There is a pretty big difference between the Gempi War and late Henein period Samurai. In the Gempi war/mongol invasion the Samurai were a mobile gun platform. Using the true weapon of the samurai, the yumi. The way the armor was designed the samurai could only shoot to the side of the horses head to 45 degrees. The followers purpose was to support the mounted samurai armed with the naginata. since the followers were raised only at time of war they would be levies. Also since most of these armies were samurai based, the armies were smaller.
Later on the Henien period the armies started to look and act more like the Senjko period. After the Onin war the followers started to be called Ashigaru and paid. It was easier to keep your followers/ashigaru around if you paid them instead of letting them make off with war booty. Or worse yet loose a battle and have your followers change side over night!
For figures for the Gempi war I would use Assault Group figures. There Medieval Chinese make great Mongol allies during the invasion of Japan. The will also work for the early Henein period; since good sets of armor were handed down. I can not pin a date when shasimos made there apperance. But Perrys figures are more from say post 1550. Kingsford miniatures make great samurai which could work for late Henein.
The size of my 28mm Samurai army I can honsetly say if one of the Perry's have children I may have paid for a year of college for them!
I know what you mean All the WOTR plastics, I keep saying "come on, it can't be that expensive. What 2 boxes of cavalry, 4 to 6 boxes of bowmen. Throw in a couple of metal figs and a bombard." Then I lay down in a dark room waiting for the feeling to pass. I think I may need a 12 step program.
@Irondog Having been living in Japan for the last 8 years, I finally started to read up on their military history today actually. The Sashimono is listed as being introduced during the Sengokujidai* in the Osprey book I was looking at today. I don't know how reliable that is, but its something.
(*Not to be confused with Shojyojidai, a Korean Pop group made up of gorgeous girls in very short skirts).
Close enough to play with. - My motto for painting historicals.
From what I read you are correct the fun filled Sahimonos made there appearance in the very beginning of this period. As for hot Japanese chicks in mini skirts, unknown
Now that Wargames Factory has plastic Ashigaru with Yumi and Teppo. All with both foot and mounted Samurai; I wonder how long before a cool wargame company such as Warlord games will come out with cool plastic Koreans or Ming?