed and an armoured car immobilised.

Meanwhile the siege tower is joined by what had appeared to be an old shed. Behind them a squad of FAF have become entangled in a clothes line.

The Anglican commanders feel confident. boosted not least by some medicinal treacle from Boots.

Uneffected by treacle the bridger gets into position and soaks the socks of the lone driver. Vehicles group for the crossing while the dithering AL militia are reduced to delivering condemantion from a damp vicar.

The BUF storm Westgate Tower and start shooting down below.

While Charlie and one of the Boys are severely damaged.

Suddenly Winston Churchill appears at a window with a Thompson machine gun he purchased from nearby Greenfields.  His appearance offers a much needed boost to the defenders.

Suddenly the mysterious pipeworks is revealed to be a fiendish fire throwing device invented by some chap called Levins. The result is massively damaging to the massed attack, and singes even the dampened militia.

A truly terrifying weapon to be at the wrong end of.

The BUF pushing up the centre get decimated by the grenading Choirboys, the rifle fire of the Belgians and Tin Tin on Hmg. the single man left has decided that now would be a great time for a cup of tea.

A long range tank shot silences the Mosley loudspeaker drone.

And confusion starts to slow down the BUF. For the second time today the elite FAF squad gets entangled in a washing line. Perhaps they should have stuck to the fields.

But the BUF on the tower send some firepower into the brave defenders…

…decimating them and even having time to change the flag on the tower, much to the dismay of the people of Canterbury.

They then take a defensive stance against all efforts to repel them.

A militia which has done very little thus far finds itself in position to pour fire at the politician Winston Churchill – killing him in a hail of bullets. A sad loss but it’s not like he’d ever be Prime Minister is it?

Having attrected a fair amount of damage the centre stills holds.

On the flank the BUF failed to get a single man across the bridge, so the AL use it to push back the stalled advance.

A scene of confusion settles over the battlefield as the day comes to an end, even if the play doesn’t.

A good day’s play was had by all. Left to right, Wobbly Steve,  Fascist Child Killer Tony, 6mil Phil, Slug, Daring Dan and front and centre Captain Stinky (proud commander of Tin Tin et al). The chance cards, complete with limited edition typos, from this battle are available here.

I Bike It

October 27, 2011

If you’ve been living under a motorway flyover you may have missed Warlord Games purchase of Uncle Crouchie’s BEF Miniatures. Aside from the pause in availability of the bulk of the BEF range while those cunning Northerners refiggle moulds and get it all ready for a massive relaunch, one thing has slipped out of near release. Namely it’s Crouchies long awaited motorcyle and side car for his early WW2 Belgians. With Antwerp’s Crisis show looming these would very likely have been launched there by the man himself as a follow up to last year’s wildly successful, if totally unexpected by the Belgi brussel sprout munchers, release of the Belgian miniatures.

Generous as Uncle Crouchie naturally is, just ask the boy Slug, he very kindly gave me a set of the prototypes which rather sadly have languished unpainted and only remembered when someone mentioned it in passing over at GWP.  Well here the bugger is, and rather delightful a model, although folk hoping to set it loose on British roads might notice the side car is set up for the continental way of driving. If you like it enormously why not email those top chaps at Warlord and beg them to get a move on.

Sieg Hail Me a Taxi

September 12, 2011

In Martin Pugh’s book “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” he mentions very briefly the Fascist Defence Force, a slightly aggressive unit designed to encourage hecklers at public meetings to leave. At the Earl’s Court meeting the beatings dished out by them drew criticism from folk who had gone to hear Moseley speak, including M.P.s.  I’ve seen no mention of them in the world of VBCW, but thought it was time to have such a force: in spirit if not in name, so here is The Fascist Assault Force.

They’re made up with pieces from various suppliers, mainly six bathtub light armoured cars from BEF, three Vickers Medium Mk. II Tanks from Copplestone with various figures adapted with heads from Gripping Beast. They’re designed to work in pairs, one equipped with a Hotchkiss machine gun from a donation from Henry Furd, the other with a rifle grenadier, or in the case above, the commander.

Each pair is named as pairs, so Oswald is paired with his chum Benito, Adolf with Francisco, and Edward with Wallace.

There’s a few small details added too, most of the drivers are wearing gas masks bar the commanders driver because the commander won’t allow it. Wallaces driver has added his own head protection in the form of a dustbin lid, and Francisco has a sun umbrella.

The BEF models were a joy to work with as per, the Copplestone not so much, modding the various figures was great. These will make their debut at the BIG VBCW demo game at Legion in October, so come and see them.

We are Legion

July 21, 2011

My local game show organised by the folk at Red Knight (ex-snipers nest) has really grown in just four years, so I thought I’d share the flyer with you here in the hope of attracting you to it. Our maainland European chums might consider a visit too, as it’s just a few miles up the coast from Dover.

Flem Cell Technology

December 6, 2010

We were lucky enough to get hold of these WW2 Belgians by BEF Miniatures prior to their release at the Crisis show in Antwerp and they jumped the painting queue quite breathtakingly given how we still have bare figures from last Christmas.  So in just over thirty days Slug has painted up half of them for a forthcoming, wait for it… VBCW game.

I can’t help feeling a little sorry for Uncle Crouchie, the man behind BEF, who started this range in a period which he adores in the hope we’d all start playing it once we had the relevent pieces. After a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears he offer plenty of pre-Dunkirk goodies and sells plenty of them, but we the fickle public are typically using them for a big “What-if?”.

Launching this range in Antwerp (which lies in Belgium for those of you who are geographically challenged or seppo) was an excellent idea. Plenty of Belgians left the show very happy at seeing an ignored area which obviously means a lot to them both historically and nostalgically, as well as a little stunned in finding them.

Slug reports the usual joy to paint which we enjoy with well-crafted miniatures, but also extra pleasure because they were so different from what he usually paints. He knows by heart the epaulette colour of WW2 Wehrmacht troops, the correct camo for a Para, and even what the BUF liked to strut around in. These however were an unknown, and meant research had to be done to get them right – all part of the fun!

Unfortunately my photos have let these down a bit again! For this I can only apologise. These kerels will be on a table near us soon as the anti-fascist Arkell Brigade who, allied with the Anglican League, will see off the fascists as they advance through Kent. Hurrah!

Morris Major

December 4, 2010

Almost finished my other Morris Light Armoured Car from BEF miniatures as seen above. The earlier one was done in British Army colours, and I’d bought this one for the BUF forces in VBCW. One of the problems I’d generated prior to painting this was mild boredom with painting BUF vehicles in the rather simple black scheme we all seem to have adopted. I expressed this to Uncle Crouchie the gent behind all things BEF and he suggested that in their adoration of all things Nazi they might well adopt more experimental ideas when it came to camoflage.

Hence this rather outlandish camo scheme was created influenced in part by WWI camo used by the Germans. It was fun to paint and works rather spiffingly. I’ve managed a finish which looks like someone was let loose with a big paint brush and a number of partially used tins of household paint over a couple of hours of some Sunday afternoon.  I’m claiming this is deliberate, so any criticism of technique is effectively pointless.

The Bofors and Bren came with the kit, the only addition is the Bolt Action crew figure. At £16 each these are lovely little models which I highly recommend.

Morris Dancer

November 25, 2010

Okay so it wasn’t a million years ago that I was parading my collection of VBCW vehicles with a warm smugness and a general feeling of completion, meaning I could stop buying motors for this project and get on with playing it. Of course I have stopped buying, but there’s still a few odd pieces left in the pipeline. This delicious model of the Morris CS9 LAC by BEF Miniatures is the latest. I’ve had this around for a while, and suffered  a slight delay in sorting out a crewman for it, finally got one from Bolt Action, and here it is ready to play.

It’s a lovely model but it’s suffered from my poor treatment of it to be brutally frank. In attempting to strengthen the gun barrel with superglue I made a bit of a bosh of it, and having seen these photo reveal my poor misty varnishing I’ve rushed back to the spray table and given it a decent coat. This usually remedies the problem.

All that over-analysis finished the model is a cracker. I liked it so much I actually bought two, this one is painted in a two-tone green pattern to match that of the regular army at the time. The other, which has yet to be finished, will be for the BUF faction – but enjoying a more experimental camo paint job. Tally Ho!

A very British motor pool

November 19, 2010

What Ho dear readers! My Very British Civil War project is in danger of reaching fruition as the heady combination of great miniatures, cracking vehicles, and scenics all approach the state of being finished with the alluring promise of much gaming ahead. Above is the Margate Section (St. Johns) of the Anglican League. I do seem to be in an unhealthy minority when it comes to VBCW, primarily it seems to be mainly my Northern and Scots cousins playing this game, secondarily very few seem to have embraced the Anglican League – either preferring the satorial elegance of the BUF, the self-righteous joy of all things socialist, or the simple nimby stance of militias. I’m left consoling myself with the truism of how God does indeed move in mysterious ways, and rather handily he’s let these photos be some of the best of models I’ve ever taken. Above is a BEF Miniatures Char FCM 2C, named “Charlie”, two Bolt Action TKS light tanks with 20mm guns, named “The Twins”, plus a converted diecast which is nameless because it’s effectively a staff car and staff are well known for having no imagination at all.

It’s a pleasant but simple conversion, plate armour added to protect the radiator and engine, another piece to protect both driver and passenger, with a handy slit with a hinged cover for the driver, various goodies dotted around and the small detail of a machine gun to clear minor traffic obstructions, tastefully finished in a dark Anglican blue.

Here’s the BUF’s vehicles, a much flashier collection as the Devil does seem to own all the best cars. There’s a BEF Miniatures Vickers Light Tank, a Sloppy Jalopy Austin Type 3 armoured car, an Airfix Gloster Gladiator in 1/72 scale, the home-brewed Pig based on a converted diecast, a converted diecast Mercedes and a converted diecast Bentley. One thing I’ve noticed in my recent foray into 28mm is how a lot of folk struggle to find suitable aircraft in the near matching 1/48th scale, but how easily the eye accepts 1/72nd models as fitting which I believe the Gladdy does quite agreeable and for a better price.

The Bentley is a conversion by the boy Slug, and rather well done I think. The driver was originally the same figure as that in the Anglican League staff car but it’s had a head swop to keep him in line with our decision to have the majority of BUF figures wearing caps just like their uniformed ranks did, bar the ladies. It has a nifty flag on the rear, an HMG for the passenger and a fascist black finish.

The Regulars of the British forces have a very humble collection which reflects the interwar budget, based on the simplistic premise of “If there’s not going to be another war then we don’t need an army”. The plane I can’t place, but there’s another another BEF Miniatures Vickers Light Tank, a simple conversion of a diecast van, plus a plain diecast “Travelling Library”.

Of those it’s the Travelling Library which is the real joy, I’ve done nothing to it, but it’s got my county on the side of it – all my VBCW games will (in the manner of the idea) be played in Kent which makes it close to the divine. It’s a humble model, but could hold any number of secrets or not.

Time for the weapons of mass transportation, namely my first VBCW conversion the armoured tram, two buses in East Kent Road Car Company colours (including decals!), and a delightful French Renault bus by Solido. The latter is also superb for WW2 games of course.

Finally private and commercial vehicles, two different steam driven lorries, Jones the Butchers van, a petrolium tanker (essential if you’re running a tank), an Austin taxi, a Bentley (same model as used by Slug for the BUF conversion), an Evening News van and a Riley sports car.   All in all it’s taken me just shy of a year to collect this lot together and aside from feeling very lucky to afford such a complete collection I think I’ve managed to reflect the type of vehicles you might get around the late 30’s even though I’m still totally lacking in horse-powered transport. The majority have been either off that Ebay or from boot fairs or market stalls at very good prices, which has left me a decent budget for the more militaristic gaming pieces. It’s been great fun getting these together, but I’d still like to thank both The Gentleman’s Wargame Parlour and the Lead Adventures Forum for their inspiration, advice and general chuminess throughout this project. Rah! Rah! Them!