|In a Galaxy far far away...|
After entering the miniature wargame market last year with Runewars, Fantasy Flight Games is attempting to cement their place there by releasing a game within the Star Wars Universe: Legion. Knowing that the game was in the 28mm-32mm scale, I was curious to see how the models compared to those made by Games Workshop. Fortunately, a friend got a copy of the game and was kind enough to let me assemble a few of his stormtroopers to assess the quality!
|In addition to the boxed game, FFG sells other smaller boxes of models, like additional stormtroopers.|
|Each model comes unassembled in a little bag, with the sprues removed.|
When opening a box of stormtroopers, you are greeted with a host of little bags, each containing all of the pieces for an individual model. The models are made out of PVC plastic, rather than the polystyrene that Games Workshop uses. The material is something like a cross between both GW plastic and resin, but is more flexible and does not hold detail quite as well. I spoke at length about my reservations about PVC plastic when assembling a Wrath of King model a few years back, and remain unimpressed having worked with it again. If one is unconcerned with cleaning the models, they can be assembled incredibly quickly, since they come separated from any sprues and are comprised of relatively few parts. If you do want to remove any moldlines, however, the process crashes to a halt. With polystyrene, moldlines can easily be scraped away with the back of an x-acto blade (or one of GW’s seamscrapers), resulting in a smooth surface that often does not need sanding. This process does not work well with PVC, and instead partially tears the plastic, necessitating sanding (which also does not work very well). Due to this, you need to cut every moldline off, a process that is much harder to be consistent with (and often requires extensive sanding to ensure each section remains smooth). All of this results in increased build times for incredibly simple models. Furthermore, due to the relatively shallow detail of the models, the laborious process of removing moldlines often destroys the smaller details on areas like the helmet. While I am sure the more time spent with PVC, the easier it would become, it would never alleviate all of my concerns, and the process is so aggravating that I do not think I would ever attempt it. It is worth noting that plastic glue like Tamiya Extra Thin Cement does not work for gluing PVC together. Instead cyanoacrylate super glue is needed.
|The stormtroopers come with 25mm bases (middle) quite similar to Games Workshop’s bases.|
|Although similar in height to a Primaris Space Marine, the Stormtroopers are not in heroic scale.|
Although I am certainly not thrilled with the Legion models being made of PVC plastic, when the stormtroopers are ultimately assembled, they look quite nice. The iconic and imposing stormtrooper image is captured well. It is also worth noting that while being in 28mm-32mm scale, the models are not in heroic scale. So unlike Games Workshop models, their weapons are quite small and well scaled. Furthermore, their arms and legs are thinner, giving them a more natural human look to them. As a result, despite being far smaller and thinner than a Primaris Space Marine, each stormtrooper is virtually as tall.
|The weathering was easily achieved with some oil paints and enamel odourless thinner to blend and remove excess paint.|
|The base was done with a coat of Martian Ironearth, followed by drybrushing some lighter colors and applying a few washes.|
Due to the simple poses, few parts, and shallow detail of each model, they are quite simple to paint. Towards this end, I wanted to try to paint the stormtroopers as quickly and easily as possible. After priming the model grey, I fully coated the model with Vallejo Model Air Light Gray (71.050). I then did a zenithal highlight of Ulthuan Grey (GW air), followed by a light zenithal highlight with Vallejo White. To add more definition to the various armor panels, I painted a thin line of dark grey along most of the joints and seams (Light Gray mixed with Vallejo Black 1:1). I painted all of the black elements, including his rifle with Vallejo black. I highlighted the rifle by drybrushing it with a mixture of Black and Ushabti Bone. Finally, I applied a coat of Nuln Oil shade over all of the black areas. To complete the model, I did some weathering on the stormtrooper’s armor using a few different brown oil paints from the Ammo of Mig Oilbrusher line.
|The finished stormtrooper next to a few more that are ready to be painted.|
|Some of the comments below encouraged us to take a scale picture of the Imperial Assault stormtrooper next to one from Legion, as well as a Primaris Space Marine.|
With all said and done, I am pleased with how the first stormtrooper came out. While assembly took longer than I had anticipated, due to the model being made of PVC plastic, the painting process was very quick. Having finished the model, I am of two minds as to whether I would recommend Star Wars Legion to others. From a hobby prospective, I am hesitant to recommend the game; many of the models simply are not very well sculpted and they are made from PVC plastic that is hard to work with. On the positive side, however, since it is a Fantasy Flight Game, it will likely remain well-supported and have a robust tournament scene. Also, it is a Star Wars miniature game; who has not wanted to have a legion of tiny stormtroopers?! I think FFG is imagining that most players will not bother with removing moldlines and accept their models as “good enough.” If you are not concerned with removing moldlines, you could easily assemble a sizable force in a few hours and start playing. For me, the hobby aspect is the most enjoyable part and I want each model to be the best it can be. For that reason, I am not going to be pursuing the game, at least for the time being.
- Eric Wier