Growing up on the California coast, derelict infrastructure and ghosts footprints from the United States' participation in the Pacific theater during the Second World War were often still visible. Airfields, harboring and naval repair facilities, munitions depots, hospitals, and even coastal defense positions can be seen in use in varying states of use or abandonment. My Grandfather and two Great Uncles also served either in the Pacific or on the west coast, so for me, the Pacific campaign was always important.
On April 8, Battlefront will begin a three month roll out of its take on the campaign in the Pacific. This is not an expansion on their 2013 release of 1939 Soviet-Japanese Border War supplement and miniatures, but rather a larger release covering 1942-1945. While I am not a dedicated gamer of their Flames of War rules system, I am a consistent purchaser of their gaming and printed products. Old Glory (Command Decision), as well as others such as Peter Pig (Range 8), each have long offered figures and vehicles for the pacific, but I personally prefer the work of Battlefront's sculptors. As you might guess, I plan on adding to my stock of kits and figures with a number of their upcoming products.
Compared to the other major warring nations, Japan's ground forces enjoyed comparatively few technological advances or generational upgrades to vehicles and/or equipment. This makes the circa 1937, Type 95 Ha-Gō a viable table-top gaming piece for those border skirmishes of 1939, all the way to the planned invasion of the Japanese main island of Kyūshū in 1945-46. I therefore decided to split up my box's contents into two different paint schemes: early (1939-1941) and late (1942-1945). Below are the completed late examples.
AKI Grey Surface Primer
VMC Green Brown
VMC Flat Brown
VMC Reflective Green
VMC Black+VMC Black Grey (1:1)
VMC Black+VMC Black Grey (2:1)
VMC Black+Gunmetal Grey (1:1) (drybrush)
VMC Black+VMC Black Grey (2:1)
VMC Black+VMC Gunmetal Grey (1:1)
Weathering and finish:
AKI Gloss Varnish
AKI Enamel Wash for NATO Camo Vehicles
VMC Green Brown (drybrush)
AKI Ultra Matte Varnish+AKI Matte Varnish (1:1)
Final thoughts: There are a number of built models, restored original vehicles, artists drawings and tabled paint references available across the internet to aid the wargamer in painting Japanese vehicles. Printed materials are also available from Battlefront and Osprey Publishing. All this plus three pre-packaged paint sets (one unfortunately being enamels) and the wargamer shouldn't have to struggle at all in achieving quality results. My best advice is to always remain cautious when conducting any research, for all is not always as it seems. Artists apply impression when creating their works, paints such as Ammo of Mig and AK Interactive are lighter in shade, intended for heavy weathering before they reach their final appearance, and museums can be devastatingly inaccurate with their own paintwork. Through all of this overload of information and option, always do what makes you happiest. They are game pieces after all!