Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Star Wars Snowspeeder [WIP - Rebel Alliance Pilots Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson]

Painting miniature figurines remains my first and strongest love in this hobby. I still get that same rush I felt when completing the paint job of my first miniature all those years ago. After weeks of vehicle painting and weathering - which I enjoy, don't get me wrong - it was a relief of sorts to get back to work on the miniaturised human form once again. And in a way, both Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson were the perfect miniatures to restart my long neglected figure painting work. That was because I didn't have to paint their eyes (arguably the hardest part to get right) which were covered by their helmet visors. Ironically though, the helmets turned out to be pretty difficult in and of itself. 

Rebel Alliance snowspeeder pilots in the Battle of Hoth: Wedge Antilles (left) and Wes Janson (right)

Getting any details on the helmets was extremely tough, more so when I needed to differentiate markings to the extent you could tell who was wearing them. Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson each wore helmets with distinctive markings that I had to recreate at 1/48 scale.

Snowspeeder pilots at 1/48 scale show in comparison to a five sen coin and a paperclip

Of the two, Wedge wore a helmet with relatively simpler markings. Simpler to paint freehand that is. Two huge green rectangles on either side of Wedge's helmet made the painting process considerably easier. It also helped that most other symbols on his helmet comprised simple squiggles and straight lines. Perhaps the most difficult part was the circles around the sides of the helmet. Painting a circle is difficult enough to do freehand so as you can well imagine doing it at this scale was ... difficult.

Wedge Antilles shown here at extreme close up to highlight his helmet and flight suit 
Wedge's flight suit panel was blue in A New Hope, but it became red and green in The Empire Strikes Back
Wedge in the Battle of Hoth as seen in The Empire Strikes Back, plus closeups of his helmet

In Janson's case, it was much more difficult to source for reference materials because as far as I can recall there were no full body shots of him in The Empire Strikes Back movie. From what I could find online, his flight suit was similar to Wedge's own attire, at least based on how Janson toy action figures were predominantly painted. In addition Janson's helmet was slightly more complex with a red-and-white checkered design in place of Wedge's simpler green rectangles.

Wes Janson, snowspeeder tail gunner and a good shot apparently
Less reference material was available for Janson, apart from his helmet
Wes Janson in the Battle of Hoth, and closeups of his helmet

As for the rest of both pilots flight suits, care was taken to achieve contrast as best I could at such a small scale. But in order to keep the pilots' colour scheme from becoming too cartoonish, I refrained from applying too much contrast. I used a Sideshow Collectibles Luke Skywalker Snowspeeder Pilot as reference when painting up the flight suits for both Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson.

Heavy is the burden we carry, for the Empire is about to strike back (... good haiku this is not)

Like a balm on a wound, the process of painting miniature figurines always provides me with a sense of soothing calm to the mind. Moreover, figurines also provide a sense of scale to a scale model kit as well as heighten the realism of the overall piece. And it's that wish to capture a piece of reality in miniature form that best explains the rush I feel, most avidly, when painting figurines. Here's hoping you feel that same rush in your own projects. And to my fellow Malaysians ... Happy Merdeka Day!

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14 comments:

  1. What a fabulous result! Outstanding attention to detail.

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  2. Great colors and fabulous job!

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    1. The original designers from Lucasfilm certainly knew their stuff as the colour combinations - which I referenced - works! And thank you Phil! :)

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  3. I always LOVE your work! Amazing sir!

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    1. Very kind of you Michał, thank you! :)

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  4. I can't even dream with achieving that kind of leve at that scale. So great!!

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    1. Thank you very much Suber. Of course you can. You already do great work at smaller scales. :)

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  5. Coming along nicely it seems! Always felt uncomfortable with those orange flight suits. But hey, it was the late 70's after all.

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    1. Ha ha .. yeah, way too bright. Thanks Moiterei. :)

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  6. Fantastic paint-job ! Love the orange !
    Greetings

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    1. Thank you Mario. The orange is indeed unique. :)

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  7. Magnificent painting on miniatures from that scale!

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  8. The crew look superb, very well done! :)

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