My hope was to find troops in 28mm that could pass for members of the British equipped Chinese Expeditionary Force, such as you see here:
- Woodbine Design WW1 British infantry in shorts: You can get these figures with Brodie helmets, but the blouse and webbing are not correct. You are also limited to rifles only.
- Warlord Games 8th Army infantry in shorts: The weapons, uniform and webbing are correct, but the puttees are not. Also, when I started this unit, single frames were not available, and I didn't need 30 figures.
- Empress Miniatures 1930's British: The weapons, webbing and puttees are correct, but the blouse is not.
At the end of the day, I ended up settling on the Empress figures. Having figures in trousers verses shorts would give me the option of using them in my northern campaigns as well. Plus, the uniforms are actually similar to uniforms used by other Chinese units, as seen below.
For this infantry squad, I ended up with a 12-man team, including a sergeant with a Thompson submachine gun (though with the old style drum magazine) and a light machine gun team. Helmet decals are from Company B, available in the US from Brigade Games; They are bigger and lighter in color than I would like, but still better than I can paint.
Additional support is provided by a Boys anti-tank gun team. It's not a heavy hitting anti-tank weapon, but I'm hoping it will do well enough against the light Japanese tanks.
Finally, I have a pair of officers. One is holding a map book, and I think he'd look good as an artillery observer. Rather than trying to hand paint a map, I opted to print out an actual WW2 map and glue it down on the book.
Finally, how do the Empress figures compare in size to other manufacturers? My new squad is on slightly thicker bases than my other figures, but I would still say there are a good match with the Copplestone Chinese figures and Artizan British. The Brigade Games Chinese and Warlord Japanese run a bit smaller (mine have their bases padded), but I don't think it will be too noticeable on the table.
|Artizan, Brigade Games, Empress, Copplestone, Warlord|