Victory At Sea: Battle For The Pacific – Project Complete (with historical intro)

June 4th, 1942

USS Yorktown under attack (Image source)

Throughout history, there are many dates that are remembered/celebrated/memorialized. In World War II history some of the most notable dates are:

  • December 7th, 1941 – The bombing of Pearl Harbor
  • June 6th, 1944 – D Day – The date the Allies landed on Normandy Beach.
  • May 8th, 1945 – VE Day – The date Nazi Germany surrendered, ending the war in Europe.
  • August 15th*, 1945 – VJ Day – The date when Emperor Hirohito announced via radio broadcast to the citizens of Japan that they will surrender. Signaling the end of the war in Japan. This culminated in Japan’s official surrender, occurring aboard the USS Missouri on September 2nd, 1945.

*August 14th is also recognized due to the difference in time-zones separating USA and Japan.

June 4th, is one of these days as well. Though it is not necessarily on the same spectrum as some of the above dates. On this day, a major Naval battle occurred near a small atoll in the middle of the North Pacific. This battle would have immense consequences that would bring on a power shift in the region. The belligerents were the US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. While there were other players, these were the two naval powerhouses in the Pacific theater of World War II. With the Imperial Japanese Navy expanding their reach further and further away from their homeland. They were looking for strategic points to give them an advantage.

The atoll, from which this battle was named, is Midway Atoll. At only approximately 2.5 square miles in size, it is but the size of a needles point in the vast Pacific ocean. But this tiny area of land was strategically important to the US. It’s importance comes from its namesake. The American held Midway Atoll sits approximately halfway between North America and Eastern Asia. And given the technology of ship/plane building and navigation of that era, this made Midway an ideal refueling/resupplying point for Naval vessels/aircraft. It was also an emergency divert airport for Aircraft Carrier based fighters and bombers.

Imperial Japan knew of this atoll’s importance all too well. Mere hours prior to the infamous raid on Pearl Harbor by the air wings of the infamous Kido Butai, Midway Atoll, which is part of the same chain of islands as Hawaii, was bombarded by destroyers.

A primary mission of the Imperial Japanese Navy during their offensive on Midway was to draw out the American’s remaining aircraft carriers from Hawaii, and destroy them once and for all. An act that would, in theory, force the Americans into submission. Take away their air fighters, and the IJN would have air superiority in the Pacific. Something that, worldwide during WWII, proved to be key. The result of this would also have opened up the Pacific wide. In essence blowing the front door off of the route to the Americas.

It was a pretty sound plan to the Japanese leadership. But unbeknownst to the Imperial Japanese Navy, was that their opposition had cracked their communication codes. Not only was the US Navy expecting them, they were waiting with larger numbers than previously thought possible/available.

This is the first video in an amazing 3 video series about this battle. I cannot recommend it enough. So well done. If you enjoy it, please check out parts 2 and 3.

I’ve discussed the battle of Midway briefly in my ‘Anime With A Side of History’ post about Kantai Collection. But it cannot be underscored enough as to how devastating this engagement was for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The loss of four aircraft carriers in a single battle was a major blow to the IJN. A blow that they would, never truly recover from. Resources were hard to come by for the island nation that had stretched itself way too thin. Rebuilding an entire fleet worth of carriers would not come easy.

On the American side of things, it was their first victory in a major Naval engagement against the Japanese. Something that would bolster their resolve in their push west towards Japan. Also, they had finally gained some retribution for the devastation that occurred at Pearl Harbor years prior.

Victory At Sea

I picked up this small Warlord Games set around Christmas, two or three years ago. If you’ve read a few of my posts in particular, then you may have noticed that I have a deep interest in World War II history. Particularly in the Pacific Naval theater. So when I was shopping around for hobby stuff, and found a game in which you take up the mantle of Admiral for one of the two powerhouses in the war, I had to buy it. And… then it promptly went into my backlog. As new boxes of miniatures do. This was until I decided to break it our for this years Backlog Project.

The included 1/1800 scale miniatures, for the most part, come as one piece of cast resin. Though there are also small sprues of resin bits that make up the smaller parts of the models. For example: for the destroyers, the bits are the conning towers. For the larger ships: the main guns, cranes, and seaplane catapults are all in bit-form. Beyond those, the ships are largely one piece. Each model has its own base, and is part of the same cast. The bases have a texture that depicts the ocean. And pretty good detail is put into this. The waves and wake from the ships are cast pretty realistically. They could have just made a smooth base for these models, leaving the hobbyist to add texture paint themselves. But no, these bases are a nice touch.


Navy ships = a lot of greys, and luckily I had quite a selection on hand. I started by priming them all in Army Painter Uniform Grey before painting over that with a pair of Vallejo Sea Grey’s. For the US Navy ships I used the darker variant. And for the Imperial Japanese Navy, I used the slightly lighter one. The differences are indistinguishable in certain lighting, but I wanted to make the two sides models stand out from one another. Seeing as the models, while different, are also quite similar.

From there I added splashes of some lighter Citadel greys here and there to all of the ships, as well as some blacks and much lighter(almost white) colors. I then applied a healthy helping of Nuln Oil. For the wood-decked cruisers I chose a light colored brown, and then washed them with AK-Interactive’s Naval series Dark Wash for Wood Decks. I did have to do a little research to make sure I was painting wood decks on a ship that actually had wood decks historically. Which sent me into a rabbit hole of history wikis, learning about all the ships different re-fittings and battles.

I had decided early on that I wanted the ocean water of the bases to be a dark nighttime theme. Many of the biggest and wildest confrontations between these two navies happened at night. Like the Battle of Cape Esperance. To accomplish this I used the Uniform Grey primer color as a base and then applied crude splashes of Ulthuan Grey. Then I washed over all of that with a lot of Drakenhof Nightshade, and left that to dry for some time. From there I dry-brushed Longbeard Grey onto the waves and wake. Lastly I added a second light layer of Nightshade. For the rim, I used Caledor Sky and dry brushed the lettering with Longbeard Grey. I am pretty happy with the dark results. As I tend to experiment on the fly with colors. I somehow have good luck in this application.

The Ships Included With Battle For The Pacific

US Navy

Haze Gray & Underway

Fletcher-class Destroyer

Fletcher-class USS Erben (Image source)

Northampton-class Cruiser, USS Chicago

USS Chicago (Image source)

Northampton-class Cruiser, USS Northampton

USS Northampton (Image source)

Portland-class Cruiser, USS Indianapolis

USS Indianapolis (Image source)

Imperial Japanese Navy

Fubuki-class Destroyer

IJN Fubuki (Image source)

Mogami-class Cruiser, IJN Mogami

IJN Mogami (Image source)
I saw some larger scale models with the Japanese flag painted on the main guns. So I gave it a shot at 1/1800 scale

Mogami-class Cruiser, IJN Kumano

IJN Kumano (Image source)

Furutaka-class Cruiser, IJN Furutaka

IJN Furutaka (Image source)

Thoughts and Future Plans?

At an approximately $65 price point(on Amazon at the time of typing this) this small core set gives you everything you need to play some matches and it is all really nice quality. It comes with: 15 models, 2 table mats, tokens, dice, rules, information cards etc. Everything you would expect from a box set. I haven’t had a chance to play the game itself yet. But the rules do look interesting.

Not pictured is the rulebook. I forgot where I put it…

The bases for the named ships(not the generic named ones like the destroyers) have dates on them. Indicating that the model design is based off of the ships design from that specific year. Which I thought was really interesting. Warships from that era often saw multiple refits during their life. Upgrading hulls, weaponry, etc. Some saw major refits that changed their entire design. The shipyards, around the world, were insane back then. They were pumping ships and refits out. You would see a ship with major damage limp back to the yards, only to be deemed good-to-go in a matter of weeks. The Midway example above saw this with the Yorktown. She was badly damaged and the Japanese thought her to be out of play during their attempt to take Midway. Imagine their surprise when fighters and bombers from the Yorktown showed up.

Refits are even a part of the game

Admittedly, I had slightly different plans for this post. I had the date picked out way back in January, when I finished painting this set. But, as you have read(or saw in the video) way up at the top, the Battle of Midway was largely a battle of Aircraft Carriers. The miniature pictures accompanying this post contain zero Aircraft Carriers. I had originally planned on buying some carrier models to paint up and add to this core set. But things rarely work out as intended. My crippling hobby rut returned, and I lost my muse. So none of that played out.

It would be cool to build full fleets for both sides. There are box sets, kind of like Start Collecting sets, but I am not ready to take that leap right now. Maybe if I actually get a chance to play the game and if I like it enough. I would like to pick up some individual battleships at some point though. They are massive compared with the other models.


All of these are true except for one:

Robert is: a Hobbyist, a Music Lover, an RPG Gamer, a Mustard Lover, Chaotic Neutral, a Japanese Speaker, a Veteran, an Otaku, a Table Tennis Player, an Anime Fan, an Aviation Professional, a New York Rangers Fan, a Chaos Lover With Loyalist Tendencies.

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