Sabine Wren is one of my low-key favorite characters in the Star Wars universe. There are so few others – women especially – who conjure up such specific dynamics, emotions, and aesthetics as the spunky Mandalorian rebel. It’s not just punk, but something more complex.
One of my favorite cosplayers (who goes by the handle Poetry in Costume and worked as a Costume Buyer on The Last Jedi, plus a whole host of other movies) wrote a fantastic piece about “The Explosive Aesthetic of Sabine Wren” and I wanted to quote a bit of that here:
This fusion of tradition and radicalism is at the heart of Sabine, a young woman fighting a tyrannical power day to day and steadily moving into a position to challenge the broken, scattered Mandalorian system. In her armour Sabine retains the diamond shapes of her people, the fundamentals of the uniform of Death Watch but boiled down to its bare essentials and then decorated it with her personal identity. History of self and community fused.
Having noted that, I wanted to make sure that Legion commanders had a solid reference from which to work on Sabine, because the ceiling on her model is extremely high. A basic look would work fine, but the opportunity exists to do some absolutely beautiful and extremely meaningful freehanding on her armor.
Much like I pleaded for Boba, I now plead for Sabine and her gorgeous model.
Thankfully Kilian Plunkett, formerly-active-Twitterer and Rebels Art Director, dropped a handful of reference images for some of Sabine’s specific looks. I couldn’t actually find a Season 1 reference page, but here’s a good photo.
Further, though, one should take into account Sabine’s specific art aesthetic when taking inspiration for terrain or original armor pieces. This blog post goes over five of her best, and is a great place to start.
Nailing the Details
Knowing is only half the battle.
I’m not great at painting tutorials, but there are two text and image tutorials I’d like to share that have absolutely helped me in my own practice.
- Creative Twilight: Learning to Paint Freehand on Miniatures is Really Easy
Sabine’s armor has a lot of designs and references, and an accurate portrayal should include these difficult bits in miniature scale. Thankfully, the above tutorial is a great way to think about these things if you haven’t done so before.
- Cool Mini or Not: Painting Checker Patterns
Whether it’s on her capture TIE or her signature pauldron, the checker pattern is vital to Sabine’s overall aesthetic. It can be all sorts of tough to get right, but user JesterzUSMC has my personal favorite tutorial on the subject.
And with that, you’re just about ready to give Sabine a go. I hope you found this useful, and don’t forget to show off your pictures later!
Happy graffiti-ing, Commanders.