As this week’s post does not have a specific theme, other than a continuation of Oriental Fantasy month here at the buffet, and contains a handful of different figures, I settled on the above title.
Our first port of call this week is to check the current status of the Ronin Buntai that started the ball rolling on this whole project. When we first saw the Buntai back in July, they looked like this:
At the end of July, due to a visit to Eternia, they only looked like this:
Now that I’m focusing on one theme, I’ve managed to get some more paint onto them, and they’re almost finished and look like this:
A bit more detail, including the Clan Mon on the Ashigaru’s helmets, and I feel they will be done.
Now, on various threads on The Miniatures Page, I have been promising to show my Tengu conversion, so here it is:
Only kidding… This is actually a rebased and repainted plastic rooster, appropriated from a box of toys that my children no longer play with. What’s it doing here, you may ask, as surely it has no place in Oriental Fantasy month? Actually, it does.
As I have said in previous posts, Japanese Myth is full of weird and wonderful creatures, including what the figure above has been painted to resemble, namely the Basan. You can read more about this creature here, but basically it’s a giant, spectral fire-breathing chicken. When I showed this to a friend of mine, he burst out laughing, then decided it should be named Kerrogg the Basan, due to its resemblance to a certain corporate mascot.
Okay, having digressed slightly, this is actually my Tengu conversion:
As I’ve opined in several threads regarding this, the commercially available Tengu figures do not convey what I think a Tengu should look like. Whilst I’m aware that Tengu can look like winged, long-nosed humanoids, I prefer my mythical beasties to look a little more beast-like. As the bird or birdman form of the Tengu are based on raptors, specifically the kite, this should be represented in the figures. Unfortunately, for some reason, the commercially available Tengu have beaks that resemble blackbirds or chickens. Not wanting a Tengu that looked like an Orientalised version of Foghorn Leghorn, I decided to make my own.
The observant amongst you will no doubt realise that the base figure for this is a GW Kroot. Once I’d selected the relevant body parts, to this was added a robe made from a piece of PVA saturated cleaning wipe, which gives a rough fabric look to his robe. A GW Tyranid bonesword supplied the blade to his katana and the wings were sourced from a plastic vulture, which I believe came with a 3 3/4″ G.I.Joe figure. A lick of paint and we have a Tengu that meets my vision of what one should look like. Needs a little more detailing to finish him off, but he’s almost there.
Our final figure is another re-purposed vampire from West Wind Productions. Amongst their Vampire Wars range is a pack called Ancient Vampire from Across Time. This pack contains 4 miniatures, each depicting a vampire from different periods of history. You get a Roman vampire, Egyptian vampire (both pictured on the site), a Colonial vampire and an Oriental Vampire, which is the one I’ve used. Here he is:
Whilst Japanese myth doesn’t specifically have vampires, they have borrowed the Jiangshi, also known as the Chinese Hopping Vampire, from China and renamed it the Kyonshi. Unlike the standard pose of these creatures, which usually have outstretched arms, this one has his arms crossed across his chest.
The problem I had with this particular figure is that, compared to my other miniatures, he’s quite short. So I decided to mount him on a transparent plastic washer, so as to increase his height, the idea being that this would make him appear to be floating. It didn’t – it made him look like he was standing on a perspex podium. My next idea was to use a dyed pipe cleaner to create a ring of mist, so it looked like he was rising from the fog. This, unfortunately, also did not work out how I’d anticipated. Luckily, I remembered an article I’d read on the Irrational Number Line Games site…
If you have a spare hour or so, go and browse the Idea Archive on this site, as it’s well worth a visit and you will no doubt pick up a few ideas that are worth…borrowing…for your own projects. The specific article I’d read was this one, detailing various pose conversions of the character Hellboy. However, I was more interested in the scenic elements he’d used for his ‘fire-walking’ variant.
Long story short, the mystical green flames surrounding the base of the vampire above was created using translucent silicone bathroom sealant. A thinnish ring of the stuff was piped around the base, which I’d already painted in a pale sickly green. Using a toothpick, I then teased the sealant up into flame-like shapes, being careful not to get any of it on the figure. I then left it to dry overnight, then dry-brushed the resultant rubbery flames with the same colour I’d painted the base. And voila! my Kyonshi now looks like he’s rising from a ring of mystical green flame.
I was quite surprised how well this came out and am now considering what else I could use it for. A couple of broken toothpicks painted to resemble a campfire, with a blob of this teased up and dry-brushed with regular fire colours is the first thing that sprints to mind, but should anyone else try this technique, I’d love to see what you come up with.
Thanks for visiting – comments and feedback appreciated, as always.