Given how much I’ve been getting painted, I should maybe think about running either a Slowvember challenge, or even a No-vember one (challenging people to paint nowt)! Anyway, I have finally managed to finish my Japanese infantry on bicycles! I started these at the beginning of the month and did a sitrep on getting them started, since I changed the way they were going to be painted.
The figures are HaT 1:72 scale plastic ones and come 12 to a box (although I managed to get a box with eight Japanese and four WW1 Belgians for some reason). There are four different figures – one with a steel helmet, one with a tropical helmet, one with a field cap and one with a field cap with neck screen. The bikes are all slightly different to fit each of the cyclist variations. One of the soldiers has a light machine gun, the other three having rifles.
I painted them in two groups of four, varying the basic khaki uniform shades between Vallejo Model Color Brown-Green and Japanese Uniform Khaki (the differences are slight in these photos, but very noticeably different if viewed in sunlight outside, as I found when I varnished them)!
Originally I was going to paint an extra eight dismounted infantry to represent them in action, but decided not to. Prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War, most Japanese infantry battalions had four rifle companies and a weapons company, which is how my existing infantry battalion has been modelled (with eight figures representing a rifle company). However, to reduce the logistical effort required to undertake the primarily seaborne invasions of Malaya, the Philippines and the Netherlands East Indies, most Japanese infantry battalions were reduced to three rifle companies before these operations commenced. On that basis I can remove one rifle company from my existing infantry battalion and use it to represent either an additional cyclist or reconnaissance company, whilst still being able to field an effective infantry battalion (or I could just have been too lazy to paint an extra infantry company)!