House of the Rising Sun – A beginners guide to playing Japanese – Part 2


Hi guys,

last time I was on the blog talking about the fun part of starting a new army. Looking through new lists, seeing what you can squeeze into your points costs and of course, buying new figures.  Now on to the hard work of painting the figures.

I’m wanting to get this army on the table  and gaming as soon as I can so I will be going for some quick painting on these figures.  Quick but still to a good table top standard.

When painting up a project like this I tend to break it down into chunks so that I don’t too bored and I can keep the pace up.  I will start with one of the infantry platoons as that will help me work out how I’m going to paint the rest of them.  Then its onto the gun platoons and scouts, then the Stuarts and finishing off with the last infantry platoon and HQ.  Simple.

So here is my Quick Paint Guide for Japanese infantry.  Probably not the quickest but I find it gives the right balance of speed and quality.  I have used a mixture of Ammo by Mig (MIG) and Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) paints.

  1. Undercoat with MIG Grey Primer (MIG-2002).
  2. Airbrush on MIG Khaki (MIG-071) base coat.Japanese_infantry_paint_001
  3. Airbrush on Japanese uniform (VMC923).  This is a second base coat. I find that the Japanese uniform colour looks better if its put down over a darker brown base coat and yes, I forgot to take a picture.
  4. Block paint in your details.  It pays to take your time here and keep it as neat as you can as I don’t want to spend more time tidying up later. I painted the items in the following order:
    1. VMC 875 Beige Brown on all of the wood such as rifles and entrenching tool handles.
    2.  VMC 860 Medium Fleshtone on the skin.
    3.  VMC 984 Flat Brown on all of the leather work such as boots, belts, canteens and cap straps.
    4.  VMC863 Gunmetal grey on all the metal rifle parts and sword.
    5. VMC988 Khaki on the bread bags and canteen straps.
    6. VMC887 Brown Violet on the helmets and mines on the Nikuhaku teams.
    7. Black for the hair on the figures with caps and scabbard.  Small dot of VMC 915 Deep Yellow for the cap badge.
    8. White for the flags.
    9. On the Nikuhaku teams the bottles were painted with VMC 970 Deep Green and VMC 819 Iraqui Sand .Japanese_infantry_paint_002Japanese_infantry_paint_003Japanese_infantry_paint_004
  5. Once all the base colours are on nice and neat its time for the Army Painter Dark Tone dip.  I know a lot of people look down on the ‘Dip’ but with a bit of practice you can get good results even on 15mm figures.  Paint on a nice even coat.  Make sure it doesn’t pool particularly with any figures carrying rifles.Japanese_infantry_paint_005
  6. Let it dry for about 20 minutes which for me is about the time it take to paint the dip on the rest of the platoon.  You want to wait until it is just starting to dry and has gone tacky.  Dip your brush into some white spirit and wipe down the figures.  You want to remove any pooling, clean up the banners and dread bags and wipe off some of the dip from the uniforms.  The trick here is to wash off some of the dip to brighten up the colours and remove any excess but you do’lt want to do it too much that you remove all of the shading and detailing.  Give it a go as the results are great for the time invested.Japanese_infantry_paint_006
  7. Leave the dip to fully dry over night.  Next use the Japanese uniform (VMC923) to add a high light to the uniform.  You only want to do a quick one layer high light here, nothing more.  So just across the shoulders, arms and raised parts of the legs.  Do the same for the helmets.  Next highlight the straps using (VMC821) German Camo Beige.  Finish off by painting the flags.  That is all the detail you should be painting at this stage.  The base coat and dip should be good enough for the rest of the figures.   At this stage I usually paint the tag of the figure to match what colour I will be using for the base.Japanese_infantry_paint_007
  8. Quick blast of Matt varnish and the figures are done.Japanese_infantry_paint_008

I hope you have found this painting guide useful.  Just keep your base coats nice and neat and you should get some good results off the dip.

Leave any questions or suggestions in the comments below.  Let me know how you get on.

Next time I will be back with my gun platoons and scouts. In that article I will go how I will be basing the figures.

Thanks for reading.