Modelling: Imperial Statues

Imperial Statue

These are a couple of statues, made from Star Wars action figures and some polystyrene packaging.

Obi Wan and Mace Windu

I bought these figures off eBay for 99p each. They weren’t quite as poseable as I’d thought, which is why Windu looks like he’s directing traffic, and it’s best not to discuss what Obi Wan is doing! He also had a weird action where you press in the side of his belt and he moves his right arm back and forth. It was pretty disturbing!

Imperial Statues

I also got some polystyrene packaging and the caps off some old spray cans.

The plan was to make up a stepped plinth, with the cap as final small column, then the figure on top. They could be some local Imperial governor, or hero, or whatever. I thought I’d take an arm off one, and the other I’d break off at the legs and have the statue fallen. However, once I got it all together, I decided to keep them both standing. I’ve taken three of the arms off simply to get away from the odd posing. The remaining arm was re-posed and green stuff added to fill the gaps.

Imperial Statues

All the joints were super-glued to stop them moving about, and I put a couple of small screws in the bottom of the feet, to hold the figures to the caps. But I left them separate for painting. For the plinths, I glued chunks of the polystyrene together and cut out steps. This didn’t go quite as planned, as the polystyrene isn’t like what I’ve used before (maybe it’s not actually polystyrene!). I’m used to stuff that looks like lots of little poly balls all glued together. This was more of a honeycomb structure. It cut really easily, but the faces didn’t have much surface area (due to the honeycomb) so they didn’t glue well, or fit particularly well for that matter. They have a combination of PVA glue, super-glue and cocktail sticks holding them together.

The caps were just pushed and twisted until they cut in about a centimeter into the plinths.

And that was basically it for the construction. I cut some chunks out of the stepped plinths to give battle damage, and was going to leave some of the chunks as debris, but the crappy material didn’t lend itself well to that.

Imperial Statues - Primer

The undercoat is just black from a spray can (Hycote automotive paint – I’ve found this is okay for minis and is pretty cheap). However, the polystyrene (or whatever it is!) didn’t take it that well. Because of the honeycomb structure, the sides are almost entirely just the holes of the honeycomb – the spray paint didn’t get into all the holes far enough to matter. So the end result is a weird back finish but with lots of sunken parts that are still white. Basically the opposite of what you’d want!

I’d intended to do the statues grey and the stepped plinths a more sandy colour, to break from a dull, all grey finish. But how would this work with the weird material I’m using? Well, you never know what planet these are on and what odd local materials are available, so we might be able to explain this away. Forge the narrative!!

Imperial Statue

So the next step is to paint the plinths. The caps were pretty easy – two quick coats of grey (cheap Royal & Langnickel from Rymans) and they were done. The plan for the plinths was to have two coats of grey, then a coat of cream drybrushed over, to make it more like sandstone. This started to come apart with the honeycomb problem, but was exacerbated by the undercoat flaking off as I was starting to drybrush the grey on! Not sure if it was because it was cold and a little damp outside when spraying (but it didn’t seem to affect anything else – the figures or a few minis I did at the same time), or if the material just didn’t take the paint. It seemed fine until I started painting on top of it, then it was flaking off almost as quickly as I was painting it on.

But I’m persistent! I stuck with the plan, finished the two grey coats and a cream coat. So it’s kind of a white base, with black on the raised parts, drybrushed with grey and highlighted in cream. Nice and alien looking!!

Imperial Statue

The figures were a little more straight forward, just a straight drybrush of grey, like with the spray can caps. I did two coats, then in places a very (very, mind you!) light drybrush/highlight of white, just to pick out some sharp edges.

Imperial Statue

Then to finish it all off, I’ve added some washes. A bit of Nuln Oil (black wash) to give some shadows, a bit of sepia, because you know how I love my sepia wash, and a little green wash for fungus/algae or whatever growing on the stone.

Imperial Statue

Imperial Statue

Overall, these aren’t as good as I’d wanted. The figures weren’t quite right in the first place. A little too ‘actiony’ for statues. That’s what you get for buying them for 99p off eBay. Then with the problems with the plinths, it all started to go wrong – they’re oddly honeycombed, and the primer didn’t take to well. All in all, not a good recipe. But they’re okay. Still usable!

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