WIP: Samurai – Fatman Productions

Sam_03 Sam_04

3rd December 2013

Another kit I’ve had for a long time. I thought I’d tackle this after The Embrace so that I was alternating a non-fantasy and fantasy kit as I progress – but I might not stick to that resolution. A big appeal is that there are only seven parts to this kit – including the swords and scabbards – so after all the trickiness of entwined legs and arms with The Embrace, I’m hoping it will at least be easy to assemble.

This is one of three Samurai kits I own and the largest (the others are a Little Generals and a Ceremonial Studios figure). The resin feels very light, almost like plastic. The body is not brittle like recast crappy resin but quite resilient. Casting looks good but there are quite a few mold and seam lines.

I ordered more than one kit from ‘Fatman’;  a cantankerous guy in the USA called Frank Cahill who always seemed to be in hospital with medical problems (perhaps due to his weight?  I never found out). I think I only received two of the ones I wanted. That was typical apparently. He was notorious for not delivering kits or replying to e-mails and frequently moaned about on kit sites. Unsurprisingly he went out of business, possibly due to health issues, who knows.

I was thinking about trying to do a decal on the back of this figure – something very elaborate, like a dragon. After my success using home-made decals on my workbench, I’m curious to see how one would look (would I need to paint over it? would it be too shiny or could I matte it down?) I haven’t stuck a decal (‘transfer’ to us English) on a model since I built Airfix planes as a kid and they never looked that great then.

However my research seems to indicate that Samurai wore rather plain robes so I may just do something very simple with it and hope I can get the shading right.

I’d also like to try adding a strand or two of hair – like a loose lock or locks – as a rehearsal for my Cameron kit and to give it a more 3d feel. Another experiment I want to try but I’m not sure this is the right kit for it.

Cant find a photo of this kit anywhere on the internet so I only have the murky label on the box.

21st December


Figure prepped for undercoating. It’s taken me quite a long time to clean up all the seams and air-bubbles and disguise the joins in the arms – layers of Milliput, Squadron White Putty and Mr Surfacer – and then a layer of grey gesso. (Squadron Putty and Mr Gesso are now becoming regulars in my prepping armoury. I particularly like how you can smooth the putty with cellulose cleaner) Oh, and I  also tried some Vallejo white putty in a bottle – alright but not as versatile.

I’m going to try priming with an airbrush this time and doing some pre-shading with grey, white and black Vallejo primer

23rd December


Near disaster when I did my customary clean of the figure prior to priming. I thought the gesso would withstand a scrub with an old toothbrush and detergent but it started to lift and peel. I managed to contain it – just.

This is the first time I used the Vallejo primers instead of a can and they worked quite well. I primed with grey first, then a diluted black from below, and finally a white from above. The white helped correct the black.

Reasonably happy with the results. This would be good for a wash effect paint job – I hope my airbrushing doesn’t wipe it out completely.

2nd January

Samurai build up

After airbrushing and basic shading. The face and skin are pretty well done. I’ve done some basic shading of the kimono with the airbrush but want to do further shading. Jacket is just blocked in.

Your looking at lots of coats of Dullcote because the paint hasn’t behaved in a very stable way – might be the resin. The blue is a first use of a Tim Gore Createx Bloodline paint – very nice, vivid colours, if expensive. I bought two sets of them. Hope to employ them further.

14th January



Entering the home stretch. I just need to attach the blades and do some final shading and glazing to the skin, blades and hair. I’ve made a simple scenic base for the figures because it felt two ‘museum piece’ to glue it straight to the wood piece: a piece of mounting board cut into a rough shape and covered in Foam-Cote. Seems to work well.

The figure is now glued to its plinth and screwed on for strength – my preferred method.

See the final pictures here