Sumida Armoured Car — 6mm WW2 Japanese

Sumida Armoured Cars
Sumida Armoured Cars

Yes, another project. What can I say? “Tart” perhaps.

I thought I would do a test base for the WW2 Japanese, just to break-up the painting of the NRL All-Stars Cataphracts (I have nine bases of horse archers to paint for them still along with a couple of bibs and bobs). A test of the colours and basing for the Japanese, who will be the first opponents for my Soviets, seemed in order.

I also thought I would start on probably the dodgiest model I have here – the Sumida from Heroics and Ros. There is a lot of flash on this model as well as mould lines and clean-up took a while (and still left some lines are obvious in the photos).

Still, a couple of coats of Army Painter Desert Sand and some FoW (OK, Vallejo really too) Flat Brown and Reflective Green and they started to look the business. I added some steel and a brown wash and voila, finished.

Sumida Armoured Cars
Sumida Armoured Cars

The Sumida was an interesting Armoured Car. Firstly it was about twice the size of the Japanese tanks — where in every other army it seemed that the tanks were twice the size of the Armoured Cars.

The cars were also designed to run on railway lines. The Sumida firm designed the car and it was known as the M.2593. It was produced starting in 1933. Its road wheels could be exchanged for flanged railway wheels (the steely coloured things on the side of the vehicle). The front and rear sets of wheels could even be adjusted to various rail gauges. This was probably a result of the two main railway gauges being used in Japan being Narrow Gauge and Standard Gauge. China also used Standard Gauge. Should the Japanese have pushed into Russia or Mongolia they could have adjusted the wheels to use the Russian Gauge.

The car was actually able to travel faster on rails than on the road, achieving speeds as high as 60 km/h. As a result, the car was successful in covering great distances in the 1937 invasion of China. It was also used against the Russian-Mongol forces on the border of Manchukuo, but its off-road performance was poor due to it having solid road wheels. The armoured car was crewed by six men (also more than the Japanese tanks), and was usually armed with one 7.7 mm machine gun.

And it is a great looking model!

14 thoughts on “Sumida Armoured Car — 6mm WW2 Japanese

  1. Doug 14 March 2014 / 10:03 am

    Lookingb the goods mate. How are you fixed for BKC 6mm opponents up there?


    • Thomo the Lost 14 March 2014 / 10:21 am

      I think some of the guys in KL play from time to time. Otherwse, once I’ve painted both sides, Anthony will try


  2. brianhammerhand 1 April 2015 / 11:04 am

    Fantastic — out of curiosity, could you integrate railroads into your games and have these go faster across the “map”?

    Also, what rules are you using for these? Something like Bolt Action or Flames of War?


    • Thomo the Lost 2 April 2015 / 1:13 am


      I’m painting for and using the figures with Blitzkreig Commander II. That allows me more vehicles on the table than Bolt Action and avoids the Wall-to-wall artillery and tanks of Flames of War – and they give a good fun game.

      Integrating railroad movement would not be difficult and that could make a fun scenario, some Sumidas are ambushed near a rail-head by some opposing armoured cars – feed in a bit of infantry rushing up to support and look to what can be done when you are ambushed whilst stuck to the tracks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • ikazuchi01 7 April 2015 / 10:33 pm

        Thanks Thomo – by the way, the Heroics and Ros page you linked to seems to offer those miniatures at what look like VERY cheap prices, but there are no photos. What do those look like? Do you have any posts of unpainted Heroics & Ros models, or the CinC or GHQ ones for that matter? I am looking to get into wargaming but have yet to decide on the scale. I have many unusual tank model kits but most are 1/35 scale, with some 1/72 scale I heard I might be able to use with some rules like Flames of War. But these miniatures are also quite neat and seem like they would not break the bank. Thoughts for a guy who wants to avoid a $200 plus initial investment for a basic Japan vs. British (maybe with some Indian troops) scenario?


      • Thomo the Lost 7 April 2015 / 11:00 pm

        I understand your pain 🙂

        In order of beauty, the models would go GHQ, CinC, Heroics and Ros. In order of price, GHQ, CinC, Heroics and Ros. See a pattern developing here 🙂

        Davco from Skytrex also made a range that was IMHO, slightly poorer quality than H&R. Scotia Grendel also make some vehicles. In addition there was a guy call Ian Armstrong I think who was also making 6mm but just the odd things that no-one else did like portees.

        As to quality, I reckon most of the H&R stuff paints up well, although to be honest, once you start working with GHQ, the detail on the vehicles is such that they almost paint themselves.

        I’m not sure I have any naked photos of the same vehicles from all three and then painted versions of the same but I have done all H&R armies, especially when finances have been tight. Have a search here for Denmark or Danes or Danish. That was a modern(ish) army I did for Modern War Commander. I can’t find the link easily at the moment as I’m answering this on the phone rather than the PC.

        Anyway, I reckon H&R are good value for money and to be honest, their infantry is superior to GHQ I reckon.


      • ikazuchi01 7 April 2015 / 10:37 pm

        By the way, it looks like they have the rules I wanted in Blitzkrieg Commander II with this section: World War Two: Far East 1941-45 (America, Britain & Commonwealth, Japan) — but I’m not sure if it has the sort of “Fun” nation-specific rules as in Bolt Action: Armies of Imperial Japan, a sourcebook I own (which is about all I own).


      • Thomo the Lost 7 April 2015 / 11:06 pm

        Not sure about the fun rules but the rules are fun. 🙂

        The different doctrines are reflected in the command and control rules along with the mix of weapon types.

        With the Russians complete and the Japanese half done, next will be some Hungarians, then late Russians then some early Russians (maybe more cavalry and infantry) to make some Mongolian divisions – as an additional opponent for the Japanese.


      • ikazuchi01 7 April 2015 / 10:50 pm

        One more! Does Blitzkrieg Commander II cover amphibious rules – I was hoping to find a way to integrate the Type2 Ka-Mi, Type3 Ka-Chi, and Type4 Ka-Tsu into games with the SNLF as surprise attack landing units.


  3. Thomo the Lost 7 April 2015 / 11:09 pm

    I think so, I hope so, I have some Ka-Mi as well 🙂

    I’m pretty sure it does. I’ll have to have a look later as I’m away from the rules at the moment.


  4. ikazuchi01 7 April 2015 / 11:13 pm

    Very cool — thanks for the replies and I think I will spring for the H&R minis then. Still finding those prices hard to believe, especially for Sumida armored cars which are hard or impossible to find in 1/35. By the way, what do you use for your base tiles, do you permanently fix them to those bases, and is there a reason for using squares versus hex or round bases? Just the different rules? Apologies for all the questions, just very interested in getting my wargame on. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more armies from your site here — I might want to build out a Manchukuo Army myself to have a nice balance – Soviet and Mongolian, vs. Japanese and Manchukuo puppet army


  5. Thomo the Lost 7 April 2015 / 11:21 pm

    First – the H&R Danes – see and there are photos of everything in that army.

    Also, for bases, I just use Flames of War bases 🙂 the small bases are good for infantry and most vehicles, the medium bases work well for deployed artillery.

    The bases make them easy to handle and to transport – magnetic bottoms. Also you’ll need them for the infantry and heavy weapons.

    I usually stick a tree on command bases to make them easy to see but don’t tell my opponents.


  6. ikazuchi01 8 April 2015 / 12:15 am

    Thanks! Lots of neat stuff to see here. Appreciate all your comments and will follow this site’s developments! The only other thing I noticed about the Sumida armored cars (Type91 Broad-gauge Tractors “So-Mo” – Type93 variant) is that the machine gun in the turret should be much thinner / smaller than on the miniatures (sometimes the machine gun in the turret is difficult to even spot in photos where it is mounted), but this might not be possible due to the scale, so I might just shorten them. Otherwise they come off looking like they have a mounted cannon like a Soviet BA-10 medium armored car. You are right on the scale. These armored cars were very large, based on the Type90 Sumida “P” Naval Armored Car (not rail capable), which had up to 7 machine guns bristling from its sides and turret, as seen here:$_57_(52)a.jpg


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