Monday, January 12, 2015

28mm Ikko-Ikki for Ronin

[This was my third entry for the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, reposted here for folks not following that blog.]

As promised, here are the foes for my samurai buntai for Ronin, as posted here: the Ikko-Ikki, the sect/movement/uprising that so bedeviled samurai lords of the Sengoku era.

Figures are a mix of Perry and Kingsford. Since this is primarily a band of rabble, there were quite a few more to paint than with the bushi, and even more fabric involved...which meant lots of patterns to hand paint. Nothing for it but to power through, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't relieved to put this project to rest finally.

As with my previous buntai, I mounted the leader figure on a larger base for easy identification. My wife actually designed the list for this buntai, and she made the leader a ronin armed with an arquebus, which gave me the perfect excuse to use this wonderful little Perry tableau of a flunky handing his master a freshly-loaded teppo. I added a pavise screen as well because, hey, it looks cool.

Just as the Matsudaira faction boasted warrior-monk allies, so too do the Ikko-Ikki; in this case, a monk from the Jōgū-ji temple. Japanese monks seemed to have favored two different color palettes with their outfits, so to differentiate this one I painted him in the "not orange" outfit.

I picked up this banner bearer from Kingsford, but ended up doing a scratch-built banner and pole - the original's banner was cast from metal and made the figure too top-heavy, plus the pole bent too easily.

I painted the bearer in the livery of Matsudaira's retainers, thinking he's perhaps a defector. Also, this makes him nicely interchangeable between factions, since, after his victory over the Ikko-Ikki, Matsudaira took this very banner as one of his personal standards! The text is a prayer favored by the Ikko-Ikki: "Renounce this defiled world and attain the Pure Land". (Or such is my understanding, not actually knowing any Japanese...).

Next up is a trio of Ikko-Ikki from Kingsford. I love their looted armor, particularly the fancy (and old-fashioned) samurai helmet one of them is sporting. Clearly these guys know how to pick over a battlefield! They put me in mind of Tahei and Matashichi from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

Finally, the peasant mob.

Although I gave them screen-printed fabric designs, I kept things relatively low-key: a rustic palette and simple, repeated designs. I expect these fellows to die with grim regularity, but at least they'll look good doing it.

This is my last Ronin project for the foreseeable future. I have half a mind to do a third buntai built using the "koryu" list - that is, unarmored sword masters. The historical Hattori Hanzo was active in Mikawa Province at this time (and was Matsudaira's sometime ally); I could see putting together a band consisting of Hanzo and his students. But that means even more fabric-pattern painting, and that makes my brain hurt too much to contemplate right now...

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