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How to use the rooftile panels

2021-09-22 by David

With two new 3D printers sitting in their new custom-built enclosure, it's time to get printing on some of the new designs we've been previewing over the last few weeks!


First off the printer is this set of Rooftile Panels for the samurai range, and it seemed a good idea to show you exactly how versatile they can be for your old card or MDF buildings...

The set contains two full sets of panels - SIMPLE rooftiles (for houses) and FANCY rooftiles (for temples, pagodas etc). For this assembly guide we'll be using the fancier versions as an example.


This photos shows the various parts of the set, straight off the printer bed. The large panels of tiles should be printed vertically as shown, and for this we would recommend printing with a brim to prevent them from falling over as they print.


After the brims were removed, I glued each edge panel to a matching main panel, as shown above.


I also glued the end of the corner strip (that part with the 'ears' in the centre foreground) to the long corner strip.

Here's our example building, made from spare cardboard. You can also use MDF buildings you already own, which are in need of more realistic roofing!


For your reference, those roof sections are 60mm from top to bottom, which will be neatly covered by the 65mm rooftile panels (when a main panel is glued to an edging panel). The triangles were cut at 45mm from each end on this example building, but shallower roof shapes will work equally well.

Start with the corner diagonals. I placed the corner ridge strip on the join of the two surfaces, and marked both edges with a pencil.

Next, mark the big panel along the pencil lines from the previous step and carefully cut. You might find it helps to cut at a slight angle or sand it down later.

Repeat the previous step for the other side of the corner, by marking and cutting the panel. I would recommend that you don't glue the ridge strip in place yet, as you will need to cut it to length later.

Carefully cut the corner ridge strip to the correct length, to allow the roof spine to sit in place. Take it slowly, and remove small chunks at a time, and keep dry fitting until you're satisfied.

Lastly, glue the top spine of the roof in place, and add the end cap.


Repeat this for all 4 corners of the roof, and don't worry too much about small gaps - they can be filled with greenstuff or putty if necessary, and nobody will notice once the model has been painted!

It's a great improvement over a flat cardboard or MDF roof, right?


This example roof shape will be getting painted up tonight, and the set will be available for download in a few days! Watch this space...


Tags: samurai  assembly  printing 

Samurai Battle Report - Blood Wedding

2021-09-09 by David

Wow - have we got a BLOODY battle report for you today!


This month's game was a special story based on the Test of Honour "Attack at the Shrine" scenario. In the rulebook scenario, one samurai hero is praying at a shrine when attacked by an enemy force, and must weigh the benefit of staying to pray as long as possible against the risk of having his troops cut down before he can join the fight!

Well, we decided to swap the shrine setting for a wedding, with the central focus being the curtained area in the middle of the board. As the setup progressed, we couldn't help notice how similar this would fit to the story of the 1990s movie Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (with a few notable exceptions)...


The wealthy and tyrannical lord of the castle, Lord Kanemochi, is due to wed his bride Princess Sakura in the picturesque grounds of his castle this beautiful spring morning. For her part, the princess is vainly hoping for a last-minute rescue by her beloved ronin, Robu-san.

Unbeknownst to the guests, the wedding has already been infiltrated by the deadly Tomoko, posing as one of the kimono-clad castle staff.


As the ceremony begins to the accompaniment of traditional shakuhachi bamboo flutes, Tomoko is unlocking a small side gate at the edge of the castle grounds, allowing Robu-san and his band of not-so-merry ninja assassins to sneak inside, and attempt a last-minute rescue attempt...

This is Lord Kanemochi's guest list for the wedding. He has Lord Hosokawa and Reiko as honoured guests (his two 'lieutenants', on the right), and a small army of spearmen and archers, backed up by a banner bearer and sergeant.


Lord Kanemochi himself starts the game in the centre of the board, going through his wedding vows. The longer he stays at his wedding (and out of the fight), the more bonus victory points he can earn!

The leader of this rescue force is the ronin Robu-san (in brown and blue), with a ninja lieutenant to back him up, along with 6 lower level ninja assassins. All the ninja are armed with throwing knives - short range and weak, but quite annoying to opponents.


It seemed fitting to allow Tomoko (a lieutenant) to gain skill cards taken from the ninja deck, as she fits the image of a ninja-in-disguise well in this scenario.

The game started with the ninja forces of Robu-san rushing on from the table edge, quickly making their way amongst the cherry blossoms. Robu-san, as the hero he is (or thinks he is!), strides heroically up the path towards the wedding tent in the centre.

Tomoko guides a second smaller force of ninja assassins through the ornamental gardens, ready to rain throwing knives down on the wedding guests.

The defenders had started the game slightly disorganised, but quickly moved their large groups forwards to create a thick wall of spearpoints. Reiko guards the entrance to the tent area, to give her Lord more time to finish his wedding vows!

As the second turn begins, the group of defending spearmen rush forward to attack the nearby ninja group, but trip on the tree roots and blood drop themselves!

The ninja lieutenant seizes his chance, and rushes forwards to attack the clumsy spearmen. Choosing to fight dishonourably, he throws a knife up into the branches of the cherry blossom tree overhead, to distract the spearmen in a flurry of petals - and quickly cuts one man down!

Robu-san throws caution to the wind, and charges headlong into a second group of defenders, quickly cutting one spearman down.

Lord Hosokawa strides forward to confront the ninja assassins, and shouts out a lie to confuse them - "You took your time, didn't you? Now do what I paid you to do!".


As the ninja warriors looks to their lieutenant in confusion, Lord Hosokawa quickly cuts one down with a sneer! What a sneaky bastard!

Robu-san loses himself in a whirlwind of combat, and cuts down a second spearman outside the tent, and then the banner bearer, too! The nearby troops panic and run in fear!

Reiko, sworn to defend the wedding tent as long as possible, instead recognises her hated enemy Tomoko, who is stealthily approaching from the gardens - and rushes to intercept her. As throwing knives rain down from the nearby ninja, she charges Tomoko, who neatly dodges the attack.


They both warily begin to circle....

The defending unit of archers, having fled in panic from the terrifying storm of blades and blood surrounding Robu-san, redeem themselves by halting under one of the cherry blossom trees and neatly drilling holes into a distant ninja assassin (top right of the photo). An excellent shot indeed!

With a cry of "Do you mind? We've just been married!", Lord Kanemochi decides it's time to join the fight at last. But will he be in time to turn things around?


For that matter, will he even get off his chair?!

As Reiko turns to welcome her lord to the fight, Tomoko seizes her moment and flicks her razor-edged fan forward. With a devilish smile on her lips, she watches as the life-blood spurts out of Reiko's neck and the warrior slowly topples to the ground.


Lord Kanemochi watches in disbelief as his trusted lieutenant bleeds out almost in front of him, and threatens the deadly Tomoko with a vicious "I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!".

The battle under the cherry blossom continues unabated, with a lone ninja jumping down from the ruins of the castle wall to surround the enemy spearmen, and firing a small throwing knife into an unarmoured back.

The defending archers once again seize their chance, knowing that a ninja is most vulnerable after completing an action, and shoot down the lone ninja near the pond.


Surprisingly, this panics the nearby ninja lieutenant, and he flees away under the trees!

The wily Lord Hosokawa recognises that the flight of the ninja lieutenant was merely a ruse, and chases him across towards the hero fight by the tent.


No stranger to fighting dirty himself, Lord Hosokawa quickly picks up and tosses a long spear, entangling the feet of the 'fleeing' ninja lieutenant as he runs. He quickly closes the gap and stabs the ninja as he lies tangled on the ground!


At this point both sides have lost a lieutenant model, but Lord Kanemochi himself has been unable to take down the deadly Tomoko in combat - even blood dropping himself in his attacks, as she deftly ducks and spins around him.

As Lord Kanemochi prepares to end the threat of this deadly geisha once and for all (and finally get off his chair perhaps!), Tomoko's cunning strategy becomes clear - all of her weak thrusts and cuts had only been intended to weaken Lord Kanemochi's formidable armour, leaving gaps where others might strike....


Out of nowhere, a ninja throwing knife shoots out and embeds itself in Lord Kanemochi's neck, where an armoured panel had been cut loose! With a look of utter surprise on his face, the villain topples forward to the ground, quite dead!

Robu-san has meanwhile moved out amongst the trees to chase down the last of the defenders, and eventually cuts down enough spearmen and groups to panic them away.


So it seems we didn't get the hero vs. villain big showdown we were all hoping for, but the overall attack seems to have succeeded!

In the final action of the 5th turn of the game, Tomoko takes advantage of the shock caused by Lord Kanemochi's ignominious death, and cuts down the last of the defending lieutenants, Lord Hosokawa.


As she surveys the blood-splattered scene around her, Tomoko smiles grimly to herself at the death and destruction she has sown today. Her ninja masters would surely be pleased, and as luck would have it, there appears to be a new opening for promotion....



The final points tally stood at 10 for the defenders (plus 3 bonus points for spending six actions to finish his wedding vows), versus a massive 21 kill points for Robu-san and his band of merry killers.


MVP goes to Tomoko, for being a total badass and even using 4 dishonour cards ... Most-Valuable-Psycho indeed!


Tags: samurai  battlereport 

Designing the sumo ring

2021-08-27 by David

My goodness!! We have ANOTHER new samurai design to show off today - the Sumo Ring!

This building would have been the pride of any feudal-era Japanese town or village. The stone base has steps on both sides, leading up to the the sacred dohyō ring. The floor is made of clay and the ring itself is made from small rice bails.


The whole structure is covered by an ornate tiled roof, and you have the choice of printing the frame with or without those great decorative curtains. It measures 167mm (6½") tall, with a table footprint of 185mm x 125mm (7½" x 5").


This is a support-free print, and I'll be showing off printed pics very soon....


Tags: samurai  design 

Customer pics!

2021-08-26 by David

Here are a couple of wonderful customer pics, by Richard Carpenter. He made this little samurai diorama as a birthday gift for his son, and made great use of the lanterns and pond sets, plus a few little accessories from the farmyard set.

Finished with a suitably epic background, I absolutely love it!

Tags: samurai 

Designing the samurai dicetower

2021-08-24 by David

We have a new preview to show you today - the Dicetower Pagoda for our samurai range!


As you can see, this model is an alternate version of the large 5-level Temple Pagoda tower. The walls of each level have been changed from wood to stucco, but the roof sections remain mostly the same, although edited to provide an internal dice tower structure.


The middle section of the top roof simply lifts out to reveal a dice bucket, into which you can pour your dice. The dice then bounce down the centre of the dicetower....

... and out of the front door, down the steps and finish in this fenced area!


You could use this tower without the base section if you like, but it also features this neat little stone and wood base, modelled after the actual pagoda tower at Ruriko Temple in Yamaguchi.



The low bamboo fence is removable (for easier transport and storage), and can be slotted into place around the steps. There is a 30mm-wide gap at the front of the fence for models to access the front steps of the tower, but you could also place extra bamboo pieces (included in the set) across if you want a more complete fence.


There's a new 3D printer on its way here soon (Ender 3 V2), and this will be one of the first designs to roll off it! Watch this space!


Tags: samurai  design 


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