31 July 2011

Rebel Minis Drop Troopers - Review and Paint Test

The heat and humidity we've experienced lately has really stifled my hobby time. Since I haven't been able to use any spray primers or base coats, I decided to try something different. Two years ago, Maff and Mark posted an excellent Halo Spartan tutorial on Dropship Horizon. It is a very straightforward process - two coats of an undiluted Citadel wash over bare metal. I'm not a Halo player, but I do like the look of the troopers.

I picked up a pack of Rebel Minis' Earthforce Droptroopers after seeing Jeff Racel's excellent paint schemes (see here). The minis are excellent - very detailed clamshell armor that require almost no cleanup. The rifle is identical to that found on the Earthforce Infantry and Homeguard minis - these can easily be a specialized unit in an army using other Earthforce minis. But I'm using them as their own force. The Earthforce rifle is great - it can be a near-future variant of something like the FN P90 with a stick magazine, or it could be a blaster rifle from 5000AD forces. The pack contains nothing but rifle-armed troopers - no heavy weapons are available yet. But I have a plan to work around that (probably in my next post).

But once I had the minis in-hand, I realized they could also work as Halo Spartans using the Dropship Horizon tutorial. So here's the test mini:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My version of the paint scheme:
  1. File the mini and superglue to a Universal 15mm Figure Base (a US penny)
  2. Two coats of Citadel Thraka Green wash. I learned not to apply this too quickly - it tends to pool very at the neck
  3. Paint the weapon with Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey
  4. Paint the visor with Vallejo Glorious Gold
  5. (my only change from the old Dropship Horizon formula) Coat the entire mini with Wonder Wash Black. This much thinner wash brings out details on the weapon, fingers and small joints, and surrounds the visor extremely well.
  6. Paint the base with P3 Bloodstone and flock with my Red Planet blend.
I'm knocking out some more infantry to go with this test figure - the first wash is drying right now. I'll post my Heavy Weapon support idea very soon.

UPDATE: The first squad is complete.



  1. Thank you for the review. It still is at odds with my experience with these troops. Don't know if I maybe got a bad batch, but I had to do a massive amount of cleanup and even then, some of the detail mentioned by folks just isn't there (of course, same goes for the Sahadeen troops I got at the same time...no, strike that, the Sahadeen were much worse). So I'm guessing my experience is different from everyone else's. Thanks for the post though, gives me an idea of how to paint them, since the blue and white scheme I'd been working on isn't working so well.

  2. Awesome! Love the way it looks. Can't wait to see more.

  3. @TimHerr - that is very atypical. If you still have some that are bare metal, take pictures of them and email Rebel Mike - he's a good man and probably wouldn't hesitate to send you some replacements. The EF Droptroops and Sahadeen War Maidens that I just received are pretty damn close to flawless castings, as are everything I've received from him in seven or eight previous orders.

    @Ben - I just finished painting the minis for a complete squad. Once I base them I'll post a little more.

  4. Nice work! I've got some of these on order so starting to think of colour schemes.

    I painted up some 15mm.co.uk Retained Knights in a similar fashion, though using a Humbrol Metallic Green. Gave a very shiny finish which, I argue, is additional defence against energy weapons ;)