Oriental (Mis-) Adventures

For those of you who regularly follow my blog, you will no doubt have noticed that last week did not provide any new content. This was because the Sunday after my last posting until the following Tuesday, I was in Cardiff and the remainder of the week was spent ‘making up’ the time at work, due to some draconic rules they have about taking holiday during the first few weeks of employment – the joys of being a contractor…

Anyway, having not had any hobby-time, I made sure that I spent some time with brushes and paint this week, although things did not go quite to plan, as you may have gathered from the title of this post…

We are still staying in the Land of the Rising Sun for the foreseeable future, so my first offering is an addition to a figure I began during my last bout…

I’d previously decided to rebase and repaint Lady Deathstrike from the  ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ Heroclix sub-set as a Kitsune and realised that whilst this represented this creature from Japanese legend in human form, I did need a miniature to represent its fox form. Whilst at Warfare last November, I managed to pick up a two-pack of foxes from Rapier Miniatures, for the very reasonable price of £1.00, which can be found under their Familiars range for this exact purpose. However, it languished in its plastic baggie for months…until now.

Having been based on a two pence piece, I built up the base with Milliput and gave it an undercoat of White. Then using the same Orange I’d used on the human form’s hair, I began to add a little colour to the miniature. But that’s as far as I’ve got with this one so far, as you can see below:


The human form of the Kitsune also needs finishing off, but once they are both finished, I’ll be able to field this character in either form.

Next up we have my Ironclad to Sumo conversion and the first Samurai from Clan Karasu, the latter of which has caused me some issues. I had already painted up one of the Izumi Samurai and two of each of the Ashigaru with Yari and Ashigaru with Harquebus (their spelling, not mine) from the HeroScape game as members of Clan Chouda (dishonourable  dogs that they are) for a friend, and as his chosen Clan colours were green and black, I needed to choose different colours for Clan Karasu. (NB: If you want to see the current state of Clan Chouda, who are almost finished, see this post).

As Master Crow is attached to Clan Karasu, I had decided that the colours should reflect the colouring of the Muppet who inspired him, so yellow and blue. However, I chose the wrong yellow and blue the first time and it looked rubbish, so out came the nail polish remover and cotton pads and buds, as I attempted to remove the ‘wrong’ colours. This resulted in less painting being done than I had planned for the week.

Anyway, below you will find the Izumi Samurai I had chosen to represent a Samurai from Clan Karasu, who currently only has the yellow parts of his outfit completed (the yellow being GW Orc Brown, which is actually a dark yellow).

Next to him, is my Sumo wrestler conversion, or to use the correct term, Rikishi. So far, all he’s had done is his flesh in Docrafts Linen, hair in GW Marine Dark Blue and ‘skirt’ in Docrafts White. As this is a relatively uncomplicated sculpt, this one shouldn’t take too long to finish off, although I’m currently undecided as to what pattern the Rikishi should have on his ‘skirt’.

Next up, we’re getting a little…mystical. Whilst buying the foxes noted above, I also bought what Moonraker Miniatures called a ‘Shugenja’, as they had fallen into the same trap that most role-playing and miniature companies have done, by following on from someone’s incorrect first designation.

A Shugenja is a practitioner of Shugendo, which is a religion that originated in Heian Japan and centred on an ascetic, mountain-dwelling existence. The Yamabushi practiced this particular religion, so a Shugenja should be a warrior monk or, to put it in D&D terms, a cleric. For some reason, all companies dealing with Oriental Fantasy have decided to use the term Shugenja to denote an Oriental wizard – which is wrong and very, very annoying. The closest thing from Japanese myth and legend to what the West would consider a ‘wizard’, is an Onmyoji – practitioners of Onmyodo, which is a mixture of natural science and occultism. For more details on this, and Abe no Seimei, the most famous Onmyoji, read this Wikipedia article.

Rant over.

So, I have chosen to use this figure as an Onmyoji and as the outfit he is wearing is very similar to that worn by Miko (Shrine Maidens), I’ve decided to mimic the colours, so given him red trousers.

Next to him is the Heroclix Samuroid, who I’ve decided to paint up as an animated jade statue of a Samurai. So far, all I’ve done with this one is given it a base coat of GW Goblin Green, but additional washes and sponging should make him look like he’s made of jade.

Finally, we have my Master Crow conversion, which started out as a Heroscape Izumi Samurai, before I decapitated it and gave it the head of a Kroot.

As this figure has wide, sweeping sleeves, I decided to paint these the same colour as his hands and face, to suggest these were wings, using GW Elf Blue, his leggings/legs with GW Sunburst Yellow and his main robe with GW Marine Dark Blue.

Yes, my paints are that old that the colours I’m mentioning no longer exist in the GW catalogue…

His sash will also be Sunburst Yellow, and I have a feeling that the robe will end up with some kind of pattern (possibly tiny little crow’s feet) in gold.

So, not a huge amount of progress to show, but at least I’m back in the game…

Next time, I believe we may be returning to the Super Chibification Workshop, as I show you a use for rubber tap washers that probably hadn’t occurred to you…

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17 thoughts on “Oriental (Mis-) Adventures

    • Cheers Andy. Yes, still amongst the lands of the living, just Real Life getting in the way. Not only have I not had time to do any hobby stuff, I’m way behind on commenting on people’s blogs, so expect some ‘late’ comments on some of your posts.

      And not to worry on the Oriental theme – I’ve really got the bug at the moment, so it should continue for some time. Although, the idea of Victorian big game hunters versus Pokemon has a certain appeal…

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  1. Good to see you back in the game as it were. Some good progress (any progress is good progress right!), some nice work there oriental stuff is not an area I’ve really done much of bar dip my toe here and there (whereas you and Andy must be neck deep by now!).

    Please don’t mention Pokémon, the rest of my family are driving me mad with the mobile phone version of this at the moment. Just another reason I love my Blackberry so much (it won’t support this b**dy game!).

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Thanks Roger. I know what you mean about that game – I’m enjoying walking around Cardiff Castle and suddenly hear a cry of “There’s a Pikachu nearby!” from my daughter. The idea of a vignette featuring a gentleman’s study with Pokemon heads mounted on the wall holds a certain appeal – more a case of “gotta shoot them all!” than the normal slogan.
      And I’ve always been a fan of the Oriental myth and legend, so have accumulated rather a lot of figures over the years – this gives me an opportunity to actually do something with them.

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    • Thanks Bryan. Normal service has been resumed – I did consider just posting a test card image last weekend, but didn’t even have time for that!
      Still plenty more Oriental goodness to come, as I’ve got the bug now.

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  2. Progress has most definitely been made and before you know it all these loose threads will come together to form the most exquisite group; Master Crow always brings a smile to my face.

    Big game Pokemon hunting, now there’s an idea!

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    • Thanks Michael. Got the bit between my teeth now, so we should see some reasonably rapid progress. I’ve some Ashigaru to paint up in Clan Karasu colours, some monks and some ninja – as well as finishing off the figures from last time and finally completing my Nezumi.
      As for the Pokemon idea – it seemed appropriate, given the current focus on this. Just call them Snarks and it becomes genre appropriate. 😉

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  3. Welcome back Jez. It good to see you again all safe and sound. We are pretty quiet this month with work, study, a ton of painting (in spare time) and planning our next hobby endeavours (especially terrain making). I know the other too, are busy and up to their eye balls with similar things and especially keeping up with writing, so you must forgive if things are quiet on the `over the seas` Celtic front at the moment :))

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    • Thanks Tarot. Sometimes “real” life does get in the way of the more important things = although Cardiff was a break, in which I visited Barry Island, Cardiff Castle and the Doctor Who Experience, so I’m not complaining. And there was Guinness too… 🙂

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  4. Always interesting to see your take on things Jez. I do check here often as I can, but if I`m quiet, its not from lack of care.. its just work and things.

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    • I fully understand, Him. I’m not that precious that I’ll sulk if you don’t comment – I just assume you’re either busy or have no interest in the post…although I do hope it’s the former… ;=p

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  5. Good stuff Jez, and despite ‘real life’ getting in the way, you’ve clearly made some progress – which is always encouraging. You could however have put a warning up though about that link to “Moonraker Miniatures”; some very interesting minis on display, and although I found many of their paintjobs rather underwhelming (I think they’re the old “EM-4” ones), there’s quite a few sculpts on display I could use for a ‘Journey to Innsmouth’ game. Tempting… very tempting 😉

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    • Thanks Simon. Moonraker is the ‘metal-only’ online offshoot of eM-4 – they concentrate on casting and stocking all the metal miniatures they have the molds to, which includes the former Grenadier and Metal Magic ranges.
      Journey to Innsmouth, eh? You might want to have a look at Black Cat Bases as well – lots of deep ones and hybrids, a fair few suitable characters and particular lovely versions of old H.P. himself AND Charles Fort!
      And you have a lot to answer for yourself, young man. Due to your last couple of posts, I’ve been working on a set of simple (ish) starship combat rules, to emulate Star Trek-like battles. Currently scribbled down on various bits of paper, but soon to be typed up and play-tested. Happy to send you a first draft, if you fancy giving them a try?

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      • Hark is that the first rumblings of “Star-tember” I hear in the distance?

        P.S. is there going to be a theme to “Mo-vember” this year or are we just going with any fig with face fungus?

        Comments guys?

        Cheers Roger.

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