Thursday, 7 February 2019

"Out Of Millions Of Soldiers, They Are Unsurpassed."

"Those were Imperial Guards, Lando. The Emperor's personal protectors. Handpicked from the very best..."
These four 40mm tall hard plastic protectors of Darth Sidious are produced by “Fantasy Flight Games” and can be found inside the company's Imperial Royal Guards Unit Expansion for "Star Wars: Legion". "An elite unit whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Galactic Emperor", the Red Guard made their first 'Silver Screen' appearance in Richard Marquand's 1983 American epic space opera film "Return Of The Jedi".

Despite initially priming this quartet with a double coat of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and subsequently shading them using a healthy dose of “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade, I actually found myself having to repeatedly return to these multi-part miniatures to 'plug up' some frustrating gaps which I kept discovering during the painting process. Admittedly, I had somewhat quickly assembled and super-glued "the most skilled warriors in the forces of the Galactic Empire" in my eagerness to get them on the tabletop, but even so I was rather surprised by just how ill-fitting some of their limbs were, especially when they were presumably supposed to blend in with the swirl of their famous flowing robes.
Bloodletters WIPs - Having had their Hellblades dry-brushed the daemons' black flesh is being 'picked out'
Fortunately, once the odd application of 'Grey Stuff' had both cured and been pigmented, an enthusiastic dry-brushing with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Red seemed to work wonders on the figures' overall appearance, and momentarily I was actually tempted to leave the soldiers' uniforms as was. Certainly I wasn't planning on following the "Fantasy Flight Games" official paint-job palette, which portrayed the Imperial Royal Guards with purple-hued undergarments and blackish gloves.

In the end I therefore decided to simply 'pick out' each bodyguard's armoured helmet with a combination of "Vallejo" Dark Vermillion and a generous splash of "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson. This seemed to break up the monotonous nature of the miniatures' colour scheme reasonably well, especially when mixed with the "Vallejo" Black, "Citadel" Ironbreaker and Nuln Oil used upon their hand-weapons.
Bloodletters WIPs - The daemons have all had their hand-weapons shaded and dry-brushed
Staying with my use of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade, I have also begun slowly undercoating enough plastic Bloodletters by "Games Workshop" in order to double the size of my daemons unit for "Age Of Sigmar". However, rather than leave the blood-hungry warriors' "brazen Hellblades" until last, as I have done in the past, I've actually dry-brushed the weapons with "Vallejo" Gold before 'picking out' any of the Khorne creatures' other details in "Citadel" Abaddon Black, "Vallejo" Dead White and Heavy Ochre.

This should hopefully mean that I won't have to spend too long later tidying up each figure because all my previously finished paint-work has suddenly become infested with minute flecks of "Vallejo" Gold; something which has caused me a lot of frustration in the past. In addition, having spied in "The General's Handbook 2018" that a thirty-strong legion of Bloodletters only costs 320 points as opposed to 360 points, I have taken the step to assemble another ten of the multi-part furious fiends to help my "Blades Of Khorne" step ever closer to a future stand-a-lone force of 1000 points...

24 comments:

  1. for a minimalamount of colour to play with you've done the guards extremely well and the bloodletters do look very menacing.

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    1. Thanks very much indeed, Joe. Much appreciated :-)

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    1. Cheers Ray. I wish a force would need more of them as they were great fun to paint.

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  3. Would love some of the guard in 15mm, nicely done Simon!

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    1. Thanks Fran. Tbh, I’m surprised no-one has done not-“Star Wars” in 15mm; albeit I’m sure the “Disney” lawyers would soon pounce...

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  4. Great work on the Emperor's guards Simon, the Bloodletters are progressing well. I'm surprised you have trouble with the Vallejo gold leaving flecks, as I've never had that problem with that paint !

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    1. Cheers Dave. I’m really pleased I did the different red on the Royal Guards’ armoured helmets, even if the photos don’t show off their contrast as well as they look ‘in the flesh’. It might just be my luck with the bottle of “Vallejo” Gold I own, but it definitely leaves the tiniest of flecks all over a model when I dry-brush with it. Still, swapping painting phases should reduce this issue quite a bit, and I’m already powering through my Bloodletters as a result.

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  5. Nice work on the Emperors Bodyguards. I must revisit the original trilogy. I was trying to recall what sort of screen time they got seeing this post and can't for the life of me recall. Its not like Snoke's guards either.

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    1. Screen shot time Simon was down to backshots of the Emperor arriving on the Death Star and and a couple of shots in the throne room, where they stood stoic all in ROTJ, hope this helps.

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    2. Thanks Simon. I think the guards’ role has been significantly expanded in the comics/books since “Return of The Jedi”, especially with the “Dark Horse Comics” mini-series “Crimson Empire” where they are massacred during an attack upon their academy. Great stuff!!

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    3. Plus when Luke is first brought before the Emperor, they are dismissed following Palpatine’s immortal line “Guards, leave us.” - a command which ultimately proves to be something of a mistake, imho ;-)

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  6. The Emperor's Guards do look smart.

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    1. Cheers Bryan. Hope to get the Royal Guards in a BatRep real soon :-)

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  7. I do like the guards, but struggled to imagine them in combat. Do they pack a punch? As for the gaps have you tried matt varnish?

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    1. Thanks Michael. The Guards do look like they have some formidable load-outs with their cards, but as I don't actually play "Star Wars: Legion" I can't say whether they pack a punch. They simply seemed an essential purchase as I owned their master, the Emperor. I ended up using grey-stuff for the gaps :-)

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  8. Very nice Simon! I always felt the Royal Guards were way under utilized in the OT, if they would have been given a sequence like the guards in The Force Awakens did, oh my!!!

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    1. Cheers Ivor. I too think they were badly under-utilised in "Return Of The Jedi", which is why I probably enjoy their comic book escapades so much.

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  9. ultimately I think these guys would have been very scary if only they had been given a chance to shine in the films

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    1. I totally agree Andy. A great idea badly wasted in the movie.

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  10. The Royal Guard are awesome. Great job on the different reds, really cracking! Bloodletters are coming along nicely. Can't wait to see them as an army as all that red will look amazing en masse. You are on fire Sir, On fire!

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    1. Thanks very much, Undercoat. I'm hoping to have at least the first five Bloodletters finished within the next few days, including the Standard Bearer and Hornblower :-)

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  11. More demonic goodness, excellently done.

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    1. Cheers Phil. Hope to have these first Bloodletters finished this weekend too.

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