If you have been following the Arcane Scenery Facebook page, you will be aware that I have been working on the Test of Honour Mounted Samurai set. In this picture heavy blog post, I’ve pulled most of the pictures together to give a running commentary on how I finished the band. I haven’t detailed all the paint colours but I use Vallejo model colour throughout combined with the Army painter ink wash range.
You can see that I have assembled the full set before I started to paint them. I already had an idea as to how they would look. It might sound a bit daft, but when working on a project like this I have a sort of story or narrative in my head as to how the warband should look. You will get the idea as the finished warband appears. Just as an aside, I have made a mistake when assembling the horses tails – I’ll leave the reader to figure out what it is but I decided to leave things as they were…
The mounted Samurai set comes with six plastic samurai and their horses plus an extra metal character model, the widow Takeda Naoko, which means that you have a ‘spare’ samurai. I decided to use a spare GW horse and using green stuff, it was a simple job to add some samurai trimming! There were now seven Samurai in the warband.
I started the painting with the Widow Takeda Naoko. It’s worth pointing out now, that my research regarding colours is limited to the warlord web site, my pinterest board ( link below) and googling ‘mounted samurai’, so don’t take any of my colours as ‘accurate’. I save all that malarkey for my Napoleonics and just want to have fun painting these models as the mood takes me. In my mind, I decided that a widow should have black armour and I put her on one of the more sedate horses. Her pose is not as dynamic as some that Warlord produce and it looked to me as she was watching over proceedings as her retinue wreaked vengeance!
The next two models that I painted were the widows immediate bodyguard. In my imagination, she would have two faithful retainers who would put an arrow through anyone that came too close! I also wanted a bit of Hollywood, so one of the archers is firing from a rearing horse.
To contrast against the Widows horse, I decided to paint these two on matching white horses. I am also using my new favourite red, Vallejo burnt red 70814. The archer on the rearing horse just needed a bit of filling at waist level to get him to sit upright in the saddle.
The next picture shows the three models together as I had imagined them. The bowstrings on the archers are made using stretched sprue – its an old modelling technique that I have covered in a previous blog – again, the link is below.
The next model was the ‘lead’ Samurai in another group of three that would make up the retinue. I planned to have these all in Black Armour with gold trim. The lead model is on a rearing horse and I thought that a light brown horse would look good.
This picture also shows my preferred basing method. I use Vallejo dark earth textured paste and add some small rocks as detail. I then paint the whole thing with Vallejo chocolate brown and dry brush with chocolate brown and Iraqi sand mix. For the rocks, I also added some white to get a brighter finish.
The basing is finished with some woodland scenic scatter, some Noch flowering tufts and my new favourite thing, Gamers grass long tufts. You can see the fifth Samurai on a brown horse, and in the next picture, the sixth on a similar horse.
It’s not clear but I have added the flags on the back of these three Samurai and using decals, added the Takeda mon to show their allegiance. I also used different colours on the horse decoration as what I hoped would be a subtle way of differentiating the different allegiances in the warband.
I wanted the final or ‘bonus Samurai’ to be different again. With a bit of a nod towards the movies, this one would be all red on a dappled grey horse carrying the Takeda Colours into battle. Perhaps he is the Brother or son of the Widow Takeda Naoko charging to avenge the death of his Father/Brother in law?
I was worried that perhaps I had used too much red so decided that the banner would have to be a different colour – a picture on google helped here.
The last couple of pictures show the warband complete.
I started the project on 23 December 2017 and finished just this weekend. Painting these models have given me a great deal of pleasure as I have lost myself in the stories that I have imagined as I painted the models. I’m now looking forward to the battles that they will fight!
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