Work in Progress

[Basic Impetus] Joseon/Choson/조선 Korean Righteous Army

Posted by OwenChpw on 26 May 2022, 12:46

[Basic Impetus Army] Joseon/Choson/조선 Dynasty Korean Righteous Army - Defend the nation!

"We knew from the start that we are inferior to the enemy, in every aspect from size of weaponry to fighting skills. Then why did we seal the gate and take up arms? To protect our family our friends and our country from the Japanese invaders who have infringed upon our lives with their swords and muskets! There is no weapon greater than unity. If we stand without fear, as one, victory will be ours." - Constable Kim Shi-min of Jinju Fort (named Lord Sang-lak on the 37th year of Sonjo's reign, received the posthumous title of Choong-Moo (loyalty-chivalry) on the 35th year of Sookjong's reign) - Immortal Admiral Yi Sun Shin episode 80.

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Hello all,

Welcome to my new project set in Early Modern Asia; a campaign about the Imjin War, otherwise known as the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). The Imjin War was always something I've wanted to cover in 1/72 scale ever since I saw Lirui's excellent army project on this website and it was really seeing his miniatures that restarted my progress on 1/72 after many years. Loving both the ancient and medieval periods, I suppose I have some juggling to do, but I intend to go back to ancients at some point. But as to why I wanted to cover the Imjin War: having grown up in the West, with Western cultural influences and European history, the idea of Asian warfare was exotic to me. On some level I want to pay homage to my ethnicity but I also love the designs of the arms, armour and armies of the Asian nations in this period so this project has been gestating for a while; it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. Besides, Samurai look very ornate and I've always wanted to tackle them seriously.

But first the Koreans. There are three kingdoms in this conflict: the Ming Chinese, the Joseon Koreans and the Toyotomi regime. I wanted to start with the Koreans first because I think I'll be going to Korea later this year and it seemed fitting. When I create a new army, I draw up a list of key themes that I want the army to embody. I want the themes of each of the three factions to be distinct, so I wanted something distinctly Korean for this army but also for it to stand out against the others. The idea of the righteous army stood out to me; no other faction had this concept, and it fit the outraged, desperate nature of the Koreans in their national struggle for freedom. This ragtag cobbled together militia army also had the benefit of being visually distinct; the units could be composed of anyone and anything, so I imagined mixed units of irregulars with former professionals, which would be unlike anything else in the Imjin War. For the Joseon Korean Righteous Army, I've decided upon the below:

Themes of the Joseon Korean Righteous Army:

Bearded, topknots
Diverse colours - whites for peasants, blacks and whites for government soldiers, reds, blues, greens, whites, mustards for heavy infantry, greys for monks, unified by brown dirt and grime to show desperation of the situation but also shared adversity regardless of class and wealth
Spot colour: red - for vengeance!
Rough, ad-hoc, ununiform and ragtag, but unified by passionate national spirit
Few banners - to contrast with the other Imjin armies, informal organisation and ranks - unity is shown by close ranked poses
Few swords - mountainous terrain encourages pole weapons
Hilly, mountainous bases / wall bases


To explain the above themes, topknots were common in Joseon Korea, beards were also worn; the Japanese called the Koreans bearded barbarians. Where possible I will add beards with greenstuff on miniatures. The diverse colours of the army explain the adhoc factions of Joseon; ranging from peasants to monks. I would run the risk of units seeming like a band of individuals rather than an army; to dilute this I am adding dirt and grime to the shoes and trousers of the miniatures, which will visually tie the models together but also symbolise the dirty, unglamorous desperation of their war. This also ties into their ragtag theme. Red will be a spot colour in a visual attempt to tie everyone together, traditionally a symbol of passion and violence - very fitting for the nature of this army. I will minimise banners to contrast with the Japanese in particular - who have many, many banners. I'll have less swords as they weren’t practical in Korean warfare. Korea is a very mountainous country, making it very rare for battles to be fought in an open field, which is where swords would be most useful. Instead, battles between armies were usually fought on a slope, which meant swords were less practical. when it came to hand-to-hand combat, the Koreans relied more on polearms (spears, tridents, and pikes). Given Korea is famously mountainous, I intend for all my infantry to have hill bases. However, the Koreans were famously great fighters in defending fortresses. "The Koreans are poor soldiers on the open field and exhibit slight proof of personal valour... but put the same men behind walls... [and] they are more than brave, their courage is sublime, they fight to the last man and fling themselves on the bare steel when the foe clears the parapet. The Japanese of 1592 looked upon the Korean in the field as a kitten, but in the castle as a tiger," William Griffis (1892). I considered an urban wall-fight theme, but it would leave my cavalry units in an awkward position. I ultimately decided on mountain bases, but I am still vaguely open to the possibility of wall bases.

I wanted a name for my army to make it mine, and I was inspired by the real-life example of the righteous army that was titled The Band That Seeks Revenge. Deciding upon a name, I thought of The Band That Knows No Fear, but it seemed a little overdone and obvious. Reading into Korean concepts in Joseon history I came upon a publication that was of the Good and Evil Will and that seemed esoteric enough. Hence, my army is named:

The Band of Good Will

The Band of Good Will is an army formed from the remnants of defeated government armies, peasant militia and monk soldiers. It is an infantry based army, utilising the manpower of the nation. Following the Choson list in Basic Impetus, it will have one unit of guard cavalry, two units of light cavalry, one unit of dual-wielding swordsmen, one unit of regular foot, two units of militia, one unit of crossbowmen (which is historically inaccurate, and will be represented by archers), one unit of skirmishers and one unit of foot with rockets (which the Joseon did have, called seungja-chongtong, but I might represent this unit with more archers) for a total of 10 units. The list has the option for artillery but I want to contrast this army with the Ming Chinese, which are visually similar.

With information for the Joseon Military being quite limited in the English language, I have been collecting information to make sure I get the depiction of the army correctly. I've included my research below and hope it will be helpful for anyone else:

Righteous Armies

There were three distinct groups of resistance: guerrilla bands of civilian volunteers, independent groups of monks-soldiers and regrouped units of government troops.

Private citizens began to take up arms in the early summer of 1592 against the invading Wae (Japanese), and these guerrilla civilian volunteers were called uibyong "righteous armies." Their leaders were mostly upper-class yangban scholars - literate, well-educated landowners who commanded the respect of the peasantry, and often possessed the wealth to outfit private armies. Some had military experience but most were committed amateurs who learned on the job. They were all patriots who wished to protect their land, families, king and despised the Japanese. Beginning in June 1592, one month after the invasion began, these guerrillas harassed the enemy in the south, hit supply lines and attacked strongholds. These armies would combine with government troops and their composition could be varied and diverse. His Majesty issued an order for them to become government troops but they refused, rather being so-called 'hoodlums', not like cowardly, fleeing government troops. His majesty conceded them to be allowed to be a separate body.

Kwak Jae-u, for example, raised a force of volunteers by selling his patrimony to raise money to arm his men. At the Uiryang village he spoke: "The enemy is fast approaching! If you don't stand up and do something now, your wives and your parents and your children will all be slain! Are you going to just sit here and wait for the sword to fall? Or will you join with me now, and got to Chong-am ford! I can see there are hundreds of strong young men among you. If you will make a stand with me at Chong-am; if we can together prevent the Japanese from crossing the river, you will teach the enemy something about the bravery of men in these parts! And you will keep your town safe!"

An example of a combined army was led by Ko Kyong-myong. He was a yangban landowner from Changhung, who recruited peasants, slaves and scholars via posters. King Sonjo sent General Kwak Yong to assist him with his military experience and several hundred government troops. Their combined force reached Kumsan on 16 August 1592. It was one of the first guerrilla armies. They were massacred, but Ko's one surviving son Ko Chong-hu, after the loss of his father and brother at Kumsan, organised his own force of guerrillas under the banner "The Band that Seeks Revenge."

Another leader, Kim Chon-il, had passed the civil service and made it to the middle ranks of public office. He raised 300 men, swearing an oath to fight to the death and sealed the bow with a drink of blood after ancient Korean military custom.

Monk Armies

King Sojo first considered calling upon the nation's monks to fight the Japanese. Prior to the war, the government had supressed them, so any call to arms by him or the government would be ignored, so he entreated the aged Buddhist master Hyujong to organise the nation's monks into a resistance movement. For the previous 2 centuries the monks had been persecuted by the kingdom's neo-confucian elite, whivh believed that Buddhism was competition and to establish neo-confucianism they had to suppress it, though Buddhism had formed the foundation of the Goreyo. Buddhist temples were closed, property was appropriated, the law allowing for the ordination of monks was rescinded, the number of sects was reduced to only two: the Meditation School (Sonjong) and the Doctrinal School (Kyojong).

Hyujong welcomed the opportunity the war provided for his followers to prove their patrotism and worth and therefore win recognition and acceptance from the state, and he owed a personal debt of gratitude to Sonjo, as an instigator for a minor rebellion falsely used Hyujong's name to win the nation's monks to his cause, but Sonjo investigated his case and released him. He was named "Commander of the monk-soldiers of the eight provinces" and issued a manifesto:

"Hold your banners high, and arise, all you monk-soldiers of the eight provinces! Who among you have not been given birth in this land? Who among you are not related by blood to the forefathers? Who among you are not subjects of the king? Confucius taught us to lay down our lives to achieve Benevolence. Sacrificing oneself for a just cause and suffering in the place of the myriad souls is the spirit of Bodhisattvas...

You monk-soldiers of all the monasteries! Abandoning a just cause and swerving from the right path in order merely to survive in hiding - how can this be the proper way? The cunning enemy, the monster, will never take pity on you. Once the land perishes how then do you propose to stay alive? Put on the armour of the mercy of the Bodhisattvas, hold in hand the treasured sword to fell the devil, wield the lightning bolt of the Eight Deitiies, and come forward. Only then can you do your duty. Only then can you find the way to life. Let the aged and the weak pray in the monastery. Let the able-bodied come out with their weapons to destroy the enemy and save the land. Whether or not the people will survive, whether or not the land will remain, depends on this battle. It behooves everyone with the sacred blood of Tan'gun flowing in their veins to defend the country with their lives. When even the trees and grass rise as warriors, how much more should red-blooded people?"


8000 monk-soldiers (sungbyong) answered Hyujong's call to arms. Leaders were Buddhist leaders like Choyong, abbot of Taehung Monastery in Cholla, Yujong, abbot of Kangwon's Naejang Monastery, Yonggyu, abbot of Chongyon monastery in Chungchong, and Yongjong, abbot of Kyonggi province's Chongyong monastery.

Organisation of the Joseon Military

Korea's military was based on an organisational framework that had existed since the beginning of the Joseon dynasty two centuries before. It was based upon the defence structure of the Goreyo, which had followed the Tang structure. The Nation's army consisted of five 'guards.' A Forward Guard for Cholla province, a Rear Guard for Hamgyong Province, Left Guard for Kyongsand Province, Right Guard for Pyongan Province and Middle Guard for the central provinces of Hwanghae, Kyonggi, Kangwon and Chungchong. Each of these five guards maintained army garrisons and naval bases in their respective regions of the peninsula, plus an auxiliary force in Seoul to defend the capital and serve as a national army in times of crisis.

Overall command of Korea's armed forces was in the hands of the General Headquarters of the Five Guards in Seoul. Beneath this body was the nation's top generals - they did not command armies, they were kept in Seoul and removed from their armies to prevent insurrection - as the Goreyo had fallen in 1388 when the general Yi Song-gye marched his army on the capital and founded Joseon. Yi then therefore separated generals from their armies so no one could copy him. Generals would only be placed at the head of armies only when national security was threatened and a military response required. Otherwise they would be kept in Seoul. As such, generals were inexperienced and did not know the state of their armies.

During the early Imjin War, the ranks were:

Dowonsu - top post, Commander in chief of all 8 provinces' armed forces
Samdo Sunbyonsa - Commander of three provinces - Kyongsang, Cholla and Chung Chong
Sunbyonsa - Provincial Commander
Pangosa - county commanders - defending strategic points

The highest military rank was commander. Each of Korea's eight provinces had between one and three army and navy commanders, with one of these posts held concurrently by the province's civilian commander. No real distinction was made between army and navy, commanders and officers could be assigned to both or just one. Provinces of greater strategic importance such as the southern ones close to Wako pirates and north bordering Manchuria had more commanders, and less important provinces had less commanders. Kyongsang-do and Hamgyong-do were the first in line for foreign aggression and had six commanders.

Therefore each strategically important province had four tangible commanders led by four professional commanders (disregarding the provincial governor): a right army, a left army, a right navy and left navy. For example, there was a Kyongsang Right Army as a unit of organisation. Cholla-do, had three commanders: a right navy, a left navy and one army. Chungchong had two: an army and navy. Hwanghae-do and Kangwon-do had little military command structure of any substance, had one army and one navy command post each, with both falling to the provincial governor.

Officer corps was recruited by periodic examination on knowledge of Sun Tzu and tested their skill of horseback riding and archery, the ideal Korean commander was a good warrior but therefore not well versed in drilling and training to fight as a unit. Officers were also low quality because the military had a lack of prestige, as mirrored by the organisation of Ming China. The military was a second choice for not passing the civil service. In the century before Imjin, it was increasingly common for civil officials to be appointed provincial army and navy commanders, and had no military experience.

The Korean army and navy was manned by conscription. All able-bodied males were liable except for the yangban upper class. Some conscripted families hired people to take their conscript's place or by paying a fee in lieu of service. This was eventually changed to the Sogogun or Sogo during the Imjin War, based on the Ming Chinese militia system: the mixed army of high class and low class people. This was a nationwide order late in the Imjin War in 1595, where high classes were drafted too and was a revolutionary change to strengthen the army. The structure of the army is listed below:

1 伍(오, o) is like a fireteam, and consists of 5 men.
1 隊(대, dae / tae) is a squad, and consists of 12 men: 2 伍/fireteams, a 隊長(대장, daejung / taech’ong, squad commander) - and a 火兵(화병, hwabyeong), a non-combatant in charge of food/other logistical needs of the squad.
1 旗(기, gi / ki) is a platoon, and consists of 37 men: 3 squads, and 1 旗摠(기총, gichong, platoon commander).
1 哨(초, cho) is a company, and consists of 112 men: 3 platoons, and 1 哨官(초관, chogwan, company commander).
1 司(사, sa) is a battalion, and consists of 561 men: 5 companies, and 1 把摠(파총, pachong, battalion commander).
1 (yŏng) is a regiment, and consists of 2,475 men; 5 battalions

There were a few distinct unit types in the Joseon military:

Naegeumwi, Gyeomsabok, Woorimwi, and Jungrowi (royal guards)
Gabsa / Gapsa (professional soldiers of many different pay grades under the 5 rank system, they were the highest caliber of soldiers in the nation that served as both elite foot and cavalry)
Chakhogapsa / Cheokhogapsa (special forces that hunted tigers, they used bows and spears, their bows and crossbows were heavier for more hitting power. A similar unit, the Chakhoin, was based in the provinces to hunt tigers, while the Chakhogapsa was based in Seoul)
Pengbaesu (elite soldiers, could be shield-bearing foot soldiers)
Gibyeong (cavalry)
salsu (spearmen)
sasu (bowmen)

In 1592 the Koreans were armed with the same personal weapons used by their ancestors for more than a thousand years; the sword, bow, spear (dangpa), maces, flails, tridents, half-moon spear; an enormous knife blade affixed to a long shaft. The Korean bow was less than 1.5 metres tall, much shorter than the Japanese bow but was sturdy and had more range than Japanese bows. This is because the Koreans almost never fought in open battle if they could avoid it. This is especially true because the Koreans almost never fought offensive wars in its history. Instead, they were always on the defense, repelling invaders. The Korean strategy in wartime was to evacuate everyone to fortresses on top of rocky mountains. There, the steep slopes prevented heavy machinery and cavalry from being deployed effectively, and also allowed the Koreans to not have to build very tall walls, Thus, the Koreans focused most of their attention on archery, so much so that the Koreans were repeatedly recorded in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sources to be extremely adept at archery. Their bows are compound bows, cousins of the Mongolian and Manchurian short bow, and were made from a variety of different materials glued and bound together, creating a remarkably strong and compact weapon.

The Koreans, unlike the Japanese, did not have particularly strong martial tradition. That is not to say the Koreans were not engaged in conflict - they had their share of wars, such as against the Jurchens and Japanese pirates - but martial arts, sword manufacturing, warrior codes, and the like that was in abundance in Japan simply wasn’t prominent in Korean culture. "The military spirit has never been really strong in Korea since the downfall of ancient Ko-kuryŭ (Goreyo). The profession of arms has always been looked down upon as an inferior calling and so long as a living could be gained some other way the army has been shunned" (The History of Korea, Hubert). Rather, the Koreans hailed from a very intellectual culture, one that is rich in its reverence to studying literature, history, philosophy, and the arts. Essentially, the Koreans and Japanese differed so much despite being geographically close is that the Koreans achieved unification very early on in its history, developing a very keen sense of a kin and common heritage unheard of in grand, diverse China and the splintered, warring Japan. "For two centuries preceding the invasion of Korea, Japan had been one great battlefield. War was the great occupation of the people. While Korea had been busy producing, Japan had been busy destroying" (The History of Korea, Hubert). The Koreans called the Japanese "dwarfs" as well, following the Ming and held them in contempt because they had low Chinese cultural attainment. They thought the Japanese envoys conducted themselves rudely, and Korean envoys were given insulting seating arrangements. Japan seem splintered, with never a single figure in control, fighting, engaging in piracy and favouring violence. As such were considered to be uncivilised, dangerous and arrogant people. Thusly, the Koreans focused most of their attention to building a sense of societal cohesion, which was why the heavily socially-focused ideology of Confucianism was pursued in Korea more than China itself.

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1/72 Joseon Dynasty Korean Righteous Army - The Band of Good Will

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이광수의 대 (李光洙隊) (Yi Gwang-su's squad - Korean and Hanja) are the first into the fray, shouting oaths of vengeance as they hurl themselves at the Wae. They form the vanguard of raids on Wae supply lines, fighting with a fervour that even surpasses the passion of their comrades in the righteous army. The Buddhist monk Yi Gwang-su was among those who heeded Seosan Hyujong's call to arms, fighting in various skirmishers in a monk army before a defeat scattered them to the winds. Gwang-su escaped into the mountains, hunted by roving Japanese patrols, stealing from the dead just to live another day. The scouts of the Band of Good Will found Yi Gwang-su starving and near death, covered in filth and blood, with the bodies of three Japanese soldiers scattered around like broken dolls. In Gwang-su's hands he still clutched his sword in a death grip. He has never spoken of the atrocities he had seen, or the lengths he went to survive, but the fire in his eyes since his rescue has not dimmed since.

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To the others, he is a symbol of hope, an indicator that even in calamity one may survive and simply a good luck charm. For his part, Gwang-su rarely comments, spending his time meditating and in quiet contemplation. The organisation of this righteous army roughly adheres to a government army's structure, with the need for leaders and hierarchies for better resistance. Gwang-su has accepted command of his squad without emotion, seeming to take it as another duty in his mission to purge Korea of the Wae invaders. In battle he is transformed; he is a whirlwind of cold violence, a masterclass display of bladework and rare grace. He does not give into anger or fear. He is fast, unfettered, smooth as water with deadly, grim artistry. Rumours abound that Gwang-su has bested samurai in single combat, that he is the manifestation of vengeance and that he cannot be harmed by mortal men. As with other comments, Gwang-su ignores them, muttering Buddhist mantras under his breath. His men follow him with a rare passion, coming from all backgrounds. Some are peasants who have taken up the sword for their homeland, some disgraced former government troops seeking redemption from past defeats, some Daeripgun (proxy warriors, mercenaries) who rejoice and clap at his sword-skill and some are fellow monks seeking fellowship. Gwang-su does not distinguish between profession, class or creed. He cares not if you are a roughneck or an official. He disdains the pursuit of merit or glory. The only thing that matters to him in a warrior is the will to fight and their righteous conduct. These men he has gathered to him are the zealots in the army who wish only to see the impious Japanese invaders burn for their crimes.

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(이광수의 대 (李光洙隊) form the first unit in my righteous army, and therefore need to embody the thematic elements of the army as a whole and provide a foundation and guide for the other units. I paid close attention to the theme; this unit is a mix of government troops, peasants and monks. It was quite hard to visually tie every figure together; they look quite different.

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In particular, the unarmoured government troops and peasants have large white areas while the armoured troops don't, and have more colour and metallic studs, while the monk has a completely different colour scheme. I think the mud on their legs doesn't too much to visually tie everyone together, but it's something.

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I do think the end effect clashes a little, but that's simply how the army looked like, so I have to just accept it. I'm usually quite adverse to wear and wear on my models, I like my figures looking pristine, but in this case it was thematically important. The figures are mostly from Red Box, except for the monk, which is a 3D print I bought from Taobao. The running peasant guerrilla and the running armoured soldier have both had green stuff beards sculpted on to tie onto the bearded theme.

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The posing of the models can be difficult - at the mercy of the vagaries of the base. I was glad to be able to have a peasant soldier lying a hand on a front-ranker, perhaps pulling his comrade back. This kind of close contact tells a story, and shows the bond these warriors have. I wouldn't have any kind of friendly gestures in my Japanese army.

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The front rankers are posed as fighting, while the second rankers are running into the fray. There are quite a few swords in this unit, and the Joseon warriors didn't really favour them. At least they don't dominate the unit, I'll try limiting the number of swords further in future. Painting the studs on the brigandine armour was very irritating and difficult, but it had to be done.

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Red was used as a spot colour as expected, but it seemed odd to add onto the monk. He does seem like a very lone figure, but with such a figure diversity in this unit it was always tricky making everything consistent. He is the only monk I suppose, he stands apart. I was trying to work on a Korean skin colour scheme and settled upon a suggestion which I saw for painting Japanese skin - to avoid pinks and reds. My end colour schemes were of two varieties:

Lighter: Cadian Fleshtone - Kislev Flesh - Elf Flesh OR Bleached Bone

Darker: Ungor Flesh + Bestial Brown - Cadian Fleshtone - Kislev Flesh

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I made sure to make the peasants and some of the soldiers darker, while the government soldiers tended to be lighter.

In terms of basing, I wanted to carry the theme of Korea's struggle further, so I settled upon a mountain with struggling plant life. I researched Korean landscapes and noted a bone/sandy/grey palette which I liked. It appeared dusty, rather than nourished and rich, which fit perfectly with the deprived state of the Joseon people. There is greenery but it is clinging on. There is grass, but it is scattered and mixed. I used a combination of spring and winter dead grass.

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The soil took some experimenting, originally using a Scorched Brown / Bleached Bone - Bestial Brown / Bleached Bone - Bleached Bone combination, but it still seemed too brown. I modified it with Tallarn Sand, then Bleached Bone for my final look. For future bases I believe I will use Tallarn Sand first, and perhaps mix some greys in.)

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(unit 1 of 10 - 이광수의 대 (李光洙隊) - Joseon Dynasty Korean Righteous Army - The Band of Good Will - Basic Impetus)

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Previous Projects:

[Basic Impetus] Ancient British Celts: http://bennosfiguresforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=23514

[Basic Impetus] Ancient Mauryan Indians: http://bennosfiguresforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=24641&p=270592
User avatar
OwenChpw  Australia
 
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14 Jan 2020, 06:46


Posted by Santi Pérez on 26 May 2022, 19:10

Great and very complete post, Owen. Not only for the wonderfully painted figures of the Band (you have improved a lot the RedBox original ones) but for the comprehesive information provided about the Korean army of the period. :shock: :shock: :shock:

My best congratulations, my friend. :thumbup:

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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28 Aug 2016, 19:42

Posted by Peter on 28 May 2022, 11:01

Santi Pérez wrote:Great and very complete post, Owen. Not only for the wonderfully painted figures of the Band (you have improved a lot the RedBox original ones) but for the comprehesive information provided about the Korean army of the period. :shock: :shock: :shock:

My best congratulations, my friend. :thumbup:

Santi.

I can only agree with these words of Santi! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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25 Mar 2008, 18:51

Posted by OwenChpw on 29 May 2022, 02:38

Santi Pérez wrote:Great and very complete post, Owen. Not only for the wonderfully painted figures of the Band (you have improved a lot the RedBox original ones) but for the comprehesive information provided about the Korean army of the period. :shock: :shock: :shock:

My best congratulations, my friend. :thumbup:

Santi.


Thanks Santi! I was not a fan of the original Redbox sculpts, the armoured figures look a little stumpy and the swords are a little short, but I don't have the patience to make mass conversions, so I decided to just make do. I do hope other manufacturers make some better sculpts, but I don't think it's a popular subject to tackle. I suppose I'm grateful that there are even plastic sculpts at all!

I had to compile so much information just to make sure I didn't get the models wrong that I figured I might as well share it, it was many days of research haha.

Peter wrote: I can only agree with these words of Santi! :thumbup:


Thank you Peter for the kindness, as always.
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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14 Jan 2020, 06:46

Posted by Howlin on 29 May 2022, 08:14

took me a couple days to get through the reading to write....

you have done excellent work on somewhat flat and simple minis. I think the way you painted the faces really helps bring them to life. I do not think I have any redbox minis (oh wait, is dark alliance redbox?), but you have made them look better than expected.


this guy really does have a peasant feeling in his face, like he was a good friendly guy scripted into the army.
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painting the hands like this also help being out form in the less detailed minis

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your 2 general units are really nice. I like how the belts are painted too, this one really looks like a scarf wrapped around many times rather than just one solid color area, so adding in these little details are a big plus.

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overall great on difficult minis,

now who are the samurai they are fighting?
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Howlin  United States of America
 
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13 Mar 2021, 11:01

Posted by Kekso on 30 May 2022, 11:49

I will be honest. I haven't read what you wrote :xd: ... but I looked at pictures and I like them :thumbup:
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Kekso  Croatia

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Posted by OwenChpw on 31 May 2022, 04:44

Howlin wrote:Took me a couple days to get through the reading to write....

you have done excellent work on somewhat flat and simple minis. I think the way you painted the faces really helps bring them to life. I do not think I have any redbox minis (oh wait, is dark alliance redbox?), but you have made them look better than expected.


Haha, yeah, I know there's a lot of material. I provide it for interests' sake, it's entirely optional, but if I manage to help another English language speaker with their own Joseon project, or even spark some general interest, then it would have been entirely worth it.

Thank you, I must admit, the sculpts could be a little better, but there is a dire lack of Joseon Koreans in the 1/72 market, Redbox have been quite generous with the amount of cavalry sets they've released. I think their later cavalry sets have better sculpts but these early infantry sets are a little lacklustre. Redbox have made both great and mediocre sets, it seems very case by case. I don't think Dark Alliance is Redbox haha. Beggars can't be choosers though. I think the value of a decent paintjob can really make mediocre minis look quite appealing, sometimes you can even paint on details that haven't sculpted on. I might try greenstuffing some of the sculpts in future, I just wanted to get a unit out that was relatively true to the original manufacturer's intention.


Howlin wrote: This guy really does have a peasant feeling in his face, like he was a good friendly guy scripted into the army.


Haha when you get to 1/72 face detail sometimes all you can do is jab and pray. Eyes are still a necessary bane. Teeth and lips require a little bit of fine work.


Howlin wrote: Your 2 general units are really nice. I like how the belts are painted too, this one really looks like a scarf wrapped around many times rather than just one solid color area, so adding in these little details are a big plus.


The two armoured warriors (who may or may not have been former leaders - leaders were armoured, but it's a little ambiguous as to how many warriors had access to armour but the popular cultural conception is that most government troops had simple, cheaper armour, which was not brigandine or were unarmoured. The Portuguese priest Luis Prois , who came as a missionary from Japan during the Imjin War said that the "(Joseon) soldiers wore hard leather armour, and they wore helmets like European hats. Some of them were made of steel, others of cast iron."' One Korean source 조선전역해전도 that shows Koreans as all wearing armour was created hundreds of years after the event, and there is disputed accuracy. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty state: "Even Chungmugong's army did not wear all armour." So, with all this in mind it appears that the extent of armour is difficult to completely confirm, but it seems probable that not everyone had access to brigandine, I justify the unarmoured troops to myself by thinking that some of them have leather breastplates beneath) took the most time out of everyone. Its the rivets. It's so easy to paint them incorrectly at this scale. I'm glad you like the shading on the belts, I quite like how the overall impression came out too. I personally like the beard on the blue armoured soldier the most. To me, it looks very natural and gives the figure an aura of seniority.

Howlin wrote: Overall great on difficult minis, now who are the samurai they are fighting?


Ah. The Samurai were actually the second 1/72 unit I've ever completed, I believe in 2019? I really like the concepts, aesthetics and themes of the Samurai, but now that I look at the unit, I'm not happy with it, it's too colourful and some of the figures could be improved. I'm also waiting for some new releases for decals before I can complete them. Therefore, they will be for a future project log, but it's a taste of things to come!

Kekso wrote:I will be honest. I haven't read what you wrote :xd: ... but I looked at pictures and I like them :thumbup:


Haha, that's what I expect is how most people react. It's a lot, it's really just to supplement the pictures. Honestly, the info is just as much for me as for anyone else. I keep details here so if I forget a skin colour recipe or key information I can come back and remind myself.
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
Posts: 586
Member since:
14 Jan 2020, 06:46

Posted by Rich W on 05 Jun 2022, 00:24

Very nice work Owen. You've achieved excellent details on those figures. Thanks for the background info as well!
Rich W  United Kingdom
 
Posts: 734
Member since:
05 Feb 2018, 23:40

Posted by OwenChpw on 24 Jul 2022, 05:02

"The Wae soldiers are trying to leave. They came without our approval, they violated us and slaughtered our parents, siblings and children. I can't let them leave just like that! How am I to watch them comfortably cross the ocean back to their homes? We have to show them they have to pay a price for violating us. We have to show them. We have to bury them all at sea so they can't return to their homes!" - Yi Sun Shin, on the eve of the Battle of Noryang - Jingbirok Episode 50.

Rich W wrote:Very nice work Owen. You've achieved excellent details on those figures. Thanks for the background info as well!


Thanks mate! You're welcome, the background was a pain to compile, I had to Google Translate so many Korean texts to get the whole picture. :(

Hello all! Welcome to a new instalment of this righteous army. As the army progresses, I've wanted to cover the mainstay units first, and as I've got a unit of militia, I needed a unit of skirmishers. I wanted a unit of archers as the bow is the iconic weapon of the Koreans. I was driven partly by the release of the new movie about the Imjin War called Hansan: Rising Dragon (Korean: 한산: 용의 출현).



I'm very excited for this to come out in a few days, as it brings the Imjin War to life and was a great source of visual inspiration. Now, onto the unit!

--

1/72 Joseon Dynasty Korean Righteous Army - The Band of Good Will

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박곡수 대 (朴谷水隊) (Bak Gok-soo's squad - Korean and Hanja) are brothers in arms until the end, with many genuine friends within the squad. They are groups of young men from a range of backgrounds, both former government soldiers and daring peasants, thrown together by circumstance. Even in the dark times of the gureilla uprising against the Wae, they can be heard reminiscing in quiet moments and around camp fires of games of Tujeon, of debts owed to each other, of women that got away and of great meals and dishes in their past. Their antics keep the morale of the whole army high, and they are often seen as jokesters and rogues, even though most of the members are former government soldiers.

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Their leader, Gok-soo, is respected as a venerable fighter, evidenced by the grey in his beard and gruff demeanour. He plays the role of the stern father, keeping his rowdy children in line, though all have seen him smirking at his squad's tricks in moments of absent-mindedness and his eyes often twinkle with amusement, despite his otherwise serious demeanour. Gok-soo has left behind a loving wife and two young daughters. He dotes on the youngest in particular, spoiling her with attention. All of this has been upturned and with his family evacuated, he only has his memories to keep his spirits up. He writes letters to them in his spare moments, not sure if he will ever be able to deliver them or if he will even be able to return at all. With his brother receiving help from the society of the blind government arm, it is Gok-soo's duty to support the broader family, but the Imjin War has snatched even these concerns from him. He is a traditionalist, conservative and reserved in outlook.

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The Gakgung bow is a national weapon of the nation, having served generations of Korean warriors and he mistrusts the new-fangled muskets that the invading Wae favour. In his older age, he is honoured to lead the unit of archers, where he does not have to run and charge like the younger, hot-blooded warriors. His squad serves as the army's scouts and he is determined to shepherd them safely through the war, so they can live out their tall tales in reality. He knows many of the men under his command are young, and under the facade of their bravado they are but scared boys, with some barely brushing adulthood. For their part, the men joke about their need to keep their 'stern father' safe, as he is the only one armoured in Dujeong-gap. The fury and speed of the invasion has left some of the warriors underequipped, but they will make do, fighting bare if they have to, as they often joke.

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(박곡수 대 (朴谷水隊) form the second unit in my righteous army, and build upon the themes of the first unit. This is my first unit of archers and it seems fitting that my second unit in this army is of archers, as the Korean military doctrine and martial creed favoured archery greatly. Again, this unit is a mixture of troops; of government soldiers and peasants but no monks exist in this unit. The monks seem to be some of the best fighters in the Joseon informal armies, and as this unit represents skirmishers, and the weakest unit in the army, I thought it fitting that they would exclude the greatest type of warrior. It does seem that the visual look of the army will have large segments of white and black, broken up with other colours, such as red and blue. To reflect the ragtag nature of the army, the peasants have the greatest colour diversity, with differently coloured belts, headbands and quivers, while the former government troops are the most uniform, as their gear would have been relatively standardised.

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The leader has the most elaborate colouring, with a multicoloured quick-draw quiver, his studded armour, his grey beard and different coloured clothes. In terms of painting, the studs on the brigandine are still annoying, but they had to be done. A key point of differentiation for Korean brigandine was the shoulder guards, which could take the form of elaborate dragons but was most commonly just a flat rectangular plate of metal, which I made sure to include. The colour scheme of the leader is inspired by the Joseon armours used in the upcoming movie: Hansan: Dragon Rising. I've been looking forward to this movie for a very long time because it brings the Imjin War to spectacular life on the big screen.

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Red was still the spot colour, and used many times, but the peasants are individualised by irregular use of colour, with different colour combinations for different accessories. I have used my previous colour schemes for skin, but also tried a new one:

Ungor Flesh + Bestial Brown - Kislev Flesh + (a tiny bit of) Ungor Flesh - Kislev Flesh

But I've learnt that Ungor Flesh is very yellow, so if the ratio is too high the skin comes out looking as a caricature. I've learnt that Ungor Flesh can give a nice yellow tint, but only in tiny amounts.

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This unit also has mud painted on shoes and leggings, to reflect the battered nature of the Joseon army but also to visually tie the units together despite disparate colour schemes, to break up the constant black and white colours and to tie the troops to the earth visually - symbolically marking them as a part of the land and fighting to defend it. The figures are all from Red Box.

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I chose a trumpeter model for the backrow to show the need for the scouts to signal, and also because there are limited standing archer poses provided in the sculpts. The armoured leader and the resting bowman both have green stuff beards sculpted on to represented the theme of bearded Koreans. The bows have had wires added for bowstrings, and the bows have a variety of different shades to reflect the different colours of water buffalo horns, which were the material of Joseon bows.

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I planned the posing of the models to make them appear close and united to represent the theme of shared adversity, their backs are close to each other and they are posed, firing at all sides, as if outnumbered in a last stand. In contrast, the Japanese would be posed firing head on, not driven by the same desperation or the same camaraderie and I do like how posing can tell a story and evoke an atmosphere.

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The back row is standing while the front row is mostly kneeling, with the exception of one eager guerrilla - showing the disjointed, at times undisciplined nature of this army. The basing for this unit was done in a similar way, but the colour scheme for the soil has changed - now it is a Tallarn Sand basecoat, a Tallarn Sand / Codex Grey layering in bits, then spots of Bestial Brown, Scorched Brown for variety, followed by Bleached Bone highlights. The end result is far less red, which I like. My only point of concern is now the two units have slightly different bases. I may modify the first unit's base if this becomes problematic later.)

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(unit 2 of 10 - 이광수의 대 (李光洙隊) - Joseon Dynasty Korean Righteous Army - The Band of Good Will - Basic Impetus)

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OwenChpw  Australia
 
Posts: 586
Member since:
14 Jan 2020, 06:46

Posted by Howlin on 24 Jul 2022, 05:49

These look like a fine and fearsome group of archers! As which army would not be complete without.

I like the on going theme of colorful general figures, when the different bases are put together looks really well spaced out.

how many pieces are you going to make?





PS- incase you missed my email, some time ago those minis arrived, so thank you!
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Howlin  United States of America
 
Posts: 212
Member since:
13 Mar 2021, 11:01

Posted by OwenChpw on 24 Jul 2022, 07:19

Howlin wrote:These look like a fine and fearsome group of archers! As which army would not be complete without.

I like the on going theme of colorful general figures, when the different bases are put together looks really well spaced out.

how many pieces are you going to make?

PS- incase you missed my email, some time ago those minis arrived, so thank you!


The Koreans in particular were renowned for their archery too. A popular saying was that China was known for its spears, Japan for its swords and Korea for the bow. I plan to contrast the Korean forces later with the Japanese - because they will have guns!

Yeah, I put them on hills because Korea is very mountainous, when placed together the units can look like they're traversing some hills.

There will be 10 units in total. So it will take some time...

I did receive your email! I replied to it as well on the same day, maybe my reply hit your spam folder. But glad to hear you got them, and hope you use them well, I'd love to see them painted!
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
Posts: 586
Member since:
14 Jan 2020, 06:46


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