Thursday, April 5, 2018

Abregado Fusiliers: Conversions

I did some modelling yesterday and some fine young recruits have arrived to bolster the ranks of the Abregado Fusiliers (my Legion Rebels).

All of the miniatures in my second squad are conversions since I want to avoid too many duplicates in my army. For most of the miniatures I simply swapped arms or heads which already added a lot of individuality. You might have to cut away some of the material to make the parts fit and you obviously need to fill in some gaps later on. I'm quite happy that simple conversion techniques work so well. Legion miniatures coming in fixed poses instead of multi part kits was a point of concern for many but even a couple of simple headswaps can take you a long way...

The heavy weapons specialists carry a sidearm on their backpacks. It's a good idea to use some Instant Mold to make a mold of the Ion trooper's E-11 and a add a copy of it to your converted heavy weapons specialists. Since I'm on vacation and just brought minimal tools with me, I just used vegetable oil as a release agent and pressed some Green Stuff on the oiled model.

The Z-6 trooper and the squad leader got some more attention because I really wanted my Rebels to have more aliens in their ranks. (You may have noted that the Duros is missing from the troopers. I swapped his head with one of my AT-RT pilots so don't worry. He's still part of this rebellion...) The squad leader was converted into a Mon Calamari by sculpting a custom head and reworking the forearms and hands. I went for a slightly younger looking Mon Cal here mostly to avoid having to sculpt all those wrinkled areas prominent on Ackbar or Raddus.

The Z-6 trooper needed even more attention... The Z-6 is a ridiculously oversized weapon and I wanted an alien that didn't only compensate for that in size but also fluff-wise... I guess a peaceful Ithorian was the obvious choice:

"Podrik 'Pod' Cobb was an accountant on Abregado-Rae until he got beaten up by a bunch of drunk Imperial officers in front of a Twi'lek nightclub in Le Yer. He joined the local Rebel cell's medical corps the very next day but soon found out that the distinctive sound of 166 RPS stopped the recurrent dreams of him being tortured by men in Imperial uniforms. His squad mates don't quite trust him..."

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter!

Straight from the Workbench: First Legion Squad

Happy Easter everyone! I put the holidays to good use and finished my first Rebel squad:

Finding a colour scheme is a task of its own as you have to choose between the great looking uniforms seen in canonical appearances and the gnawing urge to create a personal colour scheme. As you can see, I went for a compromise and adapted elements from the Endor strike team and Captain Rex's outfit from season 4 of Rebels ending up with Citadel's Zandri Dust and Vallejo's German Fieldgrey and Luftwaffe Uniform as my main colours. These colours will be find throughout most of my troopers and vehicles. Since I didn't want my Rebel scum to appear to organised I threw in some variant colours too (mainly Vallejo English Uniform and Citadel Tuskgor Fur for the Duros).

Although Camo is totally canon, I usually have a hard time identifing it with Star Wars. Nevertheless I integrated it into my scheme and I actually quite like it. There are already some very interesting schemes out there that strongly rely on camouflage and look totally awesome. Guess it just depends on the pattern and the dosage...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Imperial Terrain: Small Desert Home

Legion is finally out and I have to get my terrain ready for some proper games!

My table still needs a couple of larger terrain pieces and since time is scarce I decided to fill the board with some 3D printed buildings by Imperial Terrain. I had these at the edge of my table for some time now but never fully decided on how to finish them up. Thorin over at arts-n-more wrote a brilliant tutorial on his Batuu tower that does the fine detail of these prints justice. Although I originally intended to follow a similar approach, I settled with a simpler texturing method now, which will help the 3D printed buildings to blend in with my homemade stuff.

As described in my previous tutorial, I coated all plastered areas with a mixture of sand coloured acrylic paint, PVA and sand and drybrushed the whole thing by adding some white to my basecolour.

Halfway in, I decided to replace the original doors though... The prints are nice and I quite like the design but since I wanted the building to fit the aesthetics of my homemade structures I felt that some simple cardboard doors would be the smarter choice for me. I just needed to fill the gap in the doorframe with some pink foam and do some touch ups to the plaster. Although I was a bit worried when I just eyeballed the doors, I'm actually quite happy with how they turned out as I think they add a nice handmade touch to the printed structure.

Although the plastered areas are ready to go after the drybrush, I like to give them a couple of washes with some drops of my basecolour and some yellow, green and red pigments. This is not only a great way to give you building some character by simulating layers of dirt that would build up on an actual building over time, it furthermore is very forgiving. If you don't like our results you can just soak up your wash with a wet brush and try again.

Final step was some detailing. The doors were basecoated in Reaper Rust Brown which was highlighted by gradually adding white to the basecolour and applying it in thin coats. Metallic elements like vents and boxes were painted in Vallejo German Grey and dabbed with a mix of PVA and red pigments in an irregular pattern. The chimney got a copper finish using GW Hashut Copper and Nihilakh Oxide. All these elements got a final wash with slightly thinned down Vallejo Sepia Shade and dark brown was dabbed on the lower edges of the building to help it look natural on my gaming mat.

And that's it... This is a fun building to paint and I love how easily it painted up and how well it blended in with the rest of my terrain pieces. I fell in love with the Imperial Terrain Moisture Vaporators right away but the houses are in no way inferior and can be easily customized to fit your gaming table. Having in mind that this is a very quick and dirty method of texturing I'm very pleased with the result and can fully recommend getting these.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Road to Legion: Playing the waiting game...

Star Wars: Legion is only days away and the anticipation is killing me...

Bought and painted this IA Hera to distract myself. This is the result of my first attempt at FFG restic/PVC. The material obviously has its pros and cons but I quite like the way it turned out and I'm looking forward to paint a lot more of this stuff in the near future...

Shoutout to everyone waiting for Legion: Hang in there!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Imperial Terrain: First Impressions

Thanks to Dave from Imperial Terrain, I got my hands on some of their Legion inspired terrain pieces. The moisture vaporators, the tower and the small house are part of the Imperial Terrain desert range. I love the design choices. While still being fairly generic, you can easily spot the Tatooine influences on these pieces, making them great accessories for your Star Wars tables. 
Never having been involved with 3D printing myself, these are the first prints I have seen in a very long time. Nevertheless I am very impressed, even more if you have in mind these are mostly prototypes which are not necessarily up to the production standards of the final pieces.

Scalewise, Imperial Terrain is clearly addressed at the slightly larger Legion scale. It still looks great next to WotC or Imperial Assault miniatures. Unfortunately I didn't have my tiny WEG/Grenadier Vader at hand when taking the photos, but I guess his towering 25mm would most definetly look out of scale next to any of these buildings.

My personal problem with anything 3D printed are of course the printer lines. Although the Imperial Terrain sculpts are very detailed and clean, printer lines probably can't be avoided with current printers. Luckily, the material can easily be sanded down, which I most definetly will try to do on all the "machined" surfaces. I decided to test this on the moisture vaporators first. Both were sanded down and then coated in a mix of PVA glue, filler and water before being sanded down again. After that the surface was smooth enough for my tastes to go on.

Painting the vaporators was as easy as it can get. White basecoat from a can, followed by a light grey wash (just some watered down grey acrylic paint) and some weathering with red, green and ochre pigments and some Vallejo Black Shade.
I like them a lot and I'm actually thinking about getting more of them. Since they are such a common sight in the Star Wars universe they will look great on any gaming table...