May is done, so where are my hordes of painted Imperial Assault minis? Well…
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll already know, I didn’t get much farther than Week 1. Still, four Trandoshans, a Nexu, and General Weiss mostly finished (I cheated and spent an extra couple days in June finishing him up), is a solid number of minis, given how slow I usually paint.
The Trandoshan Hunters provided me with an opportunity to try out diverse color palettes. When you consider how far-ranging actual lizard coloration is, I saw no reason to stick to “Bossk Swamp Brown” (and, after all, Bossk has his own mini).
The first night, I laid down the base colors, going with Army Painter Oak Brown, Angel Green, Dragon Red, and Deep Blue. I also used a bit of the Oak Brown to block out the leather for my two “earthier” Trandoshans. I also used the Dragon Red as my base color for the eyes.
After giving those a day to dry, I went with a high contrast layer. Demonic Yellow for my brown Hunter, Goblin Green for my green, Lava Orange for my red, and Electric Blue for my blue. To speed things up a bit, I used the highlight color for the brown and green Trandoshans as the base color on the jump suits of the opposing figure (I also borrowed a bit of orange for the detailing on the green). The red and blue, I knew I wanted more of an “urban camo” theme, so they’d have to wait until I busted out the black and grey.
Next, I grabbed some Citadel Mechanicus Standar Grey and Matt Black to provide the base for the jumpsuits on the red and blue Trandoshans and a white base paint for everyone’s chest piece. For the red and blue backpacks, I went with Matt Black for the red’s, to be weathered with grey, and added a bit of Deep Blue for the blue’s. My theory here was that sometimes weathered leather looks grey in spots, sometimes it looks blue, so there’s no reason the pack has to look the same on both minis. I based everyone’s weapons with a bit of Leadbelcher to finish off the session.
Then it was time to shade. I used complementary tones from my Army Painter set for each Trandoshan Hunter: Red, Blue, Green, and Strong (for the brown). As that dried, I used some of the Strong tone on the jumpsuits of the green and brown and Nuln Oil, with it’s more black-based shade, on the red and blue (along with all the weapons). After that, it was just a matter of finishing the eyes with some Demonic Yellow and black pupils, adding brass and silver buckles and weathering to the packs (with grey, blue, and tan), and finishing off the claws in black with grey highlights.
For the Nexu, I followed a similar process as my first toothy cat beast, but with a different color palette. Knowing I wanted to end up with a striped-grey Nexu, I started dark with Citadel’s Mechanicus Standard Grey. After that, I went over the fur with a lighter layer of Dawnstone, just enough so that the darker fur still shone through. For the next part, I brushed on some lighter grey highlights, then followed up with a healthy dark purple wash of 2/1 Nuln Oil and Druchi Violet. I added a little to the mouth as well.
After letting the wash dry, I went back and picked out the teeth with Citadel Kislev Flesh, highlighting them with Ushabti Bone. The tail and tongue were done with a ginned-up mix of pinkish-purple that I made from a bunch of pots I had open (nothing like experimentation). Then I used some straight Nuln Oil to darken them, also using this to freehand striped patterns on the body of the Nexu in successive layers. It took about four passes to get the depth of shade I was looking for. I’m really pleased with how bold the stripe pattern turned out on this one and might have to revisit my tan beastie at some point. For the eyes and claws, I used straight black with a bit of Ardcoat to make them glossy and a tiny point of white on the most reflective part of the eye.
General Weiss was mostly similar to my original AT-ST paint. If you’ve watched Sorastro’s video, you know that he went with tan tones. I skipped that and stuck with what I’d done previously, but still used his tips for painting Weiss and the new heavy weapons for the build. I also followed his build and drilled and pinned the hatch into place behind General Weiss. After the base coats were done, I added a healthy layer of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade (a 5/1 mix) and turned my attention to General Weiss himself.
I went with a blue-black tone for his armor, Dawnstone for his uniform, Leadbelcher for the metallic bits (and the goggle lenses), finishing the face with Kislev Flesh, with Ungor Flesh highlights. I used Nuln Oil on everything but his face (which got a healthy dose of Kadian Fleshtone). To finish him off, I tried picking out the (unsculpted) eyes and teeth with a bit of Skeleton Bone. I also used some Dragon Red for his rank insignia.
Once the wash had dried, I grabbed some Vallejo Metallic Medium (I grabbed it for an upcoming project and wanted to check it out) and mixed it with an equal amount of Dawnstone, then used that to edge the panels. The effect was perfect! It gave the normally grey paint a solid metallic sheen. For the heavy weapons, I wanted to use the technique that Sorastro deftly used for the light on the left-hand gun. I based the light in Bronze, then covered it with a thick layer of Soulstone Red. The paint is a little translucent, so it let the metallic paint underneath shine through, while giving it a red glow. Then I grabbed some Bloodstone glaze and liberally applied it everywhere light would hit.
This was a mistake, as the pink mess of the left-side of the AT-ST could attest to the next morning. I went back to the video, saw that Sorastro used a heavily diluted 5/1 Lahmian Medium to Bloodstone mix, painted everything back to base colors, and tried again with much more understated results (which is what I was looking for here).
For the base, I wanted something that would be a little more durable than my other AT-ST (I like what I did on that one, but with continued handling, bits of the “stone” keep falling off). I applied a thin layer of Agrellan Earth and let it dry; at which point I saw that the layer was too thin and I couldn’t see the cracks. After a much thicker layer, the base had a satisfying cracked earth texture. I shaded it with Agrax Earthshade, drybrushed it with a tan tone from my Army Painter box, and finished up with a few swamp tufts from my Army Painter basing kit.
So I didn’t finish off my Imperial Assault base set as planned; but I did take a nice chunk out of the remaining figures and got to play with some new techniques. I also used this month as an excuse to upgrade my brushes to a size 0 Kalinsky Sable brush. The point on this brush just won’t quit and it holds onto paint like nothing else I’ve used. It’s startling how much easier it is to paint details.
I’ll be taking a small break from Imperial Assault this month as I dive into my first commission! You can follow me on Instagram to watch me progress through the Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt board game.
Thanks as always to Army Painter for the paints and Polaroid for the awesome Foldable LED Light Box (that’s how I got such pretty final shots). If you’d like to see the other entries in my Imperial Assault painting series, you can find them here.