Winter Chinese

When Stonewall first brought out their Chinese I thought “I have to get these!” even if it meant buying them sight unseen. Sadly the figures turned out to be quite horrible, with some looking like overfed hunchbacks armed with oversized chunks of wood. That they were done by a first-timer speaks volumes about their sculpting quality.

The helmeted nco is actually a figure from Lancashire games.

The officer figure is wearing a kepi which, according to Jowett, was mainly seen worn by troops involved in the Jehol campaign of 1933. It appears to have been completely phased out by the mid-1930s.

For the uniforms I used the Foundry British Blue Grey triad, which turned out more blue than grey. Although the Chinese were notorious for their lack of quality control, and uniform colours varied immensely, I don’t think they came any where close to being this blue. So I guess I won’t be using the paints any time soon. Talk about sunk costs…

The figures are based on a plate from the Osprey Men-at-Arms title on Chinese Civil War armies, and I must admit that the sculptor’s attention to detail should be praised – even the spare shoes can be seen strapped to the riflemen’s backpacks.

I’ve always wanted to wargame the armour battle at the Kunlun Pass, as well as the Stalingrad-style street fights of Shanghai, Changsha and Taierchuang. But until a decent 20mm range comes along, it must sadly remain  a dream.

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