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)!


  1. Wow, you did a great job on these guys. If you run a Slowvember painting challenge I’m definitely in, lol. It would be most appropriate if you procrastinate announcing it so that it is too late to do so for November! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Now that is one mean looking biker gang there πŸ˜€ I love the scenery shots of the soldiers too. It really brings them to life and your terrain looks excellent as well! I hope you get your painting mojo back as the holidays approach. I figure between COVID (and not going anywhere during the holiday season) as well as the colder winter weather, I should be productive painting wise in the coming months!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Very nice John but if they cycle as fast as you say you got these painted I am surprised they are standing up! Put me down for next years Slowvember challenge but with lockdown on again I’m not sure I will be participating in NOvember.πŸ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

  4. i really love them john, they have a lot of character and look particularly good on your set up, there is no rush to get stuff painted, it will happen when your ready to do it, i think with everything that has been going on and you under the weather last week its no wonder, we will get through this, have faith..

    Liked by 4 people

  5. You’ve done a great job, John, these look superb.
    There’s just something about them; you can’t help but look at them and smile.
    I’d like to know if there’s a tandem, though, perfect for officers who could sit at the back with their feet up 🀣

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I experienced how tricky the Belgian WWI cyclists from HaT were to paint and put together so I can only offer my highest praise for these, you’ve done a terrific job with them – basing, bicycle and cyclist all. πŸ™‚

    Going into lockdown, I’m hoping to get painting more than I have of late – it’s either that or whiskey to get me through the dark nights and Covid.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great work John ,I remember my old man saying that one of the few times they bested the Japanese on the retreat down the Malay peninsular was when the encounter six hundred of you little fellows and turned there twenty five pounders on them, one can imagine the effect!
    Dad said that was unusual as they usually used the bush tracks and creeks to work there way around behind the Allies and avoided the main roads.

    Liked by 3 people

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