Sunday, August 15, 2010

Samurai Watch Towers -WIP

Looking for a skirmish scenario for my Heian samurai, it looks like the Battle of Ichi no Tani may be the most interesting. It was fought on a beachhead; actually, the Taira Clan's stronghold - as they were famous seafarers and pirate hunters. Their stronghold was at the base of a steep cliff, which they thought no enemy could scale down from. Unfortunately for the Taira, their age old enemy, the Minamoto did just that. In a three-pronged attack, they took the Taira by surprise. The Taira had their fleet in the bay adjacent their stronghold, and any that weren't killed or captured outright fled with their ships. This of course was a short lived escape as the Taira were exterminated in the very next battle of Dan no ura in the Shiminoseki Strait.

My quest for suitable terrain begins for this scenarior. In addition to several nice thatched roof buildings, I also have a model ship that can be used as a firing platform for archers. Perusing the usual sites for a proper gate and walls, I came across this nice watch tower from Scheltrum Miniatures.
Although fairly inexpensive, I decided to try building some with some wooden chopsticks that come with instant ramyen (noodles). While at the commissary today, my wife grabbed a bunch of these wooden utensils sans the noodles. Here's what I came up with in a few minutes; the trickiest part was getting all the sides together. I guess if I had waited for the glue to dry it would've helped. I'll try to be more patient on the next ones; probably will end up with three.
That's a Curteys samurai in front of it for scale. "Planks" from popsicle sticks will be added to the to deck and sides - hopefully similarly to the Scheltrum model.

Slapped on a few more sticks and voila - it's done. The TAG archer with a 7/8" washer fits on the deck with room to spare. Okay, so it doesn't look quite like the Scheltrum one, but good enough for the Taira Clan.
The plan is to use the Duel & Raid rules from the Warhammer Siege and Conquest supplement.


  1. Nice little tower Dean. I found the Osprey Samurai Fortifications books very good for inspiration on the model making front.

  2. I agree with Paul - a very well made tower.

    Thanks for the post.


  3. Thank you all for the encouraging comments. Sounds like I'm on the right track. Dean

  4. Yes,the tower looks nice.Looking forward to seeing the Samurai.


  5. Try elastic bands or little clamps to hold together stuff while the glue dries. I know I'm the same way I have to force myself to take breaks to let glue or washes dry or I just end up having to redo it...

    I don't have much experience with elastic bands, but these little orange and black clamps I got at Home Depot are great for holding together pieces while the glue dries.

  6. Looks good, and the paint really seals the deal!

  7. Josiah:

    Oh, that first photo (painted tower) is a Scheltrum model - not the one I made with chopsticks :) I do plan to base the towers too though. Regards, Dean