Monday, 20 May 2013

Plastic Fantastic: Dimestore Spaceships

More Plastic Fantastic madness, now, not in the shape of the usual strange conversion fodder, but rather these so-called 'Dimestore' Spaceships that I ordered via EBay from the USA.

Yes, rather than doing strange things to bits of plastic to turn them into something resembling Fleet Scale Sci-Fi, we have here seven separate designs of various craft that come in bulk - to whit: 144 of the blighters! I went the whole hog and bought them en masse, although I shared the cost and went halves with a fellow gamer and Blogger who could also see the potential in them.

Of course, not all the designs are immediately obvious as your standard Spaceships, but I feel they are ripe for conversion, and might do duty in a number of scales.
The major positive is that unlike previous incarnations of similar toys, these are neither made from rubber, or from a weak, bendy plastic, but rather from a good, hard styrene-like substance, so once washed with warm soapy water are ready for undercoating.

Made in China, the bulk shipper based in the US sends them out in random samplings and colours - you can't order specifics, but I received pretty much twenty or so of each craft, with a few more of a couple of designs thrown in to make up the total.

The variety can be see below, against a mat with 1cm square grids for size:

Immediate stand-outs are of course the Flying Saucer and the Horseshoe-shaped craft, whilst the Gun-ship type in the bottom left hand corner looks like it wouldn't disgrace a 6mm Aerospace environment; the remainder are somewhat more esoteric - if I was feeling critical, the ship in the upper right corner is a bit of a strange one - sort of a rocket sled with apparent seating for a pilot - although the side pylons look useful for removal and conversion.

All in all, the details are crisp and nicely moulded, plenty of greeblies and ridges apparent on the surface, and also on the underside as you see below:

As ever, not entirely sure how these will be utilised - I bought them cheap before a recent price-hike on delivery by the USPS, so was blinded by the fact that the unit cost had come down to about twelve pence a ship - and therefore didn't worry about such fancy considerations as where they might serve!

That said, I've got some ideas for some sample craft and some hopefully interesting identities that I will be working on soon - I've already undercoated a few, and found it easy to cut away any of the extraneous detailing, tails and guns to give the following:

They take paint well, and also superglue, as you will see with the addition of a circular rare-earth magnet on the base of the dart-like ship seen bottom right above.

The extraneous parts cut away easily and in one piece, so could be saved as further scratch-building material - I'm certainly looking forward to playing around with these, so watch this space for some developments soon!


  1. Just starting my Spaceship gaming and ordered a gross of these myself from Amazon. I remember getting these when younger from the local Arcade when I turned in tickets from games like ske-ball.

    I will be using mine as temporary fleets as I am getting ready to place an order for some Irregular miniatures and Ground Zero Games ship minis. Once I get them these plastic ships will be used as generic ships that are non faction specific (merchants, passenger liners, and in the case of the three domed ships Agro-ships). Might use the circular UFO's as fodder for Space Station kitbashes.

    Either way looking forward to see what some of the bashes you make out of these.

  2. Ah, it's so tempting to get some of these!

    The trouble is that I know what would happen: I'd paint up 6 or 10 of them in a rush of enthusiasm. Then, the remaining 130+ models would just clutter up my spares box for years, thus making the ones I'd painted work out at about £2 each :-( .

  3. Hi guys, thanks for the comments - an excellent suggestion regarding using them as merchant shipping alongside the 'real thing' so to speak........ And Colgar, yes, that does seem a possibility...... I'll have to be careful not to fall into that trap myself....... Certainly these would be good for just dipping your toe into spaceship gaming, and doing a couple of differing fleets to try out a set of rules without committing to all that expensive metal.

  4. My order should be arriving any day now. I already have plans to use some of the Circular UFOs as part of some Space Station scratch builds/Kitcbashes. I know realisitcally I wont use all of the ships, so some will be going to my nephew to play with, others I may give away to other gamers, and the rest I don't paint up will go in the parts box for kitbashes and scratch builds.

  5. They do paint up rather well. Good find.

  6. It amazes me that these still exist. We used to collect them in the 90s from a arcade at the mall. My brothers and I used dice and made a tabletop game with them. Great job on paint!