Star Wars Legion: Speeder Bikes

My last post covering the painting of the core set units, and it’s the turn of the 74-Z Speeder bikes, of which there is a single unit containing 2 miniatures – let’s take a look.

Star Wars: Legion - Speeder Bikes

Overview

The 74-Z Speeder Bikes offer perhaps the most challenge to first time players. Having the Speeder 1 ability requires the unit to make a compulsory move on activation, at maximum speed, and whilst this can make them very rapid, it does take a little thought to get the best out of them.

This ability also means they can ignore any terrain of height 1 or lower when moving, but if they find themselves in a particularly tight spot, and unable to carry out a full move, they have to do a partial move, and take a number of wounds equal to their maximum speed (3), ouch!

Star Wars: Legion - Speeder bikes

Thematically, as they are agile and quick moving units, they also have the Cover 1 ability, improving their cover when defending against ranged attacks. They also have a defensive surge, and unlike most of the other units in the core set, an attack surge too. They roll white dice in defence, have a wound threshold of 3, and do not suffer vehicle damage, as they have no resilience rating.

Star Wars: Legion - Speeder bikes

As for weapons, there are two to choose from: The fixed front arc AX-20 Blaster Cannon, with a range of 1-3 and uses a white, black and red die to attack, is the vehicle weapon, and contains the keyword Impact 1, so it’s useful against armour. There’s also the choice of using an EC-17 Hold-out Blaster, used by the rider, and has a 360degree firing arc, but only uses two black dice.

In terms of upgrades the unit only has a single comms slot, which in the core set means Long-Range Comlink. It’s a good choice, as it really sets the unit up to do what it does best – scouting and hit-and-run.

Star Wars: Legion - Speeder bikes

In terms of how they play, along with Darth Vader, I think the Speeder Bikes are the most thematic unit in the core set. You can really visualise them careering through enemy positions, disrupting formations and taking out important targets, and then, finding themselves getting tight for space, panicking and trying to make a break through an ever decreasing gap!

Painting

All paints used are Vallejo unless otherwise indicated.

As always with the painting of my Legion core set, credit has to be given to Sorastro’s painting guide, which I used as a reference for colours and techniques.

The riders were painted using the same techniques and colours as the Stormtroopers, and were fitted to the bikes a little later, prior to adding the weathering.

The bikes themselves were a pretty simple affair, starting with a plain grey prime.

The body was then painted using Heavy Sienna, and given a light drybrushing of Khaki mixed with Camouflage Green (3:2) to pick out the edges.

The metalwork was painted, as usual, by mixing Gunmetal with Black in a 50:50 ratio, though since painting these I’ve changed the ration to something more like 60:40 in favour of Gunmetal. I found this gave a more pleasing finish and slightly more metallic. I think the Citadel equivalent of Gunmetal, Leadbelcher, falls somewhere between Gunmetal and Chainmail, and you can get away with mixing it in equal measures with the black. Don’t forget to paint the pedals and control handles!

I decided to base coat the bedrolls in different colours, just to add a slight variation. I used Heavy Bluegrey on one of them, and Cold Grey on the other.

Next I added an equal measure of German Grey to black, and used this to paint the seat. From here it was on to the shading.

Mixing Umber Wash in equal measures with Citadel’s Nuln oil, the whole bike was given a fairly heavy wash, which gave the body a dirty look, just what we need!

Returning to the original colours I highlighted the bedrolls, but left the securing straps as they were. The paint was applied in a fairly thin consistency, with the pigment pushed to the top of the roll. Adding a slight amount of Khaki, a further coat was applied to lighten the highlights. Looking at them now, I could probably have taken the highlights a little further than I did, but they look fine at gaming distance.

Star Wars: Legion - Speeder Bikes

To highlight the metal, an equal amount of Silver was added to German Grey, and then applied sparingly to highlight the metal parts. Adding a little more Silver I then went back and used this to highlight all the edges.

With this paint I selected a fine brush and applied some scratches to the bodywork. With a small amount of paint on the brush, I dragged it quickly and lightly across the body – there’s probably a better way to do it than this, but it worked for me!

The rider and pedals were then glued on, after checking them for fit of course, using a small dot of superglue.

Weathering of the rider was carried out using the same methods used on the Stormtroopers, and this was followed by dabbing some of Citadel’s Typhus Corrosion on the boots and along the bikes bodywork.

The bases were created in the usual manner – PVA with a variety of grasses scattered over – though I applied a lot more stones to one of them to add some variance.

I tried something a little different on the one, I threw in a couple of pieces of what I hoped would look like old steel debris. These were created using old sprues cut down and painted with a mix of Decking Tan and Silver, with some rusting effects added to finish them off. I’m not sure they add anything, and may well yet remove them.

Finally the whole thing was given several coats of Mecha Matt Varnish, applied with an airbrush. You can see the Matt effect on the, what was once, clear plastic mounts.

Star Wars: Legion - Speeder Bikes

Well, that rounds up the Legion core set, I’ll post any expansions as I get them, and a T-47 Airspeeder is currently sitting on my shelf, so that should be the first of them.

In Pictures…

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