The Second World War, 28mm
Just before lockdown started, there was some talk in the Orkney club of using Chain of Command for the Pacific Theatre. I really like CoC, but until now I’ve stuck to Normandy. It took the collection of a box of jungle terrain of mine I’d left at the Edinburgh club to convince me that this new project might have legs. I didn’t want to spend a lot on it though, as it would really be a very secondary kind of thing. That notion, of course, has now probably gone out the window…It started with a box of Warlord Japanese infantry. Now, I’m hopeless at sticking plastic figures together.. I get covered in glue, and break rifles. Fortunately my pal Gyles is more skilled at it, and he owed me a favour. So, I asked him to do the glueing. What I got then was a box of plastic figures, all stuck together. All I had to do was to paint them up. I found it was almost a platoon, but not quite. In CoC, a Japanese infantry platoon of 1941-42 has three squads, each with a Corporal and 12 men, including an LMG team. Backing them up is a Light Mortar squad with another Corporal, 3 grenade dischargers and 12 men. So, as I gave each support weapon a crew of two, that meant I needed a lot of riflemen. The platoon was commanded by a Lieutenant, backed up by a Sergeant. Warlord’s box did most of them, but not all. I bulked them out with some 1st Corps Japanese, including most of my command figures. plus a pack of Warlord “veteran infantry”. I’m not really used to painting plastic figures, and the surface was less defined than I’m used to. Still, this was only WW2, not Napoleonics, so there wasn’t much in the way of fiddly bits. The hardest thing was getting the right basic shade for the uniform – achieved through a mixture of Foundry Drab and Moss colours, with some Rawhide for the webbing. All in all it worked out OK. Actually, my favourite figures were the Warlord metal “veterans”, with their foliage in their helmet netting. The 1st Corps ones were pretty good too, although some of the the poses were a little rigid. The Warlord plastics though, seemed to include a lot of figures in strange poses, and more than a few which smacked of stereotypes. Still, they all worked OK together. The light mortar squad was quite fun, but I’m still not sure how to use these on the tabletop. I have them in my Spanish Civil War kit, but apart from using them as support weapons near the table base line I’m not sure how best to work them – especially when I’m on the attack. Still, its something to play with once I can start gaming again. Once I finished the basic platoon I stopped, but at some point I need the “Support Options” – medium machine guns, engineers, snipers, tank-killing teams – that sort of thing. Oh, and of course a tank or two – a t the very least a Chi Ha and a Ha Go… Instead, I started on the opposition a platoon of US Marines. Again, this was a Warlord box, with a few extras from 1st Corps. I decided to paint them up for the Guadalcanal Campaign, so no trendy cam pattern helmet covers or tent rolls on the backpack. These guys were travelling light, and I wanted them to look a bit ragged, as if they’d been on the island for a few weeks, living in the jungle.The USMC platoon for 1942 is smaller than its Japanese counterpart, but the organisation is similar. It had three squads, each with a Corporal and eight men, including a two-man BAR team. Rather than light mortars, the support squad consisted of a Corporal and two BAR teams, backed up by four riflemen. Like the Japs, the platoon was commanded by a Lieutenant and a Sergeant.Again, Gyles stuck them together for me, and I painted them up. Again, they turned out pretty well, but I have to confess I sorta ran out of steam. I still have to finish the platoon, by painting up the 1st Corps figures I need to make up the numbers. I did the BARs attached to the rifle squads advancing, while the two forming the support squad were lying down – more like they were laying down supporting fire. I quite like the look of these plastic figures – they certainly look both ragged-arsed and “gung-ho”, all at the same time!Next of course, once I actually finish the platoon, its on to the support stuff. A FOO team, a machine gun, an anti-tank gun, engineers, a sniper – all the usual stuff. Oh, and at least one M3 Stuart light tank. Then its off to the tabletop with both platoons, for their baptism of fire. It’d be interesting, trying CoC in a new theatre, and of course in among some very challenging terrain.