Sadly when it comes to WW2 gaming the Pacific is usually under represented in many war games, especially miniature games. For squad based stuff, Battleground WW2 touched on it a bit with one of their supplements. However it’s always taken a back seat to the European theater. In fact, I daresay that the African theater gets more love over the Pacific.
It all comes down to manufacturers for minis, and clearly they want to produce lines that will sell. Just seems a shame the Pacific and Asian WW2 theater never seems to garner much attention. This was something I certainly wanted to rectify with my Bolt Action armies. So when the Imperial Japanese Army book hit, I certainly wanted to take a stab at collecting a force.
Fortunately, I am delving deep into 1/72 scale stuff, so getting troops is super cheap compared to 28mm. The downside is I really can’t get a lot of specific teams. However there is quite a variety of decent model ranges at that scale.
I settled on buying Italeri ranges for Japanese troops, along with the 70 mm field gun kits. The field gun kits were an especially great find as they had a lot of odd teams. In that set were AT rifle and suicide AT teams, along with some models that would be great for arty observers and could serve as mortar spotters in a pinch. Not to mention a couple of 70 mm field guns.
I like the range of Italeri models. There were a lot of options for different mortar types, including knee mortars and rifle grenade launchers. Both of which I could use to cobble together a mortar squad if I wanted. The downside was I could not field any models carrying smgs, so I had to settle with my sergeants just armed with rifles.
Being a Japanese list, I wanted lots of bodies in beefy infantry squads and planned on fielding at least 3 rifle squads and likely a full mortar squad too. Despite the high model count in the Italeri kits, I opted to pick up a Revel miniature set also. I only took a handful from that set but it was enough to fill out my infantry squads.
I also was struggling a bit finding appropriate minis for snipers. I opted to use a couple of kneeling figures and glued some plastic plant leaves on their backs to differentiate them some and still slightly capture that look of a sniper. A little wrapping of the barrels in trimmed athletic tape along with a healthy slather of water-downed PVA glue helped too.
I’m pretty happy how they turned out. A sizable force for Bolt Action with enough options to keep it interesting. Not to mention enough minis for another squad or two if I wanted to field another cheap inexperienced unit. Certainly looking forward to playing them and trying a different assault-heavy force. Now I gotta work on more jungle terrain!
|Type 92 MMG|
|Type 96 LMG mid-reload|
|Type 97 AT-rifle|