Seven Samurai terrain

I felt like processing a few more of the photos I took a couple months ago: this time I did the shots of the terrain for the Seven Samurai event I ran at KEGSCON last year.

I need to preface this by saying that I dont really get much enjoyment out of building terrain – terrain takes up alot of space to make, and alot of space to store and transport, and that is space I simply dont have much of. Also, I am a painter first and foremost… I dont even like building models, let alone scale terrain. The fact I dont really have the patience for the hassles of terrain is one of the reasons I gravitate towards boardgames with miniatures rather than miniature wargaming. But, my Seven Samurai scenario needed some terrain… and I have to admit, I did enjoy building everything, as chaotic as it was, and I’m pretty proud of my results. 🙂

Richard Meaden already took some excellent photos of the actual event, but I wanted to do a set of ‘studio’ shots of the terrain. I realized quickly, though, that most of the shots will be monotonous… as most of the buildings look the same. Instead of single shots of multiple similar buildings, I took several shots of one particular building: the ‘hero’ building.

What is this ‘hero’ building of which I speak? Well, viewer, I’m glad you asked. 🙂

When I was preparing the terrain for the table, I wanted to really tie the theme in with the film, the best way to do that (after watching the film several times as I was making everything) was to make a scale replica of the banner Kikuchiyo makes in the film:

Rather than just make the banner and stick it in a random building, I wanted to also make a centrepiece building, one that is larger and more majestic than the rest, with it’s own integral yard and unique details. Thus, the ‘hero’ building was born:

building1 building2 building3 building4 building5 building6



While it isnt a reproduction of any single specific building, it is created using several different elements from the film: stone wall, bare tree, wooden fencing. It was built 20% larger than all the other buildings, and has a special bracket hidden in the peak of the roof to hold the banner. Also, it’s the only building I detailed the interior for. 🙂

Generally, when processing my photos, I dont mask out the background – I just adjust my white balance so as to retain all of the nuances of the shadows. however, this piece is so massive, it spills out over the edges of my lightbox! Seeing the wall/table/etc was distracting and sloppy looking, so I opted to quickly mask those areas out.

A few people have asked me how I built the pieces – all of my Seven Samurai buildings are built using these FANTASTIC tutorials I found at Mura Miniatures: a 28mm peasant house and a 28mm scale thatched roof. I made some changes on the fly, of course, but they were minor – I followed the process practically verbatim.



~ by Chris on April 1, 2014.

4 Responses to “Seven Samurai terrain”

  1. Quality stuff.

  2. Is this for sale? If it is can you please point me in the right direction. Thanks

    • This piece isnt for sale, sorry, but it is pretty easy to make! It only took me about 12-15 hours start to finish.

      The Mura Miniatures tutorials linked in the article are fantastic, I highly recommend them. 🙂

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