I was aged five to fourteen in the 1980s, the perfect age range to be subjected to the then fairly new (to the West anyway) pop culture concept of ninja.
For most of that decade movies, video games, toys and pretty much anything that was aimed at young boys was regularly had “ninja” added somewhere. I was indoctrinated: if anything can truly be described as cool, then ninja can, as far I am concerned.
These old Citadel ninja models are the reason that I chose to put together a fantasy Oriental warband. They are petite, characterful and a little retro, I like them a lot. I originally bought them for use as Foot Clan warriors for a planned TMNT project, but they had sat in the box unloved for a while.
One of the popular colour schemes for The Foot – black and purple – was chosen to suit these models. that it turn led to the warband as a whole using largely the same palette (as can be seen in the first mostly samurai themed Shonen Knives post).
Very many Citadel ninja were sculpted by the Perrys back in the day. The variety makes them a fun range to paint and game with. For skirmish games in particular, there are numerous different equipment types covered in the standard models and there are few iterations that will end up being duplicated in a force.
If anybody reading this has some spare ninja from this range and would like to sell or trade them, then please get in touch. The guy with the blowpipe is particularly high on my list of miniature ninja desires, but I am looking for several of the sculpts in the catalogue images shown.
Rather than being the super cool one man army type of ninja, my Frostgrave force will observe the Conservation of Ninjutsu rule and consist largely of ninja cannon fodder. Despite the highly trained, lethal nature of ninja, incompetent ninja (or “nonja” to quote Pops Racer) are common in media.
Thats the problem with being such a popular badass trope, it inevitably results in a dilution of power level as other characters beat you up to show how tough they are. Tough luck ninja (and vampires for that matter, but thats a chat for another post)
In terms of rules I have yet to really think much about how to include these ninja in a Frostgrave warband, what “Soldier” type(s) they may represent. For now I am just picking ninja models from the pile and painting them. It will all work out Im sure.
Obvious double handed weapons will make the ninja an Infantryman, like the guy above.
Despite the rather funny pose (complaining about silly poses for ninja would be daft, so I wont mention it again) I think that the ninja above is my favourite out of this batch. Due to the prominent “tekko-kagi” (claws) I thought that this guy might be suited to being fielded as an investigative Treasure Hunter. I will have to take another look at the rules later to confirm.
Next on the Shonen Knives painting list will likely be either oni or unarmoured samurai. Im looking forward to getting stuck into both.