Deploy the Garrison: Director Krennic for Star Wars Legion!

The legend himself hits my painting desk!

“WE STAND HERE AMIDST MY ACHIEVEMENT, NOT YOURS!-Director Krennic, Rogue One.

Ever since I saw Rogue One, I wanted a miniature of its primary antagonist, Director Orson Krennic. The role was fantastically played by Ben Mendelsohn, and honestly was my favourite character in the film. Mendelsohn added his native Australian accent to the character, adding a bit of variety instead of the normal British RP accent so popular for Imperial characters. Krennic is so deliciously evil, so driven by ambition, that it is hard to dislike the character, even as you cheer on the Rebellion.

In Star Wars Legion, Krennic adds a lot of flavour to your lists, allowing you to take a detachment of Death Troopers as his entourage unit, not using up your special forces cap, His command cards, used to win initiative and add flavour to each turn, are full of theme. The model as well looks great, with great facial detail and wearing his distinctive white uniform and cape.

Therein lied the issue, his white uniform. White is a notoriously difficult colour to paint, and I had previously had issues with it with my Black Templar Terminator I had painted a while ago. Lets see how I got on!

I used a combination of Contrast Paints from Citadel, and traditional brush work. I used Grey Seer, then applied Apothecary white across the entirety of the white uniform. I then drybrushed over with Vallejo Off White.
I then picked out the details such as the Rank Plate, belt and cape buckles, and blaster. I used two ‘black’ paints, Abaddon Black and Eshin Grey to do his belt and pants. This was to add some visual variety.
To go with my mud basing scheme, I dabbed on some mud onto his cape. White uniforms don’t stay clean!
His face is well sculpted but I’m not up to doing eyes yet. Working off a white base made the Cadian Fleshtone work really well to brighten up his skin tone, and a wash of Reikland Fleshshade finished it off. His hair was done in Dawnstone, as Krennic is getting on in years as of Rogue One.

All in all, I’m particularly happy at how he came out. This white recipe might work also for Stormtroopers, and I’ll need at least three squads so it was a good idea to try it out first. Director Krennic will lead my list more times then not, so I’m glad he stands out so well. My hands cooperated and it seems I am picking up ways to paint that make my shaky hands less obvious.

Next up, I might do some more 40k models. Practice appears to make perfect, so I’ll keep at this painting streak I’m on and see if I get any better. Ten guardsmen at a time could easily be done, so hopefully some Praetorians will be featured in my next article. But until then, Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and stay safe everyone!

Back in Black: Imperial Death Troopers for SW Legion!

“Send my guard squadron into battle. Two men, with me, now.”-Director Krennic

Lethal bodyguards, in sleek black armour.

I’ve been on a good painting kick, and to keep it up, I decided to let these Imperial Death Troopers jump the queue! I got these a long time ago, along with Director Krennic himself, when I first got into Legion. They just look so darn cool!

Honestly, we don’t have a great deal of lore on these scary looking troopers. We know they have some sort of body augmentation, and that they are the elite troopers of the Imperial Intelligence division. They do go on missions, and are trained in everything from guerilla warfare to unarmed combat…but are most often seen in current lore as bodyguards to Director Krennic, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and even Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin at times.

Image result for death troopers bodyguard
Death Troopers hit the beach on Scarif in this still from Rogue One!

More tellingly in the films, Death Troopers hit like a freight train, and actually hit in the first place. They cut through unnamed rebels like a hot knife through butter, and even give the named characters a bit of pause.

With such hype, one might expect that I’d have painted them a lot sooner, but a bad prime job left them overly shiny and tacky. I left them for a few months, and they eventually dulled down and lost their stickiness. And I felt optimistic that I could get them done during this marathon of painting progress.

Lets have a look at them!

I purposely went with a subtler drybrush then on my Imperial Special Forces, as these guys in every reference photo I’ve seen look very dark.

They posed a bit of a challenge, as they are predominantly black overall. In reference photos, very few details are not either a matte black or gloss black armour. I decided to go for a subtler drybrush then on my Imperial Special Forces units, to maintain that dark tone. While this leaves them hard to photograph, I hope that shows up a little.

Here you can see the lack of colour variation. I tried to at least get some contrast in, but it was minor. I wanted to retain that dark, menacing palette.
Here, the drybrush shows up more readily.

I did their helmet filters in green as some of the action figures have, to add some contrast. I also tried out a different wash; instead of Nuln Oil, I used Biel-Tan Green to add some creep factor into the armour. This doesn’t show up on camera very well at all given my current lighting set-up.

I did the weapons in Eshin Grey and the muzzles in Leadbelcher. This adds some visual interest, along with the green helmet filters.
Another trooper aiming down sights at some Rebel foe.
The DLT-19x adds some heavy firepower to the squad. It might be a trick of the light, but I hope you can see the greenish hue I tried to impart.

They were all based as per my Imperial armies theme, the campaign on Mimban. Death Troopers canonically exist by 13BBY(Before Battle of Yavin, a common date nomenclature used by Star Wars) and therefore could see some action there in their intended role as commandos, not just as glorified bodyguards.

That being said, they will be used in-game as a bodyguard entourage by Director Krennic…so I guess that is still a bit contradictory. Legion is a much more ‘gamey’ ruleset then I’m used to, and lore and crunch must exist apart, not necessarily in tandem as I would in 40k. This is not such a bad thing, as the game does seem like a lot of fun from the couple games I have managed to play.

I don’t think I will need another squad of these death-dealing spooky troopers, so this was a fun little unit to get done without any worries about being consistent with a later unit.

Anyways, that is all I have for you today! I hope you all are staying safe, and Happy Wargaming wherever you are!

A Tale of Two Empires: A Little Something for Legion and 40k!

For the Emperor(s)!

“Today, the Rebellion Dies”

I really, really wanted to have some Valentine tanks painted for today. But as I didn’t have tan primer, some 40k and Legion models will have to suffice! I’ve gotten back into the painting game a bit, despite my shaky hands. I really want to put even a little dent into my ever-growing backlog.

I started with something special. A while back, I made a post about painting a Praetorian Guard Warhammer 40k army. While I let that project slip from my schedule, I decided to paint another test mini. My problem with the first was time; it simply took far too long per Guardsman to be viable. for me at least!

Swish, but you took 2 hours to paint!

This is my older test mini, done when I had hands that weren’t fighting me constantly. Its rather good, and the grey is unique among Praetorian Guard armies I have seen. But it simply takes too long to do, and might even be impossible given my tremors situation.

His replacement! In classic colours, I must admit I like it a teensy bit better.
I even managed to do the helmet strap!
The two models side by side.
And from the back. The yellow lace is so classic that it’ll stay no matter which paint scheme I stick with!
Not a bad bit of painting.

The new Guardsmen is painted in Classic Praetorian Guard colours, navy paints and simple tunics. He was much faster to paint, and importantly, still doable! I might end up going with a compromise. Grey facings and turnbacks but yellow lace and simple tunics. Let me know your thoughts!

Next up was a Terminator with a Banner. This was a daunting model to paint, and I must admit I messed up royally in parts, which is even worse given the rarity of the model! I don’t think its beyond salvageable however, and it still looks a decent tabletop standard mini.

The actual terminator went fairly well, it was the banner that caused me the worst issues. White paint that refused to cooperate no matter how much I thinned it, and shaky hands to make the detail nearly impossible!
As a Terminator of the Black Templars, he is a member of the Sword Brethren. This meant a red cross, and theoretically, a white helmet. I kept the red cross but omitted on purpose the helmet, given that white had been such an issue on the banner that turned out for the best!
An all over drybrush of Eshin Grey and Dawnstone was the basis of the armour, thoroughly soaked in Nuln Oil afterwards to darken it back up. The Fist I particularly like, and this Templar may have fought with the Crimson Fists in the past. Sons of Dorn stick together!
Ugh….the Banner. It would be alright if it wasn’t so chunky. Still, it looks OKAY enough for gaming. I just wish my white paint and shaky hands had not gotten in the way. Decals saved me from any major free-hand work. What is the V mean for this banner? Its a roman numeral for sure but I’m not sure for what yet!

Next up, something totally different. Watching a few Star Wars Legion Battle Reports really got my creative juices flowing, and with an unbuilt Iden Versio lying on my ‘to finish’ pile, I got right to work. Just like my previous Imperial Special Forces, I use the same recipe from my Black Templars and drybrush the highlights then dull down with washes.

Major difference here was red piping on the uniform and helmet. I need decals to properly make the helmet ‘pop’ but at least Iden clearly reads as something different then my blue striped ISF. I picked the helmet on purpose, as I want my Imperial Special Forces and Empire army in general to have helmets wherever possible. Its uniform regulations, what are we, rebel scum?

I went with the E11 Blaster. She can take a sniper rifle or repeating blaster, but I’ll let cards do the work here. Additionally, this leaves her hand free to do commander things!
Honestly, I find ISF and Inferno Squad easy to make look good. This was simply dry brushing and red striping to get done quickly. I have another box on its way to me, and I’ll be able to fill up my Special Forces slots with them, a nasty, and easy to paint, army!
The detail is crisp, and somebody more inclined then me can probably make them pop really well. That being said, the dry brush was effective.
Iden’s little droid was simple and easy, but has good effects on the table and I’m keen to put ‘Dio’ to work.

Finally, a 3D printed model. I really want my Empire army to evoke the ‘Battle of Mimban’ as depicted in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and I got from Skullforge Studios (I’ll include a link down below) their ‘Grunge Trooper’ set. These are Imperial Army troopers in wet weather gear, and are known by many names, ‘Mudtroopers’ and ‘Swamp Troopers’.

They actually aren’t Stormtroopers (Stormtroopers make an appearance during the Mimban battle and trench scenes, and are notable for being considered elite during when Solo is set.) Being part of the Imperial Army, they were eventually fully integrated into the Stormtrooper Corp much later, closer to the Original Trilogy timeline. But for now, they form the bulk of the Empire’s forces on Mimban, and are sent to die in massive human wave tactics. In old Legends canon they never got amalgamated, and continued in service until the end of the ‘Palpatine’ Empire. Imperial Army troopers do not currently have rules. My idea is to run them either as custom, hand-made units similar in strength to Rebel Troopers but with worse morale, or as simply Stormtroopers without Precise.

A simple uniform, and I was able to further make use of my random can of German Field Grey to get the basic colours on. I went extremely overboard with the mud details; I love filthy models! This model I believe is supposed to represent Han Solo as he was in the Imperial Army.
Corporal Han Solo is having a bad day. His cloak is completely covered in crud.
These miniatures should prove easy to paint, and Cpl.Han Solo here took no time whatsoever to get done.
The only flying he gets to do on Mimban is from explosions.

All in all, a good busy few days. I’m expecting to go back to work soon as Lockdown nears its end in Ontario. I’m looking forward to being back out there but I’ll miss the sheer amount of hobby time I got to do!

My plans right now are to get my Legion army finished, as it really isn’t that many models left, then get my 40k Praetorians ready for a ‘Glazers Creek’ refight I have planned in the summer. On top of my Flames of War and Team Yankee. Oh, and my Very British Civil War and Bolt Action/Konflikt stuff. Oh boy, I have a lot of stuff to get done!

I hope you all are staying safe out there, and Happy Wargaming wherever you may be in the world. Have a great Valentines Day, and cheap Chocolate Day afterwards!

*If you’d like your own Grunge Troopers, here is where I got them from! https://gumroad.com/skullforgestudios

The Empire’s Time…Has Come!

Imperial Special Forces for Legion!

“I see a white Stormtrooper and I want it painted black…”

I was visiting my friendly local gaming store, when I noticed something; a nice stockpile of the new Star Wars Legion expansions. Did I go there for them? Goodness no, but given my recent paycheque and the very real possibility of a better job in the near future….I couldn’t resist leaving with something. While ARC Troopers are the coolest choice, I am not playing the Republic(yet). So I instead walked out with Inferno Squad!

Now for those of you not in the know, Inferno Squad is from the much maligned Star Wars Battlefront 2 game by EA. While I definitely had my problems with it, I did enjoy the single player experience, which focuses on the exploits of Inferno Squad, from the Imperial Special Forces.

The box set by Fantasy Flight allows you to make these characters except for their leader, Iden Versio, who got rolled into a Commander/Operative class model. However, as I can see myself buying a second box of these fantastic models, I decided to be a bit daring and make instead my own custom Special Forces team.

Taking a page from my Black Templars from Warhammer 40k, I primed black, then drybrushed lightly with Eshin Grey. This was followed by a drybrush of Dawnstone. What this did was introduce some gradients to the black uniform, so that a shade, Nuln Oil, would actually add some depth.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it worked or not, but I was quite happy with them. This, to be entirely honest, is where I left the black uniform; A lot of the colours are so similar and my collection of black and grey paints is running thin. I did however repaint the E-11 and DLT-19 blasters in Eshin Grey fully, to add some different tones. I have come to quite enjoy painting weapons in that color, its actually closer to what colour the weapons are in films and cartoons, instead of being painted with metallics.

A DLT-19 toting Special Forces trooper, with a sharp looking weapon.

I decided early on that I would use Army Painter’s Electric Blue as my insignia colour, to make them distinct from Inferno Squad’s red details. On most of the troopers, this was just on the small blue discs on their shoulders.

However, for interest, I decided to have on three troopers a stripe running down their legs. I did this on the Squad Leader, and the alternate builds for Gideon Hask and Del Meeko. This brought in some much needed visual interest.

Is it practical on ‘stealth’ uniforms? Goodness no. Is it cool? Yes…I think.
The drybrushed highlights really worked on the back armour plates.
Another model, this one being the alternative Gideon with helmet build. Here you can see the gloss coat I added to the eye-lenses.
And here is the alternate Del Meeko build. I’ve based these models to fit my Mimban campaign idea.
And the whole squad coming together. I really enjoyed this little project.

I’m quite pleased with these models! I was pretty happy with the fact Fantasy Flight has moved to a plastic sprue for their newer kits; this extra detail really helped the drybrush along.

As a happy accident, one of my friends had picked up a can of Vallejo Spray for my Team Yankee stuff. However, he had accidently grabbed a German Field Grey can instead of my Russian Uniform! I decided to try it out on my General Veers to see if it was a good match for the Imperial Officer uniform, the olive-grey seen in the movies!

“The shield will be down in moments. You may start your landing”-General Veers, Empire Strikes Back.

Its…admittedly not a perfect match. But it’s not entirely terrible either, and I decided to press on regardless. The uniforms are a tough nut to crack, as they were made in an olive-grey materiel but the colour grading makes them appear more grey in the films. I feel like this leans a bit on the green side….

This is an older Legion model, from Wave 2. It shows; the face isn’t up to par with the newer sculpts and it’s features are quite chunky. Still a great model and really fun to paint!
He still looks the business leading the troops!

All in all, a good days work! My Legion stuff seems to find its way to the top of my painting queue quite often…I can’t seem to figure out why! In any event, I’m making decent progress at being able to play a game with fully painted models!

The whole, unhappy, imperialist, Jawa-murdering, family!

This was, to be entirely honest, a deviation from the content I meant to have done this weekend. Seeing as I have a day off between today and my next class, I might try and sneak in a VBCW article! My friend in the city has been making good progress on Albertines, and I have a most royal project waiting in the wings.

But for now, that is all I have! I hope you enjoyed! I’m still in the process of trying to find a name for my ‘not’ Inferno Squad, and if you have any suggestions, let me know! Happy War-Gaming, wherever you are, and may the Force be with you!

Different Galaxy, Different Empire: A foray into Star Wars Legion

The Galactic Empire makes its first appearance on the blog!

I love Democracy as much as this guy! Wait, hang on…

It occurs to me lately that I talk about Empires and Emperors quite a bit. It’s a bit of a bad streak. I love Democracy, but I’m a sucker for fictional authoritarian governments.

I don’t know why I find the Jackboot so interesting but, given a choice, I tend toward Humanocentric factions in games. Be it Warhammer 40,000, the British Empire of our world, any sort of absolute monarchy or dictatorial government grabs my attention.

Of course, Star Wars is a favourite here. I grew up in the 90’s watching the Original Trilogy, and was a youngster when the Prequels hit theatres. I don’t dislike the Prequels as much as most people do, and I was a big fan of Legends material when that stuff was ‘Canon’.

Time to be evil, baby!

The Galactic Empire was one of the original ‘evil’ factions I liked, and even when I got into 40k, there was a lot of cool Star Wars stuff I wanted to do. I was big into the Star Wars Miniatures game by Wizards of the Coast, and had many, many models. But being a blind buy, collectible card game style system meant I never really had enough of one faction to play the ‘big stuff’.

X-Wing was a game changer. Pre-painted, and with my particular interest in space combat in Star Wars, I was hooked. I still play a lot of it, but being that it was a pre-painted system, there wasn’t a lot to talk about on this blog.

Some of my X-Wing big ships, waiting for a chance to be played again…

With both X-Wing and Armada, the movement tool made sense; abstracting distances into range rulers and having movement dictated by templates made the dogfights feel real. The proprietary dice helped speed up gameplay too. But I was unsure when Legion came around, as to me, a ground combat game needs normal dice and tape measures.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I hatched an idea; playing a homebrew Star Wars systems in Legion scale, using either Bolt Action or 40k to do so. Having access to both Fantasy Flights models and terrain, and third party stuff, means we won’t have the lack of terrain that older Star Wars ground combat games had. There is a lot of support. We are focusing on the Clone Wars, with an eventual move into the Galactic Civil War period.

For the Galactic Civil War, I wanted to collect both sides, and do the conflict on the muddy world of Mimban to it’s completion, as a fun campaign. For those of you not in the know, I’ll link a video…

The most 40k thirty seconds in Star Wars. Ever.

Solo wasn’t a great movie. But the fighting in the Empires early days, on the planet of Mimban, was fantastic, and captured my imagination. A showing from non-stormtrooper elements of the Imperial Army was a great call-back to older Legends material.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that FFG had made an excellent AT-ST model, and once I saw it, I had to have one. Combined with 3D-Printed ‘Grunge Troopers’ from a store on Gumroad, I had everything needed to make that scene from Solo a tabletop reality.

The AT-ST went together really well! Took less then 5 minutes once I planned the build properly.

This thing is massive! A 3D-Printed mudtrooper on the base, in Legion scale, really shows the imposing height this model possesses.
And here it is, compared with a GW Redemptor Dreadnought. This thing is MASSIVE.

Now I’ve been in and out of hospital the last week, and I needed a win. So, I took a risk, and jumped straight into painting this monster. I posed the model quite aggressively, making sure the laser cannons still pointed ‘forward-ish’ in the frontal arc. I then primed it in grey.

This was a speed-painted piece, and probably won’t hold a candle to most other painters attempts. But it certainly looks the part, and I hope you’ll agree its not that bad of a first go at it…

Muddy, and ready to fight the brutal trench-war on Mimban. I wanted this thing to be absolutely filthy, but not streaky.
You can see here the pose, walking forward, taking a few pot shots at the Mimbanese.
The base is nothing special, just filthy mud. This was achieved with a vigorous application of Stirland Mud. I made sure to keep the mud going up the sides of the leg, and used Agrax Earthshade to shade that part in a distinctly brown shade.
I heavily washed the head, then drybrushed the grey back on. I used a sponge to chip on some spatter and carbon-scoring on the lower plates. I also heavily sponged on black on the muzzles of both the laser cannons and chin blaster cannons. This thing has seen heavy, sustained combat!
The rear of the head has these two fans, which are working overtime. They are almost burnt out, and are ejecting detritus onto the surrounding area.
The AT-ST cuts a menacing figure, and provided there isn’t any small, teddy bear like creatures, should hold up in any game I play.

I was really happy to put this together! A real joy to paint and work on, and a much needed victory after my hospital visit!

Now…as for Legion. I was holding off, but it is looking more and more enticing. As I need Stormtroopers, Rebels, and all that anyways I figured I’d do the usual Fantasy Flight Star Wars thing and buy two core sets. And, since I’ll now have them….might as well try the game they are intended for, yes? I’ll only be supplementing my forces with 3D printed elements, not replacing it wholesale. That feels the most ‘fair’, and seeing as the stuff I’m printing is usually not available any other way, I don’t feel too bad about it.If any of you have tried Legion, let me know your thoughts on it! My homebrew 40k Star Wars ruleset for private use is still in the wings, but Legion has a lot of that flavour baked in, and I do like alternate activation systems…

For now, as I make progress I’ll share what I got! I do have for VBCW Mosely and the King himself ready to be painted, and I hope to share those with you shortly! And I’m playing Zona Alfa tomorrow! The Irish are staying home, but the Zone Rats and the Gopniks will be out in force!

For now, Happy War-gaming where-ever you are, and may the Force be with you!