samedi 9 janvier 2021

Japanese bridge

Hello, Happy New Year (it's never too late) !

The beginning of the year is the perfect moment to:

- have a look at the previous year, and write a summary of what was achieved, and what wasn't

- make plans for the year to come

You know what ? I have no desire to develop any of these items - I would have the feeling to be at work and to be compelled to write the annual review and the planned workload. And since this blog is about a hobby, I decided to have NO plan and to paint whatever I like... as usual :D

So, the year will begin with something different: a new civilization, and improved scenery.

Today, we have a look at a small Japanese bridge.

I have been deeply interested in Japan for years, and I have been lucky enough to visit some parts of Honshu (the main island), particularly the Tokyo and Kyoto areas. And since I am also interested in History, I appreciated to visit castles, temples and traditional houses, and also the wonderful gardens in which you can sometimes see some typical curved bridges such as this one:

The wooden Japanese bridges are often painted vermilion red, like the tori, because that colour indicates a passage between the world of the Humans and the world of the Gods.

Hence the color of my bridge, a mix of red and orange.

On this bridge, we can see 4 warrior monks standing their ground against invisible enemies (Redbox figures).

I realised, after writing this post, that my inspiration obviously came from Japanese woodblock prints. I'm a big fan of ukiyo-e, particularly the Edo period, and among all, my favourite artist is Kuniyoshi.

 Here you are a couple of prints that he designed:

Kuniyoshi 1839 Biography of Yoshitsune - Gojo bridge

Kuniyoshi 1839-41Yoshitsune fighting Benkei on Gojo bridge

The triptych and the diptych have the same subject: they represent Yoshitsune, a young boy and future famous samurai et fight with Benkei, a Sohei (warrior monk) who will become his most faithful ally.

Let's consider now the technical side of today's pictures. It's good to have a small bridge, but you also need a river if you want to take decent pictures!  Therefore, I had to dig in a plate of polystyrene, add some sand, paint, then add some flocking, and paint again... 3 days work for just  few pictures! Now you know why I haven't posted anything since Christmas :)

I hope you like the result :)

See you soon.

Edit 10/01/2020:

To answer a question asked by Eric, The bridge comes from a kit by Sarissa Precision Ltd. They have a very interesting range of 20mm buildings, but it would be very nice if they decided to adapt their whole 28mm range to 20mm :)

And I also added some woodblock prints reproductions above.

vendredi 25 décembre 2020

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!

As promised yesterday, here you are, as a summary, a complete 2020 Advent Calendar in two versions.

Beware: by clicking on the images, you will get a big file (1,4 Mo).



See you soon, I hope to write a small 'making-of' before the end of the year :)


jeudi 24 décembre 2020

2020 Advent Calendar: Day 24

Today is the last day of the advent calendar, and for that particular day, we need a peaceful scene :-)

Day 24: Along the Silk Road

The name 'Silk Road' is given to a network of trade routes interconnecting all lands between Southern Europe and East Asia. A major item of this trade was the silk, first produced in China. Various historical events, particularly the conquests of Alexander, contributed to the opening of these intercontinental roads. One of the successor state to the Macedonian Empire, the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom, based in Bactria (modern Afghanistan) expanded to the East, leading to the first contacts with China in about 200 BC.

Of course, trade caravans gathered dozens, or even hundreds of beasts and men, certainly heavily guarded since they transported highly valuable goods. In the pictures below, we see only a part of a caravan, a man leading a camel and a yack in a mountainous area. Given the look of the fret, the animals are maybe carrying silk.

Wonderful figures by Linear A, I only wish I find time to paint more of them :)

Here you are, the end of the road for the 2020 advent calendar. The good thing is that I really used every single scene element I had, so beyond 24 images, I would have repeated myself very soon :)

I hope you all enjoyed the journey, that these pictures illustrate very wel.

See you... tomorrow for a short summary ;-)

mercredi 23 décembre 2020

2020 Advent Calendar: Day 23

 Hello! One more entry in the Advent Calendar, as it's getting more and more difficult to find an idea for a new scene :)

On day 23 of the 2020 Calendar, we have a look at Goth warriors.

Our guys are scouting near Adrianopolis, at the beginning of august, in 378. In a few days, the Wisigoth and Ostrogoth armies, under the command of Fritigern, will destroy the Roman army of Emperor Valens.

The man on the left is an ordinary warrior, fighting with spear and sword. His defensive weapons are a shield and a helmet, similar to those worn in the Roman army, in which he probably served as foederati only a few years before. Figure by Hät.

The man on the right is a chieftain, he's wearing a bronze scale armour. Figure by Miniart.

When I have painted enough Goths, I will be able to play a game against my Late Imperial Roman army.

 Still one day before the end of the calendar, see you tomorrow :)

mardi 22 décembre 2020

2020 Advent Calendar: Day 22

One more day in the calendar, and a Roman day again.

Day 22: Roman Legionaries in action

These Legionaries were made by Strelets. They're considered in action since they've already thrown their pila and drawn their gladii (swords), which tells us that the close combat will begin very soon.

They're meant to be part of my Early Imperial Roman army, together with the auxiliary archers (already shown here), and the other Romans of this calendar.

Very classical but a must-have for any Ancients wargamer.

See you tomorrow.

lundi 21 décembre 2020

2020 Advent Calendar: Day 21

Today is the 21st day of the Advent Calendar, it's Saint Peter's day. And you know why ? Because it's Mummies day !!

"... and at the 21st day of the Advent, the Mummies will rise again, and their number will be higher than ever..."


 Ok, only five mummies doesn't make an innumerable horde, but last time I had only three of them, so 'higher than ever' :D. The two new additions are these:

If we dare to have a closer look, we can see that the first one has a head of Anubis over its own head. Its eyes are glooming in the dark, because it is animated by some sort of... evil ?

The second one looks like a pharaoh, especially the one that is drawn on the cover of a famous Iron Maiden album :D

Remember this one ?

One more family picture, bouh, frightening... Peter, what do you think of them ?

Hope you like them, in spite of their old age :D

See you tomorrow for the next day of this unusual Calendar!

dimanche 20 décembre 2020

2020 Advent Calendar: Day 20

For today's image, we follow the track of Alexander, the great Macedonian General, as we discover a region never seen on this blog, the Indus valley.

Day 20 of the Calendar: Indian warriors of the Indus valley, 4th century BC

Documentation on these warriors is rather scarce (or my research wasn't good), so I had to follow secondary sources to paint these guys. 

First problem: the skin tones. How were Indians in those days ? I supposed that people in this time were as different from one another as today, so I used 3 different base colors, from dark to light tone.

Second problem: the shields. Probably covered with leather, but painted, or still with animal skin ? I chose to represent both, but once again I'm not sure of the historical accuracy.

Third problem: the clothes. I chose to stick to undyed fabrics, but once again, not sure.

We can see the variations in the close-up picture below:

The Macedonian army of Alexander reached the Indus valley in the 4th century BC, and fought against the famous king Porus on the banks of river Hydaspes. Years after, the Greek and Indian culture melted in what we name today the Graeco-Indian civilization in Europe, and Yavanarajya (Kingdom of the Greeks) in India.

I represented here a Graeco-Indian elephant surrounded by Indian warriors from another kingdom.

The last picture shows an avatar of an Indian god fighting among the warriors that worship him. This figure comes from the Kinnikuman / M.U.S.C.L.E. range, as you can see on this post.

So, regarding the historical accuracy, you understand that I'm not sure of my color schemes. In case you have better documentation than what I could find, do not hesitate to leave me a comment, either to confirm my choices or to help me to fix my mistakes. Thanks!

See you tomorrow!