Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Oni of Hate

Hi all

This is the last of the huge "miniatures" from the base game of Rising Sun.  I have more expansions for the game, including extra monsters, Kami and of course the actual clans themselves, so expect to see them being added to this blog at some point.

The Oni of Hate!

The traditional bean-throwing custom to drive out oni is practiced during Setsubun festival in February. It involves people casting roasted soybeans indoors or out of their homes and shouting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("鬼は外!福は内!", "Oni go out! Blessings come in!").[21][22] This custom has grown from the medieval ritual of tsuina (Chinese: nuo) or oni-yarai, an year-end rite to drive away oni (ghosts).[21][23]
Regionally around Tottori Prefecture during this season, a charm made of holly-leaves and dried sardine heads are used as guard against oni.[23][24]
There is also a well known game in Japan called oni gokko (鬼ごっこ), which is the same as the game of tag that children in western countries play. The player who is "it" is instead called the "oni".[25][26]
Oni are featured in Japanese children's stories such as Momotaro (Peach Boy), Issun-bōshi, and Kobutori Jīsan.
In more recent times, oni have lost some of their original wickedness[citation needed] and sometimes take on a more protective function. Men in oni costumes often lead Japanese parades to dispel any bad luck, for example.
Japanese buildings sometimes include oni-faced roof tiles called onigawara (鬼瓦), which are thought to ward away bad luck, much like gargoyles in Western tradition.[27]
Many Japanese idioms and proverbs also make reference to oni. For example, the expression oya ni ninu ko wa oni no ko (親に似ぬ子は鬼の子) means literally "a child that does not resemble its parents is the child of an oni", and may be used by a parent to chastise a misbehaving child.[5]

Anyway, here is the Oni of Hate

 This time I went for a similar scheme to the official artwork, although the orange of it's kimono is a little lighter than the blood orange on the card.  The pig faced Oni, received a lot of dry brushing, mostly due to the larger areas that needed covering.  Of particular note is my rather clumsy attempt at OSL on the blue fairy fire.  Hopefully it doesn't come across too messily.

That finishes off the monsters from the base game of Rising Sun.  now to crack on with the expansions, but before I go here's the obligatory group shot....

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Oni of Spite

hi all

yup more Oni action...

According to Chinese Taoism and esoteric Onmyōdō, the ways of yin and yang, the northeasterly direction is termed the kimon (鬼門, "demon gate") and considered an unlucky direction through which evil spirits passed. Based on the assignment of the twelve zodiac animals to the cardinal directions, the kimon was also known as the ushitora (丑寅), or "Ox Tiger" direction. One theory is that the oni's bovine horns and tiger-skin loincloth developed as a visual depiction of this term.[14][15][16]
Temples are often built facing that direction, for example, Enryaku-ji was deliberately built on Mount Hiei which was in the kimon (northeasterly) direction from Kyoto in order to guard the capital, and similarly Kan'ei-ji was built towards that direction from Edo Castle.[17][18]
However, skeptics doubt this could have been the initial design of Enryaku-ji temple, since the temple was founded in 788, six years before Kyoto even existed as a capital, and if the ruling class were so feng shui minded, the subsequent northeasterly move of the capital from Nagaoka-kyō to Kyoto would have certainly been taboo.[19]
Also, Japanese buildings may sometimes have L-shaped indentions at the northeast to ward oni away, for example the walls surrounding the Kyoto Imperial Palace have notched corners in that direction[20]
So this week, I give you the "Oni of Spite"

I painted him up in very dark colours, in contrast to brighter reds and yellows (and blue!) of the previous Onis.  This is because he looks a lot more sinister and death like, particular the cadaverous look and scythe like weapon.

The reds and blacks while simple looking, required several layers of highlighting.  The gold, I decided to make a rose coloured to add to the reds of the robes.  I picked out the skulls in the hair of the oni and painted it the same as the Oni's skull like visage. Finally I painted up the armour using a combination of metallic blue and pewter coloured paints, thanks to Bryan "Vampifan" and his beautiful rendition of the "Intruders" in the game Nemesis.

anyway, one more Oni to go and then I'll move onto the "Lucky Gods" expansion.

hope you enjoy 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Oni of Skulls

hi all

more Rising Sun goodies, this time - The Oni of Skulls

I really love this model! but first a little more about Onis…
Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with a single horn or multiple horns emerging from their heads,[2] with sharp claws and wild hair.[3]
They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs called kanabō (金棒).[2] This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club" (鬼に金棒 oni-ni-kanabō), that is, to be invincible or undefeatable.[4][5]
Their skin may be any number of colors, but red, blue, and green are particularly common.[6][7] They may sometimes also be depicted as black-skinned, or yellow-skinned.[2]
They may occasionally be depicted with a third eye on their forehead,[2][8] or extra fingers and toes.[8] 

I tried to keep to a fairly limited palette because there is an awful lot of detail on this "miniature" and I didn't want it to look too cluttered.  The skin has about half a dozen highlight layers and was quite challenging in that I didn't want it to look white!  Sadly, i'm still yet to take a flattering photo and it does look better in person.

The brown red was a combination of crimson and chestnut brown from Vallejo and looks v nice imho but I think I over washed the tiger skin loin cloth to the point where the stripes are not evident.  What I didn't want to do however was make the orange too bright and artificial!  The brightly coloured strips of cloth were painted to look like they were torn from different victims and a painted in contrasting colours.  Once again I used matt varnish to the detriment of the finish of this model and I'm beginning to see the appeal of Simon "BlaxKleric" continued use of gloss! However, I'm stuck with the matt for this range of minis now...

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Oni of Blood

hi all

more Oni fun...

The Oni of Blood!

an old etymology for "oni" is that the word derives from on, the on'yomi reading of a character () meaning "to hide or conceal", due to oni having the tendency of "hiding behind things, not wishing to appear". This explanation is found in the 10th century dictionary Wamyōshō, which reveals that the oni at the time had a different meaning, defined as "a soul/spirit of the dead".[9][10]
The character for oni, 鬼 (pinyin: guǐ; Jyutping: gwai2) in Chinese also means a dead or ancestral spirit, and not necessarily an evil specter.[9] Accordingly, Chinese (Taoist) origins for the concept of oni has been proposed by Takahashi Masaaki [ja].[11]
The oni was syncretized with Hindu-Buddhist creatures such as the man-devouring yaksha and the rakshasa, and became the oni who tormented sinners as wardens of Jigoku (Hell),[12] administering sentences passed down by Hell's magistrate, King Yama (Enma Daiō).[6] The hungry ghosts called gaki (餓鬼) has also been sometimes considered a type of oni (the letter "ki" 鬼 is also read "oni").[6][10]
Some scholars have even argued that the oni was entirely a concept of Buddhist mythology.[13]

This Oni was loads of fun to paint and I really went to town with reds, oranges and yellows to paint up the vast swathes of skin and clothing. The row of severed heads I painted in pale flesh and washed with purple, giving that recently dead look.  I'm particularly pleased with the warm gold look to the flails. I decided to go against the art work and make the "studs" embedded in the skin into pustules instead as it looked far more effective imho.

hope you enjoy 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Oni of Souls

hi all

I'm still painting up the huge monsters from the Rising Sun board game and this time I can show you - The Oni of Souls!

There are several different Oni in the base game and I'll show them each week with a little more information, taken directly from Wikipedia.  Now once again I know this is very lazy research as wiki isn't the most reliable source, but these days it seems I'm always strapped for time as I'm once again facing academia in order to push on towards advanced paramedic practice.

Anyhoo - the Oni

Oni () are a kind of yōkai, supernatural demon, devils, ogre, or troll in Japanese folklore. They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads. Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red or blue-colored (green-colored), wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron clubs.
They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature, and theatre,[1] and appear as stock villains in the well-known fairytales of Momotaro (Peach Boy), Issun-bōshi, and Kobutori Jīsan

This "miniature" was a little more complicated than the others I have done so far (and this trend continues...) but still enjoyable to paint.  I started with a base coat of "Rotting Flesh" from Vallejoand covered it with green wash before highlighting it back to a lurid green/yellow tone. I then stuck with neutral colours for the rest of his attire - chestnut brown for the fur and grey/green for the breeches and finally Khaki for the leather pieces.  The corpses that he has on the Yari were painted with a pale flesh and washed with purple before highlighting back up to almost white and a little Taimya clear red for the gore, disappointingly I then matt varnished the model and it dulled the blood down... note to self...

anyway, hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 9 January 2019


hi all

Happy New Year to you!

following on from my post last time showcasing the beautiful miniatures in the game "Rising Sun", I've completed another piece. 

This week I present Yurei, the Yokai probably most recognisable from films like "The Ring"

Yūrei (幽霊) are figures in Japanese folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts. The name consists of two kanji, (), meaning "faint" or "dim" and (rei), meaning "soul" or "spirit". Alternative names include 亡霊 (Bōrei), meaning ruined or departed spirit, 死霊 (Shiryō) meaning dead spirit, or the more encompassing 妖怪 (Yōkai) or お化け (Obake).
Like their Chinese and Western counterparts, they are thought to be spirits kept from a peaceful afterlife.

This Yurei is actually dozens of creatures coalesced into one manifestation.  I kept with muted white/greys and pale flesh colours with purple worm like tentacles protruding from their mouths.

*Edited post* here is a comparison picture or two.  The Bushido ninja is a 32mm mini (sorry I didn't have a 28mm to hand).

just a quick one this week
hope you enjoy

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Rising Sun

hi all

I was thoroughly spoilt this xmas by my extended family and I couldn't be more grateful.  

Most of the bits are set-dressing pieces for a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign that I will be running in the Spring/Summer of 2019 so aren't particularly exciting to see in isolation but don't worry I will be showing the pieces with some photo sessions during game play as and when I get up and running.

One of the most exciting gifts that I received was "Rising Sun" written by Eric M. Lang and published by CMON. This "miniatures" board game is set in feudal Japan and as regular readers of this blog will know, that just about scratches most of my gaming itches!

Rising Sun is a board game for 3 to 5 players designed by Eric M. Lang[ and published by CMON Limited in 2017[. Rising Sun is a game about strategy, negotiation, and warfare in a feudal Japan where the ancient gods (Kami) have returned to rebuild the empire. The game was originally released via Kickstarter, raising over $4,200,000. Rising Sun received positive reviews, and was awarded with the 2018 RPC Fantasy Award Tabletop & Miniatures Game Winner

This blurb is lifted from the ever reliable Wikipedia...

Anyhoo, the most exciting part of this game is the superb range of miniatures (used in the loosest term as they are huge!) that come with the base game.  That said I have got some expansions coming too...  So far I've decided to just paint the monsters (and later the Kami, when the expansions arrive).  This is mostly so I can get it onto the table quicker.  Because it's a board game, I'm going to introduce it to my board gaming group and hopefully get some games in shortly.  In the meantime I will showcase the monsters as and when I get them painted.  Each one will come with a little bit of Wiki knowledge if I can find it...

bottom left is a 32mm Rise of the Kage miniature just to give you an idea of scale

Today's offerings though is a 2 for the price of 1 as the first one was so simple it took minutes rather than hours.

I've tried to keep things simple as possible due to the fact that they are going to be handled by those that are less used to picking up miniatures

First up is Komainu

Komainu (狛犬), often called lion-dogs in English, are statue pairs of lion-like creatures either guarding the entrance or the honden, or inner shrine of many Japanese Shinto shrines or kept inside the inner shrine itself, where they are not visible to the public. The first type, born during the Edo period, is called sandō komainu (参道狛犬 visiting road Komainu), the second and much older type jinnai komainu (陣内狛犬 shrine inside komainu).[1] They can sometimes be found also at Buddhist temples, nobility residences or even private homes.

As you can see I went with a very basic gold colouring based on the game art rather than the traditional stone.  I think it looks very striking but it was also dirt easy to paint and all told it took longer waiting for the inks to dry than actually painting it.  I did use some basic weathering in an effort to "sex it up".

Next is my favourite "mini", the River Dragon.  My love for dragons is well documented so I won't go into it here., but this piece is stunning and I was desperate to do my best with it, however the miniature is much simpler than it looks and there were only 3 different basic colours in the whole piece (exc base).  However each colour has multiple shades and highlights which has produced a pleasing scheme and I'm really happy with the results.

Japanese dragons (日本の竜 Nihon no ryū) are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other East Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. The modern Japanese language has numerous "dragon" words, including indigenous Tatsu from Old Japanese ta-tu, Sino-Japanese ryū or ryō from Chinese lóng , nāga ナーガ from Sanskrit nāga, and doragon ドラゴン from English "dragon" (the latter being used almost exclusively to refer to the European dragon and derived fictional creatures).

That's it for this week.
hope you enjoy