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?