I've decided to stick with the Nippon theme after thoroughly enjoying the three Oriental Heroes that I painted the other week. Up next is a Samurai riding Temple Dog.
Samurai armed with Yari, riding Temple Dog
This wonderful sculpt was, as far as I know, only available on the GW 1989 Easter sale flyer. The samurai was one of three possible riders, the other two being a hobgoblin and a dark elf.
Temple Dogs are stone statues found guarding temple entrances in the lands on Nippon and Cathay. They resemble nothing so much as a cross between a giant pekinese and a lion. In times of war, the power of the temple gods is channelled into these statues to animate them. It is a great honour to mount this divine animal, indicating that the rider has found great favour with the gods.
The growing Nippon warband
Another figure that has been sat in a box for over 10 years, it's pleasing to finally get it painted up. I was unsure whether to paint the creature entirely as stone but in the end opted for a red skin to avoid it coming across as too drab.
There doesn't seem to be many other painted examples around. I've seen a couple of the hobgoblin variants that have come out really nice but the samurai rider seems a bit aloof.
I've plans for a small Nippon warband now I've a few painted so I'll stick with the Oriental Heroes while the enthusiasm is still there.