After quite a bit time checking online websites and posting on the Yahoo FOW PTO forum, I have found some good candidates for Japanese artillery, mortars, AA, and more AT guns.
The 105mm Type 92 artillery battery is primarily a combination of Quality Casting packs to include:
- Japanese Command
- Japanese Artillery Crew
- Japanese Type 92 guns
My research into colors led to me the Resistant Rooster Website Guide, TMP forums, and the Osprey Men at Arms series for Japanese Army. From my readings Japanese artillery pieces were a khaki color, but that color would fade quite easily. Also some guns especially in the South Pacific were painted green. My 70mm infantry gun and 37mm AT guns were painted a reflective green. I admit I didnt put enough time into gun colors on my first batch of Japanese miniatures. I will keep the green for now, but would like to be a Khaki color one day. The Khaki color I choose was Vallejo Model Air Khaki Brown. Some posters on the TMP site have used Vallejo US Tan Earth as an option. Color pallete for this batch of minatures:
The command team is a mix of Peter Pig and Quick Reaction Force. Some of the gun crew are from the Peter Pig range. The 105mm Type 92 gun also known as Pistol Pete on Guadalcanal was probably one of the better Japanese artillery pieces of the war. The Japanese relied on the 75mm gun more than the 105mm gun due to industrial capacity. Looks like I will need to buy some 75mm guns to go with my miniatures!!
The model was difficult to put together given it came with no instructions and there are very few pictures. I think it in the end comes out looks very good. I would say the gun is equivalent in quality as any Battlefront artillery piece I own. I am usually hesitant with other manufactures because they seem so think and flimsy.
The Type 1 47mm AT gun and crew is from QRF. Command team is from Quality Castings. These manufactures dont mix well on the same stand due to the size. I really like the QRF figures as they have many of the dimensions as Battlefront miniatures with good quality. The Quality Castings figures are noticible smaller and skinner. Peter Pig miniatures fit best with Quality Castings although a couple of their minis can fit ok with QRF. I actually prefer the QRF miniatures over Peter Pig (I have a bias toward Peter Pig models). I think the Peter Pig Japanese miniatures just look a bit odd, but thats my taste. The biggest issue with QRF models is the limited diversity in sculpts. I bought a command pack and rifleman pack and the miniatures were all exactly the same.
I thought the gun arms were abit too thin and the gun too large, but it seems to fit in well after have it assembled and painted.I
The Type 93 13.2mm machine gunis from Quality Castings. The Japanese use the French Hotchkiss 13.2mm gun as the design for the Type 93. The crew is also from Quality Castings. The model its self is easy to assemble and has the option to be assembled in limbered form. I elected the deployed position. The barrels and weapons arent too thin as is the case with many other manufactures. My biggest issue with this pack is that I dont have a seated Japanese miniature to fit in the chair attached to the gun. Anyone have an suggestions? I could always try to convert some miniature, but the Japanese uniform is very unique compared to the others I have available.
The 81mm mortar teams are from QRF. I previously purchased the mortars from Quality Castings and I thought they were horrible looking. The command team and observers are a mix of mostly Qualtity Castings and some Peter Pig. Again I really like the size and quality of the QRF sculpts. The mortar crew dont go well with Quality Castings or Peter Pig crews. Unlike Battlefront mortars the QRF mortar comes preassembled with a base. Peter Pig motars are similar in that aspect. I think I prefer having them assembled with a base as it makes it easier to prepare the base instead of having a loose mortar until the end of the basing step.
Any comments would be helpful in improving my miniatures so dont be shy :)
One thing I would like to do in the future is drill out the mortar tubes. I probably should have done it that while assembling them, but I was too lazy to look for my drill lol I have a dremel somewhere and a GW hand drill too.
Remember when ordering your Japanese miniatures for PTO to allocate minatures for observers, staff, and command teams. None of the models I bought came with those and I had to use my exesting pile of miniatures to fill int he gaps.
Oh… QRF miniatures cost a lot in shipping. I paid over $30 to have them shipped here. Are they any US suppliers?
Next up are:
4x Japanese Type 94 tankettes
5x Type 97 Chi Ha tank. I will probably paint them in early war scheme. One day I will need to repaint my Chi Ha Shinhoto 47mm tanks now that I have an air brush. My reading has lead me to the fact that they were painted very similar to German tanks at the time.