Category Archives: Reiver Castings

My WW2 Dutch army in 28mm


“Klaar voor actie!” After a several weeks of painting, my small WW2 Dutch army is finally ready for action!


These 28mm figures are all produced by Dutch company May ’40 Miniatures, whilst the Carden-Loyd tankette is by Reiver Castings.


The small force is organised for the Bolt Action wargaming rules, and consists of three infantry sections, and a three-man HQ group. They’re supported by a machine gun and a mortar, and have a medical team with them. There’s also a dinky little Carden-Loyd tankette (click on the picture for a closer look).


The three infantry sections consist of twelve men each, including an NCO. Each section also includes a two-man Lewis machine gun team. The Dutch introduced the Lewis light machine gun  in 1920, and designated it as the machine gun M.20.

My painting style is quite impressionistic, using lots of dry-brushing and ink washes. Whilst the result won’t win any painting competitions, from the distance they are viewed at on the table the figures look perfectly serviceable.


My force has one three-man Schwarzlose M.08 machine gun team. The gun is complete with its hose and drain bucket. The Schwarzlose was produced in the Netherlands under licence from Austria. In May 1940 the Schwarzlose machinegun was quite outdated. Still the machine guns proved to be highly reliable and robust, and the number of break-downs was extremely low.


My infantry are supported by an 81mm mortar. They are quite lucky to have it, as the Dutch army was in fact very poorly equipped with infantry support weapons, including the availability of mortars in front-line units.


Whilst the medic has a role in the Bolt Action rules, I’m not sure how much use the stretcher-bearer team will be. But they look good – and knowing my generalship skills, will probably be in high demand by my little lead Dutchmen …


I’ve painted one of the miniatures to represent my late father, who was a medic in the Dutch army in 1940 (read my father’s story here). He joins another family member who has also been memorialised in miniature, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Pierre van Dooren, trumpeter in Napoleon’s 12th Dragoons (read Pierre’s story here).


So there we have it, my Dutch army … for now, anyway. There are further plans afoot: I have a section of Marines (the famous ‘Black Devils’) to paint. And I am waiting for the forthcoming models of the Landsverk armoured car and the Bohler antitank gun.



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Filed under May 40, Reiver Castings, Uncategorized, WW2

Work-in-progress on WW2 Dutch


On the morning of 10 May 1940 the Dutch awoke to the sound of aircraft engines roaring in the sky. Germany’s invasion of the neutral Netherlands had begun. Seventy-seven years later my friend Sander van der Ster, owner of May ’40 Miniatures, was part of a reenactment group commemorating the invasion.


At the same time, I was busy on the other side of the world painting a batch of Sander’s 28mm WW2 Dutch figures, as shown in this ‘work-in-progress’ picture. The group includes a couple of sections of infantry, a mortar crew, and the gunners for a medium machine gun. There are also a medic and a couple of stretcher bearers.


Although I’ve been detouring into Japanese samurai terrain, my Dutch project has continued steadily. I’ve been slowly working through the remainder of my figures to join the first dozen I’d already painted.


In the above picture, the previously completed figures are shown on the left, and some of the current work-in-progress batch on the right. So far I’ve completed their uniforms and flesh, and started blocking in the weapons and equipment.


Once the rest of the painting is completed, there’ll still be some ink washes to make the details stand out. These examples from my  previous batch show what the finished figures will look like.

So far the only armour is the kooky little Carden-Loyd tankette (made by Reiver Castings). But hopefully soon I’ll be adding a Landsverk armoured car, which is in its final stage of production by May ’40 Miniatures.

Maybe not the most fearsome of Bolt Action armies, but it certainly will be unusual …


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Painted 28mm WW2 Dutch figures


May 1940: a squad of Dutch infantry cautiously follow a Carden Loyd tankette into a war-torn village.

Yep, I’ve finally started painting my May ’40 Miniatures WW2 Dutch infantry at last!  (The Reiver Castings tankette, by the way, was covered in a previous posting).


As I always find when photographing anything painted blue, the uniform colour in some of these pictures has come out a lot brighter than it is in reality.  The figures are actually a blueish-greenish-grey, rather than the bright light blue they appear in the photos above. The picture below is the most life-like depiction of the actual colour I painted them, though the photo itself is a little dull.


The miniatures were sculpted by Michael Percy for Sander van der Ster, the owner of May ’40 Miniatures. Michael has made a good job of capturing the somewhat old-fashioned appearance of the Dutch infantry of this period. The figures are festooned with equipment, and wear the distinctive Dutch helmets.


Posing is generally good, with all the sorts of stances you need for a ‘Bolt Action’ wargame. I glued the figures onto 25mm washers, and as you can see, the fit is good.


I particularly like this Lewis gun crew (seen below). I wouldn’t fancy being the guy holding the stand, with the gun yammering away just beside my ear!


So far I’ve painted just one section of 12 men and their NCO. I have two more sections to paint, along with a heavy machine gun team and a mortar. I also have one section of Dutch Marines, who will look distinctive in their dark blue jackets. And of course not to forget my medical team, who I’ll be painting up in memory of my father.


Following that, once May ’40 Miniatures launches their Landsverk armoured car and Böhler anti-tank gun, I’ll be adding these to my army of course. And, then, who knows – motorcycle-mounted machine guns, cyclists???

If you are interested to know more about May ’40 Miniatures, check out their website or their FaceBook page.



Filed under May 40, Reiver Castings, Uncategorized, WW2

Carden Loyd tankette for my WW2 Dutch army


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Filed under Reiver Castings, Uncategorized, WW2