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1/20 Heian Period Samurai Archer

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I wanted to share this figure which I finished not too long ago. The kit is from Pegaso models and was painted by hand using acrylics. All of the design work on his armor and clothing was painted freehand, no decals or stencils used. Below I included a couple images to show how the pattern on his chest was built up, bit by bit, to get the end result.

This was an especially challenging project for both the painting and the building. Because of the many overlapping pieces, the figure was assembled and painted in sections. For example, the armor plates around his waist make it difficult to access areas of the pants, so the underlying parts were painted first before the plates were attached. For the plates on his shoulders, the undersides can be seen, so those had to also be painted separately (including more freehand design work) before they could be glued on.

The color scheme and design work were inspired by the historical figure, Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189). Though no direct evidence exists to how he would have looked, one source referenced him in orange for one battle (hence the main clothing color). The symbols on the orange cloth are the emblem for the Minamoto clan. The rest is based on plausible color schemes and designs.

This project probably took me 120 hours or more to complete. It was enjoyable… though I think it will be a while before I dare to paint another samurai! I hope you like the end result.


11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

35 responses to 1/20 Heian Period Samurai Archer

  1. As you say, David, it’s been awhile. Lovely work, as usual, and the ground work too adds value. Great stuff all ’round. Thanks for posting.

  2. It looks great overall, but your work on those fabric patterns is quite unbelievable, just stunning. Is it all hand-painted? Wow.

  3. This is just stunning. Words fail me – the patience and precision this must have taken is inconceivable. This is what? Just over three inches tall?
    This isn’t modeling, it’s high art.

  4. David, thanks for sharing. This is just the right side of inspirational vs. demoralising; makes me hope that I can raise my game rather than wanting to give up! Amazing skills.

  5. Very nicely done, sir….the intricacy is magnificently accomplished. Great work!

  6. Takes us from craft to art; it’s beautiful work and I’m envious! Thank you for sharing this.

  7. A true Artist at work here David,as I say its a feast for the eyes,a grateful thanks for sharing your outstanding work.Cheers

  8. Beautiful! I’m really enjoying these photos of your masterpiece.

  9. Seeing that pattern build up across the last 4 shots is mind-blowing. What a beautifully made figure!

  10. Absolutely off the chain. Seriously, this is the kind of stuff that gets put in museums. Not only is your execution flawless, but your color choices, the diorama–all brilliant. A real show-stopper. Worth thousands of dollars, no question about it.

  11. Great effect! As a modeler I think the trick to make something look realistic is to feed the viewer with so many details, shades and contrast so the effect is overwhelming. This is a fantastic example of this technique. Fantastic little vignette.

  12. Yes!!!!
    Thats the most artistic form of modeling no question.

  13. Ok seriously now…where do you buy those decals of chinese silk patterns? hey hey…

    • Hehe, I’ll have to start marketing them. 🙂

      • It seems your Samurai has triggered a Tsunami of congratulations…
        You know for the decals I’ve been looking for 54mm napoleonic regimental flags and all I found was wargame scale decals or home made stuff sold by individuals on the web.
        In the end it was one of the reasons why I gave up on figures. So decals are a good marketing idea indeed.How many of us modellers are able to handpaintbrush such things?

  14. Great workmanship. Looks really good.

  15. This is stunning job, I love samurais! I can watch this figure all the day… My wife would like to start with figures, this will impress her definitely. I know, no doubt.

  16. Wow wee baby, that’s some stellar paint work! As soon as I opened it, I’m think decals, and then see it was hand-painted. Just excellent! Hats off to you.

  17. David, The amazing thing I find on this beautiful figure is how you achieved such perfect circles, thin straight lines and the perfect rectangles on the segmented lines, in such small scale! What is your secret, if you don’t mind. Jeff

  18. Absolutely stunning.

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