Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Last Look at the 10mm Samurai...and Looking Ahead

As I mentioned in an update to my last post, my 10mm samurai collection found a buyer! It's currently winging its way across the Canadian border and in the meantime I've put in some orders for 28mm samurai to reboot the project in a new scale. Before I talk about that, I thought I'd share a couple more pictures that I took of the small percentage of the 10mm collection that I actually managed to paint and base:

Objectively, I was quite pleased with how the painted figures turned out, but seeing them painted and based is really what convinced me that the small scale really wasn't for me. I'm tremendously excited to get my brush to work on a larger scale. Some of the new samurai have already arrived and I can tell I'm going to have a blast working on them.

I've decided to stick with the original time and place I had initially researched for the 10mm project (I ended up painting the 10mm figures as members of the Uesugi/Takeda allied clans): the wars of Matsudaira Motoyasu (the future Tokugawa Ieyasu) against the local Ikko Ikki temples in his home province of Mikawa. Since the wars started with minor skirmishes that eventually escalated into a major battle, I figure we can start out with skirmishes and gradually escalate to larger engagements as I get more and more figures painted up, nicely paralleling the historical arc of the conflict. I was also quite pleased to see that Wargames Factory is now offering a range of plastic samurai and ashigaru, which will help me fill out the ranks of the metal Perry and Kingsford figures at a nice price point.

At any rate, a salute to one of my great "holy grail" projects and to more developments to come!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

[Samurai] Rebooting the Scale?

When I started this blog waaaaaay back in 2006, one of the first things I wrote about was my burgeoning interest in getting into Sengoku-era samurai battles as a new genre of historical miniatures wargaming. Due to a combination of factors, this project did not pan out as planned. It was only last year that I actually managed to get some painted samurai armies on the table, and even then it was in a much-reduced, DBA-ized capacity from my original grandiose schemes.

A major contributing factor in the failure of these schemes was the difficulty I encountered in historical research and finding a ruleset I liked. Yet, going over old entries, I've realized that those problems were addressed and solved over time. The other factor at play was, unfortunately, less easily resolved: my choice of figure scale. Initially, I thought 10mm would be a good choice, as I pictured ranks of colorful banners and sashimonos advancing across the field of battle. But what I came to realize is that it's as much about the lacquered armor and detailed, colorful fabric prints when it comes to the aesthetic appeal of samurai, and that 10mm was too small to fully appreciate the elaborate panoplies donned by the Japanese warriors of the 16th century.

I've been aware of the Perry 28mm samurai and other ranges for some time now, but I've never really considered making the switch to a different scale. I've got  easily hundreds of 10mm figures (that picture's just a portion of my whole collection), even if only about 10 percent of their number are painted and mounted, plus some buildings and rice paddy terrain. So what's a hobbyist to do? Sell off the collection and use the money to switch scales?

Figures painted by the Lonely Gamers' own Leroy Simpson.
Don't mind if I do.

As I wrote in my last entry, I'm in the process of fully embracing my love of 28mm, and a switch away from 10mm is certainly part of that. This daring scheme has the additional advantage of my chosen ruleset, Flagship Games' Taiko!, offering a 1:1 skirmish variant of their 1:50 scale "army" rules, so it will be possible to have games even as the collection is built up and developed for grander engagements.

The downside is that, in selling my 10mm collection to fund my new purchases, I have no idea how much money I can expect to generate. As I've said before, 10mm samurai are a niche of a niche of a niche. I would need to de-mount the unpainted figures that I've got on bases, then count 'em all up, then figure out a reasonable pennies-on-the-dollar amount to charge (and what to charge for the figures that are painted and mounted), then cross my fingers and hope for the best on eBay. That's a lot of work, and so this planned switch will, realistically, remain a pipe dream for the time being.

Unless someone just wants to take the whole collection off my hands for a flat offer. My Google+ contact info's over in the sidebar if you're inclined to talk about an exchange...

EDIT: A reader has done just that and taken the collection off my hands for an agreeable sum! So it looks like that's the final chapter on my star-crossed 10mm samurai. On to Samurai 2.0, then.
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