It’s fair to say that my painting has been somewhat stalled over the past few months – I haven’t really done anything since building scenery for our ‘Kenneth’s Heroes’ project back in June.
I’m hoping to correct that somewhat over the Autumn, and of course nothing concentrates the mind more than an approaching deadline – in my case, the Warring States Test of Honour Event, which is happening at Warlord Games HQ on the 30th September. i.e. Next weekend!
When I attended the ToH boot camp earlier this year, I managed to borrow one of the Warlord shop armies, based on the excuse that I had broken my wrist so couldn’t have painted a force in time. I didn’t think that I could get away with the same excuse four months later, so I really had to get a warband painted.
My initial thought was to use a fully mounted warband, using Takeda cavalry as my inspiration. I was almost committed to this – and had indeed purchased the Daimyo’s Retinue box set in order to get the mounted retainer cards – when I saw an article on the Tiny Hordes blog about him building a couple of retinues for Ronin, based around the theme of ‘Star Wars’.
Well, I was intrigued. A couple of Google searches later, and I had realised just how much of a ‘thing’ Star Wars themed Samurai was. And then I came across this image on Imgur.com, and I was completely sold on the idea of painting a Test of Honour warband with a Star Wars Imperial theme.
Next job was to put my 24 point force together, and choose my models. In the end, I decided to go with the Samurai Warband set, simply because I had the models to hand, and it wouldn’t be too much of a disaster if I made a mess of them (remembering that I hadn’t painted any models for several months)
Given I was using this single set, the force pretty much created itself:
The only question mark surrounded who to use as my Samurai – would the force by led by a ‘Black Samurai’, or should I look at something else?
In the end, I decided to use the Unarmoured Samurai miniature, which was the promotional figure from when Warlord launched Test of Honour, which meant that my two armoured Samurai could adopt black and red armour colour schemes.
I then assembled the force from the contents of the box – which turned out to be something of a headache. Suffice it to say, that the plastic miniatures in the Test of Honour box sets are not the easiest figures to put together, and when you finally have them assembled, they don’t look that great.
“Never mind” I thought, “Just treat this as a painting exercise”.
The figures were undercoated black, and then I used the Coat d’Arms White paint triad to paint the armour – the overall effect almost works, but I think that if I did these again, I would paint the armour white, and then apply a black wash, rather than building up from Grey to White.
One Samurai was painted all in black, whilst the other was all in red – I used a dark red, as I thought this would be more fitting. In the end, the model is somewhat red/brown in colour – on reflection, I would probably look for a brighter red if I did this again.
Once everything was pretty much complete, I assessed what I had produced, and I wasn’t overly impressed with the final result. They looked, if I’m honest, a bit mediocre. Though I haven’t painted a 28mm model in a long time, I don’t think the quality, or lack thereof, of the models helped at all. I consoled myself with the fact that if I gave them a good base, then the final result would be OK, and so I forged ahead accordingly – let’s face it, the alternative was to bin these and start again, and I simply haven’t got time to do that!
I am pleased to report that the miracle of basing still works! Once the bases had been sanded, painted and flocked, the models looked much more presentable. Overall, I’m happy with the way these came out – They won’t win any prizes, but look perfectly fine when viewed at ‘gaming range’.
Just a quick note on my clan leader.
Whilst, strictly speaking, he should be dressed in black, I wanted something a little more colourful for him, so I based his colour scheme on this costume:
I know the final colours are a bit brighter than in the original picture, so perhaps it doesn’t quite work how I originally intended. If I get time, I might paint up another unarmoured Samurai all in black, just to see what it would look like – but at least I have a painted Warband for next week’s event.