Out of Saito, out of mind-o

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When I was building that O-Yoroi list from the last post, I find myself needing smoke to exploit with the Rui Shi but unable to spare points for Shinobu. As a result I now have Saito Tōgan. Given my practical motivations for picking up this character, it’s surprising how taken I am him. He’s very ‘classic Infinity’, with his over the top pose and tiny antennae. I used to be sure he was completing a spinning kick and that the sculpt captures him mid-melee, but I recently saw someone suggest that he was performing a Shiko stomp, the kind Sumo wrestlers perform before a bout to drive away demons so now I am not so sure. There are some cues in the character’s design that remind me of Japanese folklore demons (Oni), namely his red and blue colouring, big bushy mane and white mask reminiscent of Noh Theatre,  but I have no way of knowing if they are intentional or coincidence, given I don’t know anything about Japanese culture that can’t be learned from World War 2 history books and a couple of dozen hours spent watching anime. The fact that his flavour text describes him as using the name “Onishi Tōgan” prior to his fall from grace does seem to support the conclusion, although  I’d need to see tiger skin pants to be sure. Either way, he is something of a departure from the other pop-culture inspired ninjas (which I love) and is a striking model as a result, even if Google image search seems to indicate that the pose is not exactly loved by all.

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No real big assembly warnings except to be aware of his tiny antennae when discarding flash. I’m pretty sure it was on the same gate as his scabbard. As for painting, I had to choose a lot of new colours for him because he has his own style. I primed him with Army Painter Uniform Grey like most JSA I’ve done. To paint the exoskeleton, I used a basecoat of Citadel Shadow Grey, Hawk Turquoise and Skull White mixed in a ratio of about 50:35:15,  which is initially quite light. I then hit it with a heavy wash of dilute Abbadon Black, before highlighting in pure white. The result was a bit darker than the studio scheme, so maybe you might want to up the ratio of white and turquoise.  His vest and other red areas started with Vallejo Cavalry Brown, then a black wash, then highlighting with Citadel Blood Red. The pants and straps were painted with Vallejo German Cam Beige WWII as a base coat, with receding layers of Deck Tan and then Ivory. To do his mane, I drybrushed white over the basecoat and then administered a fairly heavy black wash.

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