Saturday, 15 May 2021

Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 - ATS with rifles

Here are my latest Women of WW2 from Bad Squiddo;

These are all members of the ATS, the Auxiliary Territorial Service, which was the female arm of the British Army during the Second World War. By 1941, there were around 65,000 women serving in the ATS, carrying out a wide variety of non-combat roles, such as drivers, orderlies, cooks, clerks, storekeepers, searchlight operators, anti-aircraft gun crew and military police. The ATS also provided around 10% of the strength of the Royal Corps of Signals. By the end of the war, there were nearly 200,000 women serving in the ATS.

These women are, atypically perhaps, equipped with rifles and their officer has a standard issue sidearm, but this is fine for gaming purposes, especially in games set in the UK in "What If?" scenarios, using Chain of Command or other suitable rules.

As always with Bad Squiddo minis, these are lovely sculpts and excellent casts which paint up really well.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Something different - angry cat guy!

This lovely mini is a Bad Squiddo one, created by Leandro Ventic and cast in lovely crisp resin. He is called David the Cat on Annie's website

To me though, he is called Basil the Bold, in memory of a wonderful ginger tom we used to own called Basil.

The real life Basil was a big chap, a scrapper, a ratter and the top cat of the area where I was living at the time. In other words, pretty much what this fantasy cat warrior would be all about if he was an actual person, apart from, possibly, the ratting, but you never can tell. Some things run deep in feline genes.

Anyway, as a fighter, I've given him a somewhat battleworn and grubby appearance, with a fair few questionable stains on his tunic and armour, a battered old leather belt and some well-worn patches on his cloak.

He would make a splendid addition to all manner of fantasy settings, maybe even as a knight in a Frostgrave warband.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 - Women of the Home Front

 I've been powering through my next group of Bad Squiddo Home Front figures over the weekend. 

These women are clearly ready to repel any Nuns in Jackboots who might suddenly appear on the scene or round up any shot-down Luftwaffe aircrew. Pointy sharp things on sticks predominate but the two ladies at the back are ready to provide fire support (and a nice cup of tea) whenever called upon.

These were good fun to paint. I decided on mostly simple colours for their clothes, after all there is a war on! I see the woman in the centre as Mrs Hardy, the local school's Headmistress and the organiser of the women's volunteers, a local force to do whatever might be required in an emergency.

Peggy, on the left owns the local dress shop, Doris, with the rifle is the village GP's receptionist and Edna (with the revolver) and Mary are farmer's wives.

The volunteers are obviously going to work alongside the local Land Girls to keep the area safe.

I'll definitely be using these for some "What If?" Home Front Chain of Command games when things get back to normal, but they will be equally useful for things like VBCW, Pulp and Cthulhu Mythos-themed games.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 - Two SOE agents

Following on from my promising start, I have now completed two actual SOE agents, Nancy Wake (in green) and Virginia Hall.

According to her Wikipedia entry, Nancy Wake was a New Zealand nurse and journalist who joined the French Resistance and later the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II, and briefly pursued a post-war career as an intelligence officer in the Air Ministry. The official historian of the SOE, M.R.D. Foot, said that "her irrepressible, infectious, high spirits were a joy to everyone who worked with her".

Wake was living in Marseille with her French industrialist husband, Henri Fiocca, when the war broke out. After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the Pat O'Leary escape network led by Ian Garrow and, later, Albert Guérisse. As a member of the escape network, she helped Allied airmen evade capture by the Germans and escape to neutral Spain. In 1943, when the Germans became aware of her, she escaped to Spain and continued on to the United Kingdom. Her husband was captured and executed.

After reaching Britain, Wake joined the SOE under the code name "Hélène". On 29–30 April 1944 as a member of a three-person SOE team code-named "Freelance", Wake parachuted into the Allier department of occupied France to liaise between the SOE and several Maquis groups in the Auvergne region, which were loosely overseen by Emile Coulaudon (code name "Gaspard"). She participated in a battle between the Maquis and a large German force in June 1944. In the aftermath of the battle, a defeat for the maquis, she claimed to have bicycled 500 kilometers to send a situation report to SOE in London.

From the same source, Virginia Hall was an American who worked with the United Kingdom's clandestine Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in France during World War II. Hall was a pioneering agent for the SOE, arriving in France in August 1941, the first female agent to take up residence in France. She created the Heckler network in Lyon. Over the next 15 months, she "became an expert at support operations – organizing resistance movements; supplying agents with money, weapons, and supplies; helping downed airmen to escape; offering safe houses and medical assistance to wounded agents and pilots." She fled France in November 1942 to avoid capture by the Germans. She returned in 1944 as an OSS agent. After World War II Hall worked for the Special Activities Division of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The Germans gave her the nickname Artemis, and the Gestapo reportedly considered her "the most dangerous of all Allied spies." Having lost part of her leg in a hunting accident, Hall used a prosthesis she named "Cuthbert." She was also known as "the limping lady" by the Germans and as "Marie of Lyon" by many of the SOE agents she assisted.

Here is a rear view of the two minis.

As usual, there are excellent sculpts and casts and were a joy to paint. Nancy, in particular is clearly going to feature in all manner of Pulp games as well as WW2 ones. In Pulp games, she is an obvious femme fatale with a dangerous streak, hence the large knife concealed behind her back.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 - I've started work on the project at last!

Around this time last year, the  Bad Squiddo Women of WW2 Kickstarter (which has been available in the shop for ages) was shipped. Since then, so much has happened, apart from me actually painting anything from my pledge. This has now begun to change. I have several figures near to completion, but only one completely finished, and here she is;

This is SOE Annie, a wartime equivalent of the Sci Fi Raging Annie, who can be seen here, on the right of the photo.

Here she is from behind.

I have to say that I absolutely love this mini. The pose is terrific and the details excellent. I can see her featuring in a lot of Pulp settings as a femme fatale, straight out of the pages of a Raymond Chandler novel, or a feisty female private eye, as well as in some suitable TFL Chain of Command scenarios.

I thought that it was only fair that I painted her first. Next up will be a couple of real life SOE characters.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Two Determined Young Ladies for Victorian Sci Fi games

 Here are two more additions to my VSF collection, once again from Ironclad Miniatures.

These two Determined Young Ladies are Miss Dorothea Huntley-Palmer (on the left) and her cousin Miss Felicity Ward.

Dorothea is the daughter of Sir Arthur and Lady Caroline Huntley-Palmer, and therefor the niece of Sir Henry. Since her travels in Syldavia a few years ago, she has become a formidable swordswoman, an excellent horsewoman and a passable shot with the pistol. She has also earned herself a reputation as a scholar of certain arcane areas of what we might call the Dark Arts.

Felicity is the daughter of the sister of Lady Caroline, who is married to a prominent American archaeologist and scholar, Professor Charles Howard Ward of Miskatonic University, Arkham, Massachusetts. Felicity is an excellent shot with all manner of firearms and is a noted investigator of the Occult. She has accompanied her father of an number of archaeological expeditions to the Middle East, Central America and the Caucasus.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

The Shooting Party

Four more nice figures from the excellent Ironclad Miniatures Victorian Science Fiction range, described on the website as "Victorians armed with sporting guns".

I have decided that these are four associates of Sir Henry Huntley-Palmer, old friends, drinking and shooting partners and also stout chaps who can always be relied upon to accompany him on his occasionally dangerous missions and exploits, which are sometimes sanctioned by a Mysterious Government Agency but might also be unsanctioned freelance operations.

From left to right they are George Davenport, a retired Metropolitan Police Officer, "Gentleman" Jim Mason, a bon viveur and alleged cracksman, Sir Arthur "Binkie" Beaumont QC, a former criminal barrister and Percy "Nobby" Nobbs, Sir Arthur's gamekeeper.

When Sir Henry requires their services they are always available and collectively they are known as "The Shooting Party".

In Her Majesty's Name is clearly where they are going to see most use, but they should also be useful where tentacled unpleasantness and eldritch goings-on are likely to happen.