Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

The British are Coming!

Greg and I have run a couple of Sea Lion based skirmish games using Combat Patrol(TM).  I really like the early war periods, like Finland 1939, Poland 1939, and France 1940.  I have recently gotten excited about Sea Lion based hypothetical scenarios.  In the Sea Lion and Fall of France games we ran at Historicon, Greg provided all the British Regulars, and I provided the Home Guard.  I wanted to flesh out our force with some additional figures.

View of the front of the Smith Gun from Warlord

The Smith Gun is quite interesting.  I had never heard of it until a year or so ago, and during our recent trip to Tank Fest, I saw one in person at the Imperial War Museum.  It is a 6-lb gun.  You rolled it into position and then tipped it up on its side.  The axel then became the traverse mechanism.  The “top” wheel provided limited overhead protection.  This was the Home Guard’s only viable anti-tank capability in 1940.

Side view of the Smith Gun

Some months ago, I purchased several packs of Warlord and Footsore Home Guard figures.  I don’t know which are from which manufacturer.

Home Guardsmen

More Home Guardsmen

Some of the Warlord and/or Footsore early war British

Another early war weapon of the Home Guard was the Northover Projector.  It fired hand grenades, rifle grenades, and special incendiary bombs to be used against tanks.

Front view of the Northover Projector

The weapon was fired using black powder and percussion cap.  The anti-tank bombs were glass bottles.  When the bottle broke (presumably near the vision ports of a German tank) the phosphorus inside the bottle burst into flame and filled the crew compartment with noxious fumes.  The weapon cost less than ten pounds to build.

Two Universal Carriers with Brens

Warlord makes nice 28mm figures but 1:56 scale vehicles.  I used 1:48 scale vehicles.  I was able to find 1:48 Bren carriers from Butler’s Printed Models, but they didn’t come with crews.  Warlord used to break up their sets as special orders, but no longer.  I had to order a set of four 1:56 Bren carriers to get the crews and some dismounts.  The 28mm figures fit nicely in the 1:48 scale vehicles.  There are additional Brens on pintles to mount on the Bren carriers, but I am waiting for some very, very small rare-earth magnets to come in the mail to mount them.  I think I will also use them to put the figures into the Bren carriers if they are thin enough.

A Universal Carrier with a Bren and one with a medium machine-gun

These are the dismounted figures that came with the set.  There are enough to make two squads / sections.

British soldiers who are part of the Bren section boxed set from Warlord

More British soldiers

Finally, I ordered a set of Boys AT Rifle crews from Crusader Miniatures.  Together, I am starting to formulate a pretty good early war British force.

Crusader Miniatures Boys AT Rifle crews


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