Geisha Princess Origami

“Help me Obi-San Shinobi.  You’re my only hope.”

The original Star Wars movie, Episode 4: A New Hope owes a bit to The Hidden Fortress by Akira Kurasawa.  George Lucas has downplayed the influence a bit…

The influence of ‘Hidden Fortress’ comes up a lot because it was printed in a book once. The truth is, the only thing I was inspired by was the fact that it’s told from the point of view of two peasants, who get mixed up with a samurai and princess and a lot of very high-level people.”  George Lucas

…but it does appear that samurai “chanbara” movie influence ran a little deeper than mentioned above.  The sensei/pupil dynamic has persisted through the franchise for example, the reliance on swordfighting in the environment is more chanbara than western, Darth Vaders headgear is heavily influenced by samurai kabuto etc.

None of this is likely to be new information to long term Star Wars fans.  Fan art has been made…

… and action figure mods and even official toy ranges have been released.

Thats all just dandy.  That said Im not interested in a samurai miniatures project based on Star Wars at this point, for a few reasons.


While watching The Hidden Fortress last week I was thinking about gaming scenarios.  It occurred to me that loosely basing some samurai gaming scenarios on Star Wars events would bring the connection around full circle.

So I decided to paint the limited edition Test of Honour Geisha Spy model in a colour scheme based on Princess Leias classic look.  If I decided to pursue this sub project further, then I will likely paint a C3P0 and/or R2D2 allegory next.


36 Responses

  1. There’s some decent Japanese civilian models out there too, should you find yourself in need. Of course. Help me Obi San wins the net for today, I think. πŸ™‚ Nicely done!

    Liked by 2 people

    • theottovonbismark coined “Obi San” to be fair, credit where it’s due πŸ™‚

      I have a few Japanese civilian models around already and I have a few ideas about possible additions to the sub-project. I plan to limit it though, I dont want to lose focus on the big picture, project wise.

      Thanks for the feedback symphonicpoet!


      • Makes sense. I’d hate to see a Star Wars rabbit hole detract from your lovely Sweatgrave-Samurai project. A reference is nice, but that’s probably sufficient. πŸ™‚

        Anyway, very much enjoying the development of this. And your figures are always lovely.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Could you call her … Princess Leia Origami?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice write up. I was unaware of the Japanese Star Wars connection. Nice job on the Geisha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Im not sure where or when I heard about the various Kurasawa etc connections with Star Wars. It isnt something that is required to enjoy the films of course, but its an interesting aside, but fun to have a brief miniature dalliance with.

      Im glad that you like it Mark!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice work! A very fitting tribute. The two peasants from The Hidden Fortress are the inspiration for R2 and 3PO btw. So a tall thin peasant and a short rotund one will be perfect πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • The idea came from watching The Hidden Fortress and thinking about how ideas in that became Episode IV. Following that line of thinking, I’m interested in seeing what ideas in Episode IV I could convert into scenarios – and associated miniatures – for samurai gaming.

      Which is a long winded way of saying that I have plans for Artoo and Threepio, but they may not be literal conversions of the characters, much as the characters of the peasants in The Hidden Fortress dont quite map onto the droids characters. If you see what I mean.

      Its fun thinking about these sorts of things on my commute etc πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the feedback!


  5. Great job. Star Wars -inspired samurai projects are something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent work on the princess mate, and I would love to see this little meander through the many-layered nerd-onion of life pushed to include the droids… thank the maker! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have plans for the droids, but as progress is currently a bit slow, I dont want to make any promises that I cant keep.

      Of course, I also dont want to become too heavily distracted by another side project.

      No promises, but Threepio and Artoo are likely. Its been fun trying to work out how to approach them.

      Thanks for the feedback Alex!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. the droids can’t be a “maybe”, they have to be “definitely maybe” at the very least.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Her kimono turned out really well. A great sub theme for the knives, you’ve hit a rich seam here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mr S.

      Im not looking for a total them overhaul here though, just a little splash of extra value in a few NPC-ish, objective marker-y types.

      Ill leave the fully themed Star Wars ToH force to Mikko ^^


  9. I really like this model. She’s a flexible addition to the ongoing Nippon theme – she could easily be a villainous sorceress, a damsel in distress, a heroic princess without a home, or an innocent bystander. The white robe is lovely, but that fan is very cleverly executed indeed. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Axiom!

      Im trying to find ways to simulate interesting patterns on kimonos, hakama etc and the fan was an effort to see if I can find ways to do it that dont require high levels of accuracy.

      The ridged nature of the fan made some of the dots and patterns a little more uniform than I wanted, but its not too bad. Onwards and upwards.

      The sculpt really is particularly nice, certainly a highlight of the Test of Honour range to date.


  10. “Help me Obi-San Shinobi.” nearly had me spit my tea all over the monitor. Classic and the mini is great to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Obi San” was theottovonbismarks idea but the bordering on idiotic use of “Shinobi” was all me baby πŸ˜€

      I’m glad that you liked it Riot.


  11. As someone embarking on a small project with a bit of Japanese flavor, I am particularly appreciative of your efforts here.

    As for the figure, a civilian is always good for some side quest/terrain, but even better if she is really on the GM’s side and will knife a player in the back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Geisha figure is written into the story told in the five scenario campaign in the ToH game. Its quite fun and – as you might have guessed from her concealed blades – she has subterfuge in mind.


  12. Good idea and very nice work. Looking forward to more….!

    Liked by 1 person

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