Saturday, January 20, 2024

Characters from 'The School of Strength'

Here is my last trio of heroes for 'Hametsu'. These are the archetypes from the 'School of Strength': the Gaijin, the Sumo and the iconic masterless Ronin.

Similar to most of my other figures for this project, these are 3d prints that I sourced from MyMiniFactory and Thingiverse.

I really enjoyed working on all three of these models as they are so evocative of the period and very well designed. My hat's off to the sculptors. 

The Gaijin ('outsider' or 'foreigner) is based from a Renaissance Spanish rodelero which I thought would work nicely since the Portuguese were the first Europeans to make contact with the Japanese in the 16th century. 

I was thinking of what kind of colours to do him in and found some great images of the Papal Swiss Guard in their red, buff and blue livery which I thought that was perfect. I imagine him a lost Guardsman, perhaps the bodyguard of a Jesuit, or perhaps a Prince of the Church, stranded in Japan and making the best of his lot.  

For a bit of fun I added a Japanese lamellar spaulder to protect his right shoulder. I was thinking of giving him the distinctive leg faulds as well, but didn't want to hide his fancy European trousers (it's all about cutting a dash, right.). Model by PeculiarCompanions.

The Sumo was fun to do as well. I wanted to make sure I did a decent job on his skin as, um, there's a lot of it being that he's a big boi! I also really wanted to give him a tattoo, but wasn't confident on my freehand bush skills to do a dragon, so I used two rose decals from an old Sisters of Battle sheet, which give a close approximation to chrysanthemums. Done. 

There is an armoured version of the Sumo which I may do later to reflect the progression of the character - but that will be for another day. Figure by The Dragon Trappers Lodge.

The Ronin is one of my favourite figures of the series. Such a wonderfully dynamic pose, with him giving his all with his terrifying nodachi two-hander. Somebody's going to have a real bad day with this fella in front of them. 

I also really like the texture of the sculpt, with the deep folds in his trousers, his sinewy musculature and the spikiness of his hair and beard. A ferocious character to be sure.

And to close, here is the wrap up shot of all nine characters for the heroes.

Thanks for dropping in for a look!

- Curt