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Take over the Pacific with your newly painted Japanese army, using this painting guide by Andy Zeck!


Hey Guys!

Jamie here; regular Bolt Action contributor and speed demon Andy Zeck kindly wrote the below article on how to paint Imperial Japanese infantry quickly and effectively for the table top. The perfect opponent for the United States Marine Corp he covered last time!

You can pick up the models here!
We are always after interesting articles, blogs and YouTube channels to check out! Feel free to contact me at with yours!

Over to Andy:

Andy: Hi again!

My stalwart US Marines will need an appropriate opponent to fight eventually and therefore I will need to paint some brave Japanese soldiers as well. Just to make sure they won’t need to fight those Jerries, Tommies or, god forbid, Soviets!

As always, I am looking for an effective way to achieve a convincing result with the least amount of effort.
It’s not only complete laziness on my side but also the fact that my hobby time is permanently interrupted by irritating stuff like work, family, the dog, etc. In other words, I haven’t got much/ enough of it to spend hours on a single figure.

To speed things up I usually start with a colour primer, here Zandri Dust by Citadel, my preferred brand:


Next the skin in Kislev Flesh.

Helmet and canteen in Steel Legion Drab, all straps and webbing in Karak Stone.

Rifle, ammo pouches and shoes Gorthor Brown.

Puttees Tallarn Sand, mind the cross straps are Karak Stone!

All metal bits and helmet rim in Leadbelcher.

Little collar tabs in Evil Sunz Scarlet (not sure how accurate they are historically but I think a little spot of colour suits the overall picture!).

Teeth white…


General wash with Agrax Earthshade.

All brown and metal parts wash with Nuln Oil:


Highlights with the base colours again apart from them puttees (can’t be bothered and they look ace as they are). The face gets an extra highlight with The Flayed One Flesh.

A good coat of matt varnish (Winsor & Newton Professional Matt Varnish. The best there is. Matter than just Matt!) brings everything together.

I’ve added some static grass to the helmet for the ‘Jungle Fighter’ effect I want my Japanese to have but that’s certainly not compulsory.
Your preferred basing method (I use a homemade coloured sand mix and static grass) and you’re done.

Very easy peasy as there isn’t any camouflage to worry about and certainly manageable in well under an hour. Particularly if you borrow the wife’s hairdryer to speed up the wash to dry. Caveat: make sure she doesn’t notice it as the dryer seems to be some sacred object for some.


And done. Ready for the jungle:


But still outnumbered:

image2 (1)

Happy painting!


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For Japan!


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