Thursday, February 11, 2016

Test Troops for WW2 15mm USMC


I didn't get anything wargaming related done this past weekend, we were out of town for a funeral again.  And I've missed work the past couple days being sick; being out sick is usually an opportunity to get some painting done, but this crud has really had me out of it.  I've spent about 90% of my waking hours lying on the couch with the baby.  I did, however, manage to get up and paint up a trio of test troops for an upcoming campaign I have planned.

I recently ordered some 15mm Peter Pig WW2 USMC from Brookhurst Hobbies (they've been fantastic); my plan is to follow a fictional platoon or company (still need to nail that down) from a fictional battalion from the first offensive at Guadalcanal up through the end of the war.  I'm breaking it down into three phases: Gudalcanal-Tulagi-Florida, Climbing the Solomon Islands Chain to the Bismark Archipelago, and Across the Central Pacific.

Each of the three phases has its own unique uniform; I intend on essentially using the same troops for the whole campaign, just repainting them for each phase.  So this update is simply to show my test figure for each phase, and for me to sketch out a rough draft for the campaign.

Here are the three troops, all the same pose of a Peter Pig 15mm US Marine Corps rifleman.  They are in chronological order from right to left, with right being the Guadalcanal Marine, center being the Climbing the Solomons Marine, and left being the Central Pacific Marine.

All three Marines here are armed with the M-1 Garand; this is problematic for our Guadalcanal Marine as the troops of the 1st Marine Division (and attachments from the 2nd Marine Division) landed at Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942 equipped with the Springfield 03 bolt action rifle, not the Garand.  The problem is, no one does troops in 15mm with M1 helmets and Springfields.  So, my little Guadalcanal Marines will have M-1 Garands proxying as Springfields.  I won't use any M-1 Carbines until the second phase, which is causing me problems for my mortar crews (the Peter Pig mortar crews all have M-1 Carbines, so I had to place another order for the gun crews, which don't appear to have rifles, so I'll use them as mortar crews for Guadalcanal).  The Marines on Guadalcanal had two types of submachine guns: the classic Tommy Gun, as well as a major POS known as the Reising Gun.  I haven't seen any Reisings in 15mm, but I'm not sweating it as Peter Pig has some excellent Tommy Gunners.  The only problem with them is they have the 20-round box magazines (good for later war), as opposed to the early war 50-round drum magazines.  Oh well...

The Guadalcanal Marine: simple olive green dungarees, brown boondockers (leather shoes), his M-1/Springfield, M1 helmet without cover, and basic web gear in a khaki that came out a little too yellowish, but not too bad.

Reverse.  I put heavy grass on the base for Guadalcanal.

Moving on to our Solomon Islands Marine: here he's got the new duck-hunter, 'green-side out' camouflage uniform with matching helmet cover, an actual M-1 Garand, still got his brown boondockers on (though some poses will have leggings on as well), and the same khaki/yellow web gear.  M-1 Carbines will appear during this period, as well as flamethrowers.

Reverse: I also gave the Solomons Marine heavy grass on his base, to work in places like Kolombangara, Choiseul, Rendova, New Ireland, New Britain, Bougainville, etc...

And on to our final guy, the Central Pacific Marine.  Back to olive dungarees (though some stalwart veterans will probably keep the green-side out cammie blouses), khaki-yellow web gear, khaki-yellow leggings over their brown boondockers, and everyone will have their brown-side out helmet covers on.  Also sporting an actual M-1 Garand.  This crew will add the 2.36" bazooka to its stable of weapons.

Reverse: A little grass on the base, with a lot of sand showing through.  Should be good for places like Tarawa, the Marshall Islands (Kwajalein, Eniwetok), the Marianas (Guam, Saipan, Tinian), Pelelieu, and Okinawa.  I can't do Iwo Jima, not sure how to pull off a black sand island, plus the Japanese were underground the whole fight (certainly a feature of battles in the Central Pacific, but not nearly as much so as Iwo Jima).

The three guys running to and fro, just to give you a sense of their proportions.  I really like how robust they are, can't stand flat figures.

Okay, so what's the plan you ask?  Not sure, I need to map it out, but here's what I'm thinking:

Phase 1
-Start 7 Aug 1942 on Tulagi (heavy fighting there unlike Guadalcanal on D-Day).  Screw around there for a bit, secure Florida, then finally move over to The Canal, probably in September.
-Sep-Nov 1942 on Guadalcanal.  I'll play a couple defensive fights, but mostly USMC patrols and offensives.  I even have an M-3 Stuart for this!

Phase 2
-The Russells (21 Feb 1943)
-New Georgia (30 June - 24 August 1943)
-Choiseul (28 October - 3 November 1943)
-Bougainville (1 November - 15 December 1943)
-Cape Gloucester on New Britain (26 December 1943- 4 May 1944; Volupai?),

Phase 3
-I'd like to move over to Tarawa (20-23 Nov 1943), but dates conflict with Bougainville, and wouldn't make sense to go to Tarawa in Central Pacific then back to SW Pacific for New Britain...
-Hit the Marshalls (Roi-Namur 31 January 1944; Engebi 18-19 Feb 1944, Eniwetok 19-21 February 1944, Parry Island 22 February 1944)
-Hit the Marianas (Guam 21 July - 10 August 1944; Saipan 15 June - 9 July 1944; Tinian 24 July - 1 August 1944)
-Peleliu (15 September - 27 November 1944)
-Okinawa (1 April - 22 June 1945)

Yes, this would be horrific amount of fighting for one unit, but it's just wargaming, and that's why I use fictional units, so I don't have the dead time of R&R real units need/had.  So, let me know if I'm forgetting anything ;)

I'm also looking at some air gaming with 1/600 USN/USMC vs  IJA/IJN, which is all ready to go except for some later US aircraft; some torpedo boat action (I have a bunch of USN and IJN stuff that needs to be assembled and painted); and some surface action (I have a bunch of Axis and Allies War at Sea prepaints ready to go).  Coming soon.



  1. "I can't stand flat figures"

    Dear Jack,

    I quite agree, having just had a rant about overscale, flat poses from PSC. Your Marines are excellent, and Peter Pig wins hands down IMHO:

    Kind regards, Chris.

  2. Nice looking chaps, Jack! I do like the Pig for 15mm - ancients to moderns, they're cracking sculpts full of character.

  3. TP,

    Thanks man, and Peter Pig are definitely among my favorites. I've once again told myself I'm not buying any more lead until I get my lead pile down to a manageable level, but there's so much more PP stuff I want!

    Particularly the modern Marines: I want to make desert tri-color, desert MARPAT, and woodland MARPAT forces...


    1. Bot buying more lead? Sorry, don't understand that sentence ;)

      I've been good. Ish. Mostly. I've made a decent dent in my lead pile this last couple of years but somehow it never seems to go down very well ;)

    2. Yeah, part of it is practical. That is, I've spent way too much money on this damn hobby! And part of it is simply that I get aggravated when I look at all the stuff I still need to paint, then I look at all the stuff I've already painted, and a whole lot of it has never seen the table!

      I'll do my best ;)


    3. Practical as in "I can't physically fit any more mini's in the house" ;)

    4. Can't fit any more in the house!!!???

      Brother, you've got me beat!


    5. Well, I've trouble fitting any more in the loft and the rest of the house is already covered in toddler toys so...