Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Imperial Terrain - Desert Tower and Mechanic's House

Another two 3D-printed houses left the workbench: Imperial Terrain's Desert Tower and Mechanic's House.

Both buildings belong to my absolute favourites in the IT range (although Dave is constantly pumping out new favourites...). While the Mechanic's House was painted right after printing, completion of the Desert Tower took a bit longer: It was part of the first shipment of Imperial Terrain buildings I received almost a year ago.

Main reason for the painting delay was having to fix the deformed pipe detailthat runs along the tower. This copy of the tower had been one of Dave's early test prints so this obviously isn't an issue if you order from IT these days. I hesitated over it for quite some time but it eventually turned out to be an easy fix. I removed the misshaped part, remodelled it by hand and sanded the whole thing down until it looked right.

Both buidings are quite an important addition to my table as their copper roofs will provide some nice contrast to the brick coloured gaming mat. As a result I went quite heavy on the Nihilakh Oxide I used for the verdigris effect.

The table is finally starting to look alright:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Imperial Terrain - R47 Heavy Lift Truck

I recently bought Imperial Terrain's Mechanic Bay and House Bundle mainly because I wanted the repulsorlift truck that comes with it for my Rebels. It may not look like much but I love the boxy design which reminds me of some of Ralph McQuarrie's original vehicle concepts. The other day a fellow hobbyist pulled of this wonderful print of it (Thanks again!) and finally got me started.

Although I actually should try to find a way to play it, the truck will be used as terrain most of the time. Therefore, I kept the paintjob quite simple but took the time to add some LEDs to the front of the truck. 
I primed the miniature with Citadel's Corax White and added some slight airbrush highlights with pure white. Then I coloured some of the panels (Citadel's Fenrisian Grey)  to give it some variety, shaded everything using Vallejo's Pale Grey Shade and sponged on some chippings using white on the coloured panels and Vallejo German Grey on the rest of the vehicle. Larger chipped areas were filled in with Citadel's Ironbreaker.
Citadel's Agrax Earthshade was used to create some grimy/oily/leaky areas and the weathering was completed by brushing on some red and brown pigments.

My Rebels consider this truck theirs and made me paint their unit insignia on the side of it...

Now I really need to find some rules for a convoy scenario...

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Abregado Fusiliers: Fleet Troopers

Alliance High Command has sent a Sphyrna-class corvette and a pair of DP20 frigates into the Abregado System to support the local Rebel cell. 
Times are desperate and the veteran crews find themselves in the thick of the fight more often than they would like it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"To me, she's royalty."

Everybody loves Princess Leia but not everybody loves FFG's Leia miniature for Star Wars Legion. he sculpt seems a bit odd from certain angles. The hairpiece doesn't quite work from the front, the right hand is huge while the lefthand is tiny, the blaster is ridiculously large... You name it... 

I was not massively impressed by the sculpt either when I got my hands on it and decided to keep my eyes peeled for alternative models. Although I'm still searching for a nice "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" version of Leia and Luke, this Marvel style Leia by Skull Forge Studios is the best I've seen so far.

Although my first impression was that she was on the rather short side, I soon realized that the FFG Leia wasn't the tallest herself. Furthermore, most of the detailing on the Skull Forge Leia is rather delicate while the FFG Leia's details seem to be quite crude. I became curious how this would look on the finished miniatures and decided to just paint both.You be the judge... Which version do you like better?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Abregado Fusiliers: 2nd Squad

Just before the temperature in my flat made Mustafar look like a chilly place, I fled the city... Not before I managed to finish the second squad of my Abregado Fusiliers, tho:

Blue Squad of Abregado Fusiliers' Besh Company
All the squad's members were converted from regular Rebel troopers as described earlier. An easy head- or armswap is already enough to make your forces look more interesting. Nevertheless I went a bit further and sculpted new heads and limbs for the Mon Cal captain and the Ithorian Z-6 trooper.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Terrain Speed Build: Explosions and Smoke

On the one hand terrain is key to an interesting game of Legion, on the other hand good terrain takes time to make. So what happens if you want to play but haven't finished your 1:1 replica of Coruscant yet? You have to improvise...

Explosion and smoke markers are terrain building at its simplest. Materials are cheap, building takes no time at all and storage is easy.

All you need is:
1. Polyester Fiber Fill/ pillow stuffing
2. LED tealight candles
3. cheap black spray paint
4. glue (I use spray adhesive but a hot glue gun or even superglue would work too.)

Just rip off some of the pillow stuffing and pluck it into a shape you like. Then cover the tealight in adhesive and attach it to the stuffing. Finally spray the stuffing with your black paint. (I went darker at the bottom and only sprayed the top of the smoke clouds lightly.)

This is it, you're done... Simplest terrain project ever... Shouldn't have taken you longer than 10 minutes...

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Skull Forge Studios: Downed Pilot and Starkiller

I already praised the awesomeness of Skull Forge's Downed Pilot but there's another mini I just finished, the Avenging Acolyte.

Again, I'm really surprised how few cleaning up is required to get these prints prepped for painting. I had some problems painting the pilot because I just gave him a quick rinse which obviously wasn't enough and made the painting process quite tedious. This time I thoroughly scrubbed the leftover residue off the miniature and had much nicer results.
I concealed some printer lines in prominent spaces like the face or the chest, using Vallejo Gloss Varnish but I actually think that applying the paint in slightly thicker layers might already do the job.

Although realistly scaled, the Acolyte's lightsaber is quite flimsy. Since I wanted to replace it anyways, I took the opportunity to apply some of Thorin's LED magic to this guy as well...^^

Monday, July 16, 2018

Abregado Fusiliers: Fleet Trooper Conversion

If there's a classic Star Wars species that's underrepresented in Star Wars Legion, it's the Twi'lek. Naturally I can't have a Rebel force without some of those guys...

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Legion: Downed Pilot Objective

After my postive experiences with Imperial Terrain, I took another shallow dive into the Legion back market. 3D printing has already been popular with FFG's X-Wing and it seems that Legion will have a massive Shapeways 3D printing community as well. While everyone knows Mel Miniatures, I hadn't heard of Skull Forge Studios before and ordered a couple of their miniatures for testing. First one fnished is this downed Rebel Pilot which will be used as an objective marker:

While amazingly detailed, I think the material is quite challenging. Although the model itself barely needs any cleanup at all, the material is super brittle and makes any conversions (new antenna made from a guitar string) rather difficult. Furthermore I had quite a problem making my paint stick to the model. Neither spray paint nor regular paint seemed to stick very well. I was having massive chipping problems while painting and I'm worried that paint might just rub off even after spraycoating the whole miniature...
Any advice from experienced 3D printers would be highly appreciated...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jedi Wear Their Sunglasses at Night

I finally came around to try out Thorin's LED saber mod tutorial... What can I say? It works... and it's an absolute blast to see the lightsaber of your tiny Luke light up. I can't thank him enough for sharing this brilliant idea.

I'm going to burn through quite a few batteries the next days...

Again: I can fully recommend Thorin's tutorial. It's easy to follow and has brilliant results.

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.