Monday, 30 November 2015

Sengoku range batch 2 by John Bell available from

I though I had a good grasp of Japanese myths, but John – a real expert with the ability to turn myth into tabletop reality.

As you've seen, I'm on the verge of a campaign so I thought it was time to dip me toes in and stock up.

Plus, I haven't seen an independent review of this second range.

I am so impressed – many of the tops will fit and stay in the bottoms without glue! That screams Quality to me!

I had 2 specific units I wanted to build. First, bull-headed spiders. Yes, that's right. I want to give my “evil” side a nasty beast – we've never used animals.
All the girls together
To match them, 2 spider-ladies. There are 2 female torso's so a large spider body for each, added a sheath to the sword wielder and a full sword set to the naginata user. The bigger body is noticeably bigger and a human torso looks great. With the spider I've already got (from guess where?) and there is a nice spidery army!

First impressions. The bull head & small spider body are perfect, the head has a much smaller attachment meaning that they are easy to position. With a human torso they look like a “low rider” spider centaur. I need another head to make a proper Minotaur, now.
Here's my suggestions (p63):
Q4, C2, 15, Animal -2, Greedy (stopping to wrap prey in web) -3 Labyrinth (web) +10 = 20
Q4 C3, 23, Animal -2 Dashing+ 4 = 25
After playtesting I'm thinking Q4, C2, 15 Animal-2 Greedy-3 Dashing+4 =14.

The Boys
Size-wise, the priests match up well to my Two Dragons and Eureka. The 2-parters are a little “beefier”, but bridge the gap between the ranges above and the larger Museum Miniatures. In fact, if you want to make a later Ikko Ikki army, these would be an excellent match.

Rokurokubi. Long necked demon, at she's certainly that! This sounds silly, but this is the perfect model for a head-swap. So you could make a goddess or possessed person or angry ghost.

8 Brigands, Ronin or similar. A naginata (bending each spear head slightly) using rag-tag bunch of nasties. I got 4 of each leg type and 6 of the spearmen and 1 woman. There's a sword-wielder to break them up. I decided to use each leg type as front & back rank. Placing each leg slightly different on the base then working with that it's easy to make what could be 6 identical figures pop. I used some of the armour and sword sheaths to customise.

Careful! The metal is very brittle. I snapped the hand off one trying to bend the arm. But every wotsits a thingy, and I had another spare spear torso, so I chopped a grey pompom in half and made 2 Gaki angry ghosts emerging from cloudform. I glued the halves onto a (2p) coin with superglue, in hindsight I should have used a regular bostic/uhu type glue or no more nails. I'd have also mounted the torsos on beads and wrapped the pom pom around it. I may redo if they fall apart. Still, 2 Legends for under £1.

An ensorcered hero. I used a female top for the long hair, basing this one on either Tomoe Gozen or from the book series. Adding a sword sheath set and a bit of armour. On impulse (I like to make heroes on bigger bases) I added a monk to the base. Again, pressing the 2 halves together they stayed!

I bought a pack of Maidens and Monks, to pad out my monks, peasants and to provide alternate Shugenja. I went a bit mad here, using 2 or 3 figures on the base I made 3 different Shugenja's. They have a great manga look, with some nice poses.

This isn't the last you'll see of this range, I'm already thinking of a swarm for the giant centipede, better than a plastic toy.

The weapons pack is good, the armour useful, there were a few bandits who looked a bit off, this could have been easily corrected but I used a bit of armour. Some of my goblins will get upgrades,. The back banner is a lot better than the one supplied with the corporate Ashigaru and will be turned into banners.

Do I want more? Yes, of course!
A running leg
A kneeling leg
An armoured leg
An archer torso
An open handed torso, to make townsfolk, peasants, workers.
An upright spear/naginata torso
Undead version or range like the goblins.

No-one does a decent, multi-part, preferably part resin big oriental dragon. If the head and tail fix like these figures you'd have another unique product.

Curiously, I've also found some help in the SHU SF range (not the fantasy-)

In Tomoe Gozen, the Golden Naginata (a martial nun, plus) there is a goblin adopted by the Yamabushy. So I bought a Tofar Longwanderer to fill this roll. This fellow is great, a shade taller but a log thicker, the staff is perfect. I've decided he's going to be the first of my armoured monks.

You may be aware that I already pad my Goblins with a “command” made from a Baruka crimelord as Baron Greenbaku-sama, the Phreek bystander as his bodyguard Stiletto and the Avarep cobra as their pet caterpillar.

My next upgrade will be some shrubbery, then some different monks and peasants from Museum Miniatures. Then there's Splintered Light's Chinese selection-.

Hopefully Andrea will have finished the larger battle fantasy rules-.