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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

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Project Blog by fourtytwo Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

In this project, I will document all my miniatures and models for Star Wars Imperial Assault and other Star Wars-related games. My main focus are the many iconic characters from the movies and shows, and I'm always aiming at getting my paint jobs as close the original source material as possible.

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Variant with ambient lighting

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 3
1 Comment

Here’s a variant of the hangar from my previous post with ambient lighting – the evening sun shining through the hangar opening. Please tell me which one you prefer – I like this one better because it brings some variety to the otherwise cold white interior light of imperial facilities.

Variant with ambient lighting

Imperial Architecture

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments

Now that I’ve finished my first custom skirmish map – a Sith Temple based on the one on Malachor including the surrounding battlegrounds – I’ve decided to re-visit a familiar and iconic environment in Star Wars: imperial architecture.

The tiles for this environment in the game look great, as do all of them, but being that guy who knows his Star Wars inside-out, I wanted to add something more accurate with regards to the design. So, I’ve created lots of different elements like specific wall and floo designs, equipment, putting in lighting effects and so on and I’m now in the process of compositing them together to form my own imperial tiles.

I took care to make these compatible with the official ones by using the same doorway graphics. Here’s the first example – a little hangar section with a TIE fighter. This will be part of my second custom skirmish map which is inspired by the Skystrike Flight Academy.

Imperial Architecture

Yoda and Sy Snootles are ready to join your team

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

Now that the minis for both are done, I’ve also created deployment cards for both so that they can be played in Imperial Assault. When it comes to creating new deployment cards, there are a few things to consider:

  • Does the deployment card bring something new and unique to the game?
  • Do the abilities and stats fit the character represented by the deployment card?
  • Does the deployment card have a healthy mix of strenghts and weaknesses/vulnerabilities?

As a general rule of thumb, I always try to give these utility and make them clearly defeatable at the same time – when it comes to custom cards and game stats, I often see people fall into the trap of making their favorite characters too powerful and not balance their strengths with some weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

The cards are created using a neat tool created by a community member over at the FFG-forum. You can find the download link here:

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/302926-imperial-assault-tools-list-builder-card-editor-more/

When it comes to Yoda, many people want to see him jumping around like a derwish on coke with his lightsabre. I don’t understand why, because that’d be the stupid Yoda. I wanted the humbled, wise Yoda from Empire Strikes Back and REBELS, who is a much more interesting character. To hammer that home, I made him a non-combatant whose utility comes from his ability to support and strengthen your other figures, and disrupting hostile figures:

Yoda and Sy Snootles are ready to join your team

As for Sy Snootles, I wanted to make her fun to play and giver her some back-stabbing ability. She benefits from not fighting, but can be moved into a perfect position to grab objectives before your opponent can, contest objectives or shoot hostile figures in the back at a crucial moment:

Yoda and Sy Snootles are ready to join your team

"Knowledge is Power!"

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

Here it is – my first custom-created skirmish map and skirmish mission for Imperial Assault. The file for the map is scaled to be printed at a resolution of 200dpi on neopren gaming mat material, which will result in a map 26″x26″ in size like the official skirmish mats for Imperial Assault. If you want to print the map yourself for your games, feel free to do so, as long as credit is given.

I’ve placed an online order for the file to be printed as a neopren gaming mat myself to see how the final product will look in the flesh. Here’s the map file, and below the map you will find the rules for the first custom skirmish mission for this map:

Skirmish Mission: Knowledge is Power

Skirmish Map: Sith Temple

Setup: Place a token representing the Sith Holocron at the center of the tile in the upper left corner of the map where the 4 spaces designated as difficult ground meet, as indicated on the setup for the Sith Temple map. Doors are locked. Remove all doors the first time a figure claims the Sith Holocron.

A figure can claim the Sith Holocron as an interact when it is in or adjacent to a space with the Sith Holocron and the Holocron is not currently claimed by another figure. Place the token on the figure’s base or on its deployment card if it is a deployment group with a single figure to indicate the Holocron is claimed. When a figure currently claiming the Holocron is defeated, place the token in the space last occupied by the defeated figure. If that space is impassable terrain, the player controlling the defeated figure places the token in an adjacent space which is not impassable terrain. At the end of a round, a figure claiming the Sith Holocron gains 2 VPs.

As an interact, a figure claiming the Sith Holocron can place it on the obelisk emitting lightning at the centre of the large tile where the 4 central spaces meet and immediately gain 4 VPs. If the figure is a Force User, he gains 8 VPs.

Only a Force-User can claim the Holocron from the obelisk. When the Sith Holocron is placed on the obelisk, a Force User controlling it can use a special action to choose a hostile figure on the map and roll 1 red die. If the Force User belongs to the Rebel faction, she must pay 2 VPs to do so. The chosen figure suffers damage equal to the rolled damage results.

Painting up my second Vader

Tutoring 4
Skill 6
Idea 4
No Comments

Here we go again… I got myself the new Vader for Legion – I like the new sculpt and the pose. I will use this one for Imperial Assault, so I planted him onto an Imperial Assault-base.

As for the painting process, I gave Vader a black undercoat and then a mid-grey zenithal misted over the mini for the purpose of pre-shading/-highlighting. After that, I gave the wholemini a very light drybrushing with white, and then a wash with dilluted black ink which was applied more like a glaze than a wash.

With that done, the real painting could begin – applying lots of thin, transparent layers of light greys and some pure white glints. Also, I’m putting in some serious OSL right from the get go. Here’s an image of the work in progress:

Painting up my second Vader

Exploring the Galaxy

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
1 Comment

My passion for Imperial Assault – which is my favorite miniature game for the game mechanics and gameplay alone – has sparked an interest in designing my own missions and on top of that: designing my own skirmish maps for it. The official skirmish maps are available printed on neopren as gaming mats and encompass a variety of environments: From the vast deserts of Tattooine to the deep forests of Endor, from the icy wastelands of Hoth to the grasslands of Lothal, imperial interiors, Mos Eisley alleys and cantina, Coruscant highrises and back alleys…

But there are so many more locations to be explored and put into the game. So I decided to create my own tiles from which to digitally construct new custom skirmish maps, and I also wanted to introduce new, unique environments. I wanted it to look striking, be interesting and different, and after some deliberation I decided to…

“Find Malachor!”

I got my hands on a few very detailed and well-lit renders of the pyramid and the battlegrounds surrounding it which we saw in the REBELS season 2 finale, complete with loads of details of both the geometry and the textures, which I use as a wellspring of reference imagery.

For Imperial Assault, the map elements have to be a condensed abit to make for worthwhile games, so I will have to boil things down to essentials size-wise. Still, the centrepiece-tile is by far the largest in the game, measuring 14×14 spaces and representing the inside of the top of the pyramid with its arena-like hall and the crimson-colored glass floor with the white Sith-patterns. Here’s a little taste of what I got so far – more tiles are in the works, and once the whole map is digitally assembled, I will print it on game-mat material and provide the file for anyone who is interested in printing it out him- or herself.

Exploring the Galaxy

More minis for Imperial Assault

Tutoring 5
Skill 14
Idea 7
3 Comments

I totally forgot to post a few minis I painted for IA in the past few months – so better late than never:

More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault
More minis for Imperial Assault

First attempts at cinematic photography and presentation of my painted models and minis

Tutoring 4
Skill 13
Idea 13
No Comments

I wanted to up my game at photographing and presenting painted minis and models and here are my first attempts. I have experience in creating digital visual elements, compositing, lighting effects, and I’ve studied cinematography in special effects movies since I was a kid. I hope this accounts for a little bit.

What’s most important: This is not work, but fun, so you can expect more like these from me in the future.

First attempts at cinematic photography and presentation of my painted models and minis
First attempts at cinematic photography and presentation of my painted models and minis

The LIBERATOR - converted and repainted CR90 Corellian Corvette for X-wing Miniatures

Tutoring 4
Skill 12
Idea 11
No Comments

Here’s the finished model – the LIBERATOR in all her glory:

The LIBERATOR - converted and repainted CR90 Corellian Corvette for X-wing Miniatures
The LIBERATOR - converted and repainted CR90 Corellian Corvette for X-wing Miniatures
The LIBERATOR - converted and repainted CR90 Corellian Corvette for X-wing Miniatures
The LIBERATOR - converted and repainted CR90 Corellian Corvette for X-wing Miniatures
The LIBERATOR - converted and repainted CR90 Corellian Corvette for X-wing Miniatures

Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)

Tutoring 7
Skill 12
Idea 12
No Comments

I got myself the CR90/Tantive IV Huge Ship Expansion for X-wing Miniatures. It’s a cool model and pretty accurate, but I wanted to make it more special and decided to convert it into another hero-ship of the Rebellion which we saw in actual combat action and which was modified to make it a dedicated warship – the LIBERATOR from Star Wars REBELS, which was also present in the battle over Scarif.

This entailed not only a repaint to give the model the paint scheme unique to the LIBERATOR, but also some conversion/scratch-building to create and add a heavier Quad-Turbolaser as well as two additional heavy canons mounted on the side docking rings.

After cleaning the model from gluemarks and mold lines, I took off the crookedly attached cylindrical engines and reattached them in order to align them neatly.

Then I undercoated the engine section and the rest of the ship seperately by masking each other. The engine section got a black undercoat and was then misted with a darker mid-grey. The rest of the ship I undercoated mid-grey and misted ist with an off-white.

Next I drybrushed the off-white part of the ship with pure white to pick out raised details, and did the same on the engine section with a ligher mid-grey. I also applied pin-washes to define recessed detail like the panel lines. These steps gave me a neatly shaded and highlighted base to work on without much effort.

Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)
Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)
Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)

The next step was to add some color in the form of the characteristic blue markings and some faded coloring like the dark yellow on the front corner of the upper starboard engine. I also added light-grey scuffs and scratches to the blue markings at this stage.

Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)

Now it was time to paint details like the laser cannons on the 4 large dorsal escape pods, and I also scratch-built the heavy Quad-Turbolaser which replaced the standard top dual Torbolaser on the LIBERATOR. I also painted subtle grime, rust spots and streaks as well as some geometrical brightness modulation on larger off-white surfaces to make them look more interesting.

Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)

At that stage I realized that both Turbolasers stood out too high above their circular mounts on the FFG model. So, I carefully cut them off, cleaned up the remains of the cut on their mounts, cut off a few millimeters at the base of the turrets and reattached them – they look movie accurate now, neatly nestled into their circular mounts:

Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)

What remained to do now – aside from finishing painting the model – was to scratch-build the additional Turbolasers mounted an the port and starboard docking ring:

Converting FFGs Tantive IV into the LIBERATOR (X-wing Miniatures)

My own minis I create 3: Yoda, humbled Jedi Master

Tutoring 9
Skill 15
Idea 13
No Comments

I wanted to do Yoda for a long time. He’s not my favorite character, but I like him, especially Yoda after the fall of his Jedi Order – in REBELS and Empire Strikes Back – who was humbled by his failure and learned from it to the point where he was willing to teach someone who would’ve never been even considered in the Jedi Order.

I wanted this to be present in the mini of him I set out to sculpt.

My own minis I create 3: Yoda, humbled Jedi Master
My own minis I create 3: Yoda, humbled Jedi Master

And here’s the painted mini:

My own minis I create 3: Yoda, humbled Jedi Master

Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles

Tutoring 12
Skill 14
Idea 14
No Comments

For a challenge revolving around the theme ‘music’, I decided to counter the knee-jerk submissions of unit musicians, noise marines and the like with something out of left field, but very, very close to the challenge’s theme:

Sy Snootles, the singer of the Max Reebo Band in Jabba’s palace, who we also see as a younger version as a back-stabbing diva in the excellent Clone Wars animated show.

I’m pretty sure there are options to simply 3D-print her and then paint her, but how boring is that? No, I wanted to create her the way even digital characters like in the show I mentioned are created to give them life and character: Sculpt them physically.

So, I saved a whole bunch of different reference images and had to decide on which version of her I wanted to go for, because there are three: The original puppet, the Special Edition cgi-character which is different in some details, and the character from the animated show. I decided to go for a combination of all three, and focus on aspects of the animated show, because in that show she had character and attitude. So, I grabbed GreenStuff, sculpting tools, wire, some plastic, and started sculpting away:

Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles
Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles
Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles
Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles
Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles
Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles

And here’s the painted mini:

Creating my own minis 2: Sy Snootles

Creating my own minis 1: IG88

Tutoring 9
Skill 11
Idea 11
No Comments

Since the ‘Bespin Gambit’ expansion, the minis of Imperial Assault have the design-style and quality which was also used for Legion later. Before that expansion, many IA-minis were not that good.

One of those is IG88, so I decided to build one myself. I saved loads of reference images, grabbed plastic card, plastic rods and other plastic elements of various profiles and sizes, a sharp fine hobby knife, pincers, a needle and plastic glue, and proceeded to cut, carve, bend, drill and mold over 90 tiny single plastic elements and assemble them to create my own IG88:

Creating my own minis 1: IG88
Creating my own minis 1: IG88
Creating my own minis 1: IG88
Creating my own minis 1: IG88
Creating my own minis 1: IG88
Creating my own minis 1: IG88

And here’s the painted mini:

Creating my own minis 1: IG88

Vader re-visited

Tutoring 5
Skill 11
Idea 10
1 Comment

I’ve revisited my modified Darth Vader for Imperial Assault. I’ve painted this figure months ago, but I’ve made a lot of progress with how I paint gloss effects, light reflections and OSL since then, so I went back and applied what I learned to Vader.

The challenges here were 1) on an almost entirely black figure to replicate the different materials and how they interact with light – from the very reflective black mask, helmet, shoulder and leg armour over the semi-reflective suit to the almost non-reflective cape – 2) creating plausible-looking reflections of the red-tinted lightsaber blade on the figure in accordance with the reflective properties of the materials in question, and 3) to balance the intensity of the OSL with the imagined white environmental light (like that in an imperial facility or on a starship), so that the OSL does not overpower the figure.

Vader re-visited

Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai

Tutoring 2
Skill 13
Idea 11
No Comments

The second bird has now joined my Bandai 1/72-scale Star Wars collection – Gold Leader. As with Red 2 before, I painted this to replicate the original filming model as accurately as possibele given the reference images which are available to the public.

Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai
Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai
Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai
Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai
Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai
Gold Leader Y-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3

Tutoring 4
Skill 14
Idea 13
No Comments

Here’s the finished model. I took my time modifying, assembling and painting it, but the result was worth the effort and I am very happy and pleased with it:

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 3

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2

Tutoring 2
Skill 7
Idea 7
3 Comments

With all my reference material assembled, I started by base-coating each sub-assembly with a light navy-grey, and then each a zenithal using an off-white to get initial subtle shadows and highlights. Next I focused on the cockpit interior, Wedge Antilles and the upper front of the fuselage:

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2

Next I painted the cockpit canopy, R2A3 and the droid strip on the fuselage behind the Astromech:

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2

After that, I started painting the s-foils and engines – by far the most demanding part of the model because of all the detail and large surfaces:

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 2

While the progress-images of the paint job are a bit over-exposed and thus the colours a bit exaggerated, you get a good impression of how the model will ultimately turn out. Once I was done with the S-foils and engines, work progressed much faster and the model was soon done. In part 3, you can enjoy lots of images of the finished model.

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 1

Tutoring 4
Skill 9
Idea 9
No Comments

In the past two weeks, I’ve started and completed a little model-building project. I’ve researched the original filming models used in the Original Trilogy for some years, and I’ve wanted to build, paint and own a replica of a few of them for quite a while. With the excellent and accurately detailed Star Wars model kits available from Bandai, I finally dove into it.

The kit represents Red 5 – Luke Skywalker’s X-wing – and since I wanted to build and paint Red 2 – Wedge Antilles’ X-wing – I not only needed to paint it differently, but also had to modify the lower half of the fuselage between the cockpit and the nose cone a bit. On Red 5 the lower half of the fuselage is a bit more narrow leading into the nose cone than it is on Red 2, so I had to widen it a bit. I did this by seperating the front half of the lower fuselage, cuttin it in half along ist central axis, and then spreading the font ends roughly 1.5mm apart. I then filled the resulting gap with a paste of molten plastic. This was left to set for a day and then sanded down to achieve the original flat smooth curve of the bottom f the fuselage. Then I re-scribed a few panel lines lost in the process.

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 1
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 1
Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 1

With that done, I seperated the model into sub-assemblies for easier paint:

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 1

Now it was time to start painting. I used a few good photographs of the original studio model in order to accurately replicate not only the correct markings, but even tiny and nuanced details including dirt stains, chipped and discoloured paint and combat marks. As for R2A3 – Wedge Antilles’ Astromech – I did not paint ist visible head silver with red markings as on the studio model, but rather red with white markings as on the prop used on the Cockpit set when they filmed all scenes with Wedge in his cockpit:

Red 2 X-wing model in 1/72 scale from Bandai - Part 1

The 3rd of six figures to paint in november...

Tutoring 3
Skill 12
Idea 6
No Comments

The third Imperial Assault-figure of the six I committed to paint each month for the next six months is a Clawdite Shapeshifter. First, some progress-images:

Here is the finished figure:

The 3rd of six figures to paint in november...

Painting 36 miniatures to display standard in six months...

Tutoring 4
Skill 12
Idea 8
No Comments

So, this november a new project season has started on tabletopwelt.de, and I’ve committed to painting 6 figures for Imperial Assault each month for the coming six months. I’ve also decided to solely focus on non-unique figures since I’ve focused mainly on painting unique and often iconic characters for the game, so the little fish now really deserve the spotlight.

Painting non-unique figures/deployments doesn’t mean they’re not iconic themselves – we’re talking about Star Wars after all. I’ve started with two Tusken Raiders and have documented my progress along the way. Here they are:

And here are the finished Tusken Raiders:

Painting 36 miniatures to display standard in six months...

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