Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Rising Sun - more monsters! 2

hi all

Following on from last week's post showing the monsters from the expansion for Rising Sun. This week we have the final two.

Firstly we have Jorogumo…

this from wikipedia
orōgumo (Japanese Kanji: 絡新婦, Hiragana: じょろうぐも) is a type of Yōkai, a creature, ghost or goblin of Japanese folklore. It can shapeshift into a beautiful woman, so the kanji for its actual meaning is 女郎蜘蛛 or "woman-spider", and to write it instead as 絡新婦 ("entangling newlywed woman") is a jukujikun pronunciation of the kanji. In Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, it is depicted as a spider woman manipulating small fire-breathing spiders.
Jorōgumo can also refer to some species of spiders, such as the Nephila and Argiope spiders. Japanese-speaking entomologists use the katakana form of Jorōgumo (ジョロウグモ) to refer exclusively to the spider species Nephila clavata.
this from Fandom

Jorōgumo (絡新婦 or じょろうぐも, Jorōgumo) is a yôkai with the form of a spider, that can change its appearance into that of a seductive woman when it wants to eat a human. Even when it is in its human form though, its reflection will show a giant spider. It can not be killed by any kind of poison. The name Jorogumo is that of the Nephila Clavata, a real kind of spider.


In Japan, some spiders are known to possess amazing supernatural powers. One of these, the jorō-gumo, known as the golden orb-weaver in English, is the most well-known of the arachnid yokai. Jorō-gumo are found all over the Japanese archipelago, except for Hokkaido. Their body size averages between two to three centimeters long, but they can grow much larger as they age; some are large enough to catch and eat small birds. These spiders are renowned for their large size, their vividly beautiful colors, the large and strong webs they weave, and for the cruel destruction they wreak on young men. Their name is written with kanji that mean “entangling bride.” However, these characters were added on to her name much later to cover up the original meaning of the name: “whore spider.”
Jorō-gumo live solitary lives, both as spiders and as yokai. When a golden orb-weaver reaches 400 years of age, it develops magical powers and begins to feed on human prey instead of insects. They make their nests in caves, forests, or empty houses in towns. They possess a cunning intelligence and a cold heart, and see humans as nothing more than insects to feed on. They are skillful deceivers and powerful shapeshifters, usually spending their lives appearing as young, sexy, and stunningly beautiful women. 

while this is isn't my favourite sculpt, the Jorogumo has one of the most fascinating legends so I really enjoyed painting this.  The gruesome egg sack under the creatures abdomen is particularly characterful.

Next is the Earth Dragon...

In Chinese mythology, dilong 地龍 "earth dragon" is one of many types of -long dragons such as shenlong 神龍 "divine dragon" and huanglong 黃龍 "Yellow Dragon". Since "earth; land; soil; ground" semantically contrasts with tian "heaven; sky" (e.g., tiandi 天地 "heaven and earth; universe", see Tiandihui), the dilong is paired with the tianlong 天龍 "heavenly dragon". Chinese dragons were supposedly able to fly, and thus were considered celestial creatures rather than terrestrial ones like the "earthbound" dilong. Two other exceptions are panlong 蟠龍 "coiled/curled dragon; a dragon that has not ascended to heaven" and tulong 土龍 "soil/earth dragon", which refers to the tuo "Chinese Alligator" (cf. Japanese mogura 土竜 "mole").

I used a lot of yellow and flesh washes on the reds of this Dragon in order to achieve the reddish brown flesh, which helped link with the spines and whiskers of the mighty beast.

Finally here is a group shot of the expansion pack.

I have just one more expansion to finish which will feature the sacred Kami.
hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Rising Sun - more monsters!

hi all

First of all, i'm really sorry for the continual postings about this game. But, in my defence it is a good one and it is (sort of)a miniatures game.

Secondly, before I forget, my board games group are hosting our 5th convention - Uncon 5.0 on the 6th and 7th of April.  With over 300 unique tickets sold in November, up from last April, the event is getting bigger and bigger and I cannot wait for this one.  I will be hosting 3x games this time around - "Blood, Sweat & Horses" my chariot racing game, "Rising Sun" hence all the love and frantic painting of miniatures and "Rise of the Kage" a GCT Studios board game that I have made a rather splendid (if I do say so myself) 3d board for.  Those of you who subscribe to my YouTube channel will have seen the build and the finished article...

If not, why not? ahhhh here's the link anyway -

Anyway, along with the "Daimyo Invasion" expansion, I also bought the "Monsters Pack" expansion.  This gave us 4 more monsters to add to those in the base game.  The first of which is this one...

The Jinmenju - aka creepy face tree 

As has been my want during this series of posts, I have made lazy, cursory searches through Japanese Folklore and posted them directly here...

Jinmenju (人面樹, Jinmenju) is a strange tree with human faced fruits called jinmenshi, human-faced child. The tree is said to be found in remote valleys from the south of Japan and China.

According to the Edo period Hyakka Jiten encyclopedia Wakan Sansai Zue (和漢三才図会; A Collection of Pictures of Heaven, Earth, and Man from China and Japan), the Jinmenju trees are found in the south, and the fruit of the tree is called the jinmenshi, or human-faced child. They ripen in the fall, and if you eat the fruit they have a sweet/sour taste. It is said that the Jinmenju seed also has a human face, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
In the past however, it was said that people planted great orchards of the laughing Jinmenju.
The legend of the Jinmenju comes from China, and was passed onto Japan where it was considered to be a yokai due to its peculiar nature. There are also stories of trees bearing human-faced fruit from India and Persia, usually with the faces of beautiful girls. Even now, when you walk through the forest you can see trees whose roots bear a resemblance to human and yokai faces.
Toriyama Sekien included the Jinmenju in his collection Konjyaku Hyakki Shui (今昔百鬼拾遺; Supplement to The Hundred Demons from the Present and the Past). All Jinmenju stories have their origin in a Chinese book Sansai Zue (三才図会; A Collection of Pictures of Heaven, Earth, and Man).

so here it is...

the paint job is remarkably simple and deliberately so with layers of brown and grey, for the "woody" parts.  I included the faces "hair" in the woody scheme for ease as well as to blend the branches and the fruits together.  The faces were given a coat of Vallejo - dead flesh and shaded with purple and green washes.  I also used some of the green wash to create "mossy" areas.

Next up is the Oni of Plagues.

Now I've kind of exhausted my Wiki links for Onis and other cursory searches repeat the information I've already used so...

lots of white and grey for this monster, so I wasn't sure how he would turn out, but actually it wasn't too bad in the end.  A lovely sculpt, I tried to bring out the detail without making it too fiddly, foregoing the artwork where it showed the patterns on the arms picked out in gold but more or less picking out the rest.  In the end he looks fairly striking!

two down, two more to go!
hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Rising Sun - Lucky Gods 2

Hi all

A day earlier than usual due to some weird working hours this last few weeks... to conclude my last post here are the remaining 3 "Lucky Gods" from the Rising Sun expansion.


Daikokuten (大黒天) is also one of the Shichifukujin. He is the god of commerce and prosperity. There are other characteristics which have also been attributed to him, such as being the patron of cooks, farmers, bankers, and protector of crops. Curiously, he is also considered a demon hunter − legend says that the god Daikokuten hung a sacred talisman on the branch of a tree in his garden and, by using this as a trap, he was able to catch a demon. This god is characterized by his smile, having short legs and wearing a hat on his head. He is usually depicted with a bag full of valuable objects.[1][2] Daikokuten originated as a syncretic conflation of the Buddhist death deity Mahākāla with the Shinto deity Ōkuninushi.[3] The Japanese name Daikoku and the Hindi name Mahakala both translate to "Great Blackness". Per the Butsuzōzui compendium of 1690 (reprinted and expanded in 1796), Daikoku can also manifest as a female known as Daikokunyo (大黒女) ("She of the Great Blackness") or Daikokutennyo (大黒天女) ("She of the Great Blackness of the Heavens").[4]


Bishamonten's(毘沙門天) origins can be traced back to Hinduism, but he has been adapted by the Japanese culture. He comes from the Hindu god Kubera and is also known by the name "Vaisravana" from Hindu culture.
He is the god of fortune in war and battles, also associated with authority and dignity. He is the protector of those who follow the rules and behave appropriately. As the patron of fighters, he is represented dressed in armour and a helmet, carrying a pagoda in his left hand. He also acts as protector of holy sites and important places and holds a spear in his right hand to fight against the evil spirits. He is usually depicted in illustrations with a hoop of fire.


Considered the incarnation of the southern pole star (南極星 "nankyokusei"), Juroujin (寿老人) is the god of the elderly and longevity in Japanese Buddhist mythology. It is said that the legendary Juroujin is based on a real person who lived in ancient times. He was approximately 1.82 meters tall with a very long head. Besides his distinctive skull, he is represented with a long white beard, riding a deer and is often also accompanied by a 1500 year old crane and a tortoise, as symbols of his affinity with long lives. In addition, he is usually represented under a peach tree, as the fruit of this tree is considered, by Chinese Taoism and corroborated by scientists[citation needed], able to prolong life as it has antioxidant properties. In his hand he holds a cane and a book or a scroll. The wisdom of the world remains written in its pages. Jurojin enjoys rice and wine, and is a very cheerful figure.[1]

So that is the 7 Lucky Gods of the Rising Sun expansion "Daimyo's Invasion".  Not my favourite sculpts for the game, but still (in the main) decent enough for a board game and there are some comical bits to them.

Next up is the Monsters Expansion, adding 4 new monsters to the game...

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Rising Sun - Lucky Gods

Hi all

One of the expansions that I received for the game "Rising Sun" was the Daimyo Invasion box.  This added a further 2x clans to be added to those available and to increase the number of players allowable to 6.  The 2 new clans aren't allowed to use the Monsters from the core set like the others, instead they use the "Lucky Gods".

I'm not entirely sure what the reasoning behind that theory is, although I suspect it's just a marketing ploy.  However the minis are kinda cool and it does add a little extra gameplay so I have added them to the box.  

I'm gonna do my whole lazy Wiki research thing

Here are the first four...


From the period of the gods Izanami and Izanagi, Ebisu (恵比寿) is the only one whose origins are purely Japanese. He is the god of prosperity and wealth in business, and of plenitude and abundance in crops, cereals and food in general. He is the patron of fishermen and therefore is represented with fishermen's costumes such as a typical hat, a fishing rod in his right hand and a fish that can be either a carp, a hake, a codfish or a sea bass, or any large fish, in general, that symbolize abundance in meals (such as a feast or banquet). It is now common to see his figure in restaurants where fish is served in great quantities or in household kitchens.[1]


Hotei (布袋) is the god of fortune, guardian of the children, patron of diviners and barmen, and also the god of popularity. He is depicted as a fat, smiling, bald man with a curly moustache. He always appears half naked, as his clothes are not wide enough to cover his enormous belly. He blessed the Chinese, and they nicknamed him "Cho-Tei-Shi" or "Ho-Tei-Shi", which means ‘bag of old clothes’.
Hotei was a Zen priest, but his appearance and some of his actions were against their moral condition: his appearance made him look like quite a mischievous person and he had no fixed place to sleep.
He carries a bag on his shoulders which is, according to the beliefs, loaded with fortunes for those who believe in his virtues. Hotei's traits and virtue are contentment, magnanimous and happiness.
The legend explains that Hotei was a real person. His Chinese name was Kaishi, and even though it seems that his date of birth is unknown, his death is recorded as March 916.
The Japanese began to believe in Hotei during the Edo era. The reason why the Japanese have such great respect for this god comes from a legend that says that, before the Zen Buddhism arrived to Japan, an alternative Buddhist thought was extended by a priest of dubious aesthetic, who actually was a manifestation of Miroku. Miroku was the patron of those who could not be saved by the beliefs of Buddha, and Hotei was later perceived and accepted by the Japanese as a second Miroku.[1]


Benzaiten's (弁才天 or 弁財天) origin is found in Hinduism, as she comes from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. While being the only female Fukujin in the modern grouping of seven Fukujin, she is named in various ways: Benzaiten (弁才天), Benten (弁天), Bentensama (弁天様), or Benzaitennyo (弁才天女). When she was adapted from Buddhism, she was given the attributes of financial fortune, talent, beauty and music among others. In many occasions her figure appears in the "Torii" (entrance of the temples). It is common to see her in the Japanese temples. She is represented as a smart, beautiful woman with all the aforementioned attributes. She carries a biwa, a Japanese traditional lute-like instrument and is normally accompanied by a white snake. She is the patron of artists, writers, dancers, and geisha, among others.[1]

Fukurokuju (sometimes omitted)[edit]

The god Fukurokuju (福禄寿), another Shichifukujin, has his origins in China. It is believed that he used to be a hermit during the Chinese Song dynasty, distinguished for being a reincarnation of the Taoist god Hsuan-wu. He is the god of wisdom, luck, longevity, wealth and happiness. This god receives certain credits, such as being one of the Chinese philosophers who could live without eating (breatharian). Moreover, he is the only god who was said to have the ability to resurrect the dead. Fukurokuju is characterized by the size of his head, being almost as large as the size of his whole body, and is represented wearing traditional Chinese costumes. He normally carries a cane in one hand and in the other a scroll with writings about the world. He is usually accompanied by a turtle, a crow or a deer, animals that are frequently used in Japan to symbolize a long life. It is also said that he likes to play chess, and so he is also credited for being the patron of chess players.[1] The characteristics of Fukurokuju and Jurōjin bear tremendous overlap as they both trace back to the Chinese Taoist deity Nánjílǎorén (南极老人), which is why Fukurokuju's position is sometimes granted instead to the goddess Kichijōten, as in the Butsuzōzui compendium of 1783.[5] 

So there you have it, the first 4 figures for the game. 3 to go...

hope you enjoy