If you’re going to do samurai skirmish gaming, you might as well go the whole hog so far as stereotypical Japanese terrain is concerned. I think I’ve pushed all the buttons: cherry blossoms, humpbacked red footbridges, sturdy torii ornamental gates, and a pointy-roofed shrine. click on the above photo to get the full-size effect and be transported into my little impression of Japan.
By the way, and for those interested, that is a 28mm Kingsford Miniatures samurai in the foreground – but unpainted, as yet. They do a lovely range of absolutely exquisite figures.
Here is a view of the three kits of Japanese structures I’ve assembled this last weekend – the torii gate, the bridge, and a small house or shrine. I threw them together into a little diorama for this photo session, using a river section and my cherry-blossom trees.
The bamboo edging of my temporary diorama was purely serendipitous. I needed a board to carry my buildings out into the garden for the photography session, and just happened to find an old broken bamboo-framed mirror frame close at hand. It wasn’t till I posted the above photo on The Miniatures Page that it was pointed out to me how apt this bamboo edging was for an Asian scene!
The buildings are all Plast Craft Games kits available from the Fukei website. They’re mainly made of pre-cut plastic foam card. This is very easy to work with, and the pressed-out parts fit together well with just a touch of superglue gel. The roofs are made of corrugated card supplied with the kit, and the windows of the house are resin pieces.
The end result I think looks terrific. Though they may be a smidgen fragile for very robust wargaming, especially the pointy roof ornaments. But handled with care they should be fine.
Fukei also produce the Japanese gravestones in resin. I’ve glued them as ornaments on the bases of my cherry trees. I’m not sure if this is where you would find them in real life, but they look the part to my eye. The large grave makes a nice centre-piece for a courtyard.
The little hump-backed bridge, despite its complex curved shape, was surprising easy to put together. Superglue gel holds the curved pieces very quickly because of their light weight. Scoring some boards on the deck of the bridge also helped shape the plastic foam card into a curve.
Overall, I don’t think you can get more Japanese than this peaceful scene. It seems almost a shame for my models to fight over!
Oh, one last thing: I’m not sure what Japanese characters to write on the white plaque at the top centre of my torii gate. Any Japanese speakers who can help? I just want it to be two or three characters in a vertical line, saying something like “little red shrine” or similar …