Tag Archives: Star Wars

Imperial Assault, Twin Shadows Part Two: The Heroes and The Hunter

Part Two of my Imperial Assault: Twin Shadows painting is complete, which means I have finished all the miniatures from the boxed expansion and the ally and villain packs released along with it.

There are two rebel heroes in the Twin Shadows boxed set. This is Saska Teft, a combat engineer. As far as I can tell, she makes things blow up pretty good.

The other hero is Biv Bodhrik, the stereotypical “heavy weapons guy.”

Looks like he has some skin problems. Chalk it up to poor layering on my part.

Next, an Ally Pack featuring some familiar faces: R2-D2 (does he even HAVE a face?) and C-3PO.

Another fun fact: I bought this pack twice, because I purchased the first one from “Amazon World Marketplace”. The description said that was based in Great Britain, but the package shipped from Spain, and I got this in the mail: the Italian version. Although the miniatures are the same, all the game materials are in Italian. This is useless to me as I don’t speak or read Italian. So, I put this on eBay, thinking someone else must need it. So far, no one needs it.

Between the primer fiasco and the duplicate droids, this Twin Shadows project was getting fucking expensive.

Like many of my Imperial Assault miniatures, I painted these by following Sorastro’s tutorials on YouTube. I like his tutorials because I often learn new ways of doing things. For example, the gold base color on C-3PO is not gold paint. It’s GW’s Leadbelcher washed with GW’s Seraphim Sepia, then highlighted up. This provides a nice depth of tone and it’s a trick I will absolutely use again, whether I’m painting shields or armor.

Finally: Boba Fett, a bounty hunter who is even cooler than Dog, the Bounty Hunter (didn’t think that was possible, did you?). He’s featured prominently on the box cover and in several Twin Shadows missions; so naturally he’s sold separately. Thanks, Fantasy Flight.

Boba Fett is a great-looking miniature, especially for Imperial Assault, where some of the miniatures are pretty lame (just wait until I get to Ahsoka Tano). Of course, the Star Wars Legion version of Boba Fett is so much better-looking, I try not to think about it lest I get depressed.

That’s it for Twin Shadows, but I have many more Imperial Assault miniatures to go. I’d like to collect the entire run of the game, but that doesn’t seem likely. Two days before I wrote this post, a Grand Admiral Thrawn villain pack sold on eBay for $152.50.

That’s one hundred fifty-two dollars and fifty cents for one plastic miniature. That’s fucking stupid.

It’s ok. I can live without Thrawn for sure. In addition to two more boxed expansions (Return to Hoth and Bespin Gambit), I have 18 more ally and villain packs waiting for my paintbrush. When will I ever get to them all?

That’s what New Year’s resolutions are for…

Imperial Assault, Twin Shadows: Troopers and Raiders

Slowly but surely, I have begun to chip away at my significant pile of Star Wars miniatures for my Imperial Assault expansions. I decided to start with the first boxed expansion to the game, Twin Shadows, which included 10 new miniatures in the core box. In addition, I painted several ally and villain expansions that were released to coincide with the release of the box, because why give you everything in one box when they can charge you piece by piece?

First up, some Heavy Stormtroopers. You get four of these guys in the box, and they’re pretty nice miniatures.

Also pictured here is Kayn Somos; a special figure that came in a separate Villain Pack. Although it’s always nice to have a Stormtrooper boss, his pose is a bit meh.

Next: the four Tusken Raiders from the box and another Villain Pack: the Bantha Rider. I like these miniatures, but here’s the annoying story behind them.

My primer of choice is The Armory spray primer. Most people don’t like it. I love it. I prime 99% of my models black; but I had Armory Primer in Black, White and Grey. I rarely use grey. In fact, the can was no good any more; and to top things off my black can was almost out, too. I needed new primer! Sadly, the place I usually get it (the ONLY place I know that carries it) is out, and they don’t know when they will get any back (if ever). So I went on Amazon. Same deal. COVID has really fucked with a lot of things, including spray paint distribution.

Since I was pretty much following the painting tutorial by Mark Sorastro (which, like all his Imperial Assault tutorials, is spectacular), I needed to prime them grey. I looked online to see what other miniature enthusiasts use. I’m not paying 15 bucks a can for GW or Army Painter primer, so I decided on this:

Rustoleum primer is supposed to be pretty good and is used by lots of mini painters. After looking high and low for it in stores, I finally managed to snag a can. Like I said, spray paint is pretty scarce nowadays due to the pandemic. I went to three different Wal-Marts and saw only racks of empty space. I finally found a can of this at a Home Depot. It was the only can left. Score, right?

Wrong. I sprayed my Tusken Raiders and one half of the Bantha with this shit. Three days later, they were still tacky and I realized with horror that this primer was reacting poorly to the plastic (despite the “Also Bonds To PLASTIC!” assurance on the label). This was a disaster. I removed what I could with some non-acetone nail polish remover. What was I to do now?

For situations like these (like when I prime Reaper Bones), I use Vallejo brush-on surface primer. I have black and white. I needed grey. I briefly considered just mixing the two; but I decided to splurge for the grey as I have many more Imperial Assault miniatures to paint and I might need it. One Amazon order and 6 days later, I had a bottle. The bottle says grey, but it looks pretty fucking white. On top of that, it’s thin, like milk. It is noticeably different from the Vallejo black and white primers I have. I primed all the figures again, and then I got angry. I didn’t need to prime them grey. I could have saved a lot of time, aggravation and money if I had just used the black primer I have; because I can’t imagine using this shit for anything, ever. It sucks.

Anyway, I muddled through. Lesson learned. Next post will finish up the miniatures for this expansion: both the Heroes from the box and some extra (familiar) Allies and Villains (sold separately, of course).

Wondering where my September Character of the Month is? Well, she’s a bit late, but she’ll be along. That of course means I will have TWO Characters in October. The miniature is painted, but I haven’t had time to write up her back story. As everyone knows, I refuse to post things when they’re only half done.

So stay tuned for the second half of Twin Shadows (what?), coming soon!

“Nothing but…STAR WARS!!!!”

Back in 2015, I started painting the miniatures that came with the Imperial Assault core rules. I was proud of myself when I finally got them all done and ready for the table a year later. Then I managed to play a total of TWO games with my friends, who can’t commit to a fucking ham sandwich without 8 weeks notice and an escape clause; so my Star Wars gaming came to an abrupt end and the miniatures have pretty much languished unused since then.

Last year, after six big box expansions and forty miniature expansions to the Core Set, Fantasy Flight Games ceased production of Imperial Assault; choosing to focus on Star Wars Legion instead (a game I don’t play). Now, if you want IA, you’re forced to find existing product; because ain’t no more being made by Fantasy Flight. You would think that because I only managed to play two games, I wouldn’t consider putting my money into this game any more. After all, I have a fully-painted Core Set and all the Wave One miniature expansions, which is enough to play plenty of games, especially at my current rate of gameplay.

You’d be wrong. Recently, for reasons I truly cannot articulate, I went ALL THE WAY IN on Imperial Assault. Well, almost. The later “expanded universe” expansions don’t really interest me all that much. (Although it would be cool to have a Thrawn miniature, especially since his name was dropped in The Mandalorian last season, I don’t need it. But I might pick it up anyway, for the right price.)

Normally, I take opportunities like this to blame Roger for my own shortcomings (and I encourage you all to do the same); but in this case, the blame falls squarely upon the brawny shoulders of Dave from Wargames Terrain Workshop; who has been on a Star Wars project streak for what seems like forever, sculpting, building and painting some truly inspiring stuff. Because of Dave, I have now resolved to watch all things Star Wars in chronological order. Some will be re-watches, of course; but some I’ll be watching for the first time. (I seem to have missed out entirely on The Clone Wars and Rebels, for example.)

I’ve decided to get cracking on more Imperial Assault miniatures in between my other projects. I’m not going to commit to anything specific, but I will paint them according to expansion release. That way if I get bored or annoyed I can sell them off as complete lots. (It could happen.) I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Mark Sorastro’s YouTube Channel is spectacular. I followed his tutorials for many of the Core Imperial Assault miniatures; I expect I’ll be doing the same going forward.

I’ll post my progress periodically. First up: The Twin Shadows expansion, which introduces the “OG” Mandalorian, Boba Fett, to Imperial Assault.

“Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral…”

I really like the new direction of Miniature Wargames magazine, particularly the monthly “Darker Horizons” fantasy and sci-fi feature. I’m also a fan of Diane Sutherland’s monthly scenery-building articles, as I like any good scratch-building tips. A couple of months back, John Treadaway penned an article on how to make cheap and easy asteroids for space combat games. The article is well worth a read, and John’s method couldn’t be easier. I encourage anyone in need of asteroids to track down the issue above.

I’ve been looking for a good method of asteroid construction for some time, and like many folks, I’ve considered everything from wood chips to lava rocks to just breaking down and buying some manufactured scenery, such as those offered by Battlefield in a Box. Then I saw what John did and I practically facepalmed myself at its simplicity. Put simply, John uses sponge chunks soaked in a mixture of paint, glue and sand. Let dry, drill holes, insert the flight stands of your choice (mine are from Litko), drybrush and done!

Here are the results. Lightweight, nigh-indestructible and pretty darn good-looking asteroids. I followed John’s method, including his idea for using a purple wash to add a bit more tone than mere drybrushing can achieve. I also added a few metallic streaks here and there to simulate metal veins, but that’s just me. My asteroids had a bit more time to dry than John’s, since I had to order the flight stands and wait for them to come in (about a week or so).

Here’s how they look with some War Rocket and X-Wing miniatures.

Imperials vs. Galacteers

 

“NEVER tell me the odds!”

 

Sure beats the crap out of cardboard templates. And it only took a couple of hours (not including drying time). Thanks, John!

 

Imperial Assault Finally Finished! (Sort of…)

I started painting Fantasy Flight Games’ Imperial Assault last year in May. One would think I would have finished this project long ago, but my PADD (Painting Attention Deficit Disorder) constantly worked against me and I found myself juggling many projects at once, none of which were (or are) close to complete. Well, after my last post a couple months back, I decided to buckle down and finish Imperial Assault before doing anything else. My friends were exasperated with me for insisting on playing with painted miniatures, but at long last, the core set and several expansions are done.

Before we dive in, I would like to plug Sorastro’s Painting, a Youtube Channel that details the painting of most of these figures below. For the most part, I followed Sorastro’s method with only minor departures. In addition to Imperial Assault, Sorastro also has tutorials for Zombicide and Descent miniatures. He’s a very good painter with a lot of helpful tips, and the production standards of his tutorial videos are really  amazing. Check him out!

First up, the rest of the Imperial Faction. Above are the Nexu, some kind of nasty beastie that I think only appeared in Attack of the Clones. I seem to remember one of them from the arena scene even though I only saw that abysmal movie once. They’re pretty cool sculpts and to be honest, without Sorastro as a guide, my Nexu would have likely looked like crap. I like them now, though.

Up next are the Trandoshan Hunters. Sorastro wanted one of the veterans to be Bossk, and I liked that idea too. (Of course, now there’s a special Bossk expansion figure in the Bespin expansion, but whatever). I chose basic solid colors for the fatigues as I didn’t want to paint camouflage. All in all, I found these guys to be the least fun figures to paint in the core set, but YMMV.

The AT-ST was one of the easiest miniatures to paint, and once again, Sorastro gets the nod as he used a very effective method of washing and wiping to achieve the end colors. He also introduced me to my new favorite paint, GW’s “Typhus Corrosion”. I probably wouldn’t have bought this on my own, but I love the grimy effects it creates. The AT-ST was the only core miniature that I decided to base decoratively, because I thought it would look crappy on a plain gray base.

Our first Expansion Pack, General Weiss. Painted pretty much the same as the AT-ST above. General Weiss is a guy who likes his guns, obviously. Probably that’s because he’s got a bit of a Napoleon complex due to his unfortunate size. His body is so out of scale with the other humanoid figures that I considered building the modified AT-ST and leaving him off it, but in the end I decided to include him. Once again, I put some effort into the base because of the model’s size.

The next Expansion Pack is the bounty hunter, IG-88. Although he’s a popular character, I would have thought Fantasy Flight would have released Boba Fett in the first wave of expansions rather than IG-88. Still, he’s cool and fun and easy to paint, and he looks a lot cooler than using the cardboard token included in the core game.

Finally, the Dark Lord himself. Vader is technically another “Expansion Pack”, but he comes in the core set along with Luke Skywalker. FF probably does this to tempt you into replacing those tokens with actual miniatures (it works.) When painting this miniature, I departed from Sorastro’s tutorial significantly. Not because I didn’t like his result, but because it was too time consuming for me and also a bit daunting. Sorastro highlighted his Vader to death and added some cool lighting effects from the lightsaber, neither of which I wanted to do in order to save time. ( I had already taken enough time to paint this game!!!) His results are much better than mine, but I’m perfectly content with my Darth Vader.

Finally, the Rebel Scum!! From top to bottom, L-R: Mas Esh’karey, Gideon Argus, Jyn Odan, Ghaarkan, Fenn Signis, and Diala Passil. I found Fenn Signis to be the most fun to paint, and Diala the least. Once again, I departed from Sorastro on the lightsaber effects (i.e. I chose not to include them).

Some familiar faces: Luke Skywalker (included in the core game), Chewbacca and Han Solo. Chewbacca was a blast to paint and all three of these miniatures are terrific representations of these iconic characters.

Lastly, some generic Rebel Troopers. These were the last miniatures I painted and they took very little time. Sorastro hasn’t posted a tutorial for them yet, but they were easy to paint based on source material (i.e. Google).

The only wave one miniatures expansions I haven’t bought or painted yet are the Rebel Saboteurs and the Emperor’s Guard Champion, but they can wait. I’ve decided I probably won’t be buying any of the game expansions (like Hoth or Bespin), but I may buy some of the miniatures expansions (like Boba Fett and R2 and 3PO) just to paint them, or perhaps to use in skirmish play.

Now I can finally play the game!

 

 

 

Painting Imperial Assault: Part Two

DSCN1624

I got distracted by other painting projects and Imperial Assault kinda fell by the wayside. However, since I’m not playing the game until I paint the miniatures (and since my friends are aggravated by this), I figured it would be nice to have the game done by the time The Force Awakens hits theatres on my birthday.

In the meantime, I discovered some  terrific Imperial Assault painting tutorials on Youtube by a guy named Sorastro. A link to his Youtube channel is here. The production value on his tutorials is really great and he gives some pretty helpful painting tips for each and every Imperial. Assault miniature. (Plus, he has a soothing, non-threatening British voice.) The Probe Droids above were pretty much painted exactly as he did them, and I’m quite happy with the results. I would have done them differently had I not stumbled onto his tutorials, and I don’t think they would have looked as good.

Sorastro uses Citadel paints exclusively, but with a little tweaking you can find equivalent colors from most of the major paint companies.

DSCN1622

Up next are the Stormtroopers. I painted these guys before I found Sorastro’s channel, and I wish I hadn’t. These give a further example of Sorastro’s useful techniques. He got much better results than I did in about half the steps. I’m not wholly happy with these troopers, but I can live with them. Here’s how I painted mine:

I primed them white, then dipped them in Army Painter medium dip. Once dry, I painted all the white areas with Reaper’s Polished Bone. I keylined the larger black areas with black, leaving the smaller ones shaded with the dip. Then I highlighted the bone areas with white and touched everything up a bit. (I hate trying to shade white, so I figured this was a good way to do it.)

In contrast, Sorastro primed the miniatures white, then gave them a dark wash, effectively using the primer as the first coat. Then he built up the highlights with coats of thinned white paint. I would never think to do this, even after 30 or so years of painting. You don’t use primer as a first coat, you paint a first coat onto the primer, or so I was firm in my belief. But Sorastro’s Stormtroopers look way better than mine, so I bow to the Buddha in him. His Stormtrooper tutorial is here.

DSCN1620

To show the difference, I used Sorastro’s method on these E-WHB Engineers. I think they came out much better than the Stormtroopers. Primer as a base color. Who’da thunk?

My first Imperial Assault miniatures are here. Now I have only the Nexu, Trandoshan Hunters and the AT-ST to paint to complete the Imperial Faction. Then onto the Rebels, and finally I can play the damn game!

 

Painting Imperial Assault

I took a break from my Insanity Pile to start a new project: Fantasy Flight Games’s Imperial Assault. I knew once I bought this game that I would paint the miniatures, unlike the Space Hulk game I bought 3 years ago (I hate Blood Angels, and if I ever paint another Genestealer in my life, it will be too soon.)

Star-Wars-Assault

Imperial Assault comes with 33 miniatures, plus a bonus pack of Luke and Darth Vader for a total of 35 plastic 28mm Star Wars figures. The sculpts are pretty high quality, although there is no variation. For example, the 9 Stormtroopers that come in the box are all in the same pose. I haven’t played the game yet, but I’m told it’s a lot like Descent, only with Star Wars characters.

I’m not thrilled about that, to be honest. While both games have great-looking miniatures, I have played Descent a few times and haven’t exactly had fun. Usually my fellow dungeoneers and I would make it just far enough into the dungeon to feel like we were accomplishing something before the “overlord” would unleash a threat hand so ridiculous it would wipe us all out in one turn. Cheap deaths? Yes. Fun? No. Guess we’ll see how similar Imperial Assault is when we give it a whirl. But that won’t be until after I’m done painting the figures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Cue the Imperial March! I decided to start with the Emperor’s Royal Guard. Not really much to say about the paint scheme as they’re overwhelmingly red. After I sprayed them with matte sealant, I decide to use a gloss varnish on the helmets to make them stand out a bit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I did the same with these Imperial officers’ boots. The officers were more fun to paint.

I think I’ll do the Stormtroopers next in one big lot, although I’m not looking forward to painting that much white.