Perry’s gorgeous unarmoured samurai figures


After painting all that intricate laced armour on my Kingsford samurai, I decided for a change of pace by doing some unarmoured samurai by Perry Miniatures.

Well, there might not have been any tricky lacing to paint. But that was more than compensated for by the steady hand required to paint the pattern on the kimono (correct term?) each man is wearing.

These 28mm Perry figures are exquisite. I’d admired this set for many years. So although I have settled on Kingsford for my armoured samurai, this set by the Perry twins (and several other sets in Perry’s samurai range) will not escape my clutches.

There are three things I particularly like about these figures:

  1. The way they look so Japanese – something indefinable, but definitely there.
  2. The realistic poses imbued with so much flowing movement.
  3. Their wonderful facial expressions, straight out of the TV series ‘Shogun’!


In the above photo we have the chap with the cherry-blossom pattern who is fighting the man in the striped kimono.  I’m actually not 100% happy with the cherry-blossom pattern, so may redo that once all the other figures are painted.  The striped guy, however, I’m really happy with.  These bases, of course, are still waiting treatment.

I’ve painted just three of the figures from this six-figure set so far. Once all six are completed, with the addition of one more unarmoured samurai from their civilian set, I will have ‘The Seven Samurai’, as per the famous movie.

As you can see from the photos, my painting style is somewhat impressionistic. I find it impossible to obtain the fine brush control that is needed for close-up photos. My figures look their best when viewed from a slight distance.


10 thoughts on “Perry’s gorgeous unarmoured samurai figures

  1. Your painting skills are quite admirable and this lot is very well done, individually and collectively. These will make perfect skirmish gaming figures and can serve as wandering Ronin or paid retainers. Nicely done!

    1. Thanks, John. Painting that fabric was challenging and time-consuming, but I’m overall happy with the result. I wouldn’t want to do a whole army of them, though!

  2. I very much enjoy looking at your painting . . . and am surprised that you are finding fault with it. . . . . That being said, I will pass on some painting tips I had from a commercial painter many years ago. There are some things that you might not have considered.

    First, he recommended that you adjust your chair/table height so that you can sit upright (instead of bent over) with your elbows on table and your wrists locked together . . . and neck straight (i.e., not bent over).

    This posture allows you to paint without getting tired . . . (and, of course, good lighting is a must).

    The two elbows on table along with your body provide a “tripod” for stability . . . and with your wrist/hand joints resting against each other . . . brush in one hand, figure in the other . . . the stability is even more pronounced allowing very exact brush tip placement.

    This is something you can try right now in an informal way. The table/chair heights won’t be right but put your elbows on a table, put your wrists/base of hands together and then with a pencil or whatever in your painting hand check out how much support there is for careful brushwork.

    I hope that some of the above is of use to you, sir . . . but again please allow me to write that I already admire your painting and feel that you are too harsh a critic regarding it.

    — Jeff

    1. Thank for that advice, Jeff – I’ll try it.

      But my big problems are that i am a scrooge with my brushes and paint – I keep both of them too far beyond their use-by dates. Any fine detail painting is usually done DESPITE my brush, not WITH it!

  3. Really nice Roly. I have been thinking about some Samurai for ages, especially seeing as I have hundreds of the damn figures in a box – acquired many many years ago befiore I got married. But – I like the earlier periods like the Genpei Wars.

    1. I must admit I too prefer the overall look of the earlier boxier armour of the Gempei Wars. But the later Sengoku Jidai period had (in my very fussy opinion) the best quality 28mm figures. Which is why I went that way in the end.

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