Behold Princess Leia Organa, Dengar, Echo Base Troopers and General Sorin. They come from the Ally and Villain packs that were released in conjunction with Return to Hoth, the new expansion for Star Wars Imperial Assault. They hit the stores just before Christmas, and I've spent most of my holiday time painting them up (or most of my holiday time when I wasn't sunk in a meat-pie and port induced stupor.)
Seeing The Force Awakens a few days ago whetted my already keen appetite for all things Star Wars, so it was good to slake it on painting. The first miniature I tackled was Leia Organa -- we had to wait a full year from the introduction of Imperial Assault for Fantasy Flight Games to release a miniature for her. That's no way to treat a female lead, let alone a princess.
At least our patience has been rewarded -- this is a lovely sculpt, with an insouciant pose that embodies the acid sweetness of Carrie Fisher's Leia. My only complaint is that the miniature's face was longer and finer than Fisher's own, requiring some remedial painting: enlarging the eyes, shortening the nose, and rounding the lips. I'm not sure if I captured Fisher's features, but it was the best that my brush could do.
|Marat with bandages
Intriguingly, Fantasy Flight Games decided to make Dengar a giant of a man. He towers over Leia. I really like the fact that there is so much height variation in the Imperial Assault miniatures -- it gives certain figures a real sense of menace. And menace is something that the Dengar miniature needs, since the figure strikes a mincing pose that makes him seem a little dainty. His stride is just a little narrow -- I wish FFG could have come up with a more dynamic pose.
The next miniature is General Sorin, a non-canonical character invented for Imperial Assault. Fortunately, he's a dead-ringer for General Veers, the Imperial officer who led the attack on Hoth. Like Veers, Sorin wears AT-AT pilot armour, including a flaring helmet and a cuirass with life-support gear. The pilot armour is a visual cue to Sorin's special abilities and command cards when directing Imperial vehicles.
I love Sorin's pose: simple, commanding and self-possessed. Not every miniature has to be brandishing a weapon in order to seize our attention. Without a doubt, this is a miniature that speaks in an accent of English Received Pronunciation. I can just hear him saying "Fyah!"
And last of the figure packs is the Echo Base Troopers, aka Hoth Rebel Troopers. Like with Leia, painting these characters require a lighter shade of pale: whites, creams and light greys. Such a palate is extremely difficult to pull off, especially if (like me) you believe in a lot of black outlining. White garments aren't very forgiving when it comes to messy outlines, and in the case of these Troopers, the miniatures are covered in fiddly details (buckles, straps, holsters and piping) that required hours of work.
I can't wait to get these miniatures on the gaming table. As befits her station, Leia is an especially powerful addition to the skirmish game. She's solid offensively and defensively, and boasts a new ability called "Battlefield Leadership". And all for just 8 points! She has the potential to turn any battle into the Rebel's favour. As Leia herself said, "I don't know who you are or where you came from, but from now on you'll do as I tell you, okay?"
Watch out for future posts on the rest of the Return to Hoth miniatures. And in the meantime, I'm updating my galleries of the complete Imperial Assault Rebels, Mercenaries and Imperials. Thank for looking!