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Latest additions to my WW2 Japanese forces are a Type 94 truck and a Type 97 Te-Ke tankette.  Both of these are by Frontline Wargames and useful models.

The truck was painted in Humbrol 110 and then washed in a black/brown thinned enamel mixture to shade it and make it look grubby.  Touched up the shading and after that just added a white/earth mix as a drybrushed highlight.  It was nice to have this model as the only other cargo trucks I’ve got were converted from Hasegawa kits in the 80s (apart from one other Frontline Type 94).

2017_0203_16522900The Te-Ke is a more recent Frontline model and carries more rivet detail, but it’s a neat little tank!  It’s painted in Humbrol 110 overpainted with Vallejo bronze green and chocolate, with a thin irregular cross of golden yellow over the whole vehicle.  Wash and highlight are as for the Type 94 truck.  It’s a bit grubby, but I’m pleased with the result!  Nowadays I find it easier to put a dark wash on multi-coloured vehicles rather than line in shading detail by hand – a black/brown mix tends to be about right, dark enough to provide shading but brown enough to make the vehicle look dirty!  It’s me being slapdash I’m afraid!

There’s a bit of a story to the camouflage on the Te-Ke (but it matches the Ha-Gos in my earlier post).  When I first started doing Japanese armoured units seriously I worked from Steve Zaloga’s excellent Armour Of The Pacific War book.  That was around 1983!  Based on that book, I painted my tanks overall in a greenish-khaki shade mixed from Humbrol 30 and 26, and painted large patches over that in bronze green and “Brown Bess” and that gave vehicles that matched the colour plates in the book quite well.

2017_0203_16523900But when the Osprey New Vanguard book on WW2 Japanese tanks was published more recently (also by Steve Zaloga), the base colour was shown as a light brown and the green was lighter than bronze green.  So after quite a bit of agonising, and also consulting an excellent series of bi-lingual polish-english books on Japanese tanks, I came up with a compromise I could live with!  Since the base colour applied to tanks operating in certain theatres was changed during the war, basic light brown (known as artillery brown to the Japanese) was fine for early war vehicles, and the greenish-khaki OK for later war – since most of my old tank models were for late war and my new ones for early war, that works fine.  The two colours applied over the top remained the same, although I had to use Vallejo chocolate to replace the no-longer-available Humbrol Brown Bess.  Since Japanese tanks in both early and late war cammo schemes served alongside each other, it made sense to just change the base colour.  The only difference I make for early war vehicles is to add the irregular-shaped thin yellow cross over the other colours, a practice discontinued later in the war.

That probably all sounds a bit geeky, but the bottom line is that I can use my new early war vehicles alongside my old later war vehicles without them looking out of place!  I have some older artillery pieces, trucks and tractors that I might re-paint in brown to be strictly more accurate!

2017_0203_16494600The supply dumps in the photos come from a few sources.  The supply crates and drums are by Frontline Wargames, the log emplacement is by Ironclad Miniatures (I think) and the bamboo-roofed shelter is from the old Airfix Jungle Outpost kit.  I put the emplacement on a card base and covered it with Vallejo pumice/white paint mix to give it texture.  I levelled the pumice out so that various tents, shelters and stores could be placed there as required, to give me supply dumps that could be used by anyone anywhere from 1860 to 1945.  Just painted the whole base in dark earth, drybrushed it and put static grass on it to finish it off.

My boss has recently started wargaming forces for Normandy in 1944 – if he reads this and thinks understanding Japanese tank camouflage schemes is tricky, I think he’ll think again after trying to work out what colour British vehicles should be!  Fortunately, I’ve told him to have a good look through Colonel Mustard’ s blog, ’cause that’s what I’d do!

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