Themed Workbench is where I take a look at some armies created along a theme, from concept to completion. In amongst my piles of grey plastic are inspirations for ideas. Some good. Some not so much. This time I’d like to share a project that’s been several years inside my brain as an idea, but only recently was I able to get this all together.
As a kid, my biggest love in the whole world was Star Wars. When I was young the original trilogy came out in theaters and I was hooked. My paper route money, Christmas, mowing lawns – every dime went to amassing a collection of Star Wars toys. Years later when I was presumably too old for toys, my mom would give it all away to my cousin while I was away at University, and he wrecked it all. I’m still bitter. Some wounds never heal.
Childhood trauma aside, for pretty much as long as I’ve been interested in converting for 40k I’ve wanted to make a Star Wars army. Problem was, there just wasn’t a good source material for miniatures other than knight models. But they discontinued that line before I was able to purchase. I’m still bitter…. some wounds never… well you get the idea.
With the release of Imperial Assault though, I had a basis for some models. Which was enough to rekindle the thought that this could be a reality. I didn’t like quite a few of the sculpts though, so I needed more. Then I saw the dreamforge miniature line, and felt that could be the basis of the stormtroopers, who I wanted to have as the bulk of my force. Yes I was going imperial. No, I never thought for even a second about going with the rebel scum. Oh and there was going to be an AT-AT. That was happening.
All I needed to do was to figure out a list to start from. Believe it or not, this was a long frustrating process as just nothing seemed to work. I went through several iterations of the list from space marines, to Tau-dar, Chaos, etc. No one army seemed to have everything I was needing, and I needed to make some compromises. I knew that I really wanted – the emperor, vader, probe droids, AT-ST’s, stormtroopers, speeder bikes and of course the AT-AT. Eventually I decided on Eldar. Wait, before you grab the pitchforks and torches, look at the list and you’ll see it’s not nearly what you would call a top tier Eldar list, as I did everything according to the theme. This is an Eldar CAD with a single assassin added.
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Well I had to have the Emperor, since it was imperials. Rules wise he had to be Eldrad, since he’s the best evil (all Eldar are evil right?) psyker they’ve got. Model wise I modified the Necromancer model from the Vampire Count model line.
I removed the cowl, the skull and staff and made him a lightsaber. Yes lightsabers are made from gloss coated toothpicks. My sith master told me this himself.
Darth Vader was pretty much an auto-include for me as well. I went through a few different ideas for this, but eventually settled on Karandras. He was a fairly kick-ass melee fighter with a decent armor save. I really wanted a psyker (when I was considering blood angels Vader would have been Mephiston) but unfortunately I couldn’t tick every box with whatever single army I chose. Model wise I modified the Commissar model.
No, they’re not star wars stormtroopers, but pulling the backpack off and adjusting a couple things gave me a “pretty close” approximation. Rules wise I knew I wanted to have probe droids, so figured guardians with their weapons platforms would be pretty close to storm troopers and probe droids. Yes, dire avengers are technically a whole lot better, but this is about theme. Plus I finally got to use Ard Coat for something! For the probe droids I just used bits laying about from other kits, the bulk of which were rhino hatches.
Over on the old warseer forums I found someone who did an imperial guard star wars army and used speeder bikes as rough riders, with using space marine scout bikers. I copied the same procedure for the bikes themselves, and used the dreamforge models (heads and torsos) in combination with the scout biker arms and legs. Rules wise, these are scatterbikes.
The one set of models I really liked from Imperial Assault were the bounty hunters (yes I have a deep and abiding adoration for Boba Fett), so I used those stock without modification. Rules wise these are Dark Reapers. Good shots with a decent gun. And yes, Fett is the Exarch.
Vehicles and Fortification
Given I had a bunch of footslogging guardians, they are about as survivable as… well stormtroopers. So I knew I’d want some kind of protection for them. An Aegis Defense line served the purpose for this. I also liked the AT-ST models from Imperial Assault, so they worked just fine stock as well. Rules wise, well they’re war walkers of course!
For the AT-AT (really the one model I wanted to build more than any other in this list) I had some issues. The Force Awakens was released and there were lots of toys out, but the scale was way off. I located one of the old toys but it was also just WAY too big. Tracking down the old Wizards of the Coast AT-AT, which was 28mm scale was possible, but they were few and far between on Ebay and really, really expensive. Plus I’d never seen one up close and it’d be just my luck to pay a bunch of cash and have it arrive and be wrong!
Searching around the net I found 3D printing files to make an AT-AT.
I had never tried 3D printing before, and didn’t have one at my disposal. Printing online off the site with the files was super expensive. So I went with the local library, who had just began offering 3D printing services. The price was extremely reasonable, and although the rough prints had more flash than I think I’ve ever seen on a model before:
The parts cleaned up easily enough and once put together he looks pretty cool. Yes he’s huge still, but with everything else together on the table the scale looks right without being massive. Rules wise he’s a wraithknight with the two cannons. This was my other “not quite right” compromise for the list, and frankly where the other armies came ahead in that they could field superheavy tanks which were transports, or superheavy walkers – but for those armies the guns weren’t right. So I settled on a wraithknight with guns as I couldn’t get anything perfect anyways!
So originally that was the list, however I had some points left and really wanted to get a dark jedi in there somehow (preferably starkiller). I figured a Culexus Assassin could make a really cool starkiller. It would be awesome I thought. Then my four year old granddaughter weighed into the equation. You see, the Force Awakens was out and she was nuts for it. She also for some really weird reason loved Kylo Ren. I didn’t understand it. Like at all. But she asked me in her very sweet and not at all manipulative voice to please make Kylo Ren. Sigh.
Humorously enough, Kylo has done literally nothing in every game I’ve played him in and the best showing he’s ever done has been living until turn three. His ignoble demises have included being beaten up in combat by zombies, and taking his last wound from overwatch trying desperately to get into combat. (I imagined he tripped on a stick and just lay there whining for the rest of the battle). He literally could not beat someone in a lightsaber duel that just discovered that day that they might possibly have jedi force powers. So in other words he’s perfect.
Eldrad ulthran (the Emperor) Karandras the shadow hunter (Darth Vader)
5 striking scorpions (red guard)
10 guardians with eldar missile launcher platform (storm troopers with probe droid) 10 guardians with eldar missile launcher platform 3 scatter bikes (speeder bikes) 3 scatter bikes 3 scatter bikes
5 dark reapers with exarch – exarch is Boba Fett – other reapers are the other bounty hunters from the movies 3 war walkers with scatter lasers (AT-ST) 3 war walkers with scatter lasers
Wraithknight with heavy wraith cannons (AT-AT)
Culexus Assassin (Kylo Ren)
Aegis defense line with quad gun (manned by Boba fett and friends)