A 28mm Japanese tower that looks Japanese!

Vignette

There’s something distinctive about Japanese towers that even the uninitiated can identify them straight away. However, this characteristic look can be quite elusive, as many of the model Japanese castles I’ve seen for sale to wargamers just don’t capture that distinctive shape properly.

However, that is certainly not an issue with the latest model building I’ve bought to go with my 28mm samurai figures. This wooden yagura ichi tower kit from Tre Games Inc definitely looks Japanese!

IMG_0333

What I love about this model is how it has captured the archetypal sloping base-walls, visible rafters and the complicated roof structure with the interesting gables. The shuttered windows, the holes in the walls for shooting weapons, and the crazy stone-work of the base all add to the look and feel.

New-2

New-3

My model is made up from two kitsets: the Japanese yagura ichi tower ($US40), and its accompanying fortified stone base ($US20). The kits are made of laser-cut 1/16″ ash hardwood and 1/8″ birch plywood. Altogether, the completed model measures just over 7.5″ tall, and the base’s footprint is just a tad under 6.5″ square.

IMG_0334

I decided to do a bit of extra detailing to what was already a very good model. The roofs come off each floor, but whilst the floors already had a patterns of wooden panels, the walls were bare. So I simply used a black marker pen to draw in the beams, following the pattern of the exterior beams of the model, and shaded them in with colouring pencils.

IMG_0323

The base was a little tricky, as there are a lot of angles. I used rubber bands and pegs to hold the parts in place whilst they dried, then used a sander to round off the sharp corners. There was also a slight gap between the upper and lower walls, which I filled with glue.

Painting the base was easy: a spray coat of black, followed by a dry-brushing of grey, and finished with a very light dry-brushing of white. The base also comes with a separate set of stairs that you can place beside one of the two doors on the tower.

IMG_0342

The walls were very easy to assemble, despite the complex shape. I pre-painted the beams in dark brown, and the wooden sidings on the walls with a lighter brown, before glueing them together.

IMG_0347

The most extensive change I made was to the roof. The model comes with a roof that resembles a wooden planks. But I thought a tile roof would be more characteristic of a Japanese tower. I used some corrugated card from a craft shop, which I scribed horizontally with a metal ruler to produce the look of tiles.

I then simply glued the card onto the supplied roofs, spray-painted them black and dry-brushed them grey. Finally, I assembled the roof as per the instructions. Fitting the parts together was a little finicky, and overall there are some bits I probably didn’t get to fit quite right. But from a distance it all looks pretty good, and I’m happy with the overall effect.

IMG_0337

So there you have it – a perfect Japanese tower that’ll make a fine centrepiece for my gaming table …

Pros: Most importantly, it really looks the part! Not too many of the visible tabs that mar so many wooden kits. Removable roofs. Everything fits well. A  great price!

Cons: A little smaller than the 28mm Japanese buildings I have from other manufacturers. No interior detail other than the floors (though that is easily fixed).

Overall, very highly recommended!

Tre Games Inc is owned by writer, illustrator and entrepreneur Tim Erickson from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

IMG_0343 

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Samurai, Terrain, Tre Games Inc, Uncategorized

10 responses to “A 28mm Japanese tower that looks Japanese!

  1. I email followed your blog for a while but this time I simple have to log in and comment. This is one lovely model. I could definitely use this in my collection of Japanese buildings. And will when funds allow.
    Lovely painting too. I will circle back to this post when I get one one day for inspiration.
    Do you know if this building was based on a specific historic building?
    Have a great day!

    • I don’t know if it was based on a specific building, Lars, though to my eye it does bear resemblance to parts of Kumamoto Castle.

      I’m not sure if the name ‘yagura ichi’ might be a clue or not – I think ‘yagura’ means tower.

  2. Der Alte Fritz

    Very lovely looking model. You have done a terrific job in assembling and painting it – nicely done sir!

  3. Nick Papadopoulos / Hellenic Kiwi

    Lovely photos -especially the one with what looks like real – [Cherry ]- blossom along the top . Always neat to see your posts.
    [Election week is coming -as an oldie I am voting for the silver -fox ]
    Regards,
    Nick .

  4. Vincent Cholewa

    Wow! That is awesome. Well done, Rocky.

  5. Mark Strachan

    Superb work Roly!

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s