To Boldly Go…

As you’ve probably gathered by the title of this post, I’ve been seriously bitten by the Star Trek bug recently, due to Simon’s stated intention that September would be “Star Trek” Month on his blog Fantorical.

So whilst he’s been painting the minions of Nurgle and I should have been painting Samurai and Ashigaru, I’ve been building starships instead…

In my last post, I introduced the first three vessels of the New Albion Royal Navy – the HMS Scott, a Dragon Class Dreadnought; the HMS Moore, a Lion Class Cruiser and the HMS Webb, a Bulldog Class Frigate, as shown below  – left to right.

As I’d decided to write my own set of rules (currently known as Final Frontier), I decided to keep things simple by only having four initial starship sizes, the three mentioned above and the smallest vessel – the Corvette. So I obviously needed a Corvette in the same style as those above. so off I went to the Carrion Crow Shipyards and built one. And here it is;

This is the HMS Nash, a Unicorn Class Corvette, cunningly constructed from a GW plastic shield, two GW lasguns and a small length of cotton bud stem. And to give you all some idea of how it compares size-wise with the other vessels, here it is with the HMS Moore.

As you can see, I’ve also decided to paint the standard transparent flying stands black, with black ink over the top, as I felt this was a more appropriate colour.

Now, in a response to one of the comments made on my previous post, I stated that I would be constructing a space station as well, the DSS Awdry. I’d saved a ‘spinner’ from the Doctor Who collectible miniatures game (which was rubbish – although the figures weren’t bad…), which was in the shape of David Tennant’s Tardis console. Upside down, I thought this would make a pretty good space station, once mounted and repainted. I’d put it to one side for this purpose – but when I went to make a start on it, I couldn’t find the bloody thing! Very annoying. So I had to have a bit of a rethink…

Now, as regular visitors will know, I tend to debase Heroclix miniatures, mount them on 2 pence pieces and repaint them as other characters. Which means I have rather a lot of Heroclix bases knocking about, as being a packrat, I never throw anything away that could be useful. Someone recently asked what to do with these ‘spare’ bases and whilst the first thing that springs to mind is using them as proxy poker chips, that’s not very ‘hobby’.

Now, if you take two of the ‘Oreo’ style bases, take them apart and glue two of the bottoms bottom-to-bottom, you get a chunky ‘wheel’ with knurled edge. Drilling a hole into the centre of one of the flat sides and mounting it on a flight stand, you now have a sort of flying saucer. A suitable paint job (which took bloody ages, as I kept changing my mind – so it’s been white, grey, blue-grey and silver, before I decided on what I wanted) and you end up with something like this:

This is the DSS Awdry, with the HMS Nash and HMS Webb nearby, to give an idea of scale. It was given an undercoat of GW Chainmail, followed by a GW Brown Ink wash except for the centre of the topand the knurled edge, which received a GW Blue Ink wash instead. It kind of reminds me of a cross between Deep Space 9 and the BT tower…

So, we have four starships from the New Albion Royal Navy and a space station. But we can’t actually have a space battle unless we have some suitable foes. So, heading back to my box of GI Joe accessories, I selected a couple of suitable backpacks, snipped off the pegs and drilled holes in them so they could be mounted on flight stands. Then I painted them in suitable colours and I now have three ‘enemy’ ships as well.

The first is a Dendrassi Raider, equivalent in size to a Frigate. Dendrassi are pirates, but refrain from killing their victims, merely stripping them of their valuables.

Next we have a Rhodian Dartship, also equivalent to a Frigate. The Rhodians are a militaristic and war-like race, who truly believe that the other inhabitants of the universe would fare better under their ever-expanding Empire.

Finally, we have a Karrian Marauder, equivalent to a Dreadnought. The Karrian are the scourge of the universe, their factory ships devouring all in their path and churning out more Karrian ships and troops.

And here’s a shot showing the three ‘enemy’ vessels alongside the NARN Frigate.

Of course I now need a few more ships for each of the ‘enemy’ races, otherwise the New Albion Royal Navy will always outnumber their opponents. The problem is, I need to follow the ‘look’ I’ve already established for each race, which could prove to be a challenge…

However, next week should see a batrep, as I run the first play-test of my Final Frontier rules, where a distress signal is received from the DSS Awdry and the HMS Nash and HMS Webb are sent to investigate…

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29 thoughts on “To Boldly Go…

  1. Jez, this is easily my favourite posting of yours to date, as innovative as HMS Moore is large (at least when compared to the nipper-class HMS Nash). I’m absolutely delighted you’re going down this line and I’ll be sure to post as many links as I can to this project as we both, in a blogger’s terms, raise a glass to Gene Roddenberry’s vision over the coming weeks 🙂 I’ll also have a good rummage in my bitz box for you when time allows if you want to let me know about any weapons etc you could use for your project? Happy to help out. Meanwhile I’ve got to know what the GI Joe accessories you used for those baddies… as I want some!! Fantastic stuff my friend, and I’m already looking forward to the BatRep; albeit a certain Lion Class Cruiser doesn’t seem to be in the opening line-up…

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    • Thanks Simon. As I’ve always been a Trek fan, in all its iterations, this was just some tying that was bound to happen at some point. And the rules I’m working on have the correct ‘flavour’ for Trek, but until I test them I’m not sure they’ll work. As for the GI Joe accessories, they’re from the 3 3/4″ figures (originally Action Force) – the majority of the ships were built either from guns or backpacks. And until I get a few more enemy ships, I can’t really field the HMS Moore as well as the other ships – it would be too easy…

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      • “The majority of the ships were built either from guns or backpacks” – Well you wouldn’t know Jez, they look terrific. The Dendrassi Raider definitely has something of a Romulan feel to it with that paint-scheme, and the Dartship reminds me of something from the “Tholian Web”. But the Narn Frigate is positively inspired, and looks superb. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on a fodder-class starship like HMS Nash and find myself facing that brute!!! 😉

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        • It was just a case of finding things that looked enough like star ships that once they were repainted, you wouldn’t know. Once I’d got them mounted, the colour schemes seemed obvious. And I take it you meant the Karrian Marauder – the big rusty looking ship with red accents? It is a huge, ugly brute of a ship and will disable and cannibalise all in it’s path. However, it is quite slow, so a corvette would probably both outmanoeuvre and outrun it.

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  2. Truly inspired, Jez. I have been very impressed by all of your conversions and it just goes to show what can be done with a bit of imagination and a bit of talent. By the way, keep an eye open for a little parcel I’m sending you – I have loads of spare Doctor Who dice spinners. Two are on the way to you. Let me know if you want any more.

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    • Thanks Bryan. When inspiration strikes, you have to give it free rein and you usually end up with something cool and unexpected. And thanks for the offer of spinners – I obviously put mine in a ‘safe place’…

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  3. Great stuff Jez, I think the Nash is my favourite so far that is superb. I almost inspired to dig out the rest of my un-painted spaceships, but I’ve already been inspired by another blogger as to what I’m doing this week.

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Thanks Roger. The joy of this hobby is that we all inspire each other to try genres or games that we wouldn’t normally do. So whilst you may not be doing spaceships, I’m sure that whatever you do will be fascinating.

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    • Welcome back, Tarot – you have been missed. Hope your trip was successful. And apologies that there has been no discernible progress on the Chibis – I’ve been indulging in a side ‘trek’… *tee hee*

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  4. Oo now I DO like these. Makes me feel all nostalgic and wanting to start splitting infinitives and stuff.

    *deepens voice and starts reciting* “to boldly go, where no bold man had boldly gone before, boldly”

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    • Thanks Steve. Bit of a departure for me, but one I’m enjoying. If the rules I’m working on work the way I intend, they should be available shortly. As the infamous Captain Crowe would say “Set phasers to extra crispy…”

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  5. Oh wow man, this is absolutely amazing. Easily the best frickin` post you have EVER done. Its simply inspired, no other word for it. I`ve never seen anything so remarkable, and all from your head… that’s just marvellous and you know what… they look stunning. I a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y want to see your battle report (many of them) especially if using your own rules.

    Well you have done the impossible. Its so rare that something I see makes me want to do something similar, but you have sparked the idea off in my little brain to want to play sci-fi space battles, maybe more besides. I don’t think I could make them like you do, but certainly I think you have caused a new idea to stack up in my top three list of `next to do` projects.

    I`m so impressed.

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    • Thanks Steve. I’m assuming this post was a ‘slow burn’, as your initial comment was not quite as enthusiastic.
      I will firstly apologise for adding to your list of projects – I do seem to have a talent for coming up with things that other people want to do, as the whole ‘Forgotten Heroes’ project in June illustrated. However, if my humble efforts inspire others to take on a new project that they end up embracing and enjoying, that can only be a good thing.
      And there WILL be a batrep, as soon as I have the time ‘authorised’… *sigh*

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      • hmmm, strange you think my initial comment was (quote) “as your initial comment was not quite as enthusiastic.” I thought it sounded encouraging. In truth, it is a very busy week, commissions to compete (real paid work lol), working on my latest novel, long article had to be written for our blog, dogs to walk, car to take in to the garage, shopping day in town, doctor`s appointment I couldn’t get out of lol, and after all that… finding time to paint minis for my projects (I`m dong three long term projects at once). earlier in the week, I realised I`d replied to everyone else in their blogs and hadn`t made any comment in yours, so wrote something brief… intending to revisit and write a longer one when time as permitted. So my initial:

        {{Oo now I DO like these. Makes me feel all nostalgic and wanting to start splitting infinitives and stuff.

        *deepens voice and starts reciting* “to boldly go, where no bold man had boldly gone before, boldly”}}

        …. was pretty indicative of the fact I DID like your latest thread *chuckles*

        I love it I love it I love it I love it….. <– how`s that ^^ hehe

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  6. This is freakishly good. I mean utterly “FREAK!!!!!”

    That’s it, I want to do this now as well. Not star Trek *shakes head rapidly* oh no!!! You have inspired me to do this for my Blakes 7 project, to add this dimension of play to my new but ongoing project. What a brilliant idea.

    mmhmm I agree with the others, this is, I think, the best we`ve seen from you by far, you should be proud. The standard of creativity here is stunning. Ans that space station WOW. yesss its absolutely sent tingles down my spine, its THAT good, and has inspired me to want to DO something. Not copy you, but DO something I would never have thought of but for this. I have no idea how I`m going to make a Liberator, or how I am going to make the Federation Pursuit ships, hopefully somewhere out there, there is a company sells them, but I somehow sadly doubt it 😦 Its the idea of it I like, and the idea of using this to enhance my narrative figure games with something interesting and making it all more dimensional that just table top… I am going into spaaaaceeeeeee!!!!!!

    wooohoooo.

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    • This post did seem to be rather popular and just goes to show what a bit of creative thinking can get you.
      I’m quite flattered that this has inspired both you and Steve to dip your toes into a type of gaming you don’t appear to have tried yet.
      Regarding models for your Blake’s 7 project, Corgi did originally release a die-cast Liberator in 1977, which if I remember correctly was about the size of a matchbox car, I.e. about 2-3 Inches long. They also released a multi-coloured variant at the same time. It was also rereleased as part of a collector’s edition DVD set fairly recently. You can find them all currently on eBay, but the price you pay will depend on its condition. Other ships you should be able to proxy from other ranges. Might be worth asking Simon aka Blaxkleric for assistance there, as he’s probably more familiar with both the subject matter and the available ships.

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      • Hi again. I found three makers of miniatures I like for the Liberator and others, but end of the day I will probably make my own, and possibly out of card. They are only to be a small added part to my games, and.. well that’s down the road a bit anyway. Was a nice post and reminded me of games I used to play with my brother using the space ship section of Star Frontiers.

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  7. OOo, that reminds me, I actually have a suitably `retro` space ship battles set of rules you might like to try out tar`. Was written as writing commission for TSR many, many, many moons ago. Its ideal for Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Space 1999, UFO, Blakes 7, any of those… or more standard ship to ship or large battle type games too. I`ll find a copy out for you tar`. I`m sure I have a `galley` copy lying about somewhere.

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