You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Monday, May 20, 2013

42mm: Samurai and ninja

Well, I stayed up later than I should have last night, but I did so because I was on a roll at the painting table; all of my latest batch of Steve Barber samurai are finished. I'm regretting it a little bit, that I finished them so fast, because now I don't have any more samurai to paint. Maybe this is for the better. My Low Life miniatures will be coming soon, as will my friend Jeff's Reaper Bones figures.

The first figure here, my red samurai, has had no conversion work done to it. Only his head has been rotated to a different angle (the head comes separate, so I don't consider this a conversion at all.) Samurai frowned upon garish colors, thinking it too showy and conceited, so I painted this guy up all red to represent one of the bad guys -- maybe not completely evil, but arrogant nonetheless.

The ronin here is the exact same figure as the red samurai, but there are a few modifications: His head has been rotated to a different position and a beard added (using green stuff.) I drilled the hole for the katana blade at an upward angle so that the sword would angle down. And I filed away the shoulders of the hakama so that the ronin is only wearing his kimono.

The flowers on the red samurai and the ronin are random scraps of floral stems I found littering the bottom of my terrain/basing box (it's like my bits box, but it's where I keep all of my flock, static grass, rocks, rubble, etc.)

After painting the ninja, I'm much happier with how they look. You can read about all the mods that went into them in my post from earlier this week.

The bow figure I like especially. The pose is perhaps a bit over-dramatic, but it still seems to fit the ninja theme nicely. I'm already thinking of new ideas for this figure. I could have him defending with a spear or a bo staff, or maybe even have him holding a kusamagari.

The other figure turned out well, too, and looks exactly as I pictured him in my mind.

I saw that Osprey is releasing (in August) some samurai skirmish rules called Ronin. The rules look like they are perfect for the kind of collection I've put together for myself. Still, for micro-skirmishing action, I will still prefer most of Two Hour Wargames rulesets, mostly because I can play them solitaire as well as with human opponents.

I know that Ronin has some figures being made specifically for the rules (by Northstar??) But if you and your friends don't have any samurai yet, I think you should consider 42mm. It's a tough scale to find stuff for, but if you don't mind a little work, I think you can put together a nice and rewarding collection with enough figures for just about any skirmish.


  1. A Samurai skirmish rule set? That sounds intriguing. The perfect excuse to build my own collection of Samurai and et ceteras.

    Figures look great, as always. I especially like the Ronin. Tough, grizzled, earthy.

  2. Which Two Hour rules do you use for Samurai?

    1. I use Red Sand Black Moon, which handles 2 or 3 figures per side. I've been meaning to try Chain Reaction Swordplay for larger skirmishes, but I prefer the smaller fights/duels -- the kind of fight you'd find in Miyamoto Musashi stories.

      Then again, I've also only been doing the smaller fights because I didn't have a lot of figures; My 42mm samurai collection is getting larger.

      PS: In THW Yahoo group files section, I made a Japanese weapons table for use with Black Moon.