Ninja Master Tony paints Candy and Cola

We’re excited for the release of Ninja All-Stars tomorrow, and wanted to share some painting done by our community manager, Ninja Master Tony! Here are his thoughts and his Candy and Cola.

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It’s probably no surprise that we at Soda HQ are feeling the ninja-hype leading up to tomorrow’s Ninja All-Stars release! Between finally seeing the cool models realized, and the incredible submissions we have been receiving via our Facebook and Twitter, it is pretty much a ninja-rich environment. As wrangler of our social sites, I have watched the content pour in first-hand, and I am stoked!

For me, nothing is cooler than the collaboration between us and our fans: our designs go out, and our awesome fans create something incredible!

We get to see so much of your work that some of the staff at Ninja Division decided to share some of ours. If you have been following us, you may have seen pictures of Ninja John (Studio Director) and Ninja Sean’s (Events and Sales) clan Tora and Ika teams. We will be showing more of them as they are completed.

As for my team, initially I thought I was going to go the way of Clan Ijin. As I became more familiar with the game, especially the back story, it’s only inevitable that my first team would be Clan Yamazru. The idea of hearty, good guy, monkey-ninjas was just too cool to pass up. Also, I have been known to proclaim that I am an earthbender (there is normally some kind of adult beverage involved)…

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While I waited for my Yamazaru ninja to arrive, I thought I would test out some of my clan’s colors on some models I already had: Kunoichi Candy and Ninja Cola. These two iconic Soda Pop characters are pretty much old friends, so I figured it only fair that they be represented in my team. I didn’t have any intention of using them in their capacity as Ronin, and instead decided they would stand in for one of my clan’s Kunoichi and Yajiri.

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Prior to these, I had never painted a chibi-style miniature. I started with Ninja Division last September, and haven’t had a lot of time to get my brushes on anything until recently. That said, I have been miniature painting and gaming for a while, so this style of model is pretty exciting! Other games have a number of different types of miniatures, but they tend to fit into a general style. Having never done anything chibi had me looking into new techniques, and rethinking some of the old ones.

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Also: All of my armies have a soundtrack. It is the only way I complete anything. I am not talking about making “pew-pew” or “hi-yah” sounds some painters make while painting—although I totally do that, too. I listen to specific bands while painting a project. I can’t watch Netflix and paint, and I am wicked jealous of those who can.

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Nor can I just listen to whatever. It either has to be music that feels like the project I am working on, or baseball. My Yamazaru are the earth ninjas, but they have the monkey thing going. I wanted something gritty—but not somber—and kind of reckless and kinetic, like a monkey. Those guidelines yielded a pretty healthy dose of Pulp, The Clash, Gogol Bordello, The Heavy, and Zac Brown Band. All these bands sounded like how I felt about the Yamazaru, and made one friggin’ awesome Pandora station to boot.

So there you have it! My first attempts at Chibi-style painting, heavily influenced by monkeys, ninjas, brits, punks, and country music. I am eager to take on the rest of the team, and excited that I finally get to show something back to the fans and community that have been so awesome in volunteering their artistic efforts to us. You really are the best, and I delight in having a Facebook page that features our fans’ incredible collaborations with us.

Thanks again,
Ninja Master Tony