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I Think I’m Turning Japanese…

I really think so!  Well, not me if I am honest, but my Jump Off Points.  Playing a rather spiffing game set in Malaya last night, our third playtest for the Far East, I was somewhat embarrassed not to have created any Jump-Off Points for the Japanese yet, so at crack of dawn today I headed to B Block and seized a set to convert.  These are actually ‘seconds’ which the manufacturer sent us, you can see top left that the corner of the tarpaulin facing the camera has a slight bubble on it for example, so for a cut and shunt conversion job these were ideal.

When we commissioned these Jump-Off-Points, there were two key issues in the brief.   Firstly we wanted them to look great so we commissioned world renowned figure sculpture Richard Ansell to design and sculpt them.  Secondly, and in this situation a bit more relevant, was that we wanted them to be made of really high quality resin.  So often I have purchased resin buildings to discover that they chip easily and if dropped then it’s Good Night Vienna.  As a result of our brief all of our Jump-Off-Point are made of a really nice resin which has more of a spongy consistency to it.  Normally if you drop it you’ll find it survives.  Indeed, I have never had one break on me yet.  For the job in hand here, that softer, creamier resin allows us to carve, cut and generally shape the model rather than it shattering under the knife.

In the past I have tended to use nail clippers for this type of work; I am a great believer in using whatever is to hand and avoiding spending good beer money on tools.  However, I have recently got hold of a set of Citadel clippers which I must admit are the dogs dangly bits.  The have a wider set of jaws than nail clippers, so you can lop off bigger bits, and the flat edge makes them more precise.  Nice bit of kit.  Anyway, with said clippers I set about removing the nation specific bits with a will.

This is a dead simple process.  You can see above where I removed the sten gun from the top of the barrels and below the MP40 has gone.

This is just the first stage as I then use a sharp knife or scalpel to trim off the residue which is bound to be left behind.

A serious point here.  Sharp blades are sharp because they then to be relatively thin.  That also means that they break easily, as can be seen below.  Having a VERY sharp blade break can be very dangerous.  In a way I am lucky because I wear spectacles so my eyes do get some protection, but my hands do not and in this case I received a pretty nasty gash.  I tend to be pretty pragmatic about such injuries, but the truth is that I haven’t had a tetanus injection for over thirty years so it is really worth avoiding such injuries.  I sometimes joke about health and safety, but this bloody hurt.  Point made.

Anyway, here are some before and after shots of the Jump-Off-Points.  As you’d imagine, some bits are easier to remove then others.  The Panzerfaust in the first photo was a real bugger and that was where I broke my blade.  In the end a gentle and gradual carving away was more efficient than my initial impatient gauging.  Actually, looking at the photo below you can see why these are seconds as there are a few air bubbles.  I am going to fill them with putty before painting.

Some of the kit on the Jump_off-Points is pretty universal and bland, like the packs in the middle photo.  In the end I decided to remove these two in order to just use Japanese kit.  You could argue that the jerry cans and barrels may not be of a particularly Japanese design, but if we go to that end we would end up having to build the whole JOP from scratch, and that’s what I am trying to avoid with these quick conversions.  Let’s face it, when the tarpaulins are painted up as Rising Sun fags nobody will be looking at the jerry cans.

Plastic figures.  Love them or hate them, this is where they come into their own.  Using the clippers, I was able to remove the heads from helmets and slings from rifles to get the bits ready to add.  Obviously here we are going to place the new bits where the old stuff was removed from so as to cover up and imperfections.  I could have used a fine sand paper to smooth down the areas where there were still rough bits, but to be brutally honest with the workshop a building site I could find any so didn’t bother.

And here’s why.  The new stuff is largely replacing the old so the imperfection are covered up.  Hopefully.  I shall, of course, find out whether that dodgy plan works or not when I come to put the paint on.  For now I am leaving the superglue to dry.  As can be seen, I have gone with kit that is quintessentially Japanese, so Samurai swords, funky LMGs, helmets etc. I will update this article later when the painting is done, but this is not a bad start for less than an hours work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Responses

  1. Ade Deacon says:

    Excellent stuff as always. I hope that finger’s OK? It’s jobs like this that make me glad I invested in my Dremel. Have you never thought of getting one? With your emphasis on speed it does this sort of work in no time.

  2. JonD says:

    Great idea but do be careful, old boy. I second Ade’s suggestion of a Dremel, they’re great little tools with a vast array of blades, bit and attachments that can also be purposed to useful jobs about the house.

  3. Greg Padilla says:

    Ha! I know what exactly you mean about a new fresh blade…never fails always cut my frigging thumb! Yup did that last weekend when doing some “Rich Lardy” conversion for some Belgian Chasseur Ardennais from plastic German DAK and Blitzkrieg plastics. Looks great! But nothing like a little blood, sweat and tears in the build. I got some West Wind Brit Para heads w/berets for the final effect. Take care.

  4. Marcus says:

    Made my jump off points for my Burma games with pack horses/mules with handlers,think it really adds to the emersion of jungle fighting having them on the table.

  5. Big Rich says:

    Funnily enough, I intend to do similar for my Aussie and Chindit forces. Nice idea.

  6. John Mumford says:

    Sounds like a good alternative Marcus may I ask where you sources the mules from?

  7. Marcus says:

    I am gaming Burma in 20mm John and so after getting three Airfix bamboo houses I used the pack horses that came with the sets to make my jump off points I used the original figs for the Japanese handlers ( as a tribute to Airfix in general really) and used suitable British ,Gurkha,Sikh SHQ metal ones for the14th Army .In 28mm I think Warlord games do Chindit mules and handlers in their Bolt Action range.

  8. Marcus says:

    Also I forgot to mention Frontline wargaming do 20mm metal mules with handlers as well in their Japanese range which I will probably paint up at some stage in time.

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