Hope this helps you in your quest
For starters I did buy the larger (4X8) map which is worth the investment IMO. You obviously need somewhere large enough to set it up, and be able to leave it set-up possibly for long periods of time. I bought a used ping pong table (5X9) and just covered it with a cloth. It gives you some room all the way around the map for dice boxes and units etc…. I also had two large sheets of laminated glass on hand that I had cut to cover just the 4X8 map to protect it. Was thinking the next time I reset (the 1939 set-up), I might try to make stickers for the air and naval bases so they are sandwiched between the map and the glass (they tend to move around a bit while playing).
I also bought the shipyards and sub pen markers and from HBG along with Yukon Jack (for India) and Vichy French roundels when I purchased GW1936. I had a doz 12 sided dice from before (6 grey/6 maroon), but you will need to buy them if you don’t have them. You will need more naval and air bases then comes with the G40 Europe and Pac (I just copied several doz on photo stock and cut them out for now). At some point I may buy naval and air bases from HBG.
BTW when we play we swap the Italian units (brown) with the Anz units (gray) in G40. This way when the Italians get into Russia it is easier to see who is who. We also like the color scheme better of Germany in black, and its little brother Italy in gray. This leaves the UK in tan, and Anz or India in muddy brown which seems to us to be more of a Commonwealth scheme. I also scavenged units from my AA revised game that had lime green UK units that I used for India or Anz. The UK, India, and Anz all take their turns together basically as one power, but we still find the need to keep their colors separate. We are using some UK ships (cruisers mainly) with an India or Anz roundel under it as needed.
Besides owning G40 Europe and Pac (to get units) you will need several other units, markers and at least 6 different color chips (besides your normal gray and red for unit counts). Here is a run down of what I did to set-up GW1936. I scavenged other games I have, maybe you have some or can find something similar. Once I see how well we like this game (patiently waiting for the 1939 set-up and rules update) then I will look into investing in more units and individual mods they have at HBG.
I used units from a newer Risk game I had that has Inf, Calvary, and Cannons. You get 6 colors that will match the powers of GW1936 good enough to tell who they belong to IMO. The inf work well for militia because they are smaller and easy to see what they are, plus most Militia don’t move either. You don’t need very many Calvary, each power starts with 2-3, for maybe a dozen in all (but you can build more). If you have a problem you can always place a nations marker under the unit. I may also use the cannons from Risk for advanced art?
Risk Color run down I used:
Cream—UK and neutrals
Here are some other units that you will need for most powers to set-up and play IMO that don’t come in G40 Europe and Pac. Besides a couple risk games I am fortunate to have several other AA games (orig 1986 version, Revised and others), maybe you have some of these games, or can get your hands on them. If not maybe you can substitute units from other games you do have, or use a lot of different color chips to depict unit types? You will need at least 6-12 of each of these units listed below for each power (You said you have access to 1936 set-up on HBG).
There are also many neutral powers to set-up, and Chinese warlords etc…I spray painted some UK units white some time ago to use as neutrals because I had an abundance of them. Others I just used whatever color because most can’t move until attacked or activated at which time you swap out the units for the powers color that will control them anyway. I used a light gray for the Chinese Warlords because that’s what I had available, and they will be killed or swapped out for Chinese units when Japan attacks. I just used a red sharpie to color the base of the Chinese unit to use for the “Red Chinese”.
Units you should have:
Militia (Risk game) need a lot (10-12 each power, plus many neutrals)
Carvery (Risk game)
Coastal Art–Used white AA guns from other versions of AA (G40 has gray AA guns)
Light Tank–I used AA1986 tanks because they a bit smaller and are easy to spot. The 1936 game starts with only light tanks, you can build medium tanks in 1939 (1938 for Germany). Medium tanks are like normal G40 tanks (you could use a colored chip under a regular tank for light tanks, and a different color chip for Heavy tanks that you can build later w/tech)
Fortification—I used little gray block thingy’s that came in a Star wars Monopoly game, but use your imagination
You also need multiple inf types. I used different color chips under normal inf for this.
Mountain Inf (yellow)
Motorized Inf (white) which is different from Mech inf
Power special units (black)
*You will also need to depict advanced units as each power gets advanced units w/tech
Naval and air units.
Coastal Subs—I used my orig 1986 AA game subs that look much different, but have similar colors (you could just use a chip under a normal sub). These units are limited as you can’t build more.
Torpedo Boat Destroyer—Strange, but I used my 1986 AA transports because they were the only ship that looked different and had usable colors (you could use a colored chip under a regular destroyer). This is also a limited unit that the game starts with, but you can’t build more.
Light Carrier— I used my 1986 carriers that are a bit smaller. You could however use a chip, or just sticker carriers: 1 for 1 plane/1 hit; 2 for 2 plane/2hit.
Medium Bmr—I used the bombers from my AA1986 game. They are similar in color and smaller then g40 bmrs (easy to spot).
Transport planes–I used ftrs from my 1986 AA game because of color scheme, and very different looking from G40 ftrs. Each power has or can build them.
You probably don’t have a 1986 version of AA just laying around, but maybe you have other games you could borrow from. You could just use 10-12 different color chips to place under units. Like a green chip under a bmr is a light bmr and a blue chip under a bmr means it is an air transport etc…You just need to make up a chart for colored chips to keep things straight.
Hope this helps you some WB