Monday, 25 March 2013

Full Thrust FSE and NAC kitbashes

A long time ago I bought some of GZG's excellent Full Thrust miniatures to use as Sathar and UPF forces in a game of Star Frontiers inspired Starmada (and, if Star Frontiers is something you are familiar with, check out Star Frontiersman, an irregular e-zine that covers all things Frontier - I also did some artwork for them).

There are official Star Frontiers miniatures out there, but the line is OOP, small and they are notorious for lead rot. Finding suitable proxies from GZG seemed much easier.

For the Sathar ships I used the old style NAC, as the rounded prow sections looked like the images of Sathar ships on the old Knight Hawks counters, sort of. The Sathar only had 5 classes of ship, frigate, destroyer, light cruiser, heavy cruiser and carrier, so I only bought 5 types of ship.

With the recent purchase of a new style FSE battle group I decided my old Sathar needed a bit of a spruce up and to be reclaimed as the NAC again. With the old moulds out of production, and the new range of NAC ships quite stylistically different I was left with one choice - kitbashing!

Four of the five ship classes got a modification, plus a new class was created from some left over bits. I had been using battle cruisers as escort carriers, but have since picked up a  fleet carrier, so I now have:

Heavy Frigate
Heavy Destroyer
Light Cruiser
Escort Cruiser
Heavy Cruiser
Fleet Carrier

I also have some Strikeboats and Lancers that are yet to be painted.

The frigates were a simple modification. A short section of square styrene was added to each side . Styrene strip and rod were added for detail to create a heavy frigate.

Original frigate on the right

For the destroyer mod I removed the engines from one destroyer, and filed the surface flat. A second destroyer had the bridge and gun turret removed and the edge filed flat. The two sections were glued together to create a "stretched" destroyer. The gun turret was glued back on at the rear, and a section of styrene rod with a small aluminum tube was added to the side. This created my heavy destroyer or beam destroyer.

Original destroyer on the right

The light cruiser had a couple of bitz box additions in the form of a spare ammo clip from a VOTOMS model with a couple of sections of styrene rod and a 6mm gun turret. This can serve double duty as either a strike cruiser or escort cruiser.

Original light cruiser at top
 I didn't do anything to the heavy cruisers, as I only had a couple of them. One of the battle cruisers that I had been using as assault carriers had an additional superstructure added from a bitz-box turret off the 6x6 VAB , a Tau shield generator and some small sections of styrene rod to add detail. I also added another two 6mm weapon turrets as beam generators. Short sections of styrene tube were also added next to the existing engines to create a battleship.

Original battle cruiser on the right
 The corvette was created by taking the spare section of forward destroyer hull left over from the heavy destroyer mod and adding a few small pieces of styrene rod to the rear section to create engines. The same 6mm turret as used on the escort cruiser was added to the top.

With the addition of the fleet carrier, strike boats and lancers, I should have a sizeable and flexible force of ships.They are all going to get a fresh coat of paint, and I'm in two minds of what colours I should go for. Part of me is thinking a nice sea grey, but I have some NSL ships that are base coated in dark grey, and I'd like to keep the fleets with distinct colours. My UNSC are in light blue, the FSE in Blue/white (see below), pirate/raiders in red and a few New Israeli ships in tan. I might go for a NATO Green and black stripe pattern similar to modern British armour.

In addition to the NAC ships, I also recently picked up a starter fleet of FSE ships just before Christmas. With any of his Christmas orders, Jon at GZG often adds in a few extra surprise models, and this was no exception. I got a flotilla of strike boats, an escort cruiser and a pair of corvettes as my Christmas freebie. Thanks Jon!

The ships were assembled with Filla Glue medium - by far the best superglue I have used. It's not too thick and binds very strongly and can be used vary sparingly. The only criticism I have is that every bottle I have used has had the end of the cap snap off, meaning I have to jury rig some cind of stopper for the bottle and inevitably end up with a gummed up mess. I get mine from the ever usefull Antenociti's Workshop, and have purchased some spare bottles this time for the donor caps!

The ships were then under coated with GW Skull White as a basecoat. A very, very thin wash of an old pot of ghost grey was then applied to bring down the stark white. Individual panels were then picked out again in  skull white and the new (ish) GW Ceramite white (a very white white - if you know what I mean). The outer panels were then painted with Mordian Blue and the edges highlighted with a mix of Mordian blue and Lightning Bolt blue (a dreadful mix - original paints and foundation paints do not play well together). The engines got a coat of 50/50 Codex Grey and black with Dwarf Bronze details added here and there. Sensors and weapons were then picked out in Leadbelcher with a Chainmail highlight and finally stripes of chaos black with sunburst yellow dots were added here and there for windows.

All of the ships were then glued to Litko flight stand peg toppers (available in the UK from Figures in Comfort) and given two coats of GW Purity Seal followed by a coat of Testors Dullcoat.

Top row: Corvettes. Bottom row: Strike boats
Light cruisers
L to R: Heavy destroyer, destroyer, heavy frigate, frigate
Heavy Cruiser
 I have since picked up a couple of escort carriers, which are very nice models, plus suitable well.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Clever conversions. Nice job.