Welcome to Platoon Forward!

Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Creating a Solomons force for Coastal actions

 I am having a lot of fun experimenting with Coastal Patrol.  It is a tribute to Mr Schmidt that it can take my tinkering with the combat system and still give a good game.  I have had US PT boats and Japanese barges for a while now and never got around to painting them.  I use to run Barge busting missions in 1/1200 scale and it was a lot of fun.  To make it a battle you really need some type "C" armored barges and I always allowed for some Japanese escorts.  The problem is I haven't found any of these ships in 1/300 scale.  

Creating the PT boats is easy.

This baby is straight out of the Warlord box.  I added some Heroic and Ros figures to add life to the boat. 

The Type A barges were also easy.

Here is a warlord one straight out of the box.  Interesting that the armament varied but often they had MGs on either side aft.  With this model you only get one gun and attached crew.  Still you do get a gun but it is expensive.  

Here is an action shot from a test game that shows the Heroics and Ros barges.  These are slightly smaller and have no guns or figures at all.  They are significantly less expensive but I guess you get what you pay for.  Since I needed a dozen barges I went this route. I hope to go back and add figures at some point.

Now on to the Japanese type "C" barge.  Frankly I am not even sure what it looks like.  There is a picture on Wikipedia that makes it look like a river boat.  I assume that is an early version in China and Scotia does a model found below.

 I had grand dreams of using plastic card and building up a boat and eraser heads as turrets and then remembered I have 4 russian gunboats unpainted.  

Viola!   A type "C" barge complete with 2 AT guns.  It is larger than the Japanese version but will work I think.  

Now I wanted a Japanese H 38 type patrol craft or the like.  I honestly have never seen a picture but they are mentioned in Mighty Midgets by Clash of Arms. It is about 26 tons and had 25mm guns.  the most numerous on had a triple 25mm mount aft supposedly.  What to do?   

A Russian D3 torpedo boat is about that size...It will work.  Besides I don't think people know what it looks like.  It probably looks like a typical patrol craft.  The problem with the D3 is there is no gun aft.

A russian D---- A Japanese H 38.  I attach almost all my guns with small magnets.  This allows them to rotate, not fall off and I can change the armament on my craft.   First drill a small hole to match the size of your magnet.  In this case I will not go deep enough to make the magnet flush because there is an exhaust pipe that I want my gun to clear.  

Normally you drill deep enough so your magnet is flush as on this Fairmile boat.

Hole drilled about halfway down.

Magnet glued.  Make sure the magnet is level!!!!!  These are a bugger to remove if you mess it up.  Also make sure you have the right polarity for the magnet.  A tip for that is...

Slide a thin piece of card between your gun magnet and boat magnet.  This will ensure you have the correct polarity.  Then place the boat magnet down on the boat.  Slide the gun off the paper and remove the paper.  You now have the correct side for your magnet.

Hull painted but not yet washed.

Final result with a german gun from the bits box.  

Better picture of the final result minus our forward MMG which was found and glued in place.  Now the aft gun rotates and I can replace with a different gun.

In the thick of it!

Hopefully you found this helpful if you are thinking of starting your own coastal forces in the Pacific.

More to come as I have rolled up Lts Hutton and Fryman in the South Pacific!



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