I guess this is technically “historical,” but I’m using it in a fantasy context: I finally started painting my Warring States Chinese from Microworld Games. They are great little figures, cast beautifully and with excellent definition. A really fun set to paint.
These are Ji infantry from the State of Qin, who are fighting for domination of the Chinese heartland as well as trying to fend off an even greater threat: the Fallen Empire, an undead scourge spreading both east and west out of the frozen wastes of Siberia. In this they are allied with the Kingdom of Prester John. However, the Fallen Empire has vast resources to draw upon, and so far, Zhao, Wei and the other Warring States refuse to believe the threat and join Qin in the defense of the Middle Dynasty – and indeed, all Mankind!
Well it doesn’t deal with the Warring States but rather the period a generation or two after (the fall and reunification of the Han Dynasty), but I recommend the Romance of the Three Kingdoms for getting the flavor of the period. You can also read the Classic of Han Fei Tsu to learn about the social system of Legalism, which was the dominant social structure of the period. As for a history of the Warring States themselves, or at least their military culture, there’s a good Osprey book on the subject.
I just wish I were better at photographing these! My painting is not shop quality, it’s just good enough for tabletop play. At this distance they look a mess when you see every single brush stroke. But together they are a great and convincing mass of soldiers and I chalk that up to the excellent castings and the great design of the minis.