Today Sue takes us through a quick and easy way to paint up the newest addition to the ranks of the Separatist Alliance for Atomic Mass Games’ Star Wars: Legion
I love aliens and droids, so I was delighted when Asajj Ventress was released for Star Wars: Legion. This is a very simple model and can be painted very quickly while still looking great on the tabletop. We’re going to paint this model to tabletop quality, but one of the reasons I wanted to focus on this model is because she has tattoos and I wanted to talk about painting models with tattoos.
What you will need:
Primer: Citadel White Scar
Brushes: Citadel Layer Small Brush, Citadel Medium Shade Brush
Contrast Paints: Luxion Purple, Dreadful Visage, Blood Angels Red, Apothecary White, Contrast Medium
Shades: Nuln Oil, Reikland Fleshshade
Regular Paints: Retributor Armour, Iron Hands Steel, White Scar, Gal Vorbak Red, Kakophoni Purple, (or the Vallejo equivalent of these colors), Black (any)
What you may want:
Windsor & Newton Fine Detail Brush, Vallejo Color Shift Electric Blue (or any purple Color Shift Paint), Dollar Store Blue Tack
I like this model. It’s detailed, yet not too many pieces. One thing I really like about this model is that everything fits together really well. There is good clearance in the sockets.
Some hobbyists like to glue the whole model together first, while other hobbyists prefer to paint the parts separately and then glue it all together the end. Whichever method you prefer, I recommend gluing the front and back of the skirt together as well as the front and back of the torso at this stage. Even if you prefer gluing the whole model together, consider leaving off the left arm for now as it could get in the way of painting the face.
If you decide you want to keep the head separate for now, keep it on the sprue so you have something to hold onto while painting it.
I primed this model with Citadel’s White Scar primer. I like this primer because it has a very smooth finish. If you prefer, Vallejo makes a nice, white primer. You will want to get as much coverage as possible and this may require several trips outside to prime your model.
I elected to glue the skirt together and the torso together, and paint the rest of the pieces separately. I have (a lot of) Dollar Store Blue Tack at the bottom of my hobby drill to hold it upright. I made a small hole in the bottom of the model and applied Luxion Purple Contrast Paint with a Citadel Shade Medium Brush. I did this first so that the skirt could be drying while I worked on the rest of the model. I wasn’t in love with the way the Luxion Purple looked after just one coat (not pictured) so I did a second coat once dry.
If you are not familiar with how Contrast Paints work, shake well before using, and treat it like a wash. You’ll want to apply enough that it flows into the recesses of the model. If you would like to practice using Contrast Paints, I recommend picking up some pre-primed D&D minis to practice on. You can get a pack of two or three for around $7.00.
If you don’t want to do any make up or tattoos, you can skip this step. However, even if you only try one thing, I recommend the mouth tattoos, as I think those are the most striking for this character. If you don’t want to paint any eye make up, I recommend a purple or a black wash in the recesses of the eyes, as her make up is quite dark.
If you want to paint any tattoos or make up, we’re going to do all the tattoos, and the majority of the make up at this stage, BEFORE we add any washes or Contrast Paints. That way we can use our White Scar paint to clean it up, and when you are finished, the Contrast Paint will tie everything together and make it appear very smooth. I used Kakophoni Purple to draw the tattoos, but you can use any purple you like. I used a Citadel Layer Small Brush to draw the make up and tattoos. However, you may prefer to use a higher end brush like a Windsor & Newton Fine Detail brush.
Note: I kept my Apothecary White Contrast Paint close at hand to periodically dip my Layer Small Brush and twist the brush back into a point before washing it off and twisting the brush back into a point before applying more paint. Contrast Paint can make your bristles stick together (not unlike licking your brush) to give you a higher amount of brush control.)
How much make up and tattoos you add, is completely up to you. If you’re looking for inspiration, there are some great photos of the Asajj Ventress Action Figure out there, but I tried to mimic the head tattoos on the Star Wars: Shatterpoint model.
I did all the purple tattoos first and then added some black eye make up for the eyes, and Gal Vorbak red for the lipstick. I mixed some Gal Vorbak with white to do the line on the lower lip.
You may want to do the chin tattoo and the lips all one color as you may find this easier to paint.
By doing the tattoos BEFORE applying the Contrast Paint, you can easily fix any mistakes without worrying about blending your paint to match the Contrast Paint or Wash, and having the Contrast Paint overtop, really makes it look like it’s part of the skin, rather than painted over top.
Mix Apothecary White Contrast Paint with Contrast Medium. Shake everything well before mixing. You’re looking for about a 50/50 ratio. Then use a Shade Medium brush to apply.
I ended up temporarily gluing the head to a piece of sprue before using a Shade Medium brush to apply the Contrast Paint over the head.
Once dry, finish up the eyes. How you paint the eyes is up to you, whether you paint cartoonishly large eyes and close them with black make up, or whether you draw a white line across the eye, followed by a dot, or you can also draw two dots on either side of the pupil. You may have to touch up the black if the Apothecary White pooled a bit over the eyes.
If you elected not to get too fancy with the eyes, as I noted earlier, you can always add a black or a purple wash to shade in the natural shadow of the eye.
Your face is now complete!
I used Luxion Purple Contrast Paint to paint the sleeves and the top of the dress and Blood Angels Red to paint the lightsabers. I recommend painting the these parts first as it’s easier to correct if you make a mistake with the darker paint.
I knew I would get purple paint on her back. That’s why I did the purple first so it would be easier to correct!
You will want to paint the silver on her lightsabers before painting her hands. I used Dreadful Visage Contrast Paint for her arm bands and the bit around her waste. I didn’t love the way it looked when it dried so I added a second coat. For her belt, I used regular Apothecary White Contrast Paint, and I used Retributor Armor for the Gold. For applying washes and Contrast Paints over smaller areas, I like to use a Citadel Layer Medium or even a Citadel Layer Small Brush.
I also painted some Vallejo Electric Blue Color Shift paint over top of the dress to try and make it more exciting. I lost some of the detail in the skirt, but overall I thought it added a nice effect. If you’re worried about losing detail, you could always try drybrushing it on. This is an optional step, but it literally took minutes.
We are almost finished!
I added the black wash to the bottom of the lightsabers and now the arms are complete!
I used a flesh wash over the Retributor Armor to give it this nice shade.
Since the skirt was super easy to paint and I finished quickly, I once again used my hobby drill to hold the piece in place while I applied the wash and while it dried. If you glued your model together in the beginning, this is not something you needed to worry about.
We are now finished painting!
Now we glue all the pieces together. Although, I found that many pieces had become push-fit with just a few coats of paint. That was a really cool design feature!
We are now finished! It probably took you longer to read this article than paint most of this model. We mostly used Contrast Paints and other tricks to get this model painted quickly!
That Vallejo Color Shift paint really makes it look like we did something fancier than simply spending a few minutes adding a thin coat overtop of our dress.
By doing the tattoos before adding the Contrast Paint, they really look like they’re part of the skin. And the Contrast Paint washed away all sins – the areas we cleaned up are barely or no longer visible!
Asajj Ventress is now ready to fight some battles. I hope you enjoyed painting your own Asajj Ventress model and she helps bring you many victories in Star Wars: Legion.