Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Japanese Toy Soldiers


Recommended Posts

A few months ago I asked about Japanese uniforms worn during the Great War so I could paint up some toy soldiers. Attached are some photos of the figures I subsequently painted. Unfortunately, there are no manufacturers that specifically make Great War Japanese figures. Therefore, mine are mostly inter-war Chinese. To make these look more Japanese I had to make a few alterations. Firstly, Japanese officer tunics only had breast pockets and so the lower hip pockets had to be filed off. Also, all officers carried swords, which at that time were based on European swords and not traditional Japanese ones. Luckily, I had a couple of spare cavalry swords that I was able to use. The Chinese infantry didn't need too many alterations. The Japanese carried a third ammunition pouch in the small of the back so I made these out of modelling clay. Some of the Chinese figures had ammunition bandoliers which the Japanese never carried. I covered the bandoliers with clay so they looked like rolled great coats, which is something the Japanese wore. The Chinese machine gunners came with a maxim so I replaced this with a spare Hotchkiss which the Japanese were using at that time. The ammunition belt was shaped to look like a Hotchkiss ammunition strip. I'm not sure what the gun was that came with the Chinese artillery but I replaced this with a Krupp 75mm that the Japanese were manufacturing under licence. Finally, the Japanese cavalry were from a Russo-Japanese war range. These were pretty spot on for the Great War but they wore kepi's instead of the rounded cap. Again, I used modelling clay to alter these. Hope you think they're OK but any feedback is welcome.    

thumbnail (2).jpg

thumbnail (1).jpg

thumbnail.jpg

thumbnail (3).jpg

thumbnail (4).jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Chasemuseum

These images are from a well known book on Japanese uniforms and equipment referred to in english as "Nakata"/. They show the new uniforms adopted in 1911.

Cheers 

Ross

 

190969631_IJAFulluniformTaisho-1911Officer.JPG.5f6573f72c3fd3ceee8eb36f2f4b73da.JPG

 

Officer in 1911 uniform with typical sword of the period which integrates elements of a traditional sword of about the katana length with a european sword. Note the rayfish skin grip with gilt metal wire binding, backed with a brass strip and a full length brass hand guard sized two accommodate both hands on the grip.  Note that the cavalry sword is very much like a late c19 european cavalry sword with a light slightly curved blade and single hand grip.

The collar tabs give corps of service by colour and regimental numeral.

 

51231944_IJAFulluniformTaisho-1911summer.JPG.582753fcc4bf79404c6f2ab247867191.JPG

 

Other Ranks soldier, in summer uniform, collar tabs give corps of service by colour. All ORs wear shoulder straps denoting rank, basically red with one or two  gilt braid stripes and without or with a number of metal silver stars.

 

56618202_IJAFulluniformTaisho-1911winter.JPG.8eeace8bb22a0e2f629caa475297f764.JPG

 

Other ranks winter uniform with field equipment. Rifle is the ;long type 38 Arisaka in 6.5mm. Obsolete but still widely used in WW2. The ammunition pouches are leather, front pouches are wedge shaped, top openning with the flap folding forward away from the body, each holding 2 wedge shape cardboard boxes with 15rds in 3 clips. THe rear pouch is large and rectangular in shape, holding 4 packets of ammunition arranged with 2 upside down so the wedges fit together as a rectangular prism.  The back pack, is a rigid wood framed backpack in canvas and leather, generally similar to a german back pack but a bit squarer. There are no straps hooking into the ammo  pouches or belt. The water bottle is cylindrical, painted aluminium in a skeleton carrier. The ammo pouches and belt are the same as WW2 except in WW2 they could be leather or rubberized canvas.  The WW2 water bottle and backpack are totally different.

 

1078608392_IJAFulluniformTaisho-1911withgreatcoat.JPG.2541ad74a34721ad9e33fe0909120e78.JPG

 

Other Ranks, in winter uniform with greatcoat and detachable hood.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff
21 hours ago, Noyes16 said:

A few months ago I asked about Japanese uniforms worn during the Great War so I could paint up some toy soldiers. Attached are some photos of the figures I subsequently painted. Unfortunately, there are no manufacturers that specifically make Great War Japanese figures. Therefore, mine are mostly inter-war Chinese. To make these look more Japanese I had to make a few alterations.


Thank you for taking the time to have shared your handiwork and your research on the forum. Several months ago, I came across some images of Airfix WW1 British Infantry painted as Japanese. I don't believe any effort had been made to alter the Airfix figures, such as adding the Japanese cartridge pouches. I think this is the first time that I have come across WW1-era Japanese soldiers at this scale, as may have been encountered at Tsingtao in 1914 or at Vladivostok in 1918. It's clearly a labour of love.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...