Well, apart from finishing my Type 89 tanks, I haven’t got much done in February beyond preparing and undercoating bits and pieces! One thing I did have to do though was sort out the box with my WW2 Japanese vehicles in it.
Most of these models date from the early 80s, when I started working on Japanese forces after buying Steve Zaloga’s excellent book “Armour Of The Pacific War” published by Osprey. I matched the colour schemes for the tanks to the colour plates in the book, although more recent research seems to have modified the colours somewhat! I went with khaki/dark brown/dark green schemes and painted guns and transport in the khaki only. Since I used to put a light muckying wash on and not bother with varnish, the final colours matched the colour illustrations quite well.
So, in the box dating from the 80s are seven Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks (three are Shinhoto Chi-Has), two scratchbuilt Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, a single Type 1 Ho-Ni 1 self-propelled gun, four cargo trucks converted from Hasegawa kits, two scratchbuilt Type 98 artillery tractors, two Type 1 47mm anti-tank guns, a Type 90 75mm gun and a Type 91 105mm howitzer (with all the guns being scratchbuilt).
Added more recently are some Frontline Wargaming resin models; three Type 89 tanks, two Ha-Gos, a Type 97 tankette and two Type 94 cargo trucks – these have the light artillery brown base colour that distinguishes them from the 80s models in khaki. There’s also an SHQ Type 95 field car and a scratchbuilt Type 94 37mm infantry gun (the gun was an 80s model, but has been repainted in the more accurate artillery brown colour).
The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the two older Ha-Gos appear darker than the other older vehicles! This is because I had to varnish them to seal down the transfers/decals that had lifted with age! The mucky wash didn’t like the matt varnish and I ended up with some whitish patches on them (which I think was the wash, not the varnish, surprisingly) so I had to gloss varnish them and then matt them again, which is why they have a sheen to them (it’s exaggerated by the light on the curved hull sponsons). The comparison between the old and the new Ha-Gos (the latter with the yellow bands over the cammo) shows how I’ve only changed the base khaki to light brown, but kept the dark green/dark brown colours the same. Early War Japanese tanks used the light brown shade, but this was changed to the khaki shade after 1942, so my old scratchbuilt Ha-Gos are later war tanks and the newer Frontline models are early war! And you think you’re confused!
Not shown are some older models that I’ve put up in the loft, since I don’t really need them at the moment – another Ho-Ni, a scratchbuilt Type 1 Ho-Ha half-track, two scratchbuilt Type 97 artillery tractors and another Type 90 field gun. I’ve also got two Dragon ready-built Chi-Has in early war cammo schemes that need to be moved to this box, but there’s not much room left!
And if that isn’t enough, there’re still some vehicles left to paint that are not shown here! They will hopefully not get left as long as the Type 89s before they get finished though! Hopefully!