Home improvements to 4Ground’s Japanese shogunate houses

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A couple of novels I’ve been reading over the Christmas break have inspired me to do some home improvements to my 4Ground shogunate houses. You can see the result in the above photo, as some 28mm Perry Miniatures samurai warriors battle it out in the garden (click on the photo for a closer view).

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The novels responsible for this burst of enthusaism are David Kirk’s pair of bold and vivid historical epics of feudal Japan, based on the real-life exploits of the legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto.

In Child of Vengeance, Miyamoto is a high-born but lonely teenager living in his ancestral village. He takes the samurai’s path awash with blood, bravery, and vengeance, culminating in the epochal battle of Sekigahara.

Sword of Honour depicts the feud between Miyamoto and the esteemed Yoshioka Sword School in Japan’s former capital of Kyoto.

Now, I can’t say how accurate or not these novels are, as I am not too knowledgeable about samurai. However, what I can say is that they definitely provide the feel of the place and period. The characters aren’t just western heroes transposed to an oriental setting, but instead act and talk as thought they really are Japanese – helped no doubt by the fact that the author himself lives in Japan.

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After reading the novels, I decided to pull out my existing samurai scenery. I’ve got several 4Ground buildings, which I’ve been very pleased with (see my 2014 review of these kits). But seeing them out of storage for the first time in a while, I’ve realised that the teddy-bear fur thatched roofs look like … er … teddy-bear fur. You can see this in the above picture that I took a few years ago (with a couple of Kingsford miniature figures in the foreground).

I recall in shows where I’ve used these buildings that several little children seemed to take inordinate interest in the roofs of my houses, more than anything else on the table. Now that I think about it, I even heard one of them whispering to her parents that it looked like my roofs were made out of a teddy – can’t fool kids!

So, some home improvements were in order.

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This morning I took a big brush and sloshed a watery burnt umber artists’ acrylic paint all over the thatch. Once this was completely dry, I dry-brushed the roof with a range of ochres, yellows and even white. The results now look a lot more realistic (and certainly a lot less teddy-like!).

Whilst I was at it, I thought the original wooden verandah roofs and ridge decorations were a bit too stark. So they all received a watered-down burnt umber wash as well.

Hopefully the occupants of my little houses are happy with the renovations. Sayonara!

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6 Comments

Filed under 4Ground, Perry Miniatures, Samurai, Terrain, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Home improvements to 4Ground’s Japanese shogunate houses

  1. Eric VEITL

    As beautifull as usuakl .
    I wish all the 2017 best to yiu , your family and all Friday Night old chaps

  2. Larry

    Awesome work!

    Funny you should say “the characters aren’t just western heroes transposed to an oriental setting, but instead act and talk as thought they really are Japanese…”

    A lot of Western films are based on Japanese books and movies.

    “A Fistful of Dollars” and “Last Man Standing” are both remakes of Yojimbo. “The Magnificent Seven” is based on “Seven Samurai”. Toshiro Mifune’s Yojimbo character is what Clint Eastwood based his “man with no name character” on.

    The biggest one however is probably “The Hidden Fortress”. It was a HUGE influenced on George Lucas when he made Star Wars.

  3. Now those rooves really look impressive, love the sound of the books too.

  4. Vince Cholewa

    Your buildings look ab fab, Roly. I wish my terrain was half as good.

  5. Splendid, I need to give this a go.

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