Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Japanese Pt. 3

These Japanese mounted stands came about as a result of me wanting to create some mounted Command stands, FO/Spotter stands, and Patrol stands for my Japanese. The inspiration for this came about from seeing a photo of a mounted officer leading his troops marching through China in the 1930s. So I looked through my bits box for spare Airfix and Esic horses and started to build some up. Various Airfix, Esci, and Hong Kong knockoffs were cut up and combined to create the riders. Naturally, the saddles and tack is completely wrong, and red saddle cloths are a product of my imagination. Actual research suggests a natural/tan colour when on was used. However, red does go faster  look good and give a uniform appearance to the nags!

None of these guys are Baron Nishi. 
Being able to have some variety in my Command stands has been a mixed blessing, as having Command, Spotter, and Patrol stands mounted tends to gain unwanted attention.
Blurry horses, well focused Italeri box. Sigh...
That's better! I find painting dark brown on a undercoat of black makes a nice horse. Plus it goes well with the red.

Sword waving stands tend to used more as patrol stands. The figure on far right is the mounted officer from Airfix Series 2 French Foreign Legion set. He has been remounted on an Esci horse and was painted up at the same time. 
One thing every Japanese WW2 army needs is bicycle mounted troops. I made mine by using Airfix bicycles, metal bicycles from unknown manufacturer that I acquired second hand, and my favourite Hong Kong knock off pose.
Gasp! A genuine Airfix soldier in the line up!

The metal ones are much larger.
Each one of these stands represents a platoon of infantry that has acquired bicycles by fair means or foul. While Japanese troops were issued bicycles (6000 per division according to Tsuji), they also used impressed civilan models for parts and replacements. Bicycle mounted troops were used in some Cavalry regiments as a reconnaissance element due to a shortage of horses. Infantry units during the Malaya campaign used bicycles to help speed their advance towards Singapore, but bicycles were used extensively in other theatres too.

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