“He says there’s a secret entrance… On the other side of the ridge.”

As the end of August can be seen lurking in the distance, creeping ever closer, and this is when The Angry Piper’s TerrainTime 2019 challenge finishes AND my Star Wars-inspired terrain piece was almost complete, I decided to crack on with the roof. Once this was completed, all I’d need to do was give it a couple of passes with some spray paint and job done.

So, first order of the day was deciding on what to use. Looking at the original inspiration for this terrain piece, the Endor Shield Generator Bunker;

Related image

the roof is pretty thick and also stepped, so the first order was to scout out some 5mm foamcore to make the lowest tier of the roof. As my intention was to use an aerosol spray paint on the entire model, the exposed foam along the edges would have to be masked, otherwise the spray paint would melt it. Potentially useful if trying to replicate a weird energy weapon attack, not so good when just attempting to undercoat a model.

A rectangle that matched the approximate footprint of the model was cut out, and the sides covered with clear sticky tape, angled at the corners to avoid overlap.

The next stage was to add an additional tier, slightly smaller, cut from mounting board and a third and final tier, the corners of which were trimmed, as were the centres, to give a bit more interest to the basic roof structure, before adding any external greeblies.

A quick raid of my box of bits and two end caps from flat pack furniture, two push pins, a plastic flanged nut of some description and a spare token from HeroScape (which has the HeroScape emblem on) were dry-fitted, then stuck in place, once I’d decided where they were going.

All well and good, but what did it look like in situ?

Not too bad…

Not too bad at all…

But obviously, as it stood at this point, all the disparate elements were clearly visible, so out into the garden it went and was given a liberal coat of matt black primer.

yes, I did say matt – the only reason this is looking shiny is that the picture was taken when the paint was still wet.

As I wanted a playable interior as well, the inside was given a coat too. The interior will gain some detail, possibly utilising some of the decals from Diorama Workshop. These are designed for 3.75″ actions figures, but re-scaling them and printing them out on sticky-backed paper and you’ve got instant Star Wars “wallpaper” for whatever environment you wish to re-create.

The next step was to use some Wilko Gunmetal Spray Paint, which gives a nice subdued dark grey-ish metallic effect. The idea was to try and utilise the technique known as zenithal shading, to try and create some simple highlights without too much effort. However, I don’t think I got it quite right, so my bunker model appears to be the same colour across its entirety, except for some possible darker shading in the doorway.

However, my Dominion troops seem to like it and for a relatively simple and inexpensive project, I think it’s come out looking pretty good.

If you’d seen the finished article prior to seeing how it was built, would you have guessed what it was made of? Or just assumed it was 3D printed or something?

That’s all for this build, but join me next time as this project continues. I think we may be off to the Droid workshop…

Jez

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“Chewie and me got into a lot of places more heavily guarded than this…”

So, my intention for the month of August was to continue with my Alternate Star Wars project AND take part in the TerrainTime 2019 challenge being run by the Keith (aka The Angry Piper) over on his blog Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging. I had already bought one of these;

Wilko Half Size Propagator Lid 17.5 x 21cm Image

which is a Wilko Half Size Propagator Lid (17.5cm x 21cm) for the absolutely HUGE amount of…75p! Bargain!!

The idea was to use this vacuum-formed plastic cover as the basis for an Imperial-ish bunker, similar to the ones found on Endor or Scarif. Relatively simple plan – trim the rim so it was flush with the ground, tart up the exterior a bit, spray the whole thing, weather it a bit – shouldn’t take too long and should be pretty simple, right?

If I’d stuck to my initial plan…yes. However, I overthought this little project and ended up trying to make a recessed door (like the one on Endor). Over the next two and bit hours there were indications that things were not going according to plan, but rather than listen to these subtle hints from the Universe, I struggled gamely on – until I realised I had well and truly Fucked. It. Up. 

Once you’ve reached THAT point, all you can do is sigh and consign your efforts to the bin, because no amount of remedial work will miraculously resurrect your idea.

However, lessons were learnt from this;

  1. Don’t overthink or over-complicate your builds,
  2. Cheaper is not necessarily better, and
  3. Vacuum-formed plastic can be a pain in the arse to cut straight lines out of.

Of course, in between my epic fail with my first attempt at a Star Wars-inspired terrain piece and this post, this was previewed by FFG;

Image result for star wars legion bunker

Yup, the OFFICIAL Star Wars Legion Imperial Bunker – RRP seems to be about £69.99…

As we all know my particular opinion on FFG pricing, I won’t reiterate that here, but seeing this item reminded me that I had seen a plastic object with similar detailing knocking about the house somewhere – namely this;

This is a hard plastic fitting wedge, used when installing laminate flooring. It’s usually used to offset the ‘planks’ when laying the flooring, to ensure that it’s square with the walls…or that’s the general idea. Anyway, these wedges are 30mm wide and 70mm long/tall and I thought I could use them to clad a simple box, to make a substitute bunker. However, I only had a couple left over that I could locate, and needed a good 20 or so.

A quick search online and I discovered that B&Q were currently selling off packs of the Diall brand of these wedges, as they were being discontinued, for the low price of £1.00 for a pack of 22. So I bought 2 packs.

Now I had my ‘cladding’, I just needed my walls, so the remains of a cereal box was press-ganged into service and a basic structure built – with the recessed doorway being pre-planned this time, rather than an afterthought.

That’s one of my Dominion Outriders to give an idea of scale – the structure has a footprint of 18cm x 12 cm and is 7cm tall, so as to fit in with the multiples of the individual wedges.

After a certain amount of gluing, the exterior of the structure was clad, as shown below.

As the reverse of each wedge is divided into a 3 x 5 grid of oblongs, I decided to use two of these reversed to create the inner walls of the recess, with the intention of adding a control panel at some point, once I’d found something suitable.

Which then looked like this;

Looking at the original wedges that had started this train of thought and project rolling, I realised that they were from a different manufacturer AND had a different pattern on the reverse – which looked like blast doors to my eyes, so these were glued in place, like so;

All in all, it took about 40 minutes to do this, including building the cardboard structure. Cheap, simple and, in my opinion, looks pretty good.

So, the next stage is to build a roof, add a few external bits and bobs – such as the afore-mentioned control panel and some sensor domes – then give it a liberal coat of black spray primer, followed by a spray of Gunmetal (bought to refurbish a mirror frame, but gives a nice subdued metallic finish) and it will be done.

The interior will have to wait, as the end of August fast approaches and it needs to be usuable/finished by then, so I’ll just concentrate on the exterior.

And I’ve still got another pack of these wedges and am wondering whether they could be used as internal walls, if they were glued back to back…

There should be another post to finish the bunker off, before we move onto how I’ve worked out how to cunningly and cheaply make my own Astromech droids.

You KNOW it’s going to be another potentially Genius idea, so make sure to tune in…

Jez

“We Are The Dominion, And We Are Legion.”

It has been a while since I’ve posted on the Buffet, due to work and family commitments that have resulted in no real hobby-time and, therefore, nothing to actually post about.

However, I have now reached a state of equilibrium, whereby home, work and hobby time will be more equally distributed, so hopefully that will see a few more regular posts here.

Now, before I continue with my Alternate Universe Star Wars project, I wanted to address some points raised regarding my last post, regarding the cost of Star Wars: Legion. Some people felt that I was being overly critical of Legion’s costs, stating that it does represent pretty good value, especially the base set.

Okay, the cheapest I can find the Star Wars: Legion boxed set online was £53.99. This has the rules, dice, measuring sticks, barricades, 15 rebels (including Luke), 15 Imperials (including Vader), 2 Speeder Bikes and 1 AT-RT. So, 30 figures and 3 vehicles for £54 – which works out as roughly £1.64 per figure. Can’t disagree that that’s good value.

However…

It had been pointed out in various reviews that the Legion boxed set is not a complete wargame, i.e. you need more expansions to fully appreciate the game. Okay, so let’s add an additional set of Rebel troopers and Imperial Stormtroopers, at £16.50 each – which adds an additional 7 troops to each side. So, 47 figures for a total of £87.00 – which works out as £1.85 a figure. Still pretty reasonable, right?

However, if your gaming budget is quite small, as mine is, dropping £54.00, let alone £87.00, is a non-starter. And because the Legion figures are sooooo nice, I’d want EVERY Imperial expansion.

The point of my last post was not to denigrate Star Wars: Legion, but to point out that you don’t have to buy it to play in the Star Wars universe – or Alternate Universe. And the advantage of doing it this way is that you have a wider choice of miniatures you can use, as you’re not tied in to a specific scale or rules system, so don’t need the official models and cards to play.

I’m just one person, doing things MY way, so if you’re happy to buy Star Wars: Legion and play your SW games with it, then who am I to say you’re wrong? I’m just presenting an alternative option, which could end up cheaper overall – or might not – but the cost can be spread over smaller individual purchases, which can be easier on the pocket or budget for some gamers.

Right, let’s move on…

So, in my previous article I mentioned that I had ordered some sprues of multi-part hard plastic figures from Scotia Grendel, one of each of the Junkers and Viridian packs, giving me enough parts to build 20 figures for £13.25 – so 66p a figure, which no-one can argue isn’t excellent value for money. Ordered on the Sunday night, arrived on the following Thursday, so a pretty quick turn-around. Let’s take a look at the Junkers sprue first;

Each sprue has enough components to make two figures and you get: two torsos (which come in two pieces), two sets of legs (differently posed), two right arms, two left arms, three heads (two helmeted, one with a breathing mask), two combat shotguns, two swords, two shields, two backpacks and four shoulder pads.

The Viridan sprue follows the same format:

But you get two ‘carbines’ and two machine pistols, instead of the shotgun and sword combination of the Junkers.

Now, the cool thing about having both sets of sprues is that you use whatever parts you want with whatever figure you’re building, although due to the collar on the Viridian torso and the flared rear part of the Junker helmet, these parts won’t really work together. This was my initial plan regarding building my not-Stormtroopers, as I felt that the Viridan helmets were a bit comical-looking in the painted examples I’d seen, like a crab sitting on top of the armour;

Image result for plastic viridian marines

Or possibly a techno-owl…

Then I saw this:

Image result for plastic viridian marines

Which is all kinds of awesome and is kind of what I hope my troopers end up looking like.

So, having decided that the carbine suffered from “over-sized gun syndrome”, the shoulder pads were too Space Marine-y and my troopers wouldn’t use shields, I put to together a couple of test figures, using the ‘combat shotgun’ from the Junkers sprue:

Quite happy with how these came out, so these will be the backbone of the Dominion’s forces, the Legionnaires, which are the equivalent of Imperial Stormtroopers.

Next, I decided to see what I could build with the Junkers sprue. The intention was for these to be the equivalent of Imperial Scout Troopers, as they are have less armour and are less bulky when compared to the Viridians – so actually reasonably realistic, if you can say that about fictional plastic spacemen…

I decided to not bother with the shoulder pads, shields and backpacks – and arm them with the ‘machine pistols’ and swords. I then added some grenades handing from their thigh pads/pouches from some GW Kroot. As the Imperial Snipers are drawn from the Scout Troopers, I decided to see if I could knock up a sniper too, using the same body configuration, but withe the addition of a metal sniper rifle from (I think) the Shock Force range and a Kroot ammunition belt.

I’m still trying to decide if the sniper rifle is a bit TOO long – I think it just looks a bit big because of the way the figure is holding it and the fact that everything is so light. Once painted, it might look a bit better – or I’ll just shorten the barrel. These will be my Dominion Outriders and Sharpshooter.

Of course, if we’re going full NOT Imperial, we need a Darth Vader analogue. So after much searching for a length of plastic of the right diameter, shape and length, and then constructing a handle for it, here he is;

And to give an idea of how everything scales together, here they are with one of Grenadier’s Future Skirmish Troopers (sculpted by Marks Copplestone), which are going to be my Union Militia;

As you can see, they all scale together pretty well, with the Outriders being the slightest, due to their jumpsuit and minimal armour and the dominating figure of Archon Corax, previously of the Order of Sentinels, but now leader of the Dominion.

So, I now have my troops (although I do need to assemble a few more), so the next stage is to paint them. Michael Awdry of 28mm Victorian Warfare fame had mentioned the Youtube videos posted by Sorastro, in relation to painting SWL figures, and having found these videos to be useful, interesting and in no way smug (which can be a problem in some painting ‘tutorials’), I shall be attempting some of these techniques to “Imperialise” my Dominion troops.

On a related note, I do have a question for anyone who cares to answer. When posting articles regarding how I’ve painted a particular figure, I usually include the manufacturer’s name and particular paint name in the description. Now, as most of my paints are either really old GW paints, which are now called something different, or non-hobby paints, so unfamiliar to those who read this blog, does anyone really need to know which specific hue I’ve used? Or am I just wasting precious time on something that no-one really cares about and causes your eyes to start to glaze over? I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions.

And while I’m at it, a question for Michael Awdry himself. You used one of the Revell T-47 Airspeeders in one of your vignettes, stating that it was a little smaller than the official Legion one, which I believe is a touch undersized for the scale of the Legion figures. So, my question is, will it work for 28mm? I know it’s 1:52 scale, but various online reviews seem to suggest it might be closer to 1:72 scale and whilst it’s a quarter of the price of the Legion one, it would be useful to know if it’s suitable before I buy one.

Right, that’s enough for this post. Join me next time, when we shall be continuing our journey to a galaxy far, far away – but off to one side a bit – AND combining this with Keith’s TerrainTime 2019 challenge to create a cheapass “Imperial” Bunker…