From: El Paso, TX
LB Types (Barges):
In-game there are four classes of Japanese barge. The 17 meter Daihatsus (2 each) have a little more capacity than the two 14 meter boats, and each class has slightly different armament and a different bmp file (see list below) which never changes. Barges do not upgrade or convert. The in-game profiles appear to be based on the attached document (see #1), although I could not determine the source. (Edit: Found the source - ONI 208-J Supplement No.2 "Far-Eastern Small Craft", Pg 22)
1) 14m Type LB Daihatsu (0162.bmp) - 105 total, the first 35 become available 12/8/41
2) 14m Type D Daihatsu (0160.bmp) - 105 total, the first 8 become available 2/14/42
3) 17m Type N Daihatsu (0159.bmp)- 43 total, the first 13 become available 12/8/41
4) 17m Type L Daihatsu (0161.bmp) - 45 total, the first 3 become available 2/14/42
The US Navy Technical Mission issued a report that specifically focused on Japanese Landing Craft, noting in particular that 85% of them were of the 14m type. In AE the percentage is only 70%, but there are reasons for that, which we'll come to. The most interesting part of the report is the section devoted to the division of responsibility between IJA and IJN:
"The division of responsibility between the Japanese fighting services in landing operations was unusual. The Navy provided escort craft and conducted the invasion force to the pre-elected anchorage. From then on the Army took over completely. All the landing craft and ships used for landing troops and their equipment were designed and built under Army supervision and were wholly manned by Army personnel. The Army maintained a special design and experimental staff at the Tenth Technical Research Laboratory, MUROTSU, which, in addition to designing landing craft and ships, produced submarines for transport and minelaying, underwater forts, special assault craft and other strange vessels and devices (See NavTechJap Report, "Tenth Military Experimental Station", Index No. S-93 (N)).
The naval landing craft were, in the main, improved copies of Army types and were for the specific use of a special naval landing force for purely naval purposes, the assault of strong points, or the capture of a base."
Let's talk about that division of responsibility and how it shows up in-game. Look back at the reviews of AK-type ships (or even the T.1 LSI from a few posts earlier) and you'll see that many of the Daihatsu were loaded aboard ships and used for amphibious operations of one sort or another (i.e. ship-to-shore). But the in-game "Barges" are something altogether different. Although nearly identical in size and function, these are small supply and troop boats which travel from one land location to another. Accordingly, it seems likely that these were primarily IJA vessels, albeit with a few IJN types mixed in.
Keep that in mind when Linton Wells ("Painting Systems of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1904-1945", Warship International, Vol. 19, No. 1 (1982), pp. 21-22) tells us that; "In the 1931 revision of the painting regulations, special service vessels [such as the Daihatsu] were not distinguished from other warships". That certainly implies that IJN Daihatsu were painted in warship grey, but the IJA might very well have utilized a different system - if not at first, quite certainly later as operations moved into the southern pacific regions and the Daihatsu transitioned to their in-game role. Among other things (and certainly during the Solomons and New Guinea campaigns in particular), the Daihatsu traveled fairly long distances in short stages (mostly at night), and usually spent the daylight hours in hiding, often heavily camouflaged with foliage (#2). Accordingly, it's not much of a stretch to imagine that many of these barges were painted in colors that were more green than grey. Camouflage too, perhaps, but I couldn't find any photos which prove that conclusively.
Lastly (and perhaps tantalizingly), there were quite a number of different Daihatsu types which do not appear in-game, but can be represented using a foldered system. :-) So that is the background for what you'll see as we review the colors and profiles for each class of AE Barge, beginning with:
1) 14m Type LB Daihatsu: As noted above, there are 105 in total, 35 of which are available on 12/8/41. A single bmp file (0162.bmp), not shared. One database entry (12/41). No upgrades or conversions.
Colors & Profile: Given their early availability (as a reminder, these boats have arrival dates but are added to the "Barge Pool" instead of appearing at an on-map location), we'll assume that these Daihatsu start off with Naval bluish-grey, and will transition to greyish-grey in mid-1943, eventually shifting to a "rusty grey" in early 1944. The profile will alter slightly from the AE-original, but the most obvious difference is that we'll use a modified version of the CHS shipside (probably developed by Fremen) which does a GREAT job of showing the external support beams which run laterally along the top and sides of the hull (#3 - see photos and description on Pg 14 of ONI 225-J "Japanese Landing Operations and Equipment" - free download available here)
Armament: The 14m Type LB has two 13mm AA weapons with an "all sides" facing (which makes sense for such a small vessel). The existing shipside has one in the rear, but we'll need another, probably near the front.
Here's the foldered plan (for comparison purposes, #4 is the current AE shipside):
12/6/41 = CHS shipside modified and recolored bluish-grey (#5)
4/1943 = Switch to greyish-grey (#6)
4/1944 = Lighter grey with rust (#7)
< Message edited by Kull -- 2/24/2020 7:30:43 PM >