Tag Archives: Star Wars

“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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.