Tuesday, August 23, 2022

1:7000 Star Trek TNG Ships


Oh man, I have been de-PRESSED lately.  

Maybe it's all the inflation?  Maybe it's all the shrinkflation? Maybe it's the weeks of over 100 degree temperatures?   Maybe it's the paradox that who you love most in the whole world is your wife and children but being with wife and children is such a grind.

It's probably the nicotine with-drawls.  

Let's forget our troubles and talk about fictional starships. I like saying fictional starships because it implies that there are real starships but I'm just talking about the fictional ones.  Like if I said let's talk about fictional WWII aircraft carries.  

There was a lot of public demand for Star Trek in the comments of my previous post...OK only two people but I assume that they spoke for the silent masses.  

But Sir.. This blog usually about historical gaming..

1:7000 Star Trek

As discussed previously (hit the Star trek label for previous posts) I've been gearing up for some starship flying, shield frying, torpedo torching and phaser...phasering?...  Star trek combat. 
A whole new genre for me, and here are my first attempts at painting star ships...
(be kind, I have a fragile ego and really shouldn't be allowed online without adult supervision)

Saber Class

  I started with the two saber class ships because these were gonna be my testing / practicing miniatures.  Having never painted starships before I didn't know how they would come out.  And only super-cool-die-hard-trek-nerds are even gonna know what a saber class is.  I certainly had never seen, nor heard of one before I started looking closely at star trek ships. But now I am also a super cool star trek nerd and know all about them.  Us Star trek nerds get all the chicks. (I will bet you good money that there are WAY more women at Star Trek conventions than there are at Miniature Wargaming conventions, so whose the bigger nerd?)  

Sabers are small ships in the universe; I think of it as being equivalent
 to a frigate in Sailing ships terms. 

These ships are from Armadillo Miniatures on Shapeways.  2 things: The details on the ship were small, as to be expected as the ships are kinda small.  Even big ships are kinda small at the 1:7000 scale with smaller details, so these shups which are supposed to be small can be excused. 

For a sense of size, here are the ships next to a 25mm round base

But also the details were kinda soft and I swear some disappeared after I primed the model and put the base coat on. Oh well.  At this scale it's more about creating the impression of stuff (like just putting a bit of white where you think a window would look good).

As a bonus because they are small you can paint one up in a night pretty quick  

Excelsior Class

In the Star trek (extremely muddled) timeline the Excelsior class ship is the replacement for the ol' Constitution class ship that Kirk had in the TOS series.  I think this ship shows up around the time of "The Search for Spock."  But the ship class sticks around basically forever and males appearances in ST:TNG and DS9.   Since I'm treating my Star Trek like Sailing ships of the line but in SPAAAACCE (which is fine because ST is basically Hornblower but in SPAAAACCE) I'm gonna see this ship as the 74 gun-3rd rate of Star Trek.  It's the work horse and it's everywhere.  I'll need 10 more.

The Enterprise B was a ship of this class.

Here's that 25mm base again.
What is a base is doing in space, I'll never know.

This ship was also from Armadillo Miniatures as the Saber class above.  The nice thing about the  Armadillo store is that ships are correctly labeled what they are in the fiction which makes them easy to find.

Ambassador Class

I think this ship basically just exists as a stepping stone between the Excelsior class and Galaxy class of TNG.  Someone at the studio said "We need an old Enterprise but not like the movie old, just kinda old, you know what I mean right?  Not like your mom old but her younger sister who is the sassy Aunt and never had kids and took good care of herself.  Like medium old."  

I think this ship showed up in one episode of TNG.  However for gaming purposes the idea of a class of ship that fits in-between the Excelsior and the Galaxy like a 2nd rater is appealing.

The Enterprise C was of this class; for that one episode. 

This miniature is from Halcyon Shipyards and is called the 'SF Diplomatic cruiser.'  You're just supposed to know what it is.    I found the details on it very crisp and solid making it much easier to paint than the ships from Armadillo;  But that might be an unfair comparison though as this ship is larger than the previous ones shown and represents a higher tech level in the ST universe AND is based on a TV show that had a higher budget / better special affects than movies that came out in the 70s and 80s.  

Galaxy Class

Also known as 'My Enterprise' because this is the one from TNG that I can fondly remember watching with my family as a youngish kid.  When I think of Star Trek and Enterprise this is the ship I think of with Picard as the captain.  This one hits the Nostalgia button.  It's also known as the Enterprise D.

This is also from Halcyon Shipyards and is called the "SF exploration cruiser.'  It is expensive at $50 for a little  3" by 3" piece of plastic, those are like GW prices, but it's a freaking awesome model and looks the part even with my terrible paint job.  I figure $50 for the best flagship in the universe wasn't so bad.  Course now I want another one...

Pew pew pew! or whatever sounds phasers make.

Whole fleet

Even though the ships are from 2 different manufactures I think they scale together really well.  It's obvious that the Galaxy is really big and the Saber is small; but both are big and small enough to be miniatures that look cool and fit on a 6x5 table.  They're a;l supposed to be 1:7000 scale but we all know that miniature makers are not too concerned about getting the scale exactly right.  I've also discovered that Starships paint up pretty quickly and are actually kinda easy so even a terrible painter like myself can get decent looking results.  It makes me think that if I put some effort into it I could paint every ship I have rather quickly...

Aren't you a good looking fleet?
But where did the second Saber go?

or I could paint every ship if it weren't for the stupid flights stands....

An Exciting Discussion about Flight Stands.

I've never had to mess around with flight stands before.  I find them frustrating. 
I got my flight stands from Litko as I really couldn't think of anywhere else to get them and Litko always does a nice product.  As the ships all have different shapes and sizes; in order to get them to stay on the flight peg I decided to use my favorite force in nature: magnetism.   The Force of Attraction; and as my own personal magnetism has declined over the years (none of us is as attractive as we used to be) I purchased some Rare Earth magnets (also known as Neodymium magnets).

The idea was simple: 1 magnet goes underneath the ship and the other on top of the flight stand.  Rare Earth Magnets are supposed to be strong so that should stop the ship from spinning 'round right round like a record baby right round right round' on the flight stand.  Another bonus of the ships from Armadillo is that if you get the Attack Wing mounting hole there's an obvious place to put the magnet.

Here's an exciting picture of a Klingon ship with a magnet.
let's just gaze at it for awhile shall we....

Through experimentation (that should read-'through messing up several times and wasting materials with ships toppling over and lots of swearing) I learned that a 3mm (or 1/8 inch) magnet, conveniently the same size as the flight peg, is strong enough to hold ships the size of the Excelsior on down.  Larger ships need a 5mm magnet.  I also learned that if you drop a 3mm magnet on the carpet it is GONE forever.

And you would think that it would be a simple process to get the polarity right.  There was more than a couple of times that when I went to put the ship on the flight stand instead of the satisfying 'click' of the magnets pulling together I felt the force of repulsion.  Like how the wife repels me out of the bedroom when I eat too many beans.

I also discovered, and I should of seen this one coming, that bigger ships need a big heavy base to make them bottom heavy (like most women over 35 and wargamers that I know) to be stable.  

Like so...
Big ol' Klingon ship yet to be painted (or is it just cloaked?)
 needs a big ol' base.
And why are there so many details on the bottom of the ship?
whose gonna see that?

I originally wanted hex bases to match my space mat with hex, but I couldn't figure out how to make the hex heavy enough, so just used a big washer.  Setting phasers to "being nit picky;" I just don't like the look of the hex on the washer.  I also didn't like how the small ships that didn't need a washer had a hex base and the larger ones a circle; because I like consistency.  This needs rethinking and this means starting all over. Spaceships are LAME.

Suggestions are welcome.

Oh there's that other Saber...
When I pulled this miniature off the flight stand to take the picture next to the 25mm round,
the magnet on the bottom on the ship came off and stayed on the magnet on the flight stand.
Another lame complication.

But this pic does provide proof that I did paint the underneath of the all the ships,
not that anyone will ever see it.
except when it's broken.

This Blog is All Paint and No Play

Not true.  Well sometimes true.  But I recently happened to have David over (from the blog Lazgunpacker) for another game of Klingon Armada.  David brought his awesome ships and I contributed with my new space mat with 2" hexes from Cigar Box Battle Mats (as seen in all the photos above) and food in order to not be a total free loader.

I once again took command of the glorious and righteous Federation,
and was provided this BEAST of a ship; the Dreadnaught.  
Which I got destroyed in 4 turns.

That's not bad photography or a lemonade stain,
the mat has a large yellow dust cloud in the middle.

That's a lot of Klingons

The notorious Klingons won this one; though we told my children that it was a tie just so their father could save some face...They're still young enough to think that their dad knows and is good at everything...

Klingon Armada is growing on me more and more.  The mechanics are great; its just the weird Star Trek-ish setting it has that throws me off.  It's kinda cool when your ships launch a bunch of missiles (even though missiles in space is kinda dumb) that slam into the bad guys but it's kinda annoying when they do the same to you....    That and the really ugly Klingon ships.  
David's ships are great looking! I just don't love the design of the D7, (especially when there are 4 of them firing powered up disrupters at close range...) it looks like a snapping turtle with a hat on, and since all Klingon ships look like the D7....

Beam Me Up

Enough of this space nonsense.  The big takeaways from this post is that space ships are cool, flight stands are lame, and I have upped my star trek cred making me legit on the streets on the holodeck.

Till next time.
Thanks for reading.
Double thanks for writing a comment.

Friday, August 12, 2022


But first; a one act play:

Begin Scene: 
Kids are asleep, wife is in bed playing on her phone, probably looking at Etsy.
Enter Stewart (me), the hero of the story.
Me: "guess what I just finished doing?"
Wife: "You filled out those forms so our daughter can go to school next week?"
Me. "nope"
Wife: "you fixed the broken toilet in the downstairs bathroom?"
Me: "nut-uh."
Wife: "You fixed the lock on the garage side door so someone can't sneak in and murder us in our sleep?"
Me: "You watch too many murder shows.  No! WAY more important than any of that.. I just finished 100. 
Dark ages.

(brief pause)

Wife: "Get in this bed RIGHT NOW."
Me: "Oh yeah! Whose your big daddy miniature wargaming painter.."
Wife: "Whoa,- that was weird.  Never mind, you can get out now and go fill out those forms like I asked you to."

End Scene

100 / 100

To recap: back in January I set a goal for myself to paint 100 dark ages miniatures (Vikings and Saxons) and to paint only dark ages miniatures until 100 were done.  Mainly to get out of a hobby funk and to make my dark ages mass battle games juuussstt a little more mass.  I thought it'd be a fun experiment to see how long it would take. 
8 months is the answer; because today is the day.  There was no real deadline for the project other than I didn't want it to take all year because for me, that would of been depressing.  I was shooting for late September / early Oct at the latest.  So I'm ahead of schedule.  I am a rock star.  But a the kind of rock star that comes out early and not the kind that is over an hour late to the stage in order to make an entrance.  Don't they know that people had to hire babysitters???!!

It's feels nice to complete a goal you set for yourself.  I feel that after 40 there are so few life goals left to accomplish because everything has been done...
Get married? Check
Know the joy of having children: Check, check, check, check
Know the heartache of having children: check
Start a career: check
Get really good at said career: check
Plateau in said career and get really bored and now just do it for the money: check.
Buy a house: check.
Engage in a never ending battle of breaking and fixing the house: Check

And so on.  Basically my life goals these days are 'don't die' and 'don't go broke' and 'try to have some fun before you die and go broke.' 

Where was I?.....Oh yeah miniatures.  100 of them.  Now I know that 100 is a pretty amazing number to have done... whaddya mean other people do it all the time?  
Actually I am well aware that for some folks 100 is not a big deal and they paint that many miniatures or more a month easy-peasy.  And I know that others would be hard pressed to paint 100 miniatures a year.   And I know others that have foolishly painted 6mm troops or smaller and I don't even know how many of those would even count as 1 miniature or how one sees them in the first place....
The one thing that they all have in common is that they all paint better than I do. 

Whether 100 is a lot or a little doesn't matter.  It was a goal and I did it and it feels good to achieve something. 

Last of the 100.

The final 12 heroes of the hour.
2 more Berserkers
8 Generic skirmishers with spears and no shield
1 Saxon cross bearer
1 female civilian.

Now for The traditional closer ups to see the amazingly average painting...

I'm not not sure I needed more Berserkers, but these miniatures tickled me
because they are both mostly naked and wearing animal skins.
Like in some HeMan and the Masters of the Universe cosplay.

Skirmisher gonna skirmish
(Shake it off)

I'm gonna call this the 'Super-Duper Christ Cross Banner Bearer.'
It will provide bonuses to Christian units.

And 1 female civilian who looks rather annoyed.
"Shouldn't you be doing chores instead of painting miniatures?"

FAILURE and Excitement

The miniatures of the '100 effort' (as I'm going to call it from now on) consisted of:
20 Saxon Ceorls (on two big battle bases / movement trays)
20 Saxon Thegns (on two big battle bases / movement trays)
Saxon Leader base (w/ 3 miniatures)
20 Viking Bondi (on two big battle bases / movement trays)
20 Viking Hird (on two big battle bases / movement trays)
Viking leader base (w/ 3 miniatures) (see the pattern there)
4 Viking Berserkers
8 Generic skirmishers (they have no loyalty)
1 Saxon Super Duper Christ Cross bearer
1 generic peasant.

Now the naturally epic thing to do would be to show some pic of all 100, and this where I do the epic fail.  I didn't really keep track of where I put the newly painted miniatures inside the storage tubs; just kinda placed them in there higgledy piggledy.    And since they all look basically the same and I can't remember which is which; 'that skunk has sprayed the stink' as they say.
Lots of people say that; it's another way of saying that ship has sailed or the opportunity has passed.  Well people say that over where I live.  Ok, it's only me that says that.  But it will catch on.

And I figure if a a pic of  100 miniatures was gonna be fun, then showing off the WHOLE collection of Saxons and Vikings would be WAY more exciting.  Maybe even 5 times more exciting.

Plus now would be a good time to take an inventory of what I have; Being a visual person it helps to see it all laid out. I set up a table in the living room while the wife watched TV.  It was a show about murder.

All the Vikings and Saxons

All the Vikings and Saxons at an Artistic slant angle.

A quick Tally reveals that there are just over 500 miniatures on the table.
So it was 5 times more exciting.  I'm a blogging genius.

The 100 effort basically added 8 trays (4 Viking and 4 Saxon), 2 leaders, and some various bits to the collection; moving it from 'small mass battle' to 'medium sized mass battle.'  Could probably keep 4 players interested.  

A Date to the Dance

These miniatures will have their official debut on  Veteran's Day Weekend here in the United States which is November 11th.  When there will be not one, not three, but two local conventions.  These being Vet Con and Conquest Sac.

(couldn't find a banner for Vet con, but here is a Linkidy-link)

Feel free to hop on an airplane and come down here just for the privilege of gaming with me. 

Actually these local conventions tend to be small to medium sized affairs, and these will be the FIRST I attend post COVID.  I want to see local conventions succeed so that they stick around so I'm volunteering to host several games.  Usually at conventions I am known as the ACW guy due to my long standing love affair with the ACW (I love you ACW, yes I do, whose the prettiest war?  you are!) and putting on games of Regimental Fire and Fury; which everyone loves and I am greatly respected for (if I do say so myself).  BUT I didn't spend 8 months painting dark ages miniatures for nothing!  So Mass battle Dark Ages games it will be.

The plan is to attend one convention Thursday and Friday and the other Saturday and Sunday netting me a 4 day weekend of gaming and no children.  The no children part is key.

Endings are Beginnings 

Of new endings.  Now that 100 effort has ended and I am allowed to paint other stuff.. I'll have a look see at what is lying around here.  But first I gotta clean up my hobby desk...

Such a Disaster after 8 months of painting nonstop
except for those times when I actually stopped.

and second I'll end this post.  

Thanks for Reading.
Double Thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.