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Steel Fist Samurai

Steel Fist Samurai

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Project Blog by scribbs Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Painting up the occasional samurai and ashigaru models by Steel Fist Miniatures for skirmish games such as Test for Honour and Ronin.

This Project is Active

Samurai with Yari

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
1 Comment
Samurai with Yari

Four yari armed samurai. I struggled a bit doing justice on the intricate lacing on the armour plates, but to be honest, they look okay for a tabletop.

The sashimonos currently lack any mons, as I’m yet to decide which clan these samurai belong to.

Samurai with Yari
The 'at rest' pose make these very suitable for guards if playing skirmish games that call for something like that.The 'at rest' pose make these very suitable for guards if playing skirmish games that call for something like that.

Horse Archers

Tutoring 9
Skill 11
Idea 11
1 Comment
Horse Archers

This pair of horse archers were another of the recent additions to the Steel Fist range. Native Japanese horses were small and sturdy, related to the hardy ponies that the Mongols used. They also rarely had any facial markings, so I had to resist any flourishes like stars or stripes that I like to add to give horses more individual character.

The horse’s saddle and headgear have sets of cloth straps (sangai) that were typically a single colour such as red, yellow, blue or purple, so a good opportunity to add some bright colours. The reins (tazuna) were a piece of cloth, often a single colour, but blue and white striped versions also common.

A great place to get some inspiration of Samurai cavalry is to look up images for Sōma Nomaoi, which is a festival held in Fukushima with lots of people dressed as Samurai and holding races and other competitions.

Horse Archers
Horse Archers
Horse Archers
Horse Archers
Horse Archers
Horse Archers

Sohei

Tutoring 12
Skill 15
Idea 15
No Comments
Sohei

These Sohei (Buddhist warrior monks) are relatively recent additions to the Steel Fist range of miniatures. Again, some very characterful models that were good fun to paint, even though the colour scheme involves a combination of  yellow, orange, white and black – colours that I often struggle to paint well, now all together on the same models!

Sohei
Sohei
Sohei
Sohei

Terrain

Tutoring 11
Skill 13
Idea 12
No Comments

Been a little while since I updated this project, and although I haven’t painted up any more samurai, I have been working on getting some suitable terrain together.

The buildings are resin models by Oshiro Model Terrain, whilst everything else has been scratch built to keep costs down

Terrain
Terrain
Terrain
Managed to get a couple of games of Test of Honour in, and I'm happy that everything looks the part on the tabletopManaged to get a couple of games of Test of Honour in, and I'm happy that everything looks the part on the tabletop
Terrain
Terrain

Nodachi Samurai

Tutoring 12
Skill 15
Idea 15
No Comments

A second samurai carrying a nodachi, a long handled sword with a blade that could be up to 5 foot long. The armour of this samurai is bit plainer than the last one, but has the tall helm seen on another model that mimics the popular court hats of the time (an eboshi kabuto).

Nodachi Samurai

Nagamaki Samurai

Tutoring 15
Skill 16
Idea 16
No Comments

Another more unusual weapon on this model, this time a nagamaki, a long handled sword.

Inspiration from woodblock prints again. A triangular pattern on the armour plates is relatively frequently seen in prints, so I had an attempt at replicating it, along with the common green and orange/red colours.

Woodblock by Utagawa KuniyoshiWoodblock by Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Nagamaki Samurai

Unarmoured Footsore Samurai

Tutoring 13
Skill 14
Idea 14
2 Comments

Despite the project name, this model is by Footsore Miniatures, and comes in the Test of Honour core game set. I love the pose of this model, although he doesn’t really mix with the heavily armoured samurai.

Unarmoured Footsore Samurai

Ashigaru with Yari

Tutoring 11
Skill 14
Idea 14
2 Comments

More batch painted ashigaru, armed with yari (spears). Again, keeping the armour and weapons relatively plain as per the other ashigaru.

Ashigaru with Yari
Ashigaru with Yari
Ashigaru with Yari

Ashigaru with Yumi

Tutoring 11
Skill 15
Idea 14
No Comments

Another set of ashigaru painted as a batch, this time armed with yumi (bows). I repeated the more plain armour colours as used on the last ashigaru, but couldn’t help myself from picking out the odd detail.

Ashigaru with Yumi
Ashigaru with Yumi
Ashigaru with Yumi

Kanemuchi Samurai

Tutoring 13
Skill 18
Idea 16
No Comments

One of the joys of Steel Fist range is the slightly more unusual sculpts, with armour styles and weaponry not commonly seen in other miniature ranges. This model is a good example, wearing fur covered armour, and a stylised helmet (kawari kabuto), and wields a huge two-handed iron club (kanemuchi). He’s also got a lovely beard, characteristic of the Aniu people of northern Japan.

Kanemuchi Samurai
Kanemuchi Samurai
Kanemuchi Samurai

Another Katana Armed Samurai

Tutoring 14
Skill 19
Idea 17
4 Comments

I really like the pose of this model, katana raised high to strike. The samurai has fairly tall kabuto that mimics the style of hats worn at court, although there are more extreme examples within range produced by Steel Fist. Colours for this one were inspired by the woodblock print used as the image for this project’s header.

Another Katana Armed Samurai
Another Katana Armed Samurai
Another Katana Armed Samurai
Another Katana Armed Samurai

Samurai with Yari

Tutoring 12
Skill 18
Idea 16
No Comments

Next model was another samurai, this time armed with a yari. I picked out another colour scheme from a woodblock print, this time with mainly purple armour, but with plenty of other colour details.

I’m quite enjoying the approach of finding a colour pattern from a woodblock print, as it ends up with some very impactful results. However, if I was trying to put together a reasonably sized army, I’d have to reign in on it a lot.

Woodblock print by Mizuno ToshikataWoodblock print by Mizuno Toshikata
Samurai with Yari
Samurai with Yari
Samurai with Yari
The spear provided for this model is just immenseThe spear provided for this model is just immense

This was also a milestone model for me, marking 200 painted models in 2020. I don’t really do speed painting, so I’m pretty chuffed with turning around that many models, and with a few weeks left to go for the year yet.

Ashigaru Firing Line

Tutoring 12
Skill 16
Idea 13
No Comments

I did these four ashigaru armed with teppo as a batch. Although there is still some variation in styles of armour, they are not as individual as the samurai. Despite there not really being anything like a uniform for ashigaru, I figured that having similar equipment was not too unrealistic, and just varied the clothing underneath to keep a sense of a non-uniformed unit.

Ashigaru Firing Line
Ashigaru Firing Line
Ashigaru Firing Line

Katana Armed Samurai

Tutoring 12
Skill 16
Idea 14
No Comments

To get some inspiration for different colour schemes and patterns, I have been looking at various woodblock prints of samurai. Some of the detailing is beyond my skills, but there are a great source to get some ideas of broad colour schemes for individual samurai. For my next model, I used the image below as a starting point.

Woodblock print by Utagawa KuniyoshiWoodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi
No helm in the woodblock print, but I decided to go for a red helm to have a bold contrast to the dark green armour.No helm in the woodblock print, but I decided to go for a red helm to have a bold contrast to the dark green armour.
Katana Armed Samurai
Katana Armed Samurai

No-dachi Samurai

Tutoring 13
Skill 15
Idea 13
No Comments

I stumbled across Steel Fist Miniatures a while ago, and their ranges of models are fantastic. In particular, their samurai really grabbed me, with really detailed models and well researched armour and weapons. I picked up a few to have something fun and interesting to paint, before storing them away and forgetting about them.

Steel Fist Miniatures were recently featured as an Indi of the Week, which prompted me to dig these models back out and get to work painting them. I’m tackling them individually, mainly as something different to take a break from batch painting other models. Eventually I’ll get enough finished and ready for some skirmish games like Ronin or Test of Honour, but this is more about enjoying painting some stunning models than the gaming side of things.

First model I turned my attention to was a samurai with a no-dachi. I went for a fairly plain blue armour with orange edging in places, and added some freehand flowers onto the scabbard. When it came to basing, I had just been stomping around a woodland with all the fallen autumn leaves, and decided I’d lean heavily into that for a scheme.

No-dachi Samurai
No-dachi Samurai
No-dachi Samurai

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