Category Archives: WW2

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

What I did on my holiday


This blog has been quiet over the last five or six weeks because I’ve been away overseas on holiday.  For the most part, our trip to England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Italy was a non-hobby related holiday that readers will probably not be too interested in –  but there were a couple of moments of wargaming interest.

The first such moment was an overnight stop in the centre of the UK’s (if not the world’s) wargaming industry: the city of Nottingham. There we met up with Alan and Michael Perry, whom I had last worked with in New Zealand on the massive Chunuk Bair diorama project.


We were able to visit Alan’s wargaming room, with its magnificently terrained table, overflowing display cases, gorgeous battle paintings, and antique militaria.

I even sat on the couch where much of their prolific sculpting is done!  To my readers’ probable disappointment, I was so star-struck at finding myself at the very epicentre of our hobby that I forgot to take many photographs – what you see above is all that we took!


We were honoured with a sneak peek at the Perrys’ latest project, TravelBattle (a complete wargame in a box). They showed us the original one-off prototype of this game that they had made many years ago (sorry, once again I was too flabbergasted to take a photo!), and which they were now designing as an innovative new product in their range.


There were a couple of sociable meals with the Perry twins – the first at their local watering hole, the very atmospheric and old ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’ pub; and the other at a French restaurant with the two Mrs Perrys.


The other (sort of) wargaming moment was to almost meet Sander van der Ster of May ’40 Miniatures in the Netherlands. My wife and I hadn’t scheduled to visit the Netherlands on our holiday, but the sudden passing of two elderly aunts in Holland meant a quick re-jig of our plans so that I could attend the funerals. This put me within range of a possible meeting with Sander.

However, whilst I ended up only a town or two away from Sander, there were just too many family commitments for me to get sufficient time to travel the final few kilometres to have that face-to-face meeting.


But Sander did manage to post my order of  his first release of WW2 Dutch figures to where I was staying in the Netherlands, thus saving me a lot of postage costs to get it to the other side of the world. I’ll report more on these figures in a future posting, after I have got over my jet-lag sufficiently to really examine them closely!

Finally, a curiosity (non-wargaming related) from our trip: take a look what happened to the Leaning Tower of Pisa when I photographed it!



Filed under May 40, Perry Miniatures, Travel, Uncategorized, WW2

May ’40 Miniatures release new pics of ww2 Dutch


May ’40 Miniatures have released some new pictures on their FaceBook page, depicting painted examples of their 28mm range of WW2 Dutch soldiers, marines and sailors.

I hasten to add these beautifully painted examples weren’t done by me – the figures I’ve bought won’t be here in New Zealand till next year. But seeing them in all their glory certainly has me keen to get painting …








Filed under May 40, Uncategorized, WW2

WW2 Dutch in 28mm by May ’40 Miniatures


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.


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 …


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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Filed under May 40, 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

Pre-orders for 28mm WW2 Dutch


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:

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: In the UK, the full range can also be pre-ordered from Sally 4th:

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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Filed under May 40, WW2

A Dutch farmhouse for 28mm WW2 gaming


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!



Filed under WW2