‘The Black Devils’ film trailer re Dutch marines in 1940

I found this tantalising trailer for a new Dutch mini-series on YouTube. It is about the Dutch marines in Rotterdam during the German invasion in 1940.

Note: After you click on the  above still picture, you will then have to click on the link saying ‘Watch this video on YouTube’, as it is disabled from playing directly from this blog.

In World War II, a Korps Mariniers unit that was in Rotterdam preparing to ship out to the Dutch East Indies successfully defended the bridges across the Maas, preventing German paratroopers in the centre of the city from rendezvousing with conventional German infantry. The Germans ended the stalemate by bombing Rotterdam.


The marines earned their nick-name of ‘Black Devils’ from their dark uniform tunics.

Whilst the trailer is in Dutch, you’ll get the gist of it, especially in the second half.

I’m not sure if this mini-series has actually made it to the the TV screen yet, however.

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Filed under Movies, Uncategorized, WW2

New 28mm Dutch WW2 troops


My heart jumped when I did my morning scroll down my FaceBook page to see what has happened overnight, and spotted this announcement:

May ’40 Miniatures has been a long time dream come realized. Being a gamer for more than 20 years (fantasy/scifi) I wanted to do something else. Several years ago I made the switch to historical wargaming, specifically WW2 (Bolt Action [other rulesets are out there]). Starting out with late war Germans. But I wanted something else, something that wasn’t readily available. So after lots of planning and thinking and replanning, putting things on hold because real life had other thoughts, finally now is the day to announce the intent to release a range of high quality 28 mm WW2 Dutch miniatures.

A little bit of further reading, and I find that, yes, this new company ticks all my boxes:

  • Dutch troops from WW2
  • 28mm metal
  • Aimed at Bolt Action

The figures are sculpted by Michael Percy.


As I’ve posted previously, my Dad was in the Dutch Army in 1940, so this is a force I’ve always wanted to add to my collection.  Now it looks like I’ll be able to do so at last.


For inspiration, there are some great shots of Dutch uniforms in this English-language video that reenacts the Battle of Dordrecht:



Filed under May 40, WW2

Tribal – best ever rules cover?!


Tribal, the new skirmish combat game by Mana Press, must surely have one of the most impressive covers for a set of wargaming rules ever!

Of course, the news of a set of wargaming rules covering Māori warfare in New Zealand immediately grabbed me, what with my ongoing colonial New Zealand Wars project. Even though the rules are only aimed at pre-European warfare between tribes, so won’t involve my colonial troops. But my Māori warriors will be perfectly suited, as will my 3D printed pa from Printable Scenery.


In the Tribal PDF book you get:

  • the basic rules
  • optional rules for missile fire, dirty tricks and honour pools
  • four scenarios you can play in a variety of tribal settings
  • in-depth explanation of culture, weapons and combat for Māori, Vikings, Aztecs and Gladiators
  • extra rules for Stone Age, Heian Japanese and Iroquois.

Tribal provides players with a game set in a pre-gunpowder tribal/clan setting. The rules offer some new and exciting approaches to wargaming.

In Tribal, honour is everything! Honour is used to drive the narrative of the game. Players are rewarded in honour for the things that they do in the battle. Honour determines who wins Tribal rather than the normal determinants of wargames (killing enemy/taking ground).

In turn, honour is a dynamic part of the game – it can be won and lost during combat, the deeds of combatants can win or lose honour, players can spend honour to do ‘dirty tricks’ to win combats etc.


The game is played with a normal deck of cards. Cards determine movement, unit activation and – most importantly – combat. While cards still have the randomness of the draw from the deck, players can actually be involved in the combat through playing/holding particular cards. Attacking, defending, waiting for an opening, bluffing the opponent – these are all strategies the player can use in a round of Tribal combat.

There are plans for future supplements involving Stone Age cave wars, modern-day rioting/gang warfare, and Polynesian Islanders.

Tribal is available as a watermarked PDF for $US10 at Wargames Vault.



Filed under Colonial New Zealand Wars, Uncategorized

Napoleon’s dinosaur-mounted carabiniers?


Stumbled across this book in the Young Adults section of our the local library today.  Could be … interesting …

Can’t be any less intriguing than another book about Waterloo I recently got from the same library, The Sage of Waterloo, describing the famous battle from a rabbit’s point of view!

Anyway, I will report once I’ve read  Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo.


Filed under Books, Napoleonics, Uncategorized

Completed my WW2 colonial French army


Well, that’s it, I’ve finished painting my 28mm WW2 colonial French army  for Bolt Action wargaming (click picture to enlarge).

In the picture above, you can see in the front row:

  • an infantry squad of 6 men (4 rifles, 1 sub-machine gun, 1 VB grenade launcher)
  • a prone 2-man light machine gun crew
  • the commanding officer and his aide
  • an advancing 2-man light machine gun crew
  • another 6-man infantry squad as per the first one.

These are all Perry Miniatures figures.

In the background are:

  • a 75mm artillery piece with four crew (Perry Miniatures)
  • an R35 tank (Neucaft Models)
  • a Laffly AMD50 armoured car (Mad Bob Miniatures)
  • a Dodge Tanake armoured truck (Perry Miniatures)
  • two Berliet VUDB personnel carriers (Mad Bob Miniatures).

At the back is my desert terrain. After buying the wooden 4Ground model on the right, I later bought the two plastic kitsets on the left by Renadra to compare it with, intending to choose one manufacturer and sell off the other.  But I feel they actually go together quite well, so I’ve to decided to keep them all!


Here’s the commanding officer of my detachment. He’s a brisk looking chap with his dapper beard and jaunty kepi, his neck wrapped in the local scarf favoured by Legionnaires.


On the left is the advancing light machine gun crew. Beside them is one of the six-man infantry squads, including a Legionnaire firing a sub-machine gun on the far right. One of the obscured men in the back row is armed with a rifle grenade.


Here’s the other infantry squad. The third man from the left is armed with the VB rifle-grenade launcher, whilst the fifth man carries a sub-machine gun at his hip.


A closer look at the Perry 75mm artillery piece. I have left four areas of the base clear of texturing, so that I can simply glue-tac the figures on. This means they can be easily removed as casualties. It also allows me to replace the gun crew – for example, some of these gunners wear French helmets for Vichy or pre-war colonial action, but I could replace them with figures wearing British-style helmets for Free French.


The Dodge Tanake now has a crew. It looks hot work on that open back under the burning desert sun.


So that’s it – the French are ready for action. No doubt in the best traditions of wargaming, as an newly-painted army they’ll suffer a crashing defeat!




Filed under 4Ground, Mad Bob Miniatures, Neucraft Models, Perry Miniatures, Uncategorized, WW2

‘Wargames Illustrated’ articles about Chunuk Bair diorama – in full!


To mark Anzac Day, you can now download two illustrated articles describing the amazing story of last year’s massive Chunuk Bair diorama project for The Great War Exhibition in Wellington.

The publishers of Wargames Illustrated have kindly agreed to let the diorama project’s Mustering The Troops blog put up two full articles that first appeared in their August 2015 issue.

  • Wargaming’s Stunning Achievement: The Chunuk Bair Diorama describes how the project was conceived, and how Sir Peter Jackson (director of the Lord of the Rings movies) inspired the wargaming community throughout New Zealand to join together and paint thousands of figures within a very tight schedule.
  • The Perry Perspective was written by Michael Perry, one of the famous Perry twins, the British sculptors engaged to produce the figures for the diorama.  He provides his fascinating insight into how this unique project came together, and the adventures they had in New Zealand to get everything done in time.

Click this link to download a PDF containing both articles in full: Wargames Illustrated_Chunuk Bair [8.51MB].


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Filed under Perry Miniatures, Uncategorized, WW1

Review of Neucraft Models Renault R35 tank


The latest addition to my 28mm WW2 colonial French army is this diminutive Renault R35 light tank. This resin model by Neucraft Models is a little beauty.

This was a relatively well-armoured infantry support tank, but slow (only 12mph) and lacking in good antitank-capacity, being fitted with only a low velocity short-barrelled 37 mm gun.


The model is really crisp and detailed, as you can see in the picture. I chose to paint it in camouflage scheme of ‘milky coffee’ and two shades of green. The decals are by Gaso-Line.


The model is made up of several parts, including the body, separate track units, turret and about a dozen small detail pieces, which all fit together absolutely perfectly.


The hatch at the back of the turret can be opened and closed.  I added a French tank crewman by Warlord Games.

Comparing the size of this figure with the vehicle, you can see how small the two-man R35 really was – not that much bigger than a modern four-wheel-drive!


The model comes with two interchangeable turrets, so you also use it as the later type R35 with the long-barrelled SA38 37mm gun.


So that completes the vehicle fleet for my army. Next task – painting the French Foreign Legion infantry to accompany them into battle on the table-top.


Filed under Neucraft Models, Uncategorized, WW2