View Full Version : Re-learning the hobby through Nipponese

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12-02-2007, 19:02
I create this log for several reasons: to motivate me through the ardous task of painting a horde, to get feedback and tips if someone reads it, and to be able to track my own progress. I played a ton of GW games as a teenager, but that is mostly about ten years ago. Recently a friend from those days talked me into sharing a Battle for Skulls Pass box, and here I am, ready to try to get back into the hobby. Alas, my painting skills have deteriorated and grown feeble, my old miniatures are damaged and none of the armies really attracts me enough to carry me through painting an entire army. Though I'm fully planning to get my O&G sorted out (with BfSP, it's at least 1500 pts), It's not enough.

I'm going Nippon on yo ass. With 80% of my old painted miniatures being greenskins, painting humies is a great challenge. With some previous stays in Japan and various japanology studies (anthropology and history), I'm ready to tackle them. My supplier of choice will be Perry Miniatures. Their sculpts are the most detailed, their range is the biggest and they look better next to GW products since the twins themselves made some of GWs best sculpts, especially for Empire. They are also priced within my budget. While I do love my cute Dixon samurai, they are much smaller (25mm) and a friend was sort of accurate when he labelled them "ewok samurai", so that's a no-no. But they are still cute and far easier to paint than Perries, so I might take a few pictures of those too and paint them for the sheer pleasure. And I'm not going to convert an entire army from GW products. Come on! I've sort of forgot how to paint, so I ain't going to go into the deep end of the pool at once. I might make som nipponese terrain later, to fulfill my fancy to building stuff and inventing. A castle would be the perfect way to crown the achievement once done, but that is far into the future.

Painting, colour schemes and army builds are influenced by several books, mostly all those lovely Osprey books, but also some books I picked up in Japan, mostly catalogs from museums and history books. My choise of army to portrait pretty much stems from living in the birth town of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Okazaki. That's why the army will focus on the eastern army at Sekigahara, but I might add turncoat clans (likely) and perhaps some western forces if the army grows too big and my guys need someone to stare at on the shelves. The rules are Empire, with DoW units. A late samurai army is all about spearmen, pikemen, handgunners and some shock cavalry. That's Empire in a nutshell. Hordish Empire with almost no artillery, so it will hopefully be entertaining to play against. Large units of spearmen and a thousand banners. I hope it will look nice when finished.

My oh my, that's a lot of pikes! 80, to be exact. The miniatures arrive in cardboard boxes, not blisters.

My immediate goals: paint two units to get used to painting and figure out what colours works. Try out home-made transfers. Yes, I'm going to try to make transfers for the heraldry (mon). My freehand painting sucks, I tried to make squares on the first ones...


...and I sighed. I tried to make some weird version with paper...


...and it's very obvious up close. I just received some inkjet waterslide transfers and transfer solution, so I'm anxious to see how that turns out. Could be neat, and I'd like to share that learning experience too if someone gets tempted to give it a shot. Stay tuned.

Spears vs. pikes. The leftover spears will be useful for scenery or whatever. While the pikes lack detail, they seems to be extremely sturdy and also about the right lenght (4.8 m)

I can't prime my newly arrived pikemen today since Sweden is a cold raining hellhole of slush and I can only spray outside. I blame the crappy lighting on all my photos on the fact that "natural light" as a phenomenon doesn't exist here during winter. The sunrays are too afraid of the cold weather and the rain. Hopefully I'll be able to prime tomorrow. Next step will be to get all my current nipponese painted, and that's

18 swordsmen samurai (hello greatswords!), 12 are painted
18 pikemen ashigaru (hello DoW?), not primed
2 banners (out of 4)

Since the transport from Nottingham takes a while, I might order the next unit really soon. I'm thinking of musicians, some additional pikemen to sort that unit out, and some handgunners. I don't feel secure enough with painting common soldiers, so going for cavalry will have to wait a while. I have until summer to get most of this done, so some discipline will be needed.

So, I'll wrap up my first in what will probably be a long series of long-winded posts. Thank you for reading!

12-02-2007, 19:13
The obvious paper mon (non-)solution didn't really show on that picture, and there's this limit and all, so here's a better one:


It's good enough for tabletop I guess, and it's only visible up close. So, I guess I'll leave them. However, it's definately not good enough for more visible banners, such as the bigass 6 meter tall ones, so I felt I needed something better.


My tiny, but proud army in all it's painted glory. Unpainted soldiers lack honour and had to wait outside the picture like the filthy pig-dogs they are.

12-02-2007, 19:16
ooh, Nippon, and more Perry models. I'll be wathcng this :D

Good looking painting so far, keep it up :)

12-02-2007, 19:27
Since I know Mephistofoles, I almost have a duty to follow this project! Besides, it's interresting! :D

And, oh, btw lilljonas! I will hopefully soon get started on my araby army based on perrys! Just letting you know, hopefully you will be happy to have another perry army to follow :P

12-02-2007, 19:47
I'm looking forward to that Vattendroppe; always nice to see some variety. Be sure to put a link in your sig so i don't miss it :)

12-02-2007, 20:01
Arhalien: Welcome aboard!

Vattendroppe: sounds great, the Swedish Perry Army is being mustered. ;) Yes, Mephistofoles log inspired me to make my own log, and showed me how good the spearmen could look in units. Keep me posted on those Arabyans, so I can come by and whine for camels.

12-02-2007, 21:05
Large units of spearmen and a thousand banners.Won't your opponent get 100 Victory Points for every banner? That's a 100 000 VPs... :confused:

...I can't prime my newly arrived pikemen today since Sweden is a cold raining hellhole of slush and I can only spray outside. I blame the crappy lighting on all my photos on the fact that "natural light" as a phenomenon doesn't exist here during winter. The sunrays are too afraid of the cold weather and the rain. Hopefully I'll be able to prime tomorrow. ...
A while ago I read a thread on GESSO in the M, P&T General Discussion forum. I tried it out, it seems to work good as a paint-on primer, assuming you remember to wash your mini beforehand. I paid 183 crowns for almost ½ liter, but I think I will sell half to a mate.

12-02-2007, 21:13
Excellent Nipponeses! Count me as subscribed. :)


13-02-2007, 05:28
Won't your opponent get 100 Victory Points for every banner? That's a 100 000 VPs... :confused:

No, since they won't be able to take any of the Nipponese banners! Grawhaha!

13-02-2007, 08:21
This looks very interesting, I've been gazing at Perry mini's for years but never picked up any... that may change soon.
I look forward to seeing this completed in all its glory.

13-02-2007, 21:09
Argh, winter rain, I curse thee! Again, rain kept me from priming my newly arrived pikemen. But that doesn't mean I can't get something done. My first task was to get them ready for priming. They had a lot more flash than the swordmen, especially at the hands and the scabbards. Nothing that couldn't be removed, though. I really get tempted when preparing those sculpts, more so than the samurai: they have bigger areas that aren't covered in details and textures, so I'll get to use more layering and such fun stuff. And while the sculpts are simpler in some ways, they still have all the proper details, like the rice rations and their extra sandals tied to their belts!

My new unit is getting ready for the campaign life

Washing my miniatures is something I didn't do before, but since I'm about to try to do things proper from now on, they get a good scrubbing. After all, hopefully I'm not as Attention Deficit as I was as a teenager, so these extra steps will get done properly. Hopefully.

Ashigaru swimming around, enjoying the scent of 'Raspberry and Summer Sun'. No, I'm not the one buying the soap in my household

Washed up and feeling all nice and soft, the little soldiers were easily suckered into getting permanently glued to their pikes. After some mishaps, they rank up fine and dandy. The pikes are truly robust.

My two units, side by side. Honourless pig-dogs who are half painted are, still, not allowed

I went to the local hobby store today and picked up some new paints. I didn't find my Shining Gold to be... well... shining enough, so I got some Burnished Gold. I'll use it to fix up the golden details of my painted swordsmen. Also, I got Chestnut Wash and Black Wash. I can't remember using washes when I was younger, so I'm going to play around with those and see how it turns out. Also, I'll try to contain this little shuffle going on on my bench. It's not a rebellion or something. Not at all. Nothing to see here.


mrtn: I want to use a lot of banners. Actually, I'd need about one banner in each rank to make it look really good. Or banners in the entire front rank. However, that would probably not be suitable for gameplay, so I'll see how I'll do. At least I have all those back banners (sashimono). I couldn't find anything about GASSO when I searched on the forums, though.

Voronwe: Welcome aboard!

Vattendroppe: Indeed! Noone will ever steal a single banner from my proud men. They'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands!

Bluesabre: Welcome aboard! I'm also looking forward to seeing them, I already feel that I take more pride in them than my O&G, even though I still hold them dear. And painting Perry Miniatures has had further effects on me, not only am I tempted by their other ranges, I'm also more tempted by other historicals from other manufacturers. I wonder what might be next...

14-02-2007, 06:10
Looking good as they say in americat!

And yeah, **** the rain! But it's funny, we haven't have rain or snow here during the days, but it might come?

14-02-2007, 11:24
mrtn: I want to use a lot of banners. Actually, I'd need about one banner in each rank to make it look really good. Or banners in the entire front rank. However, that would probably not be suitable for gameplay, so I'll see how I'll do. At least I have all those back banners (sashimono). I couldn't find anything about GASSO when I searched on the forums, though...The thread about GESSO. (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65373)
Note how important spelling can be sometimes, eh? :D

14-02-2007, 12:35
looks great dude, so good in fact I just trooped over to Perrys website but i cant find any prices so i have emailed them for details.

I want some!!

14-02-2007, 12:40
Vattendroppe: Lot's of that annoying cross between high humidity and puny rain going on non-stop here. I've been warned to not spray in high humidity, but I might brave the weather today, as there's been no actual rain yet.

mrtn: Thanks. Adn vhats tis baot me splling?

sleazy: You find the prices under "ordering information".

Code A - £6
Code B - £7.50
Code C - £8
Code D - £16
Code E - £3
Code F - £10
Code G - £20
Pike/Spears (reduced) - £8

and a flat cost for P&P, 12% for UK, 15% for Europe and 18% for US. Since you don't save money with big orders, it's like they ASK me to order a few guys every week, those bastards...

14-02-2007, 12:45
I've not heard such a warning, but I can imagine it can do great difference. Since we have a garage I can always be and base coat in, I have never had to watch out for the weather though...

BTW, how do you subscribe a thread? Since I misclicked and unsubscribed this thread...

15-02-2007, 13:53
It's been some busy days, first I had to go to the eye doctor. Appearantly I see double at long distances, think of it as a constant and free buzz. However, no problems up close, so it doesn't affect my painting. Also, I had to help a mate move to his new flat. But that doesn't mean I didn't get anything done.

First, I primed the pikemen. There's a public graffitti wall just around the corner, so I can run around with a spray can without the police wondering what nefarious business I might be up to:


After that, I sat down to finish the last swordsmen. Here's from the front...


...and from the back...


Since I haven't found a good printer for my transfers yet, They still lack their heraldry. However, I do think they look a bit better than the first ones I did. Together, they form my "warm up unit". Ranking them up is a tough job, due to the banners:


Now they just lack musicians, banners and a champion. I sent a new order which includes all of that, so they'll soon be finished, and I'll also have a complete command for the pikemen. I also ordered the next unit, but I won't say what until they arrive... now, I'll just have to decide for a painting scheme for my ashigaru. I'm thinking white, black and red.

vattendroppe: I got some "greyish" results when spraying in the humid air, so I must agree that it's best to avoid if its possible. Two coats of thinned down Chaos Black sorted it out, though. I have no idea how to resubsribe, did it help to post a new post in the thread?

15-02-2007, 14:02
Now they just lack musicians, banners and a champion. I sent a new order which includes all of that, so they'll soon be finished, and I'll also have a complete command for the pikemen. I also ordered the next unit, but I won't say what until they arrive... now, I'll just have to decide for a painting scheme for my ashigaru. I'm thinking white, black and red.

vattendroppe: I got some "greyish" results when spraying in the humid air, so I must agree that it's best to avoid if its possible. Two coats of thinned down Chaos Black sorted it out, though. I have no idea how to resubsribe, did it help to post a new post in the thread?

Nice progress! The swordsmen are looking nice! Can't wait to see more of this!

The red and black will probably fit up nicely with the samurais, will the ashigeru be of the same colorscheme or will they be differed like the samurai? (IMO they should be more ordered, since i imagine that their armours aren't personal)

Yes, it did help to get away another post. But I've found no way to subscribe to threads without posting in them here at warseer.

15-02-2007, 14:05
Check the "Thread Tools" link in the header of each thread for subscribing

The samurai look sweet. Could you post a comparison shot with some standard GW mini?

15-02-2007, 14:08
Yes, the ashigaru will be uniformed, and hopefully that will make them so much easier (and faster!) to paint. I'm thinking of doing them "almost uniform", that is that a few will substitute their white shirts for another light colour (light blue, grey or tan) and some of the red clothes might be substituted with brown or mauve. Keep them tied to a scheme yet have some variation, so they tie in a bit with the samurai.

And yes, most ashigaru had their armour supplied by their lords, which is the reason they had far more uniform armours. Uniform armour among samurai were not common, but existed.

15-02-2007, 14:33
As required, some comparison shots:


The usual suspects. The unpainted Besieger is the closest I can come to a WHFB human, unfortunately. All together I think they suit the GW sizes better than expected, considering that they are 28mm but not "hero scale".


Eat japanese steel, green ogre!

"Flee the abomination!" (ah, how I loved my SotHR)

15-02-2007, 14:35
Nice - fitting perfectly sizewise and better proportioned than GW minis. Now I'm tempted :D

16-02-2007, 23:04
The ninja from Kyoto says: "you must update, lilljonas! You are on the 4th page! Get a move on, already!" Oh well..

Painting twenty miniatures at the same time is a bit daunting, but I painted all the skin and then I basecoated fortress grey. And then... I realized I had missed the feet on the barefooted soldiers. D'oh!

Anyhow, I'm trying to decide whether the combination of grey, scab red and black is too dark, or if it will look bright enough after highlights and basing. Any ideas? I'm prone to paint my minis very dark and gritty if I don't watch out. It looks good for single miniatures (especially 40K), but I'm not that sure that it will look good in big units or as a part of an army. So... bright and shiny or dark and gritty?


16-02-2007, 23:07
looks good, will look fine if highlighted up to brighter colours ( e.g. blood red and scull white)

17-02-2007, 06:57
I don't think you'll have to highlight any more. IMO additional highlighting will make them look bright in their colour.

17-02-2007, 09:16
Good work on those Lilljonas, and thanks for those scale pics; I;d always thought of Perry minis as being smaller than GW up till now.

Brother Loki
17-02-2007, 10:50
I'd highlight up to a fairly bright red, like the samurai in Ran.

17-02-2007, 11:53
The pikemen is good as they are.


18-02-2007, 20:02
Nasty cold + weekend + nothing but re-runs of Scrubs on TV = one painted unit!

Yes, even though it was rather numbing at times, I sat down and went through all 18 pikemen in more or less one go. I took more care than with my swordsmen, and I think they turned out a bit better. First of all I had inks, I used Chestnut ink for the skin and black ink for more or less all of the rest of the minis. Also, I tried out the tip to add some washing-up liquid to the water. At first it felt a bit strange, but once I got used to it I felt I had greater control over the paint. Also, my fingers are now permanently tinted with a citrus fragnence, due to wiping off excess water on them. Oh well.

The unit in all it's glory

I left some details unpainted on purpose, such as the tiny ribbons holding the plates together. Why? Simply because I tried it on a few, and I simply couldn't do it in a way that didn't look craptacular. I might give it a shot on the next unit, though.


And with that, I completed the goal of painting the entire unit before the next arrives by mail! Now there's just one thing left, and that's the golden insigna I'll have to paint on all the helmets. Now, what would be better: to try to paint it on, or should I buy a gold pen such as the ones you can find in art stores? Which way sounds better?

Ornithoticus: I decided to stay with the scab red, since brightening up the rest of the colours and basing them sort of made the red stand out more. How do you think it turned out? Also, I might do a brighter unit later on.

Vattendroppe: I went with the scab red without much highlights. How do you think it turned out?

Arhalien: Thank you! Yes, I was afraid that they wouldn't size up and that they would look silly compared to their larger counterparts. Now I don't think there'll be any problems at all. However, I had to discard some ideas from other ranges, since I think 25mm would be to stretch it a bit...

Brother Loki: Great movie, great use of colours. However, I settled for scab red. Do you think it worked? I might try out a brigher red later on, since many readers seems to like the idea. Perhaps some crimson cavalry? Should look nice...

Voronwe: Thanks! I think they look better now with some highlights and shadows, and I'll settle for scab red on these.

18-02-2007, 20:33
Wow this thread is interesting :D Your nipponese look great! Great painting and very good choice of colours.

Hey vi har samma sorts linsbehållare ;P

18-02-2007, 22:17
Anardakil: Thanks for the kind words. Now I really don't know what to do until the command and the next unit arrives... pom pom pom... *starts to look at the piles of unpainted miniatures*

Och nej, det är inte mina linser, det är min inneboendes. Jag körde med engångs tills jag tröttnade och beställde nya glasögon, som väl borde vara på slipning nu.

19-02-2007, 01:20
Very nice looking unit, I especially like the guy with the pink shirt. :)

Do you have any ideas for character models yet?

19-02-2007, 09:07
They're looking excellent, lilljonas, although I can't get why one has a pink shirt.


19-02-2007, 09:33
Nice miniatures!

Get more painted!


19-02-2007, 10:03
Pink Shirt Guy: the talk of the town. Anyways, he's not alone, in the unit there's three pikemen with pink shirts, two with baby blue shirts and one with pallid flesh, but that's hardly visible. Also, there's some brown pants there too. There were several reasons for these additions. I wanted the unit to look a little more interesting than just a bunch of clones. I wanted colours that didn't stand out too much, but still broke up the pattern. Also, considering that my samurai units will be more diverse in colour, having a slight bit of diversity in the uniform units too will, hopefully, tie them together a bit more. We'll have to wait and see if that theory works.

Here they are from the back, where the colours are more obvious. I must say the dialogue from Reservoir Dogs played in my head: "Why do I have to be Mr. Pink?..."

We be kickin' it Band of Brothers style

The extra detail is spiffy, for example the extra sandals you can see on some of their backs, tucked into their belts. I was really unsure whether to paint the cloth hanging from their helmets, but I finally left it black. White would be the much more common colour.

And here is today's treat:

It's the Dixon Daimyo, paying a visit to inspect the troops! As I've already said, I love the Dixon sculpts, though they have some problems. First of all, a ton of detail is sacrificed and simplified, making them a lot easier to peint. However, they are less realistic portraits of samurai, and therefore mixes rather badly with Perry Miniatures extremely realistic versions. Also, they are shorter (25mm). But the greatest problem is their proportions, they do look like ewok samurai: nice, characterful and lovely ewok samurai, but ewok samurai no less. Notice the base being painted green and then flocked: I didn't like the result, and that's why my new samurai have their bases painted brown and then flocked with static grass. Since they are supposed to be in a muddy field during rain, it works I think.

spikedog: Thank you! The pink shirt have their fans and opponents, it seems. Character models... I'll definately get the Tokugawa Ieyasu posse sooner or later, though they are modelled correctly: sitting far away, surveing the battle. Perhaps I'll just assemble them as a diorama that I pluck down next to the board, and leave the fighting to his generals. They are a better fit for the role of Warhammer generals. Other than that, it's mostly riding generals with their banners being carried in tow by footmen, so I might add mounted heroes in infantry blocks. It might be difficult to explain why my cavalry have some footmen running behind them at M7, shouting "Wheeeeee!". PM has Ii Naotaka, which can easily be used as Ii Naomasa, and any of the other generals (c'ept Kato Kiyomasa, I think) could easily be used as any general present at the conflict. Ii Naomasa leading red-clad cavalry could look sweet. I haven't made any decisions yet, though, so requests and ideas will be considered seriously.

Voronwe[MQ]: Thank you, and see my post on the pink-shirtedness gamble.

Zodiac: Thank you, and strangely enough I am in the position where I lack any more units to paint up! Weird thing, I know! But don't worry, the next order should arrive this week. Inshallah.

EDIT: Oh, when seeing the picture of the Daimyo, it was pretty obvious where the painting scheme for my pikemen was born! They do blend in fine, I think.

19-02-2007, 22:07
Okay, so I have no miniatures to paint. So, I could either sit and gaze at my navel until the next unit arrives...

...or I could try to make my very first terrain to match them! My terrainbuilding experience is extremely limited, and amounts to having put together cardboard buildnings from old Warhammer boxes. But this log is about trying out new stuff and learning as I go, so what could lead the way better than a spectacular failure?

Anyhow, first I need to decide what to do. Browsing around, I found the Empire housebuilding guide (http://uk.games-workshop.com/empire/building%2Dhouses/1/) from the GW site. The cardboard house looked simple enough, so after a trip to the local supermarket to fetch masking tape and matches, I'm good to go.

So, what should I build? I wanted something simple, something without too much detail or tricky angles and stuff. Perhaps some barracks? These were built in large numbers as the armies grew in size and therefore needed more space to store weapons. When the soldiers turned from being farmers who took leave for campaigns into semi-professional or professional soldiers, they had to have somewhere to live. Hence, a large amount of wooden barracks that were either razed after the wars ended or burned down during WW2. Only a handful survived to this day. Luckily, I have photos of some.


The first problem was the cardboard, I only had very thin (Cornflake box) cardboard and "triple layered" currogated cardboard. It's very thick. But I took what I had, and started working.


From my reference photos, I took the idea of a door sunk into the house.


And to make it more interesting, some stairs. The cardboard kept falling off and behaving badly, so I stuck it in place with a large amount of steel pins. After a dozen, it was rock solid.


I used masking tape to cover the holes of the cardboard.

to be continued with more pictures in 5 minutes...

19-02-2007, 22:14

With some cardboard from cereal boxes, I added wooden panels...


...and windows. This is from the front...


...and this is from the back.


With a ton of masking tape, I attached the roof.

to be continued...

19-02-2007, 22:15

And then it began, the longest, most tedious and probably the worst part of the building. I had to add round tiles, and I wanted to try out halved, cut off straws for it. It was fiddly, it took a very long time, and I'm not exactly pleased with the result.


The soft plastic is simply too fiddly, and the rows becomes very uneven. I'll have to wait to see how it looks painted, but I'm pretty sure it'll be the worst part of the house. Other than that, I'm pretty satisfied with my first attempt. Granted, it's about 150% the size of what it should be, but well, I improvised almost everything, so I guess such things happen. At least I can use it to get some better proportions to any future houses. After all it was some fun 7-8 hours spent, and it will be fun to paint it. Then my ashigaru will have somewhere to live in!

20-02-2007, 04:11
That building looks great I really like it, it should look top knotch when its painted.

20-02-2007, 18:00
The first thing I did in the morning was to discard the top of the house. It really didn't work, it was brittle, ugly and just kept falling off. So, instead I had to turn away from the japanese architecture for a while, and went with simple rectangular tiles.

Anyhow, I painted the areas that would be white and the base with white glue and sand, and then I painted the house with cheap acrylics from Winsor & Newton I had lying around. Since I needed two extremely thin layers of acrylics to even get close to cover the plastic straws, using gaming acrylics would be stupid.


The wood was painted but not coated with Dark Flesh, and after some fiddling it looked like this:


With some static grass, it was done. Here is from the front:


and here is from the back:


It turned out better than I thought while I was constructing it, mostly because I scrapped the craptastic rooftiles and made new ones. It's still pretty basic, and it is pretty obvious that it's a first time job if you scrutinize it up close. It's also a bit off scale, instead of 9 cm tall I should probably have made it around 7 cm tall. But from a distance, it works well, and I'm satisfied that my ashigaru now have a place to crash!

Later during the day, the envelope with the minis arrived from Perrys! I've taken them out and examined them, but since my little brother will be visiting me tomorrow, I don't know when I'll have any progress to share.

Hope you liked my little building project, it was fun and easier than I thought, and I really think all you people who haven't dared to make terrain before to give it a try. Having themed terrain to your army is pretty sweet. If I get some good ideas, I might make more, even though it made a holy mess out of my room, cardboard pieces everywhere!

Spikedog: Thank you, and after todays update you'll be able to judge yourself how it turned out.

EDIT: Learning points:

* measure more. Almost everything was done and cut as I went, and there's some angles that are off and some uneven things here and there.

*be more careful with masking tape. It can easily let go if you're not careful, which can look crappy.

*do some thinking about proportions before.

*don't do stairs with triple cardboard. It's just way too big.

*be more careful with adding sand. I'm not that happy with the stairs, and the sand on it doesn't really help. I might be looking into some proper texture paint if I'm going to do more of these houses, with fine and even grains.

20-02-2007, 18:07
Ooops, I've missed this for a while. Great work on the spearmen there. I also have to agree with you about ewok samurai, and is it just me, or do they not have chins? :)

Very good house as well, it's worked very nicely :)

I'm wathcing for more! :D

20-02-2007, 18:25
Arhalien: No, they don't have any chins, but neither does ewoks, right? ;)

Thanks for the kind words. I just took out the new guys and started to put them on bases, and they are really starting to give my tiny force the feeling of actually being a force. I'll try to get them done ASAP so I can take the first group pictures.

21-02-2007, 01:24
I think it looks really good when painted lilljonas, the woodwork especially. I think the only thing I would change for the next one would be to give the white plaster walls a little bit of shadow for depth in the corners, not much just a little very light yellow or brown.

If you made a nice little village of these I htink it would make a great and very eunique table feature! You said you were thinking of makeing a castle at some point in one of your posts. I don't know if you have seen them but here in Japan they sell unpainted wooden castle kits, There are some that I have seen that are about the right size for your models. It could be a good way of getting a fantasic centre piece without spending too much time. (You would still have to put it together and paint it though)

I look forward to seeing more models too!

21-02-2007, 07:37
Been watching this since fairly early on lilljonas, and I'm loving every bit of it. I've always loved Samurai history and legend, and I think what you're doing with all this is fitting the bill extremely well. Keep up the excellent work, sir :)

21-02-2007, 08:43
Spikedog: I might give the corners a little dot of chestnut ink, should work.

I've only seen and made Doyushas excellent castles. I have several of them, and have a habit of making and painting one every summer when I'm working at my "baito" close to where my parents live, and therefor has to move there temporarily. I've done Himeji, Gifu and Edo this far. But they are between 1:350 and 1:600, all of them. I've been looking for castle kit producers for a while, but only found them in these scales or larger. I've only really compared to Fujimi, and their plastic kits are like half the price, so their lower quality is expected. Wooden versions, you say? I'm extremely interested, how well are they made? Are they kiddy models or are they made for all the die-hard modellers over there? If you can find a name of the brand and a price estimate, you might become one of the true heroes of this log! :) After your post I've been scouring the net and ebay, without results.

Althanan: Thanks, your words of encouragment is like the oil that makes my painting machinery working at a high gear. :)

21-02-2007, 09:42
These are the sort of models I mean:



Site that sells them. (http://www.hlj.com/hljlist2/?MacroType=Oth&SeriesID=All&x=19&y=12&Dis=-2&GenreCode=Jpc)

They vary from 1/40 to 1/70 so I'm not sure how well they would match up with the models, maybe 1/40 would be best but it would not be small! Plus they are certainly not cheap. I have seen them in person though and they are spectacular to behold, if money is not so much of an issue it would make an amazing centre piece to an army/table.

21-02-2007, 11:15

Those were indeed exceptionally nice! Yes, 1:40 would be the best I think (28mm is mostly compared to 1:50-1:60, right? I've seen the figure 1:58 floating around a lot), though 138 000 yen is completely out of the question! :cries:

I wonder how well 1:70 would look next to 28mm, the Kinkauji from Art Model K1 was indeed nice even though it's not a castle, and 35 000 yen it's almost bearable if I save some money. But hey, these are like 6 kilos of wood! Incredible is just not enough of a word to describe them. And if someone donates a ton of money to me, this (http://www.hlj.com/product/AMK007) will definately be built.

*drools some more*

21-02-2007, 11:41
Yea the Kinkauji was the one I thought would be perfect for wargaming, it is not too expensive (Compared to some of the others) and should be reasonably sized to fit on a table for play. The only question would be how the size matches up with the models, unfortunately that is a hard one to check. If I ever do a Samurai army, which I was tempted by, I would get one of these as a centre piece.

On the flip side, maybe you can find some plans or templates for similar models on the net and make one yourself, I mean maybe it wouldn't be as detailed but it would certainly be cheaper!

21-02-2007, 12:11
Here's one Nipponese building from German GD last year.

21-02-2007, 12:32
Blast it! Snow today, so no possibility to prime my newly arrived minis. :(

Spikedog: Yes, after the army is more or less complete and I need something to throw money at, I might pick something like that up as a piece de resistance. But for now, terrain will be on hold or made of cardboard, simple as that. *sigh* And yeah, I posted on The Miniature Page's board about templates, been looking all over but only find boring texts about japanese building laws. And about not to expensive... well, the 40K players have their Mantas and their Reaver Titans, I guess this is as close I get to that.

CENOBITE: oh my god... don't really like the idea of stacking things on each other like that, and the colour isn't my cup of tea, but obviously it can be done. It's just that I also have to be able to store it somewhere... :D

21-02-2007, 17:24
This army is looking absolutely sweet so far, how big are you planning on doing it?

I'm looking forward to maybe facing this menace one day, so that you and me could get into some real china vs. japan fanboy hacking goodness!

21-02-2007, 23:16
Mephistofeles: Oh, you're so on! ;) As a confessed fan of your cathayan horde, it would be a pure pleasure. When they deploy on the same table, the sky will burst open and forks of pure energy will lick the face of the earth. The dead will rise from their shallow graves while a host of angels battle deamons. Wicked crimson deamons with horns and electric guitars and nuclear tanks with *bleeping* race-car stripes!


Well. Yes, the army. My initial goal is to make it 500 pts and bash my friends dwarfs. The thing is that I have yet to buy the Empire book, so I don't know if I'm close yet. To be honest, I've never played Empire, and I haven't played WHFB since 5th ed (and most of my battles were during 4th), so I'm completely out of the loop here. But if I keep on at a decent pace, I will have 2000 pts and some scenery before summer. That would be a good goal, about 500pts/month. I could even cheat and add some expensive cavalry or magic items if I'll have to to reach the point limit. I don't think I'll be quite as hordy as your army, so reaching 2000 pts should definately be possible, especially since I'll easily sacrify in-game kick-assness for good looks and a characterful army.

Todays progress leaves much to ask for, thanks to a certain blizzard that has ravaged my parts of Sweden all day. No priming could be done. I did clean up the next unit, so here's a picture. This page has been going on far too long without any pictures:


From left to right: first the champion of the pikemen, a mean fellow who has to perform the task of leading a unit while holding a spear that's 1/3rd of the size of the rest of the unit's pikes. Next is a drum carrier and a drummer, they'll be musicians somewhere, depending on which unit requires the bonus model the most. Then there's my new pride, the arquebusiers, lead by a stern commander and a banner. I really like how they form up their firing line. Finally, there's the second musician, blowing a horn made of a huge seashell. Not seen on the picture is the odds and ends of the command box and the banners and musician box: I now have 2 archer command, 1 handgun command, one spear command and a whopping 3 extra banners, and that's if I give my handgunners a banner, which would be suicide I think. I'll probably just paint all those excess standard bearers up to put in units when on display, as banners are cool. Simple as that. Then they'll get to cheer from off table once the hostilities starts.

I've starting to work on the background for my units and my army. I think it would be impossible not to while fiddling around with your miniatures. But frankly I have not that much of a clue about WH Nippon, there's so little official fluff... oh well, once I've figured out the details I might add a little. For now, I'll probably just use the unit names in the log.

Here's to hoping for better weather tomorrow so I can get some work done.

22-02-2007, 23:34
I can't sleep, partly because of this: http://www.atlanticajuegos.com/imagenes/imagenesArticulos/675/SHOGUN-1web.JPG

I've been doing some measuring from photos, guestimates and sketches and stuff, and if I base it on a medium-sized castle like Inuyama, it would amount to a (to me) staggering 40-45 cm in both height and width. That would pretty much make it impossible on a gaming table I think, but it would look nice. If I base it on a much smaller castle, like the only remaining parts of Yoshida castle (basically a castle that wasn't completed, and so the main keep was never built), it would be a more reasonable 25-30 cm big, but not nearly as imposing. Having seen some examples (like the link), some solutions that I kept wondering about became obvious, and I really don't think it would be THAT difficult if I buy the right materials(oh, am I going to have to eat those words). I even think the maker of that castle took a few short cuts more than necessary, I'll probably go for more realism at the expense of grey hairs. However, it's still a huge task, and would require a lot of materials. Also, I would have to decide early on if I would make the interior visible through removable roofs. So... does the idea float, or should I focus on getting my army completed? Good idea or useless distraction? It would be a complete pain in the ass to even move, not to say store!

I'll also have to figure out what I think is the hardest part, making the stone foundation. Could that be achieved with styrofoam and grooves made with a dull pen or something, or will I have to do the completely daunting task of sculpting them with magic sculpey or green stuff? I keep looking for sites with examples, but nothing turn up.


Me at Inuyama, for references. Here's better photo's from all angles: http://www.japan-photo.de/e-burg05.htm


Yoshida castle. Notice the stone foundation: that's what I'm most unsure about.

23-02-2007, 02:25
You know I think that is the castle that the Perry Twins use, I'm sure I have seen a picture of it on their own website. Its very nice but how much is it?

Have you thought about using Hirst Arts (http://www.hirstarts.com/) moulds to make the base for your building, I'm sure you could get just one of their moulds which would enable you to produce more than enough blocks for this and any future projects you need them for.

I find it is nice to have a small distraction when working on such a huge number of models, maybe everytime you finish a unit you can reward yourself by building/painting a little more of the castle. Plus if you have to wait for models to arrive then it's something to fill the time with.

23-02-2007, 03:53
Spikedog: you're ideas are good as always. Well, yes, it's the same castle as from the Perries site, it's from a feature in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy about how to build japanese castle scenics. I'll have to see if my dad has back issues of it, it could be useful.

I'm not sure about Hirst arts, both because I need a random look, and I need sloping angles. Also, I worry about it becoming way too heavy, this could turn out really big. I'll have to consider some ideas, and I'll probably make a smaller fortified house first just to try out what works and what doesn't. But yes, the whole "project on the side" thing makes a lot of sense. Thank you. :)

Easy E
23-02-2007, 07:28
I love it when people build terrain for their armies. It adds a lot of character.

Keep up the great work. Perry Miniatures rule!

23-02-2007, 20:01
Today's class: playing with styrofoam and making a complete mess!

Yes, I finished my exam at noon and took the bus to the DIY stores outside town. Lo and behold, swedish DIY stores is the suck. I could not find decent sized EPS (that ultra-tough styrofoam-ish thing people keep talking about on terrain building sites) and I could not find MDF that wasn't sold in enormous sheets (at $50+) and too thick. Also, no balsa wood in any store. So I bought wood glue, a big sheet of styrofoam and some other small things. Foamcore (which also was unheard of) and balsa wood will have to be aquired online, so I thought I'd build the foundation first. So, tackling my first styrofoam work, I eagerly packed up my things and cut away.

Nothing says inspiration like a huge sheet of styrofoam

Cutting up the squares and making sure they fit

Books and... motivation putting pressure on the parts after gluing

Ok, this one is not so obvious: since the walls will be sloped, I drew up where I would cut the bottom and where the slope would end on the top. After that, I realized I wanted a less steep slope, and had to adjust. Measure twice and all that. The blue line is from the wing, who I needed to measure up properly for dimensions of the first level of the tower.

to be continued with more pictures...

23-02-2007, 20:10
The bottom is trimmed down. Now I just have to make the slopes.

Oh noes! Using an exacto knife to do the edges and then a shoddy kitchen knife to shave of and even up the walls, I make it as snowy inside as it is outside! Do things like this outside in summer, in an easily cleaned up garage or in your nemesis' bed or somewhere. Doing it in your room on a carpet is perhaps the most stupid way to do it, I'll be covered with the things for weeks, even after a thorough vacuum cleaning.

I hate sandpaper, but with styrofoam it's pure bliss. I swear, sandpapering the entire piece took less than a minute, and it became really even and nice. The styrofoam didn't stand a chance. And with that, I have a mouth full of styrofoam residue and the base of the castle! Next step will be to make out the actual stones in it, and wait for foamcore and balsa.

Easy E: Thank you! The only threat to my army is that building stuff is so much fun, it'll easily take a lot of time off from painting...

24-02-2007, 01:55
This is awesome stuff man, keep it up. I'm a big fan!

24-02-2007, 11:19
Oh my ,that house looks absolutely fantastic, and it looks so easy to do! Great work, I love it!

I also really like the other models you have painted, how many models are finished now?

*edit* just saw that castle, and I sure do whish you great success in your endevours, you have really gotten me to start planning my display base and the remaining parts of the army now, I truly have a worthy innovative opponent to best now!

24-02-2007, 11:43
Alathir: Knowing that someone wants to see me update really makes me work more diligently. Thank you for visiting, it really helps me stay focused!

Mephistofeles: Indeed, I'm the Moriarty to your Sherlock. ;) My "finished" models are just like, 12. Then there's 18 spearmen and 6 swordmen who are painted, but lack either mon on their sashimono or golden mon on their helmets. Minor detail. So basicly only 36 tabletop worthy minis as of yet.

The castle will be huge. See it as a challange to you. I'll be punching out the stonework today (halfways done). I can't wait to see what your display base will turn out like!

24-02-2007, 18:50
And I'm back from vacation, terrorising all perry-threads with my comments again! Pain in the ass, hu?

Looked through the adds quite quickly and the idea of terriain seems marvellous. Just pull it off nicely and I'll be stunned!

(btw, got my visa-card today, so hopefully I'll order from the perrys tomorrow)

25-02-2007, 21:42
In the old grey medieval ages, aka the 80ies, Prince August made plaster moulds, somewhat like what Hirst is doing nowadays. However, the PA moulds are bigger pieces of wall/floor, and not individual stones. I've used PA moulds to make stone walls, and if I were to make something like this I'd use those. However, I've no idea if you can find these mould at Tradera or ebay or something, I doubt they'd be very easy to find new... However, who knows?
Here's something I made with them; http://s8.photobucket.com/albums/a4/mrtnw/Miniatures/Mountain/

26-02-2007, 14:04
Ugh. No process during weekend, sorry 'bout that. But on to the good news: I had ordered some foamboard (50*70 cm) from a framing shop, and today it arrived. That means that I can start tinkering with the first level. I also bought some sculpey, which might, I say might, go into the inane idea of custom-making all the tiles. But that is a later issue.



I punch/draw the outlines of the stonework with a pencil, and then filled it in with a magic marker for it to show on the photos and for me to keep track on the process and have a decent idea of how it will look. Then I used filler to fix the parts that just didn't work, especially around the edges where styrofoam would loosen. I really should have looked more carefully for a denser plastic, but that's a lesson learned for future projects. Anyhow, I'm thinking of coating it in a layer of wood glue to seal it, fill out the texture and to make it more rigid. Would that be a good idea?

vattendroppe: Your terrorization is always welcome. ;) Good luck with the order, and don't forget that warseer needs more perry project logs!

mrtn: Thank's for the tip. Quite a few told me to use sculpts for the stonework, but for some reasons I chose not to. A) it's probably both quicker and cheaper to do it yourself, B) japanese stonework for castles are really random and a lot less "brickish" than most european castles, and C) the slopes and especially the sloped edges would make it difficult with a sculpt, I think. But sculpting the tiles, now that's an idea... We'll have to wait and see how this version turns out, and whether it's back to the drawing board or if it will look good enough.

01-03-2007, 14:08
So, the week started without much to show, but with the foundation based with three layers of acrylic paint (I hate styrofoam!), it was time to paint it.


I simply took the colours, one at a time, and drybrushed up three or four layers. Nothing subtle, so to speak, but the thing is HUGE, and I wanted it done this year.


When the going gets tough, the tough outsources to the cheapest labour in town, gobbo slaves!


Done? I'm not sure if I've got the colour right, if the walls are too dark or not. It's difficult to know before the rest of the castle is in place, I think. Sorry for the shoddy lighting, it was difficult to get "not dark as a closet" or "superglossy and shiny". What'dya think?

01-03-2007, 14:12
It looks good to me, I'm not so sure about the different colours though. Seem to me that they would have made the base all out of the same type of stone but saying that we are playing a fantasy game so what is real isn't always what looks the best.

Either way when you have a castle sitting on top I'm sure it will look great. Get those gobbo slaves working faster!

01-03-2007, 14:18
*goes into research spiel*

Actually, I put a lot of thought into that. There's basically two versions: if you built your castle where you had ample supplies from a local quarry, the castle usually have more or less the same colours on it's foundation. However, a lot of castles have a much more varied base. Compare with this photo from inuyamajou, the basis of my castle:


Basing it on a solid grey or brown would indeed be much easier (like Gifujou, who's almost all brownish-red), but again, I took the difficult road. However, I'm not sure that my colours are realistic yet, I find them... not faded enough. Perhaps some very light bleached bone drybrush over almost all of it? Or even with skull white?

01-03-2007, 14:21
Threat the goboos with whipping and a horrible death to keep them working faster than they were the moment before! I can't wait to see this one finished! Go gobbos, go gobbos (crap, I never thought I would be saying this).

The stone looks nice, even though spikeddog have a point with the all-stones-from-roughly-the-same-place-thinking. However, this can be explained by taking stones from several pits that were close to eachother. One idea I thought about now is that you could always try to figure out patterns in the stone-base and paint them in different colours, making it look like dragons or that kind of stuff. It would take insanely long time though (maybe want some gobbo artists with that one? ;) )

Another idea if you feel that the stone is to mixed may be to just add drybrush layers of the same colour. (I will not talk about the stone, since it can be really hard to get colours right from pictures).

Anyway, with a castle on top I think no one will complain about the stone beeing in different colours anyway ;) Looks nice!

And keep whipping and killing those slaves!

Everyday one learns something, I didn't know about the stones! Then I'll give you large amounts of credit to the stone-work instead! Way to go!

As for the fading-project I think I'd start off with bleached bone. If it doesn't give much effect you could always add some skull white after.

01-03-2007, 14:29
vattendroppe: Oh, yes, I've done plenty of homework on this stuff before attempting it, so who knows, perhaps there'll be some edutainment value to this project. You'll all end up knowing way, way too much about japanese medieval architecture, no matter if you want it or not. ;) And those reference photos will bite me in the **** later on, when I'm forced to do all that carpentry under the roofs. :cries:

On other news, a ridiculous huge amount of balsa wood is on it's way, the shop I ordered from has a minimum order value of 150 SEK (that's like 10 pounds or so), and since one meter of balsa stick costs about 2-3 SEK... I'll have plenty to cut up and play with when it arrives. So that's the current bottleneck, after that I have no more excuses.

EDIT: and the reason for the stones of inuyamajou, it's simply that it's built on a hill next to a river on a plain (making it a hirajiro, "plain castle"), so they had to send the stone on the river from several quarries. Hiroshimajou is a good example of the kind of stonework Spikedog referred to:


Much smoother (and a beautiful castle to boot!).

01-03-2007, 14:35
One can't learn enough from japanese architecture!

It isn't that much money anyhow? And It's a LOT of balsa to play with, this way you can afford many misstakes and therefore experiment a lot :)

01-03-2007, 14:40
No, it's not that much money, it's just that it makes an awful lot of balsa! On that subject, the budget is pretty reasonable this far, most of the money spent are on things that aren't permanently lost like a new steel ruler, lots of wood glue, pencils and such. Terrain is much more fun than it is expensive!

01-03-2007, 16:09
Very awesome! Keep the colours like they are, and start building the castle.
But keep the main keep ( wordplay :D ) removable so that you can easily drybrush the sides if it looks crap!

Keep working you!

01-03-2007, 17:12
Zodiac: The first floor won't be detachable. Though, the very idea of Mordheim Nippon gaming is enough for me to seriously consider making every floor after that removable, even though that means that I'll have to model the interior. I'll go looking for something to make tatami mat texture tomorrow, probably simple cloth would do.

And yes, once the balsa arrives, those gobbo slaves will learn the meaning of the word "toil"! Until then, they're sitting on their lazy bums next to my orcs, gleefully resting.

04-03-2007, 17:06
Today's challange: how much can be painted in one evening?

I've already done the skin areas of the next unit:


and some command:

From left to right: arquebus champion, hornblower for greatswords, drummer for pikemen, guy carrying the drum, banner for pikemen, banner for greatswords, champion for pikemen.

Oh, and as a 'thank you' for all the great feedback, the army is recruiting! Yes, we want you on board the Imperial Nipponese treasure fleet, to wreak havoc on all who are insolent enough to not pay tribute. Basically, all non-rank and file are up for grabs if you want to either name one, get one named (I can Nipponese it) after your user name or the same but from your real name. Join the army, see the world and hopefully scewer a lot of honourless pig-dogs!

It's 6 PM. I should be able to paint until midnight. Ready, steady... speedpaint! :)

04-03-2007, 17:15
This army is progressing well Lilljonas, keep it up!

Nice to see people using a bit of imagination with there Warhammer armies.

04-03-2007, 18:40
Good luck with the speedpainting (I won't be up to see the result :()

That banner dude with the ropes from the top of the banner is just awsome! Don't really know why, but he just felt so real when i was him! Amazing, great idea! The skin looks really nice, hope you get all finished by tomorrow! :)

Vattendroppe would like to be recruited to the nipponese ranks of lilljonas btw ;)

05-03-2007, 02:30
These look great and your thread is highly entertaining!

Oh, and as a 'thank you' for all the great feedback, the army is recruiting! Yes, we want you on board the Imperial Nipponese treasure fleet, to wreak havoc on all who are insolent enough to not pay tribute. Basically, all non-rank and file are up for grabs if you want to either name one, get one named (I can Nipponese it) after your user name or the same but from your real name. Join the army, see the world and hopefully scewer a lot of honourless pig-dogs!

Sign me up!!!

05-03-2007, 19:12
I'd like to join the army, on the condition that I get to keep my moustach and beard. :D

05-03-2007, 19:20
Regarding yesterday's question ("how much can lilljonas paint in an evening"), the answer is "not that much". I'm way too slow, I ended up just doing the basecoat of four colours:


The lighting makes the hats look grey, though I can assure you that they are very black indeed. And will stay black. And the rest wasn't painted today either, because in the morning, my balsa arrived! I shanghaied some gobbo slaves, and set to work with the gate.


Gah, there's not enough room behind the gate to make some proper stairs. I'll have to scratch that idea, though I'm still going to do the interiors.


It's not straight, it's not perfect, but it works. Then I cut out the walls, with windows, and made sure they fit all around. I won't glue them in place yet, because I'll have to do some miniature carpentry before I fetch the glue. And now it is very obvious that I severely underestimated the amount of balsa that would be needed. Two to four meters of most of the sizes sounded like a lot before I started to measure things, but now I might have to order more even before I'm done with the first floor. Wooden flooring will have to be surrendered, and I'll do it with cardboard. Here my slave drivers are having a briefing:


Paulus: Thank you, I'm doing my best, even thought the models and the castle surely pulls attention from each other! And yes, making something of your very own sure is funnier than just assemble plastic boxes.

Vattendroppe: Glad you liked him! The added ropes really makes him something special, I'll take a better photo when he's painted. The position as banner bearer is free, you want it?

Snotteef: Thank you! Since the Nipponese Imperial Army is such a civilized force, you are free to choose what you want to join as. Any special position that you fancy?

06-03-2007, 04:06
Nice work on the riflemen lilljonas, and the castle looks spectacular thus far. My applause, sir, my applause!

06-03-2007, 06:01
Vattendroppe: Glad you liked him! The added ropes really makes him something special, I'll take a better photo when he's painted. The position as banner bearer is free, you want it?

You bet I do! Anyone would like to carry such cool banners to battle! Otherwise they have no honour! :D

I really like the look of the gate there, too bad you couldn't fit in some stairs though :(

And about the painting, take the time you need, the most important thing is that it looks good when it's finished!

06-03-2007, 13:30
Just a quick update, to show what's been going on today.


Here's a better picture of how the first floor is progressing. The walls are glued in place now.


This is how the first floor will look like inside. With the whole "no place for stairs" issue bugging me to no end, I solved it through putting a hatch that leads to the very secret stairs. It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than a gaping, black hole. The black cloth is something that I might use as tatami floors, I'm not sure yet and I have no idea how it would look painted. And yes, I am too lazy to paint a sample to find out *sigh*. The third room will house the stairs to next floor, I almost forgot them!


The interior walls will be paper doors, and they are easy (but timeconsuming) to create. I just measured, cut them out from a A3 size sheet, and then made the frame out of strips of cereal box cardboard. After adding a few more strips, you get something like this prototype:


The rest will have slightly smaller squares. Now I just have to finish 15(!) of these. I'll also try to finish the floor, which will be covered with planks made out of slightly larger cardboard box strips.

Althanan: Thank you, your applauses pleases me, and a pleased lilljonas means double rations of slop for the gobbo slaves! Therefore, you have their gracious (yet malicious) thanks.

Vattendroppe: Then the banner is yours. I'll put up better pics once it's painted. And oh, I also made a lock out of green stuff on the door, so now it looks better.

EDIT: Wohoo! 5th page!

06-03-2007, 13:46
My first choice, of course, is to be one of the running samurai with swords!!! If that position is not available, then sign me up for a pike.

I love the fortress so far. I think the different colored stones are great!

06-03-2007, 14:49
Oh, and as a 'thank you' for all the great feedback, the army is recruiting! Yes, we want you on board the Imperial Nipponese treasure fleet, to wreak havoc on all who are insolent enough to not pay tribute. Basically, all non-rank and file are up for grabs if you want to either name one, get one named (I can Nipponese it) after your user name or the same but from your real name. Join the army, see the world and hopefully scewer a lot of honourless pig-dogs!

Sign me up, honourable Lillhonas-san! Are you planning on having cavalry? Because I'd love to be an actual Bushi with the horse and bow!

Great models, and that castle is simply fantastic - a game played over terrain like that would be a joy, even if I took my bits home in a bag, if you get my drift.

06-03-2007, 18:59
Progress halted by excellent movie: Pan's Labyrinth. One of the best movies I've seen in a long time, with one of the creepiest antagonists ever. A good movie that becomes a must-see if you are into either Wood Elves or Beastmen, if I had one of those armies I'd be painting, converting and making terrain like a furious madman right now. Top of the line. Now I just need to go back to work, and those screens will be done at least.

Snotteef: I'm planning to make one of them a champion by having a slightly different pattern on the banner, you can lead the unit if you want to. :)

Darknight: cavalry will be added at some point. Not in the next installation though, those are a detachment of halberds, which are actually ashigaru armed with naginata. But after that, perhaps. Though, this is too late a period for mounted archers (PM doesn't even carry them in their range), so I'm most likely to get spear-armed samurai and use them as knights. The reason for waiting with the cavalry was to see if my painting quality would improve first, since I think they are worthy a top-notch paintjob. And no, I did not catch your drift. Me am mighty slow.

06-03-2007, 19:05
I'd like to join the army, on the condition that I get to keep my moustach and beard. :D

You still hiring? If not I heard that the Cathayans are...

06-03-2007, 19:20
mrtn: I'm so sorry I missed your post! Moustaches are appropriate Nipponese style (you can actually see quite a few among the troops), and as a fellow beard-wearer I would not accept any sort of discrimination against such a regal coiffure. Any specific post that you are interested in?

Oh, and don't listen to those Cathayans, we have better pay, lodgings in a (halfbuilt) castle, and... and... and we have a dental plan!

EDIT: not to mention that they are honourless pig-dogs.

06-03-2007, 19:20
I did not catch your drift.

I simply meant that a game on that terrain would be fun, even if I lost really, really, really badly! It's lovely stuff!

06-03-2007, 19:31
That would be awesome! I appreciate it. I'll remember this when I get my brettonians started up ;)

I can't wait to see more! Right now, this thread is my sole reason for visiting the forums. Good work.

10-03-2007, 09:26
mrtn: I'm so sorry I missed your post! Moustaches are appropriate Nipponese style (you can actually see quite a few among the troops), and as a fellow beard-wearer I would not accept any sort of discrimination against such a regal coiffure. Any specific post that you are interested in?

Oh, and don't listen to those Cathayans, we have better pay, lodgings in a (halfbuilt) castle, and... and... and we have a dental plan!

EDIT: not to mention that they are honourless pig-dogs.I could be a musician, I used to play the saxophone... :D

11-03-2007, 04:15
lilljonas-sama, I humbly present myself to you in a request to join your army. My sword is yours to command.

What? I figured it'd be appropo to do it all fluffy-like ;)

12-03-2007, 07:33
If you don't do this castle with possibility to open up every room so that one can play mordheim in it, I'll kill you. It's to darn nice to miss that opportunity!

13-03-2007, 04:37
this whole endeavor is awe inspiring. :eek:

Kudos sir!

13-03-2007, 11:23
I am very sorry that I haven't been able to update, and frankly I won't be able to do it until Saturday or Sunday. But your kind remarks are both appreciated read and will be answered. ;)


15-03-2007, 19:05
Great project so far!
I personally would never dare to start building a castle.
Have you heard of Zvezda plastic Samurai? Link (http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.asp?manu=ZVE&code=8017)

15-03-2007, 19:55
IMO it's bettter to stick with one maker of the minis as far as possible, that way they hold the same style.

15-03-2007, 22:22
Snotteef: Thank you, sorry to not be able to produce that much right now, RL stuff literally keep me prisoner (I have two japanese living in my small studio apartment this week, and they'll stay most of next week). I'll redouble my effort once I'm on my own again.

mrtn: Then you'll get to blow the horn for the swordmen. ;)

Althanan: maido maido, welcome to the army. Pick a chair, some tea and a pike or something and enjoy your stay.

Vattendropp: I'm doing the interior. It's slow, and I'm making soooo many mistakes! Right now, there's just so many things I could have done better with design of the paper doors and walls. However, the good thing is that it gives me the urge to make a second one, utilizing what I've learnt from my mistakes. Or I'll do something slightly less insane, such as making a house or something.

Faeslayer: Oh why, thank you! Hopefully you'll enjoy the reinforces that'll arrive later on.

superknijn: Actually, my dad has them. They are nice, but way, way too small for warhammer scale. However, I have seriously considered them for proxies. They are nice. I've never painted those soft plastic miniatures though, so it would be a fun experience. But it mostly comes down to this: the biggest obstacle in getting my army going is not the cost of buying the miniatures, it's getting them well painted. Since dad seems to be following my painting log (Hi dad!), he might mention this the next time he calls.

vattendroppe II: return of the vattendroppe: I agree. The problem is bigger here, since the zvesda ones are so much smaller.

25-03-2007, 15:13

Ah, it's so long since I updated. The reason being that Mio (my gf) and her friend invited themselves to my apartment for, well, almost two and a half week before going back to Japan. So I had to entertain two vikingified RL nipponese, at the expense of my tiny nipponese friends.

Mio to the left and Zura to the right, getting aquainted with the excellent beers of Denmark

But now I'm alone in my apartment, so I sat down and quickly finished the handgunners. It was mostly basing and a bit of highlighting left, so it didn't take too long. The painting scheme is pretty much the same as for the pikemen, the main difference is that the helmets are black and the helmet cloths are tan. I've tried and horribly failed to paint golden heraldry with a brush, but it's all covered up with black again. I'm anxiously waiting for the 3mm round caligraphy gold pens to arrive at the art supply store, but they've been out of stock in every art store in town since back in February, so that will have to wait until I get my hands on some. I tried and I simply fail to make freehand circles with a brush. It's simply impossible. *sigh*


I like them a lot, and I'm almost contemplating adding another unit further down the road. They were really fun to paint! They are also the first unit with a little more detailed bases, the previous units simply had the bases painted brown and added static grass, these have a layer of sand added under the paint and static grass.


Here's some individual pictures of the handgunners. I'll continue in the next post in five minutes.

25-03-2007, 15:24
Here's one from the back...

...and a sitting handgunner.

"Thundercats, HO!"

Here's my teppo ko gashira, an ashigaru lieutenant position that usually commanded about 30 ashigaru, which seems perfect as a unit champion. The stick is a hollow bamboo stick that was used both to give commands and to house a sturdy metal rod that could be used if some of the ashigaru's reloading rods were broken. I have him some decoration on his pants, and it was so hard. I must practice painting freehand with a brush, because I really want that extra level of lavishness that is always present on samurai clothes.

New arrivals are my naginata ashigaru.


Perry Miniatures accidently only sent six of the twelve, but they said that they'd sent them ASAP. The naginata was a rare weapon on the late 16th century battlefield, which makes me thinking of having them as simply a small detachment of 12. The other plan would to buy 12 more, and then be able to choose whether to field them together or as two detachments. Which brings us to the last issue, the next order. I'm really torn between three choises: buying a third infantry block (probably samurai spearmen), adding more to the blocks I have (18 pikemen before adding command is not that much, and the halberds could be made into a third infantry block) or finally, to just get a bunch of cavalry. Because it's cool. I'll probably order later in the evening, so there's definately room for readers' input making an impact on my decision.

Hopefully I'll be able to increase the tempo for a while, so the next update won't be in another 14 days.

25-03-2007, 15:55
I just found this log today, and I really like your work.


25-03-2007, 16:43
The handgunners look awsome! Pretty nice work rank-and-file troops :) Shame they sent you six of twelve though, I hope you'll get starting on the six you have anyway. Any more progress on the castle? I assume not, but I might as well ask :p

25-03-2007, 16:54
Norsehawk: welcome aboard! I'll ganbatte the best I can. :) EDIT: congrats on the 100th post!

Vattendroppe: Yeah, I was surprised when only half of them arrived, but Alan answered the very day after, so it's not that much of a delay. I'll probably prime the six I have today, and spend the evening painting some command. And no, no progress on the castle, other than the paper doors of the first floor being almost all done.

26-03-2007, 23:51
Slow day with little painting. I started on the command for the pikemen, though.

A lot of people seem to like painting the individuals so much, but for me, it took quite a long time to work up the nerve to start painting them. Dunno, perhaps it's feeling pressured that they should look like something "extra". For now, I'm just painting them like the rank and file, though some extra details might be added. I like the drumcarrier the most this far. It might be the look of his face and his pose.


Oh, and these guys turned up, so now I have all twelve. Not all primed though, as they turned up after priming. I also learnt a lesson through this guys: don't wash your miniatures after applying sand with PVA. The glue doesn't handle water well, and being submerged made it disintegrate. Fast.

Still haven't decided on the next order. I'll order six more pikemen so that they are 24 (28 with command). Other than that...

Warwolt the skaven
26-03-2007, 23:56
Mind me ask, how you became so good with WH. And in WHFB, what army is this? Empire? Or are you not going to field them in WHFB?

27-03-2007, 00:18
warwolt: well, for being good at WH, I dunno if I'm really "good". But thank's for the compliment :D. I used to paint and play a lot when I was about 10-15 (4th ed and some 5th), but back then it was mostly random models and a neverending amount of proxied armies. I think among three players we fielded almost all available armies (proxied) in both 40K and Fantasy at some time. That means that this is, at the present 50 painted soldiers, really the biggest painted army I've ever had. My painting skills is mostly from back then, and now I'm trying to catch up with what I've forgotten and then learn a new trick or two. Other than that it's just a basic interest in drawing (mostly) and painting (a little). I went to art college (or folkhögskola for you swedes) for a year, but I didn't like painting on canvas and ended up doing things in clay instead. Three dimensions rocks!

The list is intended to be used as Empire. This far the pikemen are DoW pikemen (won't use those rare slots anyway), the swordmen are Greatswords, the arquebuses are handgunners and my naginata are halberders. I'm planning on fielding them as a hordish infantry army, mostly spearmen, pikemen and handgunners with cavalry support. Simply playing it true to a late 16th century japanese army. Empire suits that perfectly, as the same strategies were used in the European period that Empire draws its influences from. I have no idea if it will be a "good" army (I'll have at most one cannon, which will hamper me I think, and Helblasters are a definate no-no), but we'll see. With enough knights and CR rank-n-files... :evilgrin:

If there were local WAB players that would be awesome once Divine Wind is released, but I haven't heard of any players other than in the Stockholm area.

28-03-2007, 22:41
Gah! Thanks for the great game, Northern Ireland. *sarcasm*

Anyhow, once I had moped enough, I put the final touches to the command group.



Going back to the pikemen, I realized that they had been painted far less detailed than my handgunners. So, I tried not to make too much with the command, to see to it that they fit in. I added highlights to the reds, though, which the rank and file lack.


I love the drumcarrier, but painting Japanese characters freehand was difficult. This is from the good side, mind you. But hey, it was too tempting to give him a sacred drum.


Here's the unit in almost all it's glory. I ordered six more pikemen, to flesh it out to a nice 28 models. That should make them resilent to firepower and give them a respectable size. If I go for a second pikemen unit further on, I'll simply make it an even 30, but that can wait for a while.

C&C? Should I leave the ties to the banner black?

29-03-2007, 05:58
By the ties to the banner i suppose you mean those ropes? (my english is a bit rusty) Anyway, I think they look lice in a darker colour, maybe not black, wash them brown? Otherwise, the regiment looks really nice! :)

Only problemo with the pikemen is their cost, you could get in twice as many spearmen. But I suppose that you will have some big units of spearmen also?

29-03-2007, 07:33
Yes, I meant the ropes. I'll try and see how it turns out.'

The pikemen are there because a) I won't be touching my rare slots anyway, and b) pikearmed ashigaru was one of the backbones of the late 16th century japanese army. I can also field them as spearmen if it would turn out to be too crappy. And yes, a unit of samurai spearmen is planned to be the next addition, after the naginata and the other, very secret, unit that is being delivered. In a way, being twice as expensive is a good thing, as that will cut down the model count just a little bit. I won't be having expensive cannons or pistoliers doing that for me.

29-03-2007, 08:09
very, very nice minis, man...
i keep an eye on this thread for a moment now, and i can't wait to see more of your army !!

Warwolt the skaven
29-03-2007, 08:25
yay, he have ordered ninjas :D

29-03-2007, 08:59
tancrede: Thank you for the comment, especially as your bretonnia thread pretty much completely blew me away when I checked it out! :)

Warwolt: No, I didn't order ninja, and since they'll be historically correct, neither will I ever. :)

31-03-2007, 22:38
:D :D woah man this is awesome i love it

31-03-2007, 22:51
:D :D woah man this is awesome i love it

Oh why, thank you! Just doing my best...

I bought the Empire Army Book yesterday, so I am now able to actually start working on an army list. Right now, that's some 600pts. To my surprise, the pikemen and the models that are incoming will raise that to 1000pts, and that's without characters! That means that I'm just a unit or three from 1500pts, and making it an army. Well, by far one of the least effective Empire armies, I'd guess (due to selfimposed limits), but still... it feels slightly surreal.

Units this far:

20 Greatswords +command :210 pts

13 Handgunners +marksman: 101 pts

28 (6 in transit) pikemen + command, light armour: 310 pts

12 Halberds (will probably be detachment(s), not painted): 60 pts

6 Knights (in transit) + command: 178 pts

Total: 859 pts

I'll be adding a BSB and a Warrior Priest, probably both mounted. That should make it at least 1000pts. I'm also thinking of adding a big block of spearmen as my next unit of footsloggers, some more handgunners and perhaps some more knights. Any Empire (or other) players out there who can say if I'm completely misguided? Any big mistakes this far? Any suggestions?

01-04-2007, 02:37
Looking good as alway lilljonas.

I love the banner in the pikeman unit, very cool.

If you ever come to Japan and bring your army feel free to contact me for a game. ;)

EDIT: Post 666 :evilgrin: :evilgrin: :evilgrin:

01-04-2007, 19:52
Really cool blog (but I most confess I mostly looked at the pretty pictures) :D

Do you happen to have any cavalry hidden away too?

02-04-2007, 00:25
Really nice work, just found this forum. I'm rediscovering GW myself having given it up as too nerdy at around 17 but I seem to have grown out of that now at 24. Keep up the good work, the scenery in particular is excellent.

02-04-2007, 00:54
Looking good! I love that unit of pikes. You're just getting better and better!

As far as the list, it doesn't sound too ineffective to me. Sounds nice and balanced actually. Have you considered allowing yourself to use detachments? It will immensely boost the efficiency of your infantry.

Can't wait for more.

04-04-2007, 17:07
Onwards, to the fourth unit. These are naginata ashigaru, and I plan to use them as a detachment to a big unit of spearmen or whatever. I've been thinking of painting them (and perhaps other detachments) in another colour than the now standard red/black/white. Perhaps green armour with white and black, to tie them in with the other guys? You can take the orc painter out of the O&G army, but... :rolleyes: Does it sound like a good idea?


The lighting fudged them up a bit. I've been trying a new painting scheme with the skin, since they had so much exposed skin and it looked too flat to just leave it Bronzed Flesh. But since the picture is completely yellow, I guess I can't ask for comments yet. Perhaps I'll have better pictures tomorrow.

EDIT: they are a bit messy, and that's to some part because I don't like them. They are really, really bothersome, and it has slowed down my painting. The problem is mainly the naginatas, they simply don't fit. The hands are sculpted in such a way that even after heavy bending with pliers, the are that holds them glued together is too small. Most of them are somewhat fine, but one of them has fallen off at least ten times by now. After the handgunners who were just single part sculpts, this is a true pain.


Other than the naginatas, these are the painting queue. The half painted banner and the musician are going to the greatswords, the last banner... well, I have so many banners I don't know what to do with them. But not as many as these:


That's some 40 spears and naginatas, and another 50 pikes. And the pile just grows with each order. I have no idea what to do with them. Also, Perry Miniatures just released some really nice ashigaru with haori (those little jackets worn over the armour), so I might just have to add more ashigaru spearmen after the cavalry. No room for samurai in this army!

spikedog: Thank you! If things continue as they do (*knock on wood*) and I find a way to fit them in my luggage, they might march on home turf in September. Stay tuned.

hertz: Welcome aboard! And well, don't worry, looking at pretty pictures is basically what painting logs are about, right? Regarding cavalry, you'll see some right after the naginatas. I ordered some before Vattendroppe ordered his arabyans (check his log for more Perry Miniatures goodness), but mine haven't arrived yet! Grrrr! May his beard grow inwards and his camels walk sideways!

nkicik: Thank you, and welcome aboard! Sounds pretty much like my background then, except I stopped doing warhammer a bit earlier. And yes, the terrain... it sucks that I haven't had the time and the energy to work in it lately. The idea that it's actually feasible to turn this into a 2000pts army has kinda changed my priorities for a while. We'll see.

Snotteef: Thank you for the comments on the army, not many of those around here! Yes, I'm planning to use detachments, both because I need all the help I can get, gimping myself by not using many of the Empire's better choises, but also because it's a good way to att just a few favourite miniatures without having to paint up 30 of them. The excellent samurai handgunners and some archers might be added as my next detachments.

05-04-2007, 00:53
Looking good as usual.

My next question is when are we going to see some more characters in this army? Are you planning on just staying true to history and thus no mages or are you going to take some fantasy stuff after all?

05-04-2007, 04:04
Try adding (in very small amounts, maybe 1:4, then 1:2, then straight) elf flesh to the bronzed flesh. Or, if you want to keep the skin sort of yellowish, you can use sunlight yellow.

07-04-2007, 22:07
On with the show!

Having found myself quite comfortable with painting at the tabletop standard of the previous units, it was time to try to step it up a notch. There were quite a bit of detail that I simply avoided painting, so to become better I simply have to start trying to paint them, even if it looks strange in the beginning. Practice, practice, practise!


The biggest differences was a new skin painting scheme (bronzed flesh, chestnut wash, bronzed flesh, bronzed flesh+pallid flesh. It turned out "nah", I think. The elf flesh idea that was posted earlier sounds better. Also, I'm thinking about abandoning the chestnut wash idea altogether, since it was mostly thought out as a shortcut. Any C&C about that?


The other things, more visible here, was that I painted all the chords holding the armour plates together, which was a pain, and tried to paint patterns on the cloth, which was twice the pain. It is so different than painting usual details! But it got just a little bit easier after a while, so hopefully I'll be able to do something better once the next batch of samurai comes along. Rank-and-file ashigaru is a good way to practice, I guess.

The banners and helmets are left for later, like on the other troops. I really should get around to print out some home-made transfers.

Primed and waiting to be painted: two banners and a musician.

Not yet primed: 6 additional pikemen and my sweet new source of terror, six samurai cavalrymen! I've actually only painted a single horse in my life, a 5th ed Bretonnian horse. The prospect of painting them is almost as scary as the stupidly detailed horsemen. But they look really, really great, so even if it will take a lot of time and effort, it will hopefully be worth it. I'll see if I can get them ready for primer tomorrow, they have a TON of flash, and I don't want to end up with missed flash like I did on several naginata ashigaru. Luckily, PM must have heard of my spear shortage, so I got six spears for every three riders. That puts my spear supply at 35. I'll build a tiny little cottage made of spears when I'm done with the army! :)

spikedog: characters will be added. I just wanted to wait until I got better at painting in general, and painting samurai and horses in particular. Most of the good character miniatures are mounted, and it's truer to history to field my leaders as such, even though the units will rank up like crap. I'm thinking of adding Kato Kiyomasa pretty soon, his standard bearers could run beside him and mark that he's the Battle Standard Bearer or something. Warrior priests could work too, the Takeda Shingen mini (I think) has the nice buddhist headgear. Kato Kiyomasa could be fudged into the army (he was involved in the conflict, but was not present on the battlefield), but the others would simply represent someone else. Ii Naomasa leading a second cavalry unit would be really nice. There's other nice mounted miniatures to choose from too, like Maeda Toshiie (sp?) and Oda Nobunaga. Mages? Only if I later go the "fantasy route", and then I'll add one together with some flagellants. Could be fun, too, there's some in the Villagers and Townsfolks sets that could be used as mages, and I'd like to get them later on anyway, since it would be fun to paint non-combatants too.

mousekiller: thanks for the tip, I'll continue experimenting with skin tones. Orcs were just so much simpler... ;)

07-04-2007, 22:12
Still looking ace, lilljonas! Adding in patterns to the clothes really helps bring some life to them.

07-04-2007, 23:54
Driving on with the solid work. The white banners on this one seem a bit flat, but other than that, really flawless work. Love the little designs on the pants.

08-04-2007, 02:24
So are you going to do a model for Tokugawa Ieyasu? Or not have him in the battle at all?

As for mages you could use millitary strategists as them and say the magic that they use is really just traps and stategems beings set into motion? I am no way an expert on Japanese history but I think Ii Naomasa was at that battle as well as a competant strategist, maybe he would make a good mage?

Also you should try and get Date Masamune in there somewhere just because my wife is from Sendai and if we ever get a chance to play she would be happy. :D

Which ever way you go with it I love your work and I'm sure you will make some fine additions in the form or characters. Keep it up!

08-04-2007, 09:03
Althanan: Thank you! Yeah, I think it makes them look more periodical and such, once I get the hang on it it will be sweet. :)

mousekiller: Yes, I might have to do some slight works with grey or something, to pick out the banners some more. But they ARE also flatter than the other banners, which is one of the reasons that they look flatter. They are painted pretty much in the same way.

spikedog: Perry Miniatures have a kit of Ieyasu sitting together with his closest commanders and servants, observing the field. It would really strange to try to mount them on 20mm bases and stick them at the front of a unit, especially since so many of them are sitting down. However, I want to paint them up as a scenic piece, and then use his sub-commanders leading the army at the front. I'll have to think of the mage stuff. Naomasa was a clever tactician but also a legendary fighter IIRC. Lore of Shadow just popped up in my head as a good strategy lore, but Empire can't take that one, can they? I'm very unused to 'umie magic.

Date Masamune is in the same blister ("Mounted Commanders") as Oda Nobunaga and Uesugi Kenshin (which is the dude with the priest outfit, not Takeda Shingen, sorry 'bout that), so he'll work his way into the collection sooner or later. I'll paint him up as a request, those are the most enjoyable miniatures. :) Never been to Sendai, but I've always heard it's one of the most beautiful towns of Japan. True?

08-04-2007, 09:39
Well the city of Sendai is pretty much like most other smaller cities in Japan. Pretty modern with lots of shops and houses but my wife comes from a small farming community about 1 hour outside of the city and that place is very beautiful in my opinion. It is very traditional Japanese with bamboo forests, shrines and lots of rice fields everywhere.

08-04-2007, 10:04
You're both fast and good, damn you!


08-04-2007, 20:20
Scales and ramblings

No priming today, since it was raining, but I had time to clean up the flash, glue things in place and so on. And while scavanging for cavalry bases, I came across an old stash of miniatures that enabled me to better describe the most common question I still get: how big are the PM miniatures?


aaand it's the 5th ed boxed set bretonnians! Here we see an archer standing next to a pikeman. Notice that the height is pretty close, while arms, legs, feet and hands are a lot different. The torso is pretty much the same.


And here's the horsies. The japanese horse is a lot, and I mean a lot, smaller than the bretonnian one. The japanese one is leaner, shorter. Mixing them in a unit would seem even weirder than mixing the infantry.


Finally, horses with riders. The difference is smaller than in the previous picture.

So what do I think? I think it's all right. The difference is not that big that you notice it unless you put them next to each other. But more so, medieval Japanese were short. And I mean short. Medieval Europeans were no Shaquille O'Neals either, but they are still not in the same league. It is really interesting to go to museums that not only show of the armours, but actually mount them so that you can see the size of their owner (the St. Petersburgh exposition did this when it visited Sweden some two years ago). Most of them would fit a modern day 13-year-old. The average heigt for men landed around 150-160 cm, which is appearant in one samurai warrior having the nickname "the ogre", due to his legendary height of 180cm. If you ever read some old samurai story and see someone being described as "huge" or something like that, think 170-175cm. No more. Even the Chinese noted this when they labelled Japan "the land of Wa" as they made their first contacts 1500 years ago - "wa" being Chinese for 'badly built, short, ugly, dwarfish'. "The land of the Rising Sun" sure sound more flattering, though.

Furthermore, their mounts were ponies, bred from the same stock as the hardy steppe ponies of the Mongols, not in any way like the larger and bulkier warhorses of Europe or the Middle East. So the smaller size suits them very well, and you can see that the proportion of rider-mount is correct, the Japanese were small but their horses even smaller. It will be interesting to see how Vattendroppe finds his army, now that he have started building them. After all, I haven't seen any of the other ranges in person.

So, after some rambling, here's a picture of things to come: Horsies!


spikedog: sounds a bit like where I lived in Aichi. I love getting me some inaka.

mrtn: ...and handsome to boot! But seriously, 12 guys in six days is pretty ok I guess. A lot faster than I've been progressing this far. Don't worry, the horses will probably drag me down. Speaking of horses, anyone out there who has a favourite tutorial for painting horses? I was not kidding when I said I've only painted one horse. And that was an old bretonnian one, so that was basically covered by big, green sheets.

09-04-2007, 00:50
I am with you, not only were the Japanese much shorter than Medieval Europeans, but I can only imagine that the horses were too.

As far as the banners, I would suggest painting in two dimensional lines to give the banners a better sense of three dimensionality (hope that makes sense).

Keep em coming.

09-04-2007, 06:44
i'm keeping an eye on your thread since you begun, and i must use all my willpower not to buy the perry samourais...
great job, man ! and i can't wait to see your finished army.

09-04-2007, 08:21
Well, everyone knows that japs and chinese are pretty short, so the scale isn't a problem XD

Nice painting as always, if only I could be as talanted. I hope I'll learn.

09-04-2007, 17:25
I don't think the scale is bad at all, especially for the infantry. The mounted isn't as close, but shouldn't be as noticeable if they're not mixed with other figures.

The Clan War cavalry were closer to the GW scale, especially the horses. They were produced by AEG. I don't know if they're still in production by someone else, but possibly available as cheap second-hand figures - I think I sold mine off, but I can take a look). The ones I had were the ones that came with the boxed set, so they were fairly "generic" looking samurai (not associated with one of the clans in the game.)

I'm still catching up reading your log, so forgive me if this has been covered already... But are you planning on including any "fantasy" or mythological creatures in your army?

10-04-2007, 02:11
I love the new infantry! I'm glad you took the plunge and started painting up the details; it's really made them come to life.

As to your question about the lore of shadows: yes, Empire can use ALL the lores in the basic rulebook, so no problems there!

11-04-2007, 20:04
The horses sure look alot leaner and faster than bretonnian warhorses, and fit the theme better than any other ´in-scale´ horses could ever do.

Well, Asians tend to be smaller than others; that they where smaller on average than 150 cm is new to me, however. We Dutch where also quite small back then, maybe that´s why they liked us as much. (remember Dejima?) Ofcourse, with an average of 185 cm, we have grown out to be one of the tallest ethnic groups around. :rolleyes:

12-04-2007, 16:32
Not much progress, just basing and cleaing up. I've been thinking about the unit layout for the knights. Given that I'll use two minis from the mounted commander blister, I'll get my champions from there, so then I have 8 riders. I'm thinking about how to solve musicians and standard bearers (differently painted back banners?). If I just add another blister of three riders, that would be 11 knights, a good size for two units after adding a hero or so. Or should I go for bigger units (two units of 7, including champions)? Anyways, more are incoming, but I haven't decided just how many.

mousekiller: Yes, I'll add lines to the banners to give them more depth.

tancrede: I could say the same about Bretonnians. ;) And yes, after I have some cavalry done, I think it's time for a family portrait of the current army. They are starting to take up a bit of space now, actually.

Vattendroppe: well, I didn't felt that tall in Japan, even if my 180cm still puts me in the taller tier. As long as you are under 185 you can find clothes in ordinary shops. But then there's a gigantic leap when it comes to average length when you compare those who grew up after WW2 and those who grew up before. Old japanese people are incredibly tiny. :)

ZeroTwentythree: Nopes, you won't see any ninja turtles or dragonriders anytime soon (unless someone shows me a good kappa mini, 'cause it would be painted STAT! ;)). Basically, I first want to make a good sized army (2000-2250pts) that is capable of historically represent the eastern army at Sekigahara. After that, I might go for more freedom, and add units that were not present (like warrior monks), fantasy units (such as ninja) or high fantasy units (like an eastern dragon or something) just for the fun of it.

Snotteef: yes, I do think taking the more difficult routes will pay off in the end. So Lore of Shadows is ok? That sounds like a good fit, actually. I have yet to playtest the army, though.

superknijn: I actually went to a lecture last week on the cultural effects of the modern project to re-model Dejima. And yeah, you Dutch sure are tall, I watched the Women's Volleyball World Championship last year, and those Dutch girls sure dwarfed the Japanese! Lenght is in many way dictated by diet during your adolescent years, and in Japan you first had a period of extreme shortness during the medieval ages, partly due to one-sided diets, and then it got a bit better during 1800-1950, and then it took a great leap after WW2. Among teenagers, the size difference is really not that big nowadays.

And yes, I do like the horsies. Must get around to paint them soon.

12-04-2007, 17:15
Vattendroppe: well, I didn't felt that tall in Japan, even if my 180cm still puts me in the taller tier. As long as you are under 185 you can find clothes in ordinary shops. But then there's a gigantic leap when it comes to average length when you compare those who grew up after WW2 and those who grew up before. Old japanese people are incredibly tiny. :)

That's because for the most part their lack of height came about not from any significant genetic reason but because of their diet. I was reading it in a copy of the BMJ, I think it was that pre-war they had a lot less protein. Was it protein? I can't remember. But yes, it's a diet thing, for the most part anyway. (awww you've already mentioned that. Well there goes me looking intelligent)

Anyways I'll get back on topic.

You mentioned using the lore of shadows? Well generally in army with little magic shadows is not such a great idea. It's a good spell list but if all you have is one lvl 2 wizard then 4 power dice isn't going to let you get away with too many spells; shadows has quite a high casting value IIRC. 1,2 and 3 are fairly naff (for empire, the crown spell could cause havoc) and 4,5 and 6 have high casting values. That said unseen lurker has won matches before now.

I think it's a shame you're not including more fantasy, you have the skills to pull it off well but I suppose it's rather that than have an army inspired by a manga fanfic or something:eek:

12-04-2007, 17:34
My suggestion would be not to limit yourself to how many models come in a pack, etc. If you have extras you can always go in and do some conversions later on. So, I would pick the right size unit for your army. For me, if I am playing with knights (and mind you I haven't played in quite some time) I would normally go with 8, but with the new rule about ranking with 5 or more, I would suggest a solid unit of 10 or 12. For the SB, how about a longer staff and maybe a larger banner?

12-04-2007, 17:40
stouty: yes, it's mostly about the protein but also the variety of protein sources. Pre-war Japan had less variety in their protein sources, so when the country opened up to more culinary influences, both from the West and from other Asian country, the average height increased pretty quickly. Basically, eating the same thing all the time is bad for your growth, no matter what that single thing is. And yes, there's plenty of room for other to sound intelligent in my thread, feel at home. ;)

Well, that's bad news on the lore of shadows, then. I'll keep thinking.

When it comes to fantasy units, I think it's a question of inspiration. I get my inspiration from old Kurosawa films, historical dramas and history books. To me, that's the most exciting way to portrait a japanese medieval army. But to someone who's introduction to the field is through spectacular fantasy anime and manga, I guess it can feel a bit "stale" and limited. But to me, including demonic ogres (like Dixon), ninjas chucking fireballs or shao-lin monkeys would be to cheapen the source of my inspiration. For now, I'll leave that kind of Nippon army for someone else who has a different vision and a different inspiration. Watching Ran makes me want to paint samurai ten times more than any fantasy cartoon ever could.


mousekiller: might do that, and add two more blisters. And well, more horses means more awesome. :) I want two units I think, one ordinary and perhaps one inner circle. But would you say that it's smarter to have one big unit than to have two, slightly smaller ones? Two units of 10-12 sounds really, really big. The reason that I want two units is that I want to paint up one "colourful" unit, and one "Red Devils" unit.

12-04-2007, 18:11
Watching Ran makes me want to paint samurai ten times more than any fantasy cartoon ever could.


In terms of what lore to use I would google avian's "We Iz orcs" and look at the basic 8 lores in 7th edition (under news and reviews)

If nothing else it tells you average casting values but you should also look into the casting value of the first spell and the spread. Ideally you should have some sort of chance of casting the first spell with one dice if you're going magic light so as to make use of all four dice. You will need the other 3 to cast anything with a value of 7+ reliabley.

Always be prepared to adapt though; if you're playing against undead or demonic legion it might well be worth forgetting about the normal lore you take and taking light.

Shadow isn't so bad but I would seriously consider life. You have a 50% chance of casting the first spell (the one which you can always switch for, and if you're using only 1 mage, probably should always switch for as you'll lack the power dice for 2 medium level spells) and the other spells are generally quite good with a very respectable chance of casting on 3 dice.

Life is terrain dependent though, so the other lore I might recomend is beasts. Bears anger (the first spell) also has a 50% cast rate on one dice and can now be cast on another model so your electore count can end up with 6 strength 6 attacks and toughness 5. It's very nice:evilgrin:

I think with low level wizards the important thing is getting a spell through almost every turn and so aiming to definately cast 1 spell with a 50/50 chance of another every turn should have some chance of getting some spells off against everyone but dwarfs and the magic heavy.

12-04-2007, 18:24
I think that some minor "fantasy" influences wouldn't be amiss. :)

Did you ever paint up a bearded musician? ;) Maybe I just missed it due to my never ending computer problems...

12-04-2007, 22:17
Ho, that's a lot of posting whilst I'm gone!

Not much progress, just basing and cleaing up. I've been thinking about the unit layout for the knights. Given that I'll use two minis from the mounted commander blister, I'll get my champions from there, so then I have 8 riders. I'm thinking about how to solve musicians and standard bearers (differently painted back banners?). If I just add another blister of three riders, that would be 11 knights, a good size for two units after adding a hero or so. Or should I go for bigger units (two units of 7, including champions)? Anyways, more are incoming, but I haven't decided just how many.

Accoarding to my experience knights do best in one rank of 5-7 wide, broader and they'll have a *******' hard time to wheel. So I'd go with two units of 7 in that case. The standard ought to be pretty simple to solve, just make his back banner a little bit bigger and put a hefty and nice looking mark on it :) I'd say that would do the job quite fine. As for the musician, wouldn't it be enough that he holds some kind of instrument to point out quite well that he's a musician? ;)

Vattendroppe: well, I didn't felt that tall in Japan, even if my 180cm still puts me in the taller tier. As long as you are under 185 you can find clothes in ordinary shops. But then there's a gigantic leap when it comes to average length when you compare those who grew up after WW2 and those who grew up before. Old japanese people are incredibly tiny. :)

Considering that the ones you're making would be some great time before ww2 that's kinda my point :p

12-04-2007, 22:39
Slightly off topic, but related to your comments about Kurosawa & Ran... Have you seen this film:


12-04-2007, 23:46
Stouty: yeah, too bad I don't have the rule book at home (I split the BfSP box with a friend, and he has the book), so I can't really read up on the magic part. Since I'm not planning to go magic heavy, the mage will probably be busy protecting himself and hitting a brick wall of dispel dice. ;)

mrtn: yes, the massive public support for fantasy elements might sway me in the end, who knows. Links to good miniatures would probably be the easiest way to do that. :P No bearded musician has been produced yet, but since I'll have to figure out a way to convert musicians for my knights, he might just as well be one of those.

Vattendroppe: and that's 7 with heroes and stuff? Anyhow, I ordered six more riders and three mounted commanders (two will be champions, one warrior priest), so that will make the start of two units. I can always increase the size later on if I want. And I also got the beginning of my second pike unit! I'll have sooo much painting to do.

ZeroTwentythree: haven't seen it, but now I'll have to look for it. Thread derailings that involves historical japanese movies are welcome derailings. ;)

13-04-2007, 00:53
Stouty: yeah, too bad I don't have the rule book at home (I split the BfSP box with a friend, and he has the book), so I can't really read up on the magic part. Since I'm not planning to go magic heavy, the mage will probably be busy protecting himself and hitting a brick wall of dispel dice. ;)

Lol. Depends on what you're up against but quite possibly it will be like that. I tend to go magic heavy but when I don't I'm sure to milk every power dice God gives me.:)

Though you should only use it if you have all the books and if you don't you are breaking the law, armybuilder has all the spell lists needed. Just start an empire list, buy a wizard, check all the boxes to do with spells and magic and then cycle through the different spell lists. They name them amber and stuff but you should work it out pretty quick.

Crazy Harborc
13-04-2007, 01:25
Good work, very good work. The minies, the terrain/buildings, all those photos thereof. Perry Miniatures are great.(I am into ElCid;) ).

Um....more photos to come....I hope? Maybe some battle reports?

13-04-2007, 04:22
Hurray! An army with samurai! How could I not love this army blog. All of this is great stuff. Good luck on the other stuff you got planned.

13-04-2007, 10:03
Vattendroppe: and that's 7 with heroes and stuff? Anyhow, I ordered six more riders and three mounted commanders (two will be champions, one warrior priest), so that will make the start of two units. I can always increase the size later on if I want. And I also got the beginning of my second pike unit! I'll have sooo much painting to do.

Yep, that's seven with heroes and stuff. Though 8 could work, though you would have to think a bit more of what you're doing to them since they would have a considerably longer wheel-move. And 2-3 units of horses to flank is always nice :)

Don't complain about painting, I'm up to 145 araby models, two of them will be large elephants and I've got 3 banners that'll be almost ogre-size! Plus a flying carpet and stuff. Not to mention that you're a far faster painter than I am! :p

13-04-2007, 11:11
Great thread!

Makes me want to start expanding my Samurai/Nippon army.

If I do so, I will probably update my site "The Samurai Miniatures Page" (http://www.kendoka.com), even giving it a suitable domain name.

If so, would you be interested in having your army featured there??
I could pay you with a few nice Kappa minis ;-)

Magnus, Skellefteå

13-04-2007, 16:35
So many posts, so few pictures. It makes my heart ache! Oh well, I got out in the fantastic spring/early summer weather, and primed the new guys with a backdrop of cherry blossoms. It was very fitting in one way, but it also sucked quite a lot to have falling leaves sticking to the primed minis. As always, one spear fell off during priming. Also, I got my next order sorted, the PM mail was acting up, but in return I got some inside scoops from Alan on what they are planning to do later on with the samurai range! Nothing big, but it means I might get a proper command group for the next infantry unit that I also ordered. What they are, you'll see later.

Stouty: I checked the armybuilder at greatuncleanone or whatsitcalled, but since I'm running on a mac, it didn't work. There's some good articles about magic on warhammer-empire.com, I think. I'll check that out later.

Crazy Harborc: welcome aboard! Oh, the el Cid line, do you have pictures? I can't find it on their homepage, is that a line they did for another company? Reconquista is pretty sweet, so I'd like to see some of those minis.

More pictures comes as I paint'em, usually one or two WIP pictures/unit, and then some more detailed pictures once they are done. If someone wants more WIP pictures, just say so and I'll take them. But I'll wait with spamming WIP pictures until I know there's a demand. ;)

Dino: Thank you! I'll do my best, the feedback here is one of the main reasons I keep working on the army at this pace. It's a great source of motivation. And what can go wrong when you have samurai?

Vattendroppe: yes, the overall frontage is starting to get to me. How are you supposed to get a whole Empire horde army on the table? I keep them by my window at the moment, and at some thousand points, they take up about half a meter. Add two cavalry units, one or two infantry blocks and a lot of small detachments, and that's a HUGE deployment cluster. Oh well. It does look better than a tiny little army, after all.

And it's not about painting fast: it's about painting a lot of times. I paint slow, but try to keep at it even after being bored out of my skull having painted the same colour on the same jacket on 24 guys. That's how units gets done.

kendoka: I actually went to that site when I was planning my army, I knew I had seen it before! Planning the army made one thing obvious to me: the curious lack of websites conserning painting and modelling 28mm samurai. Both when it comes to comparisons between models and on how to paint them once you have decided on the models; how to paint some common details on samurai like sashimono, chords, and weapons, how samurai heraldry worked and how you can represent it on the tabletop, how to make medieval japanese terrain etc. Simple tutorials, lots of pictures and good descriptions and tips. If you are going to re-vamp that page, I'll definately help as much as I can. One of the reasons that I haven't done anything myself is that I couldn't recognize a html tag even if it jumped up and bit my ass. ;) I also have found quite a few webpages you could link to in my pursuit of material for my castle project.

13-04-2007, 17:46
mousekiller: might do that, and add two more blisters. And well, more horses means more awesome. :) I want two units I think, one ordinary and perhaps one inner circle. But would you say that it's smarter to have one big unit than to have two, slightly smaller ones? Two units of 10-12 sounds really, really big. The reason that I want two units is that I want to paint up one "colourful" unit, and one "Red Devils" unit.

I think two units of 10 would be OK. These guys are pretty hard hitters, and pretty hard to hit, so it is well worth having them. Of course it would all depend on how many points you are playing with also (i.e. 1000 points I might go with 2x5 units or just one of 10, 2000 points 2x10, 3000 points maybe 2x15). If you go over 5 on your frontage, in my opinion, you expose yourself too much to multiple charges to the front (i.e. you charge an enemy unit that is only 5 wide, kill a bunch of em but they stay strong, there next turn will likely end up with you being charged by another unit, or possibly two that were flanking the one you charged).

Easy E
13-04-2007, 18:07
That great thing about this army is it is WH Fantasy and Historical ruleset ready.

Crazy Harborc
14-04-2007, 01:01
Oh dear, I can just hear the purist WH players croaking. Why, why, next it'll be armies from China!!!:eek:

Perry Miniature's site may not call them the El Cid line. PM's cav a great looking. I've got some of the Spanish and the Moors cav. Decent, normal sized hands and weapons. They are eyeball to eyeball with GW's WHFB goodies. I glue them onto GW's 25 by 50mm and 20 by 20mm bases.

Spring weather with cherry blossums?? Well, thanks to global warming we may have a snow storm starting tonight.....had frost this week, lost the buds at the area orchards.........Let'um eat donuts this summer/fall!

16-04-2007, 12:18
So, with more than a week since last update, I should have a whole unit to show off now, right? Right. Instead, I've been looking all over for good horse tutorials, and most I've found are either very badly written or produces models that look like crap. Really, I see no reason to follow a tutorial if the end result is something I don't want. Instead I've been looking at myspace pages where 14-year old girls ramble about their favourite horses. But pictures are pictures, and so I went on to try to paint my very first real horse!

The two horses that are almost finished, might add more static grass to cover the green slime oozing from their hooves. I went with a blue highlight of the hair on one, and a grey one on the other. Not sure which one I prefer.

A third colour scheme.

Horses with prospecive owners taking a test drive.

I ran into problems with the grey one, since my Fortress Grey is really old and gooey. This far, I've only painted relatively small areas, so adding water has been enough to make it managable. Not so with large areas. It was almost impossible to get something close to a smooth layer. I'll check into the local indy store to pick up a new can today, together with a fine detail brush, something I really wanted when I tried to do some weird freehand on the saddles.

Todays new technique is the wonders of Bronzed Flesh. I've heard that it is good as a basecoat for other colours over black, but I had no idea just how good it is. For white, I usually paint first a layer or two of grey, and then a few layers of white before it is close to a complete coverage. With just a single layer of bronzed flesh, it went all the way to a clean white cover after one coat! And yellow is even worse, I've always had to go first through the hassle of getting a white coat, and then go from there to yellow. Again, just one layer after Bronzed Flesh did the trick. Amazing, and a perfect timesaver!

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome, I'm really new to this cavalry thing.

mousekiller: sounds reasonable. Going from 7 to 10 should not be a problem, once I have the smaller units to play with.

Easy E: Indeed, and that's one of the reasons for sticking to a very historical army roster. If I ever find a WAB player, their new east-asian sourcebook should pretty much cover it.

Crazy Harborc: The only spanish range I find is the Carlist one, and that's way later. Strange.

16-04-2007, 13:28
Thanks for the tip on bronzed flesh, that might come in handy.

Great work on these horses, I really like the varied look of them. What I really like, though, is that you made the noses and sock different colors on some of them, which is very realistic. Only tip now would be to add another highlight (very extreme) to your black hair, and also change the color of the green oozing stuff to better match your static grass.

Great job.

16-04-2007, 17:42
As to horse tutorials, have you looked at this (http://www.specialist-games.com/assets/horses.pdf) one? I haven't tried it myself, but it looks good.

17-04-2007, 07:57
Fantastic stuff! Still going strong and I'm loving it all.

I'd love for my knights of L'Anguille to meet your Nipponese riders.

Keep it up!

17-04-2007, 22:12
I just want to add oh-my-freaking-god to this thread as to how awesome it is; im glad to see someone using those beautiful perry miniatures; im jealous!


18-04-2007, 10:34
This stuff is amazing. I've considered Perry Miniatures in the past, and this here may just sell me on the concept.

I LOVE that you're "keepin' it historically real, yo" even while fielding it in WHFB. You've got my respect and admiration for that - totally rockin.

18-04-2007, 22:40
So, on to more horses! I only got their skin done today, but I tried some different versions:


The dark one is pretty... well, dark. A brightly coloured saddle might make it more interesting though.


I've seen some of those mottled horses turn out really great under capable hands, so I really wanted to try it out. It's not really that subtle in my version, but I think I started to understand how it's supposed to be done. After that, it's just practice, practice, practice.

Other than that, today was a mixed bag of good and bad stuff. I got the shipment from PM, the biggest one yet! Yay! Nine more horses to paint. However, I also got my first casting fault, the front on one of the infantry guys I got was pretty messed up. *sigh* But I also got my first appointed hero, who'll be a mounted warrior priest! Yay! However, I only have two more cavalry bases lying around, and after going to my indie store, they were out of bases. They said they'll have them next week. I also bought a new fine detail brush, this time from Wilson Smith. It turned out to such donkey ********. All my fine detail brushes do. But other than those setbacks, there's plenty of eye candy that will hopefully be thrown at you for a while.

mousekiller: Thank you. Yes, giving the horsies character with individual paint jobs goes a long way, I think. I checked the old, old, old WHFB painting guide for tips on how to paint horses, and pretty much the only tip they had was to "paint them exactly the same, so that they look more uniform". Newsflash: cloning didn't exist in medieval Japan.

mrtn: Thank you, it was great! A lot of things I didn't know about horses, like that lighly coloured horses don't have black hooves and such. They have been altered to fit better. Also, it helped me with figuring out how to do mottled horses. A great find, I looked all over both the Fantasy and LotR pages without finding good tutorials.

Alathir: Thank you! Hopefully I'll have some knights up pretty soon to challange the flower of Bretonnia's horsemen. :)

ashc: Welcome aboard! Yes, the Perry sculpts was just the thing to finally stack things into me making a proper army. I just want all of them, and they're up to 57 different blisters now, with plans for more! It's just pure insanity, and enough individual minis for 3-4 armies.

Zedric: Thank you. Please put up pictures if you get some, I really haven't seen that many painted PM's on the web. Good to hear some cheer for the harcore history course among all fantasy-mongers. ;)

19-04-2007, 06:09
Nice horsies! I especially like the mottled one.

Too bad on the set-backs, but it won't be very hard to fix I think. Just send a message to PM and I'm pretty sure they'll replace the odd model. The bases is just to wait though (you can always keep on going on that castle of yours). And a good tip is to try and find some local arts dealer, they often have brushes that kick ass!

How's the castle BTW? Is it of any progress during the other painting, or are you taking one thing at a time?

Nice horses anyway, they look good. Hope you'll start with the samurai riding them later as next step ;)

19-04-2007, 14:29
Great work - I've got a ton of these old samurai sitting in a box in my shed.
Loving the castle - what's happening with that?

23-04-2007, 23:08
You know what's in style amongst japanese horseriders this season? Dots and stripes.



...and stripes.


Dots and stripes.

Nah, it's just me not being able to pull off any pattern that is more advanced than spots and stripes, but that'll hopefully come later on. Right now I think it works, as it doesn't look as retarded once you have a couple of them lined up:


EDIT: sorry for the severely out of focus pictures.

That's enough horses for one unit, with 9 more waiting to be primed. I really have quite a lot of unpainted models lying around right now, so I better start painting. I tried a new painting scheme for skin on three riders, though they have so little exposed skin that it's hard to say if it's good or not. We might even have some viewer imput here: what should I do after these six horsemen? I have

a) more riders! Six of them.
b) Oda Nobunaga and Date Masamune, who will due to timeline and affiliations will be demoted to cavalry champions.
c) Riding WYSIWYG-defying Warrior Priest! (he's armed with a spear/lance, which I checked that he can't legally have)
d) 6 more pikemen to the pike unit. Nothing you haven't seen.
e) 12 new pikemen for a new pike unit. Ashigaru with a twist!
f) assorted banner wavers, infantry musicians and other random things.

Yes, that's quite a few choises at the moment. No more buying for a while. *sigh*

Vattendroppe: Yes, I'll go check for bases tomorrow. Depends a bit on what you guys would like to see painted. As for the castle, see my next reply.

Greblord: Welcome aboard! What brand? Dixon? As for the castle, it has been sorely held back by my fear of trying to figure out how to build the roof, and the fact that I'll probably be going abroad for a year this autumn, and while the soldiers can be brought to play with, the castle can not. Also, as I approach the sizes where I can actually fight my first meaningful battle, that becomes very tempting too. But since people recently started asking me about it (even my older brother!), it seems like people have an interest in it. I'll see what can be done. ;)

24-04-2007, 00:52
Horses look great, really nice to see a mix in a unit rather than the standard "every horse came from the same parents" ones you get in GW models.

Due to my own interests I vote for Masamune Date to be the next model done but failing that the second vote is for the next 6 horses. Just because I think having a couple of non-foot soldier troops in the army really helps break it up and make it look interesting.

However what ever you choose I'm sure it will be great.

24-04-2007, 01:15
Good to see you got them horses done. Nice work. I can't wait to see the riders finished.

24-04-2007, 02:05
I reckon I'm up for some illegal priestage

24-04-2007, 06:14
As usual, very nice painting!

As for you dilemma I think I personally would go with some more troops, when you've painted all the tropps it's only the fun parts of the army left! :D

About the priest, I think there's possiblity to buy ikko-ikkis from PM (mephistofeles uses these as free companies) armed with several weapons. Amongst them there's actually a two handed hammer, maybe you could just swap the lance/spear to a hammer?

PS. Hestmatematik! Snel hest und havre und klapp = klad hest! DS. ^^

24-04-2007, 21:26




Lots of new stuff on this one. The skin is made with scorched earth, scorched earth: bronzed flesh, bronzed flesh, bronzed flesh: pallid flesh instead of my old wash version. Also, it's the first samurai painted since the very first models I painted, so there's a certain difference in how it turned out. The ribbons holding up the armour was supposed to be white, but I kinda liked the bronzed flesh layer I did to prepare for the white layer, so I left it like that. The dark blue choice was actually Mio's, she's gotten more curious about my "nerdy little painting things" since I cranked out some horses. Oh well.

Anyway, I only painted one, since these will turn out so individually that I don't know if it would be a good idea to paint them together. The next rider unit will probably be uniform though, so it'll take less time. Anyhow, one rider/day is not that slow, compared to how slow I usually am. I haven't decided on who's going to get what horse yet. Anyhow, since this one was pretty much an experiment, comments and recommendations are very much welcome as always!

spikedog: Yeah, a bunch of horses will surely break up the rank and file. And they turned out to be pretty fun to paint, even if they were a bit scary at first. One note for Mr. Date is noted.

Dino: Well, I can at least show off one of them today. Enjoy!

nkicik: Illegal priestage vote noted. I'm a bit psyched up about painting him myself.

Vattendroppe: More troopers vote noted. No landslide this far. As for the hammer thing, I think I know which one you mean, but it just have to put the historical foot down. Riders with two handed hammers are just idiotic, sorry White Wolves, but it is. In a japanese setting, it's even more out of place. The priestage will have to stay illegal.

Finns det några snälla hästar här? I just had to add that one to the picture when I saw it.


Rogue 7
25-04-2007, 01:52
First off, I love this army, and that castle and perhaps a few of these models has inspired me on what I'm going to do for my senior project, so thanks for that! Second, the models all look fantastic. Great quality all around, and what's even more impressive is the fact that you're getting all of them done. Keep up the great work!

25-04-2007, 06:29
Then I don't think it's much to do about the priest. You could always model him with HW/S, but I guess you have a good reason not to do that too :)

And that rider are nice big-time!

25-04-2007, 09:09
Rogue 7: welcome aboard! Now you made me interested, what are you planning to do? And yes, now it's definately the biggest painted army I've ever had, so I'm impressed too! :)

Vattendroppe: haha, you know it. The Japanese pretty much never used shields in their entire military history, which is quite unique. It also means that I'm doomed from the start to break a LOT of WYSIWYG.

25-04-2007, 11:44
Yes, please see if you can do anything more with the castle.

Många från helgon här, men akta dig för hest mot folkgrupp.

25-04-2007, 15:07
Hmmm, very good work on the rider man. Keep up the good work.

25-04-2007, 15:25
Vattendroppe: haha, you know it. The Japanese pretty much never used shields in their entire military history, which is quite unique. It also means that I'm doomed from the start to break a LOT of WYSIWYG.

Blasted, I knew it was something I was forgetting! Around here it's mostly I that naggers about the samurai didn't have shields :p

25-04-2007, 17:44
just to start off, I am in absolute awe of both your painting and your commitment to this blog-fantastic!

however, mere praise is not what I'm posting about. I dont know if you have watched the Last Samurai, but the Samurai use mantlets as a form of shield. Your Pikemen can't have shields anyway, but for any infantry units with Yari, you are unlikely to use shields when it gets to combat. The Perry Bros sell packs of 12 mantlets, or you could make your own to seem more...wicker? So you could place a row of these in from of shield armed units to represent their shields, and have historically correct (and very cool) WYSIWYG

25-04-2007, 18:46
however, mere praise is not what I'm posting about. I dont know if you have watched the Last Samurai, but the Samurai use mantlets as a form of shield. Your Pikemen can't have shields anyway, but for any infantry units with Yari, you are unlikely to use shields when it gets to combat. The Perry Bros sell packs of 12 mantlets, or you could make your own to seem more...wicker? So you could place a row of these in from of shield armed units to represent their shields, and have historically correct (and very cool) WYSIWYG

That thought struck me too when I was discussing mephistofeles' cathay. However, some things it doesnt work with, such as horses :p

And I don't think they were commonly used by the real samurais with swords.

25-04-2007, 19:11
! I wish I'd seen this before. This is *exactly* what I want to do if I ever get around to Fantasy. Great work btw!

Rogue 7
25-04-2007, 21:02
Rogue 7: welcome aboard! Now you made me interested, what are you planning to do? And yes, now it's definately the biggest painted army I've ever had, so I'm impressed too! :)

Well, I knew I wanted to do something about feudal Japan, seeing as there's this massive "samurai" myth, and realizing that i don't know anything about it. However, our project needs something physical, and I didn't want to be the ***** with a powerpoint, so I thought back to what sort of "artsy" thing I could do...and remembered this thread. An earlier model-thing I did in that class went down a storm, after I had rushed it and thought it looked horrible, so I figured, why not? A model of a Japanese castle, coupled with an analysis/research/whatever of the Japanese feudal daimyo and his holdings, or something like that.

25-04-2007, 21:06
@vattendroppe-the horses thing is exactly what i thought as well (ie-bugger, that wont work will it!) but then i remembered the knights of the white wolf, who use two handed weapons for + 2 (now 1:mad: ). If they are equipped with yari, then it would make sense for this, as would the katana armed mounted samurai, because the ones on foot are counted as greatswords.

As for not using them in most battles, this is a matter of some debate. It all depends on what sort of time period you are trying to represent. The early samurai would never have used such 'common' methods of hiding from arrows, but the onset of gunpowder technology rended the samurais' armour obsolete, and these defenses became necessary. Of course, this is a fantasy Nippon army after all, so you are free to do whatever you want really- though I would steer clear of any Ninja dragon riders or anything random like that....thats it! do a samurai version of the dogs of war Anarsil the Dragon Rider! That would be something, or Karl Franz (Nipponese Emperor or something) :angel:

25-04-2007, 23:49
"And lo! There was indeed much rambling to be read"

Oooh, so many posts. Today was spent on writing on my essay and playing P&P RPGs, so no progress. I went to the indie store though, to check on cavalry bases. They were all out, and won't get new ones until next friday, so cavalry reinforcements will unfortunately have to wait.

strv: I've collected quite a lot of cereal boxes now, so the lack of cavalry bases is a good excuse to go back to that big boy. And for Helgon, I don't know whom amongst my visitors are Helgon users. I'm lilljonas there too, so I'm not difficult to find. I should do a swedish warseer/helgon tour when the army is done, and get beaten at clubs and tables all over the country.

Dino: Thank you, I'll do my best!

Vattendroppe: lilljonas: always one step in front of you! ;)

mistformsquirrel: Isn't it? It surely has my attention and devotion more than any fantasy army could. And well, I'm doing my share to help with the sore lack of 28mm samurai painting and collecting material online, just drop me a line if you start a similar project and need some help. Research is a big part of a project like this, and shared research is the best research.

Rogue 7: Sounds like fun. I did a similar project with a classmate back in high school history class, we researched medieval arabic architecture and cityscapes and created a block of 13th century Bagdhad. It was horribly out of scale and (in my wargamer eyes) really lacking of detail, but it's surprising what non-hobbyist are impressed by. Guess hanging around sites like this and CMON changes your perspectives. Go for it, it sounds like fun! Also, don't be afraid to ask if you need any help.

salarath: the problem with mantlets are that they were mostly siege defenses, either for the sieging side to get close enough to attempt the walls, or for the defending side to improve their defences or to build temporary walls. There's excellent pictures of this in both Osprey's "Japanese Castles 1540-1640" and "Ashigaru 1467-1649", where there's both the proper mantlets and the bundles of reed version. Mantlets should be easy enough to build, and I might do some for scenic use, but they are nothing that would be brought to a proper battlefield, since mobility (even for gunners) would be too valuable to use mantlets. In defences that were on battlefields, like Nagashino, a wooden stockade was used instead, less so to protect from firearms and arrows than to stop the cavalry assault. And Last Samurai should not be seen for historical references! :p

However, it is a good idea, and the wicker versions are probably really easy to do, just bundle a couple of irregular sticks of the proper size (a broomstick could probably serve) and tie them together. Also, the "line of mantlets" just like the bretonnian men-at-arms spikes should be easy to do too, and could look good. I might even think about trying to incorporate them in a movement tray or something wild like that. I'll have to do trays sooner or later anyhow. Thanks for the idea. :)

vattendroppe: regarding mantlets and swords, you first have to understand that the sword was always a secondary weapon on the japanese battlefield, both for cavalry and infantry. That is the only thing that explains their disdain for shields: in earlier periods the spear and the bow were the main weapons, and later, the pike, the spear and the arquebus. All these are two handed weapons, and since your main weapon is two handed, you simply don't carry a shield. On the battlefield, the katana was always something you used when you could no longer use your main weapon. Also remember that bushido as a concept was invented more than a century after the last real samurai battle, that "a samurai sword equals his soul" were invented in the 1800's, most battles were decided by people fleeing or switching sides, not fighting to their last, honourable breath, and that proficiency with a bow and horsemanship was as valued as your ability as a swordfighter, and you have taken a long step towards the disenchanting of the ahistorical samurai myth. Don't tell the Japanese though, they're very fond of it. ;)

salarath: Thank you for not wanting ninja dragon riders. But, who knows... if I ever find an eastern style dragon that looks good enough in 28mm... (and no, I haven't, not even close).

26-04-2007, 06:14
@vattendroppe-the horses thing is exactly what i thought as well (ie-bugger, that wont work will it!) but then i remembered the knights of the white wolf, who use two handed weapons for + 2 (now 1:mad: ). If they are equipped with yari, then it would make sense for this, as would the katana armed mounted samurai, because the ones on foot are counted as greatswords.

Hmm... I don't know how historically correct it is, but you're right that one could use mounted samurais with katana/naginata as white wolfs, that way the priest also could have a great weapon now when mounted!

Vattendroppe: lilljonas: always one step in front of you! ;)

I have noticed that you always seem to be one step ahead! You're NOT the one I would go play AoE or starcraft against. :p

27-04-2007, 00:13
By popular demand, it's the return of the castle!

Today was mostly spent outdoors in the lovely, lovely spring weather, but there's always room for some building or painting. Today, I wanted to do some exterior work.

First, a good glance of the building you are planning to recreate, or your sketches or whatever, is in good order. Looking at the exterior of the first level we see this:


So we'll want some larger horizontal boards, smaller squarish boards along the windows and the tip of the wooden panel, and vertical squarish boards. Counting the big boards, there's eight of them on top of each other. So we'll want something like that. Measuring from the bottom up to the top of the window, it's 35mm. 35/8 is 4.3, so let's settle for a convenient 5mm and seven boards in height.


So we measure up 5mm length of cereal boxes (I stack them in the cupboard, waiting for them to be sacrificed for the greater good), and cut them with a metal ruler. It really wreaks havoc on the cutting board, so expendable ones only used for modelling is prefered. Mine is from IKEA, at like 1$ a piece. You can definately find cheap ones in second hand stores. Now, it's just a matter of cutting a couple of dozen pieces. Cutting more than you plan to use is a good idea, as they don't turn out exactly the same, so you can mix and match to make their width suit perfectly for the next step: gluing the boards.


Glue, glue, glue. And measure and cut for the windows.


Then, I use a 2*2 mm balsa stick to make the upper edge of the panel. It's easy, but I didn't buy enough of it for further levels. I'll have to order more later on.

27-04-2007, 00:14
continued due to picture limits


Next step is to bring out the 1*2 mm balsa, and make the frames around the windows. Balsa is much easier and quicker to work with than cereal boxes. This is pretty much where I'm stuck at the moment, the next step would be to add 1*2 mm balsa strips vertically along the boards, and then add the bars they have in the windows. After that, the exterior for the first level is done.

Vattendroppe: I'm just a bit worried about all this "great weapons on horses suck" thing, I mean, I see no reason at all to use White Wolves. "Hey, let's ditch that nice lance charge, and go for a +1 strike last attack! And then we can all fail to wound, and bounce off those dwarfs like rubber balls! Wheeeee!". However, everything should be playtested before ridiculed, I guess.

And the "being a step ahead" business is based on a foundation of research, research, research and mad ninja skills. But you can very much play Starcraft against me, I just spend all my time gleefully evolving guardians, blissfully oblivious to all that "getting my ass kicked" going on.

EDIT: Woo, 10th page!

27-04-2007, 02:11
Huzzah for the return of the castle. It's looking spiffing, not sure what you were worried about.

27-04-2007, 06:22

The return of the castle, brings as much headlines as the return of the jedi did! Or not quite, but the subscribers of this thread cheers as much. Anyway, looking even nicer than I thought it would, keep on!

And there's not very much need to playtest white wolfs with their great weapons. Lances are much, much more worth it, but I thought it was a cool idea to have the list be a little bit more WSIYWIG. Could be done with the warrior priest at least, since he cannot take lance/shield in his entry?

27-04-2007, 09:04
nkicik: oh, I was never worried about the exterior, that's simple enough. My main worry is the roofs, and the biggest workload will probably be the interior. I'll try to get the interior for the first floor done this week.

vattendroppe: yes, with so many people asking for it, I could not refuse. And it was damn fun to return to it!

27-04-2007, 09:39
Uh, guys, I think it was called Return of the King... not castle.. :P

Loving the models, and that castle is cool, I want to build both a Longboat or 3 for my Chaos Horde and a Dwarf Stronghold for my Dwarfs.

27-04-2007, 14:43
"And lo! There was indeed much rambling to be read"Isn't it? It surely has my attention and devotion more than any fantasy army could. And well, I'm doing my share to help with the sore lack of 28mm samurai painting and collecting material online, just drop me a line if you start a similar project and need some help. Research is a big part of a project like this, and shared research is the best research.

Well, I doubt it'll be anytime soon <;-;> (Trying to get my Grey Knights going. My budget however, is not cooperating! >.<) - that said; I'll keep it in mind; cause try as I might, 2 ideas have pretty much consumed me since I got into the Warhammer 'thing' - a Grey Knight's army in 40k, and a Samurai army based on Empire in Fantasy >.> (the 40k one will be much cheaper, hence it comming first)

The Perry miniatures were a great choice btw, and you're even letting me get a cool preview of how they'd look <'x'> (Those were the ones I'd looked at)

I should shaddup >_< not really contributing much; I'll just oogle that awesome castle a bit <O-O>b

28-04-2007, 22:15
I did some more work on the castle, but nothing spectacular. Instead I'll put up the second rider. Again, the colours were improvised. Sometimes it turned out good, sometimes not as good. I'm starting to like adding brownish yellow to them.




As you can see, I'm trying out new sashimono (back banner) designs. The multicoloured style of the unit will be complemented with giving them individual banners. Seeing the picture really picks out details I didn't notice when seeing it in person, so I'll have to smoothen up some minor mistakes, like the shin guards being a bit sloppy here and there. I'm most happy with the face, I like his expression a lot. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome, I'm pretty much making these up as I go, so it would be nice to see what you think works and what doesn't.

Pants: Thank you. After battling my castle, all I can say is "go for it!". Even if you are a complete beginner at terrain making, you'll pick up a lot of thing really fast. Just try to find (or make) good concept sketches and pictures so that you know what you are working towards, and go nuts!

mistformsquirrel: no problem, all visitors are welcome, no matter if they contribute with wisdom or rambles. After all, having other people here ramble makes my rambles seem not as out of place. ;)

28-04-2007, 22:54
Wow, that castle is impressive. Very accurate too. Great work.

I also like the idea of separating those banners up a bit, this one looks really nice compared to the single colored ones. Keep em coming mate.

29-04-2007, 22:36
Blurry pictures ahoy!


Last touches on the exterior of the first floor. The only thing that remains are the bars in the windows, and window shutters if I decide to do them. One more horizontal line added, and then vertical lines. It doesn't go exactly all the way around, since to my surprise, I spent all five meters of 1*2mm balsa strips. Five meters, and it wasn't enough. I have severely underestimated some of the material use on this project. This week I used up 6-7 meters. More balsa will be ordered for the next couple of levels.

After that, I started working on the interior again.


I'm starting to think that the inner walls will look barren compared to the rest of the castle, but I'm not sure yet, and I'm definitely not sure if it will be worth the effort to add a layer of panel for the inside too. So should I go all out and add interior wall panelling or should I move on to more important stuff, like the roof?

Then I went to the PM site, and they amazed me again. They pretty much solved my cavalry command group issues, and added a new set of cavalry (Red Devils! No pictures available yet, but they sure will be ordered), and more scenic miniatures. Ashigaru piling up rice bails? I needed some of those working for posing with the castle building process! :D Now I need to paint all the unpainted minis I have ASAP so I can buy more. Bad news for the castle though, but I'll try to get some work on it anyway.

mousekiller: Yes, the exterior is finally showing off how I wanted it to look. And mixing the banners up sure worked, I might att details like that when I finally get to do the banners for the army. The all white ones are pretty much placeholders.

29-04-2007, 23:14
Wow, that fortress is pretty darn good and Japanese(or Nipponese if you will) looking to me. And the samuri rider is very nicely done. Keep up the good work man, and keep youre stick on the ice.

30-04-2007, 02:26
Nice work on the castle lilljonas, looking great.

I envy you having generic townsfolk moels to be able to pick up. I wish GW did a range of them for each of their armies. I would love to build an empire town with kids and wenches running around everywhere.

Be sure you get us some pictures of the new models when you get them, unpainted is fine!

04-05-2007, 19:03
Seriously, awesome work. I can't believe I never noticed this thread. THe buidlings are amazing. These are probably the first good looking samurai models at this scale that I've seen. Only gripe is probably the size of their weapons, but only because it's in comparison to GW's scale (I do realize your samurai weapons are more of a realistic scale).

04-05-2007, 23:25
I love to see your army coming together. It has inspired me to continue with my samurai army (500+ minis).

I have also started to consider to make my next terrain board a "Seven Samurai" one. Trying to recreate the village on a 1.2x1.2 meter board.

Although I am really impressed with your minis so far there is one thing that really bugs me. The stonework on the castle.
Judging from the pictures, the castle is really nice - but the stones suck. Bigtime.

Man kan helt enkelt inte använda frigolit och få det att se bra ut - utan att först täcka allt med ett tjockt lager husfix...

Trust me on this one, even though it will mean that all work and paint time on the castle base will be wasted I *know* that having foam boulders will ruin the overall effect, no matter how much time you put in trying to hide the foam. Also foam (not counting blue and pink insulation foam) is way to brittle for wargaming.

05-05-2007, 00:47
So, what's for todays update? More fearsome riders? Something new that you haven't seen yet? Or simply...


...more of the same! These last 6 pikemen have been hanging around my workspace for a month or so now, so it was about time they got painted. This puts the pikemen unit to 28 with command. They were quick and simple to paint, since I didn't want them to stand out in the unit. As you might remember, they were among the first to be painted, so they are pretty basic. Four relatively quick sessions was all it took, and it provided us with a comparison between the old and the new skin tones:


Old to the left and new to the right. Other than that, I could finally buy cavalry bases.

Dino: Thank you! Stick... firmly placed... on ground... drat, I fell again!

spikedog: Luckily, Empire townspeople should be possible to find from historical companies. Other armies are not as lucky. You guys want unpainted pictures too? Well, I could do that. It's much easier and faster than having to paint them first. ;)

gorenut: Thank you. Surely my ninja skills kept me out of your view. And yes, I'm getting very spoiled by the PM models, people keep recommending me other samurai producers, but they all look pretty "meh" in my eyes from now on. And I like realistic sized weapons, though I do think that PM's naginata are a tad on the short side.

kendoka: glad to hear people find them inspiring! A terrain board on Seven Samurai is indeed great, since they even make a map in the movie, there should be plenty of material to go from. Are you planning on just having it as a display piece, or to use it for skirmish gaming?

I'm kinda with you on the stonework. I don't agree on it being too brittle: after some layers of acrylics, it's resilent enough. However, I sure agree that there should be ways to make it look better, and especially, more "rock-like".

How would you recommend me doing it with "Husfix"? Putting a layer over the paint, and then scratching out the stone texture with a sculpting tool? I mean, with the time already spent on it, and the time that I will inevitably have to spend to finish it, making the stonework better definitely would pay off in the end I think.

05-05-2007, 08:38
Looking good.
Nice terrain too, I like it.
Here (http://www.oshiromodelterrain.co.uk/) is some more nice, Japanese type terrain to get you salivating.

05-05-2007, 16:34
Looking good as usual, though I hope that you won't go with the new skintones throughout the whole rest of the army, could be nice with a little variation to it! Plus you've found two very nice skin tones to nipponese IMO :)

08-05-2007, 22:38
Page two alert! Time to bump this baby back to the top.

Yesterday, I finished the third mounted samurai. The theme I was going for was green and gold, and it turned out to have quite a bit of red too.



They really take a lot of time to paint, since I want every one individually, but I want them to turn out colourful and individualistic, so that's the price I have to pay I guess.

Other than that, thudding sounds have echoed across Nippon as goblin slaves cut down swaths of huge, rectangular balsa trees. Cereal box residue piled up as they carved them into boards, covering the previously bare polystyrene floors.


You can also see that more balsa work was done on the outside, and I started putting in the bars in the windows. And here's what's going to be the start of the second floor:


The added woodwork means that I'll have to re-do everything I did on the paper walls, but it will look much better, so it's definately worth it. I hope. I might have an idea how to make the sloping roofs, but I'll have to make a mock-up for the second floor to make the measuring and stuff first (especially the second floor windows). It's a lot of work, but it's looking better already.

JT-Y: Ooooh, very nice. Way out of my leage, but definitely something a level to aspire for!

Vattendroppe: Yeah, I like the second one better, but it sure looks pale compared to the older one. I'll see how I do with future units.

09-05-2007, 01:06
Dude, that samurai rocks. You'd make the anceint samurai proud if they say this. Good work on the Fort:confused: , looks really nice.

09-05-2007, 03:07
Just read all 199 posts of this thread and just wanted to say: Good idea, good army, good models, good painting, good castle, good job!

12-05-2007, 16:47
Well, ten pages and 200 replies. I think it's time for a different update. It will be in two parts: first, what's on my workbench. Half painted and unpainted miniatures.


This is my second unit of ashigaru pikemen, clad in haori (a sort of jacket you wear outside your armour). The faces turned out really sloppy due to bad priming, but since these are just the first 12 of 24, I can hide the worst among the rank-and-file once the unit is done. I don't think I'll do another big ranked infantry unit after this one. The pikes fall of all the time, just like in the other unit, and I can't imagine how difficult it will be to find a case to carry my army with all these long pikes. Oh well.


More horesemen, 3 with spears and 3 with swords. I mostly took the swords since I've already bought all spear-armed riders they had, and I'd rather buy some new and interesting models than cloning some of my older riders.


These are the new riders with horo, a kind of bamboo and cloth construction stuck to the back, mostly for important messangers. When they ride the wing grabs the cloth and creates a big bag that grabs peoples attention so that they'd hopefully move aside. I'm thinking about using them as musicians in the horseman units. It would be a bit more logical to have them as standard bearers, but since there's no good way to make riding japanese musicians, these'll probably be used for that. Notice the huge amount of horses I just happen to aquire. I might go for a third unit, now that the new Red Devils mounted unit (why no pictures, PM? Why no pictures?) is released. Then I'll use all three messangers, and have two smaller units and one bigger unit. Since I don't use a lot of shooting, artillery or magic, there's hopefully a lot of points to waste on hordes of knights.

These miniatures are interesting since they're the first ones where the riders and the horses are stuck together, and instead the only thing not stuck to the model is the right arms, holding spears.


But some shooters are welcome. Here's six more handgunners, I'll use them as a detachment. The models are great and very individual, but they wouldn't work in a bigger unit. I might go for one or two more shooting detachment, or perhaps even some huntsmen.

Next update will come in a couple of minutes.

12-05-2007, 16:56
It's more exciting with a log where the list hasen't been wrote before the army starts to take shape, you never know what will come next :p

12-05-2007, 17:25
Now, it's time for

Samurai Roll Call

First, the entire unpainted army. Lots of dishonourable pig-dogs, and the set-up took soo much time that the sun was gone when I finished.



Warrior priest, two handed weapon, heavy armour, warhorse: 108pts
(the Dixon Daimyo is just there to supervise)

Core: (units have invisible shields for less suckitude)

28 spearmen with full command: 188pts
Detachment 12 halberds: 72pts

12 spearmen that will become 28 with full command: 188pts
Detachment 6 handgunners: 48pts

14 handgunners, full command: 132pts

10 knights, full command: 270pts

6 knights, full command: 178pts


20 greatswords, full command: 230pts

That makes for 1414 points with absolutely no magic items or banners or antyhing attached. Also, for now I can use my two knight champions as other heroes, until I get the guys I'm planning for. The leap to 2000pts is probably possible through adding heroes and detachments. Comments on where this largely improvised horde is going are welcome, even through I'll probably disregard "dude, you need to get X and don't use Y to have a chance at a tournament!" replies. It's 100% geared toward casual use, and the fact that the only GW product you'll see are the slottabases and green stuff should be a clue that I'm not aiming for a Games Day. However, constructive advice are welcome as I've never played with Empire. As you see I have lots and lots of special and rare choises left if I don't use the spearmen as DoW pikemen. Might add inner circle and perhaps a cannon.

Here's a snapshot with only the painted units:


I really need to make movement trays. Setting these pictures up took way too long, and I can't imagine actually moving all of them on a tabletop without trays. I'll see if I can find some suitable materials around.

For the final picture, I saved the most thrilling thing on my workbench:
Heroes! From left to right, we have Date Masamune, disguised as a precept in a unit of knights since he worked hard not to be involved at Sekigahara. Then we have Uesugi Kenshin, disguised as a warrior priest (which he kind of was), since he died 22 years before the battle. Finally, we have Oda Nobunaga, disguised as a precept of a unit of knights, since he also was kind of dead (since 18 years). As I said, I'm not negative towards using them as heroes, though I'd rather use guys who were actually either present at the campaign (like Kato Kiyomasa) or at the actual battle, like Ii Naomasa. I might try to find out other nice generals for them to portrait.

Dino: thank you, it's difficult to balance spending time with the castle and the miniatures, that's for sure! They are both very challanging and interesting.

Rhamag: thank you, and welcome aboard! Feel free to stay around and follow my progress.


vattendroppe: indeed, it's just as much a surprise for me as for you! The only downside is that I think I'll have 3000pts of painted miniatures before I can field a reasonable 2000pts army, due to just buying the models that I fancy.

12-05-2007, 17:37
Hey lilljonas, I'd never taken the trouble to look at your log before, but I'm glad I have just done so! It's a great project, i've enjoyed your miniatures, and especially liked the terrain pieces. I'm afraid I will have to copy your technique for the stones on the base of the castle (which looks phenomenal, by the way :cool: ) at some point in the near future. Well done, keep up your excellent work! :)

Rogue 7
14-05-2007, 03:03
So you're actually doing the battle of Sekigahara? Are you going to have Tokugawa Iyeseau (or however you spell it)? Or was he not even at the battle? Either way, the army looks fantastic in a groupshot.

14-05-2007, 12:06
Wow. Love the army, and I love the Castle even more. The wiki entry for the battle of Sekigahara has an extensive list of all the generals who took part and the number of men they commanded, all in all, 80,000 men per side must of been an absolutely massive spectacle!

Also, where are you getting the Sashimono designs from? Are they based on the western fudai daimyo clans or are they your own creation?

14-05-2007, 13:48
Well this army is coming along very nicely and its nice to see how far you've come on this project. Good luck on whats ever next on youre chopping block.

15-05-2007, 00:20
(sorry, this turned into a big whine-fest. Only read it if you are comforted by the idea that other people mess up too. And you know by now that when I'm not painting or whining, I'm rambling. Enjoy!)

Today's update is a tribute to those special moments of this hobby. You know them: you have a clear thought in your mind how your little project is supposed to end up, you have an entire evening to yourself to create it, you sit down full of ideas and hopes... and it turns out crap.

Yes. Frustration. Anger. Tics on your right eye. Those special moments where you just want to smash things in disgust.

Today I spent the evening trying to figure out how to make the roof of the castle. It started out fine, with me making a placeholder for the second floor out of cardboard:


It was after that that the problems began. Things not being in the dimensions I thought they were. Things being a bit crooked. But I can live with that, so I fudged around until I thought I had it settled down to begin with the foundation to put the actual roof on later. And this is the glorious result:


Damn, that's ugly. Pretty much everything is wrong. Also, there's even a huge amounts of faults that's not obvious from the photo, but the sagging is pretty obvious. The wooden supports are way too obvious, they are too low and stick out too much, but that wouldn't be as much of a problem if the roof was wider. Also, the support beamish thing on top to the right, that I used to try to get the cardboard strips to get some support, is too short. I'll probably try to figure out where things went wrong and then just tear it all off. If I make the support beam longer and change it angle it will hopefully help some, but I keep thinking that I need further support from below along the roof. But that will need lots of exact measuring and cutting and it makes my head hurt. I just want back to when I cut strips of balsa and glued it in rectangular patterns.

Short summary: building things without straight edges is hard.

firestorm40k: thank you, and welcome aboard! It's interesting that the stonework of the castle is liked by some and not others. I'll see how it looks when I get further on the project. People seems to be excited about the castle, so I'm doing my best to bridge my ineptitude and reach the second level.

Rogue 7: Yes, Tokugawa Ieyasu was commanding the battle, from a safe distance as was the common way at the time. Perry Miniatures have a nice set of him, which I plan to paint in the future. However, it is more of a diorama piece of him and his closest men surveying the battlefield from their distand position, so I'm going to get some fighting men done before. I won't be able to use him on the battlefield, so I'm going for his generals as my heroes, who did lead the battle from the frontline.

Nineswords: thank you, and welcome aboard! I'll check the wikipedia site a bit more, my inspiration for the army pretty much came from Osprey's book on the campaign (Sekigahara 1600, it's #40 in their Campaign series). And indeed, it is really easy to get excited about it, since it pretty much decided the future for Japan from then on, everyone was involved in some way or another, and since it was at the pinnacle of late medieval warfare of Japan, it goes a bit smoother in line with the Empire army list than the conflicts just 50 years earlier.

The sashimono is one of those things I've put off until I'm further into the army. The one used on the swordsmen are a bit strange. I went through the Osprey maps of the deployment of forces, and checked the family crest database on samurai-archives.com for nice looking crests. Turned out I really liked the look of the Arima clan, a comparably insignificant clan that fielded a small (ca 900 men) vanguard for the Tokugawa main force. Oh yeah, and it turned out their mon is exactly the same as a certain Oda clan, which I didn't know until I watched Kagemusha after adding them and it's frikkin all over the place. So now it looks to me like a unit from Oda Nobunaga's army, two decades earlier. Great. I don't know if I'll try to remove them when I get to making the banners. I have bought some inkjet transfer sheets for that part of the project, I could never do them with freehand.
I just think I need to do more thinking and planning for the banners, there's plenty enough going wrong right now due to lack of plans. ;) Also, I'm painting colours and patterns as backdrop for the banners on the riders just now, and I like it a lot. I'll see where it all ends up. And no, I'm basing it on the eastern army, not the western, even though I really, really like the clan Môri mon.

Dino: thank you, and yes, it was kinda nice to put them all up together for the first time. It was also good to see just how much better they looked with just the painted miniatures, that's a great motivation for getting more of them done!

15-05-2007, 10:17
My bad, I meant the eastern forces of Tokugawa. Let me know how the print it yourself transfer paper works out since I am going to be using them for my own forces. Best of luck!

20-05-2007, 11:30
Those group shots look fantastic lilljonas! You know I'm a big fan and I can say with complete confidence that I am in total awe of your force!

Sorry to hear things didnt work out with the castle, but it still looks 100% better than anything I could hope to do.. I am speaking quite literally here.

Anyway, keep it up!

Rogue 7
20-05-2007, 19:30
With regards to the castle- a question. What are you doing in terms of doors? I saw your earlier door embedded in the styrofoam, but that seems somewhat...inadequate. Attempts to google pictures of what I'm looking for have proven fruitless. I may be forced to just go with that.

Lord of Skulls
20-05-2007, 20:21
I've been following this thread on and off for some time now, and finally got around to subscribing.

I really like your painting, and I'm sure the force will look absolutely amazing when you're done:) I also must say that I'm impressed by your dedication, and it's obvious that you've done a lot of research.

Best of luck with the rest of your army, I'll make sure to keep a closer eye on this from now on.

the Wulfen
21-05-2007, 21:49
Hello All, seeing as my friends keep telling me about the Samurai castle they had seen, I just had to see what all the fuss was about ;) And I must say it looks awesome lilljonas! My samurai's are definately annoyed of not having an home now. But then again, they're still black :cries:

Heheh, somehow roofs always prove to be the most annoying feature to make! I do have an tip for this kind of roofs, and that is to mount the long strips of cardboard/balsa on common "printer" paper (just glue the top of every balsa strip to it). This will enable you to easy test fit and correct them (as they stay together) while the paper can be bend/twisted/curved until you are satisfied. Then you only have to glue everything together. Also great for checking the "curve" for support walls.


and ofcourse lilljonas: Fighto! Keep up the good work :D

Storm Hunters
22-05-2007, 17:57
This is awsum, all i can think is "I want one".

Just think of the fun i can have when i have student loan to blow next year.

16-06-2007, 22:31
Ok, so I took a break and got some real life things sorted out. Now I'm relocated to my parents' home, since I'll be working as a gravedigger during summer. Yay for scary-sounding summer jobs!

Different house, different workbench

Summer-time is experimenting time, and this weekend I went to Gothenburg and picked up some nifty things. Beside the Sabol case that will help me lug all these dudes around, I started planning for my first summer project: Gifu castle.


I picked this Doyusha 1:350 kit up when I went to Gifu last year. I like them, and I built a bigger Edo Castle kit last summer. The main interest in this years kit will be this:


What is it? Filters from the bathroom ventilation? A kitchen sponge? No, it's what the fine lads at Doyusha thought that we should use to make the forest on the mountain top. Forget that, we're using this:


Early Fall and Late Fall Foliage and Fine Turf (green and burned grass) from Woodland Scenics that I picked up at Hobbycenter, a store more geared towards model kits and minature rail tracks, which means that they have some sweet scenery stuff. I'm going to try some things I haven't tried before, like making autumn trees and highlighted flock. I was also keen on trying a winter version, but finally I went for the autumn look.

More update in a second due to picture limit.

Rogue 7
16-06-2007, 22:35
....It lives....It LIVES!!
Glad to see this is back, and I'm sure you'll be glad to see that I've finished my castle (over in terrain- 1 picture. meh), so I'll no longer be pestering this thread for advice. Gravedigger, hunh? Ever read Hamlet?

17-06-2007, 04:06
Hurry, it's back. Finally. Can't wait to see what you've got ready to do.

17-06-2007, 10:11
Update a bit later than planned due to internet being quite erratic here.


The kit is quite simple and just took the evening to build, and it would have been even easier if I had remembered to bring the instruction leaflet. One press molded cliff, two white, one brown and two grey sprues, which I primed with spray. The disadvantage of spraying while things are still on sprues is that the paint "melts" when gluing with plastic glue, which can make things look a bit bad sometimes. The advantage is that it's really fast and convenient. Priming the last castle entirely by brush last year took several days, mostly because it was mindnumbingly boring.

So, after tonight I had this:


I'm surprised that it's actually quite different compared to the actual castle. Some walls and whatever being at other places than where they are now could be explained by it being a historical representation of what it looked at some certain point in time, but the actual cliff is different too. For example, it actually kind of continues a bit into a narrow path after the entrance, ending at a small shrine. There's also a path down the hill behind the second largest building, ending at one of the many wells dug out of the hillside to gather up rainwater during sieges.


The castle itself is pretty cool though, and worth a visit. It features a lot in Japanese medieval history: it's capture by Oda Nobunaga was pivotal for his initial expansion, and he made it his headquarter for quite some time after taking it. The siege was a tense affair with many stories of daring samurai climbing the cliffs at night to sneak behind the lines and raid the defenders' supplies. The castle has one of the cooler placement of the japanese mountain castles, at a huge cliff from where it can be seen from the hills and valley plains that riddle the area. Nowadays you can get there by a ropeway, but the hills are extremely steep and slippery so it's very impressive that all those stones and logs were brought up there by hand.


Inside the castle is a museum with quite a bit of armour, weapons, ninja equipment and authentic clothing, armour and swords from Oda Nobunaga and his wife. Since Nobunaga turned Christian for a while to get access to new technology and get an excuse to get rid of belligerent buddhists, there's a bunch of 16th century Portugese maps, binoculars, books etc. too. And if you like squirrels they for some reason have a petting zoo with only squirrels at the top of the mountain. It also has a very very old clock, the first mechanical clock brought to Japan. Oh well.

Nineswords: Blast it! I forgot the transfer sheets back in Lund! I'll see if I order some more of if I'll just wait until August to get those things sorted out.

Alathir: Thank you. I'm getting my revenge now, with small scale plastic kits. Oh, a 4 hour assembly time, including spray painting? I'd never.

Rogue 7: The first door was pretty much a cop-out. The door on the front actually looks pretty much like the actual door at Inuyamajou, but the second, "lid in the floor" thingy is pure cop-out. The actual entrance after the door is a tiny room with wooden floor, with an extremely steep flight of wooden stairs/ladder going up to the left, without a lid, going to the open corridor that circles the first floor. The rest of the castle have similar steep flights of steps/ladder thingies. I have pictures if you need them as reference, for now I have maxed the amounts in this post.

Lord of Skulls: Welcome aboard! I'm sorry that I went on the longest break yet just after your first reply here. I'll try to make more progress now, mixing it up with other things should keep my interest alive. I might have a second secret project after this one, but I'll try to get some actual miniatures done too.

the Wulfen: Ooh, my samurai want to play with your samurai, even though they are only primed.

The tile system you showed works wonders for medieval/renaissance-looking European houses. The bad thing is that japanese tiled roofs looks nothing like that. The rather look like there are tubes laid on top of flat, even tiles. It's difficult to describe, but the difference is quite striking if you check close-ups. Since 99% of the smooth and good-looking techniques for tiles available on the internet are made for those more western-styled tiles, I'm still looking for that perfect technique.

Storm Hunters: Yeah, they seem to have that effect. And yay for student loan turing into samurai armies! That's pretty much my story after all.

17-06-2007, 19:10
Just thought I'd say WOW!

The models are great. A wonderful idea carried out to a great standard. As for the castle, I absolutely love it. The level of thought, planning, detail and effort you've put into it is simply outstanding.

Keep up the good work. :D

Lord of Skulls
17-06-2007, 20:09
Lord of Skulls: Welcome aboard! I'm sorry that I went on the longest break yet just after your first reply here. I'll try to make more progress now, mixing it up with other things should keep my interest alive. I might have a second secret project after this one, but I'll try to get some actual miniatures done too.
Thank you. No problem about the break, we all need them once in a while;) And side projects like this are very interesting as well, so just do whatever you feel like.

Oh, and now you've made me really want to go visit that castle:p Oh well, maybe one day I'll be able to.

Good luck with the painting!

Easy E
18-06-2007, 13:54
I was at the local shop looking for some Macedonian Pikeman for my DoW army, and I saw a bunch of Old Glory Samurai minis. I thought about your blog, and had to restrain myself from changing the entire theme of my DoW from Pyrrhus to Oda Nobanaga.

Your work is inspirational.

22-06-2007, 20:12
After being comatose from bicycling to work every evening, I could finally start drybrushing today. I started with the path and the stonework:


look at those slanted roofs with their weird angles. Look at them! Then try to recreate it in 28mm scale with cardboard, &%€#! May camels dine on their intestines and their beards grow inwards.

Sorry about the pics, I have no good background yet, I'll try to find some nice white background. I drybrushed with light browns (Bleached Bone, Bubonic Brown) and Fortress Grey mixed with browns. Then I just stabbed the brush (don't use a good brush!!!) to get the random pattern, and I also did this with a very very small amount of Scab Red mixed with Scorched Brown. It shouls be barely noticeable.

I'm quite happy with the results on the stonework, the stabbing action brought out the random nature better, ironically enough, than on my large scale castle where I painted every stone individually. The path is a bit too yellow, I think, so I'll do some more work on that. Then I'll move on to the cliff itself!

Overall, is something random like this model kit out of line ("get back to the 28mm samurai!"), or is it fun? I wouldn't mind more random things like WW2 tank kits and whatever around here, but what about you?

Dino: almost missed you there, hiding between updates. ;) This project is going quite fast compared to my struggle with the big castle, so with a bit of luck it will be over in a week or two, and I'll get to reveals something else.

MadDave123: thank you, and welcome aboard! Yes, if you spend a lot of time on research, sooner or later the travel becomes more interesting than the destination, so to speak. It's great to be learning while building your little toy-men.

Lord of Skulls: haha, that's me, I'll end up as a tour guide at one of those castles one day. I gave an extensive tour of Okazaki castle to a born and bred Okazaki friend who had never visited it. "What you mean, you haven't visited it? You LIVE here!".

Easy E: well, if you had switched, I would have his castle built before you had painted them. :) Too bad not even 6mm would be small enough. I'll have to look for a castle matching 15mm some day, that could be an awesome army centerpiece.

22-06-2007, 20:56
Goodness - this is one of the most original logs i've seen on here and really good to see historical mini's getting the warhammer treatment - there's so much nice stuff out there. Looking really good so far, hope you manage to get the army finished.

Excuse me for not reading through the whole thing but have you had a look at warhammer-historical.com? I believe there are lists for ancient chinese armies in Warhammer ancients (very close to 6th ed warhammer) if that's of interest and they're releasing a book for ancient japanese shortly i believe.

There is a generic samurai list in the new edition of the Warhammer Ancients Rulebook too.

Rogue 7
22-06-2007, 20:57
Well, if you start in on WWII tanks, it'll get moved to general, wouldn't it, which would mean that you should get a lot more comments, and might be more motivated to update!

22-06-2007, 22:06
colhodg: Thank you! Yeah, the Divine Wind looks promising, with several japanese list and a korean too if I'm not mistaken. Too bad it's been posted as "coming soon" for half a year now, I heard the author got ill and it was postponed or something. Too bad I don't know of a single WAB player in my general area, so I've never seen it played.

Rogue 7: well, I wasn't planning on going directly on WW2 tanks, rather slightly prodding the readers about what they feel about focus and such. I rarely see anything on Warseer that isn't directly wargaming oriented, so I'm curious about what people think of related stuff such as scale models. But something Japan-oriented that isn't medieval MIGHT make an appearance... :eek:

I have no idea whether my thread is general or not. By now I'm not entirely fantasy, am I? With like, scale models of real buildings and such? But I think it's cosy here in the Fantasy section, I don't have to update twice a day to be on the first page. :)

26-06-2007, 11:44

Two fast updates. First, I added some random browns and greys to what will be the rock itself. No need to be too careful: a lot of it will be covered with at least one of the many kinds of flock I'm planning to use.


The carps on top of the castle keeps falling off. It's a good thing the kit decide to include an extra piece, if I should lose any of them. I'll stop trying to repair it until the kit is finished, by now just handling it makes them pop off.


The layout from above.

26-06-2007, 11:52
Time to bring forward the turf flock. The cliff looks like this:


but I'll take some artistic liberties to make it a bit more interesting later on. The turf flock is really nice. Much better than expected. In the bag, it just looks like tightly packed grains, but they sort of curl together and fluff up just a little bit that makes them pretty convincing even up close. Oh, and the bag probably lasts way, way, longer than I thought. I kept on pouring the flock out without any visible shrinkage of the bag.

For smaller scale I could probably use it in itself in a couple of layer to make some nice woods, and at bigger scales I think it could create a nice and mossy underbrush. I might try that out later. Next step will be an attempt at highlighting with lighter turf (this can turn out really *****), and then it's time for the autumn foliage!



Sorry about the poor quality of the lighting, I haven't found a single good place to take pictures in the house, and while the natural outdoors light worked well for yesterdays pictures, today has been rainy all through the day.

26-06-2007, 11:56
That's looking simply outstanding. The flock has turned out great. :)

26-06-2007, 19:50
Looking nice. :)

What are those carp things that's falling off? Some part of the roof?

Rogue 7
26-06-2007, 21:02
time to bust out the japanese- sugoi!
(wow, but I'm assuming you knew that)

26-06-2007, 21:31
I started on the trees today, but due to the poor weather conditions I have no pictures for you.

MadDave123: thank you. Yeah, that turf stuff is great! That part is definitely about quality materials rather than any sort of skills on my side. Too bad mixing the green turf and the "burned grass" turf (pictures later) didn't really turn out as well, mostly due to the nature of the material and the lack of blending colours. But I'll cover most of the bad stuff up with trees.

mrtn: Well, they are one of two major luck insurances of japanese castle construction. The first one you probably know without knowing, it's the sloped roofs you'll see on both chinese and japanese buildings. They are said to make evil gods and spirits falling from the sky sort of sled down the roof and then launch from the building like when you go over a jump on a sled, putting safe quaters between your lovely home and dastardly devils. The other one is the carps on the tallest roofs, one of the major lucky charms of Japan. The exception is Nagoya Castle, who has frikkin' golden killer whales, even though English translations use to call them dolphins, including those at the very castle itself. I have no idea why, since the killer whale is a pretty well known symbol of Nagoya, making appearances as maskots for sports team etc.

Awesome golden killer whale. The ones that are currently on top of the castle are replicas. The barely visible black scale has some deep and profound symbolism that I forgot.

Mascot of "Nagoya Grampus Eight", the local fotball team. The japanese football leagues features some seriously weird team names (Shimizu S-Pulse?). Dolphins my ass. The 'Eight' comes from Nagoya being founded by pulling eight smaller villages together. Grampus seems to be an old name for a kind of dolphin that used to be confused with the killer whale, so that might be the source of all this confusion.

A picture from the great japan-photo.de site of Momoyama castle shows you where the fishies are supposed to go.

Sorry about the derail, I just like those killer whale dudes.

Rogue 7: sugeeeee

26-06-2007, 22:23
Frickin' GORGEOUS work, my friend. Can't wait to see it completely finished...

BTW, something Japanese that isn't medieval? Thinking of doing the Yamato, or maybe the Akagi?

28-06-2007, 14:12
Just found this thread, and what an original army! Great work man! And that scratch-built castle of yours is a work of art!

I will be watching... :D

30-06-2007, 14:22

Okay, so I'm not sure I'm definitely finished with the kit, but it's good enough to show off. It's down to the last "how much less is more" part now, and I'll have to figure out if I want to add more trees, of what colour and if so where. It was a bit difficult to attach the trees due to the extreme slopes, but I did my best. Having wire skeletons for the trees would have helped a bit, but then I'd have to drill holes to fit them and such and I just couldn't bother. Some general output on the trees issue would be helpful.


This is perhaps the best side of the castle as it is now.


Not sure what to do with the back, since it's difficult to add trees on the slope.


This side is also not as exciting, which is sad, since the wall structures on the lower left is very nice IMHO.

I'll add a second post in a second, stupid picture limit.

30-06-2007, 14:32
As we're in happy happy castle land, I thought I would show this too:


It's Edo castle, a castle that sadly doesn't exist anymore. It's in modern day Tokyo, and you can still see the small walls by the water and a few small guardhouses, but the keep (donjon) isn't there. I built it last summer, and that's pretty much why I built Gifu castle now. It's a nice tradition, sort of.


From the side, it's much much bigger than Gifu castle. You can see my wire skeletons here. Looks crappy up close, but okay at a distance. Sorry about the odd foliage in the water, didn't see it before taking the picture. While the painting is a lot simpler, I think the overall colour scheme turned out much stronger and bolder than on Gifu castle. And yes, it's also a Doyusha kit. I really do love them.


Size comparison

Althanan: Ssssh! I won't say anything. But thanks for the compliment, are you satisfied with it as it is, or should I add more trees?

glenning: Thank you, and welcome aboard! Perhaps you'll even get to see some updates that are related to the army after this. But who knows?http://i.somethingawful.com/forumsystem/emoticons/emot-iiam.gif

30-06-2007, 14:48
Great stuff lilljonas, I see these kits all the time when I'm out and have often thought of giving one a shot. After seeing your beautiful ones I may just do that.

Keep up the great work, this is a fantastic log.

Crazy Harborc
30-06-2007, 21:27
Fantastic........THOSE are great looking buildings. A fortress to defend and likely resist falling to those evil whoever they ares.;) So......whens the fire??? The earthquake???

Great stuff. Enjoy the buildings/terrain. May you make many more and enjoy each one of them.

03-07-2007, 08:25
Fantastic stuff. I think Gifu castle looks great as is. The tress add well to the overall look and I'd be hard pressed to suggest any changes - less is definintely more.

Edo castle is also a masterpiece. :D

03-07-2007, 09:53
Wow mate, that is truly a fantastic piece of work. Your attention to detail in bringing it to life was on target.

Great work (on both castles, though I do like the newest one better).

04-07-2007, 03:41
lil: hopefully it's not too late, but I think the tree coverage is 100% perfect as-is. Add many more and I think it'll start to crowd out the other details of the piece.

04-07-2007, 10:59
Gorgeous stuff lilljonas .. you're buildings look very polished and clean without losing their realism and turning into architectural models... lovely stuff

On the subject of the trees I'd keep them as they are... when it comes to using model foliage I find less is definatly more.. especially when it comes to Japanese style architecture.. where the subtlety of the lines and the tendancy towards relatively low floor heights can be easily swamped at this scale.. plus I think it all just looks too clean for their to be bit's of greenery poking around where it shouldn't :p

08-07-2007, 20:42
Since I want to eat cake and keep it too, I'm going to further derail my thread and put it back on tracks in one single post. Just because I can.

First, sorry about the picture quality today, the available light inside was yellow and strange, and the camera had a hard time focusing. I'll try to take photos outside during daytime from now on, and simply wait until the next day if its raining or dark.

So first, for something completely different. This is actually my first 54mm scale miniature, and a miniature I started on some years ago and just found again.


I think its an Adrea sculpt, and I think it was a giveaway for subscriptions to some magazine, Military Modelling or something. The choise of colours is simply based on my suckitude when it comes to painting yellow. Therefore, I painted it all yellow. I'm slowly trying to get used to the scale. For example, you don't need nearly as strong highlights to pick out details, and since everything's just... well... bigger, it makes a lot of the job easier. If I were to paint miniatures with no thought whatsoever to gaming, I think I'd end up with 54mm. Chainmail can look gorgeous in 54mm in a way that you'll never see in 28mm.

The shield on his tabard is straighter than anything I've ever done with freehand. I have no idea how I did it. I also have no idea what to paint within it. I'm deathly afraid that an attempt to paint a bear will become hideous and ruin it all.


I'm not sure what to do with the flap at the back of his helmet, if I should just keep it black or add a third colour. The yellow end at it also looks bad on top of the yellow tabard. I'll also need to look for his spurs and the sheathed sword that should be put in his belt. EDIT: sword found, but no spurs yet

My next item is actually a reader's request, it's still far from finished, but you people who are here to look at samurai deserve some loving:



It's Date Masamune, the one-eyed daimyo from Sendai. I was wondering what colour to paint him as, since I've only seen black-and-white pictures of his original armour and reconstructions. But then I read the story about how he dressed up in white as if prepared for his own funeral when meeting with Toyotomi Hideyoshi to explain why he missed out on a battle (he was sorting out a poison attempt by his brother, orchestrated by his own mother, and was kinda busy. Oh, you wacky japanese dysfunctional families!). Since everyone else in his unit will be clad in many different colours, a white armour should hopefully stick out. Also, he'll have the cool rising sun banner (white background with red circle), since that was his actual sign.

Oh, and my dad wanted me to poiny out that I actually inherited that Edo Castle kit from him. Also, the knight. I've got a stack of old weird kits of his that I'm allowed to put together and paint, so that's one of the main reasons for me de-railing this thread. If you want, you might be seeing everything from 1:12 kits to tributes to a certain Araby army.

spikedog: Please do. They are very nice kits that require very little work to look good, and the painting is really easy. There's no sandpapering, green-stuffing or anything on those two kits. Just keep in mind that the original solutions for greenery is pretty crappy, but it should be easy for a seasoned hobbyist. Also, a bonus is that they are really easy to find in Japan. I picked up a third kit at Toys R' Us in Okazaki!

Crazy Harborc: Thank you. After my work on the 28mm castle, this one was true bliss. You know, plastic bits. That fits together. You just add glue and it's done!

MadDave123: Thank you. Yes, I might leave it as is, especially as I move on to other stuff right now.

mousekiller: Thank you. In person, I think Edo castle looks better at a distance, since there's much more contrast, but Gifu castle looks better up close, since I worked more on the details. When I can blend both, I'll have the ultimate castle kit. One day...

Althanan: Yes, it seems to be the opinion of most people here, so who am I to question internet wisdom? The castle stays as it is.

armos: Thank you, and some where good points there. The sloped foundations are a very important distinctive part of japanese castle architecture, and putting too much woods on it would take a lot of that away.

Crazy Harborc
09-07-2007, 02:40
The 54mm knight is off to a very good start, IMHO. I never do well in 54mm scale. For me, more detailing is possible than I ever want to do.

Oh, when it comes to building castles.....I just stick with plastic Essen Castellos(spelling?). The blocks are metric (from Spain of course) and can make very close to "correct scale looking" fortresses. If I every build with the blocks AND have left over fireworks/firecrackers:evilgrin:

I also do some foam cutting and am planning a crude keep, mountain fortress. No fireworks in it.(I did that once. Foam melted made a big mess. I found little bits of foam stuck everywhere (by static).

25-07-2007, 19:53
Ah, now the very forum interface is mocking me for not putting up a post "in several weeks". I get it. I blame the one month non-stop rain.



The knight is pretty close to finished. The shield is still a bit "meh" (his shield, that is, the one that isn't in this photo. It's checkered with yellow and black), and I might add some static grass to the base, and then there's the heraldry on the chest. I'm not sure that red is perfect, but it might do. I'll probably just try to paint a bear on it and leave it at that. For being my first 54mm miniature, I must say I'm quite satisfied with the results. Could be a lot worse.

Now, here's a little something more interesting than a run-of-the-mill knight, and a small nudge towards Vattendroppe:


Since he STILL won't paint a camel after all my complaints, I'll just have to do it myself! The kit is pretty interesting, since it's very, very, very old. Like, "we're not sure if it's from the 60's or early 70's"-old. If I'm not mistaken, my dad bought it well before I was born. It's a 1/35 kit by the french company Heller, called "Groupe de Combat France, Compagnie Saharienne", which means that they are french soldiers from the Africa campaign during WW2, for those who don't speak Obvious French. The french dude with the binoculars have a pretty strange pose, and is nothing to get overly excited about. However, the beduin/tuareg/other locally recruited ethnic dude with a rifle and his dromedary camel is surprisingly well modelled, especially for such an old kit. Just a small bit of Green Stuff and some filing was needed. There will be camels on Warseer, Vattendroppe. You can no longer prevent it! I might do just the camel, the camel and the guy on foot, or if I have the time for it (which I doubt), perhaps even both of them together with a SAS recon jeep that lies half-assembled in a box next to this. That kit is pretty nice too.

Crazy Harborc: Yes, the good thing is that details are easier to pick out, since everything's just bigger. The bad thing (if you want to call it that) is that there are more details and anything you mess up is easier to see. And no, I'm too attached to what I build to stomp on them/blow them up with fireworks, even though it is a scaringly common suggestion througout this thread. :)

25-07-2007, 22:04
Love it all thus far... btw, if you need ANY form of conversion inspiration or posing inspiration, may I suggest getting to Stortorget at half past three on saturday this week? (the 28th), at that very time, there will be an Aikido demonstration presented by a few of us from Lunds Aikidoklubb, and you might come up with ideas or get your fire reignited so that you move away from cammels and move into more Samurai.

Btw, I'd love to play you some day, would you have time next week? My army is... slightly ¤cough¤ battered from an accident involving a 70cm drop, a shoebox and a cat, so, if you wouldn't mind battling a mostly painted but severly damaged with your halfly painted but whole army, I'd love to game.

And remember, Stortorget, 15.30, Aikido demonstration, worth taking a look at, trust me

25-07-2007, 22:37
Neknoh: Sorry, if I wasn't 350 kilometers or so away (up in Bohuslän) digging graves, I would love to come by. But my summer job is keeping me away, and that's also why updates have been so slow during summer. I actually did practice Aikido when I was around 15-16, so I'm somewhat familiar with it. I hope you get some good weather on Saturday and no rain.

I'd love to play, though. Mind you, I haven't actually played a complete game of Warhammer since 5th edition, so I'd need some guidance. No magic deck?!?! ;) I could probably put together a 1000 pts army without using too many unpainted miniatures, perhaps even 1500 pts if I get my heroes done. I've left most of my minis back in Lund, so I'm not sure exactly. I'll be back in town on August 20th, and then I'm leaving for Japan on September 10th. When not moving out my stuff, handing in my essay, going to a wedding and whatever, I'd love to try to squeeze in a game or two, if it still works for you.

25-07-2007, 23:59
should work perfectly, third year starts first at 27th of august.

Ah, shame, anyhow, have fun on those graveyardshifts (pun intended :p)

26-07-2007, 09:58
Glad to see this thread is still going strong. Can't wait to see it coming to completion, but at the same time it will be a shame when it ends.

I really love the amount of realism you are putting into it (i.e. the white armour on Date).

The knight looks good also, I think the red and white is working well, but you may need to add some red and white in various other places to give it that trinity effect.

26-07-2007, 15:18
Today, I started on the rider.



I usually start with the skin, and go from there, like dressing them layer upon layer.



It's not done yet, I'll add some more highlights and layers, but most of it is done. There's quite a bit of paint where it shouldn't be, and that's because I put together the entire figure, not thinking about how difficult it would be to paint the chest and stomach area, which also turns out to be the part with the most details. Great. I've covered up most of it, but there's still some work to do.

Neknoh: sounds great. I'll keep it in mind when scheduling my short stay in Lund.

mousekiller: thank you, and as you might see from the latest posts, I doubt I'll ever get "done", considering how easy it is to find side projects to steal your time. Thanks for the advise on the knight, I'll consider adding it somewhere. Perhaps on his shield?

06-08-2007, 07:39
Wow outstanding work.

Some suggestions, sorry if you have already thought of them.


Model railway or kitset model shops here in NZ sell packets or sheets of moulded plastic eg roof tiles, stone work, cobblestones in all sorts of patterns. I think I may have seen the Japanese style, or alternatively scaled corrugated iron which could also be used. Have you seen such stuff in Sweden? It could save you a lot of work and frustration.

Another option for Japanese style roofs is to get corrugated cardboard and rip the flat layer off one side to expose the corrugations. Then you just have to scribe the lines for the tiles. You may also be able to buy corrugated cardboard which has the corrugations already exposed on one side. Packaging firms or moving firms would probably have this kind of thing if you can't scrounge some.

I have also found small terracota Oriental style buildings made for gardens for sale in Home & Garden shops or sections of department stores. They just need detailing.


My last suggestion is to look in hobby shops that specialise in cake decorating, doll houses, and flower arranging stuff. They sell nifty little scale bits and pieces as well as polystyrene shapes like cones and balls (cut in half for domes). If you could find such a shop in Japan that had specialised Japanese stuff like paper doors for Japanese doll houses (assuming they are into such things) it would be the bomb for your project.