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[Sticky] Cheap and Easy - Japanese Tropical Kit Guide

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(@mikoyan99)
Reputable Member

After a days airsofting yesterday, I finally got the chance to put together this kit guide and take the photos.
The intention is to show how easily and cheaply a basic Japanese uniform can be to put together, as I feel this is the biggest obstacle in the way of a PTO game. It details the use of substitute, rather than replica equipment.
I apologise for having to blur the model's face, but he requested it personally as a condition for having the photos taken.
I hope you find the guide useful, please feel free to add your thoughts and comments.
-Matt
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Uniform:

Shirt: Any tan shirt will do; pleated pockets are a nice touch. A used post war French shirt should cost no more than £5.00, and would be perfect.
Trousers: Most light brown or khaki trousers will be fit for the purpose. Removing any side pockets will help. Trousers should be baggy if possible, and tied at the top with a strip of green or khaki cotton. Battledress, soviet M43 and M88 and SA Nutria Brown trousers are particularly suitable.

Web Equipment

Bread Bag: A P37 respirator bag on P37 shoulder strap works well in this role. As Japanese leather pouches are too small to hold SMG magazines, it is useful for carrying spare ammunition.
Water bottle: A P37 water bottle holder and canteen are suitable, suspended in the same fashion as the bread bag. It should be slung from the opposite shoulder to the bread bag, or worn around the neck in the centre of the chest.
Belt and Ammunition Pouches: A brown Sam Browne belt, with or without the shoulder strap works well. Three pouches should be worn, two on the front and one in the centre of the back. French leather ammunition pouches are cheap and in plentiful supply, and fit on the British pattern Sam Browne. Canvas P37 Bren pouches are highly suitable as subsitutes for Type 96 and 99 machine gun pouches. P37 shoulder straps should be worn in the normal way when using this setup. Some modification to the Sam Browne may be necessary to attach them at the back.

Headgear

Helmet: A British Mk.IV steel helmet is close in shape to the Japanese helmet. It should be sprayed matt brown, and it possible a small 5 pointed star should be welded to the front for an IJA helmet, or a small anchor for an SNLF helmet.
A net, or tan cover should be worn on the helmet. If netted, foliage from a fake plastic tree makes an ideal accesory and really helps to capture the Japanese "look"
Cap: The Japanese field cap has a very distinctive shape. I havn't seen a suitable substitute, so I recomend a replica or original cap to those people wishing to wear them.
The cap can be worn under the helmet for additional comfort.
Neck cloth: like the cap and the foliage on the helmet, the neck cloth is distinctive. I havn't seen a substitute, so I recomend making one or buying a replica. A simple flap of tan cloth will do, sewn into the back of the cap or left resting inside the helmet.

Accesories and Footwear

Puttees: Brown or khaki puttees should be worn. There are guides about on how to wear puttees in the Japnese style. Try to tie them from the top of the the boot to just below the knee. If the tapes are long enough they should be tied in a "X" across the front.
Gaiters: WW2 era gaiters may be worn in place of the puttees.
Boots: Brown or black lace up leather boots should be worn. Ankle high boots are ideal, but high leg boots may be worn of covered by puttees.
"Tabi": Tabi are split toe Japanese plimsoles, often worn in tropical areas. Replica tabi are available online (ebay is a good source), or black plimsoles or converse make good substitutes. Should be worn with puttees.
Rank Badges: Even privates wore some for of rank insignia. Replicas can be found online, and should be worn either over the left pocket or on the collar. Making the rank badges is very easy - for a private it is just a rectangle of red felt.

Weaponry
Please see the Japanese weapons guide for details of Japanese airsoft weapons:
viewtopic.php?f=120&t=8652

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 24/08/2009 12:22 pm




Steiner
(@steiner_1609088194)
Illustrious Member

Excellent guide - well done indeed.

When Chomley is back from his hols, we'll try and remember to get him to add it to the kit guides on the home page.


You've got nothing to ein, zwei, drei, vier

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24/08/2009 1:51 pm




(@mikoyan99)
Reputable Member

Thankyou, that would be great.
For an even simpler loadout, tank crew/mechanics/ground crew etc can get away with a tan jumpsuit and Japanese cap:

NVA, PLA and other Jungle green uniforms can be used as well, with the webbing described above. Try and avoid olive/khaki green shirts though, going instead for light tropical tunics, as you'll end up looking like a chindit. The SNLF (Special Naval Landing Forces) were the major users of the green uniforms, although the army wore a similair version at times.
Officers can wear white shirts with 70's flare collars (think Harry Hill!), either by themselves or under tunics/tan shirts. White shirts should always have the rank insignia on the collar, and should be worn tucked out, even under another shirt. A white NVA style pith helmet with Japanese insignia or Japanese cap should be worn with this.
-Matt

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 30/08/2009 7:24 pm




Chomley-Warner
(@admin-infinity)
Illustrious Member Admin

Kit guide now on top menu:
http://www.ww2airsoft.org.uk/zoom/japanese.html

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24/10/2009 4:31 pm




(@mikoyan99)
Reputable Member

Saw that, cheers for putting it up there.
-Matt

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 24/10/2009 7:31 pm




Hirate Sakimori
(@hirate-sakimori)
Eminent Member

Firstly big thank you to Mikoyan99 for the tropical Uniform guide it is absolutely brilliant and well thought out. You have also taken into consideration the cost factor because Japanese Imperial army Uniforms can be expensive so to use this kit is great. I agree with most of what you state and just want to add a few extra bits from my experience and also with regards to more diverse range of IJA I will be doing an IJN list as well if anyone wants to play as IJN elite units.

Just as an additional note there were many campaigns featuring the Imperial Japanese and Naval forces in world War 2.
Many historians could argue that technically world war 2 began two years earlier... yes Japan was fighting since 1937 against China and Other regional powers. There where three main theatres involving the IJA and different divisions were brought in to different places. This leads to a huge diversity of Uniforms and equipment. As with any army really but the Japanese army had its own distinctive features for different forces.

One of the main problems faced by re-enactors in the past was suitable colour photos of various Japanese forces, also there was not as much photos of combat as compared to dress uniform. Hollywood Movies also simplified the "typical" dress to save expenses.

I will make a short list of Uniforms of the IJA with the various campaigns in which they were used. Often these kits clashed and would be seen in the same theatre of operations but where kit is specific to one place because of the presence of elite troops or battalions with certain look to them then I will specify this as well because every army had its elite forces and the IJA is no exception. Just as in 1941 the British 8th Army looked very different to the force that stormed into Italy in 1943 and Flanders 44. I regret that I cannot include any photos at this time, but I will try to get all the kit I have and maybe take the photos myself. So far I have only found one UK based re-enactment group in the London area... and there are none that I know of in the Midlands. :oops: Still onwards and upwards.

The IJA uniform of 1937: Manchuria and North East China campaigns.

Volunteer force, China expedition.
The Uniform of the Imperial Japanese army at this time was similar to that of the tropical uniform already mentioned by Mikoyan99. However the majority of IJA forces at the start of the campaign were volunteers and their uniform was a tan/light green uniform with majority of them wearing the Havelock cap, (mostly without the side flaps) though it seems they did use a Helmet similar to early British Tommy Helmet. This helmet was known for a wider brim than the later standard "Star" helmet. Also the Volunteer force was made up of around 2500 men and they fought alongside a similar force of the Japanese Imperial Navy. More on their uniforms later. The IJA volunteer army was distinctive also because they wore red arm bands and officers had a red sash which was worn on the field as well. Also the volunteer army carried a lot of their equipment with them in large grey/tan canvas packs. Also many soldiers had stout entrenching tools which they would need for the campaign. Weapons wise they carried the standard Arisaka rifles both type 38 and 99 but most officers had revolvers.

IJA 10th Army. China expedition.
The Tenth Army was what made up the bulk of reinforcements to the China theatre in 1937. Here unlike the Volunteer force with their red armbands and older helmet design these crack troops were equipped with the newer "star" pattern helmet which had a shorter brim and more conical shape overall. The Tenth army was a superb fighting force however it's junior officers NCO's and much of the rankers were to earn a brutal reputation after they committed many horrible acts of violence, possibly even genocide. It was the 10th Army which tipped the battle of Shanghai (The Stalingrad of the East) destroying the vaunted 88th Chinese division which were dressed in German equipment. :shock:
Now the Tenth Army was made up of two elite sections the Kunisaki brigade and the 18th Infantry division.

The Kunisaki brigade were an elite force and they dressed as follows.
Brown shirt, not tan or khaki but more darker like a walnut/camel brown. Red facings on collars for all troops and red cuffs and sashes for officers. They wore tan pantaloons. Tan Havelock cap, or star helmet with camo net. Brown ankle boots. Most troops did not wear the puttees. Officers wore white shirts, but sometimes these were wisely covered by the regular brown shirt.

The IJA 18th Infantry division, were like the Kuniskai brigade another elite force. They would later see action in as part of the 25th Army in the strike through Malaya and Singapore and would storm into Burma and eventually be stopped at the Border with India... they ended the campaign in Burma, but one battalion was sent to the Pacific theatre as well. The 18 was perhaps arguably the best division of the war for Japan, so good in fact that General Yamashita was offered four divisions for the invasion of Malaya but he took only two and the 18th was one of those he personally selected. The 18th wore Olive Green uniforms with red collars. Officers had gold shoulder boards as well and would sometimes wear a white shirt under the olive one. They had both the Havelock cap and Star helmets and most soldiers wore their caps under the helmet. Goes without saying that most troops would also have had the water bottle and helmet net. The 18th would also have tabi boots as well as a new pattern (jungle fighting) boot which was black/dark brown. Officers wore tall riding boots, similar to Wermacht jack boot. The 18th Division also had a large number of captured weapons. Especially in their battles throughout Burma. Popular with troops were the Sten and US Thompson guns acquired from Chinese and British forces.

I will post about the IJN uniforms for the China campaign in the next post.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/01/2015 12:20 pm




(@taro_ryuzaki)
Eminent Member

Hi Hirate!
Im glad more people are having an interest in Japanese WW2 airsoft in the UK. Unfortunately a pacific event hasnt happened, yet.
I am a member of the JRA, which (at the moment), is the only IJA/IJN reenactment group in the UK, and Europe. http://www.japanesereenacting.co.uk/
We are based all over the country, I am from Lancashire, we have members in coventry, Norwich, London etc.
Lets hope we can get an event up soon!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/01/2015 5:00 pm




_Arthur
(@_arthur)
Estimable Member

Hi Hirate!
Im glad more people are having an interest in Japanese WW2 airsoft in the UK. Unfortunately a pacific event hasnt happened, yet.
I am a member of the JRA, which (at the moment), is the only IJA/IJN reenactment group in the UK, and Europe. http://www.japanesereenacting.co.uk/
We are based all over the country, I am from Lancashire, we have members in coventry, Norwich, London etc.
Lets hope we can get an event up soon!

There will be a pacific event in France in june this year, just a bit above Paris. So, if you are really 'into' it, this could be something interessting for you ;)

Have a look here; http://www.ww2airsoft.fr/phpBB2/viewtop ... 48&start=0

http://www.ww2airsoft.eu

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/01/2015 5:43 pm




Russe11
(@russe11)
Honorable Member

I too would like to see a game with the Japanese. Not that I want to play Japanese, It's just that I have all the Aussie gear ready :)
Until we have the numbers to do a PTO game, I would recommend just trying to get to any WW2 game with less strict dress code as Japanese. Eventually it may catch on. Otherwise we could do a 1v1 Kokoda trail game sometime :rofl:

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/01/2015 10:20 pm




(@taro_ryuzaki)
Eminent Member

Ohh a event in France??? Merci!
And yes, we need to make this happen!

Here are some pics from a event I went to in Japan, October last year:

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/01/2015 11:53 am




Hirate Sakimori
(@hirate-sakimori)
Eminent Member

Hi Hirate!
Im glad more people are having an interest in Japanese WW2 airsoft in the UK. Unfortunately a pacific event hasnt happened, yet.
I am a member of the JRA, which (at the moment), is the only IJA/IJN reenactment group in the UK, and Europe. http://www.japanesereenacting.co.uk/
We are based all over the country, I am from Lancashire, we have members in coventry, Norwich, London etc.
Lets hope we can get an event up soon!

There will be a pacific event in France in june this year, just a bit above Paris. So, if you are really 'into' it, this could be something interessting for you ;)

Have a look here; http://www.ww2airsoft.fr/phpBB2/viewtop ... 48&start=0

I would definitely be down for making a trip across the water for this :D

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/01/2015 5:54 pm




Hirate Sakimori
(@hirate-sakimori)
Eminent Member

Ohh a event in France??? Merci!
And yes, we need to make this happen!

Here are some pics from a event I went to in Japan, October last year:

Thank you so much for sharing those pics, brings back sweet memories to me. Was this near Sapporo?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/01/2015 5:55 pm




(@taro_ryuzaki)
Eminent Member

Glad you liked it! Here is a video we did at the event as well:

Actually this event was near Mito, Ibaraki (near the girls und panzer town Oarai!), so a bit far from hokkaido! Actually I would love to go there someday...

I am organizing a small party to go to this event in France for members from the UK, it looks a really cool site!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/01/2015 9:04 pm




Hirate Sakimori
(@hirate-sakimori)
Eminent Member

Sweet!

Tar San... Please let us know about details for the France trip I am definitely up for this. I'm currently working some new kit right now. Have my officers uniform at last and just starting the project for my Mp18 SMG.

Oh and Russell 11 an Australian or British Empire clash with the Japanese is one of my dreams too. I have some friends who like British 8th Army, not seen many Australian re-enactors or skirmishers though... reckon it could catch on in summertime though.

In fact I have been on about this for ages but only just starting to get the right numbers and interest. Part of the problem is kit, but one can always improvise.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 02/02/2015 1:30 pm




(@busamenklatura)
New Member

hirateさん、はじめまして。ryuzaki氏の友人のbusamenと申します。日本在住の日本人です。
自分はいつも日本では労農赤軍のリエナクトをやっているのですが、前回のオデッセイではryuzaki氏のチームで日本軍もやっていました。
現在日本軍の軍服を買える店はいくつかありますが、多分神保町か上野の中田商店が一番いいと思います。
もし日本から制服を輸入されるのであればお手伝いできるかと思います。

Hi,hirate-san,I'm busamen,a frend of ryuuzaki. I live in japan and I'm form japan.
I always reenacting as RKKA in japan,and when I joined latest Military Odyssey I also joined IJA group which ryuuzaki belonging to.
There are many shops which able to buy IJA uniform and I think some shops in jinbocho or NAKATA-shop in Ueno are best to buy IJA uniform.
If you want to import IJA cloth fom japan,I think I can help you.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 04/02/2015 7:07 am




Russe11
(@russe11)
Honorable Member

Sweet!

Tar San... Please let us know about details for the France trip I am definitely up for this. I'm currently working some new kit right now. Have my officers uniform at last and just starting the project for my Mp18 SMG.

Oh and Russell 11 an Australian or British Empire clash with the Japanese is one of my dreams too. I have some friends who like British 8th Army, not seen many Australian re-enactors or skirmishers though... reckon it could catch on in summertime though.

In fact I have been on about this for ages but only just starting to get the right numbers and interest. Part of the problem is kit, but one can always improvise.

Australian gear for a pacific game is relatively cheap to achieve. The early gear for all commonwealth troops was normal Khaki drill. Australian Khaki drill does vary from the British stuff but not such that anyone will really notice. Jungle greens for Australians were however totally different from the British JG battledress. Whatpriceglory.com have started doing Aussie JG's

This is a budget Aussie impression. US HBT trousers are cheaper and easier to get hold of. They were also often worn by Australians who were working alongside Americans. I am wearing an army surplus british shirt costing £5. US lace up leggings were standard issue from 1942 but you could just leave the trouser legs loose as most pictures of Aussie troops indicate that they were not big fans of gaiters leggings or puttees. Boots for Australians were natural leather but any tan or brown boots with no toe cap will do the job, I use a £25 pair of work boots. The cheapest hats are from Spearhead http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Spearhead-Mili ... 34.c0.m322 but a helmet would be an alternative.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 04/02/2015 1:29 pm




Hirate Sakimori
(@hirate-sakimori)
Eminent Member

That is an awesome impression. :happyclap:

One day I will complete my Japanese impression... so far the problem is I have no rifle. :/ I have a 1911, Luger 08 and Mauser boxcannon but all are the single shot spring type toys... I do have a GBB Walther p38 which stands in as a "Nambu" substitute...

I've tried and failed to build an Arisaka out of VSR 10 platform, partly because the measurements I got wrong. I used the original type 38 Arisaka design but the original rifle was too damn thin... when the wood came back it wouldn't take the VSR kit. So basically I wasted a load of wood and trashed a springer for nothing. I guess I shall have to try to use the Mosin Nagant or K38s out there... not impressed with the Dboys K98... wonder if the wood version is any better.

I suppose one good thing for me is I have my Granpa's Shin Gunto... old family blade too, but cant really skirmish with it... Though I might buy one of these Larp Katana's and modify it for Banzai purposes :p

ReplyQuote
Posted : 05/02/2015 4:53 pm




fremsley
(@fremsley)
Prominent Member

Nice little Nambu here fella, plus a pricey Ariska.

http://shop.ehobbyasia.com/marushin-nam ... NR6hyusWjB

I'm a hero with coward's legs.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/02/2015 8:27 am




fremsley
(@fremsley)
Prominent Member

ooops out of stock.

http://www.tokyohobby.net/store/product ... php?p=1202

I'm a hero with coward's legs.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/02/2015 8:29 am




Hirate Sakimori
(@hirate-sakimori)
Eminent Member

Oooh thanks for that Fremsley looks excellent and the price is not bad either... looks like I'll be having a Nambu very soon :happyswing:

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/02/2015 3:11 pm




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