Friday, January 8, 2016

Painted Verena Talos, MHD-19 and Loku Kanoloa: Return to Hoth (Part 2)

Here's the second installment of my painted miniatures for Return to Hoth, the new expansion for Star Wars Imperial Assault. These are the three Rebel Heroes, Verena Talos ("the cunning operative"); MHD-19 ("the loyal medic"); and Loku Kanoloa ("the deadly marksman").

Verena Talos, FFG Imperial Assault (2015, sculpted by B. Maillet)

These are three excellent miniatures: dynamic poses, detailed sculpting, and lots of personality. 

I was particularly pleased with Verena Talos. Although a she's a pure invention of Fantasy Flight Games, she has an authentic "Star War-sy" feel. Perhaps it's the dramatic braid of hair -- that's a trick that always worked for Princess Leia. In any case, I like the way that FFG has populated Imperial Assault with a number of bad-ass women, including Verena, Jyn Odan and Diala Passil. With the advent of The Force Awakens, strong women are certainly the new face of Star Wars.

Loku Kanoloa, FFG Imperial Assault (2015, sculpted by B. Maillet)

And here's the infelicitously named Loku Kanoloa, a deadly sniper named after a cooking oil. I would have thought that squids would be sensitive to anything reminiscent of a deep-fryer. Perhaps it's time for FFG to splurge on a new Star Wars name generator

At least I now have someone to lead my Mon Calamari Rebel Saboteurs

MHD-19, FFG Imperial Assault (2015, sculpted by B. Maillet)

My favourite new miniatures is the medical droid MHD-19. It pleases me that Fantasy Flight Games has given us this hero because Star Wars droids have always fascinated me. What is it like to be a droid? On the one hand, they are bought, sold and chopped up for spare parts. Some ("the Gonk Droid") are essentially walking toasters. In one of the first scenes of A New Hope, we Jawas pedaling droids to the dirt farmers of Tatooine as if they were copper pots. 

Servio ergo sum
On the other hand, many droids are sentient, sensitive and self-willed. They feel pain. C-3PO is downright emotional. And indeed, after watching The Force Awakens, I began to wonder whether R2-D2 is force-aware. 

Does this make droids like human slaves? Maybe. They are frequently shackled with restraining bolts (like the ones that Luke puts on R2 and 3PO on Tatooine). Yet droids all seem content with a life of service (with the exception of aberrations like IG-88 and 4-LOM). We never see a droid asking for wages or emancipation. So perhaps droids are a category unto themselves -- sentient beings without any personal aspirations or ambitions. That is something truly alien to us. I suppose that's what I like about droids; since the movies don't tell us what to think, their true nature is left to our own imagination. That's the way Star Wars should be... strange and mysterious.

Thanks for looking!


  1. Well, you certainly made an outstanding work out of these minis! Your style is quite unique, I pretty much like the results!

  2. Another fantastic paintes SW mini! Big PLUS!

  3. Thanks guys! I love the work that both of you do, so the feedback is especially nice.

  4. Lovely work especially the droid. Interesting how FF did that figure as it is a tricky one with the clear parts (well in the movie at least).

    On another note I stumbled across an eBay listing which is using a photo of one of your paranoia figures:

    Guess that is pretty flattering but would have been nice if they mentioned that (and your blog) in the listing...

    1. Wow - good eye, Nathan. I'm flattered that you remember what my Paranoia paint jobs look like!

  5. Great work - these look excellent - very nice.


  6. Superb work! The sniper is just perfect, congratulations! :D

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  8. Fantastic work! I've been looking over all your Star Wars minis for inspiration. One question I have, and forgive me if you answered this many times before, but how do you paint the bases? I've been trying to decide on how to paint mine, with texture or not, finally deciding on just black. But yours don't look just straight black and have a really good effect to them.

    1. I'm happy to hear that these pics of mine might be useful to you!
      Like you, I puzzled over the bases for a long time. I usually do textured and flocked bases... but bases like that would clash with a lot of the map tiles in IA. So I wanted something that could blend in everywhere, but wouldn't be just pure black (since I don't think black blends particularly well anywhere).
      Anyhoo, my technique is: cover the bases in a 1:1 mix of black and Vallejo Gun-metal (or some other medium-dark metallic colour). Then drybrush the base (especially the edges) with Vallejo Mithril Silver. Repaint the side of the bases black. And that's it!
      For non-unique figures, I also paint on red, blue or green hazard lines to help distinguish the different squads. I paint on a line or two of my chosen colour, and then within that line, I add a streak of a lighter blue or whatever.
      Hope this helps! Let me know if you post pictures of your own paint jobs.

    2. Awesome, thank you Matthew! Yeah, I usually do textured/flocked and painted bases as well, and I'm really tempted here, but then have the same reason for wanting something different on these. And these have a good enough look that they'd still look good if using on a board in a different game. Gotta say as well that seeing your minis painted up is one of the main reasons I took the plunge with IA, haha. I will be posting pictures soon! Thanks again.