Star Wars Imperial Assault Painting Guide Ep.11: Chewbacca and Gaarkhan


Hello, and welcome to Episode 11
of Sorastro’s Star Wars painting series. In this episode, we’re going to paint
both Gaarkhan and Chewbacca from Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Although we’ll be aiming to give
each character a unique tone, the basic techniques required will be the same for each. Here are the main steps: We’ll prepare the Wookies by removing mould lines,
filling in any gaps, and spraying with a primer. We’ll then give the fur a dark brown base tone, followed by a couple of layers of highlight. We’ll follow this with a light-coloured drybrush
to articulate the texture of the fur. We’ll then complete the fur with some dark washes to both strengthen the shadows
and further enhance the texture. Finally, we’ll paint the remaining elements,
including the weapons, accessories, and facial details. Let’s begin. After removing mould lines, you may like to fill in
any unwanted gaps with some Green Stuff, and you can refer to episode 10
if you’d like more detail on how to do this. I’ve then chosen to prime my Wookiees in black,
but white would also be okay. I’ve also chosen to rebase the figures
using wire pins to reinforce the joints, following the steps outlined in episode 10. With the preparation all done,
we’re ready to begin painting. We’re now going to give all of the fur
a base colour using Mournfang Brown, which I’ve chosen for its reddish tone. I found 2–3 layers were necessary
to produce a solid finish. We can now use some Deathclaw Brown
to provide a broad highlight. We will use this to cover
all of the lighter areas of the figure and avoid the areas we want to remain shadowed such as the areas under the arms. All we’re doing here is blocking in
the main areas of light and shade, and needn’t worry about producing a smooth transition as the drybrushing and washes to be added later
will effectively blur and obscure these layers for us. Chewbacca has some large patches of darker fur, notably on his upper arms, parts of his legs,
and on the top and back of his head. These are also areas we can avoid. If you find yourself covering too much
of the miniature with this lighter shade, as I’ve done with Chewbacca’s left upper arm, you can always reapply some
of the darker tone to correct this. Notice, how much lighter the fur is
surrounding Chewbacca’s face and how quickly it fades to a much
darker brown on the rest of his head. We continue adding the lighter tone in layers
until we have a bright, flat finish. And it’s important to ensure that we don’t allow any
of the darker tone to show through on the raised areas. Without the irregular dark patches
that characterises Chewbacca, you should aim to cover most of Gaarkhan
with this lighter tone. we can now add a lighter area of highlight by adding a roughly equal quantity
of something like Screaming Skull. A glance at Gaarkhan’s character art
tells us we can afford to go pretty light for the upturned parts of the face and body. We can also pick out some of the individual
strands of fur with this colour, sometimes using the flat of the brush
to do this more easily. A second or third layer should be applied as appropriate to ensure we have a bright, solid highlight
that maximizes the contrast. Things will still look pretty rough at this stage, so we may need to make a small leap of faith and trust that the next couple of stages
will smooth things out. One of the dangers of painting things like fur, is that it’s easy to focus solely on articulating the texture and to neglect the broader light and shade of the form. We’re only applying this to a few
select areas of Chewbacca as we want him to have an overall darker tone. We can then provide one final highlight by adding
some additional Screaming Skull to our mix. For Chewbacca, I would use this just for the eye area. But we can use it a bit more liberally with Gaarkhan. Once we’re happy that we’ve mapped out
the areas of light and shade, we’re ready to apply the drybrush. We’re now going to apply a light beige drybrush,
and I’m using Tyrant Skull. We want this to achieve three things: Firstly, it will allow us to quite easily
articulate the furry texture. Secondly, it helps to blend the rough areas
of light and dark that we laid down earlier. And finally, it gives an extra boost to the highlights. We should bear in mind that the washes we’ll be
adding in the next step will darken the figures, so we shouldn’t worry if the figures
look a little over-bright at this stage. We’re now ready to apply the washes. We’re going to apply an overall wash to each miniature, followed by some more selective shading. As Gaarkhan’s fur has a rich, reddish tone, I’ve chosen to use an equal mix of
Agrax Earthshade and Reikland Fleshshade. Once that’s dry, we can add an additional layer for select
areas where we want to deepen the tone further. For Chewbacca, I’ve chosen a darker mix, using two parts Agrax Earthshade
with one part Nuln Oil. We’re now going to apply some additional,
more selective shading to both of our Wookiees. Starting with Chewbacca, we’re going to darken
the almost black areas of Chewbacca’s fur, such as the upper arms, head, and parts of the legs. To do that, I’m going to dilute some Nuln Oil
with an equal amount of Lahmian Medium. This gives me a thinner mix, which allows me
to more subtly build up the layers. We should add as many layers of this as are necessary
to give us the contrast we’re after. We should concentrate on the upper arms
and the top and rear of the head as these are markings that
really help define Chewbacca. And we want them to look like deliberate design
choices rather than simply uneven shading. I would also slightly darken the upper lip area… ..as well as the toes. Here, I’m adding a fourth and final layer of shade, although if you use your Nuln Oil neat, you may get the depth of tone you’re after
in just two or three layers. We can now see how the combination of base tone
with highlights, drybrush, and wash, allows us to create a beautifully wide tonal range and helps bring to life – what will be for many of us – one of the most memorable
characters of our childhood. Although Gaarkhan doesn’t have
dark patches like Chewbacca, I would still like to further deepen the shadowed areas. And, to produce a richer brown tone,
I’m going to use Agrax Earthshade, again thinned with an equal mix of Lahmian Medium. I might also add just a touch of Druchii Violet
to warm the tone up further, although this could be considered optional. Here, I’m darkening the back of the head to make the brighter eye and
forehead area more of a focal point. One more final, optional touch could be to add a subtle
golden tint to the lighter parts of Chewbacca’s fur. To do that, I’m using a 2:1 mix of
Lamenters Yellow and Bloodletter, then thinning the mix with an equal
quantity of Lahmian Medium. The effect of this is very subtle, however,
and is entirely optional. We should now have nice rich fur tones
with a good level of contrast and tonal variation, which means we’re ready to paint the additional details. We’re going to begin with Chewbacca by applying base colours to all of his accessories,
starting with the ammo strap. For this, I’m using Rhinox Hide, although
pretty much any dark brown would be fine. I’m then using some Leadbelcher for the ammo. For the satchel, I’m using some Mournfang Brown. And the dark grey mix using black and
Mechanicus Standard Grey for the crossbow. I’m now going to hit the ammo
with some Runefang Steel, so that it will stand out through the black wash
I’ll be adding in a moment. And I’m going to give the crossbow
a light drybrush with some Leadbelcher to impart a dark, metallic sheen. Just take care not to hit any of the fur whilst doing this. All of these areas, except for the satchel,
can now be given a dark wash with some Nuln Oil. A second layer may be needed for the crossbow
to create a deeper black. We can now shade the satchel with some
Agrax Earthshade mixed with a little Nuln Oil. Finally, we can highlight the satchel
with some thinned Mournfang Brown. This could also be used to highlight
the raised parts of the leather ammo strap. We’ll return to paint the facial details later on. First, let’s paint Gaarkhan’s weapons and armour. We’ll begin by laying down
a base coat of Leadbelcher. We’ll follow this with a dark wash, using
an equal mix of Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil. Once this is completely dry,
we want to add some highlights, which can be done with a drybrush or a layer or both. A drybrush – with something like Necron Compound – is fine for the axe and for the larger parts of the armour. But to avoid accidentally hitting any fur, it’s a good idea to highlight the smaller
parts of the armour in the usual way with something like Runefang Steel. We’re now going to add a second wash
using another brown/black mix. It might be fair to question why we would use
multiple alternate washes and highlights in this way. The reason is that we’re actually building up contrast. With this wash, for example, we’ve given
the highlights their first layer of dark wash, but for the recesses this is the second layer, which means the shadows are receiving
a darker treatment than the highlights. Once this is dry, we can add a final
highlight with our Runefang Steel. We can then finish the armour off with one last wash, which we can thin with some medium and apply
selectively in order to preserve the brightest highlights. By building up the alternate layers like this, we now have pure bright silver at the brightest points, smoothly blended down to recesses
that have now had three layers of dark wash, which means we have a striking level of contrast
as well as a subtly weathered look. You could paint Gaarkhan’s satchel any colour you like. I’ve chosen black to break up
the amount of brown on the miniature. So I’m using my standard recipe of
Mechanicus Standard Grey and black base coat,… ..followed by a Nuln Oil wash… ..and some Eshin Grey highlights. Finally, we can turn our attention to the facial details,
beginning with the teeth. I’m going to pick out the teeth with some Ushabti Bone. Then, I’m going to turn them down
with a little Agrax Earthshade. We’re now going to paint the lips, and I’ve chosen
to use some Cadian Fleshtone to do this. Although the lips now look pretty good, I’ve chosen to shape them down
with a little Reikland Fleshshade. I’m also going to use this on Gaarkhan’s nose area
to give it a more fleshy tone. We can then add a highlight
with a reapplication of the Cadian Fleshtone, focusing more on the central,
most prominent part of the lip. Now for the nose, Gaarkhan’s nose appears to be fairly light,
so I’m going to leave it as it is. For Chewbacca, I’m using an off-black mix
of Mechanicus Standard Grey and black, which I’m later going to go to hit
with some gloss varnish. Now, let’s tackle the eyes. I’m going to begin with Gaarkhan
by painting the whites of the eyes. I’m following this with a touch of black or dark grey
to represent the pupil and iris. I would then add a small amount of Nuln Oil to tone
the white down and shade the edges of the eyes. Chewbacca’s eyes could simply be left black as they aren’t articulated in the sculpt
and are heavily overshadowed by his furry brow. It is possible, however, to give them
the same treatment as we did for Gaarkhan, but they are more tricky to get to. We can now paint the bases, and for
the scenic bases that I’ve chosen to use, we can follow the same steps
used in episodes 7 and 10. However, I’ve decided to introduce a little more variety by giving some of the pipes are corroded copper look. To do this, I’m using a base colour of Warplock Bronze and then following this
with a highlight of Hashut Copper. We can then mute the area down with some Nuln Oil. I’ve then chosen to add a little grunge to the area
with a touch of Typhus Corrosion, concentrating on the areas
where the pipes meet the ground. Just as we did with the AT-ST, this can be built up in a couple of layers
to achieve a more textured effect. At this point, I’ve chosen to add a few
additional highlights with some Ironbreaker, which contrasts nicely
against the darker, grungier areas. Finally, I’m going to use some Nihilakh Oxide
to produce a verdigris effect. This is quite a thin technical paint,
designed to create the effect of oxidized metal. We simply use it neat and stipple it on in sparing
amounts to add corrosive stains wherever we like. This is a simple optional touch that is fun to add but also gives us a way
of introducing a little extra colour. With that complete, we can now
spray everything with our matte varnish. We then clip the wire pins back… ..and fix the Wookiees to their new bases. And finally, we can add some
gloss varnish to the crossbow,… ..as well as a small amount to the eyes and the nose. And this completes our Wookiees. Thank you so much for watching. If you like the content, then do please subscribe or consider showing your support through Patreon. Join me again soon as we continue painting
the Hero miniatures from Star Wars: Imperial assault. Happy painting!

72 thoughts on “Star Wars Imperial Assault Painting Guide Ep.11: Chewbacca and Gaarkhan

  1. Amazing work! I can't wait to get to work on these tonight and surprise the guys on Monday!
    When I suggested you merge the two it was before you started the Patreon account, now they should all 6 parts each. 😉

  2. A man must buy more paint.  My local tabletop gaming supplies store loves you Sorastro 🙂   good job once again

  3. Thank you for giving me the confidence to tackle the wookies. They frightened me previously, but now I almost feel prepared!

  4. Dear Sarastro, Your word is certainly your bond! Another figure painter entirely satisfied! Absolutely brilliant! I've even managed to persuade the Mrs to try her hand at an AT ST!  Although, I am keeping my fingers crossed for my birthday & Christmas to get started! Watch this space…..

  5. Sorastro, you have done it again! Most excellent video!

    I have so much fun following these tutorials, thanks you once again!!

  6. Excellent job as always.. I love the transition and the final look of the miniature. I also like that you changed up the bases for your hero/champion figures. Very nicely done!

  7. Again, a masterpiece. The music at the beginning reminds a bit of Planet of the Apes and Im pretty sure you had that in mind when composing it at least for a second 😀

  8. Nicely done….  although I've missed (or you've missed!) the boat on this one, should be good for the new wookie expansions!

  9. I am currently overwhelmed with minis to paint. That being said,  I am picking up imperial assault simply to emulate the results you have achieved.  Hopefully the game is worth playing also? Your work is Absolutely brilliant…can not wait for the next episode..

  10. Thank you for sharing your techniques and skill once again. I really look forward to these videos.

  11. You used Lahmian Medium to your Nuln Oil for Chewie. Does the Lahmian just thin out the Nuln Oil or does it serve another cause? I can back it up and see if you explain it.

  12. Great guide as normal, you must be psychic as I had primed my wookies and then saw this was uploaded,  very happy!!

  13. Loving your work on these, some really solid tips and having it in HD is an awesome plus. I know you've still got Luke and some of the other Rebels to get to but will you be going on to do the rebel saboteurs?

  14. I appreciate these are a huge amount of work for you and only just completed this one, but did you have a plan for the next one?  I am steadily painting through the set but will leave whatever you plan next to last to get the guide

  15. Wow!  Another great video.

    Maybe it's just me, but the music really seemed really really good in this one.  It's always good, but for some reason it came through as extra awesome this time.

  16. I can understand your anxiety. You did a fantastic job, and have really helped out people like me who want to get it right. My gaming group thanks you, and so do I. 🙂

  17. This looks like another fantastic tutorial, I can't wait to get started on painting the wookies.  Yours look amazing, Sorastro, particularly Chewie.  The colouring you've got on him is absolutely perfect.

  18. I finished painting my wookies using this guide yesterday.  I'm really pleased how they came out, a lot better than if I'd been left to my own devices!  Thanks, Sorastro.

  19. I totally goofed on Chewbacca 🙁 I dry brushed way to hard and now no amount of Nuln Oil will darken it. it looks like his fur has dirty blonde highlights :/

  20. Just wanted to say this is the most practical fur painting tutorial I've yet seen. I will definitely be trying this out.

  21. Excellent guide, my chewbacca is going to be perfect, thanks a lot!

    By the way, i've seen one of the corks you used is from Spanish wine Campoviejo… excellent wine, good quality, specially for a somewhat good price XDD

  22. I agree with Timstuff, there are some great ideas for painting fur in this video. I can't wait to try them out.

  23. I've just finished my Gaarkhan. He looks amazing! I can't even imagine such a result without your video. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

  24. Is it safe to say that when you apply the dry brushing, it looks like you have a minimal amount on the brush to apply just a faint layer in most cases?

    Excellent video! Thanks for all the instruction.

  25. Hey Sorastro, what would be a good Citadel Tyrant Skull equivalent? I can't seem to get that one here in the Netherlands.

  26. Master Sorastro… I've been successfully painting my Imperial Assault figures, more confidently every time thanks to you.

    I have a question, what can I use instead of Tyrant Skull for dry rushing? For some reason the stores I buy my paints from don't carry it.

    Ushabti Bone looks familiar. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

    And please keep up the good work!!!

  27. Argh, went a bit heavy on the highlights.  The drybrush before the wash is especially bad here, the model look awful.  The dark brown and red brown is completely over powered by the drybrush.

    I'll need to strip the paint and start again.  Annoying, but not hard to do.

    How heavy would you say to go on the drybrush?  Barely any coverage at all (especially on the dark areas)?

  28. Wow. Just amazing. Chewbacca has come to life with your painting. Can I please ask you a question or two.

    What brushes do you use and how do you clean them?

    Thank you

  29. Ushabti Bone and Lahmian Medium are listed twice in the list (I've been working on a spreadsheet) 🙂

  30. Tape can be your best friend at times, where he says to switch form dry brushing to a layer style paint you can just add tape lightly to the fur around the armor and go ham on the armor with the dry brushing. Be careful to lightly apply or you will strip pain off when you pull off the tape. Also its a Bowcaster not a crossbow, but they look great.

  31. When you mix your shades, do you just use a brush to take it out? Or a dropper of some sort? Or just pour it out?

  32. I just finished mine and omg I'm so wrapped how the fur came out. The different blends of highlighting and shading really pay off. Thanks again for another awesome tutorial 🙂

  33. Who's here for the inevitable launch of Chewie and the Wookiee Warriors for Legion?

    This is like watching magic happen with the layers on layers on layers.

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