Archives for November 2005

The Greater Pacific War Project Grows

The Greater Pacific War Project has been growing for the last few weeks. We have gone from 5 core members to 15. We have garnered industry support as well. It’s been a very exciting time.

The project, in summary, is an attempt to re-tell the history of The Greater Pacific War of 1931-1945 with historical miniatures. We have a website that is growing in functionality. I also have been blogging about the project at

To give you an idea of the depth of the project the following games are to be run at Historicon 2006. Not all scenario names are finalized but watch the website for further details.

  • Marco Polo Bridge Incident, China, 1937
  • Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Slim Creek, Burma, 1942
  • Singapore, Malaya, 1942
  • Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942
  • Retreat to Bataan, Philippines, 1942
  • Kokoda Trail, New Guinea, 1942
  • Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Ironbottom Sound, 1942
  • Bouganville, Solomon Islands, P-38 Interception of Adm. Yamamoto, 1943
  • Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, 1943
  • Kohima, Nagaland (North East India), 1944
  • Battle off Samar, Philippine Sea, 1944
  • Iwo Jima, Bonin Chain, 1945
  • Battle of Manila, Philippines, 1945

The number of Nationalities this represents is very broad. From Indians and Naga to Philippines, Chinese, British, Americans and Japanese we have covered a large percentage of the peoples involved in this theater of World War II. Our eye is on as complete coverage as possible given our ability to run games, figures available and so forth. In some cases we have had to do large amounts of conversions, such as the case with the KMT Chinese.

The Project Corporate Sponsors thus far are:

  • Figures, Armor, Artillery, USA
  • Britannia Miniatures
  • Battleworks Studios
  • Iron Ivan Games

The list of Game Masters that have joined us are:

  • Peter English
  • Dale L. Kemper
  • Greg Lyle
  • Phil D’Amato
  • Chalfant Conley
  • Keith Stine
  • Sean Barnett
  • Michael Sammarco
  • Chris Bonni
  • Baxter Key
  • Peter Mancini

Further support is being offered in the form of volunteer work, advice and moral support from HMGS-Mid South, Lord Al’s Expeditionary (Al Gaiser) and Nancy Tiller.

For further information regarding the project check out these resources:

The project is more than just a handful of events at Historicon. The website is a community updated entity that will provide valuable information, scenario ideas and discussion about this engaging piece of history. We hope you enjoy what we can provide and contribute on our forum.

With Every Promise of an Unmitigated Disaster!

Today was interesting. I kicked off working on the miniatures for the Marco Polo Bridge game. I think it will be a great game. However, this morning things were in doubt.

First off, who in their right mind would start a major project and drop hundreds of dollars on figures knowing that no one makes the figures you need for the game? I have a powerful combination of stupidity and unmatched over-confidence. Thankfully, at least this time, it pushed me in the right direction. The Kuomintang 29th Army is an interesting beast. They were trained and equiped by the Germans though their organization reflected the realities of China in the 1930’s. 15 man all rifle squads were not uncommon. Though much of their kit was German, there are differences. The major one is that they don’t have boots. They have puttees.

My original plan was to use Finnish and German figures from several sources. Battle Honors, Bolt Action Miniatures and Artizen make up the majority of them. Then I was going to use thin strips of masking tape or dental floss to make the puttee. Sufice to say as soon as I tried that approach it was clear neither way was going to give acceptable results. In fact it was a total write off. This left me in a dilema. I had spent the day cleaning flash and mold lines and flattening bases for the figures. It struck me that maybe I could make the puttees right on the legs. A little flattening, some carving, what could go wrong? It was an idea that was pregnant with every promise of an unmitigated disaaster!

It worked!

I am really happy with how they came out. Sure, some figures did not look as good as others. some looked Fantastic. The best were the ones that started with a straight, high boot. The worst were the ones with flaring blousing over short boots. In those cases I used a sharp blade and dremel file to smooth them out. All in all, I am very pleased though with the results. I now have very acceptable troops!

The main trick is to make about 4-5 lines from the knee down to above the ankle. If there is a boot, make a line above the top of the boot. This helps hide the boot by disguising where it actually ends. Do what you can to smooth the leg and it will look good. Your X-Acto knife needs a heavy blade and needs to be as sharp as possible. You will inadvertently cut off some feet. I did. Just be sure to glue them back and carry on. Out of over 100 figures converted I cut off 3 feet. The figures are expected to live! I’ve glued them back together and I think they will be fine.

I want to thank my able assitant today who spent 5 hours helping me get this task done. Alison, our Media Relations person came over to see what this was all about and got pressganged into cleaning flash! It took about 5 hours.

All in all a good day. Here is the list of figures for the KMT side of the battle:

17 Officer Stands
5x fifteen man Rifle Squads (75 stands)
12x SMG Stands
4x Mortar Teams
10x LMG Teams
2x MMG Teams
1x HMG Teams
1x Irregular Guerilla Squads
2x Armored Cars (Army Group North Miniatures – beautiful! Pricey but I recommend them)

When I get some of the KMT painted I’ll provide photos.

Some interesting links!

Dien Bien Phu Blue Ribbon Picture

Here is the group of us that ran Dien Bien Phu getting our Blue Ribbon. From Left to Right are Peter (Me), Martin, Sam, Pete and James. Martin did the terrain, Pete did the rules and the figures. The rest of us helped GM and drink beer. It was great fun! this event was held at Fall-in 2005 and yes we all wore funny French hats. I am sure they have a name, perhaps a faithful reader will comment on it! Posted by Picasa

Products Page to help support GPW

We have a products page active now at the Greater Pacific War site. It is run via CafePress. All the proceeds from that will support the project. We need to raise several thousands of dollars to create the terrain for the larger games as well as to buy the miniatures and hire the teams of painters to get them ready.

Right now we just have a couple of mousepads. They have as their design pictures from Martin and Sam’s Operation Market Garden game. Its a really cool mouse pad actually! I plan on getting one myself. I will be adding shirts and related items later. With any luck these will sell and help generate some income for the project.

Ali is still working the funding angle. In the meantime the project is still being funded out of my pocket. As we move forward, get articles written and produce more visible ways of educating people about this part of World War Two I think it will become more obvious the value of this project to the community. My hope is that once its value is recognized funding will come in to help cover the costs.

Its not lost on me that this project is worth much more than a one shot deal at Historicon. The things we are writing, building and teaching will have value long past the big event. Keeping the website up indefinitely and supporting it with more articles, scenarios, workbench articles and so forth and funding it through advertising and product sales will make this a long term institution for wargamers and historians. Making is self-sufficient should be one of its goals. It can do that by consistently providing a high level of worth for the website’s visitors. From the beginning this has been a community project. The community can add to it just as we give back to the community. Perhaps I am being idealistic but I would really like to see it take on a life like that.

Forums are UP at Greater Pacific War

The forums are up and working at the GPW site. Contact information has been added as well. Go there, register and get yourself on line!


Fall In 2005

Just got back from Fall In! in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. HMGS-East ran a fantastic show. I can say it was the best Fall In! I’ve been to since 1999. I met lots of great people and got support for the GPW project from many new people. I picked up as supporters Iron Ivan Games (committing to one or two games), Phillip D’Amato and Stephen Lee as game masters. Battle Works Studios donated a ton of ruins for Marco Polo. Painted Armies Inc. Lee and Sharyl Clapp are donating their services as well.

I got to game with Sean Barnett, Pete English, Martin Baber, Sam Scott, Tim Mullen, Dave Hixon, The Whole Shield’s Clan from Canada, eh, and Jake and Maria Strangeway as well as Nat St. John. What a blast we had. We did Dien Bien Phu with a game put together by Pete English. Many of us got hats reminicent of the ones worn by Batallion de Parachutistes Coloniaux. They are white high wall hats with a short patent leather brim and haverlock. To keep mine safe I had to wear it in the airport which gave me a few funny looks!

Speaking of militaria clothing items check out the embroidered shirts from The Soldier and War Shop and Iron Shirt. Both make incredible items. The first carries great polo shirts with embroidered vehicles. The other makes t-shirts with embroidered unit emblems! Martin picked up the Royal Engineers one, of which he was part. I highly recommend both dealers.

All and all a great time! More to follow on some of the deals and stuff that went down for GPW. Suffice to say, people are excited about this project and so many people have offered help to see it succeed. I am very excited and happy about this project.

Platoon command section getting ready to call in Banzia charge, no doubt… Posted by Picasa

Look at these! The detail is fantastic. Between the great paint job and the great figures this is one nice collection. I don’t think they will ever see the gaming table though; Baxter want to create a display – I suppose it just means more people will get to gawk and stare. Posted by Picasa

Figures Armor Artillery Japanese Line

I took a lot of pictures for Baxter tonight for several nationalities in his 20mm World War Two line. The figures are very detailed and the paint job by David Crenshaw is amazing! Posted by Picasa

Slim River

Here is a discussion about the battle of Slim River. TMP member Oddball is looking for information about the forces involved in the battle. If you know anything jump in on the discussion or leave comments here. Thanks!