• jeudi 9 novembre 2017

    Nippon army project (part two) : Samurai and Ashigaru


    Hello! Time for me to share my works of the last months.  As I written in my previous message, this Nippon army is mostly composed with Historical 25mm miniatures for the moment but in the next parts I will planned to paint some fantasy monsters from the Japan culture to add the “WHB Nippon flavor”.


    Clans, Banners and Sashimonos.

    The difficulty here was to find two clans with different colors and in the same time, two clans with complementary elements.  Uesugi and Mori clans have similar design characteristics. Especially concerning the banners ( nobori and umajirushi), both clans use the circle(s) as distinctive mark on their banners. Concerning the samurai sashimono, instead of paint all of them in the same way, I preferred to paint them in different colors of allied clans. This increase the colors diversity on the battlefield!
    Some links to avoid the nightmare of the Samurai heraldry. The Umajirushi 17thcentury compendium, this marvelous book is a gold mine and contain lot of useful comments. Here the same think but without English translation and comments. To finish, the unmissable website of John Stuart.

     

    Uesugy Clan

    It’s one of the most famous clan of the Sengoku period, their battle standard is marked by the red disc sun (sometimes yellow) on blue. Sashimono are white or blue with a circular crest. IThe clan was ruled Uesugi Kenshi who was one of the most powerful daimyōs of his period. While chiefly remembered for his prowess on the battlefield, Kenshin is also regarded as an extremely skillful administrator and a notorious alcoholic.
    His belief in the Buddhist god of war — Bishamonten. In fact, many of his followers and others believed him to be the Avatar of Bishamonten, and called Kenshin "God of War". On his battle standard is written the Chinese character “Bi” as first character of Bishamonten.

    Mori clan

    This clan mark their red battle standard with the three white Orion’s belt stars. Sashimino are black with a white disk. So, when you mention great names and families in Sengoku Japan, usually the first ones that come to mind are the Oda, Toyotomi and Tokugawa. Then, when asked to expound upon those families, the next tier of names usually include the likes of the Hojo, Takeda and Uesugi. Very rarely will you hear the Mori mentioned among these families. For the life of me, I have no idea why.

      Ashigaru

    “Ashigaru” units (light foot) are essentially composed by peasant in the early samurai period  (12th 14th century) but they became an essential part of any army from the Sengoku Jidai period when skirmish battles where transformed in large conflicts  (15th 16th century). They are lightly armored and wear the “jingasa” (conical hat). They trained to use the “Yari, Naginata, Yumi and the tepo” (lance, Halberd, bow and arquebuse).

    Samurai

    They are the iconic warriors of the Medieval Japan. In the early period, they are knew for their prowess of mounted bowmen and for their lust of dueling. At the opposite, in the late period, they loosed this individual role. They were drowned in very large army and were reduce to simple elite units. Their bows were swapped for arquebuses but their pair of katana followed them until the end of the samurai period.
    Samurai armor are esthetically marvelous but tricky to paint. I crossed the web to build my own pictures collection of samurai armours… Looking it again and again to understand how is build a samurai armour and find the way to paint it.

    You want to play? Here a bunch of armors pictures I used to paint my samurai (monted and dismonted), find the corresponding miniatures.




    The samurai horsmen

    Some of these miniatures are the great samurai lords from Sengoku jidai period. I bought these chaps for their nice armour style .Date Masamune with the asymetric moon cressent, called the "One-Eyed Dragon of Ōshu" after he missing an eye. He wearing a bullet proof armour wich he equipped all his retainers. Honda Tadakatsu, he wore a Buddist rosary slung is armour and laquired wooden antlers. And to finish, Uesugi Kenshin who wearin the usual buddist headcowl.
    Some of these horsemen wear the Horo, that was a type of cloak or garment attached to the back of the armour and generally used by the tsukai-ban (messenger). These "bubbles" was made of bamboo framework covored in silk. These strange ballon stop the arrows as you can see in this video.

    Test of Honour and Crisis Antwerp 2017

    It’s hard to find WHB opponent since the “End of Time “ tragedy, so, to play quickly my growing army, I rapidly succumbed to a new wargame that you probably knew: Test of Honour. Easy to learn and fast to play, cheaper in investment. It’s a nice first step for wargaming in the Medieval Japan period. Some pictures of the game we played with club partners at Crisis the last week end.

    Scenery and various things

    In this last part, I'll show you various miniatures a used to play the scenario for Test of Honour rules. Some miniatures to add life to my medival japan village (Perry's and Dixon miniatures. Buildings come from Hovel range, cheapper and easy to paint.

    Wargames magazines

    For a greenhorn like me, when you want to run an exotic project like a medieval japan army… You need documentation J You can find lot of information about this period, some “how to paint”, rules, advises concerning all the samurai ranges on the market in these magazines. They’re special medieval japan issues. Wargames Illustrated 278 & 355. Wargames Soldats and Strategy 01 & 67

    What's next?

    I started my new order on the Dixon Miniatures website, Ronins, Ninjas, War machines, Goblins, Giant Onis and Seated General vignettes. Until my order is delivery at home, I started some new units for my landsknecht Dwarf army.

    lundi 30 octobre 2017

    Nippon army project : Teaser!!

    A quick message to show you a part of my last works , more and more individual pictures coming soon!

    This first step is dedicated to the "Historical" part of the Nippon army list . Here the picture represent a battle scene I build in the spirit of
    the iconical Senguku Jidai period.

    So, I  play to Test of Honour with these miniatures, I admit the game is really enjoyable and with my club partners I planned to finish our ToH campaign at CRISIS the next week at Antwrpen (Table G10B03). 
    I hope meet some OldSchool miniatures lovers!