WW2 Dutch and 1745 Jacobites

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It might have been quiet here on the blog for the last week or so, but I have actually been  progressing with all sorts of stuff. My wargaming table is groaning under the weight of several projects on the go!

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My WW2 Dutch army is coming along.  I am in the throes of assembling and painting some anti-tank artillery. These intricate little models were released recently by May ’40 Miniatures. Along with the Landsverk armoured car, my Dutch army will soon pack at least a wee bit of punch.

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I’ve also been busy with my scissors cutting out paper soldiers for my ‘45 Jacobite Rebellion project. I’ve now got enough units on each side to play a game. The Paperboys figures even come with a set of simple rules, so it’ll be interesting to try them out.

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This British cavalry regiment looks pretty impressive, even though it just made out of paper.

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The armies even include paper artillery. The guns themselves are 3D models, and are a bit fiddly to make. The gunners and their tools are all flats. This close-up view perhaps doesn’t do these paper soldiers justice – but they do look simply splendid when looking at them from a little more of a distance.

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The book of Paperboys figures also includes 3D terrain, so I’ve built a typical Scottish ‘big house’. You can build this in any sort of configuration you want, so I chose to do a main building with a wing on the back, and a circular staircase turret.

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Review: WW2 Dutch Landsverk armoured car in 1/56 (28mm)

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“Verdorie! Those are German paratroopers!” shouts the shocked commander of a Dutch Landsverk M36 armoured car as the Germans begin to invade the Netherlands on 10 May 1940.

I’ve just completed this 1/56 scale Landsverk model produced by May ’40 Miniatures, which at last gives my 28mm WW2 Dutch army some reasonable armour to face early-war Germans.

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Including a Landsverk in May ’40 Miniatures’ growing Dutch range for WW2 wargamers has long been a dream of owner Sander van der Star. The model’s development has been lengthy and torturous, as Sander is a stickler for getting everything right. But his dedication has paid off, with the recent launch of this impressive model in resin and white metal.

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The model comes well-packaged in a colourful box. It consists of two resin parts, and a number of smaller white metal components such as the wheels and guns. It is accompanied by a fully-illustrated instruction sheet and a set of decals with Dutch and German markings. If you want a commander and crew, these need to be ordered separately.

I should point out here that I bought this model when it was still Version 1.0. Sander was not in fact completely satisfied with his first version, and is now onto Version 2.0, which he says is a much higher quality model. But to my eyes, Version 1.0 still looks pretty good!

Assembly was simple and straightforward. I did decide to pin the machine guns to the body for added strength, and aligning the commander to hold the open hatch was slightly fiddly. But all in all, assembly took only about half an hour.

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Painting was also easy, as the Dutch Landsverks were simply painted green. I started with a black undercoat (which I did before attaching the wheels), and then dry-brushed the model with grey to bring out the detail.

I then painted the whole vehicle green, followed by a black wash over all details such as door frames and hinges, grilles, filler cap etc. To blend the black wash in, I then dry-brushed the model with the same green I had used previously.

Finally, the magic step – the absolute driest of dry-brushing with white to highlight all the edges, which makes the whole model pop.

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The decals are incredibly fine and thin, so care must be taken applying them. It is fair to say I found this the most difficult step in making my model.

Make sure you trim right to the edge of the marking before dipping it in water, and be patient for the decal to slide off the backing paper. When the decals were dry, I protected them with a coat of matt varnish. The end result is so fine that you can hardly tell they are decals.

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I did chicken out and decided to hand-paint the triangle on the front grille, rather than trying to mold the slippery decal over the lines of louvres. Luckily triangles aren’t too difficult to paint!

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So there we a have it – a Dutch armoured car to strike fear into my German wargaming opponents!

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The Landsverk is available from May ’40 Miniatures at the cost of €27.50, plus shipping from the Netherlands.

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History of the Landsverk

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In 1934 the Netherlands ordered twelve Landsverk L181 armoured cars and one spare chassis from the Swedish company AB Landsverk. These so-called M36 vehicles had a Daimler-Benz chassis with a Swedish body and turret. The Dutch changed the 20mm cannon to a 3.7 cm gun and fitted an extra machine-gun to the rear.

In 1937 another twelve were ordered, this time of the type L180 on a Büssing-NAG chassis, to be known as the M38. Two command variants were also ordered.

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The Landsverk was quite a modern armoured car for its time. The 37mm gun was relatively heavy for an armoured car. However, the chassis was quite rigid and proved unsuitable for rough terrain. Tracks could be fitted to the rear wheels, but this was impractical under fire.

The M36 served with the 1e Eskadron Pantserwagens and the M38 with the 2e Eskadron (1st and 2nd armoured car squadrons). The squadrons were divided between Vesting Holland and the Grebbelinie. Two platoons were stationed at Ypenburg Airport, and the other two on the Grebbelinie.

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The Landsverks performed well during the five-day war in May 1940.  They were quite capable of handling themselves in modern conflict. Not one Landsverk was taken out of action due to direct enemy fire. The cars that were disabled  had engine trouble or were damaged due to the bombing of Ypenburg.

Landsverk armoured cars took part in combat with the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and the 227 Infantry Division, as well as the defence of Ypenburg against German paratroopers.

After the capitulation, the Landsverks were used by the Germans under the name Panzerspähwagen L202 beute (‘prize’). May ’40 Miniatures includes decals for the captured version with their model.

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Specifications

  • Armament: one 37mm Bofors semi-automatic gun, three M20 (7.9 mm) machine guns.
  • Ammunition: high-explosive and high-explosive armour piercing.
  • Crew: Five (two drivers, two gunners, one commander).
  • Maximum speed: 60 km/h forwards, 40 km/h backwards.
  • Armour: turret 9mm, rest 5mm.

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WW2 Dutch armoured car

smallAfter many many months of anticipation, I’ve finally got my hands on one of May ’40 Miniatures’ Landsverk armoured cars for my WW2 Dutch army.

First impression is that’s it a very good model.  I will report more in the next few days once I start building it.

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At last my little Carden-Loyd tankette can look forward to some armoured reinforcement!

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Five large 28mm regiments in eight days

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Yes, in just eight days I have produced five full units in my experiment with Peter Dennis’s wonderful paper soldiers. My British army already has three large units, and my Jacobites are well underway with two units. That’s less than two days per unit, from start to finish, including basing.

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With any other project using my more-usual metal figures, I’d have to include the word ‘slowly’ (as in ‘I’ve been slowly building up my 28mm WW2 Dutch army‘). But for the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745/6, I can use the word ‘rapidly’ instead!

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I thought cutting out the figures would be fiddly and frustrating. But in fact I find it quite zen-like. Cutting-out shapes seems to have the same calming effect as those mindfulness colouring-in books!

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I’m building the two opposing armies at the same time, so I’m fixing their flags to fly in opposite directions. This may sound odd – until you remember that on the table the armies will face each other, so then the flags will be flying the same way. It would look odd if the wind was blowing in the complete opposite direction for each army!

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I’ve given figures quite thick bases to make them easier to pick up. I’ve  textured them very simply with static grass. Anything more than that might be too 3D to accompany the 2D figures.

This weekend I’m going to work on some cavalry and guns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

repalce the word ‘slowly’ with .

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Paper Highlanders for “The ’45”

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My paper armies have doubled in two days, with the first Highlander unit to face the regiment of British troops I made up earlier in the week. This Paperboys unit was begun from scratch yesterday, and completed tonight (around 100 x 28mm figures!).

I even had time to make up command stands for Bonnie Prince Charlie and his opponent, the Duke of Cumberland.

I just need figures for Jamie and Claire Fraser!

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Four hours to make a 112-figure regiment in 28mm!

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Yep, just somewhere between three and four hours to complete a regiment of 112 figures,  from go to whoa, including flags and basing!

I posted last week that I was going to try out some of Peter Dennis’s paper figures for a change from my usual metal. This 28mm British regiment was my first attempt, and I’m pretty darn pleased with how it came out.

From the front and back, they look pretty impressive. In fact, at a glance you’d be hard put to tell them from metal or plastic figures. This illusion even remains when seen from an angle, but obviously a side-on view gives it away. However, most wargames are seen from front or behind, so that’s not a problem.

Construction was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. As per the instructions, I copied the figures onto 100 gram paper, which is 20 grams heavier than normal photocopy paper. Before any cutting took place, I held the sheet upside-down to a light and dabbed some PVA glue onto wherever I could see the back of any muskets, swords or pole-arms – this strengthens them.

Gluing the figures together goes really well with UHU All Purpose glue (though Peter warns you not to use UHU Multi-Purpose glue, which must be different). The figures are grouped in a sort of concertina pattern which you fold up to make the three ranks.

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Cutting out – which was the part I was a bit nervous about – was much easier than I expected. The first few figures were a bit painstaking, but once I found my rhythm, I was away laughing. I used a small pair of scissors, and turned the paper in my hand to cut around all the detail. It still leaves a bit of a white edge, but that adds an outline which I think makes the figures ‘pop’.

I ummed and ahhed about doing any basing effect. I see most people generally don’t. However, I decided to just use a simple application of PVA glue and static grass to give a bit of texture.

The figures, being made of two layers of 100 gram paper glued together, are like very light card. But they are surprisingly strong. And even if a bayonet or two does tear off in play, they’ll be dead easy to replace.

Next effort in a few days will be a unit of charging highlander Jacobite rebels. Och aye!

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I’m going to try out paper soldiers

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I’ve decided to try something different – paper armies! For the last couple of years I’ve been keeping my eye on the rapidly growing range of books that Peter Dennis has been pumping out, each one covering a different campaign using 2D paper soldiers and scenery.

After having enjoyed so much making some Dutch houses out of cardboard, I finally decided to give these paper figures a go. So I ordered two books to try out, covering a couple of periods I’ve always fancied, but couldn’t face starting to collect and paint from scratch: the Jacobite ’45 Rebellion, and the American Revolution.

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Actually, this isn’t the first time I’ve played with paper soldiers. Many, many years ago (er, many decades ago), my then-flatmate Alan Hollows drew and cut out two Seven Years War paper armies, using a whimsical style reminiscent of Asterix the Gaul. I wonder if any New Zealand readers still have photos of these wonderful home-made figures?

Anyway, back to the Peter Dennis books.  On receiving my package in the post today, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the books were choc-a-bloc with not only every type of figure you would need for both sides, but also flags, artillery, carts, casualties, markers, appropriate buildings and trees, and even two sets of wargames rules (beginner and advanced versions). Wow!

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You can see the quality of the artwork from the illustrations I’ve reproduced here. The fronts and backs are carefully designed to line up.

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Peter has developed an innovative concertina folding system that enables you to  produce stands with multiple ranks of figures. Have a look at this video of how to assemble these figures:

But please don’t try assembling the sample images from my blog – my camerawork will have put them out of alignment … and, anyway, you should buy the book!

I’m told the finished figures are very sturdy, despite being made out of paper. You can literally throw them into a box after a game, give it a good shake, and they’ll still come out good as new next time you play!

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Apparently the 2D effect works well in wargames, as the players generally stand on each side of the table anyway. I’ll be intrigued to see how this works in real-life – but the photos in the book are very promising.

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Anyway, I’m going to enjoy trying to build my first army over the next few days. But even if I were never to cut the figures out, these books are simply beautiful to look at in themselves!

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I’m also really excited that later this year Peter will be publishing a book for the War of the Spanish Succession – another colourful period I’ve always fancied, but couldn’t face starting.

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He’s also coming out with a book of (3D) buildings for eighteenth-century Europe. I’ve pre-ordered both books already!

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