With the recent release of Jabba’s Realm box set expansion for Imperial Assault and a few exciting add-ons coming down the pike, like the Jawa Scavenger Villian Pack (YES!), Hera Syndulla and C1-10P Ally Pack, and BT-1 and 0-0-0 Villain Pack, doing a painting guide for the AT-ST seemed like a good idea. I am an amateur painter, but every now and then I have some success.
Most painting tutorials jump right into the paint. But, I figured that I would back up and slow this one down. This first post will be about prepping the model. Unlike organic minis with lots of wrinkles or fur, the AT-ST is a hulk of flat matte metal surfaces with some mechanics here and there. That being said, there will be less washing and more reliance on dry brushing and layering to bring out the details of this mechanical monster.
To begin, let’s take a look at what we’ve got. The AT-ST comes packaged in the base boxed set like most Fantasy Flight plastic minis—loosely placed in a plastic bag that floats freely in the box. When you first remove the pieces, carefully check to make sure that there are no damaged components. Fantasy Flight is always great about replacing pieces that arrive damaged. After you check them, take a close look at them. They should fit together snugly. If you have trouble inserting them, a glass of hot water will soften them and should allow you to slide them together without issues. This model does not require glue, but I am old school and generally glue my minis. Also, with other minis, using Army Painter “Green Stuff” Kneadatite to fill in the crevices can make an organic mini really come alive by eliminating the inevitable awkward line breaks that buildable plastic minis have after assembly. However, with this mechanized mini, no filler is needed. The breaks in the model will fit naturally with its assembly-line feel.
Before assembly, inspect each component and locate the imperfections. I like to use 150 Fine 3M sandpaper for wood. But, of course, a traditional model file also works great. Just tear off a small coin-size piece of the sandpaper and gently (and lightly) sand down the excess plastic flaws. This will ensure a nice even coat when you apply your primer. I will discuss priming and painting in the next post in more depth. For the primer, I will be using Citadel Chaos Black and Army Painter Uniform Gray spray primers. I order most paints from Amazon.com. You can go to your local store, but usually, on Amazon, the price is right and with free two-day shipping, you can’t go wrong. I generally use a single primer for models, but for this larger model, a gray primer for the broad areas and a black primer for the inner mechanical models seems appropriate.
It is important to note that not all blemishes need to be eliminated. Use your best judgment and remember, it is not a science. The model that I am using has some imperfections on the cabin piece. I am going to roll with it. In the end, it will make for some nice battle scarring. Once you are satisfied, go ahead and assemble the model. As for the base, at this point, you can attach it or not. For this model, I will attach the base to the legs later on in the process. I often find it awkward and difficult to paint bases. But, that might be just a personal problem. If you want the base attached, go for it. Once you are assembled and glued, you are ready to go.
Next post, we will prime the model and get painting.