Friday, 15 December 2017

Sir Oswald and Lady Diana Mosley {VBCW}

In 1938, Thomas Egerton Shelswell-Whiteobsessive huntsman since the age of eight, obsessive polo player and, in his mid sixties, boasted a memory of having ridden home the winner of the Grand National at Fairyhouse.. at a time when English officers could still relax in the grandstand – sold Bantry Castle in County Cork to an English family not long arrived in Ireland. The castle house had belonged to the Shelswell-Whites for generations and had once been the residence of Church of Ireland bishops. It stood overlooking the centre of Bantry market square, a short walk from the harbour, hidden away amongst the town`s famous avenue of quaint, gaily painted town houses: an inconspicuous island of simple civility, on the frontier of the vast estuary bog. Unlike many other ancient mansions, its comforts and refinements had not survived the privations of the nineteenth century, and it was badly in need of restoration.

Every day for months the new lady of the house would drive across the bogland roads from her temporary rented accommodation to supervise the installation of bathrooms, electricity and central heating, and an Aga in the kitchen. Word spread that Bantry Castle was being returned to its former glory and that there was work to be had from the new owners. They turned the ballroom into a drawing room and brought a carpenter from Kenmare to build bookshelves that covered an entire wall. They filled the once-dilapidated rooms with fine furniture, replaced the broken sash cords on the windows, draped curtains made to measure in Dublin and hung paintings of their ancestors on the wall. They recruited a butler, a housekeeper and a cook. Occasionally the lady’s husband would arrive in a large, exotic Delaware driven by a German chauffeur.

Soon, it became known that the family bringing Bantry Castle back to life was Sir Oswald, Lady Diana Mosley - plus their two sons and two daughters. On the first of April 1938, the WestCorkman Independent carried a short item entitled ‘Distinguished Residents’, disclosing that the previous Friday the Mosley family had ‘moved into occupation’ of The Castle. ‘Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley, who have a large staff, are charmed with Ireland, its people, the tempo of its life and its scenery,’ the paper related dutifully, informing readers in a final sentence that ‘Sir Oswald was the former leader of a political movement in England.’ But it said no more.

In actual fact, a few years before he had become the nearest thing to a British Mussolini, following Hitler`s rise in 1933 with increased vigour. Oswald Mosley achieved political prominence as a parliamentary critic of Lloyd George’s campaign to use the Black and Tans to crush the IRA. And late in 1920, as a twenty-four-year-old Conservative MP, he was a believer in the League of Nations and condemned the Amritsar massacre in India as ‘Prussian frightfulness inspired by racism’. In his memoir, My Life, Mosley recalled that the war in Ireland had ‘evoked intense moral feeling’. With each atrocity committed by the Black and Tans he felt ‘that the name of Britain was being disgraced, every rule of good soldierly conduct disregarded, and every decent instinct of humanity outraged’. Mosley was one of a small handful of MPs who doggedly pursued Lloyd George and his blustering secretary for Ireland, Sir Hamar Greenwood, over `the unacknowledged policy of reprisals`.

An accomplished speaker and orator, Mosley’s speeches and questions were fluent, precise and lucid: "reading them evokes the pleasure of observing a clever barrister at work in a trial." Were the words used to describe him in the Corkman rag. At the time he betrayed no sympathy for the IRA. In one of his early contributions he accepted that ‘in the present state of Ireland one certainly cannot deny the right to shoot a man who, when challenged, refuses to hold up his hands. Anything of that sort is perfectly legitimate.’ And after the Bloody Sunday massacres Mosley told the Commons that law-abiding people in Ireland were being intimidated by ‘a small gang of desperate men’, or, as he put it shortly afterwards, ‘the murder gang of Sinn Féin’. The root of Mosley’s case against the Black and Tans was that their behaviour undermined the superiority of British imperial rule. ‘No Empire, no Government, has been long sustained except by the power of moral force,’ he told the House of Commons after Bloody Sunday. ‘Our Empire stands alone, from the Imperial ruins of history, in its recognition of and obedience to this fundamental law. It is because I am a passionate believer in the destiny and in the yet unfulfilled mission of British Empire, that I am unwilling to sacrifice the inviolate tradition of the ages even to satisfy the transient purpose of this gambler’s expedient …’

Mosley’s own solution to the Irish question was a version of the agreement by which the United States granted Cuba independence after the Spanish– American war, but reserved the right to invade if any disturbance threatened American interests. Under such an arrangement between Britain and an independent Ireland, Mosley wrote, any infringement could legitimately provoke ‘a bombardment of Dublin and all the principal cities of Ireland from sea and air’. Mosley was certain it would never come to that because a government supported by the Irish people would guarantee British interests, especially since (as he presciently noted) all the signs were that the first Irish government would be `conservative` and stable.

To read Mosley’s words is to come away with the impression that he single-handedly dragged the damning evidence of the atrocities (committed by the Black and Tans) into the spotlight and created an unprecedented scandal in parliament.

And yet in 1938 something changed; something fundamental and important. On March 11th Oswald Mosley (and his political `henchmen` supporters) secretly visited Adolf Hitler in Berlin. The meeting must have had a profound effect on him, because when he returned to England, he was a changed man. He immediately retired from British politics,  became a virtual  recluse within his vast estate on Dartmoor: and set about with his wife purchasing a new house in Ireland. The Mosleys were about to become ex-patriots of their beloved native home, and embrace all things Irish.

Soon his silk tongued oratory voice would be heard across the length and breadth of Munster, as he fervently beat the anti Protestant war drum into a frenzy of hate induced bitterness: and lifted the new MUF banner in defiance against the deprivation of British rule in the North.
Thus.. the Munster Union of Fascists was conceived and born.


***      ***      ***

June 2nd - 1938
{The Battle of Cobble Bay Square}

The driver pulled the jeep up smartly in the centre of the market square, the vehicles brakes squealing high pitched in distress. Captain Mortimer jumped out of the passenger seat with his walking stick firmly striking the ground in front of his feet. Behind him other jeeps pulled up behind the green army snake of transports. The Royal Fusiliers B Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Regiment of Foot (Queens Own Division) began to disembark speedily "Out... out... out! Let`s be having yer.. form up by the right ,on the double." A noisy cockney accented sergeant was shouting orders to the men, which echoed and bounced off the walls of houses all around. The sound of heavy booted feet soon joined the cacophony of sound and melded into a frightful din of military efficiency.


.... absent from the scene were the indigenous residents of Bantry town itself.  The market square was empty of all except khaki and tan. It was as though the entire of Bantry`s civilian population had walled itself up indoors, and was staying well clear of the sudden intrusion of the British army.

Captain Mortimer turned to face Bantry Castle the tall and imposing structure which dominated the central square of the small market town. The gates were firmly closed and the wide arched entrance looked like a closed mouth, stubbornly fixed in rude denial of even a weak defensive whimper.

But suddenly, silently, from around the side of the Police Garda building came a militant  looking throng of people. In their midst they carried a large banner, held aloft with pride and determination. 


Captain Mortimer saw the British emblem displayed with enthusiastic vigour and immediately discerned the Loyalist intent of this crowd. As they came on, some of the lead most civilians began pointing militantly at the castle, stabbing fingers towards it with disdainful lack of respect. "He`s in der` Sir... dat trouble maker Mosley an` his painted harlot of a wife, dat they are, sir.` This from a well heeled and dressed Irishman at the lead... the local bank manager (Denis Healey), if Mortimer correctly recalled.


"Aye.. we don`t want der` sort here" and various cries of agreement rose and fell with new found courage and conviction... the army was here, and those trouble makers would soon be dealt with. This was the crowd`s assertion anyway.


Captain Mortimer tweaked his moustache and sighed: never an easy thing to stand in the middle of a belligerent civil divide: and in this matter the division was deep and impassioned. Protestant Irish, loyal to the Crown on one side.. and Catholic Patriots who only wanted the British out of their country and the North returned to its rightful home rule on the other; what was the Captain to do? He had come here with orders to arrest Lord Mosley and any of their supporters his men could lay their hands on. Oswald Mosley had been stirring up quite a hornets' nest of dissension and unrest, which smacked of treason, and fascism..... and a new word `Nazism` was being bandied about and the Captain didn`t like it one tiny bit.  Mortimer rolled that word round his tongue like he had a bad taste in his mouth - Nazis. The growing crisis fit to overtake the world, all stemming from Hitler`s German extremists, and a promise of cleansing the bad apples to create a new pure future for all. Balderdash, Mortimer concluded.

... a new pure future, or at least, for all who would bow to the shiny black jack boot: and to the growing voice of power within Aryan agenda.

Mosley was a supporter of this voice, and his influence was mesmerizingly dangerous. So much so that the Captain had been ordered here to put an immediate stop to it. Seeing the crowd of Loyalists gathering at the gates of Bantry Castle - Lord Moseley`s home.. Mortimer was happy to see not everyone was seduced by the black shirt`s seditious words. The banner waving mob was out for blood!
The first pane of glass was heard smashing in one of the lower level windows of the Castle home. Soon afterwards a single shot rang out from the building.. sounding ominously loud in the confined density of the market square.

A pool of blood ran from the pavement into the gutter, and a young boy lay still on the sidewalk.

Silence  ensued for a few seconds. Then.. as one, the crowd reacted. With an incensed howl of rage they advanced en masse on the Castle gates.

Mortimer was quickly losing control of this situation and that`s precisely the moment a group of red clad huntsmen entered the square from Main Street. Sized up the situation in moments, and charged right into the back of the mob attacking the Castle.



Meanwhile (militant `united Ireland` extremist IRA, sympathetic with Mosley`s cause) sniper shots began to ring down on the exposed platoons.  The shots came from above, from carefully chosen buildings within the square itself, a couple of Mortimer`s men fell painfully to the ground.

Tricky little buggers to paint - these wee 20mm guys are.
Dave Stone`s individual 20mm cobble stone WTW resin bases really help make them come alive. I keep my models on their intrinsic bases though (as opposed to cutting them away), just in case I wish to remount them anytime.

The cockney sergeant bellowed: "Get under cover, and drag those wounded men to safety. Move it!" Suddenly the market was a hive of movement. Civilians hammered at the Castle Gates, at first unaware their number were being butchered from the rear by the red jacketed huntsmen (led by Moseley`s Son - Albert). And all the time, Moseley`s snipers were picking off Mortimer`s men with unchecked impunity.


The ambush had been set, and Moseley had played his hand. Round one had most assuredly fallen to his treacherous schemes.  Mortimer gave the order for is men to retreat, and in a somewhat disorderly array, the khaki army melted out of the square (leaving a few of their jeeps behind in their hurry to find safety and drag their wounded to cover).

The Loyalist mob was routed, and those who could not flee were butchered in the blood red cobble stoned street.

The war in Munster had begun.


Loyalist ( anti MUF & BUF British supporting) crowd, led by the Bantry bank manager.
As mentioned... the bases are all made by Wargames Terrain Workshop (except some of the Huntsmen bases which I needed in a hurry, so some of these are home made out of polymer clay). Will maybe re-base these when the rest of my WTW order arrives in the post.

The cool 2`` by 2`` battle board I picked up from Dave`s workshop, when I was last over there... here it is in all its cobble-stone glory.

***      ***      ***

20 days ago I decided to start a new project: a made the decision to try out A Very British Civil War and early (Operation Sealion) gaming and I wanted to do it on the cheap as much as I possibly could, by cobbling together bits and pieces of my existing hobby miniatures and terrain from my old collection (rather than go out and just buy everything new). 20 days ago I started with barely a single miniature ready to use, so to make this project work, I had to think fast. I figured I could do my Very British Civil War with a starting collection of about 100 figures: and effectively I cobbled together everything suitable could find in 20mm. A wanted to go the 20mm route primarily because of three reasons: A) if I needed to buy anything fresh, the scale was innexpensive: B)  I knew I wanted to add a model train set into my games (having watched Colditz, Secret Army, and Dads Army to death recently, I was filled with a deep desire to incorporate this element into my hobby as much as possible - and train sets tend popularly to be about H0/00 or 20mm): and C)  20mm needs a much smaller playing area than 28mm or larger scales do. So I set to work scouring my collection to see what I could come up with. From Richard Borg`s Memoir 44 soldiers, also micro plastic Army Men (a good source for jeeps armoured cars and tanks, and work out at about 10p per vehicle), to WWI Great War and  Rebel and Irregular Miniatures. In the end I had found a couple of hundred minis I could use, 1 truck, 9 jeeps, and 6 tanks. Terrain was not a problem as I asked Hils to make me a papercraft town (Hils is a bit of a whiz at making card stock terrain - from scratch, using photoshop and a bit of graphic design jiggery-pokery), and trees and hedges and so forth I could always make for myself.. or use existing bits and bobs from my collection. 
A plastic Army Men Jeep, commandeered out of a 5 euro bag of micro toys (containing 3 tanks 3 jeeps, 3 planes, some terrain pieces and 200 plastic soldiers in green and tan colours). Plus a plastic tree from an old children's farm set, and a few toy soldiers.

So yeah, 20 days later and I had enough painted to play my first game, and was able to start my new VBCW campaign with a bang.... and a very enjoyable first game it was too. I wrote my own set of rules for the game: a simple 7 page affair which does the job beautifully and serves my needs perfectly. If anyone would like a PDF copy of the rules I use for playing my VBCW table top battles (simple and uncluttered), just let me know and I will be happy to email you a copy.

Micro Army Men Jeep and Tank... value a few pennies each.

I am very much looking forward to adding all the cool whimsical, farcical, and exciting factions to my games.. as time allows over the following weeks. Already on my painting table waiting to be finished are: "The Loyal Goodwives Women`s Institute of Jam Makers" and "The Upper Sheringham Cricket Club" and their deadly rivals "The Cromer Giants Footballers Association" and then there`s "The Walmington-on Sea Home Guard" and "The Metropolitan Police Brigade" and their mounted wing "The Flying Squadron" (affectionately known as `The Norfolk Bumblebee Blues`). I think my current favourite has to be "The Felixstowe Retired Partners {Grass}Bowls Club" Ooh the list is endless, and I am proud to say progress is coming on apace.

As a final thought on this week`s post I`d like to share my discovery of a (new to me) company making a whole host of interesting ancillary models, just ideal for wargaming. I recently grew curious about this company after Jez put me onto them. They make a rather impressive range of interesting H0/00 scale miniatures: so I approached Ian over at Langley Models and I ordered a few sample packs to see A) how their H0/00 scale compares to my existing range, and B) I`m always interested to see how friendly and helpful (and quickly) a company deals with new customers.

First up, I have to be bluntly honest and say, I was not impressed at being charged for postage twice. First order I sent failed due to my card being maxed out. I received a message immediately informing me, and I wrote back at once and said money would be on the card by next morning. Next morning I made sure the card was topped up and placed an additional order along with the first (i.e. two more packets of miniatures). I didnt hear another word from Ian but the parcel turned up yesterday (seven days later), BOTH orders were in the same envelope but I had been charged TWICE = £6 each time, which I think was a bit naughty and certainly didn't impress me; especially as I had made it clear this was a sample order with many many more probably to follow over the months and years ahead.

However, onto the miniatures themselves. They are pure and simply delightful models, all metal (I was expecting plastic for some reason, thinking they would be more like standard train set accessorily pieces) and I could not be any happier with the packets themselves. No flash and nicely detailed, and each packet contains a nice selection of finely detailed perfectly in scale H0/00 figures.


I ordered a pack of British Army Personnel standing to attention (perfect to represent my Dad`s Army guys), a pack of Victorian/Edwardian Domestic Staff.. actually ideal for WWII servants of any large stately house: and finally I ordered a set of Cubs/Scouts, leaders and a camp (including tents) ideal for turning into Nazi Hitler Youth/Black Shirts for my new Very British Civil War campaign.

All in all, they are utterly delightful little models, and I will definitely be buying a few more packets over 2018. I just wish the guy running the place knew a little more about customer relations and the importance of good customer communication. I most certainly would have been inclined to buy a LOT more, if I felt happier about that all important customer one on one contact. Ah well.

Again I reiterate that I can`t fault the product in any way, and I am extremely happy with the purchase itself.



Article by Steve.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

WHAT'S COMING

So I'm going away for a few days Tauntaun riding, I wish ! But likely to be as cold as the ice fields of Hoth, so I shall be leaving you in Steve's very capable hands, and I know he has something very cool to show you while I'm away.
In the mean time I thought you might like to see some of the new models were currently developing.
First up are two bulks, these are the brute force of the Techno Ancients, these models will come with separate hands so you can easily change from the basic model to a gladiator version just by adding parts from the weapons pack. Also there will be grey's that ride on their shoulders as an optional extra as well.
 Next is the first of two Traventi servants were working on, the arms are a separate piece so we will be doing some more variations on this and the second body
The male Creminisci is now finished as well
Last but not least is a new animal for the wilds of Traventi the Grice, this is the male version and will be doing a female and gricelets as well to add to this new fauna
That's it from me for now as I go and start to wrap up warm, until next time HAVE FUN !

Cheers Dave

Saturday, 9 December 2017

WHAT'S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL, IS IT A MONSTER ?

So last night I was watching the movie " Life" looking at the creature in it and thinking about the elements I liked and what bits I would change if I was making a monster like this.
Because it was in zero G it had a really cool fluid movement like an octopus in water, this then led me to thinking about what movie monsters I've seen which I wouldn't change at all, there's a few but the most notable would be H.R. Geigers creations like Sil from species, and all the aliens from the Alien franchise, except this ugly monstrosity, which I never liked
Now we will all have our favourites, and for lots of reasons, but it got me thinking, "What makes a cool Monster ? "
Is it our fear of the unknown, is it a primal reaction of I'd run away from that, or is it something more simple of wow I've never seen that before ?
For me it's the later, but has to look great and like it could function as well in it's environment.
So where am I going with this ? Well as you all know I make creatures, and I'm interested what makes a great monster  for everyone else, and I find the best information comes from discussion like we often have in the comments  section.
Now in the creatures you've seen me show for DM there are elements to each of the creatures which come from real life, like the Deathcoil Beast has elements of a snake, the Horned Hominid has elements of a gorilla and prehistoric Rhinoceros, is this necessary to be able  to identify with a model, or does a creature like the Recnac work where it has very little that is recognisable in the real world ?
 Look forward to discussing this with you all, so until next time HAVE FUN !
Cheers Dave

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

AFRICAN TERRAIN

We cover a lot of different time periods at the workshop, and this month we have added to our African range. This range has proved popular with Congo players, including Foundry themselves, who have most of our existing range. For those who haven't seen our existing range I'll show them first.
This is my favourite set in the range, probably due to the fantasy element and how much I enjoyed sculpting the great ape.

These next pieces make great scatter terrain, adding character and a sense of lived in look.

Next up is a chicken coup, and some chickens.

Last up is a straw hut, and a clay hut, now on to what's new

As we have huts, now we cover when their destroyed with these two ruined huts.
Next is this lookout post, or maybe a test of solitude for the young tribesmen
If your tribe is lucky enough to be near a river, then these hollowed out canoe's would make travel easier.
Finally we have these Termite mounds, these are probably the most versatile piece as they would also make great stalagmites .
Scale shot of 28 mm scale model next to scenery

Hope you've enjoyed this little trip to Africa, as we have more to come in January, until next time have FUN !

Cheers Dave

Saturday, 2 December 2017

PROPER INTRODUCTIONS

"NOBLE BY BIRTH"


So in the recent AAR, you got a first tentative glimpse of the new blue skinned Traventi noble model. But now (trumpet fanfare: Tra-Laa-Laaaa) for a proper introduction. As mentioned in the last post she is on a state of the art hover chair; while her pet sabretooth cat rests half on her lap.. purring away hungrily! On the back of the chair we have some sculpted detail, including the same cool skull symbol you see on the favour tokens.


Next we have the cast and painted version of the Avian race, and with all the arana beasts having been released by the Nisari, this hunter creature could be very busy for quite some time.

Details of the Avians will be revealed in much more detail within the pages of the skirmish game, once these have been released and made available at Salute.



" NISARI "

Speaking of the Nisari, I have completed the first model based on Jez's design. This one here is the female version: but with tight bandages.. the breast area is quite subdued.



Next up is a Nisari priestess. I was so inspired by Jez's concept that I thought it would be really cool to make the priestess who runs the coven. She has a Dust Vyper in each hand for extracting the venom to administer to her followers.



" CREMINISCI "

I have also been working my way through these fishy aliens. As T had done three great sketches, I decided to make 3 genders, a male, a female, and a Null. 

Pictured below is the female and the Null. As I'm still sculpting the male for both competition winners.



Until next time Have Fun


Cheers Dave