I've been busy finishing off the Bushido Prefecture of Ryu warband that I started not too long ago. A bunch of different characters and a dragon! These models (including the previous set) are a little bit of a mixed bag really. There's clearly the work of a couple of different sculptors on show and some models are better than others. The better ones are really nice, especially the faces which are very well done (take a look at Genji and Eiji Takashi) whilst some of the others are a bit more caricatured or even crude in places. Most painted up well though.
Brothers, Genji and Eiji Takashi. Like I say really nice models, well model really seeing as it's just head and arms that differ between them. Great faces on these. The only thing that I found a bit awkward was defining the detail of the chainmail on the sleeves. I couldn't quite make out what was what so after a quick Google search I realised that the chainmail at the top of the sleeves was likely a fine mesh of mail. Unfortunately it was a bit too subtle to see what was going on, likely a loss of detail during the moulding and casting process and not helped by being partially obliterated by a join. I had to fudge it and hope for the best.
Mizuchi, a dragon. I don't tend to paint dragons and big creatures as I have little experience of painting them and they might need a different approach to that used on 'normal' figures. This wasn't too big but was still a little vexing initially and proved to be a learning curve. It was a pain in the arse to assemble though. Lots of pinning and gap filling. Maybe not so much of a problem if you're not working against the clock. Still, came out rather well I think and makes a nice centre piece for the warband.
Fujitaka. Initially I planned to paint the banner some shade of blue but it didn't seem like it was going to stand out from the blue/grey of the rest of the model. I liked the yellow of the studio paint job but I planned to add a golden dragon faction emblem and that wouldn't have worked. I ended up going with a rust colour but it just didn't look right. Annoying at the best of times but especially so seeing as all the blending had finally knackered my pricey experiment with Winsor & Newton brushes. Nothing to do but grit my teeth and take it like a prison bitch and repaint it. Green tied in nicely with some of the other models so I went with that.
I had planned on printing out a crude decal of the dragon design and using that as a guide for overpainting. This is something that I've found to work really well as my freehand is a little limited and even a low res image printed in black is a great guide. Unfortunately the printer went from being highly temperamental to being totally fucked so no decals for me. Pure freehand wasn't my favourite option but I was out of choices really. I did come up with a cheat to enable me to get the outer ring of the emblem as spot on as possible though. An old Crimson Fists decal! The dragon design was freehand but I did pencil in a rough line to show the curve of the body before painting. Amazingly I got it first time with no fuck ups which I can still barely believe to be honest, especially considering it was last thing at night. Here are a few pics I took to show the process.
A Guardsman of Ryu. Basic soldier really. Bit annoyed with myself though because I painted a musket armed model in the last set and thought the wrap around the gun was fabric and painted it red. On this model I realised it was supposed to be metal as it forms the trigger guard. Oh well.
Hagane Takashi. Not my favourite sculpt but the face came out nicely. Both of the swords should have tassles on the hilts but one fell off the moment I touched it and was too fine to pin back on.
Finally Ryoko-Sha. The runt of the lot in my opinion. Poor facial detail being the main issue although also a model that suffers from 'Infinity-itis'. By which I mean it comes in more parts than was probably necessary. Five pieces make up this figure and I'm pretty damned sure it could have been done in two. Why? Why? Why?!!!
So that's the lot.