Thursday, 31 January 2019

Arnold Tabbs

Another one for Doug.

Nick Smith's old mucker from Glenbogle Rangers has joined the commandos. Arnold Tabbs was considered a hard-man at the Rovers and dominated the midfield. Another canoeist-raider.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Seth Starkadder - Sniper

Seth Starkadder is the youngest son of Judith and Amos Starkadder. He grew up on Cold Comfort Farm. Judith has an unhealthy passion for her own son, Seth. Amos Starkadder, Seth’s father is the hellfire preacher at the Church of the Quivering Brethren. Seth is handsome and over-sexed, with a passion for the movies. As a boy he was given a .22 rifle and became an expert shot, bringing rabbits home for the pot. Seth is now a sniper in Snapforce.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

The Wizard of the Dribble

Another one for my friend Doug, one of his great heroes from childhood (and adulthood as well, I think!).

Nick Smith was the top player at Redburn Rovers. Unusually he was not only captain of his side but also coach and manager!

On call-up, Nick was a natural for the commandos with his speed, fitness and dexterity and flew through the selection tests. Nick Smith is now an expert canoeist-raider.

McAuslan in the Rough

McAuslan, the dirtiest commando in Snapforce and possibly not the full jar of Marmite has had his training on the grenade range. Now he's in a quandry trying to remember what Sergeant Major Tudor Bryn 'Shut Up' Williams told him about hand grenades. Does he throw the clip-thingy on the side of it or does he throw the lumpy bit in his hand? What to do, eh?

Monday, 28 January 2019


What's a Commando without it's piper? The Laird's 'Pipey' is none other that Pipe-Major Shughie McFee. Shugie lives in a croft on the Glencairn estate right by the crossroads and has been the piper at Glenbogle House clan events and highland games for many a year.

The Commando Memorial

As I'm posting my Commandos here I thought I ought to post a couple of photos I took in 2004 when I visited Spean Bridge to see the Commando Memorial.

A 'Crab' Commando!

This one is for my friend, Doug, who flew with Braddock on many a dangerous mission!

Flight Sergeant Matt Braddock is one of the best pilots in the RAF and has flown many different types of aircraft on many dangerous missions. However, he does have a knack of upsetting senior officers (occasionally offering to punch them) and refuses to be promoted above the rank of sergeant.

When the Laird of Glencairn came to the Air Ministry looking for a Forward Air Controller for Snapforce, the Air Ministry staff put Braddock's name forward in a trice. A potentially suicidal posting with the Commandos plus attaching Braddock to the 'Pongoes' seemed to be killing two birds with one stone for the staffers at the Air Ministry.

So, Snapforce gains a 'Crab' Commando FAC.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Alf Tupper Joins the Commandos

·     Alf used to live with his Aunt Meg in Anchor Alley, Loose-Chippings. The house had one room upstairs and one room downstairs; Alf's bed was a mattress on the kitchen floor. He was employed as a welder working in Ike Smith's welding shop which was located under a railway arch, his wages were £1. 5s per week of which he paid his Aunt £1.2s.6d for rent. This meant he had 2/6d for himself. Following a bust up with his Aunt Meg, he moved into Ike Smith's welding shop, sleeping on a mattress by his workbench. Alf joined the Much-Piddling Harriers paying a subscription fee of half a guinea; he was only a member of the Harriers for three weeks and was instructed to return his membership card by Major-General Kenwood-Chef the Honorary Secretary, following an on-track fight with ‘Catsmeat’ Potter-Pirbright in the 440 yards at the Much-Piddling Harriers Sports meeting. According to Alf ‘Catsmeat’ called him a ‘guttersnipe’. Alf's staple diet is fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. On call-up, Alf was a natural for the Commandos as the ‘Tough of the Track’.

Having now managed to complete five Commandos I couldn't resist a group shot. So here they are:

L to R: Alf Tupper, Sgt. Labalaba, the Laird, 'Tickle' McScrotum and Stavros.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Stavros the Greek

Another commando joins the Laird's force, Stavros, who originally hails from Santorini. He emigrated to England before the war and was running a kebab shop called Abra-Kebabra in Much-Piddling. When Stavros was called up he immediately volunteered for the Commandos, hoping for a posting to the Aegean where he could fight the Axis forces occupying his homeland.

Yes, he does look a bit like the Hood from Thunderbirds!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

McScrotum the Elder

The indefatigable McScrotum the Elder, the wrinkled Glencairn ghillie. McScrotums have been serving the Laird of Glencairn for generations. McScrotum will follow the Laird into battle wearing his lucky Celtic scarf! He will of course, also carry a bottle of the Laird's favourite whiskey, Glen Goolie, a dram of which will see them through the worst that Jerry can throw at them.

The Laird of Glencairn Goes To War!

The Laird of Glencairn, Hector McSnapcase is now ready for any dangerous missions that may be required by the War Office. He has armed himself with an elephant gun, the .577 Nitro Express from the gun room at Glenbogle House, the family home. The previous Laird used it in the trenches in World War I when the usual army .303 round would not penetrate the steel shield used by a German sniper. According to him it went through the steel shield like a hot knife through butter!

Seen here with his faithful Sergeant Labalaba, the Fijian ex-International Rugby forward.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

The Laird of Glencairn's Commandos (SnapForce)

A new project started last week and resulted in some strange coincidences!

Mycroft Holmes: What do we say about coincidences?
Sherlock Holmes: The universe is rarely so lazy.

I already had some Commando miniatures and bought this set from Warlord, simply because I think they look superb.

Warlord photo

Then I saw some Artizan Commandos for sale on the LAF and bought them. One of my favourite miniatures of all time is this one from Artizan.

I painted BSM Tudor Bryn 'Shut Up' Williams as a Royal Marine to use in the game at DevLAM '18. I knew I wanted to paint my new army commandos in brown uniforms so I ordered another mini from Artizan and then saw that Windsor Davies had sadly died. "Oh dear, 'ow sad!" as he would have said.

Anyway, I picked some figures out to paint first and, as usual a sort of story came into my head as I was painting. Inspired by the figure on the right, I decided my unit would have been formed by the Laird of Glencairn. They would be called the Laird of Glencairn's Commandos or SnapForce for short.

I then went on to decide that I would have all sorts of characters in this motley unit to make it more interesting and started to think, maybe a Seikh and an Australian, maybe even a Frenchman? So then I was trying to work out the back story as to how this band of heroes and cowards were recruited. H
eroes like my Fijian Commando Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba shown here.

Cowards like the Lieutenant Gerald Cadman character from 'The Victor' comic and Lieutenant Dick Coward from the James Delingpole novels.

Then, blow me down, along comes my Commando comic subscription with issue number 5198, entitled 'Operation Eclipse' and it's almost as if they had been reading my mind!

Operation Eclipse

To take out Germany's strongest U-boat base would need a ship packed with explosives, a bunch of blokes with nerves of steel... and an eclipse of the sun.

The eclipse could be counted on, but what about the cowardly captain and his crew of convicts? Could they do the job?

They had to - thousands of Allied lives depended on it...

Tremendous stuff and exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. Obviously the Commandos opponents are the ubiquitous U-boat crew who last appeared in "On the Day, Went the Eagle's Landing Well?"

So, on with the painting of the Commandos, more to come...

RIP - Windsor Davies

You will be sadly missed, lovely boy.

Battery Sergeant Major Tudor Bryn 'Shut Up' Williams

Monday, 14 January 2019

Cruel Seas - More boats

Two Royal Navy Vosper Mk. 1s proudly flying the White Ensign into battle.

An S100 E-Boat from the Kriegsmarine.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Cruel Seas - Vosper Mark 1

Finished my first boat for Cruel Seas. It's a Vosper Mark 1 MTB, ready for patrolling the Dover Strait.

  • Length: 73 ft (22 m) 
  • Engine: 3 Packard 12M engines for a total of 4,200 hp 
  • Speed: 40 knots (74 km/h) 
  • Range: 470 nmi (870 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h) 
  • Displacement: 47 t 
  • Armament: 
  • Four 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes 
  • Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
  • Two 0.303 in Vickers K machine guns (optionally two Vickers .50 machine guns) 
  • Crew: 13

I'm going to be playing the scenarios from the rule book so for Scenario 1, Ships in the Night I need another Mk. 1 MTB and a German S100.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

AAR - 'On the Day, Went the Eagle's Landing Well?' - Part 7


At Cold Comfort Farm, Sergeant-Major G’Bond has finally managed to start the Beaverette 4-cylinder petrol engine and is heading for the farm exit to get out on the road.

As the Beaverette emerges from the farm entrance a sad scene unfolds in front of G’Bond’s eyes. He is too late to save the girls of the WLA. Bodies surround the Pickett-Hamilton fort where the fighting was at its fiercest.

Here we can see that although the girls are down, they have taken a heavy toll of the brutal invader. Oberleutnant Manfred Schimmel has been shot by Bobbie Wickham. Staffelkapitän Peter Wilhelm Stahl himself has been killed leading the charge against the brave girl’s shotguns. Lady Florence Cray and ‘Stiffy’ Pinker (‘Stinker’ Pinker will be inconsolable) have been mown down by Feldwebel Jürgen Zimmermann with his MG-15. Zimmermann appears to be the Grim Reaper himself with the number of casualties caused by his machine gun. Will he be able to sleep at night after this bloodbath? At present, only Claude ‘Catsmeat’ Potter-Pirbright is returning fire with his Tommy Gun and his lone resistance sadly, cannot last.

Back at the Hall, the Black Shorts are trying to carry out Stahl’s last order, ‘get the charter if it’s the last thing you do’. Unity Mitford is trying to enter the Hall through the main gate. The Black Shorts have not committed any outright offensive action yet but Warden G. D'Arcy ‘Stilton’ Cheesewright has taken charge at the gate and is rightly suspicious of the devious Black Shorts and is refusing to allow Unity access.

At the sound of shots from the Hall itself, the villagers who were heading up Market Snodsbury Road turn into the Hall instead to investigate. ‘Peaches’ Snapcase, in the care of Dame Edith FitzPilchard, has reached the door first armed only with her catapault. Captain Snapcase himself has returned to his ancestral home at the sound of gunfire and shoulders the Mitford sisters aside as he attempts to find the cause of the shots.

But now the real tragedy of this invasion plays out. Shots are fired through the main door to the Hall by the Kriegsmarine. ‘Peaches’ is cruelly murdered in cold blood on the steps of the Hall! Will the killer of this fourth-former from St. Trinians ever be held to account? Cries of outrage and horror are heard from the following villagers.

As ‘Peaches’ lies dying on the steps, Hermann Görtz of the Abwehr hides behind the stone wall and tries to kill more of the villagers. Will the horrors never cease?

Even now, more tragic events are unfolding. ‘Peaches’ had managed to down Bothman with her catapault before being mortally wounded. Seeing the carnage, Private Charles Godfrey under the auspices of the Red Cross approaches the Kriegsmarine to try and negotiate a cease-fire whilst he removes the body of young ‘Peaches’.

“My sister Dolly has made some lovely cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. I wonder if you chaps would like to take a break and have a sandwich?”.

These are the last words spoken on earth by Godfrey as even under the protection of the Red Cross he is cut down by a hail of sub-machine gun fire.

To be continued…

AAR - 'On the Day, Went the Eagle's Landing Well?' - Part 6


We saw earlier that Sergeant-Major V. A. G’Bond was making a beeline for Cold Comfort Farm along with Sid Staines and ‘Old Shut-Up’. However, once in the farm as Sid and ‘Old Shut-Up’ headed one way to help the valiant girls of the WLA, G’Bond turned the other way heading for an innocent seeming log shed at the end of the farm. Seen here with the red roof, middle left.

Snapcase’s cunning plan for the defence of Much-Piddling was about to be revealed. Should Field Marshal von Leeb and his 6th Army set foot in Devon the boys of Much-Piddling Home Guard intended to be the ones to stop his little game! Hence, the surprise in the log shed.

G’Bond had been dispatched to the log shed by Snapcase when the firing commenced earlier that day. G’Bond knew exactly what he had to do. Pulling the ropes which attached the false sides to the shed he revealed Snapcase’s secret weapon……………a Beaverette!

The first version of the vehicle was built in 1940 by Standard Motor Company at the instigation of Lord Beaverbrook, then Minister of Aircraft Production (hence the name Beaverette). It was based on commercial car chassis, on which a simple riveted armoured hull was mounted. The 11mm of steel was backed by 3 inch thick oak planks. The hull was open at the top and at the rear. The armament consisted of a Bren light machine gun, which could be fired through a slot in the casemate armour. Subsequent versions received all-around protection and a machine gun turret - an enclosed one with a Bren MG or an open-topped one with twin Vickers machine guns.


It can only be driven by a member of the Home Guard or other British military. It takes one turn to open the fake log-shed and another turn to start the engine. In one turn it can move 8”. The armament is a Bren Gun and counts as a machine gun in the rules. After receiving 3 wounds the vehicle will cease to move but can still fire. After 4 wounds the vehicle is destroyed.

NB if the Beaverette is proving too powerful in the game (to be decided by the players), it will suffer a mechanical breakdown.

Meanwhile, back at the Hall, Prince Phillip and the assembled glitterati of Much-Piddling high society are awaiting cocktails in the drawing room. In the absence of any imminent libation, Prince Phillip is flirting with Sam Stewart, Snapcase’s driver (and some say, much more!). Sir Douglas D’Emfore and Lady Bracknell look on askance.

Up the back passage, the Kriegsmarine effect an entrance. Whilst Fähnrich zur See Iwan Oldekop and Obergrefreiter Albert Zöller keep a watch through the rear entrance to the drawing room, Oberleutnant Hans Bothmann and Oberbootsmann August Ronshausen stealthily proceed through the rear entrance and into the library, taking position by the door that leads into the hallway. Prien is dividing his force to make two rear entrances at once, a cunning plan, mein Kapitänleutnant!

To be continued…

Friday, 4 January 2019

AAR - 'On the Day, Went the Eagle's Landing Well?' - Part 5


Ladies and gentlemen of the audience, you may have been wondering what’s happened to the Kriegsmarine? The Luftwaffe have suffered casualties from a sniper, engaged the Home Guard and had to deal with the Women’s Land Army. They have also met with Spode who has not declared himself for the Germans yet and so is still free to lounge about Much-Piddling in his ‘footer bags’ without fear of retribution. What about the Kriegsmarine I hear you cry? Well, the cunning brain of old Gunther Prien has ensured that so far, the Navy boys have remained undetected! They’ve had a lovely stroll up the towpath to meet the 5th Column, gained the plan of the ground floor of Snapcase Hall and the details of Prince Phillip’s visit. Pausing only to surreptitiously view the ferocious battle being fought out the other side of Market Snodsbury Road and for a large slug of Obstler from Prien’s hip-flask, the proud lads of the Kriegsmarine return down the towpath to take up positions in the back passages of Snapcase Hall.

Whilst CPO Pertwee and ‘Catsmeat’ Potter-Pibright head down Market Snodsbury Road to lend assistance to the brave girls of the WLA, Able Seaman Staines, Sergeant-Major G’Bond and ‘Old Shut-Up’ take an alternative route through Cold Comfort Farm. However, G’Bond has a different strategy in mind of which more later.

The 5th Column advance across the front of Snapcase Hall across the stables and garage. Joanna Grey seen here passing Butterbur who is still cowering in the Mobile Pasty Unit. One assumes that Grey is a vegetarian as she declines to help herself to the pasties scattered about.

Meanwhile Spode and his chums are lurking in the barn opposite Snapcase Hall. Still undercover, they are awaiting the right moment to make a dash for the Hall and to seize the charter whilst the Luftwaffe carry on the fight. Stahl’s tactics now become apparent.

The situation now seems set for a treacherous assault on the ancient Hall itself and its distinguished visitors. Can things get any worse?

To be continued…

Victory Points for 'On the Day, Went the Eagle's Landing Well?'

It would probably be a good plan at this point to include each player's objectives which may explain their actions. At the start of the game each player was given a sheet of Victory Points. Also as special events occurred, a written sheet was produced to explain it, as per the Auxiliary Units.


To kidnap Prince Phillip two enemy must be in base to base contact. Phillip will then move with them. Phillip will resist one enemy with normal Combat rules.

To kidnap Sir Douglas one enemy must be in base to base contact. Sir Douglas will then move with them.

To gain Victory Points, either of the stated captives must be in your possession at end of game or have been escorted off the table.

Escorts going off the table with a captive cannot return.


Retain Charter +1 VP

Prevent capture of Prince Phillip +1 VP

Prevent capture of Sir Douglas +1 VP

Kill 90% of the Luftwaffe +1 VP

Kill 90% of the Kriegsmarine +1 VP


Meet the Black Shorts +1 VP

Steal Charter +2 VP

Capture Sir Douglas +1 VP

Kill Prince Phillip -2 VP

Kill Sir Douglas - 1 VP

Kill 90% of the Home Guard +1 VP


Meet the 5th Column +1 VP

Capture Prince Phillip +2 VP

Capture Sir Douglas +1 VP

Kill Prince Phillip -2 VP

Kill Sir Douglas - 1 VP

Kill 90% of the Home Guard +1 VP

Thursday, 3 January 2019

AAR - 'On the Day, Went the Eagle's Landing Well?' - Part 4


At the sound of all the gunfire coming from the outskirts of Much-Piddling, some of the military personnel from the Hall come to investigate. Led by CPO Pertwee here, backed up by Colonel Grytpype-Thynne, Sid Staines and Chief Warden Hodges. Sergeant-Major G’Bond is about to leap over the hedge into Cold Comfort farm.

The villagers and the Women’s Institute, also alerted by the sounds of war are rushing up the road to see what is going on. Here we see the redoubtable Dame Edith FitzPilchard leading the advance, followed by Betty Slocombe, Peggy Carter and Mary Berry. ‘Stilton’ Cheesewright joins the throng.

The girls of the Women’s Land Army are swift to react and emerge from Cold Comfort Farm with shotguns blasting!

As the Luftwaffe make a flanking move to mercilessly cut down the wounded Home Guard a surprise awaits them. Well, it should do, but some very poor weapon maintenance now rears its ugly head.

‘Just before war was declared, Peter Fleming, then a reserve officer in the Grenadier Guards, was recruited by the War Office research section investigating the potential of irregular warfare. His initial task was to develop ideas to assist the Chinese guerrillas fighting the Japanese. He served in the Norwegian campaign with the prototype commando units – Independent Companies – but in May 1940 he was tasked with research into the potential use of the new Local Defence Volunteers (later the Home Guard) as guerrilla troops. His ideas were first incorporated into General Thorne's XII Corps Observation Unit, forerunner of the GHQ Auxiliary Units. Fleming recruited his brother, Richard, then serving in the Faroe Islands, to provide a core of Lovat Scout instructors to his teams of LDV volunteers. When Colin Gubbins was appointed to head the new Auxiliary Units, he incorporated many of Peter's ideas, which aimed to create secret commando teams of Home Guard in the coastal districts most liable to the risk of invasion. Their role was to launch sabotage raids on the flanks and rear of any invading army, in support of regular troops, but they were never intended as a post-occupation 'resistance' force, having a life expectancy of only two weeks.’ (Wiki)

Captain Peter Fleming appears from the secret entrance of the Auxiliary Unit bunker. I was expecting Captain Fleming to have quite an impact (as Starkadder did) on the game, however with his first shot his rifle jammed! Being camouflaged in his ghillie suit and hearing only a click, the Luftwaffe failed to observe his presence. I believe that on no less than five occasions the same thing happened. The dice were cursed!

Meanwhile, the girls of the WLA put up a stiff resistance causing a delay in the Luftwaffe’s attempt to get to the Hall and obtain the much-needed charter. Here, Honoria Glossop and Lady Florence Cray advance under heavy fire to try and take out Zimmermann and his MG-15.

Refusing to give up in the face of overwhelming fire-power, the girls were cruelly shot down by their barbarous foe.

To be continued…