Sunday 2 February 2020

Ha Go in the jungle

As I have been putting together a Japanese force for Malaya, I acquired a couple of type 97 Chi Ha tanks from Warlord, one plastic and the other resin, in various sales etc.

Reading through accounts of the Malaya campaign though, by far the most common armour in use was the Ha Go Type 95 light tank. This model equipped the armour component of infantry divisions and was used very successfully by the Japanese forces in Malaya. As far as I was aware the only 1/56 Ha Go available was a resin and metal model from Warlord, and as I wanted to field at least two, at £18 each, that was expensive for a support option that might only get a stand-in role in one Chain of Command campaign.

As luck would have it, a chance conversation on Twitter with Garry, who runs Paint and Glue Miniatures, revealed that although not on the website, yes, P&G did a Ha Go, for the princely sum of £7. (plus postage).  Less than a week later I had two Ha Go on my desk, in a fetching shade of blue.

Ha! Who Go's there?

The print lines from the 3d process are minimal, the models very neat and clean, (I just gave them a quick scrub with a stiffish old brush to get rid of some wispy print residue). 

I am very impressed with the quality, price, and speed of delivery, so Paint and Glue are likely to be my go-to for support options from now on. 

So now I have four Japanese AFV to get painted, and the Japanese camouflage schemes are very interesting and appealing. I can see these playing a significant role in future campaigns. 

Here's their natural habitat:

In the jungle, the mighty jungle..

I'm not sure what more to add to these. In a real jungle, creepers and fallen trees, but I also want to be able to place figures, so these may be left as is, they have had two coats of dilute white glue to seal the ground cover, and some added flock and tufts, but not much real change. It's time to find a place to store these, till I get them out to play.

Finally, I am also experimenting with making trees for European settings. I have a bunch of the smaller Woodland Scenics plastic armatures, so I glued them together, twisted them into shape and glued some coarse chopped foam to them using rubber cement.

Trees, Mark I

Not very impressive..

The Mark II version used a strip of rubberised horse hair, cut into lengths, teased out and stretched over the armature, the foam was then glued to the horse hair and branches, again using rubber cement.

Trees, Mark II

Much better! I have given them a first coat of thinned white glue to seal them, and we shall see how durable they are. I am expecting some larger armatures to be delivered soon, as these are too short to be anything larger than ornamentals or fruit trees for an orchard.

It's all progress, I had better get on with painting some of the core infantry platoons now!

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