“A Bastard of a Place”

2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign through the highlands of New Guinea, where the Imperial Japanese Army sought to capture Port Moresby and use it as a forward operational base to isolate Australia from its ally, the United States. An under-prepared force of Australian and Papuan troops was tasked with repelling the Japanese as they advanced along a rugged mountain path known as the Kokoda Track (or Trail if you prefer).

Troops on both sides of the battle fought fiercely, but also suffered greatly from disease along the way. It became an Australian legend and was the site of Australia’s first Victoria Cross of the Second World War. It was also the site of Japan’s first defeat in a land battle and helped dispel the myth of their invincibility.

Recently I was given a number of 28mm Australian models produced (but not yet released) by Eureka Miniatures and have enjoyed painting them in honour of this amazing campaign. Admittedly, they are equipped with weapons that were available from 1943 onwards (Owen sub-machineguns) while the Kokoda campaign ended in November 1942. No matter.

Here’s the first two, and there are four more on the painting bench with base coats only. I’ll upload pictures when they are finished, but in the meantime I am hoping that these 6 are not the only ones in the range (e.g. some nr2 men for the Bren guns, a few riflemen and a Vickers team would be great, hint hint), as they are beautifully detailed models and easily a match for the best WWII figures out there.

Now for some Japanese troops…