WW2 Dutch in 28mm by May ’40 Miniatures

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May ’40 Miniatures are now really up and running.  This new company from the Netherlands makes 28mm Dutch infantry from early WW2.

I really like their publicity photo, shown above, with some of their figures posed against real Dutch WW2 uniform items and equipment.

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I’ve ordered a batch of these figures, but I’ve asked May ’40 Miniatures to hold off sending them to me until they can also add in their promised Landsverk armoured car (thus combining postage).  This may be some way off, but I am patient …

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May ’40 Miniatures are currently on FaceBook, and also have a new website being designed for them. You can also order their figures from Sally 4th in the UK.

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Colonial New Zealand Wars of the 1860s

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The main campaigns of the colonial New Zealand Wars took place from the 1840s to the 1870s. Over those 30 or more years, uniforms and weapons changed. My NZ Wars wargaming armies have so far primarily  represented the early campaigns of the 1840s, when the British still wore red coats. But I’ve recently painted some Perry Miniatures ‘British Intervention Force’ figures to complete a small  British and colonial army of the 1860s.

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My army consists of two sections of British regular infantry, a group of colonial cavalry, and an artillery piece, along with some officers on foot and on horseback.

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Overall command of my army is given over to these three mounted officers (probably of much too high a rank for such a small force!). The photo makes the blue of these rather plain uniforms look lighter than it actually is – in fact, my paint job is almost black, which I’ve achieved by washing the finished figures with black ink.

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There are also a range of officers on foot, including these three doughty chaps. I don’t think such a dandy as the cavalryman in the middle every fought in New Zealand, but I like him as a figure anyway!

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On the left is an officer busy writing notes, whilst a Maori scout waits patiently. The latter Perry Miniatures figure is actually a Canadian native figure, but I think he works well as a ‘friendly’ Maori as well.

Standards weren’t carried as a rule in the colonial NZ Wars. But there is some evidence that occasionally a plain Union Jack was used. You also probably wouldn’t have seen too many drummers during the bush fighting – but he is a nice figure, isn’t he!

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I’ve painted these cavalry so they can either be used as colonial horse; or as mounted men from the Military Train used as cavalry (as there weren’t any formal British cavalry units in New Zealand).

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Here’s one of the British regular infantry units. During the 1860s campaigns, the British soldier wore a blue serge ‘jumper’ instead of his traditional red coat.

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Don’t ask me what rules I’ve based these figures for. I don’t base to any particular set of rules, but rather to ‘my eye’ – what looks good to me! Actually, with my busy life, my wargames armies seldom get to see action on the tabletop anyway!

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If I ever need to reinforce my small army, these Empress Miniatures sailors from my 1840s army will fit the bill.  Their weapons might not be exactly right for the period, but they give the right look.

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Likewise, my 1840s militia will probably do for a colonial unit of the 1860s.

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The most obviously missing figures for my army, however, are colonial militia wearing the famous ‘shawl-order’. Neither Perry nor Empress make any suitable figures to represent these men. At one stage it looked like Eureka might produce them, but they couldn’t gather enough pre-interest to make it worthwhile. This also seemed to scare off Empress, who had also said at one time they might produce such figures.

My only hope now is the Perry twins, who of course have a good connection with New Zealand through the work they’ve done for Sir Peter Jackson, and who sometimes go out onto a limb that other manufacturers would deem as unfeasible!

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More painted New Zealand Wars coming soon …

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Taking a quick moment to write a brief update. Whilst this blog has been quiet over the last month, I haven’t been idle. I’ve been busy painting another batch of colonial New Zealand Wars figures – cavalry, artillery and staff for the 1860s campaigns.

I’m now just waiting for a chance to photograph them and write a detailed blog post, so keep watching …

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Painting a 3D-printed Caribbean building

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‘Arrr, me ‘earty – that thar 3-D printin’ is sure makin’ inroads into wargamin’, ain’t it!’ And especially so for terrain, as shown by this exciting new model from Printable Scenery for my 28mm pirate gaming.  3d-printable-wargame-house65

Matt from Printable Scenery asked if I could do a blog posting showing how to paint this first model in his new range of Caribbean building files, which I was very pleased to do. The painting didn’t take long – one day from start to finish.  Here’s how I went about it:

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The first step is to clean up any artifacts left over from the printing process, and then cover the whole model with black spray-paint. Apart from that, no other work was required to get the nice finish you see above.

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The model prints in three pieces, which means you can view the interior of each floor. So the interiors also received a black undercoat.

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The two storeys now received a light spray paint of sand colour (I used Tamiya model spray). I sprayed this in quick sweeps from above, so the remaining black undercoat would create the effect of shadows. The roof received a light spray too, but in a brick-red colour.

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The interiors also got the light sand-coloured spray treatment. I don’t worry about over-spray on the floor – this all gets fixed later on.

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Now comes my favourite step – dry-brushing the entire model with white. This really brings out the texture of the stone-work and tiles, and you start getting a feel of what the final product will look like.

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I picked out some of the stonework with a yellow-ochre colour, then dry-brushed over it with white. The chimney has also been painted ochre and dry-brushed white.

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I slapped some sky-blue paint onto all the windows and doors. As you can see, I was quite rough and ready with this job, but that doesn’t matter, as the next steps clean this up.

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I coated all the blue windows in earth-coloured ink wash, and also inked in some of the shadowed areas in the stonework, such as under the arches. I then used my trusty white dry-brushing over all the windows – hey presto, sun-bleached light blue frames and shutters!

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I picked out some random tiles with a range of colours, then game the whole roof another quick white dry-brush, before washing the whole roof with the earth-coloured ink to tone down the different shades.

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The final step was to paint the interior. I dry-brushed white the previously sand-coloured walls. The furniture and window frames were mainly picked out with inks, but also a small amount of painting, for example the bottles and jars on the shelves. The floor received a wash of black ink to bring out the floorboard detail.

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So there you have it, a perfect building for pirate games! Though, of course, this type of house could have many other uses – the Peninsular War springs to mind, or Maximilian’s Mexican Adventure, the Spanish Civil War, or even colonial games.

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Here’s the rear of the building, as seen from a ship tied alongside the wharf. Matt designed the building in a semi-fortified state, with boarded and bricked windows on the ground floor as you would find is times of war and civil unrest. There is limited access on the ground floor, but lots of firing positions on the upper floors. Perfect for a last stand!

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I’m really looking forward to seeing what other buildings Matt adds to Printable Scenery’s Caribbean range. I’ve plied him with photos of real buildings from Havana (Cuba), as well as pictures from the Disneyland ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride – let’s see if any of these come to fruition!

For those who wish to know, the building was printed on a Prusa MK2, using ABS filament. It cost about US$8 to print. Each section took about ten hours, so was printed overnight. It was printed it at .2 layer height at slow speed. I got it as a raw print, not treated at all, but just primed in Warlord black primer.

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Carden Loyd tankette for my WW2 Dutch army

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Tremble ye Bolt Action players, and be struck with fear by my WW2 Dutch army’s first model! Shudder before the pent-up power of this huge … er, tiny … weapon of war – the mighty … er, puny … Carden Loyd tankette!

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I’m about to build a Dutch army using the new soon-to-be-released May ’40 Miniatures range. Too get the project underway, I looked round for other manufacturers who make models that could add extra elements to my army, and found this white metal Carden Loyd tankette made by Reiver Castings.

Note: The figure in the above pictures isn’t a Dutch soldier – he is just there to give you an impression of the diminutive size of the tankette.

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At the time of the German invasion, the Dutch army  had five Mark VI versions of these little British pre-war tankettes,  which they named after big cats: Lynx, Poema, Jaguar, Panter and Luipaard. They were used to defend Waalhaven airfield and on the southern Grebbe line.

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The concept of a very economical and small tank was to protect infantry when assaulting a static line of defense (typically protected by rifle and machine-gun fire). The tankette could be used as a mobile machine-gun nest where it was needed most, equipped with the watercooled Vickers cal.303 (7.62 mm) machine-gun.

The crew comprised a driver and a machine-gunner, which allowed each to be fully concentrated on his own task. Two small domes protected the crew’s heads.

The Carden Loyd tankette was powered by a Model T Ford engine (true!) and had a road speed of 25 mph (40 km/h). The engine was mounted backwards between the two crew. The small bulge at the front of the vehicle housed the Model T’s transmission, which drove the front sprockets.

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The Reiver Castings model is solid white metal, so it is surprisingly heavy for its small size. The tracks, roof, machine gun and tow-bar are separate pieces. The model did require a bit of cleaning up, but fits together well. I added the machine gun shield from a piece of plastic – this seems to have been an additional item carried on the Dutch vehicles.

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I had a disaster at the undercoating stage, when my spray-can of automotive primer came out very gritty. I quickly wiped it off, but the photos show I wasn’t altogether successful with this. So unfortunately the model looks a bit rougher than it should.

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I couldn’t find any suitable decals in the right scale, so made my own versions of the orange triangles that were used on Dutch vehicles during the hostilities. I’ve decided to leave off the wording and number-plate, as my homemade versions of these would only look awful!

If you want to know more about this fascinating little vehicle, I thoroughly recommend the following two short YouTube videos.

In this short video David Fletcher describes the Carden Loyd carrier ( lacking the armoured domes)  in the The Tank Museum. Don’t get too distracted by his amazing moustache!

In this video you can see this British reproduction Carden Loyd carrier in operation. I love its sound – it really is just like a Model T Ford! And at 2:16 minutes, watch how it can turn on a dime.

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Pre-orders for 28mm WW2 Dutch

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Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Or should that be ‘Haast! Haast! Haast!’? Submit your pre-orders by 9 October to ensure you’re in for the debut release of Sander van der Ster’s forthcoming new range of  May ’40 Miniatures WW2 Dutch figures.

Several years ago Sander, who hails from the Netherlands, made the switch to historical wargaming, specifically WW2 using the Bolt Action rules. He started out with late war Germans. But he soon wanted something else, something that wasn’t readily available. So after lots of planning and thinking and re-planning, and putting things on hold because real life had other thoughts, finally his range of May ’40 Miniatures is becoming a reality.

May ’40 Miniatures is also a tribute to Sander’s great-uncle who fell on 10 May 1940 at Westervoort, defending his country at only 20 years of age. Furthermore, May ’40 Miniatures is Sanders’ tribute to all Dutch troops and civilians that fell during World War 2.

The brand new range, sculpted by Michael Percy, includes command figures, infantry squads, Lewis gun crews and ammo bearers, an 81mm mortar, a Scwharzlose heavy machine gun, and even stretcher-bearers and a medic (the latter whom I’ll paint as my father).

You can obtain a fully illustrated list from here: may40miniatures.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Prijslijst-May.pdf

For the pre-order, there are two reduced-price Platoon and Army Deals, which will only be available up until 4 November, the day before the range is officially released at Crisis in Antwerp (Belgium). These deals are a one-off that won’t be repeated afterwards.

Whilst pre-orders are open till the day before  Crisis, Sander advises that to make sure you receive what you want, pre-orders should be submitted before 9 October. Otherwise he can’t guarantee to have your order ready in time, due to the minis being cast in the UK and the travel time involved.

Pre-orders can be made via email to: info@may40miniatures.com. In the UK, the full range can also be pre-ordered from Sally 4th: wargamesbuildings.co.uk/May-40-Miniatures.

Whilst the initial launch will be all infantry, not too far off will be a Landsverk armoured car modelled by Stephan Vroom. Dutch marines, the famed ‘Black Devils’ who defended Rotterdam, are also in the pipeline.

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A Dutch farmhouse for 28mm WW2 gaming

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This weekend I completed a little ruined Dutch cottage to whet my appetite for the forthcoming exciting new range of 28mm WW2 Dutch figures by May ’40 Miniatures.

I spotted this Airfix model by chance in a half-price sale at a local model shop. I nearly walked past, because it was 1/76 scale – way too small for 28mm miniatures, I thought.

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But the architecture of this model kept drawing me back to look at it. It was just so like the little brick cottages I had often ridden past on my bicycle during my trips to the southern Netherlands to visit extended family.

Then I noticed that the model didn’t have a floor, so it might be easy to add a foundation to the bottom of the walls, and so heighten the front door.  Maybe, just maybe, this could actually work with 28mm miniatures after all?

Ah well, at half-price, even if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t break the bank. So I splashed out and bought one to test.

Opening the box at home, I found a very nicely cast one-piece building in resin. There was also a small packet containing four photo-etched brass window-frames and some panes of plastic ‘glass’ for them.

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The model itself is rather curious. As I’ve already said, the design is spot-on for what it is trying to portray. It really does feel like a Dutch cottage – as I remember them, anyway. But why oh why a ruined one? Firstly, I would’ve thought an intact cottage would have much wider appeal, to all those Dutch model railroaders for example.

Secondly, the ‘ruining’ isn’t particularly well done – there’s an odd square hole in the roof, total ruin at the back of the cottage but without any rubble, floorboards that look like they’ve been carefully cut rather than smashed, no rafters showing where the roof has come down, etc. The only ruining that looks right is where several windows have been peppered with bullets and small projectiles, presumably to target enemy marksmen sheltering inside.

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Anyway, on with the project. As I had envisaged, it was dead easy to add a 1cm deep ‘foundation’ layer of foam-core board to the bottom of the walls.  This of course detracted from the distinctive very low window sills of a Dutch cottage, but it still looked OK. And it did make the door much higher, so that a 28mm figure could fit through (I haven’t got any Dutch yet, so there’s a couple of rather out-of-place French Foreign Legionnaires in my photos!). I also added some flooring on the ground.

Painting was easy. I first spray-painted the model black overall. I then painted the brick areas with grey, and dry-brushed them with a terracotta colour. This left the grey showing though as mortar. However, I thought this looked a bit stark, so I added liberal patches of a dark wash to tone down the mortar. I also picked out a few bricks in differing shades of brown and red. I was really pleased with the result, which as you can see from the pictures, has come out quite realistic.

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I dry-brushed the black roof with dark grey, and then picked out all the trim with a very light grey, exactly as per the painting guide on the box-lid.

The brass window frames are a nice touch that really bring the model to life. However, only four sets are supplied, which means several windows have apparently had their frames completely blown out with no trace remaining. I thought this looked unrealistic, so I chopped up one of the window frames into several pieces, so that each ruined window could have at least a bit of frame still clinging tenaciously. I also found some frames in my spare parts box that fitted the small upper windows perfectly.

I cut the ‘glass’ panes to represent shattered glass – surely the windows wouldn’t have remained unbroken with the whole back of the house gone!

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Finally, I decided the building looked silly without rubble. I found an old brick in my garden, and smashed off a corner with a hammer. I pulverised the piece of brick with the hammer, until it was just brick-dust and grit. I mixed this with PVA glue, and then slopped dollops of the mixture onto the house. I inserted some broken window-frames and pieces of old brickwork from my spares box into the piles of brick gloop, and – hey presto – perfect rubble!

If I was being really pedantic, I should probably have done something about the chimneys –  or, rather, about the lack of fireplaces and the odd positioning of the chimneys just above windows. But there is a limit to even my pedantic-ness!

So there you have it, a small ruined Dutch cottage, perfect for 28mm.

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OK, it does still have a pretty small foot-print (10cm by 7cm). But I don’t think it will look too out-of-kilter, as you can see here with it placed beside the Perry Miniatures colonial church for comparison purposes.

Overall, a very nice little model that I think will work for my 28mm gaming. I just hope that Airfix will also make an intact version of this cottage one day!

 

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