Thursday, June 11, 2020

Star Wars Bounty Hunter Miniatures




Can you break up with someone who has just died? I think of this Seinfeldian question when I contemplate Star Wars Imperial Assault.

In the beginning, I went deep for the Imperial Assault miniatures. We went for long walks and took cooking classes together. But gradually I began to feel trapped. As the game lost vitality, languished and fell into a coma, I knew my love was dying too. When Fantasy Flight Games announced there would be no new minis for the game, I hit my limit. As the hearse carted the game away, I stood in the driveway shouting, "And don't come back!"

I had just one regret. I always wanted to possess the iconic roster of six bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. Imperial Assault gave us splendid renditions of Boba Fett, Dengar, IG-88 and Bossk. But it croaked before it could bequeath the final two: Zuckuss and 4-LOM.

Thankfully there are other ways to get 28mm Star Wars miniatures. For instance, there is that wretched hive of scum and villainy, the 3D printing service Shapeways. I turned to the excellent designer Mel Miniatureswhose catalog fills the gaps left by the more orthodox gaming companies. Here's the Zuckuss that I bought from them:



And here's the assassin droid 4-LOM.



Once I entered the world of off-brand Star Wars miniatures, I didn't want to stop. If it was wrong to cheat on Fantasy Flight Games, I didn't want to be right.

But 3D printing through Shapeways is expensive. Twenty-five dollars a figure turns miniature painting from a hobby to a vice. So I turned to the pre-painted Star Wars miniatures produced by Wizards of the Coast between 2004-2010. They often sell for a dollar or two, and there are hundreds of choices. Of course, this line of miniatures has some problems: the plastic is soft and doesn't capture fine detail. But the shoddy factory colouring makes the sculps seem worse than they really are. A decent paint job at home will hide a many sins.

To illustrate my point, here's my slightly converted rendition of Boushh, the bounty hunter who Leia impersonated in The Return of the Jedi:




And here's the Wookie bounty hunter Black Krrsantan, whose well known to anyone whose dabbled in the recent wealth of Star Wars comics:



Stay tuned for more off-brand Star Wars minis in future posts...




Stay safe my friends!




26 comments:

  1. Great renditions of all your bounty hunters, it's been a big problem for a lot of people who invested in Imperial Assault, not getting all the figures we desired, I to have used WOTC to fill some gaps and sculpted others which were harder to find, if only they had made Legion the same scale we could have got extra models in the right scale

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    1. I was sooo angry when I discovered that Legion would be made in distinctly different scale than Imperial Assault. I generally try to refrain from taking the business decisions of gaming companies personally - but I made an exception in that case. It felt like such a fuck-you. At the very least, it displayed a stunning indifference to what really motivates miniature enthusiasts.

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    2. Yes it was a big middle finger to the fans. "Spent a lot of money on us already? well F You whales, now you have to spend more".

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  2. Always have loved your SW posts mate and this one doesn’t disappoint.

    Bounty hunters were some of my fav characters from the franchise as I had always preferred the scum and villainy of SW over the Force aspects of the main story (Hence why Solo is my fav film of the bunch).

    FFG have really dropped the ball with their SW license in general of late after also announcing that they aren’t going to create any new rpg supplements also or something to that effect. Wish West End Games we’re still a thing coz their game was so much better and fleshed out

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    1. Somebody else who enjoyed "Solo"... That's like gold! :D

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    2. I agree with you both - Solo was a splendid movie. And West End Games was amazing. There was something about their materials -- they really "got" Star Wars.

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  3. I missed your SW entries very much!
    Lovely looking minis!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Michal. Writing these posts again made me realize how much I missed you guys.

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  4. Shapeways and Heroforge are indeed brutally expensive... there's a reason I've never cracked and tried either, despite the obvious allure!

    These are fantastic! Worthy additions to your collection indeed. I've had a few of the WOTC Star Wars figs, they are indeed a bit bendy and desperately need repainting. But they are... available, good results are possible, and they can fill out your SW game with dozens of randoms and NPC's. It's a pity the old West End Games figures are a good head shorter than more modern releases... you can't very well use Luke Skyhobbit and Princess Shorta in your contemporary game :/

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    1. Yes and yes. WOTC has the great benefits of being cheap as sin -- and coming in a variety worthy of the Star Wars universe. I'm happy that they don't merely have gun-toting soldiers, but also tons of civilians and background characters.

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  5. I really admire your ability to bite down and finish minis that aren't necessarily 10s. They came out so good you can barely tell any difference. I hope to see you attack a couple of the Rising Sun figures one day.

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    1. The WOTC miniatures are bad in a way that works for my painting style: they're not highly textured (requiring lots of washes) but instead offer lots of flat surfaces that take highlighting well. And they're not filled with fiddly details and doo-dads.
      The Rising Sun figures (and other CMON) products are exactly the opposite: lots of texture and lots of tiny buckles, pouches, scabbards etc. etc. And I'm not well equipped to paint that type since I don't use a lot of washes, don't use an airbrush, and don't have a deep supply of patience.

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  6. They look great. There are so many figures I wish they'd been able to bring into IA...

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  7. Great looking game, sorry to see the game die

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    1. I feel like Fantasy Flight Games is really good at killing their own games with obesity. Over time, they just load up their good games with new mechanics, new counters, new rules -- and the games expand in all the wrong ways. If they just concentrated on the fundamentals (a simple gaming system and good miniatures with lots of variety), they would do much better. They pulled that off with Armada. But not Imperial Assault (or Descent or Arkham Horror).

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    2. I assume that constant novelty is a marketing dogma. No incentive to avoid bloating a game because if people stop playing the game, you can release a new one and bring revenue up. I mean, all the stuff from the old game isn't going to un-sell itself.

      Cynical I know, but probably a modicum of truth...

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  8. It’s too bad what happened to imperial assault. I wanted to buy in but with no updates for over a year, and with legion all around being superior (imho) minis I took the plunge in a different pool set in a galaxy far far away. You hit the nail on the head with shapeways; I wanted to replicate “the cube” bounty hunter scenario from SW Rebels but once my cart hit $300 plus S&H I quickly sobered up from that bad spice trip. Ah well, you’re a renaissance “mensch”; author, painter, tactician; I’m sure you can home brew some cards for IA featuring your innermost desires for figs in that range; it will surely feel right.

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    1. It would be fun to design some homebrew cards. I really like the job that Armada Shipyward did on designing homebrew cards for Armada. The only problem, I guess, is that FFG did A LOT of work playtesting all of their cards before releasing them, and I don't think any hobbyist like me could replicate that quality of work.

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  9. A very nice collection. I brought a few Star Wars minis with me that I need to get sorted on this trip.

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