Stormtroopers, or The Left-handed Dark Side

Nearly thirty years ago West End Games produced the award winning and influential Star Wars, The Roleplaying Game (1987). Dozens of adventures, supplement and boardgames followed and became part of my stable of roleplaying environments through my college years.

For me a major part of this extended universe was the fantastically sculpted range of 25mm miniatures. Produced initially by Grenadier and sculpted by non-other than Bob Charrette and Julie Guthrie, these were exquisite castings far better deserving of my early impatient paints attempts. 

The release of Star Wars Miniatures Battles in 1991 were my first foray outside of Warhammer Fantasy Battles (then 3rd Edition) and only served to fuel my shifting interest towards war-gaming. I always preferred the lighter feel of the 25mm, particularly as GW was increasingly moving upwards into heroic 28-32mm.

Way back then the troops got a heavy handed dab of paint, a quick ink wash then PVA varnish before launching their assault for the good of the empire or defence of the rebellion. However it has been some years since many of these minis saw any tabletop action and with the recent spate of actually good new Star Wars movies, in particular the anticipated Rogue One, I felt was time to delve deep in to the lead mountain.

Opportunistic purchases over the years slowly reinforced my collection, but I never took the time or effort to paint the new recruits. Some were sporting their previous owners schemes but by now about half the collection was unpainted. The first order of the day was to strip the painted half so as to start again and create a uniform look.

Stormtroopers Stormtroopers Stormtroopers

The iconic Stormtrooper was selected as the vanguard of the project, 38 Stormtroopers to be exact. According to the WEG Imperial Sourcebook the standard Stormtrooper squad was an eight man unit, with four squads to a platoon. Therefore I was able to muster a full platoon with a few extras to mix and match for specialists.

Stormtroopers Stormtroopers

The Star Wars Miniatures Battles (SWMB) rules set is a particularly good set of squad based rules. The basic units are 3-10 man squads which you can customise by electing individuals as specialists; heavy weapons, snipers, etc. An average a game will see 3-5 squads per side.

Sandtrooper Sandtrooper

One odd feature I never noticed before with these minis was that out of the 14 castings, only 3 were right-handed. This particular bias in Stormtroopers was not something I heard and can only assume that it is the sculptors’ own predilections.

Beyond the Seven Seas