Back to painting Samurai, with the last time being during the third edition of this painting challenge when it was Samurai themed and the Curtgeld was a 28mm Samurai figure. Back then I wasn't really interested in painting any more so just sold away the remaining minis from that blister, but with some clubmates starting a Test of Honor campaign I was drawn back in especially when we were on a three week trip to Japan when the guys asked me if I'm interested... The surroundings might have had a slightly detrimental affect to my willpower and ability to resist new minis.
So with the hype building I ordered a bunch of stuff from Footsore Miniatures as clubmates were placing an order there and I'd seen some of their Dark Ages stuff which was pretty great. As an added bonus their sets were built specifically for Test of Honor so no random extras left over etc. When the minis arrived I was in for bit of a shock as the casting quality was pretty horrid with massive flashing, random lumps of metal in places like their faces that needed to be carved out etc. On top of that the sculpting quality was pretty low as well with really soft details in places, some fairly akward poses and just downright bad sculpting especially in the folds of the clothes etc. And to top it off the sashimonos are like 0.5mm thick so break off super easily. The characters are a bit better than the Ashigaru, but even that doesn't really save them.
Due to this these minis are getting the unenviable honour of being pretty much the worst minis I own. Arguably some of the Baker Company Winter War stuff is far worse, but at least they have one saving grace in the fact that nobody else makes miniatures for that so you don't have a choice. You can't really say the same about 1500ish Japanese minis... Even with good casting these would be just average even on the best sculpts. If you can avoid them just buy something else. It's a real shame as other Footsore stuff is far better quality and better sculpted.
Anyway enough with the complaining and onto the painting. The 15 Ashigaru models were started already in early December with the goal of being finished before the challenge. But with the minis being what they are they really killed my painting motivation and were left in a half finished state by the time the challenge kicked off. Now with it running towards the end I finally fixed a date for a game of Test of Honor and was forced to finish them as well as paint up the leadership for the force. To get these off the desk I just left them in a fairly basic state with a basecoat, wash and then rehighlighting the largest cloth areas. The Sashimonos were then finished with some decals with the Oda clan rose. I threw in quite a lot of flowers on the bases to add a bit of colour and enhance the look of the minis. As the fights in Test of Honor are skirmishes and usually within castle premises etc. I thought it might be fitting for the warriors to fight within the gardens surrounded by beauty.
For points there are 5 Samurai and 1 Ashigaru Sergeant who were fully painted during the challenge and count for points so another 30 points to add to my total.
Wow, these are stunning! I'm sorry to hear about the sculpting/ casting quality, but you have definitely salvaged them. Samurai are one of the most challenging gaming figures with their details, fabrics, and iconography, not to mention the non-uniformity. A bonus point per model cannot entirely make up for your effort.