SAM I AM
Kit Used: Verlinden 120mm
Review & Figure by:
Pictures: R. Forys
Background: This model is a representation of the Samurai Warlord Toshi Goto
who lived sometime between 850 AD and 976 AD in Feudal Japan. He is based on an ancestor of
a close friend. There is not a lot known about Toshi Goto except that he controlled a small
region in the central part of Hokkaido. The family still retains a small part of the land to
this day. There were a few drawings of Toshi Goto that the family has preserved in Japan, one
of these drawings was of Toshi in his Samurai armor. I tried to find a Samurai model that
reflected his style of armor, but none really matched. The 120mm resin kit by Verlinden came the closest.
The resin kit by Verlinden has a high level of detail and goes together with minor adjusting and
filling. The high level of detail lent itself well to very intricate painting. When
researching color schemes and armor types it became apparent that almost no two were the same.
The majority of Samurai armor did not have a great deal of full armor plating on the front or back.
Most had small pieces fashioned together with dyed rope of various colors. Toshi Goto's armor
was of this nature but the kit did not come that way. What Toshi's armor did have was a padded
bamboo breast piece and bamboo cowards plate on his back. These were painted to reflect a floral
pattern with a chrysanthemum flower on the breast. The other pieces of armor were made of leather
and cloth held together with metal studs and rope.
I sprayed the figure with a testors primer gray to give everything a solid base coat. I then
drilled each piece and inserted a small metal rod to give myself a way of handling them while they
were being painted. This method works well, especially on larger figures. I used a variety
of paints on the figure to achieve varying shading techniques. I have noticed that acrylics such
as the Testors, Tamiya and Citadel colors are all very good to put a nice base color or accent colors on
a model, but they dry too quickly to shade effectively. Windsor & Newton acrylics work well for
shading, but they will bleed together quickly if too much brush work or water is used. The Windsor
& Newton oils are the hardest and most rewarding medium I have found so far. You can achieve very
good depth and shadow, but you need to have some patience to give enough dry time.
|The figure was painted in various reds, oranges and metal shades. From there I shaded and
shadowed with varying shades of browns and grays using the Windsor & Newton oils. The armor
and helmet were detailed with an interwoven vine pattern that was outlined with a 0.25 repidograph
pen. It was very time consuming but well worth the attempt. Various pieces of the armor
and clothing were also highlighted with the repidograph pen to produce accented areas of interest.
The sword was the most frustrating piece of the build. It came sadly bowed without the typical
Samurai sword shape. After trying to bend it into shape, I proceeded to break it at the hilt.
I glued it back together and then took a piece of aluminum and laid it over the blade of the sword.
I then filed and shaped it into the contours of the blade. It has a few ripples in it, but overall
it turned out ok.
The base came with the model, and this was painted primarily in oil washes and acrylic colors.
(Note: You can paint oil over acrylic, but not the other way around. It can be tricky if using
several different mediums, but you can experiment to see what works best.) I let it sit for a
week when it was done to ensure that all the colors had cured before handling it.
Overall it was a very good build and the level of detail was excellent. I would recommend
this kit to anyone who is interested in figure building.
Note: We're happy to add that Ian's figure placed first in the 120mm figure category at the
2005 South East Michigan Model Expo.