GeekDad Paints! ‘Imperial Assault’ Part 4 – E-Web Engineers

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This week on GeekDad Paints! I’m taking a bit of a breather and just doing two figures, the E-Web Engineers.

If you’re familiar with Imperial Assault, these minis are “E-Web Engineers.” For everyone else, they’re “Scout Troopers with Big Freaking Guns.” For me, they’re a chance to experiment with a couple of different techniques for use on other figures.

I started out by priming the figures with Army Painter Matt Black. There are two reasons for using black instead of white. One, the blasters in Empire were black and I really don’t want to paint these all the way back to black. Two, I’ve tried painting Stormtroopers that are primed white, and adding in all those little armor lines with black paint after the fact is an enormous pain in the butt!

Imperial Assault E-Web Primed
Yup, only 4 paints…really (photo by Anthony Karcz)

First up is drybrushing the E-Web heavy blaster. It’s a ridiculously simple process with a huge payoff. I’ve used it with good effect on the smaller blasters on other figures (like the Rebel Troopers), but here I wanted it to be much more pronounced. The only time you see these blasters in the original trilogy is when the Snowtroopers are firing on the Millennium Falcon as it escapes the Rebel base in Empire. There, they’re pretty much all black, which is fine if you’re only seeing them for 15 seconds on screen. If you’re going to be playing with them for an hour or so, though, over multiple sessions, you want something a little more visually interesting. So I loaded my drybrush up with Plate Mail (I figured Gunmetal was going to be too dark), brushed the majority off on a paper towel, then started swiping all along the blaster. It took maybe five minutes and, as you can see, it gives it a nice, weathered look.

Imperial Assault E-Web drybrush
Drybrushed on the left, primed on the right (photo by Anthony Karcz)

Next up were the Scout Troopers. My experiences with all of my white paints have been, up to this point, a bit frustrating. This proved no different. The inexplicably thicker consistency of the Matte White paint showed every brush stroke and created a varied surface, in what I had wanted to be smooth armor. I knew that Quickshade wasn’t going to save me this time, because it would just muddy up the white, so I tried brushing on some Strong Tone wash to a middling effect. He looks alright at tabletop distance. But up close? Meh.

Imperial Assault E-Web Non-elite
Non-elite E-Web Engineer Glopfest (photo by Anthony Karcz)

I was hoping my second Trooper would turn out better, but apparently didn’t learn my lesson. (What’s the definition of crazy again?) Thankfully, after leaving the table in disgust after a gloppy first coat, I did a bit of research. I’m not the only one to find the various Imperial Assault troopers challenging. The solution? Thinning down the white paint, then applying several light layers. I grabbed my Citadel Lahmian Medium and made a glaze of about 5-1 medium to paint. This went on much smoother than the straight paint and gave me the clean finish I was looking for (Mostly. I was still painting over my bumpy first coat, after all.) If you use this technique, keep in mind that you’ll have to experiment to see what works best for your paint. Too much medium and you’ll end up with a paint that runs into all of the black armor lines you’re trying to preserve. Not enough and your application will be chunky. After I had a few coats, I tried out a blue wash to see if I liked it. I didn’t, but I didn’t find it bad enough to paint back over. I just won’t be using it for my Stormtroopers.

Imperial Assault E-Web Elite
Slightly less gloppy Elite (photo by Anthony Karcz)

I also finally painted some of the more interesting Combatzone Scenery pieces, the doors! Well, maybe interesting is the wrong word, but it really bugged me that, to represent opening a door, you’re supposed to just pull the door off the map. It felt clunky. Apparently, I’m not the only one to think that, because these awesome doorways come with removable doors! These started out black as well and my daughter and I painted these over in Uniform Grey, not worrying too much about full coverage in order to maintain a weathered effect. A little silver for the control panel and some Strong Tone to dirty them up, and they’re ready to deploy!

Imperial Assault Combatzone Doors
Portals before portals were cool. (photo by Anthony Karcz)

So maybe not the most successful miniatures this week, but I went into them knowing that I would likely not be 100% pleased with the results. These were my test beds for the Probe Droids and Stormtroopers and I feel confident that I can do those figures justice with what I learned here. Even if these aren’t my favorite paint jobs, they still look a ton better at tabletop distance than unpainted minis do!

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As a reward (and to move on to something other than Imperials), I’m going to tackle some of the heroes next week. Finally, you’ll get to see some of the sculpts that are unique to Imperial Assault.

Thanks as always to Army Painter and Combatzone Scenery for supplying me with paints and scenery sets for this project. If you’d like to see the other entries in my Imperial Assault painting series, you can find them here.

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