Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fleet Scale Sci-Fi: Weekend Project Part 2

I completed the Fleet Scale Sci-Fi project, so thought I'd share the photos - although it didn't quite turn out in the way I had expected, it was a good learning experience and I think I ended up with a couple of decent-looking flotillas.

As you'll see above, the Imperials I had described in the previous Blogpost were joined by a pair of Brigade Model's EuroFed SFS-431 Insidioso Destroyers - I think they have a certain Republic Venator Class Cruiser vibe, if on a smaller scale!

I started by adding control bridges to the three Irregular Miniature's Destroyers and the GZG Cruiser with some offcuts of oblong sprue topped off with some small Aeronef turrets that had the guns removed and were placed upside down - not exactly feet and inches accurate in appearance, but good enough at this scale.

The Irregular Destroyers are rather plain in terms of detail, so once I'd started off with a dry-brush of grey after the black undercoat, they were looking rather bland; furthermore, the grey I did use dried a lot darker than I had expected, so I was looking to add both some detail and 'highlight' the colour, if you like, to make them more resemble the originals from the movies.
This is where things got interesting, in that I started off adding small lines and spots of silver grey,  and probably went overboard in adding more and more until the overall effect was rather busy.

I should have stopped there, but decided in order to gain a matching appearance across the flotilla, I should do the same on the other models, even though they had plenty of incised detail, especially the GZG example - Ho-Hum! A case of gilding the Lily....
That said, at tabletop distances they don't look that bad, but if you enlarge the photos, then the spots/lines combo does rather jump out....

Trying to reproduce the iconic Dykstra/ Industrial Light and Magic 'greeblie' surface on the Irregular Destroyers was always going to be a hiding to nowhere, and it took a lot longer than I had wanted to spend on these ships - of course I had to try to make sure that the lines roughly matched from vessel to vessel - so much more time consuming.
The final stroke was some more white dry-brushing to try and counter the overly dark underlayer, but this was getting into the realms of white 'ghosting', and therefore I gave up before they became any more muddied....on balance, though, I'm not too disappointed, as it is just cool to see some Star Wars ships on the table top - I've got some of Studio Bergstrom's T.I.E fighters to do at a later date, which should finish things off - I'm thinking this is a flotilla of the Late Republic just before the Empire really gets going, hence the mix of types....

Turning to the Minbari ships , you might remember that the Tigaran Cruisers were already painted, although they had acquired quite a few bumps and scrapes during their journey to my Lead Mountain via EBay.
The previous owner had done a nice job of shading into the blue on them, and that was something I was hoping to replicate on my additional vessels (including the Squadron scale fighters, which I managed to find), but as with the Imperials, things didn't quite go to plan...

I started off with layerings of successively lighter blues in a sort of patchy/ tiger stripe way, and then thought a nice ink wash would serve to shade their organic and sinuous designs as with the Tigarans, but for some reason the wash was not behaving, and just seemed to disappear - I was wary  of making them too dark, and so left it at that.

I thought of trying to add some dark blue to the wash, but thought this would just serve to blank out what contrast I had managed to add - so again, in order to get compatibility across the various ships I had to be satisfied with how they were.

In re-touching the Tigarans, I necessarily lost some of the nice original shading - I guess the blues being used were different to begin with, and my wash was not just cutting the mustard, but not too bad, overall. Some white dots here and there serve as running lights - I didn't want to add in any more colours as I've always liked the homogenous marine/organic colourings of the originals in the TV show - I have seen some minis done with nice purple stripes for effect - perhaps something I might try in the future - if I'm brave enough!


  1. I think they look splendid!

    ..I'll have to have another look at my box of GZG ships now!

  2. Cheers Jim - would love to see more from your side, too!