I've been thinking a bit about expanding the Australians and looking at what figures I'd need and what is available.
At the moment I've got six riflemen, a 2 man Bren team and three with Owen guns. As the Owen guns weren't issued until 1943, that leaves me with a short section for 1942 actions.
The obvious solution is to buy the Warlord section pack (9 rifles and 1 Owen gun). I expect Eureka will be adding to the range, so I might be able to get some more from them at some point. I should also add an officer and senior NCO (who would be Aussies) - I'll probably buy some Eureka figures for these.
Kokoda Trail Campaign
The main units involved in the fighting withdrawal were the 39th Battalion (Militia) and the 21st Brigade of AIF 7th Division. They were later joined and/or relieved by 25th Brigade. 53rd Militia Battalion were also sent forward as reinforcements.
In 1942 the Militia would mostly have been in shorts and socks, so the obvious choice is to use 8th Army figures. Strangely, there don't seem to be many 28mm metal figures available - just some from Artizan and Perry (Vickers and 3" mortar teams). Warlord's Militia section looks much more suitable for the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles, which would be an interesting unit to have anyway.
That probably means going with the Perry plastics (with their metal Aussie slouch hat heads) for the Militia, plus a few Artizan and the Perry support weapons. Unless anyone can point me in the direction of some other 28mm metal 8th Army I haven't spotted.
Weapons-wise they were rather poorly equipped at the start of the campaign - mostly rifles, a few Tommy guns and a few Brens. I'm not sure if they had anything heavier than that (the 53rd certainly don't seem to have had anything more than Brens, which were only issued with some minimal training after they had moved up the trail). I guess I can do without the heavier stuff for them.
The 21st arrived at Port Moresby in khaki drill and headed straight up the trail to reinforce the 39th. They would have been in long trousers (although some switched to shorts during the campaign) and would likely have been in a mix of helmets and slouch hats during the fighting.
I've got more options for these - Artizan's 8th Army rifle, Bren and command packs have figures in long trousers. The Perry metal range has rifle, command and Bren teams in battle dress trousers. There are also the Eureka figures (which come as helmet or slough hat). I'll probably go with a mix and could also use any left over plastics for some men in shorts.
The 25th arrived at Port Moresby slightly later and had been issued with (hastily dyed) jungle green uniforms. That's a relief - I can use the figures I'm currently painting for them. Minus the Owen guns as they wouldn't be issued until the next year. That does leave them a little short on SMGs though - just two figures with Tommy guns.(one Warlord, one Artizan). I suppose the solution to that is to get a pack of Chindits with Tommy guns from Wargames Foundry. Hmmm, they're at Broadside in a few weeks time...
These chaps had some rather interesting campaigns, which would be fun to fight out. In Timor, one of the companies (and I should note that they were large companies - nearly 300 officers and men) occupied the attention of an entire Japanese division for a year (having been thought missing in action for three months until a signaler rigged together a working radio from various other sets).
I've just finished painting the Warlord section, so that's a start. I could sub in some of the jungle division troops to make up numbers (and maybe some of the Warlord Militia section?), but it would be nice to bulk the force out with some other figures. Some of Artizan's North Africa/Mediterranean commandos might fit, but I'd need to do head swaps, although the lack of any swap heads with berets could be an issue. This may need some more thought.
Vehicles and Artillery
Obviously not for the Kokoda Trail campaign, but in later campaigns there were various vehicles involved - the ubiquitous Jeep, Universal Carriers, Stuart light tanks, Matilda II infantry tanks, Grant tanks and the LVT4 Buffalo.
It might be nice to add a couple of tanks - a Stuart and a Matilda - for bunker clearing scenarios.
This would normally be off table for Chain of Command, but it could form an objective for a Japanese raid or counter attack. The Aussies used a short 25lb field gun in New Guinea, which I think Warlord do. Maybe I'll get one at some point.
Phew, that sounds like quite a lot of stuff to expand the force. I guess this will be a rather long term project. Don't forget - I've still got all the terrain to produce, so extra figures (except perhaps the Foundry Chindits with Tommy guns) will just have to wait.