Monday, January 30, 2017

RJW - Finding the Japanese Arisaka 75mm Field Gun

Who would have thought finding Japanese field guns for the Russo-Japanese war in 15mm would be so difficult!!?

First, this gun looks very different than most artillery as the barrel is slung very low in comparison to other contemporary artillery. See photos below:

Since I purchased my initial collection from Mal Wright, and he had some artillery labeled as Arisaka 7cm in the collection, I thought that was the field gun until I found the photos above. The one is the collection looks like mountain gun and that is what I'm going to use it for.

Mal actually sculpted guns for the REALLY USEFUL GUN range (RUG) that Irregular Miniatures currently supplies, however the code that I would have thought match the Arisaka Field gun didn't!!

So, Ian Kay (owner of Irreguler), Mal and I worked out which gun from the range really was the correct gun for the Japanese! We finally found it and here is a photo listed as RUG 42 in the catalog which isn't correct:

Many, many thanks to Ian for being soooo helpful. Now, to field a standard artillery regiment for a Division I need 12 models. Since I needed guns for 2 divisions, I ordered 24 guns, with 2 crew each. I'm currently assembling the guns in 1/2 regiment increments (3 batteries), to be painted and based.

From the HISTORICAL DICTIONARY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR, page 40, this is the information about the gun:

The actual name is ARISAKA TYPE 31 GUN, 75mm caliber, designed by Colonel Arisaka Nariakira and came into service in 1902. The mountain gun version is nearly identical with just a shorter barrel, same caliber and ammunition.

So the only company that makes the correct version of the Japanese Arisaka 75mm gun for the Russo-Japanese war is Irregular miniatures. Old Glory 15s has a model that is close, but I'm pretty anal retentive so I went with the RUGs!

Next up, will be getting these bad boys painted (a whole other problem as I'm not quite sure the color schemes used) and how to adjust their capabilities versus Russian artillery capabilities of the war. For example, Russian only had shrapnel and no high explosives (great against entrenchments and walled villages), however the Japanese did have HE.


  1. I'll need something similar when I do my 25's. I'm thinking this Old Glory gun from the Boer War range might work:

    Looks very similar - called a "Creosot Gun", whatever that is....

  2. So they must have stub axles, as it looks like a full axle would go through the barrel, and yet the wheelbase is quite wide. Interesting.

    I'm always amused at how uncomfortable crew look when riding on those jump seats. It makes you wonder if walking might not be preferable. Perhaps the purpose of the seats is not their comfort but to add more weight to the carriage to ensure that the gun doesn't bounce around too much? That said, I can't believe it's possible to stay in contact with the seat/gun at anything above a slow walking pace unless travelling on a very even road (which is one of those beasts closely related to the unicorn, i.e. something that everybody can describe but nobody has ever seen).

  3. To Brent ... yes, quite. It looks Old Glory has beautifully mangled "Le Creusot", which is not to be confused with Le Creuset (cast iron pots) nor with a wood preserver ...

    Presumably their model is intended to be the Le Creusot 75mm QF, as shown here:

  4. Hey Eric,

    Another new project, very cool! I'm sure you will do your usual top notch job making it come to life.

    (Mike from WIS)

  5. The seats can also be used as cargo space for other items, which the military observers attached the Japanese armies talked about. Sometimes that seats were removed to all more visibility but less protection from shrapnel.

  6. Hi Eric - I used the OG15s Japanese guns for my RJW collection. I will post pictures in the next few days, and let you know. Typically I like Mal's guns that he did for Irregular, but the OG guns are pretty nice - the problem is identifying what (historically) the model represents... since it is just sold as a generic artillery piece. The crew, however, are quite nice, as are all the OG RJW figures.

  7. Hi Chuck, do we like all the same periods of warfare?!?!?! Love to see some photos when you get a chance. You know my email address. Have you photographed the figures in action?

  8. Gl;ad you found what you needed. It certainly is a rather unique (odd) looking gun!

  9. Eric - I have been following your Blog for ages and indeed your arrays of 15mm Armies for a great variety of Periods has indeed rubbed-off on me and I'm hitting out with my own 15mm VSF Project....I find your Boxer Rebellion in 15mm most inspiring. Cheers. KEV.

  10. Another new project, very cool! I'm sure you will do your usual top notch job making it come to life.
    gclub online

  11. just read this post - a bit late to comment. When Jack Alexander made a Japanese gun he told me he was making new wheels as the Japanese wheels had 15 spokes. I laughed saying who would notice but he made them anyway. Shortly after I was in a tourist village/complex and went in the blacksmith shop. I was telling my wife about Jack making new 15 spoke wheels and the blacksmith piped in sayin "Oh, those will be Japanese wheels then". So people do notice.
    Bob Black