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The Clone Wars – The end is just the beginning

The Clone Wars – The end is just the beginning

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Project Blog by fourtytwo Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

In this project, I will finally collect, assemble and paint the division of the 501st Clone Legion commanded by Rex and Ahsoka which they led to Sundari in the final story arc of the Clone Wars show. I also plan on including many of the clones of the 501st we got to know throughout the show like Fives, Jesse, Echo, Heavy and all the rest of them, even if most were not alive any longer in the final story arc.

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Painting the first squad - almost there...

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 2
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The work on the first squad is progressing – the armour with the individual markings is now finished on all of them, Kix is only missing the medic markings on his left shoulder armour. After that I can continue with batch painting: Boots, belts, hands, weapons and bases.

Painting the first squad - almost there...

Lots of clones - all unique

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
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I’m approaching the Clone Wars project from a different angle than I originally thought. I just like the idea of focusing on the 501st clones that we’ve met in various stories throughout the series, who were all unique people. I’m going to include all the notable 501st clones in my force – the lynchpin being the Darkness on Umbara storyline, which featured a bunch of them. These troopers all had their armour marked with individual markings, all of which I want to reproduce accurately. This means the batch painting that was originally planned falls flat except for a few basic and a few finishing steps, but the troopers end up all the cooler for it, and that always motivates me the most. Many take the opportunity to develop their own clone trooper forces, but I would rather memorialise the characters from the series with my force.

Of the first squad of 6, the painting has already progressed far on three, so the armour elements with individual markings are basically finished, although equipment and many details still need to be done. From left to right – Sergeant Appo, Trooper Jesse, and Trooper Tup:

Lots of clones - all unique

Captain Rex, reporting for duty!

Tutoring 3
Skill 6
Idea 6
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Rex is now finished:

Captain Rex, reporting for duty!
Captain Rex, reporting for duty!
Captain Rex, reporting for duty!

Painting Rex

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
1 Comment

The first clone I wanted to paint and set the bar for the rest of the force is – of course – Captain Rex.

What I was a little apprehensive about at first was the clones’ armour – I still remember the painting sessions of my Imperial Jet Troopers for Imperial Assault and how time-consuming it was to paint and shade the white armour cleanly. Now that I’m painting Rex, however, I’ve become very confident about the long-term motivation for the clones, as the 501st clone troopers’ armour tells the stories of countless missions and battles and is dull, dirty and scratched up. This is fun to paint, and the coloured markings also add variety.

I have worked out a method for this that goes smoothly and achieves accurate results: As usual, the mini is primed with black and then misted with medium grey and white. In the next step, I give the whole mini a black wash – something I don’t usually do. I let the wash dry messy and then paint the gaps between the armour elements black. Then I do what was difficult with the Stormtroopers but is easy with the clones: I lighten the armour with different layers of transparent white. Since the armour is supposed to look dirty, one can proceed more loosely here than with the Stormies and hatch, dab and proceed more intuitively. This leaves different impressions of the unclean wash underneath, but the armour still looks white, and with opaque white you can add glossy accents on edges and on top of bulges that shimmer through the dirt and dust. It is important that in the end the edges are all cleanly defined and the raised areas are the brightest.

As for the blue markings, I first paint them cleanly with clear edges. In the second step, I use a very light grey on a very fine brush tip to make small scratches in the edges and extend them here and there into the blue areas. I also put a few tiny white dots over the scratches, and with very transparent white I add a few subtle gradients of brightness into the blue. I then dull the blue in some areas with diluted medium grey – it is also advisable to paint here and there with the transparent medium grey over the edges of the blue into the surrounding white, or over spots in the blue that were treated with the previous steps. In this way I get very authentic traces of wear – they consist of several steps, but they are quite quick to do.

Rex is almost finished, here are two pictures of the work in progress so far:

Painting Rex
Painting Rex

Enter the Clones

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 6
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I got my first two Phase 2 Clone Troopers Expansions and Rex and started prepping for painting right away. The first squad of clones will all be 6 named characters from the show by the time of the Darkness of Umbara story arc:

Enter the Clones
Enter the Clones

Ursa Wren joins the fight

Tutoring 5
Skill 8
Idea 8
2 Comments

Yes – she’s painted now and finished:

Ursa Wren joins the fight
Ursa Wren joins the fight
Ursa Wren joins the fight

Painting young Ursa Wren

Tutoring 10
Skill 10
Idea 10
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I’m currently in the process of painting Ursa Wren. Great thing is: We got a lot of good reference material for all characters in the Clone Wars, since showrunner Dave Filoni is a fan of cosplay and gladly had a lot of final concept renders and the like ‘leaked’ throughout the run of the show. There are also a lot of good screenshots.

One of the most difficult aspects of painting Mandalorians are the painted emblems and icons on their armour – especially on the helmets of leaders. In the case of Ursa Wren, it’s the iconic Night Owls-scheme on her helmet, which is later also used by her daughter Sabine Wren in REBELS.

When freehanding such elements, I always start by carefully painting them on in two layers of dilluted white:

Painting young Ursa Wren
Painting young Ursa Wren

This helps me to get strong colours without having to layer on a several coats. Thanks to the white base, I can now simply put on a filter using a very dilluted bright colour.You can see the result in the images below, which also showcase the progress with painting the mini so far. I plan on finishing painting Ursa Wren in the next two days.

Painting young Ursa Wren
Painting young Ursa Wren
Painting young Ursa Wren

Enter the Mandalorians

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Since I’m currently waiting for Rex and my Phase 2-Clones to arrive, I got thinking about potential lists and units to include and how I could best match my little force to what we saw in the final story arc of Clone Wars concerning the siege of Mandalore and the battle of Sundari.

And then it occured to me: I actually COULD include Mandalorians who fought in Bo-Katan’s retinue and alongside Ahsoka and the Clones – I could use the official Clan Wren minis and modify them to match the armour types and equipment in the Clone Wars show, and use them in the game using the rules for ARC Troopers equipped with Jet Packs. An amazingly fitting match there.

I could even field a Mando commander instead of Rex, using Rex’ rules equipped with a jetpack. So, I started to re-examine my Clan Wren minis, which were not, yet, painted, and I sat down to create a screen-accurate Ursa Wren – the first Mando to join Ahsoka in the assault on the outer docks, intiating the offensive there (and a cool character to boot – a close ally who journeyed with and fought alongside Bo-Katan).

I used plastic card to modify and add to the armour of a fitting female Mando, whose pose I also modified. In the images below you can see what I added/changed: All white elements are thin plastic card.

Enter the Mandalorians
Enter the Mandalorians
Enter the Mandalorians
Enter the Mandalorians
Enter the Mandalorians

Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...

Tutoring 12
Skill 13
Idea 13
6 Comments

Okay – I wanted to start this project since Fantasy Flight Games announced The Clone Wars for Star Wars Legion and since I watched the premiere of the final story arc of the Clone Wars show. I only had one condition: I would only start the project once Ahsoka is available for the game the way she appeared in the series finale. With her being the focus of the Clone Wars show alongside Rex, I figured they might release her soon, with her being the main character, a fan favorite and such, but for whatever reason, we still got not even an announcement of her being released.

I’ve been ranting and raving and pulling my hair regarding this issue for the sheer incomprehensiveness of it with each and every new release announcement with her not being part of it. But in the past two weeks, I concluded that it’s not worth it letting myself be dragged into negativity by this inanity, so I decided to approach the issue from a constructive and creative point of view and bring Ahsoka into the game myself.

After some researching on the net I found a very good 3D-print version of Ahsoka in her mandalorian-style outfit and grown-up version as we saw her in the series finale, in the same scale and style of the Star Wars Legion minis. I immediately ordered it and had it printed in the smoothest, most detailed material possible and was looking forward to the day she got delivered, when I could start painting her.

In the meantime, I had to design a fitting hero-card and three command cards for her, so that she was represented in game terms. I’m not a fan of using an existing hero card as a proxy for a character who is not yet released, especially with such a unique personality like her. So I began workshopping some concepts and ideas and with the help of a Star Wars Legion-enthusiast I know, slowly forging them into data and values usable in the game.

I’ve done similar things before, and I know the pitfalls of many such creations which often are both too strong and sorely uninspired. I always opt to bring something new and unique to the game and have it be balanced. As for Ahsoka, I wanted her to be a little bit more brittle than the Jedi which already are available in the Clone Wars Setting of the game. At the same time, she should want to seek out close combat and have more options there as opposed to when you play her defensively or even passively. Last of all, I wanted Ahsoka to be courageous and fast, without having these aspects unhinge the game.

Some of these ideas proved to be easy to translate into the game, others took a lot of back and fourth with my friend who helped me, but in the end, we arrived at something which we both felt would be fun and interesting to play, so I used my grafix-fu to create the required cards:

Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...
Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...
Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...
Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...

When the cards were finished, the mini arrived a day later – perfect timing. I immediately sat down to paint her, and after three days, she was finished. This is it – my Clone Wars-project is finally taking off, and Rex as well as some Phase 2 Clone Troopers are already on their way to me. For the time being and to officially publish this project here, I present you Ahsoka Tano from the final 4 episodes which concluded the Clone Wars show:

Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...
Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...
Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...
Ahsoka Tano is the key to this...

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