Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jawa Scavenger, Hera, Chopper, 0-0-0 and BT-1... the new Imperial Assault miniatures




Here are my painted versions of the new miniatures for Star Wars Imperial Assault: the Jawa Scanvenger (from A New Hope); Hera Syndulla with C1-10P "Chopper" (from the Rebels TV show); and 0-0-0 and BT-1 (from the Darth Vader graphic novel). With these figure packs, (and the upcoming expansion) we can see that Imperial Assault is shifting its focus from the original trilogy of movies in order to portray characters from the larger Star Wars universe of prequels, comics, and TV shows. Good move or mistake? 

What do you think?




Above we have 0-0-0 (aka Triple-Zero), the protocol droid that first appeared in the superb Darth Vader comics written by Kieron Gillen. I may sometimes moan about Imperial Assault's shift away from the original trilogy, but boy am I glad they released this miniature because 0-0-0 is a splendid character. Like C-3PO, the role of 0-0-0 is to provide comic relief -- but unlike his golden-coloured twin, he does it by mixing extreme politeness with sadism.



Painting 0-0-0 was a challenge because of his simplicity. Recently, Orlygg wrote about the problem with platemail, viz. it's boring to paint and to look at. This is also the problem with monochromatic protocol droids. Orlygg ended his post with a plea for innovative techniques, and so I decided to experiment with this miniature. I started with an undercoat of black and dry-brushed with Gunmetal, and then a lighter dry-brushing with Vallejo's Metallic Medium. So far, pretty normal. But then I applied a light glaze of black oil paint diluted with white spirit. For reasons that are not clear to me, this created an interesting stippled texture on the miniature which I find quite pleasing. You can see it best with a close-up of 0-0-0's tight buttocks:



I finished off his metal casing by applying some highlights of Metallic Medium. I also tried to add some interest to 0-0-0 by painting on a subtle red glow to his eyes, and a blue glow to his electrically charged palms.




Next up is BT-1, an assassin droid that can hide its weaponry in its shell in order to pass as a harmless astromech.




If anything, BT-1 is even more crazy and homicidal than 0-0-0. As with the Death Star itself, both were developed within the Tarkin Initiative as secret weapons for the Empire. However, BT-1's anti-social programming was so powerful that he killed everyone in the orbital lab where he was constructed, blew up the lab itself and jettisoned himself into space. The only surviving being who speaks BT-1's unique Tarkin dialect of the binary language is 0-0-0, so the two must travel together. 




The fact that the skirmish map included in the BT-1/0-0-0 Figure Pack is named "Tarkin Initiative Labs" is a nice homage to this backstory. 




Above we see the Jawa Scavenger. I have mixed feelings about this miniature. On the one hand, it's nice to see such a classic figure. On the other, the scale of the Jawa is out of wack with other miniatures in the range -- it's not just that he's too tall for such a supposedly small alien, but he's much too fat. He looks more like a hooded dwarf than a lean desert scavenger. But I suppose problems in scale are an inevitable problem when you employ a diverse stable of miniature sculptors (there are 4 different sculptors for these 5 figures).

On the Rebel side of things, first we have the droid C1-10P, also known as "Chopper". He's a highly kinetic droid, and I think this detailed sculpt by Niklas Norman captures his personality. It certainly shows him to be beat-up and patched-up.




In the same figure pack as Chopper comes Hera Syndulla, the Twi'lek pilot and the final miniature in this series.


Hera is captain of the Ghost in the Rebels animated series -- and if you listen carefully, you can hear her being paged at the Rebel Base in Rogue One, at which point she has apparently become a general. 

Hera is another manifestation of the challenges that Imperial Assault faces in rendering a diversity of Star Wars characters in miniature. As a cartoon character, Hera's facial features (and even body proportions) are a steep departure from real life models like Carrie Fisher or Mark Hamill. You can see Hera's original face from the animated series (on the left) contrasted with a more realistic illustration of what she might look like as portrayed by an actor (on the right).



The miniature sculptor, Gabriel Comin, has opted for a less realistic style that it more true to Hera's animated self. That's fine and well, but I don't think her big cheeks, triangular head and rounded body fit well with the rest of the Imperial Assault range. What about you?

In any case, I love Hera as a character, and was happy to get a chance to paint her, no matter what her proportions. However, her head tentacles (aka "lekku") were a particular challenge because of their distinctive markings, and I took a lot of time trying to get the pattern right...





Is it so wrong if I find her lekku attractive?



34 comments:

  1. Once again nice work Matthew! What did you shade the orange on Hera with?

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    1. I get sad when I think of that shade. The base colour is my last pot of Citadel Foundation Macharius Solar Orange. I love those old Foundation paints. I haven't found a real substitute.
      And to more precisely answer your question, I added a little Vermin Brown for the shade, and a little Bronze Fleshtone for the highlights.

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  2. What can I say? On of the most epic star wars miniature post ever!
    I'm in heavem... in Galaxy, far far away!

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  3. Wow! Superb job on these...especially Hera. Cracking stuff!

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    1. Thanks GR. Hera certainly took me the longest!

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  4. Let's just admit it... we all have a lekku fetish. Every day, we stray further from god's light.

    This is a fun quintet of figures, I really like the contrast between the colourful Rebels characters and the black Imperial droids. The Jawa is... a Jawa, but how can you not like the little rascals?

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    1. Yes I admit it. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, ALLISON???

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    2. No... I won't be truly happy until they make a pot of Nuln Oil that doesn't tip over.

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  5. Excellent paint jobs! I like the metallic effect on Triple 0 and you've captured Hera's lekku well - I'm going to have to add these to my collection now.

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    1. Thanks SW. If you do add these to your collection, I hope you'll post some pictures. I was just looking at some of your old Citadel wizards, and they are beautiful.

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  6. They are all sweet; maybe the jawa is the least of my favourites, sculpting wise, but they all are really nice. I agree about Hera. The decision was not easy, I guess. The cartoon look may be more accurate/proper/genuine, but it may look somehow odd in comparison with other 'realistic' sculpts in the range. In any case, I particularly love the paintjob you made on her, the freehand on the lekku is wonderful!

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    1. I'm happy any time I get an excuse to practice my freehand. I'm generally a little scared at the prospect, and often look for excuses to avoid it.

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  7. I had no Idea that your Starwars fandom ran so deep. Love the experiment with the oil painting on the metallic. Also the markings on the lekku look sick, but my favourite part of this post is being introduced to triple zero. So cool! 10s all around.

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  8. Pipped at the post! Mine will be up shortly. I love the glow you got on 0-0-0's eyes. I like the Hera sculpt- she is, after all, not human. We'll have to see how they go with the human crew of the Ghost. Great work on the lekku... mmm, lekku...

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    1. "she is, after all, not human"

      A good point...

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    2. It *is* a good point.
      Barks' versions of Hera and Chopper are beautiful. Here they are...

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    3. Ooh thanks for the heads up!

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  9. Lovely work Matthew! I've always been a great fan of the expanded universe stuff but never really got into the comic stuff. Still these are some wonderful miniatures and I'd hope they'd do a few more poses for their "run off the mill" troops, like stormtroopers, so one can do a proper wargame without getting repetitive.

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    1. I would be so happy if FFG would give us some more variant sculpts!

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  10. More great stuff. Is it weird that I hate Night Goblins but love Jawas? Usually figures all in robes turn me off.

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    1. I've never liked Night Goblins either. They were always too cartooney for me. But the Jawa is cute like a hamster.

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    2. I second the Night Goblin dislike. So silly looking and those plastic minis for them are awful.

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  11. Absolutely terrific stuff! I just picked up BT-1 and 0-0-0 this past weekend and hope I can pull them off as half as well as yours.

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  12. Wrong to find lekku "attractive"??? Heck no! I've wanted to sleep with a tw'lek for decades! ^_^

    These are all bloody fantastic mate. I especially love 0-0-0. Your experiments with his metallics ended up with a lovely looking droid with a tonne of depth for so simple a colour scheme.

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  13. They are all sweet; maybe the jawa is the least of my favourites, sculpting wise, but they all are really nice. I agree about Hera.

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    1. I agree that the Jawas are no great shakes. That's the problem with the Imperial Assault range: inconsistent quality in the sculpting.

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