I’ve got a stash of quite a few figures and vehicles prepared for painting, so after finishing the latest batch of Franco-Prussian War French infantry, the question was “what to paint next”? I don’t often do work-in-progress posts, but I’ve not posted much lately, so why not!
Since I’d primed and started undercoating them ages ago, I decided to go with some HaT plastic 1:72 WW2 Japanese infantry on bicycles. Since all of my WW2 Japanese infantry were painted and then shaded with a wash I decided that these should be no different. I’d already painted the basic uniform colour, so the next bits to get painted were faces and arms, after which I decided to paint the basic bike (see the picture above – not great pictures I’m afraid, but they’ll do to illustrate the process). After painting two (I’ve got eight to do) I realised that this was going to be time consuming and fiddly, so decided to resort to my normal method for painting figures in this scale!
Since the Japanese wore khaki uniforms and brown leather equipment (and I assumed the bike would be painted in their standard artillery brown shade) I just painted a test figure, bike and all, in a very dark brown (Vallejo German camouflage black-brown) to act as the shading coat to the subsequently applied layers (picture above – the camera flash has made it appear more shiny than it is). Normally I’d have painted the bike’s tyres and the soldier’s rifle in black, but I was feeling lazy and decided that the black-brown would work OK as shading on those bits! The only other colour I added was Vallejo saddle brown to the face and hands, since the black-brown would be too dark a shade for flesh.
So I then just finished the figure off in my usual fashion, applying single layers over the shading (picture above). I did, however, opt to use a darker khaki on this figure compared to the Vallejo Japanese uniform khaki I’d used on the figures originally. The bike’s tyres were painted in black-grey and I thought that overall it didn’t look half bad. The soldier’s slung haversack was painted khaki drill, so this displayed the most obvious contrast between the shade and layer colours, but it’s a small area really and didn’t look out of place (it’s not visible in the photo). This guy’s finished apart from his base being drybrushed.
So, having got that done, I thought I’d try a second figure in the same black-brown shading colour but now with the much brighter, more yellow/green, Japanese uniform khaki as the predominant clothing colour (shown above). I painted his face and hands (I always do them first on any figure) and then painted the lighter uniform colour and . . . it looked OK! This is far as I’ve got with these, but I’m now happy that I can repaint the remaining figures in black-brown and they’ll look fine as far as I’m concerned! And painting guys on bikes is easier than painting cavalry!