“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” — Darth Vader
You finally have Star Wars Legion and you’re staring down all your new, assembled miniatures. Panic attack. You’ve never painted before, you ask yourself “how can I do this?”. This was me, myself, a year ago when I first got Imperial Assault. I doubted ever picking up the paint brush. Then I started putting things on the table and it just didn’t look right with all the gray. I did some research, found out I need to prime them first and use acrylic paint. Off to Michaels I went to grab some beginner items to test run. Just some white primer, white and black paint, and cheap brushes. I figured I might as well try stormtroopers first…which I don’t recommend now, because white paint is hard to get used to. That said: I was hooked. Even with my poorly painted, poorly shooting Stormtroopers. I wanted to paint more. I’ll even show you how poor my first paint job was (and I’m still not good today, but I love it none the less). Don’t let a bad paint job stop you from painting. Use it as a landscape to eventually be better!
I started with the cheaper paint from Michael’s and Walmart mainly because I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy painting. Which was great and all for getting me into the fold. When I purchased Boba from Legion for the painting competition at my local store, I decided to indulge in some Citadel paints. Once you do that, you can’t go back so you have been warned!
Paint on a budget:
- Michael’s has a plethora of cheap acrylic paints starting at 89 cents a bottle
- Walmart has Apple Barrel paint
Paint non budgeted:
- Army Painter
I’m sure there’s more out there, I’m learning as I go! Personally, I ended up buying a big set from Citadel paint of base colors and washes. Luckily, I have the means to go out and buy that big set and it was the best thing I did. If you have the option to go all in on good paint, I highly recommend it. But if you can’t, don’t let that stop you either! Paint on a miniature is better than no paint!
Here are some things I learned fast when getting into the hobby:
- Sorastro’s videos are amazing. That said, he’s so great at painting that you never want to watch those and expect yours to come out the same. I know from experience!
- Thin your paint! It seems weird, but it does matter. I use water, but I know from better painters that they recommend using a medium.
- Nuln oil is your friend but don’t over do it. (I’m guilty)
- Better paint brushes make a difference.
- Find your own style and stick to it.
On that last part, that really comes from my own personal experience. I’ve come to terms that I just genuinely can’t paint layered faces and eyes like everyone else, yet. I will continue to try but the process eludes me. At first, it frustrated me. I wanted to be a perfectionist. My advice for that: don’t try to be perfect. It will drive you insane. Paint how you want to paint and don’t let anyone tell you different!
Here’s some recent work to show you that I’ve come a long way from those terrible Stormtroopers! It helps that Legion is a bigger scale than Imperial Assault, too! The models are also much better in detail.
As I said above, I can’t paint eyes and you can see it with Luke. I have my own style though and I embrace it! As should you! Not to mention, I made General Veers into Grand Admiral Thrawn because Thrawn is my favorite character! Take what you love from Star Wars and make it your own! I want to believe I’ve gradually gotten better over time and hope to continually get better. Especially when FFG keeps upping their game with better sculpted models! I plan to attack the Pathfinders and Jyn this week!
I definitely had moments of “man I’m not that good, why do I do this!” over the past year. I bet a lot of people have had those moments and you will, too. The more you paint, the better you’ll get. We’ll probably never be Sorastro, but paint on the table is better than no paint! Take pride in what you paint, no matter what level you may think they’re at.
May the Force be with you.