Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Star Wars Legion: Speeder Bikes and Pathfinders


Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during the pandemic. One benefit of being on lockdown is that I've actually managed to get a little painting in. 

First up are a couple of Imperial Speer Bikes. 

Star Wars Legion Imperial Scout Troopers on Speeder Bikes

Even with the instruction sheet, it took a little bit of work to figure out how to assemble the undercarriage bits, but overall they weren't bad builds.  I would definitely recommend painting the bikes and troopers separately before completing the assemblies.  The part that was the most trouble for me was trying to get the footrests properly positioned before I glued the figures down. I had a slight gap in the end, but luckily the soft plastic allowed me to flex the footrests and get them up against the feet and glued in place.  If I had to do it again, I'd glue the figures first and add the footrests at the end.

Star Wars Legion Imperial Scout Troopers on Speeder Bikes

I wrapped the clear poles in masking tape during the painting and gluing, so was able to keep them from being damaged or turning cloudy during the build.  I also did my best to hide the poles in the middle of some grass tufts to make them less visible. For the uniforms, I opted to use  a colder, light grey undertone for the armor elements, and a warmer, cream undertone for the cloth parts. I'm not sure if it ended up being noticeable after I added grime using Secret Weapon concrete wash, but I think it's worth trying to differentiate material differences.

Star Wars Legion Imperial Scout Troopers on Speeder Bikes

From a height perspective, the bikes hover around infantry trooper head level, so a little high than what was seen in the movies. But I don't think it looks bad.

Star Wars Legion Imperial Scout Troopers on Speeder Bikes

Next up are the Rebel Pathfinders from the Rogue One movie. These were a lot of fun to paint and luckily there are a lot of reference photos available on the internet.  Other than Pao and Bistan, I didn't try to do an exact match to specific troopers. However, I think the colorschemes are within the ballpark for the variety of uniforms and equipment seen. 

Star Wars Legion Rebel Pathfinders

Star Wars Legion Rebel Pathfinders

Star Wars Legion Rebel Pathfinders Pao

Star Wars Legion Rebel Pathfinders Bistan


Thanks for looking!


Monday, March 9, 2020

More Star Wars Buildings

I'm back with two more buildings from TT Combat's Sandstorm line: Hovel A and the Cantina.

Hovel A is rather small and I was disappointed to discover that no greebles come with the kit (including the vent over the door), so I was forced to use bits from the other buildings I bought. Assembly was fairly straightforward like the previous build, though I did use some masking tape over the corners to help cover the gaps before adding the texture gel. It's also worth noting that the door size varies for each kit, so if you want to add additional card spines to the door, you'll need a custom template for each building.

TTCombat Sandstorm Hovel A Star Wars

The big building of the set is the cantina, being about three times the size of the Hovel A building. The building is not designed to have a lift off roof (at least from what I can tell from the instructions), but I was able to get the walls sturdy enough to allow me to make it removable.  I have yet to build an interior,  but may do so in the future. 

TTCombat Sandstorm Cantina Star Wars

The building has two entryways and large sections of flat roof that would allow you to add figures on it. There are also a ton a greebles available, and I saved quite a few for addition to other buildings.

TTCombat Sandstorm Cantina Star Wars

The instructions that came with the kit seem outdated, as they have items listed on the instructions that were not present, and others that were in the kit and not on the instruction sheet. But after some initial confusion, I was able to figure out the assembly without too much hassle.

TTCombat Sandstorm Cantina Star Wars

Being the cantina for the settlement, I thought the entryways should have a bit more pop that the usual brown, and opted to introduce a bit of orange (though my youngest son isn't a particular fan of the choice).

TTCombat Sandstorm Star Wars

Overall I'm happy with the final settlement, small though it is, and think it will provide a decent amount of cover and character for the table.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Wookies, Shoretroopers, and a Building, Oh My!

Back with some more Star Wars Legion items. First up are a squad of Wookie warriors. 


Star Wars Legion Wookie Miniatures

Sadly, the box only contains four figures, but they are a fair amount larger that the standard Legion figures. I've opted to go with various shades of brown on the fur to give them more variety. These colors are based on images of the Wookies seen in the prequel movies.

Star Wars Legion Wookie Miniatures Size

Next up is a Shoretrooper squad, as seen in Rogue One. These took a bit more effort to paint compared to the regular Stormtroopers, but I (and more importantly, my son) are happy with the final results. 

Star Wars Legion Shoretrooper Miniatures

As with the Stormtroopers, I've done my best to give them a dirty, battle-hardened look.

Star Wars Legion Shoretrooper Miniatures

Star Wars Legion Shoretrooper Miniatures

Lastly, I assembled my first Star Wars themed building.  This is a Tatooine style house from TTCombat's Sandstorm line. It's not as detailed, and doesn't have the lift-off roofs that you can get with Knight's of Dice Sandport Hydra line, but the price and shipping to the US are much more reasonable.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

Directions are not included, but can be downloaded off the TTcombat site. Other reviewers have recommend fully assembling the domes before gluing the roof down, and I would have to agree. I slid in the support beams without glue and then fit the card dome in place before tacking everything down on the inside with superglue. I also recommend scoring the card fold lines with a blade before folding to ensure proper bending.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

The windows don't come with any covering, so I used some old overhead project film with some grid lines printed on it. I also made some card frames for the windows to make them more pronounces once I had textured the building. 

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

The door and greebles that come with the kit have patterns burned into them, but are still flat.  I thought this looked rather dull, so I scanned them into the computer and glued the printout onto some card so I could build up layers.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling Greebles


TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling Greebles

Here's the building with all the greebles and card attached. I have  replaced some of the MDF pipes with plastic strips. The hard edges of the building have also been sanded down. 

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

To texture the building, I used Liquitex ceramic stucco gel. The finished application was a bit rougher than I wanted, so I sanded it down prior to painting.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

I wanted the building to look good on a variety of mats, so was looking for the best universal color to use.  In reviewing pictures from the various Tatooine locations, I noticed many buildings were darker on the bottom than the top, and that gave me the idea to have a color shift from a reddish base to a yellowish top. Overall, I think it looks pretty good on different backgrounds.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

If you'd like to reproduce the same effect, I used FolkArt craft paint colors Raw Sienna, Honeycomb, Camel, and White. Additionally, I used some Secret Weapon Dark Sepia wash to add some grime around the base and greebles.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

My only disappointment with my work is that some of the seam lines of the dome are still visible after texturing and painting. For the next building, I think I'll try a second coat of stucco gel on the dome to see if it helps. 

The building is actually a decent size, and the doors are tall enough to look good with the over-sized Legion figures.

TTCombat Sandstorm Dwelling

My youngest wants to try our first game this weekend, so hopefully everything will live up to his expectations.  Fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Star Wars Legion

With the release of the new Star Wars movie, my sons' enthusiasm for the series has returned.  I have been trying to get them back into wargaming (they lost interest in superhero battles, and historicals hasn't been a draw), so I thought Star Wars Legion might be the bait to do it. As such, I decided to take the plunge and ordered the core box along with a few add on units that interested the kids. There is still a lot of painting to do, but I've rushed out two core units and the commanders so we can try out a first game.
  

First up is a squad of stormtroopers. We decided our preference was for planetary battles rather than ship to ship actions, so we've gone with a battle ragged look rather than pristine white armor.  


For the rebel troops, we used the Rogue One color schemes as inspiration, as we felt it fit a variety of terrain types.  When it comes time to paint the second unit, we'll likely use more greens to make them stand out from each other.


The most challenging elements for me to paint were the lightsabers for Darth Vader and Luke. I want it to feel like they are glowing, but on my first attempt the blades looked too light and washed out. As such, I decided to repaint them darker and instead try to add appropriate highlights to each figure to give the impression of reflected light.  I've never tried this technique before and I'm not sure I effectively pulled it off, but at this stage I'm just going to go with it.


We wanted the bases to look good with a variety of game mats, so decided to use a neutral brown rock from Woodland Scenics and some Gamers Grass yellow-green toned tufts picked up at the local shop. This was my first time using Gamers Grass (previously I've used Army Painter and War World) and I have to say I wasn't as impressed with the quality when compared to the other companies' products. There seemed to be a lot of loose grass on each tuft and some of the grass strands were glued in at odd angles and didn't give the impression of growing out of the ground (all three varieties). As such, I've had to spend a lot of time trying to pull and cut those stray strands out of the tufts to make them look better. I'll continue to use them on the rest of the figures for constancy, but doubt I'll purchase them again.

All said and done, I'm happy overall with how everything came together. We hope to have our first test game with the simple rules soon, so fingers crossed I've done my job as a wargaming dad and will lure them back to the dark side.




Sunday, December 8, 2019

Dragonfrog Asian Shop Type 5/6 Combo

I'm back again with another 28mm MDF Asian shop from Dragonfrog Games for my Chinese warlord and WW2 wargaming. This particular building is a type 5 kit, with the shopfront and balustrade swapped out from the type 6 kit. As with the other build, a lot of upgrading has been done with paper textures and plastic elements. Of particular use on this kit was the Plastruct 90886 0.187" styrene half rounds, whose width is almost an exact match for the building's column width.

28mm Chinese Building: Dragonfrog Games MDF Asian Shop 5/6 comb

On the previous kit, the seams between the floors was fairly well camouflaged by the darker brick pattern.  Unfortunately, that was not the case with the cream-colored bricks, so additional plastic trim had to be added to hide them. 

28mm Chinese Building: Dragonfrog Games MDF Asian Shop 5/6 comb

As mentioned previously, the upper floors are shorter in height than the ground floor, with the attic level being too short to accommodate standing figures. This is a shame from a playability standpoint, but visually it still looks fine on the table.


A couple of shots of the finished building.  The gaudy design was inspired by this Chinese medicine shop.

28mm Chinese Building: Dragonfrog Games MDF Asian Shop 5/6 comb

Looking at the finished project, I wish I had done a better job to hide the MDF joints on the sides of the bottom columns, but hopefully they will get lost when part of a larger table setup.

28mm Chinese Building: Dragonfrog Games MDF Asian Shop 5/6 comb

And here it is next to the first shop I built. The reduced height of the upper floor isn't so glaring, and as I look at it, a full-size floor might actually look proportionally off given the narrow width of the building. It also demonstrates how very similar kits can look vastly different by changing the trim elements and color schemes. 

28mm Chinese Building: Dragonfrog Games MDF Asian Shop 5/6 comb

Lastly, I generated some new paper elements for this build that you can find below for your personal use.