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WWII was a major conflict and as such there are many model kits and miniatures out there.

 

However it has always struck me as odd that there are so few Japanese forces made.

 

Sure, there are some airplane kits, and some Chi-Ha tanks and a few infantry kits.

But is like they were a minor force if we compare it to the abundance of German, Russian and Allied troops.

 

I mean you can buy models from a lot of regular trucks, half tracks and such, but the Japanese only get a Tank or two?

 

Maybe I've been looking at the wrong places. And I must admit I haven't been following new releases for WWII kits.

 

But lately I got a little interest again.

 

So I'm curious, I prefer 28mm metal miniatures for this, what is out there depicting Japanese WWII forces?

 

Preferably vehicles.

 

Anyone know of a few nice metal kits?

Edited by Xherman1964
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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

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How about trucks, recon vehicles and such.

 

I know they still used a lot of horses.

 

@Hibou, I will check Bolt action Thx.

 

Edit: I just checked, they do have a scout car, some tanks, an amphibian vehicle and houwitzer.

Edited by Xherman1964
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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

 

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support.  Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.

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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support. Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.

I have been digging through the Wikipedia article on them. Finding statements like: all thirty were converted to another type, only 171 produced none saw combat, only one prototype produced, all of the type were held back in case of invasion of the home islands...

 

Compare to US M3 Stuart – 25,000 produced.

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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support. Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.

I have been digging through the Wikipedia article on them. Finding statements like: all thirty were converted to another type, only 171 produced none saw combat, only one prototype produced, all of the type were held back in case of invasion of the home islands...

 

Compare to US M3 Stuart – 25,000 produced.

 

 

... and then there's the 2000+ Type 97.  The 2000+ Type 95.  409 Type 89.  So on.  Nowhere near US production totals, but they had tanks and used them.

 

You're right in that they were not traditionally useful in the way others used tanks, given the theatre conditions.   That's why they scattered them out as support in small groups rather than concentrating them.  2000 tanks don't go far when you distribute them to 200 support packets. 

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support. Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.
I have been digging through the Wikipedia article on them. Finding statements like: all thirty were converted to another type, only 171 produced none saw combat, only one prototype produced, all of the type were held back in case of invasion of the home islands...

 

Compare to US M3 Stuart – 25,000 produced.

... and then there's the 2000+ Type 97. The 2000+ Type 95. 409 Type 89. So on. Nowhere near US production totals, but they had tanks and used them.

 

You're right in that they were not traditionally useful in the way others used tanks, given the theatre conditions. That's why they scattered them out as support in small groups rather than concentrating them. 2000 tanks don't go far when you distribute them to 200 support packets.

My mistake was starting at the bottom of the list, where the biggest tanks ought to be and working my way back.

 

And I paid for it.

 

Check the randomness thread. :unsure:

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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support. Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.

I have been digging through the Wikipedia article on them. Finding statements like: all thirty were converted to another type, only 171 produced none saw combat, only one prototype produced, all of the type were held back in case of invasion of the home islands...

 

Compare to US M3 Stuart – 25,000 produced.

 

Some of these (M3 Stuarts) were captured in the fall of the Philippines, and were later used by the Japanese as well...

I believe I read that they were actually used in one of the few tank vs tank battles in the PTO....

Most Japanese transport was animal powered as well, and there were not all that many vehicles shipped to the island garrisons due to logistical reasons.

In 1944, I think I remember reading, that a Japanese tank company, was committed to combat in a cavalry / assault mode against US Forces on Luzon... I think this was the only time this was done....

 

George

 

At work ATM, will try to check my references when I get home....

 

And I know you specified 28mm, but look at Battlefront's 15mm stuff to see what might be available in 28mm from someone else!

(From a Tread-Head to a Wing-Head!) :B): 

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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support. Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.

I have been digging through the Wikipedia article on them. Finding statements like: all thirty were converted to another type, only 171 produced none saw combat, only one prototype produced, all of the type were held back in case of invasion of the home islands...

 

Compare to US M3 Stuart – 25,000 produced.

 

Some of these (M3 Stuarts) were captured in the fall of the Philippines, and were later used by the Japanese as well...

I believe I read that they were actually used in one of the few tank vs tank battles in the PTO....

Most Japanese transport was animal powered as well, and there were not all that many vehicles shipped to the island garrisons due to logistical reasons.

In 1944, I think I remember reading, that a Japanese tank company, was committed to combat in a cavalry / assault mode against US Forces on Luzon... I think this was the only time this was done....

 

George

 

At work ATM, will try to check my references when I get home....

 

And I know you specified 28mm, but look at Battlefront's 15mm stuff to see what might be available in 28mm from someone else!

(From a Tread-Head to a Wing-Head!) :B): 

 

 

I have seen those, there are some nice things there, but I only paint for display and was wondering about painting a vehicle / diorama thingie maybe someday one day soon...

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The Japanese had little use for tanks.

 

They built lots of aircraft. They never really made an opposed landing against a dug-in force. Their army was mostly an infantry army doing occupation duty. They fought the Chinese on land, but the Chinese had no tanks at all.

They had a good few tanks, just little opportunity to employ them blitzkrieg-style so most were distributed for infantry support. Particularly after the Manchuoko border skirmishes.
I have been digging through the Wikipedia article on them. Finding statements like: all thirty were converted to another type, only 171 produced none saw combat, only one prototype produced, all of the type were held back in case of invasion of the home islands...

 

Compare to US M3 Stuart – 25,000 produced.

... and then there's the 2000+ Type 97. The 2000+ Type 95. 409 Type 89. So on. Nowhere near US production totals, but they had tanks and used them.

 

You're right in that they were not traditionally useful in the way others used tanks, given the theatre conditions. That's why they scattered them out as support in small groups rather than concentrating them. 2000 tanks don't go far when you distribute them to 200 support packets.

My mistake was starting at the bottom of the list, where the biggest tanks ought to be and working my way back.

 

And I paid for it.

 

Check the randomness thread. :unsure:

 

 

 

That'd do it.  They didn't have much in the way of good tanks, and most of what they did have was built in the 30s and obsolete.  And it's a fairly esoteric topic anyway, especially compared to the more interesting sweeping blitzkriegs of Europe. 

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Couple points:

 

1). The Chinese DID have tanks. Not a lot at first (mostly Vickers 6-tons, CV-33s and Pz I's), but more became available later in the war via lend-lease: Shermans and M3/M5 Stuarts.

 

2). The way the Japanese defense budget worked is that the vast majority of spending and resources went to the Navy, which is why the Japanese had a top-rated Navy entering the war, but a pretty obsolete (comparatively speaking) armor park. All their resources were going to ship-building, and the Army, when faced with this fact, opted to invest in lots of light tanks and not so many mediums.

 

3). I am currently working on a 1/35 scale model of a Shinhoto Chi-Ha as we speak. This is the one with the 47mm high velocity gun. Some of which were available for the Phillipines campaign in '42, and were some of the first tank-on-tank engagements with US troops in the retreat to Corregador (M3 Stuarts vs Chi-Ha's).

 

4). The Japanese had a variety of weird and whacky tanks, including a family of amphibious tanks based on the Type 95 Ha-Go, that saw action against the US in some of the island hopping campaigns. They also were one of the few nations to deploy a fully tracked APC during WWII. 

 

5). As most of the fighting in WWII involved island assaults, there wasn't a lot of opportunity for large-scale armored clashes. Most engagements were at the company level or lower. The invasion of the Philippines in '44 allowed for some more traditional armored clashes, though these seem to still be at the company level.

 

6). The Japanese deliberately withheld their best tank designs for home-island defence (like the Type 1, IIRC Type 3, etc). They even had a heavy tank design along the lines of the Tiger II, though that never actually entered production before the war ended IIRC.

 

7). Japanese technology was chronically behind that of just about all of the other major powers of WWII. While aircraft like the A6M had good performance, it did so with a smaller engine (compared to US fighters FREX) and sacrificing protection for maneuverability/range. The same was true with tanks, with most of their designs being antiquated, even the new ones (The Shinhoto Chi-Ha, possibly the best design they had available for combat service, never had a coaxial machine gun). Also with most of the budget going to the Navy, there were few opportunities to upgrade existing designs to bring them more in-line with what was going on with tank design in the rest of the world. 

 

8). for the OP, I think one of the big reasons you don't see a lot of Japanese designs is for the same reason Italians might get an M13/40 and end there: the designs were barely competative with the rest of the world even when they were new. How many people want/need an M11/39, M13/40 or M15/42 for their Italian armies? How many people collect these (as opposed to US, Brits, Russians or Germans)? If the Japanese had more "Gee-wiz!" tanks like the Germans or Russians, I'm sure you'd see more. As it is, most were (my opinion) crap designs comparatively speaking. 

 

Damon.

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Wikipedia article on Chinese armored forces in WWII. Some surprises here even for me!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Chinese_armoured_forces_(1927%E2%80%9345)

 

Damon.

 

That is ... a very oddly written article. I can't tell whether it was just that it was written by someone who is more interested in the subject than in writing, written by a non-native-English speaker, or written by someone ... not completely reliable.

 

Interesting nonetheless.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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