Rapid Fire – Game 1 – First Battle in the Gun Bar

The Paras have landed - opening moves
The Paras have landed – opening moves

Or … A Bocage too Far!

In a somewhat fortunate but at the same time unfortunate series of events, most of the Paras parachuted in close to each other with the 3″ mortar team landing on the other side of the bocage. On the hill to the left the rest of the paras landed with one of the gliders – the gliders containing Royal Engineers. The other glider can be seen having landed over in a field on the other side of the battlefield.

There were casualties from the rough glider landings with 60% of the engineers rendered hors de combat whilst the jeep that was the transport for the 6-pdr anti-tank gun in the other glider was also knocked out of action.

The good thing was that the Paras all landed together. The bad news was that they landed between a concealed MMG and a concealed StuG III. ((well the StuG III was concealed to all except the 3″ mortar team that landed next to it – it would have been a bit better had a PIAT team landed there))

On the plus side, the engineers that survived were near the tank obstacles that they would need to clear before the reinforcements arrived.

The Paras have found some cover of sorts and a smoke screen was laid
The Paras have found some cover of sorts and a smoke screen was laid

The Germans opened up on the Paras whilst they madly scrambled for cover. On the hill on the left you can see Paras making their way to the soft cover provided by the bomb craters whilst the others head to the cover of the bocage. The Paras then had the rock and a hard place choice to make – the MMG was firing on them from the village in right background whilst on the other side of the bocage the StuG waited.

At this point I will draw a sad vale veil over this scene and simple note that by the time the reinforcements arrived (two Shermans and a Cromwell) the Paras had ceased to exist as a viable force.

A good win to Anthony on the christening of his new wargames table (and a bloody nice combination of steaks and lamb chops mate from the BBQ).

Time I grabbed my copy of World War 2 Basic Infantry Tactics for Dummies I suspect.

RJW and Pendraken Search Results

Over the last couple of days I had another couple of search results from within Thomo’s Hole that were unsuccessful. However, both of these should have returned something, especially from a wargamers blog. The two search terms were:

  • “pendraken miniatures” which was searched twice
  • “rjw miniatures” which was searched yesterday

Let’s take the second search first. It tells me someone was searching Thomo’s Hole for information about the Russian Japanese War, especially, I would guess, from the point of view of a wargamer and looking for figures to represent the troops in that war. The only thing not specified is whether or not the searcher was looking for miniatures or vessels and in what scale.

This leads nicely into the other search term, “pendraken miniatures”. Pendraken is an English manufacturer of wargame figures, principally in 10mm scale. More on that shortly but if you are hunting for them, they have a very good mail order service and their website is at Pendraken Miniatures.

RJW Ships

There are a few manufacturers of ships used for wargaming the Russian Japanese War. The three most common scales for this are 1/6000th, 1/3000th and 1/1200th (there are also some vessels in 1/2400th but I am not so familiar with those.


Figurehead/Hallmark are a range of 1/6000th vessels with all the vessels necessary to refight the Battle of Tsushima. They can be purchased from Magister Militum in the UK or from Strange Cargo Games in the US


Navwar do a range of the vessels needed for the Russian Japanese War in 1/3000th scale. They have a Battle of Tsushima pack which contains the surface vessels for this battle. Also look under “Naval Vessels” under 1:3000 scale on their website for individual vessels. Note that they do not have online ordering – but telephone and send a fax, they are very efficient servicing mail orders.

War Times Journal (WTJ) do the best 1/3000th ships I have ever seen and cover this conflict very well. Again, Jim is a gentleman to deal with and his mail order is efficient and reliable. See his WTJ Game Store 1 for details. He also has painting guides in there.


Viking Forge have a range of pre-dreadnought vessels suitable for Russian Japanese War battles in their range. I’ve not seen any personally but indications from the pictures on the website indicate that they are quite reasonable castings.


Alnavco have some vessels available, especially for the Japanese, in 1/1250th scale in the Navis Range – see the link to the sidebar of the Alnavco website for World War I vessels. These are expensive though, I must admit.

Houstons Ships were, for many years, the only vessels available and their scale is a little, shall we say, elastic. It is generally around 1/1000th scale and Great Endeavours sells the Houston Ships line.

RJW Miniatures

There are a few manufacturers are figures suitable for wargaming the Russian Japanese War. These vary in scale size from 2mm up to 28mm and are discussed by section below.


Irregular Miniatures – http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/ – select 2mm from the bottom of the screen. Whilst there is no specific Russian Japanese War range, it is possible with this diminutive figures to build both armies fairly completely and quickly using a mix of the Horse and Musket Infantry and Cavalry blocks mixed in with some of the 20th century artillery. Their Mail Order is simply superb as well – one of the best firms I have dealt with.


Pendraken – http://www.pendraken.co.uk/sub%20page/russjap.htm – basic figures – Russian Infantry and Artillery, Japanese Infantry, Artillery and Hotchkiss Machineguns.


Irregular Miniatures – http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/ – select 15mm from the bottom of the screen then look for Riussian Japanese War – a fairly extensive range of Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and such, including figures from other ranges that are suitable. Note also that Irregular provides the figures for both Russian and Japanese forces circa 1880. They also offer army deals for a discount on some figures purchases. I can unreservedly recommend their mail order service – it is just brilliant.


Spencer Smith miniatures offers a range of figures for this conflict manufactured by Jacklex Figures – see the Spencer Smith website for information. This is a range of Infantry and Cavalry for both the Japanese and the Russians.

OK, so there is a roundup of some of the figures and vessels for wargaming the Russian Japanese War. My favourites, amongst that lot, are really the ships from WTJ – they are quite the best I have ever seen, even though I own a large collection of Navwar vessels.

I’ve not gamed any part of the RJW land battles (Mukden etc) so can’t really comment much on what is available as far as figures go. I hope this helps as a good starter however.