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The Nights of Wren - nightly paint sessions with Sabine & Co - [Sabre Tank]

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So much freehand to do on this model! And I'm not a freehander - so this was a real challenge for me.

I'm also not a Rebels watcher, so it took me far too long to figure out which version of her armor FFG was going for here - but I finally settled on Season 3. 

• Checkerboard pattern on her right shoulder pad - but in this season, she added the "S" symbol on a shield.
• low-contrast orange and purple color scheme on the helmet, so the Owl design has to be outlined in silver to even see it
• she has a hand-drawn owl on her left shoulder
• the Rebel logo on the breastplate is yellow on top of red/orange. That's fun to get solid coverage on
• And then all of the paint-spatter/random color splotches all over the rest of the armor.

Plus, I magnetized her arms and head so that she can switch back and forth for her alternate loadouts.

That said - I absolutely loved every step of the process!

 

 

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Edited by OuterPop

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Thank you!   She was a true pleasure to dive into, but she's a double-edged sword (dark saber). 

  • She's got so many iconic details, so there's the pressure to get them all right.
  • But those details are hand-drawn by the character, so they're sloppy and forgiving :)

I'm going to cry when and if she gets meta-shifted out of rotation though...

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NO DISINTEGRATIONS

While waiting for layers on Bossk to dry, I was going back and forth assembling a Kingdom Death model.  During one of the cycles, I forgot to screw the cap of the Tamiya Plastic Cement all the way, and of course, I knocked it over.  I took a second to calmly think about where the paper towels were, when I suddenly realized that Bossk was getting flooded!  (If you haven't used the Tamiya cement, it's MEK based, and works by chemically melting the plastic so that it will fuse together.)  So I panicked, and snagged Bossk out of the miniature lava, but not before the bottom of his base disintegrated.  

I salvaged the base with some green stuff, but it was almost a disaster! Thank the Force he didn't fall over. 

 

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14 hours ago, OuterPop said:

Thank you!   She was a true pleasure to dive into, but she's a double-edged sword (dark saber). 

  • She's got so many iconic details, so there's the pressure to get them all right.
  • But those details are hand-drawn by the character, so they're sloppy and forgiving :)

I'm going to cry when and if she gets meta-shifted out of rotation though...

Youre kidding about the meta shift right? She seems purpose built to build a tauntans death star (sic)!!

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I found this strangely scaled playset at Disneyland.  It's a  Sandcrawler that comes with a Jawa figure that's about as big as a full-size Black Series figure.  So at a glance, he makes the Sandcrawler look way too small.  But once I got up on it, I could see that this would probably work for Legion scale!  It's painted horribly out of the box, its wheels roll all around the table, and it has all kinds of lights and sounds, but with some love - this thing will end up being a fantastic piece of terrain.

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That's Krennic standing underneath the hull, for scale.  Pretty close to being the right size! 

Edited by OuterPop

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I'm just about finished with this Sandcrawler.  

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Again, for scale, that's the FD Cannon underneath, with clearance.  It makes a great LOS blocker with some interesting ramifications: it's taller than range 1, so only the jetpacks can jump up; You can shoot clearly through the central passage in the hull, but it's so wide that you've got a very acute angle to the other side; The tread housings are all LOS blocking, but you can easily pop around the corner.  All in all, it covers a ton of real estate, provides a lot of interesting tactical angles, and seriously enhances the immersion on your Tatooine table.   

Still needs some more weathering.    Until you look at some production stills, you don't realize how much crap they slopped all over this model in the film! 

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Man, Sabine looks fantastic as does Bossk.  And I couldn’t sort which sandcrawler was your model and which was the reference art for a minute.  So fantastic.

As an aside, your cement story is why it would be nice if FFG would sell plain bases.  And ROFL at the $75 bunker comment.  I am normally pretty indifferent about hobby stuff prices since we can always choose not to buy.  But that thing is pushing into the realm of insulting.  It’s functionally the same price as a core set.

Edited by BigBadAndy

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First of all, thank you - those are blush-worthy compliments, and I sincerely appreciate the encouragement.  

The thing that's so obnoxious about the Bunker, is that it's the one model that every 3D printshop started with.  I've seen a hundred different Endor bunkers, and they're all readily available as $5 STL files, or $20 printed pieces.  I can get an MDF one for $10 - so there's absolutely 0 urgency to buy FFG's.  Particularly, (as you mentioned,) when it costs as much as a core set from an OLGS - and those of us who are venturing into the Clone Wars era already have 2 new core sets to buy :)   Here's how ridiculous it is: 

I could buy an stl file, print it, make a rough latex mold of the bunker, then purchase a core set from Amazon for $64, MELT the core set minis down, pour them into the molds, and make 2 Bunkers for the same price.  And, I'd have some dice :)

That would be a fun photo thread to follow!

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SCOUT TROOPERS

By the time you get to the third set of sniper strike teams, you run out of ideas for distinguishable paint schemes. I'm not a big fan of painting the bases different colors for identification, so I paint every unit with a slightly different scheme. This one's totally different. I found some images from a comic that had these camo scouts, so I threw together a few different varieties.

And now with the points adjustments, I don't need 3 sniper teams...

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And thanks to the points adjustments, I can break these guys back out!

This is the alt sculpt from the expansion pack. There's almost nothing different about him when compared to the core bikes, except one of the two sculpts has his arms arranged as if he's turning left. So, I had to finagle the mount with green stuff to emphasize the left bank. I figured if you have an alt sculpt, you might as well be able to tell it's different at a glance.

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SHORETROOPERS

These guys are so much fun to paint.  Stormtroopers that don't require stark white, and who have built-in colored markings.  This is the perfect Legion unit!  I'm always trying to figure out how to differentiate multiple copies of the same unit on the table, so these stripes and shoulder colors are a godsend.  For the second unit, I tweaked the red/blue scheme to a more tropical aqua/orange one, and they really feel like the logical variant.  They don't look starkly out of place, but you can tell them apart from the primary unit at a glance. 

If they weren't so expensive in the game, I'd love to field a whole list where all of the troopers were shores.  Just to paint 6 different schemes :) 

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It's all done with a cheap light box from Amazon and a free, upgraded camera app for your phone.   Here are the appropriate links, and then if you're interested, I'll follow up with a pretty thorough explanation of how I got it all to work with no skills whatsoever :)

Small Lightbox
Large Lightbox
 

Like just about any skill I'm completely devoid of, I turn to Vince Venturella for advice. (I'll link his video tutorial at the end.) He provides a fairly replicable instruction set for getting decent quality photos out of your smartphone. You have to install a separate camera app though, because your default just doesn't have the manual controls you need. You need to be able to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and the white balance specifically. I tried about 10 camera apps, and ended up with one called Open Camera. I'm on Android, so I don't know if it's an IOS app, but there are plenty to mess around with.

You also need a box. I read a ton of tutorials on how to build it, but that was before I realized you can buy one on Amazon for $10. So I stopped trying to build it.

They're great - but - the LED lights are so bright that it's like trying to take a good picture in an operating room. And that $10 one is particularly small, so its depth of field is only practical for minis. (I ended up buying a bigger one.) It takes some fiddling to get the light presentable: unplug one of the light strips, plug another back in, stuff a T-shirt underneath another, etc. And then you couple the mechanical experimentation with all of these new adjustable features on the phone camera, and you've got yourself a day of experimenting on your hands.  


This is what I did. I took one mini, fiddled with the actual lights until a plain old snapshot with the default phone camera didn't look completely washed out with light. Then, I systematically took pictures of the same mini with the new camera app, adjusting one parameter, one value at a time. You will get to a point where you find the magic number on ISO (which is very, very low,) and then you bring the exposure into the Venn Diagram, and once those two are kind of set, you can freely mess with the white balance. White balance adjustment and exposure are both visible in  your camera's screen - so it's way easier to get those dialed in.
I tried to use the app's manual focus features, to get things like macro to work, but for some reason, those options end up keeping my camera's shutter open for like 3 minutes, so I ended up just defaulting to autofocus. So I don't have great control over which portions of the image are blurred, but it's acceptable.
 

Aside from being small, the other "bad" thing about the boxes, is that they come with plain colored backdrops - which lures you into a false sense of security. Neither box that I own has ideal backdrop options, the small one is too clothy, and has these textile properties that are easily seen in the image:

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The bigger box comes with thin colored plastic sheets, but they are far too reflective at the horizon line. That's why I get this white glow right behind the mini:

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I know this seems like a lot - but it's seriously just a $10 purchase on Amazon, a free phone app, and an hour of real experimenting - and the difference in the finished product is remarkable.  It's hacky, and I'm sure any real photographer is cringing at my mangling of their art, but it works, so give it a try!  

What I can't do yet, is photograph things with anything close to the same level of quality when they're outside the box.  Those gorgeous images that Sorastro posts of the units on the board, in all of their turn 0 glory require some different kind of lighting setup. 

Here's the Vince Venturella video - he does a great job of explaining what's going on:

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TAUNTAUNS

There are very few shots of exactly what a Tauntaun Rider might have worn in the movies - so I only really had Luke and Han to go on.  It seems pretty clear that FFG went with Luke's Tauntaun garb over Han's, so I did my best to match the movie color scheme.  I also couldn't find any information anywhere about the unusual Rebel rank boards on their right arms.  They don't exactly match the square insignias worn by officers, and the only example I could find was again, on Luke in ESB.  

I tried a completely different basing technique for them.  I mean, they're already so tall that everyone's going to have LOS on them, so why not shove them up there another half inch, right?  I flattened out the FFG bases, walled up the sides, and poured Woodland Scenics Still Water in several, decreasingly blue tinted layers until I got something that looked like ice.  The ice rocks are just cork with Agrellan Earth crackled up and painted a more fitting blue/white.   They're going to fit in perfectly on my Tatooine board :)

To differentiate the identical units, I gave each pair of Tauntauns a slightly different color scheme, though it's very subtle.  I didn't want mud or desert Tauntauns, so just more or less blue/gray/white.  I also changed the color of each pair's scarf & small bed roll so that I can tell them apart at a glance, and put one pair on a stark, Hoth-like snow base instead of the ice. 

 

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B1 BATTLE DROIDS

I know I'm late to the dance on painting these guys, but I just want to say God Bless FFG for hard plastic sprues.  I just love the freedom these guys give you to create variety in a sea of sameness. 

It was a blast to research all of the color schemes for the various units in the expanded universe.  With a swarm of these guys on the table, it's imperative to find a way to distinguish one unit from the next, and there's no shortage of possibilities.   Battlefront mods have me thinking about some even more crazy color schemes.

I didn't want to use contrast paints on these, because I'm not a huge fan of the way it pools.  So I went with a more traditional zenithal undershade, thin airbrush glaze of Ushabti Bone, and then shade with varying combinations of Agrax/Seraphim Sepia/Sepia ink.  

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              Standard                Rocket Battle Droids        AAT Driver    Standard Unit Leader      Pilot                        Security            Engineer

Edited by OuterPop

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The X-34 Landspeeder

This one took a while -
The first bout of analysis paralysis came from the wonderful figure-based loadout options.  Pick a build and glue it?  Keep the figures off of it completely?  Poster tack them down?  I couldn't live with any permanent solution, they needed to be swappable.  So magnets were the only choice. 

If you decide to magnetize yours, here's a lesson I learned the hard way.  Taking the chassis of the Landspeeder apart is almost impossible to do without seriously mangling the model.  It's really glued on there, so I decided to take another approach. I had to do some surgery.  I knew the speeder would sit pretty low on its base, and that nobody was going to see the very bottom, so I drilled holes and mounted the magnets inside from the bottom hole, attaching them to the interior top of the speeder where the upgrades would sit.

If anyone's interested, this is how I made them stick blindly from inside the speeder through a 3mm hole...  I took the magnets that would eventually be mounted in the rear ends of the rebels, marked their polarity (vitally important,) and set them one at a time in the spot where each respective rebel would end up sitting.  For the larger magnet that was going inside of the speeder, I dropped some gel CA glue on the side with the opposite polarity to the rebels', and then just pushed it through the hole on the bottom.  This magnet flipped around inside of the speeder, attracted by the magnet on the top exterior, and it stuck itself right into place.   I just let the 2 magnets sit there, getting to know each other, for about 10 minutes to ensure that the Super Glue cured firmly, keeping the magnet from dropping back down.   There's no way I could have properly placed it using tweezers or a rod or anything.  This was the simplest solution, and it worked like a miracle.   (then just drill out the asses of the rebels and stick a small magnet in there, testing the polarity against the now-mounted interior magnet.

Then, the paint scheme. I tried several, wanting to avoid painting this thing exactly the way Luke's looked in A New Hope - but in the end, the other schemes just didn't say Star Wars, so I went with the old standard. It's a strangely intimidating freehand, because the lines are so precise, and so iconic, so there was a lot of touching up.

Then, you've got to beat this thing to **** - which is the fun part!


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Edited by OuterPop

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On 12/3/2019 at 9:32 AM, OuterPop said:

B1 BATTLE DROIDS

I know I'm late to the dance on painting these guys, but I just want to say God Bless FFG for hard plastic sprues.  I just love the freedom these guys give you to create variety in a sea of sameness. 

It was a blast to research all of the color schemes for the various units in the expanded universe.  With a swarm of these guys on the table, it's imperative to find a way to distinguish one unit from the next, and there's no shortage of possibilities.   Battlefront mods have me thinking about some even more crazy color schemes.

I didn't want to use contrast paints on these, because I'm not a huge fan of the way it pools.  So I went with a more traditional zenithal undershade, thin airbrush glaze of Ushabti Bone, and then shade with varying combinations of Agrax/Seraphim Sepia/Sepia ink.  

pic5082342.png

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              Standard                Rocket Battle Droids        AAT Driver    Standard Unit Leader      Pilot                        Security            Engineer

They are really well done, nice work.

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Thank you! 

These are some of the most painter- friendly sculpts FFG has ever released.  They really exaggerated the depth of the recesses, so the inks (or contrast paints) just fall like magic.  And the flats are easy to keep free of pools. 

Can't wait to see how the Phase IIs come out on hard plastic. 

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DOWNED AT-ST

I started working on a full Scarif board, (on which Cassian is going to fit nicely, thank you FFG,) and along the way, neglected a bunch of older terrain pieces. I finished up the AT-ST, now I need to go put the final touches on the Sandcrawler so I can get back to this desert map. 

I couldn't decide if this model was supposed to be lost to the desert (like the Jakku graveyard pieces,) or if it was just shot down.  I first went with fully eroded, sitting in the desert as long as a Krayt Dragon skeleton - and then I read the cards.  It was just shot down.  So...a little reskinning, and some slight cleaning, and it looks a bit more like a fresh kill. 

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