GeekDad Paints: ‘Star Wars: Imperial Assault’ – Luke, IG-88, Jyn Odan, Mak Eshka’rey, Rebel Saboteurs

Hobbies Leisure Tabletop Games
All the figures I started painting back in 2016 are now complete! (Image: Anthony Karcz)

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll know that there’s been an awakening. With the release of the Imperial Assault app, my buddies and I have rediscovered the game. When they expressed interest in trying out the new campaign, I had to scramble and finish up the final figures (the ones that I’d been ignoring ever since my Backlog of Shame challenge last year). Paint brush in one hand and Sorastro’s videos queued up in the other, I grabbed the last ten figures in my Imperial Assault backlog and got painting.

Jyn Odan

Every smuggler should wear orange. (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Jyn is one of two heroes that I hadn’t gotten around to painting yet. Maybe because her diminutive figure presented a daunting obstacle to my ham-handed paint skills. But I was thrilled with how quickly she came together. The Steel Legion Drab pants were a snap to paint and highlight (though the Screaming Skull pinstripes were challenging) and her hair turned out nicely due to a few dabs of Eshin Grey mixed in with the Abbadon Black.

The most vibrant of all the core box heroes (Image: Anthony Karcz)

But what really pops for Jyn is her Rebel-orange jacket. Mostly Troll Slayer Orange with a few dabs of Yriel Yellow (with more added when highlighting), the jacket draws your eye to her figure. So much so, she was the first one picked when my gaming group was choosing their characters for our inaugural Imperial Assault session.

Mak Eshka’rey

Mak turned out to be more fun than I expected (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Then there’s the hero who was voted “Most-Likely-to-Only-Ever-Be-Referred-to-By-His-First-Name.” I’d saved him for last because the sniper’s muted-green and tan palette didn’t do a lot for me. Then I caught Sorastro’s video tutorial and saw the incredible object-source-lighting (OSL) effect he created with several layers of thin yellow glaze.

Flesh tones with a nice brown wash made for perfect blond hair/fur (Image: Anthony Karcz)

I painted up the body suit in Warpstone Glow, used some Pallid Wych Flesh for the fur and Kislev Flesh for the hair, then slopped on Agrax Earthshade for the lighter portions of the figure and Camo Greenshade for the bodysuit and Nuln Oil for the pants. Using some Glaze Medium, I thinned down Skarsnik Green until I had an almost translucent tone that I could use to add a yellow-green. It took a few layers (applying the glaze to smaller and smaller portions of the area around the eyepiece), but eventually I ended up with an effect that looks fantastic at tabletop distance.


I grabbed my final Stormtroopers, whom I had stupidly primed black, and did some quick Zenithal shading with white. It made for a much easier time, picking out the dark parts of the armor in Eshin Grey and leaving the rest as is. Until I went to shade them.

What a lovely shade of grey you’re sporting this evening (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Using what I thought was a super-thinned mix of Nuln Oil and Lahmian Medium, I went to work, only to find that it still wasn’t thin enough. By the last figure, I realized I should only be applying the wash to the raised details and recesses in the armor, but the damage was already done. My previously white troopers were now dove grey.

Good enough for tabletop, but improvements will be made going forward (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Thus began the application of my favorite color, white. Even thinned, my Ceramite White wouldn’t go on in thin enough layers to not glop in the recesses. Sigh. They turned out well enough for tabletop, ultimately. While I like the details I got by shading, I’ll be trying different methods with future Stormtroopers.


Of course, during the course of our first playthrough, the app threw IG-88 at the team. And, of course, he was one of the few figures I’d primed and never finished. Since he was already a nice muted silver, it was an easy paint. I threw together a mix of equal parts Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade and brushed the figure liberally. After letting it dry, I drybrushed on some Ironbreaker, then added more wash (a little less this time). After repeating the process about four times, I had a grimy assassin droid, ready for some detail work.

I highlighted the shoulders and a few raised details with Runefang Steel. Then, utterly bored by the monotone, I saw the wisdom of Sorastro’s object-source-lighting inspired by the character art. I grabbed some Bloodletter and Guilliman Blue, thinned it down, and applied very thin layers on opposite sides of the figure to build up the effect. After a few layers, I was impressed with how well the effect worked to liven up the figure.

I finished up with a few highlights of Runefang Steel and added Wild Sunz Scarlett for the lenses.

Luke Skywalker

But I was going to go to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters! (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Everyone’s favorite whiny farmboy has similar issues to IG-88 in that he’s very, very monotone. Luckily a few washes and some heavy layering of tones liven him up. I’m particularly proud of the hair. I was skeptical that Sorastro’s recommended brown/blue mix as the base was going to lighten up sufficiently to mimic Luke’s tousled towhead blonde. But after additional layers of Steel Legion Drab and Zandri Dust, I was pleased with the “bleached at the edges, darker at the roots” effect.

I painted the leg wraps with a combo of Grey and White that probably could have been a shade darker. The tunic and belt were pure Ceramite White and simply refused to go on smoothly, no matter how thinned my paint was. I used Bugman’s Glow for the skin and an Abbadon Black/Eshin Grey mix for the blaster.

BEN! (Image: Anthony Karcz)

To draw the detail back out, I used a variety of shades: Reikland Fleshshade for the skin, Nuln Oil for the belt, and a mix of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade for the tunic and leggings. Then it was just a matter of pulling the colors back up with the original tones (with a bit of Kislev flesh mixed in for the skin highlights). After carefully picking out the eyes with white and using a bit of Mechanicus Standard Grey/Abbadon Black to fill it in, Luke’s ready to whine his way into supporting my heroes in future missions.

Rebel Saboteurs

Would I pick the same primed shade if I were painting them today? No. No I would not. (Image: Anthony Karcz)

The Rebel Saboteurs have a lot going on in the sculpt. One hand is holding the backpack strap. He’s wearing a shirt, vest, and grenade strap, there are tactical goggles over his eyes (thank the eye-painting gods), he’s got a big watch on one wrist. In other words, there are tons of opportunity for ruin.

Pre-shading, they look like they’re heading out for an afternoon hike. (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Ignoring the advice to start at the lowest part of the sculpt and work up, I picked out all the raised mechanical details (goggles, grenades, backpack wires, watch, pouches) with a 1:1 mix of Mechanicus Standard Grey and Leadbelcher. Then I went off book from Sorastro and mixed up a blue/green tone from Thousand Suns Blue and Warpstone Green for the skin. Since I’d primed them with Army Painter’s Army Green spray primer, it turned out a little greener than I wanted on the figure, so I mixed in a dollop of Teclis Blue for the second saboteur. I continued to use that mix for the highlights after I darkened things with some Coelia Greenshade. They eventually ended up looking pretty close in tone, after the highlights.

Tried some wet blending on the backpack, I’ll be using that again! (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Then I went to pick out the long-sleeve shirt in super-thinned White Scar (always trying to keep white smooth, even though it hates me and always looks gloppy—always). The sleeves were fine, but picking out the shirt on the Saboteur’s chest meant inevitably painting over the grenades I painted earlier. Oh bother. Once I cleaned things up, I used Screaming Skull for the vest, Army Painter Uniform Grey for the pants and Abbadon Black/Eshin Grey for the boots. I wet blended Army Painter Army Green and Goblin Green on the backpack and straps for some quick and easy gradient tones. I then shaded the green parts with Camoshade, the vest with Agrax Earthshade, and the shirt, boots, and mechanical parts with Nuln Oil. A couple touches of Leadbelcher for the darkened metallics and a pop of Wild Sunz Scarlet for the pack light and these guys were done.

There is Another… And Another… And Another

So is this the end of “GeekDad Paints: Imperial Assault?” Not by a long shot. Remember that gaming group I mentioned? Well, they were so excited about the game, they insisted that I immediately get more heroes for them to choose from for our next session. So after taking a collection, I ended up with…

That’s five expansion waves worth of miniatures right there. It’s… it’s a lot. (Image: Anthony Karcz)

Hoo boy. As you can see, I’ve got a lot more work ahead of me. As a bonus, I’ll also be crafting new custom inserts with help from GeekDad Gerry Tolbert, one for the skirmish materials, one for the new map tiles, one for all the heroes, and yet another for the new expansion figures. It’s going to be a very busy year.

Click here to check out previous “GeekDad Paint: Imperial Assault” articles by myself and GeekDad Robin Brooks.

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