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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Japanese Type 92 70mm Gun (JP560)

Putting the "man" in "man packed"
 In some ways, the Type 92 Battalion Gun perfectly encapsulates the Early War era of play in Flames of War for the Japanese. It's a tiny little gun, that only comes in squads of 2 and you can only take one set of them.

In other words, the Japanese focus is clearly on infantry and tanks and the secondary pieces of equipment seem to be an afterthought. I don't know if this is accurate to the time but it certainly makes for interesting play and list making.

The kit, provided by Battlefront, is another good one. And because you only ever need 2 of the guns, you get all you need out of one USD$17.50 package.

The Type 92 had a long and storied history as a man packed/light infantry gun. Showing up first before Nomonhan it saw significant service throughout World War 2, then in the post Revolution Chinese army and finally, it even showed up in NVA formations against the French and Americans in Vietnam.

This Package. 

The majestic breaks down the stat line. This unit is, essentially, a mortar team with a gun shield. With the Japanese special rules however, you don't have to worry about re-rolling for only having 2 guns. Sadly, there is no smoke option. Which, from what I've read, isn't strictly historically accurate.  
Now, let's dig into the build and paint. 

You get a spotter, command team and 2 guns. All well sculpted. One of the neat things here is the radio on the spotter stand. I enjoying seeing all the new ways Battlefront puts those empty holes to use in the new version of the stands. (Insert Empty Hole joke here)

Interestingly, it looks like the gun is actually bigger than it was in "Real Life"tm here's a couple of historical pics to show you what I mean: 

Super tiny gun right? I'm ok with this one being a bit bigger though. As I think it goes with the way BF does their proportions and, in 15mm chunkier is always better. Also, note the bad ass spotter with his leg up against the wall. 
The other interesting thing about this gun is that the barrel could be fully elevated. I'm not an artillery guy so I don't know why that's good, but it could do it. 

OK, here we are all built up. Once again, the bayonets are rocking. They're super sturdy compared to older models. 
Then I slather on the Vallejo White Pumice to build up the bases and give them texture. 

And finally, glue the guns into place. 

Painting up small artillery units is always a snap. I normally only put 3 guys per stand on medium bases with guns because, any more and the thing gets over crowded. 

The Japanese infantry models are high action, well posed and frankly just look cool. I can't wait to paint up my infantry. 

A little blurry but here you can see that I added the yellow piping to the collars to indicate artillery branch of service.

And here they are, all painted up.

Let's score it:

Detail, 4.5/5 70mm Rounds: Great detail, pops like you need it to for painting and drawing clear visual distinctions.

Build, 5/5 70mm Rounds: The build here was a snap. There was little flash on the guys and the guns went together very nicely.

Value, 3.5/5 70mm Rounds: More of an in game critique here. I'm just not sure how these fit into my lists. Sure, they can be a cheapo extra squad but I'm skeptical on how much bang I get for my buck out of these, especially with no smoke. In terms of monetary value, you've filled a weapons slot with one USD$17.50 purchase. Couldn't be happier with that.

Overall, 4/5 70mm Rounds: It's a great little kit. Get it for your collection even if you don't use it on the field.

"Throckmorton is a reclusive cactus farmer living somewhere in the frosty northern climes of Alberta, Canada. When not pricking himself on pointy caryophyllales, he occasionally deigns to climb down from his northern 'Cactus Throne' to play some Flames and very occasionally writes about his adventures on Throck Of War, his personal blog."

Models Provided by Battlefront Miniatures

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