Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Perry Samurai - Historical Wargame Project in 16th Century Japan

Hello out there.

It is time.  I am done, and I am back.

There are a lot of thoughts and emotions behind this project that are hard to put into words. No idea where to start, or how to do them justice in specifics and in full. I will try and fail, and this time that is okay.

First want to thank the special someone behind it all.  I am sorry the fire happened under your project, but certainly would not have it any other way.  No one could have asked for a better person to go into this with.  Thank you for your patience, understanding, and sticking with me. Every project for me is more than the sum of it's parts, and I feel a special bond with everyone that comes through here,. But as you may possibly imagine this is something that truly escapes words.  The foxhole he jumped into with me so enthusiastically and without hesitation is a place I wish I could stay forever.  Thank you Mike, for making a horrible situation something so truly great that I didn't want it to end. I will absolutely miss everything about this time in my life thanks to you.  You turned what would otherwise be torture and trauma into an adventure. Thank you.

This army was already very special to me.  Somehow in all my years I have never done a historical wargame project.  Just never came by.  Historicals have always been something I passively loved, and from my early teens on played Empire for a pseudo-historical fix. There has always been something to it I have admired from afar.  The gentlemanly come as you are, lack of points.  The broader brush strokes in the flow of gameplay.  The historical accuracy, which was challenging but so different and so much fun.  There is a moxie and character to it that I have and always will appreciate and admire, different from Warhammer in it's own way that will never fade. Even before all of this I was very excited and this army meant a lot to me. I would have never forgotten it before, and now especially so.

The project is based around three battles in 1500s Japan and the clans that participated, plus some bonus scenario or fun-of models like the Ikko-Ikki and townsfolk.  Everything was particular in color scheme for historical accuracy with some artistic license in placement.  The Samurai are based around one color scheme as a whole, but the colors outside of the armor randomized on each individual as it would have been in the period. In process this meant taking the whole batch and placing each color in a different place each model, starting with the blue and green since they really anchor the rest of the colors.  Every time I touched a model i would make an effort to put it somewhere else than before, and then as the colors filled up, getting into the tans and pale yellows I would balance the new around what I had already done individually.  This was a really different and new way of painting for me that was a lot of fun. It is a process that doesn't work anywhere else, but here does wonderfully.

As promised, I am at a loss for words and fail to give this what it deserves in full, both for the experience, his research, and the story behind it. There is a certain underlying poetry to everything about this project and it's  time in my life that is so perfect I can't attempt to convey it to you. Only two people will know what the true depth of the journey behind it.  I will flout usual convention in a way that may best drive the point home - in the recent past I have in the back of my mind toyed with the idea of finishing out my schedule and retiring from painting on some high note.  If I were to leave, that is certainly the way I would want to go. Sometimes bad things happen for a reason, in the most timely fashion, and make a person appreciate what they have, and what they are meant to do. In so many ways too extensive and complicated to write here, in everything within this project and surrounding it I am reminded that I was born to paint, and will until I can no longer hold a brush. For this above all other many reasons I love this army, and will always remember it.

I am back, and the best is yet to come.  There is still a lot to do, and a lot to get through outside of painting, but I know on the other end there is only pure destiny. I look forward to it in a brand new way. Warhammer, even more historicals, brand new backdrops. I am really spoiled and blessed to have the future I do in front of me.

As sure as the sun rises in the east, see you next time.