Review: Kabuki Models’ Dark Messiah range

I got this model recently as a present and thought that it would be a nice piece to write a review article about. So let’s have a look at this futuristic Samurai and maybe the reason why he’s carrying a wheel on his back is revealed as well…

This is Ikazuchi no Tora from the Dark Messiah line of models by Kabuki Miniatures. These are high quality, highly detailled white metal miniatures in 35mm scale (so they are taller than your regular Warhammer miniatures). It somes in a nice blister along with a card showing “box art” of the finished model, name and so on. Let’s have a look at the single parts:

As you can see, this guy comes in lots of different parts – twelve to be precise, which is a lot for a model like that. You get two optional heads, one bare and one with a samurai helmet.

What’s really nice is that you get a 40mm diameter resin scenic base – a really cool one in this case – as well as a resin cast plinth into which the scenic base fits (with a bit of filing and cutting) which can be found by contacting an epoxy resin supplier. The Kabuki Models logo on the plinth is a nice touch. The “box art” of the model displays some very nice looking and mood-inspiring bamboo stems on the base which are not included in the set. The casting quality of the parts is excellent and there is hardly any mold lines of flash to speak of. Really good quality stuff.

What’s notable about this set is that it most probaly is meant to give you more options than what head you want to go for. In my view, the shoulder pads and the additional armour on the upper right thigh are optional as well because all the underlying parts are really nicely sculpted and there are no visible connectors sculpted on (other than on the neck and wrist joints).

Once I started dry-fitting, I noticed something odd about the fur cloak:

In the second picture you can see how the back part and the right thigh armour part overlap. This is the thing that got me thinking that this part was optional as well. Looking at the back part of the cloak, it as almost as if the right end of the cloak has to be cut off to make place for the cloak part that is sculpted onto the thigh armour. Curious.

After some pondering I decided to just snip it to fit:

Now I may have just gotten the model all wrong and this was completely unnecessary but I couldn’t think of another way to have the back part of the cloak as well as the right thigh armour on the model. The cut I made was basically a clean, straight cut.

The rest of the building process was pretty straightforward. Washing the parts, assembling them with additional support via pinning and green stuff, done. The parts fit very well, especially smaller parts like hands to wrists really fit surprisingly well as those often are a bit fiddly. Speaking of which, that sword is about half a millimeter thin so watch out when handling that.

All in all this a really well made and cool miniature. It’s one of those pieces that aren’t primarily meant for gaming with them. Of course you can but due to the very fragile sword, the very dramatic pose and base and the fact that this isn’t a model that really lends itself to being used with some specific background it has much more of a showcase / display model feel to it. It’s a beautiful sculpt that really profits from the scenic base and a nice paintjob.

The perfect piece to do if you just like the model or if you’re getting bored of painting legions of models for your tabletop armies.

If you enjoyed this review or if you have any questions or comments pleasse let me know via the comments section below or via e-mail on

One Response to “Review: Kabuki Models’ Dark Messiah range”

  1. Svenn says:

    Very cool model. I actually really like the base on that model as well.

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