Wednesday, 2 November 2022

More for the Far East

Lots of activity on the workbench over the last couple of weeks, finishing off several 20mm AFVs and vehicles for the Far East. First off are three Japanese AFVs - two tanks and a self propelled gun.

Below is a Type 97 Shinhoto Chi Ha from 172 Scale Miniatures. This is the later version of the Chi Ha with a larger turret to accomodate a 47mm gun. These saw service in the latter stages of the Burma campaign and in a number of other theatres. The model appears to be resin but it's slightly softer than others I've painted. I found the barrel had a slight bend in it that I could not straighten and so I removed it and replaced it with a metal one I had in the spares box.

Next is a Type 89, this is a traditional plastic kit from IBG who produce an excellent range of unusual vehicles. This is a lovely model that comes complete with photo-etch brass for the more detailed parts like the exhaust grill.

The Type 1 Ho Ni below is a late war self propelled gun that mainly saw use in the Philippines. This is made by Precise and I bought it very cheaply off eBay several years ago. From what I understand the models were manufactured to be sold with an accompanying magazine, however the project was never launched and the models were disposed of, with many appearing on eBay. They came ready painted and required a small bit of assembly. They lack detail in some areas but when repainted make a reasonable model for a game table.

A few useful additions for my Japanese.

If you've been following the blog you will have seen my earlier conversions of Lledo die cast trucks. I had one left over and wasn't sure what to do with it. I've been working on developing a Chindit campaign for Chain of Command and as part of that I needed to provide the Japanese with trucks, so I thought converting this last Lledo truck into a captured/requisitioned truck in Burma would be a useful addition.

Several years ago I bought two resin Milicast models of the M3 tank in both a Grant and a Lee version intending both for Burma. The Milicast models are beautiful but I had real problems with the tracks when I tried to remove excess resin from the casting. Some sections broke and it was enough to put me off progressing any further and I put them away. I reached the point where I was going to either throw them away or finish them off and so decided to make a last attempt at fixing the issues. The solution for the tracks was to replace the missing pieces with lengths of spare track that came as stowage with a Sherman model. I'm glad I made the effort because the completed models look every bit as good as I know Milicast models can be.

I don't have many models in metal and it takes a while to get used to working with models that are much heavier than resin or plastic. This Daimler armoured car is from SHQ with a crew figure from PSC. I've left it without any specific unit markings as it will work just as well in Europe as it can in Burma.

I've also been working on filling gaps in the number of softskin vehicles in the collection. There's not a big demand in games for these but they are useful as scatter terrain or for convoy type scenarios. For Burma I have in mind scenarios set during the British retreat in 1942 and while I'm not completely sure Chevrolet 30cwt trucks were present then I like the early war look these give. Once again this is a metal model from SHQ.


  1. More lovely work...will be great to see all this kit in action in a game!

  2. Splendid work again Mark, just the ticket SiršŸ‘

  3. Excellent work on those. If you've not already read it, I can recommend Bryan Perrett's book 'Tank Tracks to Rangoon' for a superb account of armoured warfare in Burma and Eastern India.