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Review Mounted Samurai VS Mounted Samuari

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by yellowcat, May 1, 2022.

  1. yellowcat A Fixture

    Hi Everyone,
    It is time for another two in one review of Poste Militaire 90mm white metal mounted Samurai VS RDG Miniatures 120mm resin mounted Samurai.

    mtd combine.jpg

    Ad. in Campaigns magazine No.14, Vol.3: January/February 1978
    age1 final2.jpg

    New kit posted on social media April 2, 2022

    Details of the releases:

    Title: 16th Century Mounted Samurai from the Age of Battles (Momoyama Period) Code: MS/1
    Manufacturer: Poste Militaire
    Scale: 90mm (1:20)
    Sculptor: Traditional hand sculpted by Ray Lamb
    Material & no. of pieces: 30 white metal
    Cast by: Ray Lamb
    Order from: My grey army
    Price: 1979 from Historex Agents was £26.62 and in 1985 £35.00

    box combine.jpg

    The Poste Militaire Samurai kit comes from my grey army. Poste Militaire ceased production in 2004. Their kit boxes have seen changes over the production years. The kit for this review comes in a white rectangle box with parts sandwiched between two pieces of foam for protection. It consists of 30 white metal parts. The model was superbly sculpted and cast by Ray Lamb of a 90 mm mounted Samurai warrior figure kit of the Momoyama period of 16th century. He is wearing the tosei-gusoku (modern armour), carrying his tachi sword and yari ready for the battlefield.

    Title: Mounted Samurai Late Sengoku Age Second Half of XVI Century
    Manufacturer: RDG MiniaturesScale: 120mm (1:16)
    Sculptor: 3D sculpted by Nello Rivieccio
    Material & no. of pieces: 61 light grey resin
    3D print and cast by: Tommi Worton, Gordon Mitchell
    Order from: RDG Miniatures Gordon Mitchell
    Price: £80.00 + shipping (UK £4.50, Europe £10.00 Everywhere else £15.00)



    The RDG Samurai kit was ordered from Gordon Mitchell for an amazing 7 days international delivery. The kit arrived in a white cardboard box with parts housed in two separate boxes inside and sandwiched with bubble wrap for protection. It consists of 61 light grey resin parts. It comes with a choice of two different kabuto/helmet. A 3D model finely sculpted by Nello Rivieccio, 3D printed and cast by Tommi Worton and Gordon Mitchell of a 120 mm mounted Samurai warrior figure kit of the late Sengoku period second half of 16th century. He is wearing the tosei-gusoku (modern armour), carrying the daisho a match pair of katana and wakizashi and yari overlooking the batterfield.

    Parts View



    Head, Body and Arms View












    Continued in the next post..........
  2. yellowcat A Fixture

    ..........Continued from previous post

    Horse View






    Horse Reins, Abumi and Ribbon Tassels View













  3. yellowcat A Fixture

    ..........Continued from previous post

    Tachi, Daisho, Yari and Sashimono View




    IMG_0059 (2)b.JPG







    Base View


    Final thoughts:

    On Poste Militaire’s - The mounted Samurai kit was released some forty-four years ago by master sculptor and caster Ray Lamb. The kit is beautifully sculpted with loads of detail and well researched parts (except the horse which is not a Kiso breed). The metal castings are sharp, crisp and clean and are perfectly fit as always. The white metal is of superior quality. All parts are just snuggled right in with no problem and the engineering involved to minimize join lines and mold lines. The overall quality is exquisite. Ray Lamb meticulous approach to sculpting, molding and casting his figures had made him a legend in the figure kit manufacturing. As of today seldom any other figure company could match his casting skills and this kit still holds up very well today!

    On RDG Miniature’s – A great piece from sculptor Nello Rivieccio. The 3D sculpt is great except for quite a number of parts which are historical inaccurate and questionable.
    1. Although the kit is listed as 120 mm, some of the parts are about the same size and some are smaller than the Poste Militaire’s 90 mm.
    2. It came with a smaller horse but it is not the mounted Samurai Kiso breed for the period. The horses ridden by the samurai were mostly sturdy Kisouma. They were stub faced, long haired, short legged, shaggy looking creatures, their backs averaging about 120 to 140cm in height.
    3. Mounted Samurai only carry tachi on horseback and not the daisho a match pair of katana and wakizash. A short video showing the differences to unsheathe tachi and katana on horseback.
    4. Su yari and omi yari are the most common yari Samurai carry on horseback during Sengoku and Momoyama period in the 16th century. The yari blade should be triangulated, double-edged on one side and the other side is flat with a deep fuller while the kit’s yari blade is triangulated on both sides. n10.jpg
    5. A metal pommel (ishizuki) on the yari shaft butt end is missing.
    6. Looks like the horse harness sculpt reference is from the display from the Royal Armouries Museum which is from the Edo period. The horse front and back straps and panels of knotted cords with a grid net pattern are not from the Sengoku period (would only consists of the straps). During the Edo period with the end of civil war, many crafts with high artistic value and of elaborate decorations on harnesses and saddles were produced for the Samurai class.
    7. Some of the lacing on the armour is lack of detail and rather small in size and the chain mail base ring on the kote is almost disappeared when reduced down from the 3D rendering. kote2.jpg
    8. The kikkou tateage of shino suneate should be hexagonal shape not the four sided diamond shape as in the kit.
    9. Not sure why this Samurai is not wearing his tabi (split toe socks).
    10. Overall the Samurai armour has some odd parts and missing parts of a 16 century Samurai armour.
    11. The 3D print and cast by Tommi Worton and Gordon Mitchell are excellent. All resin parts are finely cast with fine details. There are numerous of 3D print supports and bridges, pour spouts and blocks to clean. Just take your time and be gentle with your filing and sanding. The kit I received has big bubbles on the stirrups. One of the helmets has offset mold lines. The two horns and maedate for the helmets are missing. Parts were replaced promptly by Gordon.
    Despite of the above shortcomings, a beautiful impressive looking kit and good value for the money. You can order directly from Gordon gordonmi@hotmail.comand Gordon customer service is outstanding.

    My Rating Summary:
    For Poste Miliatre Mounted Samurai

    For RDG Miniatures Mounted Samurai

    blade12 (2)g.jpg

    References continue on the next post
  4. yellowcat A Fixture

    ..........Continued from previous post

    A brief history on Japan Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama Period.

    The Sengoku period 1467-1573
    The Sengoku period (戦国時代) also known as sengoku-jidai, "Warring States" Period
    was a century-long period of political upheaval and warlordism inJapan, lasting from the Onin War of 1467–77 through the reunification of the country around 1598. It was a lawless era of civil war. As the shogun lost power, the warlords (called diamyo) became completely independent, fought one another bitterly for control ofJapan. The period falls within the Muromachi period (Muromachi Jidai, 1333-1573) of Japanese medieval history when the Ashikaga shogun capital was located in the Muromachi area of Heiankyo (Kyoto). The fighting that followed over the next century would eventually reduce the warlords to only a few hundred in number as the country was effectively carved up into princedoms. Eventually, one warlord raised above all his rivals: Oda Nobunaga, who setJapanon the road to unification from 1568.

    The Momoyama Period 1568-1603
    The Azuchi–Momoyama period (安土桃山時代), also known as Momoyama period and Azuchi–Momoyama jidai) was the final phase of the Sengoku period (戦国時代, Sengoku jidai) in Japanese history from 1568 to 1600, age of political unification under the daimyo Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582) and his general Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536–1598), who finally brought all provinces under the control of the central government.

    The period ended with the victory of the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616) against a collation of Hideyoshi loyalist clans at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and established the stable Tokugawa Shogunate, had established his capital at Edo (modernTokyo) which ruled until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.


    The Tosei-Guoku Armour (当世具足)

    During the 16th century, the Samurai armour changed significantly due to the increasing Japanese trade with Europe during what would become known as the Nanban trade.

    In 1543 several Portuguese were shipwrecked on the island of Tanega, off southern Kyushu. These were the first Europeans to arrive in Japan, The Portuguese introduction of Tanegashima (matchlock) to the Japanese, changed the nature of warfare in Japan causing the Japanese armour makers to change the design of their armours. The armours up until then were unable to protect samurai warriors from firearms, which necessitated the changes from the centuries old lamellar armours to plate armour constructed from iron and steel plates which was called tosei gusoku (new armours). Bullet resistant armours were developed called tameshi gusoku or (bullet tested) allowing samurai to continue wearing their armour despite the use of firearms. The armour was designed to be as lightweight as possible as the samurai had many tasks including riding a horse and archery in addition to swordsmanship. The armour was usually brightly lacquered to protect against the harsh Japanese climate. Chain armour (kusari) was also used to construct individual armour pieces and full suits of kusari were even used.



    Sashimono (指物,差物,挿物)

    Sashimono began to be used late in the Muromachi period, but really took off during the Azuchi-Momoyama period, from the 1570’s onward. Sashimono could serve different purposes depending on the wearer.
    These smaller sized banners were worn by individual soldiers, strapped to their backs for identification during battles.
    Most common were rectangular banners, usually a bit bigger for mounted troops, with either simple coloured designs or family crests of the lords they fought for. Another rather common version was to wear between two and five smaller poles with thin strips of cloth attached to them. The sashimono shaft was inserted into a case, which could be both square and round in cross section, and which was called uke-zutsu.

    In the upper part of the shell, uke-zutsu was held with a gattari bracket. It could consist of one and two parts, and also the Gattars from a wooden plate are known, again with one or several openings according to the number of flags. This detail was attached to the back of the armor on the hinges.

    Personal sashimono were used to indicate the presence of a particular individual warrior (and his retinue) on the battlefield.
    Unit sashimono, or ban-sashimono, indicated a particular unit. Most famously, messenger units or Tsukai-ban might have a distinctive sashimono, such as the centipede associated with the Takeda, or the Tokugawa ‘’ character.

    Daimyo, if they were to go into battle, often immediately removed Jinbaori and attached to the armor of Sashimono, since it was impossible to wear both at the same time.




    Yari () and Tachi (太刀)

    Yari () is the term for traditionally-made Japanese in the form of a spear, or more specifically, the straight-headed spear.
    The most common yari blade is the su-yari which is triangulated and double-edged with a deep fuller on the flat side of the blade (approx. 30 cm (12 inch) in length) and the omi-yari which is an extra long su-yari blade (approx. 50 cm (19 inch) in length).
    Yari blades often had an extremely long tang (nakago); typically it would be longer than the sharpened portion of the blade. The tang protruded into a reinforced hollow portion of the handle (tachiuchi or tachiuke) resulting in a very stiff shaft making it nearly impossible for the blade to fall or break off. A yari blade with shaft is about 2.5 to 6 meter long.

    The yari was the main weapon of the samurai during 16th century. A samurai riding a horse in battle would have his left hand holding the rein; his right arm holds the yari and the tachi sword hanging on the left side of his waist. Fighting with a 2.5 meter spears from horseback is not hard. The yari is mostly designed for stabbing, but at the same time, the kind of stirrup the samurai used gives them a great platform for standing up and wielding the yari with both hands whilst they steer their horse using their knees.



    n42 (3).jpg

    n44 (2).jpg

    A tachi (太刀) is a type of traditionally made Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudalJapan. Tachi and katana generally differ in length, degree of curvature, and how they were worn when sheathed. The tachi style of swords preceded the development of the katana. Traditional tachi typically featured a blade length of 27 9/16 to 31 1/2 inches. In comparison, katana featured a blade length of about 23 1/2 inches.
    The Tachi was hung horizontally from the belt of the Samurai with the sharp edge facing downwards. All mounted samurai carry tachi and not katana.

    The curve blade was designed for ease to be drawn while single-handedly whilst on horseback and to slash the unfortunate warriors below the horse with pretty minimal movement.



    Japanese Kiso Horse (木曽馬, kiso uma)

    The horses used by the Samurai weren’t the sleek, long legged beasts you see in the movies, but short, squat, shaggy creatures called Kiso-uma. The Kiso horse is a Japanese breed of critically endangered equines that developed primarily as a Japanese war horse. Native to Honshu, the largest and most populous islandof Japan, The Kiso has inhabited Japanfor at least 1,000 years. Their exact origin is not known, but it is believed that they are descendants of the Mongolian horses of the grasslands or the plateau horses of Central Asia. The Kiso has historically been used for agricultural as well as military purposes.
    Records from the Edo period indicating the importation of horses (Persian, Arabians or Turkmen) by the Dutch to be given as gifts to the Shogun.

    The Kiso horse is medium sized, standing about 13 hands (135 cm). Throughout the Meiji Era, Kiso horses were crossbred with many western breeds and the pure stain virtually disappeared. The breed is being preserved in the region centering on Kaida mura in Kiso County, Nagano Prefecture. There are today only 117 Kiso horses left, which are often seen in processions in local festivals. They are also used as riding horses.

    The most common colors are bay, brown, chestnut, roan and cremello. They do not, in general, have white markings on legs or face but a black dorsal stripe is extremely common. They are known for their endurance, their ability to survive on poor food and in severe weather conditions and they all share the characteristics of having extremely tough hooves.



    Kiso horse colours

    horse combine8a.jpg

    Reference pictures

    Royal Armouries Museum Samurai display from the Edo period

    Kote (sleeves)fa.jpg Kote (sleeves)d1a.jpg

    Kiso horses



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    main-qimg-1bbb007d89a491b0e5b60c88b64cf7b8-lq.jpg main-qimg-91e891112d04d5e81267aab9f9f05f66-c.jpg


    Video references

    Kiso horse in action. The Samurais reenactment in O-yorio not in the tosei-gusoku but you can still see the Samurai horsemanship riding the kiso.

    Samurai Armor

    Battle of Uesugi Clan Warlords (1564) - Usami Sadamitsu vs Uesugi Kenshin

    Differences between katana and tachi

    Fransab, balder, harto and 8 others like this.
  5. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Felix

    I am blown away , what a superb review , great idea to compare, both are really good , the PM stands up well despite the age

    All credit to RDG as well for releasing such a complicated piece

    Like the ratings you have given

    Excellent references as always , explaining your comments

    Thank you

    Hope we see more from you

  6. Banjer Well-Known Member

    Superb review Felix, your contributions never fail to impress.

    I purchased the RDG Samurai from Gordon at the recent BMSS show for a very good show price. Gordon is a real gent and great to talk to.

    Interesting that you compare the two kits side by side because when I saw the 120mm version of Gordons I felt that it was nearer 90mm. Seeing them together shows it it not (assuming the PM is).

    As you say, some inaccuracies but still a stunning piece that deserves careful assembly and painting.

    I am planning a visit to the Royal Armouries when I go to the White Rose show in June. It will be interesting to see the exhibits close up.


    yellowcat likes this.
  7. myouchin Well-Known Member

    This is the first time I have seen Poste Militaire Samurai in its unpainted state.It's an amazing masterpiece and will be a good example for 21st century sculptors.However, in that era, the Edo period is appropriate instead of the Momoyama period.While it is unavoidable that the historical accuracy is not perfect considering that this figure was made more than 40 years ago, the evolution of Japanese armor research should be recognized.

    RDG Samurai does not have enough historical research, but there is some information that needs to be added to the review for yari.One of the types of ho in yari is called ryōshinogi(両鎬).It has shinogi on both sides and is rhombic in cross section. The ho of RDG Samurai is equivalent to ryōshinogi. It's a rare type, but it's not an error.

    The photo is ryōshinogi around 1658 according to the explanation of the antique dealer. Unfortunately, it is not the Sengoku period or Momoyama period.There are few examples where the production time can be specified by yari in the Sengoku period and Momoyama period.

    **EDITED by Nap**
    Oda, Nap, Sylvanus and 1 other person like this.
  8. yellowcat A Fixture

    Su yari and omi yari are the most common yari Samurai carry on horseback during Sengoku and Momoyama period in the 16th century. Ryōshinogi is rare mostly dated from the Edo era.
    Sylvanus likes this.
  9. Sylvanus Active Member

    Wow! That is a magnum opus of an article!

    It so happens that I bought all the PM as they were issued up to 1982 and passed them on to many expectant customers. Mainly German collectors! They are very precise and patient! I still have PM originals to go but not many now!

    With your critique, I concur fully, re Ray Lamb.

    The new RDG in resin and larger scale version will attract many and is a good scale and a good price with lightweight postage! A new techique but too fiddley for my aging fingers! Painters will have a good time doing this figure, put on a solid metal base aka Le Cimier! Add an alarm system!

    Your comparisons seem spot on but I have only seen the article not he actualite!

    I just so happen to have MS/1 WIP after all these years plus two seated versions. All in at initial undercoating and final assembly stage.

    I DID complete TAISHO/Hinchliffe biggie on foot and done by Ray Lamb before he started PM! I think I was in Sharjah, Gulf year Army Tour 12month!, when I started it! As his 75mm range with big removable hats .. Napoleonic British in the main.

    You reference data above encourages me even more know and the videos. Samurai are always a challenge and I cannot compete with the incredible painting skill of masters over they years .. and still emerging.

    I commend all the above to our NDMS North Devon Branch andothers Ray and Norma would approve I am sure,. I visited them both in Sussex in the day and his stands at Euro Militaire were magic. He would NOT be rushed and some of his figure were years on the production line before Quality Control was satisfied. Legend.

    Steve headley, Nap and yellowcat like this.
  10. Redcap A Fixture

    What a deeply impressive and informative review - thank you very much Felix. Both are superb figures and subjects that will grace any collection or cabinet once finished.

    Nap, Sylvanus and yellowcat like this.
  11. myouchin Well-Known Member

    ???Ryōshinogi is a kind of suyari.Su-yari / Sugu-yari(直鑓)are classified into three types according to the shape of the cross section.Hira-sankaku(平三角), Sei-sankaku(正三角), Ryō-shinogi(両鎬), these three types. What I said was that RDG Samurai's ho is rare but not an error.
    Ōmi-yari(大身鑓) was so heavy that only a limited number of brave men could handle it.Not common.

    **EDITED any Nap**
  12. yellowcat A Fixture

    Su yari with one side flat blade is most common yari in the 16th century. (approx. 30 cm (12 inch) in length) and the omi-yari which is an extra long su-yari blade (approx. 50 cm (19 inch) in length). Ryōshinogi(両鎬)mostly dated from the Edo period.

    Su yari








    **EDITED any Nap**
    Erbay, Nap and Oda like this.
  13. Alex A Fixture

    Felix… if you ever think about selling your poste militaire kit one day, please let me know !
    sorry to say, but this is the one I would choose any day over the new resin release
    Nap, grasshopper, Oda and 1 other person like this.
  14. dmcHobbes Member

    That is an incredible review. Completed the PM version a few years back that I originally bought 30-35 years ago. Per this review and reference material provided I would do some different things now. Overall quality of the kit was quite good. Being white metal, the finished figure is quite heavy (have to be real careful moving for dusting/cleaning). Amazing how these white metal figures still hold up. Thanks again for the review.

    Sylvanus likes this.
  15. Oda A Fixture

    One more masterclass by Felix and always a pleasure to profit from his profound knowledge.I couldn't agree more with him in terms of rating the two pieces.The Post Militaire samurai is still -after so many years- one of the best samurai ever to have seen the light of day,hands down.The new Nello samurai has had me hoping a great deal since I was watching its develpment on FB.In the end it let me down unfortunatelly for although it has the benefits of a new kit (light resin,impeccable casting etc) it is one more example of a very talented sculptor tackling a subject he doesn't know very well and hasn't bothered to research properly.I know I am reopening an old can of worms here but it is the truth that samurai are a very exotic and colourful subject albeit a very challenging one.Most sculptors work from pictures,blending elements of different periods and omitting all of the details that are not visible in the pictures,thus creating figures that are inaccurate,anachronistic or totally fictional.Should we not critisize such figures?I do not think so.In the end one man's opinion is just that,an opinion.Everyone is free to chose,buy and paint what the want and like regardless of what other people think.For me the 120mm samurai by Nello Rivieccio would find its way in my GA only if it was a 54mm one so I could use it as a base for conversion.

    Redcap, Sylvanus, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  16. yellowcat A Fixture


    Thank you Nap for your comments. I spent my last couple of weeks working on this review. Taking pictures took up most of the time
    while waiting for my missing and replacement parts from Gordon.


    Redcap, Nap and Oda like this.
  17. yellowcat A Fixture

    Hi Sylvanus,

    Thank you for your comment. Glad you like my review. Here are my painted MS1 and Taisho.



    Samurai 002a4a.jpg

    Samurai 009j.jpg Samurai 008.jpg Samurai 038 (2)a.jpg Samurai 007a.jpg

    Taisho 053a1b (2).jpg

    Taisho 008.jpg Taisho 009 (2).jpg Taisho 011 (4).jpg Taisho 013 (3).jpg

    Fatboy-66, arj, Martin64 and 6 others like this.
  18. yellowcat A Fixture


    Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your comment.
    The RDG Samurai is a good buy but needs lots of careful prep work. Most of the 3D print supports and bridges could be cleaned up before moulding. The most inacurracy is the katana. I would sculpt a Tachi to replace the katana.


    Sylvanus, Nap and Oda like this.
  19. Nap A Fixture

    Hi everyone

    Is it great to see the wonderful artwork from Felix ........stunning painting on a very complicated subject but what a display they make

    Be nice to see pieces painted by myochin as well

    Felix is a much respected fountain of knowledge on the subject and as we see myochin has access to much information as well

    Like all I have learnt a lot in the review about .....we all learn from each other sharing information

    Don't forget there is also PM available to discuss points

    Oda likes this.
  20. grasshopper A Fixture

    An I discussed point is the build ability of each..different challenges attend to resin vs metal, and while some elements of detail- the hands, face work well in resin, other parts can be frought due brittleness of resin..metal is more forgiving usually..and still feels better in my hands….

    a tour de force of reviews Felix…
    Sylvanus, Oda, Banjer and 1 other person like this.

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