Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Japanese Pt. 4

Since I had the time, I thought I would post some more Japanese armour and other equipment, from my CD Japanese Army. First up are some Fujimi Type 41 75mm Mountain guns. These are ones that I acquired second hand some time ago.  These are the guns to go with the pack horses from this post. The guns are the only useful item from the Fujimi Japanese Infantry set, the figures are amongst the worse I have ever seen.
Four Batteries of Horse packable fun.

I am starting to put all my guns on bases to help protect the model.
 To get hold of these particular guns, I had to purchase an entire WRG Japanese Army. It was worth it to get the guns! Attempts to order in the model kit from a local model store came to a dead end as they were only able to order in a very limited range of Fujimi kits, and these weren't on the list. Fortunately, a friend teaching in Japan was able to track some down for me so I have a few more lurking in the plastic mountain awaiting construction. Still, for quite some time these guns were scarcer than hens teeth.
Getting hold of these guns was quite a mission.
 I have always liked my Japanese Army, as it allows me to field quite quirky forces with a solid infantry core. It also gave me an opportunity to make conversions of existing vehicles, like these two 150mm Ho-Ro SPGs. While only 25 were ever made (and in CD terms here are 10), the idea with my Japanese armour is to either field them in a manner similar to battalion guns (so they represent a section of vehicles, rather than a platoon) or give them the markings of particular units for use in different campaigns.
A side view of the beasts.
 These were converted from the Fujimi Ho-Ni 75mm SPG kit. The 150mm guns are cut down Roco 155mm Long Toms, and the plastic struts inside holding the guns come from the blade attachments of Matchbox Bulldozers.
The Front view of the Ho-Ros.
And the rear view.
 The paint job is unfinished, as I am still unsure as to how I want to finish them. My current plan is to assemble all my Japanese AFVs and then assign theaters and paintjobs from there. Of course not all my conversions are as reliable as my Ho-Ros. Two in particular are just plain wrong. I refer to my conversion of a Chi-Ha tank to a cargo/AA carrier and my conversion of a Ho-Ni to a self propelled heavy mortar.
Look it's a cargo carrier that never was!

And now it's a AA carrier that never was!
 The cargo carrier was an attempt to create a So-Da, which was a cargo carrier based on the Type 97 Tankette. Since the Tankette is damn hard to source in NZ, I decided to use a Chi-Ha from the bits box, and use the appropriate stats for the real vehicle, which are listed in 'Lighter than a Feather', the CD Command Post Japanese Supplement as being the Type 3 carrier. The AA carrier is based on an experimental vehicle which was also based on a tankette. It's a pure gamey fudge created to put balance into certain scenarios. The gun is loosely based on the Type 4 twin 20mm AA Machine Cannon. The barrels are far too long. The worst offender is the last... A self propelled heavy mortar. The mortar is meant to be the Type 3 30cm Mortar, but I always used the stats for the Type 98 250mm Mortar. The vehicle is very, very, loosely based on the Type 4 Ha-To.

And this didn't exist either!
And yes, that is a 40K Imperial Guard Mortar...
 The point of making the vehicles was to create something to fill the gaps in my Japanese forces using what resources I had available, and at the time, the very limited reference material available. Both of the reference links I have made in this post are to pages from Taki's site, which I view as being simply outstanding in terms of quality.Taki is a very trustworthy source on Japanese military equipment, and if you have an interest in WW2 Japanese equipment, and haven't visited his site, I strongly urge you to do so. As to the future fate of the two conversions that never were, I will probably still use the cargo carrier, but stop using the AA mount, and plan to massively rebuild the Mortar carrier into an actual  Ha-To.


  1. Some interesting stuff in there B, nice to see some a bit different

  2. I guess one of the challenges of wargaming can lie in supplying the gaps in available equipment, models and figures. In terms of what was available to other armies of WW2, the Japanese seemed as deficient as the weakling armies of Italy, Hungary and Romania. A challenging army to build as much as to fight with, methinks.

    Still, my memory of 'commanding' US beach landings on Pacific islands (and the USMC disaster in the Tarawa thing you ran 8 or 9 years ago (was I still smoking then?)) showed just how difficult it was to make a lodgement in the face of a determined foe, however ill-equipped.

    My attitude to the above is to keep using the 'fictitious' equipment on a 'what-if' or substitute basis (depending on scenario) until you have obtained or built its non-fictional replacement.