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Space 2021 – A Star Saga

Space 2021 – A Star Saga

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Project Blog by onlyonepinman Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 490

About the Project

Each year I like to try and set a challenge for the year, usually painting some Kickstart miniatures boardgame or other. Due to not being in a great place at the start of 2020, it wasn't really possible to make any sort of pledge (I was living in a room that basically had a bed, a clothes rail and a TV). Things did get better over the year, I got some furniture, a desk, some lights and eventually got the paints out of the storage unit where I had been storing most of what I owned. By the end of the year I was pretty much back in the swing of things and that leaves me ready to do something for 2021.

This year's pledge is going to be Star Saga. Not just the Eiras Contract game but the complete, all-in kickstarter pledge PLUS the additional Deadzone mercenaries! And to make this even more fun, because I backed Star Saga jointly with my brother (something we do regularly), we will be painting it jointly - and it's the perfect game to do it with. My brother isn't the world's greatest painter and to be fair it is not his main interest. But that gives him a skill that I struggle with - Batch painting. I really struggle to paint large batches of grunts and minions, he struggles to focus on and paint a single miniatures to high standard. So a game that by design contains a large number of grunts and a smaller number of characters is absolutely perfect. He will be batch painting the goons and I will be painting the heroes and Villains. I will also be designing all the test colours schemes for my brother.

Also, given that it's been sat in the box for a few years now it's perfect for the Spring Clean challenge, even if I am starting it early.

Because it's a boardgame and will likely be played with people who don't play lots of miniatures games the intenion is to stick to the artwork as far as possible so that what is on the board looks like the picture on the corresponding card. Each entry in the blog will be a single character or miniature type and a little bit of information about the painting of it and my thoughts on the miniature. I won't be doing progress shots and tutorials because there is so much to paint that taking progress shots and writing blog posts would be way too time consuming.

So with all that out the way, let's begin!

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1.1 - Lab Technicians

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

Lab technicians, nothing unexpected – we’re busting a lab after all – and nothing the team can’t handle. If you’re not watching these guys can give you a nasty prod but it’s the last thing they will do.

Starting with the lowest ranked models first, we have the lab techs and already we have gone of piste. The artwork for the lab technicians shows them in white overalls, Mantic’s own demonstration miniatures likewise. However even using contrast paints, white isn’t the easiest effect to achieve and given it wasn’t me painting them I wanted to make these as easy to paint as possible. So I decided to go for a mint green, similar to the scrubs you see medical staff wearing which was achieved by mixing a little Talasar Blue into the Warplock Green.  Then rather than the yellow details on the original I opted for orange as it really contrasts the green.

Lab Technicians painted by IanLab Technicians painted by Ian

1.2 - Security Guards

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

As expected there’s a few basic security guards. Nothing particularly special, armed with slightly under powered pea shooters and wearing bog roll for armour. Nevertheless if you let ’em get enough rounds eventually something’s gonna land. 

Next up, security guards. Between the lab techs and security guards they form pretty much the core of what you face on the first few missions making everything seem legit and above board.

These were painted using a mixture of drybrushing and contrast painting. Initially sprayed black and given a dark grey drybrush with any non metallic colours then picked out using contrast paints.  Super quick, super effective.

Security Guards painted by IanSecurity Guards painted by Ian

1.3 - Black Wing Marines

Tutoring 5
Skill 8
Idea 6
No Comments

Now this is starting to get a bit tasty – why would the lab have Corporate Marines stationed here? What on earth could Mazon Labs be up to?

These miniatures are simplified versions of the plastic Deadzone/Warpath kits in that they’re single piece, other than that they’re pretty much identical.  I wasn’t really keen on the maroon colour scheme used in the artwork or Mantic’s demo miniatures. I already have a decent GCPS force for Deadzone and I was tempted to expand it further but decided otherwise. Because all of the Star Saga models can be used as Mazon Labs in Deadzone I wanted to create the option of playing GCPS vs Mazon Labs.

These were all painted in contrast paints with the gun barrels picked out in metal and finished with a thin brown wash.

Marines painted by IanMarines painted by Ian

1.4 - Black Wing Rangers

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 6
2 Comments

What the…? That’s not regular laser fire. Holy crap, they’re not Marines, they’re Rangers. What the hell are they doing in this place? 

The rangers are painted using exactly the same methods and colours as their lesser brethren, the marines. Although technically there are two separate versions of the Rangers, the regulars and the specialists, they were painted as a single batch, I don’t think there’s much difference stat wise

Rangers painted by PaulRangers painted by Paul

1.5 - Plague Victims

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments

Jeez, poor bastards, What the hell has Mazon done to them? 

Again, we deviated slightly with the Plague Victims in that the artwork and demo miniatures all have green pants, like some kind of medical scrubs. As we had already done the lab techs in the same colour I decided to go with orange, like prison jump suits.  These were really quick to paint using contrast paints, the highly textured surfaces came out really well and the brown wash at the end really helps hide any imperfections (and gaps) that contrast paints almost always come with

Plague Victims painted by IanPlague Victims painted by Ian

1.6 - Aberration

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments

HOLY CRAP! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT THING? Still, that explains the presence of the Black Wing Corps…

Aw man, I got some of its goop on me, do you think it’s infectious?

The Aberration was a kickstarter bonus I think, not actually sure how we ended up with one. But it’s really cool and we did get rules for it.  This model just screams out for contrast paint. I also experimented a little with a Xenith highlight but for the darker underside I used Zandri Dust and for the upper I used wraithbone. And I think it worked quite well. It didn’t provide the same shadows ad using black (but I really don’t think black and contrast paints are a great combo), it did provide deeper tones on the underside.

Aberration painted by IanAberration painted by Ian

1.7 - Guard Commander Graves

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments

Where’s that security detail? What do you mean they’re dead? Jesus Christ, do I have to do everything myself? What the hell are we paying these people for?

Guard commander graves is the first of the Villains and probably the most basic. He wasn’t particularly difficult to paint, a black prime and a couple of layers of drybrush using a couple of dark grey tones. Then I just recoated the armoured areas in black as well as the boots and gave them some bright edge highlights and a coat of gloss.

Guard Commander Graves artworkGuard Commander Graves artwork
Guard Commander Graves painted by PaulGuard Commander Graves painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.8 - Dr Lucas Koyner

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 5
No Comments

What have you done to my beautiful children? Now I will need more subjects! Luckily I just found some…

I really liked this model, some of the details were a little soft, I have to say but that kind of goes with the territory with PVC models. However it was still really good fun to paint. The white overalls were done using contrast paints, everything else is just regular acrylic paints.

Dr Lucas Koyner artworkDr Lucas Koyner artwork
Dr Lucas Koyner painted by Paul Dr Lucas Koyner painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.9 - Organic Data Storage Unit X-02-a

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

…… 11011011……11101100……10111011…… 10001101……..11111101……

I deviated away from the stock colour scheme for this. I had in my mind a picture of the Hanar, which are a deep pink with a turquoise glow. Obviously making the turquoise aura wasn’t going to be doable so opted to pick spot colours out in turquoise. I also used a royal blue colour at the e very ends of each tentacles (I am not quite sure if tentacle is the word because they seem to have leaves at the end). I also used contrast paints because they provide some really vibrant tones but also make blending so much easier meaning I could get some nice transitions between the shades in a relatively short amount of time. Remember the challenge is to get the whole game painted in 2021 and there are a lot of heroes and villains for me to get through in that time so speed is of the essence.

This miniatures was a futher mucker to rebase but other than that really enjoyable. This is actually one of reasons I like the Warpath universe – it doesn’t shy away from weird looking aliens, not every thing is a bipedal humanoid and it manages that without  staying into demonology. I just wish they had made stat cards for some of the more esoteric races we see in Dreadball

Organic Storage Unit artwork Organic Storage Unit artwork
Organic Data Storage Unit painted by PaulOrganic Data Storage Unit painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.10 - Monarch

Tutoring 5
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

I don’t know who you are or who sent you, but this ends right here, right now. As do you. 

Monarch is the the arch villain of The Eiras Contract, the core set. He is an Enforcer, one of the elite soldiers of Galactic Co Prosperity Sphere. Essentially they’re the Warpath equivalent of 40k’s Space Marines or Halo’s Spartans (I would say they are more similar to the latter). Why is Monarch overseeing operations at Mazon Labs when the enforcers are supposed to be neutral, they’re a tool of the council not individual corporations. Well, you will have to play the game and find out. As will I as we haven’t actually got that far through the campaign yet.

For this one I pretty much stuck to the artwork. It’s quite fortunate that I also that the stock colour scheme is quite similar to the scheme I have designed for my Deadzone enforcers, which is themed on the Mass Effect N7 armour. The only difference is the blue trim in the armour but, as a character, I think that extra bit of customization is acceptable. I even did the logo on the shoulders.

Monarch artwork Monarch artwork
Monarch painted by PaulMonarch painted by Paul
N7 shouler padsN7 shouler pads

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.11 - Captain Erika Dulansky

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

This ain’t the corps, you either win or you don’t get paid. Don’t like it? Go find another job

Captain Erika Dulinksy seems to be a leader of sorts; you don’t really have a leader really and you can play the game with any combination of mercs you like, but her character is set up to be a leader.  She’s quite a nice miniature, a really good representation of a sci-fi soldier.  Again I just stuck to the artwork for this one but she was really good fun to paint, especially adding the blue/grey tint to the dark armour.

I also darkened the skin a little over the artwork, I wanted her to look like she’s spent a lot of time outdoors

Erika Dulinksy artwork Erika Dulinksy artwork
Erika Dulinksy painted by PaulErika Dulinksy painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.12 - Combat Utility Robot B07153 "Curby"

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

Beep… Bop… Boop

This is another really fun little model and I love how there’s some inspiration from WALL-E, not necessarily what you would expect.

White isn’t always the easiest colour to paint but if you use Duncan Rhodes’ advice and use thin coats you can get a nice smooth finish. Obviously I primed it white and then I gave it a dark blue wash.  I followed this with a white drybrush using the techniques shown by Artis Opus (go check out his YouTube channel). Doing this picked out most of the key areas and provided a lighter base making it really easy to then start adding layers of white paint. All in I think I did three layers.

I used contrast paints to do the glowing lights as they provided a glow effect without any real effort

The face was inspired by the white robot out of WALL-E

Curby artworkCurby artwork
Curby painted by PaulCurby painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.13 - Francesco "The Devil" Selvaggio

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

Some men just want to watch the world burn, and I’m one of ’em.  But for now I will settle for setting your sorry arse alight

Francesco “The Devil” Selvaggio, for a board game miniature, is an really characterful model, particularly the (possibly/probably self inflicted) burns on the face.  This made for quite an interesting painting experience – not just getting the colours right but also trying to merge the two different colours.  I also wanted to make the skin darker than usual not only to give him a latin appearance but also to try and make him look dirty.  This is a man who looks like he has already lost everything and is in the game for the opportunity to burn things.

Francesco Francesco "The Devil" Selvaggio art work
Francesco Francesco "The Devil" Selvaggio painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.14 - Alyse

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

I’ll tell you who I am.  I am Alyse, professional merc and I’m here to kick your arse and steal your stuff.  Now ask me again who the fuck is Alyse.  I dare you.

Not really sure what to say about this miniature.  I wasn’t really looking forward to painting it before I started but actually it wasn’t so bad.  I was worried that there was quite a lot of details on the model and that they might be a little soft. But that turned out not to be the case for the most part and although I don’t particularly enjoy painting black, the bits of white and pink actually look really nice against the background. It’s not my favourite miniature nor my least favourite.  Erm. Yeah.  Here’s Alyse.

 

Alyse artworkAlyse artwork
Alyse painted by PaulAlyse painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins

1.15 - Ogan Helkkare

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments

I ain’t got no time for your Jibber Jabber, fool

I love this model.  I love how he’s a gnarly, grizzled, old grease monkey, an engineer, like an older, greyer and shorter BA Baracus.  I also love the depoloyable equipment that he comes with, the turrets and the shield generators – although the latter are a little small and look like they will be really easy to lose.

I pretty much stuck to the artwork with this one and tried to carry that over into the turrets.  I also had a little play with the Cryptek Armourshade released last year by GW with the Necron release.  It’s a very interesting paint and is much closer to a contrast paint than a wash and it has a slightly sticky consitency when it’s drying.  But it creates a nice oily look which combines nicely with most silver bases.

This was also a really good chance to have a go with the dark skin tone paints from the Citadel range and I have to say I am really impressed. Painting black skin used to be a bit of a pain trying to mix the right shades of brown but now, using Catachan, Blood Reaver and Knight Questor flesh tones you can get a really good result

Ogan Helkkare artworkOgan Helkkare artwork
Ogan Helkkare painted by PaulOgan Helkkare painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins and Roberto Cirillo

1.16 - Wrath

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

People like you made me what I am.  I don’t know why or how, all I know is I have lost count of the number of people I have killed trying to find out.  What’s one more?

Wrath is a member of an alien species of pacifists, the Judwan, who was kidnapped at a young age and put through some secret corporate experiments.  The result is the only Judwan that exhibits any violent tendencies and he makes up for the rest of species

This was a fun model, I had a really good time doing the armour.  I painted the turqouise armour using a regular silver metallic colour scheme – Leadbelcher, nuln oil etc.  I then used Akhelian Green contrast paint over the top like a filter.  The gold I just painted using gold paints – putting yellow contrasts over silver is a little too yellow.

Wrath also marks the end of chapter 1 – The Eiras Contract.  Chapter 2 will detail the first of the expansions, Retake the Black Star Station

Wrath artworkWrath artwork
Wrath painted by PaulWrath painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins and Roberto Cirillo

2.1 - The Volt Chasers

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

Veer-myn. God damned varmints. Well, at least we know the station is relatively intact. Rats normally have good sense not to stick around on sinking ships. 

A new chapter and a complete change. This time the mercs are hired to recapture the Blackstar Station from an infestation of Veer Myn. Only, these aren’t like your normal, run of the mill Veer Myn, these are something new. They have embraced strange new technologies.

Honestly I wasn’t really keen on the Veer Myn.  They’re not bad miniatures, I just don’t really like the Veer-myn all that much. However they still presented me with an opportunity to do some experiments.  Sticking with the default colour scheme, they all seem to have all metal, fully enclosed suits, presumably they act as some kind of Faraday’s Cage to protect them from all the weird energy they’re using. That made priming an obvious choice – Leadbelcher. I then gave them a black wash and an aggrax wash to give them a really grimy finish and left it at that. Then, I picked out all the green and gold trims directly over the metal base using contrast paints. This keeps an overall metallic look, like they have dyed the metal. I think that really helps maintain a slightly lower tech theme that I think should go with the Veer-myn.

Lastly I picked out some of the little details by undercoating them in white and just popping some contrast paints over them. Things like vials of liquid or blades and the like.

Now, unlike the Eiras contract, I am going to do a single post for all of the minions because I used exactly the same colour scheme for them all. There isn’t really much variation between the different units other than the weapons they’re holding. As well as saving time on writing blog posts, it also made painting them all incredibly quick, just a couple of nights work.

Volt Runners painted by PaulVolt Runners painted by Paul
Volt Stalkers painted by PaulVolt Stalkers painted by Paul
Trappers painted by PaulTrappers painted by Paul
Fuzers and Shocker painted by PaulFuzers and Shocker painted by Paul
Overchargers painted by PaulOverchargers painted by Paul

2.2 - Progenitor Thorn

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments

You know why we’re here. Power. No, not political power. Real power. The power of the atom. No, I do not believe I will give your station up. 

Progenitor Thorne is the first of the villains in Retake the Blackstar Station. Much like his underlings he wears the fully enclosed metal suit and I decided that I liked the metallic effects on the minions so much that I would run with it throughout the whole set. However, to try and set the Villains apart, I didn’t leave it at the dirty, faded metal base. Colour. After the washes had dried I drybrushed them up using leadbelcher. This allows some of the highlights to show through the contrast paints and ultimately gives them slightly brighter finish than the grunts.

Progenitor Thorn artworkProgenitor Thorn artwork
Progenitor Thorn painted by PaulProgenitor Thorn painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins and Roberto Cirillo

2.3 - The Crone Mother

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments

Ha, fools. I have more children than you have bullets and they’re all more than willing to die for me, for the cause.

The Crone Mother is the second villain of the set but the method and colour scheme is exactly the same as Progenitor Thorn. However as a Villain in her own right I felt she warranted an entry all of her own.

Crone Mother artworkCrone Mother artwork
Crone Mother painted by PaulCrone Mother painted by Paul

Art Credits Rob Jenkins and Roberto Cirillo

Interlude - Scenery Update 1

Tutoring 3
Skill 4
Idea 3
No Comments

As well as all the miniatures, Star Saga comes with a wealth of scenic elements to turn that flat board into a more 3D environment and for me no Dungeon Crawler is complete without them. As kickstarter backers we got double the amount that the retail game gets because obviously everyone needs 30 plastic doors. Anyway, as I am painting the various sets I am trying to do a scenery pieces here and there. To date I have done 15 doors and 4 terminals.  I have only taken photos of the larger doors as it was hard to get a full set of 5 into each frame and honestly, there’s not a great deal of difference, they’re just smaller. The larger doors have the most interesting designs on them.  As I go through I will do each set of 5 doors in a different colour so on a board you can almost split it into coloured zones

The terminals were a lot of fun to paint and I think it will be a consistent theme throughout the whole set. Matrix code on the screens and somewhere there will be a red and a blue button for Hackers to press.

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