Tuesday, 23 December 2014

From DavidL - 28mm Samurai Skirmish (55 points)

Continuing in a skirmish vein from my last entry, here's a war band (or buntai as the game calls it) for Ronin, Osprey's samurai skirmish game.

This was my first time painting 28mm samurai (I've done 10mm samurai in the past) and I'm now firmly convinced that this particular genre compares very closely to Napoleonics in terms of fiddly painting detail and potential for eye-catching, colorful "uniforms." On the one hand, I love how everything turned out; on the other, I can't begin to imagine painting a whole army of these guys! Lots of detailed brushwork was called for.

I have another buntai in the painting queue, a band of Ikko-Ikki - fanatical peasants out to destroy the system. Rather than painting up a bunch of generic samurai and peasants, and being unable to resist my history-geek tendencies, I've placed both forces in a historical context: the Ikko-Ikki uprising in Mikawa Province during the autumn of 1563 that culminated in the Battle of Azukizaka in January of the following year. That battle was one of the first victories of a young lord named Matsudaira Motoyasu - later known as Tokugawa Ieyasu, unifier of Japan.

The buntai I've assembled here is modeled around the spark that caused the uprising: "Fighting broke out in 1563 when Suganuma Sada, a Matsudaira retainer, entered the Jōgū-ji temple in Okazaki, and confiscated its rice to feed his own men."

Thus, I've chosen to paint up Suganuma Sada and his hungry escort.

Unlike Napoleonics, there is a fair bit of room to get creative with choosing colors and so forth, especially for minor figures like Sada. His outfit is a riot of colors, but I think they hang together nicely. It helps when you have an excellent figure to work with, as with this Kingsford figure.

Although I'm usually averse to doing elaborate, diorama-style basing, I couldn't resist throwing in a Perry casualty figure as I had some extra real estate on the base. (I painted the casualty with a Takeda clan mon, as they were also early foes of the future Tokugawa.) The mon on Sada's back is a decal transfer from Veni Vidi Vici and was, mercifully, quite easy to work with.

I hit the "lacquered" bits of armor with some gloss varnish to provide a bit of a shine.

As was often the case, different temples in the region aligned themselves with either the Ikko-Ikki or the local lord. Here is a warrior-monk (sohei) ally of Matsudaira's from the temple of Daiju-ji.

That blade means business!

For the ashigaru (infantrymen), I mostly pulled from the Ronin starter set put out by Artizan, but I supplemented with an excellent banner bearer from Perry Miniatures. The banner pattern is based on one used by Tokugawa over the course of his career.

For the sashimono (back banners) of the infantry, I wanted to put on the Matsudaira family crest, but it's so intricate I knew there was no way I'd be able to free-hand it like I did the Takeda mon. I was unable to find an easily-acquired set of Tokugawa transfers, so I set out to make my own with some decal paper.

The experiment was mostly a success. The ink ran slightly when I sprayed the fixative, giving the crest a slight reddish outline...but I kind of like how it turned out, actually. Chalk this one up to "happy accidents."

Not counting the casualty figure on the base, there are seven infantry figures and one mounted figure, which totals 45 points. I'll leave it up to Curt whether there are any points in the Takeda casualty as well.

The long holiday weekend promises some excellent painting opportunities, so hopefully I'll be back next week with the Ikko-Ikki!

From Curt:
Ahh, this takes me back to our '47 Ronin' theme from the 3rd Challenge - good memories. These are absolutely gorgeous David! I love the monk's orange robes, and Sada is brilliant in his lacquered armour, but I'm particularly taken by his standard bearer who is holding the stabilizing cords - a wonderful model and very evocative of the period.  
I'm going to give extra points for the mon and the casualty figure so 55 points total. Well done David!


  1. Absolutely fantastic! I'm pretty blasé about historical accuracy myself, but I am impressed when others go the extra mile. That banner bearer with the cords is a great figure, I've not seen one like that before.

  2. Beautiful work, banner cords!! are you mad??? They do look the biz though!

  3. Top draw stuff for sure


  4. I am always too scared to paint up these type of figure. But I do find them inspiring. Really excellent in fact.

  5. Superb work - really eye catching color choices - one of the best entries this year, so far!

  6. Excellent work David. I always love seeing Samurai, even if I do dread painting them :)

  7. excellent paintwork!
    the yellow-orange colour is very beautiful!

  8. Very nice job, a whole army of these on the table would be animpressive sight indeed.


  9. They are works of art alright, well done. Like the use of the gloss as well.

  10. Excellent painting! I definitely would not want to paint a whole army of these guys.

  11. Really creative, and that leader looks great. I've always wanted to do my own decals.

  12. Lovely stuff. I love painting samurai figs, an opportunity o let yourself run free. Great

  13. Superbly painted samurai! Merry Christmas!

  14. Very nice! I love the banners, happy mistake indeed! The ashigru are definitely my favorites, but that monk is awesome!

  15. Not a period I've ever considered but the quality of your painting makes it very tempting. Excellent stuff. Highlights for me are the banners and the vibrant yellow you've managed to achieve. Fantastic :-)

  16. Really cool work! and I just love the orange robes.

  17. Thanks everyone! Just getting back into the swing of things after the holiday (and getting caught up on other folks' posts), but your comments really brightened my Christmas. :)

  18. Really nice. Excellent work on them all. Lots of individual character. Cheers