Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Japanese Army Progress and General Update

This has been a crazy year so far. Despite having several months warning of the impending release of the Pacific War books - and intimate knowledge of said books - I'm still ridiculously behind on my Japanese forces for Flames of War. Of course, being in the midst of building the new house has something to do with it, but I think I'm finally starting to make some progress.

My first goal was to start getting as much of the core of my Japanese army prepped for painting as possible. This means I can paint them "assembly line" style. I started with the Hohei Chutai (JBX01) infantry company since this would give me plenty of infantry that could be used as the core of an infantry or fortified infantry force, or support for an armored force. Those are reinforced with Hohei Machine-gun Platoons (JP704) and Nikuhaku Teams (JP706). At this point I have all of those miniatures cleaned up and primed - so they're ready to paint once I get the rest of the support teams together as shown in the photo below.

Yeah, that's a LOT of figures, and actually goes well beyond just the three units I cite above. I'm also working on gun support for the infantry forces. The un-primed figures are comprised of an Artillery HQ (JP710) and a unit of the Type 94 37mm Anti-tank Guns (JP501). Also included are the teams belonging to several other guns.

Above you'll see the Type 92 70mm Guns (JP560), the Type 96 150mm Howitzers (JP580), and a couple of Type 88 75mm Heavy Anti-aircraft Guns (JP550) - which were the subject of a recent review I wrote over at the WWPD blog! The tracks belong to my unit of Type 2 Ka-Mi tanks.

I have not been neglecting my armor - above are a few of the Chi-Ha tanks (JBX09) I have in progress, as well as a few Isuzu Trucks.  Below are some Ha-Go tanks (JBX03) I got together a while back, but was waiting to paint.

I've also been working on some Type 89 (JBX02) tanks (which were used in the Philippines in 1944-5) as well as some of the new Type 97 Te-Ke tankettes (JBX05) which were the subject of another review I wrote up for WWPD.

Unfortunately progress continues to be slow, and I'm still trying to figure out the right paint scheme to use for my Pacific War Japanese. I have the tank colors well established at this point, but the infantry is a tougher nut to crack. Most of the Japanese uniforms for the Pacific theater seem "greener" than the colors Battlefront is recommending in Banzai and Rising Sun. Of course, Rising Sun is a 1939 uniform for mainland Asia - a far different theater than the South Pacific. I'm leaning toward painting my army correct for the liberation of the Philippines with some armor from Saipan (notably a few of the Chi-Ha tanks). Once I have the paints identified, I'll write more.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

State of the Blog Update

First, I apologize for the radio silence recently. As is normal when things get "quiet" I've been working on some "things." One big thing that's been taking up a lot of time is we are building a new house on our property that will actually fit us, our son, and our hobbies (at least that's the plan). Building your own home, even when working with a contractor, is a long, drawn-out, and often exhausting process, but we're starting to see the project actually move forward - though at this point all we have is a very interesting hole in the ground that my son is enjoying.

Of course, that is all going to change fairly quickly as the temporary power comes in tomorrow, the permits should be issuing this week or next, and the financing closes tomorrow or Monday. The goal is to have Thanksgiving in the new house... and did I mention that there is going to be a real GAME ROOM!?!??!?  I will finally be able to set up real Flames of War games (among many other miniature and board games), in my home!!!  I... can't... wait!!!

On the Flames of War front, I finally got my copies of Banzai and Gung Ho and have been madly assembling and cleaning up my Japanese for painting. I've just about decided what paint schemes I'm going to use on the tanks - generally they will be either units from the Philippines or Saipan. Reading through the Banzai book, I was a little disappointed by a couple of proofreading goofs that slipped through - and I both wrote and proofread the book - but overall I think the text is some of my best work, right up there with the Remagen book. I have some other writing assignments I'm also working on for Battlefront, so stay tuned!

By now many of you will have read the post over on the WWPD forum entitled "Why We Game." Like many I'd noticed a distinct cooling in the interest level for Flames of War at WWPD - both on the blog and in the forum. For many years, WWPD was one of my "go to" sources for all things Flames of War and I was disappointed in the reduction in focus, but it's natural that everyone's interests will grow, change, and/or wane over the years. That being said, as a part of their re-structuring, the guys over at WWPD have asked me to be a contributor to their blog - mostly focused on Flames of War as I'm still firmly "in the thick of it." In the next few weeks you should start seeing some of my Flames of War posts showing up on the WWPD blog. I'm planning to write at least a couple of posts for them a month going forward, and honestly I'm very honored and excited to move from reader to contributor on such a well-respected blog!

So what does that mean for this blog? Honestly, not a whole heck of a lot. This blog has always been a place where I can talk history, hobbies, and occasionally show off some miniatures I manage to get painted, and I still plan on doing that. I won't be cross-posting content from WWPD to here or vice versa, though I will generally try to provide links to any of my published content on other sites. With the new house and studio, I'm hoping to be able to actually get more miniatures painted and up on the blog - well, that's the plan at least!