Well, it could have been any of these.
-The Japanese firemans lookout
-Scratchbuilding is fun (and cheap!)
-Oh no, not another diversion
-20mm and then some allright
But the name doesn't really matter. The story does. A mate of mine loves Samurai. In the past few years I bought some, only to give them away again simply because I could not commit to 28mm but fully knowing I'd miss out on a great gaming buddy. Recently he had a bit of a rough time and at his birthday I gave him a limited edition Samurai with son (Lone Wolf and Cub) from Black Cat to cheer him up a bit. A few days after that I was browsing the Lead Adventure Forum (as I do daily) and ran into the topic about Ronin, a soon to be released samurai skirmish game from Osprey. I devoured the topic, so went to surf the net for more info. Not too much scenery to be had, but from the looks of it most is not too hard to scratchbuild either, plenty of modelchoices, some even do civillians, my 20mm forrest and fields would be useful for this as well.
Hmm, lightbulb moment. Lets ask Modhail if he knows the system? As he didn't, I'd thought it be smart not to press the matter too much (But look at the rules, so cheap! <ahem>) but let him read up first. But what to do to make him think about it some more? Well, and me, as I have not painted a single 28mm figure in years. Can I still do it?
-Skirmish games are low on troops so the initial cost would be low
-I can use some of my 20mm scenery with these
-Samurai have always been one of my interests
-Finally a game I can play with Modhail
-Not another period!
-Not another scale!
-28mm scenery is big. Where can I store it?
-Money? (2 babies due in a few weeks)
So, to test the water I ordered 2 packs of civillians from Perry which should be here before the month is over and I looked at scenery that I could start to scratchbuild. Enter the "The Japanese firemans lookout". I copied a topic that I read on the LAF as it was just a few poles with stairs on one end and I managed to do quite nicely sofar:
A few kebab skewers for the poles, I then cut the stairs using The Chopper all to the exact length (a tool every scratchbuilder should have) and glued them down with woodglue. I used a few 30mm wide bases in between the skewers to make sure they stayed straight. I made the platform out of one of the bases and made the bell from a 1/48 bomb from my sparesbox. The base is a 60mm round base topped with a sheet of roofing lead topped with a 40mm round base. All of my bases come from Fenris Games Ebay store. I like them cause they are ply. I know I can get MDF bases cheaper but those tend to make my fingers tingle and these days I take signs from my body seriously so those are out.
Really, it is 80% done. I just need to add a roof over the bell and then it is ready for paint. Cheap as chips too, it cost me 5 skewers, 3 bases, some roofing lead and part of a bomb plus some yarn from my gf's sewing supplies.
Of course, now that it is almost done I find ones that are a lot simpler, but since those can't hold a figure, this will do just fine.
Oh, and excuse Heinz the German standing in for a Japanese fellow. I don't own any models for this period yet!