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Few things are as annoying when you are building or painting scale buildings as being stuck because of a lack of references. How would a Japanese medieval stable actually look? What was the colour on the inside walls of a mansion? It can really throw a wrench into any project, and the difference between a descent effort and a magnificient one can be to get all those small details right. Good reference pictures are a godsend in these cases.

I try to collect reference books as often as I can, but I also love to visit old places myself and take photographs. Here are some links to albums from such visits. Please feel free to use them as inspiration for any scenery project.

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle was built by the Ii clan, after they received the fiefdom from Tokugawa Ieyasu as compensation for their efforts his wars. It was strategically positioned in modern day Shiga prefecture to keep a watchful eye on the clans who had joined the Western forces against Tokugawa.

Today it is one of twelve castles with remaining original keeps. It has a large castle area with several preserved buildings, and even parts of the orginal castle town remains, with some 30 samurai and ashigaru living quarters. This album contains pictures of the castle grounds and the main keep.

Hikone Castle Stables

These stables are the only remaining original castle stables in Japan. I made them into a separate album, as the layout and interiors could be useful for making any kind of medieval Japanese stables, not only for a castle. It also has some examples of how wear looks on white plaster walls.

Hikone Castle Town

The area around Hikone Castle has several remaining buildings from early Edo period, as well as a street with new buildings meant to resemble a traditional shopping street. This album has a mix of both.

Hikone Castle Museum

The Hikone Castle Museum is build in a reconstruction of the Rakurakuen palace just outside the castle. The original palace was built as a leisure place and for reception of guests by the Ii family. The album contains pictures of the palace and the gardens outside, and could be useful as inspiration for building a Japanese style garden.

Tokugawa-en, Nagoya

Tokugawa-en is situated in Nagoya next to the Tokugawa Museum. Nothing but the gates remain from the original Edo period garden, as it was divided up for development and the rest of the garden turned into more of a Western style garden.

The entire park was renovated in 2004 into a traditional Japanese park, inspired by the original one. So while no features expect from the gate and the buildings attached are original, it can be used for inspiration when planning details for your own Japanese garden.

I also left in some pictures of temples, both new and old, which are situated around the Tokugawa-en.

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2013-02-17 New Review
I uploaded a new review, this time covering the 28mm Ashigaru Missile Troop box from Wargames factory.

Did you know...

The earliest known culture of Japan is called Jomon after their special kind of pottery.
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