Star Wars Special Forces - Episode II


Ok, when we last left off, I was working on the commando figure that will be the main player in this vignette. I decided to go in a different direction this time and finish up the base prior to completing the figure. That is out of the norm for me as I generally work on the environment last, but in this case I'd rather complete the setting while the figure is still able to be posed and repositioned. It gives me more leeway.
So, if you've been following me on Facebook, you would have see the spoiler picture of what the base looks like. The main attraction of the entire scene is the Speeder Bike, one of the more iconic vehicles on the Star Wars movies.
I wanted to create a scene showing a Rebel Commando presiding over the battlefield on Endor, the ruins of the Empire around him. Its an image we see quite often in today's news reels of soldiers walking down destroyed streets, passing wrecked Soviet-era armor along the way. Here is how I went about it...this is a long post, so bear with me!

The Speeder Bike is an old toy meant for hours of action figure adventure fun. I had this laying around since I was a kid. It was a prized possession back then but decided it was time to give it new life. There are various different aspects of the bike that are very toy like so I had to change some things to make it look a bit more realistic. But that is what modeling is all about, right?



The handle bars and pedals just would not do so they were immediately removed and discarded. I wanted the bike to be sunken into the earth so removing the pedals was no big deal, and since the bike was damaged during the battle, any number of things could explain the absence of the handle bars...
I also had to hollow out the areas along the, well, I don't know what you call it so I'll let the pictures show you...



Then I removed the main control panel as if it was blown off, or removed in order to repair something...doesn't matter the reason, use your imagination. Its gone...


That hollow area was then filled with some items from the scratch bin to replicate the inner workings of the speeder bike, as well as fill the void that otherwise would have been there...


Some other items that were too thick were the forward fins. I cut them off then fashioned my own out of thin metal sheet and plastic card...


Draped a tarp over the back (a technique that is ubiquitous in armor modeling because it hides areas you don't want to work on as I did here) and upholstered the seat using tissue paper...


And finally, used a Dremel to create some battle damaged areas...Love the Dremel, if you don't have one, get one!


Time to put it on a base. The foundation was a small wooden plaque with a quaint little saying on it that would go well in a bathroom or something. The wife didn't want it hanging on the wall any more so she gave it to me. So thoughtful, isn't she? The ground will be built up out of celluclay over the green Oasis floral foam. And the rubble will be cork...


The Oasis foam is wonderful as it is dense and easily cut but you can also depress areas quite simply with your fingers. I could press the items into the foam even before covering it with celluclay. Highly recommended basing material!
I set the figure aside and made my ground work mixture...


Just mix the celluclay and add small stones, cut up some paint brush bristles, and add some small twigs. What you see above is a little broom that I bought from a craft shop from their Halloween clearance section. Its made of small twigs that work perfectly here. The reason I mix them all together is because I decided after working on the Chevy project that ground work is more realistic when the items are all mixed as opposed to laying the items on top of it. It makes for more realistic protrusion from the ground.





Time to paint!
Everything gets a healthy dose of black...


Followed by white, sprayed on in a fairly irregular pattern...


And then the brown base coat...


Following this, salt is applied in two layers - so, lay salt then spray lighter brown. Lay another layer of salt and spray an even lighter shade of brown...





You end up with some interesting variation, no?
Chipping, dark washes, and steady dry brushing completes the look...








The ground work isn't completely finished as it still needs some highlights and dry brushing, but the airbrushing is all finished. I tried to create a speeder bike, damaged in combat and now slightly charred by the fire that consumed the Imperial bunker that now lays in ruins next to it. So far, so good. I hope you are enjoying it!
Thanks for reading!

Episode I

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