Category: Sengoku Jidai

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

End of year means yours truly takes stock to consider the past year of brushwork and how to continue doing what one does best – painting some models! I’ll cover each of my projects one by one and ramble a bit. No pictures of models in this one, so if you’re the kind of fellow who looks at shinies without reading the context – check back later! Here goes.

  • Napoleonic French: I’ve added a squadron of Chasseurs and one of Cuirassiers, two line battalions and a couple of vignette models over the course of the year. It’s my first historical project, and it’s still going strong. Next year I’d like to get at least two further line battalions ready for duty, paint up more cavalry as well as horse artillery. There’s also Napoleon’s Berlin Carriage…
  • Vikings: My second project, and one that could almost be considered finished, were it not for the fact that I continue to collect and paint Northmen for the sheer joy of it. I’ve actually sold off a portion of my Viking army this year – mainly duplicates and plastics – and I might continue to do so, just to keep the collection fresh. In 2016 I have no immediate plans to purchase or paint new Vikings.
  • Flemings/Crusaders: I’m fairly satisfied with my collection, so much of the past year was spent filling in some gaps; priests and pilgrims, a bishop, etc. What I did paint a lot of were Maltese crosses, with a decent number of sergeants and foot knights being added to the army. In 2016 I’d like to get some more cavalry done for the army, but it’s fairly low priority.
  • WW2: My Fallschirmjaegers and Red Devils both received a decent amount of attention this year, with a couple of big cats for the former and a big gun for the latter. More bodies, especially officers, for both sides as well. I have plenty of models on the lead pile to carry over to 2016 and I will certainly be adding further to both projects!
  • Late Romans/Arthurians: I’m deliberately keeping this army fairly small – I’ve painted up most of the infantry this year, and I just need to finish basing one last unarmoured unit to be done. Cavalry wise I have a unit of companions and of horse archers to be handled, and then a small selection of artillery. I’d like to handle all of these in 2016 and finally finish a project for once!
  • Dacians and Sarmatians: These were sidelined in 2015, with just one falx unit being completed. I purchased some cavalry at Crisis last year but still haven’t gotten round to them, and I also received some Foundry foot archers from a gaming compatriot which have yet to be handled. In 2016 I’ll try and finish them, but interest is currently low.
  • TYW Dutchmen: Well, shit. Nothing whatsoever was painted for this project in 2015. Better get going again or it’s Ebay time!
  • 6mm WSS Catalans: No loving for them in 2015, but just before writing these words I dug them out of the lead pile to recommence work on these imps, so how’s that for progress? I have just one foot and one horse regiment done, and my projected force will count four of the former and eight of the latter, plus artillery and commanders. At the moment I have everything but the commanders in my possession, so whils I’d like to finish the project this year I’ll have to figure out how to get a hold of more Baccus stuff. I don’t think I saw them at Crisis ’15…
  • ACW: Painted a couple of ACW units in 2014, but lost interest in 2015 completely – I guess all those Prussian uniforms put me off Union blue! Perhaps I’ll pick up the trail again in 2016, as I did see good progress on the Black Powder supplement for the ACW. Who knows?
  • Fantasy & Sci-fi: As you might have noticed on the blog recently, Frostgrave has grabbed me firmly and won’t be letting go in 2016! I’ve dug out many old Warhammer models and made some additional non-GW purchases to complement them, and I’ll continue doing so in the foreseeable future. On the 40k side of things, 2015 saw – shock and horror – a new project in the form of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but this has fallen by the wayside a bit. I just find assembling these newer models so bloody tedious, as even the infantry models don’t go together without having to look at an assembly leaflet and match numbered parts. Still, I’d like to pick up where I left off in 2016.
  • 12mm Great War models: These were a fairly cheap purchase at Warcon ’15 of which I have painted just a third of the models. They’re great sculpts, certainly, but the scale is difficult – neither my tried techniques for 28mm nor those for 6mm work well. I’ll probably get these finished in 2016, maybe buy officers for both sides, then shelve them.
  • Scenery: I built a couple of items in 2015 but didn’t finish them off and, as a result, didn’t show them on the blog. I’d like to collect and build even more, but with the small apartment we’ve moved to I don’t really have the room to store an expansive collection. Choices, choices… So my pledge for 2016 will be to finish and preserve what I currently have.
  • Commissions: 2015 was a busy year with a lot of Prussians (I reckon around 200 of them?) and some Arabs thrown in for good measure. As always, I’m stating now that 2016 will of necessity be a year of fewer commissions and more personal work; we’ll see how long I’ll keep that up!


So that’s the main overview of my futile attempt at coherently outlining my painting work in 2016. As ever, stuff gets dumped due to waning interest or laziness, new purchases are made because I am a wargaming magpie who likes shinies, and whole projects get shelved for a year or more because I have the attention span of a toddler in a liquor cabinet. Nothing is set in stone!

Still, despite moving house and breaking my elbow, my year of miniature painting was successful. The figure below will tell you just how successful:


That’s how many figures I painted, with each cavalry model and vehicle counting as a single model, and artillery pieces having the gun and each free-standing crewman count as a single model as well; and this across all scales. I was going for 600, so that’s not too shabby, eh? For next year I’m upping my goal to 700, but as I did last year I’m counting in the 255 surplus models from 2015. I’m devious like that.

2014: The Great Wrap-up – and Christmas Presents for 2015!

Just as I did last year, this post bookends the painting and modeling activities I pursued in 2014. It’s been a year full of a change for me: I was fired from one job and hired by a much better company straight away, I’ve picked up sports again, and I’ve taken on way too many commissions leaving little time for my own lead and plastic pile to be reduced! At any rate, let’s take a look at the various projects I have completed or are still running:

  • French Napoleonics:
    • 2014: I’ve picked up a bit of the slack and have doubled my infantry battalion count from 2,5 to 5 over the past year, which the army sorely needed! Some more guns were added, but sadly the cavalry was completely neglected.
    • 2015: I’d like to add a sixth battalion to the army as soon as possible, and then it’s on to the cavalry – chiefly cuirassiers, but I’ve also picked up horse artillery and a Chasseurs-à-Cheval unit at Crisis. My mother and my girlfriend also conspired to give me Napoleon’s Berlin carriage and Baron Larrey and his ambulance for Christmas. Both are fantastic models and I can’t wait to get started on them.
  • Vikings:
    • 2014: Not too many were painted this year, especially after the summer. Chief among my exploits were the jomsviking mercenaries, and that Jarl Rognvald fellow who was completed just in the nick of time.
    • 2015: They’ll probably continue to be on the backburner in 2015. I purchased a couple of the new Shieldwall vikings which will be handled in between other projects.
  • Flemish Crusaders:
    • 2014: I put a fairly heavy focus on these guys this year, didn’t I? I’d consider the army mostly done at this point, with about sixty spearmen, 24 bowmen, 12 crossbowmen and 12 cavalry. It certainly is playable in Sword&Spear, Saga etc.
    • 2015: I’d like to add some more pilgrims and/or clergymen to the army, and maybe some more cavalry as well. It likely won’t be happening soon, though!
  • Dacians & Sarmatians:
    • 2014: I completed most of the army this year, but then I decided to go ahead and buy more at Crisis. Idiot!
    • 2015: These new purchases should be dealt with soon enough – a unit of light cavalry, a warlord on horse and a small (literally) unit of Foundry cataphracts. My girlfriend also gave me a pack of Druids for Christmas, which is superb as I was lacking in the command model department.
  • World War Two:
    • 2014: Both my Fallschirmjäger and British Airborne had their basic forces completed early in the year – it’s a shame I didn’t get more Bolt Action games in, but the game is gaining ground. I really love painting up those camouflages, so more’s on the way!
    • 2015: I’ve purchased additional models for both armies, and I can’t wait to go to town on them! The krauts are getting a Hanomag with a PaK 36 my mother bought me for Christmas (she’s nice like that). The Airborne are getting a bit more love, with two jeeps, a 17-pdr AT gun, a plastic Sherman and… a Welbike-mounted section!
  • Pike&Shotte Dutch:
    • 2014: I’ve been rather unkind to this army, and I’ve only managed to paint up a firelock storming party. Shame!
    • 2015: While I don’t have a lot of unpainted Dutch on the plastic pile I’d really like to paint them up – just two companies of shotte to do. But I do have plenty of blue to paint already, which brings me to…
  • ACW Union:
    • 2014: Speed-painting 40 Zouaves in four days was ridiculous; I’ve also painted up half a unit of cavalry and half a regular infantry regiment. Not quite playable yet, but we’re getting there!
    • 2015: What I’d like to do ASAP is to paint the two other halves of said regiments. I’ve got plenty of infantry left after that, and I’ve also picked up a box of plastic Perry artillery which I can’t wait to open up. Still, interest in the conflict has died down a bit in my club, so I’ll take things slow.
  • Medieval Arabs:
    • 2014: Nothing at all!
    • 2015: I’ve still got eight cavalry lying around… Maybe it’s time to give them some love?
  • Jugula:
    • 2014: Eight gladiators done, which is the bare minimum to play with.
    • 2015: I hear rumours of other people in the club expressing an interest in the game, so I’ll paint up the models I have left for variety and see where it goes. I’m not ruling out additional purchases for this game, as it’s very cheap.
  • Late Romans:
    • 2014: Just a colour scheme test, nothing more! Although it still amounts to a single completed unit.
    • 2015: I’ll be focusing heavily on this army in the new year – almost all of it is second-hand so it’s been an ideal way to get a new project started up. I’ve managed to find a striking colour scheme without having to invest oodles of time into layering, so you’ll see some results quickly!
  • Greeks:
    • 2014: Just the one armoured hoplite regiment done – which I haven’t even shown you due to it still needing to be based.
    • 2015: I really need to get going on this army, but I’m considering selling them off as I just don’t have the time for them. But who knows? Maybe I’ll suddenly be inspired to continue working on them.
  • 6mm Catalans for WSS:
    • 2014: one regiment of foot and one regiment of horse done, and I really like the scale for how different your approach to painting has to be.
    • 2015: I’ve acquired a batch of infantry, horse and artillery and I’ll be painting these up in between other stuff. The scale isn’t very popular in our club, apart from one guy who has a massive 6mm WSS army already… Small engagements first!
  • Hospitallers:
    • 2014: Just sixteen foot knights were painted up this year.
    • 2015: I still have half a box of Fireforge knights and a full box of mounted sergeants lying about… as well as more foot sergeants, more foot knights… But with all the crusader craze I’ll get to them eventually!
  • Commissions:
    • 2014: many, many crusaders for Kurt, some WSS for Alex, and some Prussians for Henk. All in all I think I’ve painted over 200 models for other people, which is a bit on the high side.
    • 2015: More Prussians – I’ll be doing quite a bit more infantry. Also Kurt has provided me with a small bag of Hashashin for use in Saga, and I’ll be doing these up soonish. Should be fun with all the robes! I know I said exactly the same last year, but I’ll try and keep 2015 light on new commissions – there’s just so much of my own stuff to be done!
  • Western:
    • 2014: Just two guys done.
    • 2015: Finding a decent ruleset for cowboy skirmishes is a top priority for the new year, preferably as cheap and as simple as possible. I’m open for suggestions!
  • Warhammer (40k)
    • 2014: Hahahahaha…
    • 2015: …hahahahahaha


Now, one final item, and it’s really simple:


That’s the number of models I’ve painted in 2014. Slightly higher than my goal of 600, so what I’m going to do is I’ll start counting for 2015 from 216 on, and set a goal for 600 models again. Before you cry havoc – I’ll be moving house sometime next year which will impinge drastically on my painting time, so I’ll be hard pressed to get to 600!

That’s it for the wrap-up, folks. I’ll be posting a few small updates before new year, but the coming days will be busy with work, a surprise weekend trip to Waterloo (courtesy of my fantastic in-laws) and luxurious, decadent, gluttonous feasting. Let me wish you readers all the best for 2015, and I’ll try to keep the blog as entertaining as possible. Arrividerci!

Samurai for a Friend

Salute 2014 has come and gone, and with that some more Japs have made it onto my painting table. These are reinforcements for Henk’s Ronin warband; he’s got more than enough models to play that skirmish game, but his forces were lacking a bit of variety.

All models by Perry Miniatures.

All models by Perry Miniatures.

First up we have these three mounted chaps. I used my new Army Painter sprays on the horses – fur brown for these three – and I’m pleased with how they came out. I washed them with agrax earthshade straight away and then highlighted them back with deathclaw brown, and voilà!


Three of the yari-wielding samurai.

Three of the yari-wielding samurai.

As you can see I worked within the palette used on the ashigaru, but made variations upon it – these are samurai and so should not be uniformly clothed and armoured!


The weird angle was a byproduct of the models being removed from their temporary bases too soon. Damn!

The weird angle was a byproduct of the models being removed from their temporary bases too soon. Damn!

While I was keen to get painting on these lads, I quickly found out I hate them. Don’t get me wrong, the models themselves are fantastic – you’ll never hear me speak ill of Perry products! – but I believe the molds for many of the sculpts in this range are a bit worn out. The detail isn’t all that clear anymore, which is especially visible on the models’ hands and armour. Consequently, painting these wasn’t very enjoyable, and I just hope Henk won’t be let down by the paintjobs.

Still, that’s another clump of models done. I have six more Samurai that I’ll be doing up soonish, basically the same infantry you see above but with their yari swapped out for naginata (plural? domo arigato, mister roboto?). Other than that, I’ve some Ronin stuff that still needs finishing for my own warband, so I’d best get to work on those as well.

You’ll be getting one more update from me tomorrow, which will also feature a small report on my first Napoleonic game which I’ll be playing this evening. Wish me luck!

Sohei with Teppo

Been a while since I last updated the blog – lots has been happening and I’ve been struggling to find the time to photograph models. I’ve painted up a goodly 63 models since the end of November so I guess this has been my most productive month to date – but much of these models have been commission pieces and have already been handed over to their respective owners. Models for Ronin featured heavily among them – and I’ve found time to start work on my own warband.

Models by Perry Miniatures.

Models by Perry Miniatures.

These six monks with teppo are the first to receive a paintjob; I have six more with naginata ready to receive their undercoat. Fine models, these. I chose to start off with a white undercoat, after which the skin colours were basecoated deathclaw brown. A sepia wash was then applied to the entire model. The robes I washed again with casandora yellow and then highlighted up, first with yriel yellow and finally with dorn yellow (edge paint). I still struggle immensely with yellow, and a trained eye will see some flaws on these models.

Six teppo are a little overkill for Ronin, but that's how they're packaged!

Six teppo are a little overkill for Ronin, but that’s how they’re packaged!

Apart from this, the rest of the techniques and processes used were standard fare. I did freehand a bit, as you can see in the first picture (the right model’s trousers) and the second (middle model’s robes). I might put a little more work into them, but I’ll paint up the other monks first and then see what’s adequate. Their bases will also be finished in one go.

That’s it for now, folks! I’ll try and get some more photographs of recent work, but with all the family stuff coming up around Christmas and New Year that could prove tricky. In any case, there are more Sarmatians and a scenery project inbound. Until then, and season’s greetings!

A smattering of Ashigaru for a Friend

Finally, some time to post a blog update! I’ve had a rough week with the passing away of a loved one, some minor health issues and the like, but I did manage to finish the last of the ashigaru.

Six yari-armed ashigaru. All models by Perry Miniatures.

Six yari-armed ashigaru. All models by Perry Miniatures.

There’s not a single Perry model I could criticise negatively, and these are no different. Clear casts, little cleaning up to do, and concise detail. On these models I particularly like the variety of poses and armour versions. Always well-researched!


I've shown you these before, but for the sake (get it?) of completeness...

I’ve shown you these before, but for the sake (get it?) of completeness…

I’ve explained the paintjob to you readers in an earlier blog post already, so I hope you don’t mind if I don’t explain it all again. Highlighting the armour was time consuming, but otherwise it was a breeze getting these ready for action.


I'm particularly pleased with the bows - they fit perfectly within the colour scheme as well.

I’m particularly pleased with the bows – they fit perfectly within the colour scheme as well.

So there you go, that’s the ashigaru done. Next up for this commission is a pack of six katana-wielding samurai, one of which will be painted up as a leader for the warband. After that there might be more samurai, both foot and mounted, but these will have to wait until after Salute 2014. In the meantime, I’ll have to get my twelve sohei done, too!

Next up: more Red Devils. Keep your eyes peeled for them, gents and ladies!

Monster Update part one: Ashigaru for a Friend

Yet again this blog has undergone a hiatus of inactivity. Too bad! The reasons were many, but chiefly it’s down to my girlfriend’s excellent digital reflex camera having some less-than-excellent issues. The lens somehow refused to focus which made the camera itself refuse to actually take pictures, all of which means it’s now off to Nikon for repairs and should be back in about three weeks. Oh well! In the meantime I’ll be using my mother’s iPad again, and as I’ve been using Picasa to some effect, the pictures are actually turning out okay.

I’ve got a long weekend going at the moment, so I’ve finally got some time to take pictures in daylight – I never imagined the shortening days having such a detrimental effect on my blog output! Nevertheless, my brushwork hasn’t stopped in the meantime, so you’ll get a smattering of updates today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to photograph the last batch of Jomsvikings and the female ranger model I’ve commission painted for my friend Kurt, so the models that will follow here have been painted from Sunday 3rd until Sunday 10th of November.

Two teppo- and two yari-armed ashigaru by Perry Miniatures.

Two teppo- and two yari-armed ashigaru by Perry Miniatures.

With the release of the Ronin ruleset by Osprey Publishing, I’ve finally been given an excuse to delve into Sengoku Jidai wargaming and miniatures collecting – and so have others. These are commission pieces for my friend Henk, and are basically test models for a rather large warband he’ll end up having when I’m done – eighteen ashigaru and then some foot and mounted samurai. I guess he’ll have a great choice of models when picking his Ronin warband.

Four more ashigaru with teppo.

Four more ashigaru with teppo.

As with many test models, I undercoated these white and washed with seraphim sepia all over them, although a small exception was to first basecoat the skin with tau ochre before applying the wash. The cloth areas were then basecoated adeptus battlegrey before a nuln oil wash was applied to the entire model bar the skin. Then it was on to highlighting – bleached bone on the skin, ceramite white on the armour, dawnstone on the cloth. Some red was added to the colour scheme as a spot colour in minor areas, and leather, wood and metal were done in my habitual fashion. Voilà!

Jap-wise (sorry) there are ten more ashigaru on the painting table for Henk, followed by six katana-wielding samurai. Then, of course, there’s also my own warband: twelve sohei warrior monks. No idea when they’ll be up for duty…

There you go! Part two shall follow hot on the heels of this post!