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!

12 thoughts on “Imperial Assault, Twin Shadows: Troopers and Raiders

  1. Matt

    For all the problems you had, the minis look great! The bantha in particular is really good, excellent shading and highlighting and the sculpt has bags of detail, and I love the tusken raiders, they were always one of my fave Star Wars figures when I was a kid.

    The stormtroopers are great and look ready to miss whatever they’re shooting at 🙂 You’re right about Kayn Somos, he does have a bit of a Citadel static pose about him. Nevertheless he looks good. Can’t wait to see more of your Star Wars figures!

    Ah man, sorry to read of your priming woes. I had a crap experience with Rustoleum recently, which I’ll post about soon. Which Vallejo primers do you usually use? I’ve got white and black and usually brush them on despite them being designed for airbrushes. They’re very thin, and the black one never seems to bond to well whether it’s on plastic or metal, but the white is excellent. The best spray primer I’ve found is the neutral grey can from (wait for it…) Dollar General. Seriously, I’ve used it on metal and plastic and it’s always worked.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Matt. I’m working on a certain protocol droid at the moment, so there will be more Star Wars soon. I had both black and white Vallejo brush-on primers before the grey shit I just bought. I only use them when I’m priming something I know will cause a reaction with aerosol primers (like Bones or XPS foam). Usually I use the black and it’s wonderful. The white is ok. The grey is absolute shit, not least because it’s hardly grey at all. I used my Armory spray on previous Imperial Assault miniatures with no problems, so the Rust-oleum issue came as a bit of a surprise. An annoying, shitty surprise.

      1. Matt

        Is this protocol droid gold, by any chance? 🙂

        Try the spray primer from Dollar General. I’m not kidding. It’s around $4 or $5 a can and I’ve used it on metal minis as well as plastic ones by Games Workshop, Reaper Bones and all my Cthulhu: Death May Die figures. It’s never given me an issue. Rustoleum, on the other hand, has buggered me up twice by drying with a very rough, powdery coat, although it’s never damaged the plastic.

        1. The Angry Piper Post author

          I’ll check it out, Matt. There’s a DG nearby (as there is everywhere). And yes, the protocol droid is gold…kind of. Explanation forthcoming with the post!

  2. Dick Garrison

    Wow you have had a bit of a time with these haven’t you, it a pain in the arse when YOU mess up paint a fig, but when the primer or varnish buggers about and it no fault of your own that is a real p*sser! I had a similar “cloudy” problem a few years back with my preferred Humbrol Matt Varnish, and to say the air was “blue” would be an understatement!

    I have also had issues with Rust-oleum spray, as I bought a can of supposed Matt Varnish (when I couldn’t get hold of Humbrol), as I was assured by the bloke in the model shop that it was just as good, and cheaper, sadly it wasn’t bloody matt! but gloss/satin. I used it up on the brother in-laws cosplay bits in the end. I use “Hycote” or “Kobra” black spray at the moment (from Amazon), both seem OK a bit shiny but as I’m painting over this and matt varnishing, it works for me.

    Anyway after all that the figures look fantastic, I think it’s the gaps between the stormtroopers armour in black that puts me off doing these myself, but your look excellent! and that Bantha is a total joy to behold!.

    Top stuff mate.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks so much, Roger. Again, Sorastro’s tutorials are spectacular. Could I paint these without them? Sure…but it really helps to know what paint to use right away rather than spending a lot of time deciding!

  3. Dave Stone

    Excellent work on your Star Wars mini’s Keith the colour schemes look great, and great attention to detail on all.
    Sorry to hear about your problems with the spray can, it can happen with all sprays I’m afraid, if you get a bad batch, if the mix is wrong in the can it can cause all sorts of problems.
    When undercoating I always use black, as I find I get richer colours working from black, if you need a grey primer, try Plastikote I use this when trying to fill in lines on 3D prints.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      I’ve never heard of Plastikote, Dave. Not sure if we have it here in the States. Thanks as always for the kind words…the color schemes were all Sorastro’s and I’d say he nailed them pretty well. Black is also my go-to color for priming. I discovered it in the nineties only after painting an entire Orc and Goblin Army and Tyranid army…both primed white. D’oh!!!

  4. Thomas

    Lovely set of miniatures. I’ve the Star Wars rpg a pair of times and it left me feeling quite stupid, but these are minis, and therefor safe. Look great!

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Tom! I played the old Star Wars West End Games rpg many many times when it was released. It was a lot of fun. I even revived it a few years back for a one-shot scenario. Again, fun. My friend runs Fantasy Flight’s game (Edge of the Empire), and although I own the book, I’ve never even cracked it open, never mind played it.

  5. Dick Garrison

    I did comment on this a few days back but it seems to have disappeared weird.

    Lovely miniatures and great painting (even with your problems, the Bantha is quite beautiful if I’m honest! I too have had Rustoleum problems in the past and wont touch them with a barge pole now!

    I use Hycote primer (black or white) from amazon, and apart from being a little satin in finish works pretty well for me, (I matt varnish everything so not really a problem.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Yes, you did. I must have sent you to the trash AFTER I had already replied. A consequence of me accessing WordPress on my phone, no doubt. (Could be I just wanted you to reply twice, Roger.)

      Anyway, I have now restored the original; but thanks again for the double-praise!

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