Some 8/9 years ago I got hooked on Samurai. Zvezda released their 3 boxes on the period and RedBox followed with Ashigaru, Ikko-ikki and more. Zvezda figures were just incredible and RedBox followed in its funny but very 'wargamable' style.
I looked in the web and found loads of information on the period and some nice free sets of rules like Damyo from Ian Duncan. Here they are along with supporting material:
I saw movies then (once, twice...) like Ran, Kagemusha, Furin Kazan and Ten To Chi To looking for inspiration along almost everything Osprey edited and Stephen Turnbull wrote. Driven by usual madness I made a huge collection of boxes from the brands above.
As usual also after painting two clans I got fed up and I turned don't know were to... The damn samurai were far more complicated to paint than anything I had painted so far!
But the Sengoku period is just something so amazingly colourful that a few days ago the Bushido code banged my head again and here I am painting Samurai for the second time (and viewing the same movies, and books and web articles...).
My original idea was to portray all armies of Sekigahara 1600, the biggest battle of the Sengoku period between the Western army lead by Ishida Mitsunari and the Eastern army of Tokugawa Ieyasu but I think nowadays I will also do Takeda, Nobunaga and Uesugi clans, famous for previous battles and maybe I will leave some of the Sekigahara clans out. Its just too much.
Recently I found a pure gold mine, in fact 7 long pages with hundreds of clans and their flags:
Let's go to the figures. This clan is Kuroda Nagamasa's that fought for the Eastern army of Tokugawa Ieyasu against Ishida Mitsunari's western army in Sekigahara.
Kuroda's figure is the Zvezda general in the infantry box. He had to have a new head from another samurai. The top part of the head was then squashed after heating and his helmet bent to become similar to the original Kurada was using:
The Nobori bearer is a figure from the Zvezda command set.
The kneeling Samurai in not a lemon seller, no sir, he carries the Horo, the symbol of the messengers.
Zvezda Samurai cavalry. They are great figures whose painting I tryed to keep on the simple side but trying to give an individuality to each. The uniformity of the clan's cavalry is achieved by the horse's harness being of the same colour (which was mostly non-existing in reality) and one of two types of sashimono (flag on the back) this clan had.
Foot Samurai from Zvezda. I chose the blue sashimono this time. I suggest to you to always paint all samurai in one colour first - as I already prime them in black its easier - and then add small detail in different colours. This will speed your painting process and you will have an extra clan more rapidly.
The Ashigaru ranks: Yari (back), Teppo (arquebus) and bow, all Zvezda. The Ashigaru, foot soldiers from lower classes, were 70% of Samurai armies by the year 1600.