More Ashigaru

I continue to build my Samurai army. Well, the way things are going, I’ll end up with two armies. One exclusively based on the Fireforge models, the other a mixture of Warlord Games, Footsore’s Warring Clans, Perry miniatures and other odds and ends. To take a break from painting Fireforge, I decided to build a couple of units of the Footsore Ashigaru. I was lucky enough to acquire all of the packs available in the range (courtesy of the generosity of Mark Farr and Andy Hobday) and so painting these would also reduce my lead pile – two wins!

The first unit of Ashigaru with Yari ( spears)

I used the three packs of Ashigaru with Yari and the Ashigaru Sergeant to make the first unit. As this still left me two men short of the twelve needed for a unit, I added in a couple of Warlord figures. I also decided to change the spears from the metal ones supplied to the plastic ones that come with the Warlord figures. I had plenty of these in the spares box. So why the extra work? Well the metal spears are extremely sharp and I would be stabbing myself throughout a game using them. The other issue with metal spears is that they are inflexible and are more likely to cause damage to other figures and themselves, whereas the plastic ones flex and there is less change of committing Hari-kari with them! The plastic spears also look better and will blend in with my other Ashigaru units.

Ashigaru with yumi primed in black

For the unit armed with Yumi (bows) I used the four different packs of three that are in the range to make a full unit of twelve. There are some lovely poses in these packs. I really liked the pair handing out the extra arrows. I decided to leave off the majority of the flags (sashimo) as they would get in the way of the arrows and quivers. The bows supplied with the figures are nicely done. I am concerned that they will not stand up to the rigours of gaming but time will tell. I think as a general comment regarding the Warring Clans range, its my opinion that they are superbly modelled and cast but are inclined to be less robust than other figures out there. They would make lovely display figures but I am concerned about breakages when it come to gaming. As I have said, time will tell and they are too nice not to be included in my army!

Dry brushed and flesh added

I cleaned up and assembled the figures – very little filing was required, the casting were excellent in this respect – they were then ready for priming. Once the black primer had dried – I’m now a great fan of the new Colour Forge primers – I dried brushed the figures with Vallejo medium sea grey and I used Army painter tanned flesh for the faces and hands.

Block painting done

I then blocked in the rest of the colours. Pastel Blue for the shirts and lacing; Off White for the socks, waist band, rice bags, sashimo and neck covers; Leather brown for the satchels, water bottles and quivers; Old wood for the arrows and sashimo supports, New Wood and German Cam black brown for the bows. I mixed things up for the trousers. On the bowmen, I used Rose brown and Beige brown with yellow ochre for the standard bearer. For the other unit of spearmen, I was less adventurous and just used Burnt Red for the trousers and neck guards on the whole unit.

The completed unit

Once I had colour blocked everything, I gave the figures various ink washes – flesh wash on the flesh, soft tone on the leathers, woods and cloth, dark tone over the whites. When the inks were dried, I then re highlighted everything with the original colours, touched up any obvious errors and then painted a simple three dot pattern in white on the shirts. I considered adding a pattern to the trousers but decided against it as I felt that it would make the figures look a bit ‘busy’ and I was too lazy!

The full block of Bowmen and Spearmen, based and in their movement trays ready for battle!

I followed my usual basing scheme, detailed elsewhere in my blog article and my units are ready for the battlefield. Look out for them in a forthcoming Never Mind The Naginatas battle report! Finally, I have yet to add the Mons (or clan identifier) to the flags. That’s partly because I have yet to make my mind up as to which clans to use. I already have quite a few Takeda troops but fancy some different banners for variety. I quite like the Mori mon as well as the Oda clan. I think that it will come down to where I can get the decals from as I don’t fancy painting them myself!

Happy modelling!