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Stargrave – Rogue Trader. The Adventures of Captain Horatio Nelson

Stargrave – Rogue Trader. The Adventures of Captain Horatio Nelson

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Project Blog by Redscope

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About the Project

My copy of Stargrave written Joseph A. McCullough who also created Frostgrave arrived. This project will cover building and painting a crew to take on a campaign across the stars to fight of pirates, recover lost data and spend a lot of time trying to run away from things. In Stargrave, players take on the role of one of these independent operators, choosing from a range of backgrounds each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and associated powers. Next, players must hire a crew for their ship, recruiting a lieutenant with a unique skill-set and a handful of soldiers, mechanics, hackers, and other specialists. Some captains may even recruit strange alien lifeforms with abilities no humanoid could ever possess. To lead this crew we need a captain in this case Horatio Nelson once of the Imperial Fleet who retired to become rogue trader leading a small crew of men in his star ship Victory.

This Project is Active

3 more done

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3 more done
3 more done
3 more done

Feeling a little inspired by Stargrave week about to start I have finished off 3 more of the Judge Dredd gang members. Each model being quite different from the other makes it a lot more interesting to paint. Normally I am batch painting the same models applying one colour to each of the 5 – 10 models. In this case moving from one to the other is much slower but more fun to do.

I technically have enough for a full crew to the start the game but I want to get a few more done so I have some options before we pick the final 10 for the first mission.

Loot Tokens and a Pirate or Gang Member ?

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The nickstarter came with these loot tokens. I was a little worried I might lose them so I put them on these square spare bases with a bit of PVA and flock.  In game loot is in two types data loot and physical loot. They have to be unlocked before your crew can open them to run off with the loot inside. After the game you roll on the loot table to see what you found.

You can using anything you like to act as loot tokens I have a number of GW 40K ammo boxes and other bits I can use as well.

Northstar have provided a number you can buy which are pretty cheap. I do like the little robot one but I think the nickstarter ones are better to be honest.

The latest model is one of warlords Judge Dredd Gang members. I bought these cheap on e-bay but missed out on bids for the starter box and rule book. Hence they have sat around for 6 months having no real purpose. They are I think just perfect for Stargrave. The question is if I should use him as a crew member or one of the random enemy to appear as a pirate ?

You can still buy some of the Judge Dredd sets from warlord games. Note some are in resin and some are in metal.

Judge Dredd

I have actually bought one of the smaller sets so I have another 3 more models coming.

Maybe one day i will get the Judge Dredd game or maybe just some Judges and have a Stargrave Judge crew exploring the wastelands.

Stargrave Offical Models

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I have yet to full decided on a crew line up or at least spend enough time understanding the game as yet to know what characters I want to pick. That has not stopped me starting to paint up the models I have of course.

Most of you will know the Imperial Guard uniform of the model I swap over the head to a flight cap. I am sure they have an proper name but they are listed as side caps on anvils site. I think it gives the model more of an imperial navy feel so I am going to use this as the first mate I think..

Next up we have 3 of the Stargrave models which came with the pack. The first is certainly Psionicist but unless I take him as first mate or captain he wont fit into this first crew but that is the aspect with Stargrave I expect I will end up with a number of different crews.

We then have a Doctor model with his long white robe. The paint job is very simple I was hoping the white would pop out more but it is a different colour to make look crisp.

Finally we have a captain style model but we already have Horatio in that role but he could fill a number of roles in the standard soldier such as runner or hacker perhaps. If nothing else the more models I have the more I have to choose from.

Overall I really like these metal models. They came in effect free as part of the nickstarter for getting the bundle. I believe they are for sale and I would have no problems paying for them. I think they are great additionals to the plastic models. I will post some of the others once they are painted.

Mercs, Troopers and Crew Kits a little disappointment

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The image is work in progress with painting one of the troopers.

Last time we had an overview of the kits in general this time we will focus a little more on kits them

Crew Kit

When you think about Crew on a start ship you are talking about the unqiue members the Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones the doctor. In Startgrave this is what I though the crew kits would allow us to build. When you think of starship crew style basically it falls into one of two groups. The uniforms of say Star Trek, babylon 5, Blake 7, Battlestar. They follow an imperial navy style with smart jackets and uniformed pants. The other style is completely casual the farscape or firefly look with neat jackets, t-shirts, vests, jumpsuits etc everyone with a unique style.

If you look at the cover art of the crew set that is what you see, a guy in a t-shirt, one wearing a short jacket with t-shirt and a guy with a body vest and bare arms. What you get in the box body wise does not really provide that. They are all pretty generic in fact against the Mercs I thought at first it was the same bodies but you notice a slight change in terms of ammo packs etc. If you looking to create your firefly team this kit is going to disappoint in fact it does not really create a crew for Starcrew.

None of the models really stand out as fitting for a Captain or first mate, a dress uniform would have been nice. The puzzle is that nothing on the sprue really screams out any other crew positions either. Sure your have a spanner which can be used to present a Tekker but it seems also comically bad at least a tool kit would have been nice. As for Mystic, Robot expert, Rouge, Psionicist, nothing really in the kits for those.

The soldier table nothing really for medical, hacker, runner that stands out you have a reading a PDA device and scanner type device. So on image 3 what I tried to do going left to right is Medic, First Mate, Tekker Captain, Vetern. However do they really scream out a defined role on the battlefield ? not really in my view.

The kit itself is fine the models are easy to put together you get a good range of heads but for some reason they are all males I suspect we might see a female kit at some point. You get a few animal heads. Another slight disappoint is the lack of animal bodies even a model with lizard feet or monkey hands would have been fun. You get a good range of options in terms of weapons and like the Troopers the hands fit the guns.

However I was left disappointed with this kit it is very generic and does really match what I expected it to deliver. It is too much the same as the Mercs kit the additional spanner and scanner really does not do enough to change the models.

Mercs Kit

The crew kit was a bit of a dissapointment because it really does not do what it says on the tin. The Mercs I am going to argue is not that different to the Crew but it does deliver what it is suppose to be. The Mercs fill out the standard combat troops in your line those you know might die and need to re-hire. These are standard ex miltary guys covered in ammo pouches and nades, allowing you to build heavy weapon teams, snipers, rocket launchers etc.

This kit does deliver that and it is interesting to note that the sprue is bigger than the crew one you get a bit more stuff with this kit but the same model number. I dont think you need both Crew and Merc and if you buying one get the Merc kit.

The main reason I say get this kit is the heads are far more interesting, well amazing. Okay it might be a little over the top but I built a bear with the rocket luncher, a lizard man with the heavy machine gun and Zoidberg carrying a case. Even the human head have more character than the crew but some are the same as the trooper heads. Again slightly odd choice not to have female heads.

The weapons are a really good mix of different machine guns, pistols, sniper rifle, shotgun, heavy rocket launcher, nad launcher. Only odd aspect is no flamer and very limited close combat choices just one knife.

Once again the kit is really easy to put together. You can swap the arms and heads with all the kits to mix them up.

Trooper Kits

I was quite surpized by the this kit out of all of the kits this is the one I was least interested in. The original picutres did not really convey what the models looked like. The details seemed at little soft and event he cover art on the box seems a little generic.

The body has a good amount of detail with armoured plates over a jumpsuit, a half way house between GW imperial guard and a stormtrooper from stars wars. Enough detail and edges that should allow for contrast paint to pick up the detail. The bodies might be a bit all the same but with the troopers you want a “uniform feel” so that is fine.

The troopers kit I feel would fit into provide your crew with a couple of armoured so you would be looking at the Trooper role, Grenadier, Gunner, Armoured Trooper. Of course they can also be used as pirates, pirate trooper, pirate shock trooper or bounty hunters from the monster list. If you swap out the idea of Pirates and consider them a local defence force coming in to deal with crew or if single players and what to use them as the a local crew to fight again.

You get a good mix of heads this time some females ones, a great section of weapons but for someone reason a rocket launcher which you cannto use rather than the flamer is an odd choice. In the range of heads you got many with different version of the same helmet type and bare heads. This time they are all human no bears or lizards. You get nades, packs, pistols and knifes to attach to the models as well. Nothing really meele wise which is the same as the other kits.


All 3 kits are great what I said i the first review still stands it the above is judgement on how useful the kits are for the game. I dont think you need all 3 in fact if on a budget get the Merc kit. you can use this to build most of your squad and look to get other models to fill out rest of the squad. The crew kit really does not do anything to crew aspect but does give you more bits to play with. The Troopers kit personally I like because it gives you the armoured look and I am going to use them to build a local defence force.


I have been painting some other members of the Crew. Horatio needed some officers and as an ex-member of thge imperial fleet I figured a couple of voidsmen would come along with him. In this case the models are from Imperial Guard GW range painted in the blue and white of the imperial navy. These models will be looking to fill the Trooper class as you might expect.

NorthStar Stargrave Model Kits

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I have built the 5 first models from just the kit bits so Troopers, Mercs and the Crew. The images above show what you can do with each box type. When building them I was not thinking too much what roles they would have just what looked cool.

So having built a few what do I think of the kits ? Well first point is they are multi part with a combined body and legs you attach the heads, arms and arms to. One nice touch over the frostgrave model is you dont have the plastic base attached to the feet so you can base them how you want. The parts are all very crisp and have a good level of detail. They are not as complex as the GW character models and nor do they need to be. The parts are a dream to remove from the spure they come away with ease and little to no clean up required.

The head sit flat on the body allowing you to pose the way they are looking an useful aspect in making them look different. You get a vast range of human heads to choose from both male and a female with a number of open faces and closed helmets.

The arms are in pairs which are numbered however most of the time I could not make out the numbers as they are printed on the arms rather than the sprue.

However that is not really a problem a bit of dry fitting to work out which is which. You get a range of pistols, light MG, shotgun, rocket launcher. The arms fit flush to the body and actually fit the guns as well. Finally a kit in which the shape of the hand fits around the weapons. They fit flush no gaps around the arms, no floating hands 2 mm off the barrel of the guns. I dont know why all kits cannot do this (look at imperial guard from GW).

The kit also comes with a few bits to stick on like ammo packs, pistol, backpack but you dont get a vast amount but I dont think you need it.

Size wise they are 25mm pretty much the same size as the GW imperial guard. It is worth saying that the GW models heads and hands / arms are heroic scale and a little larger but you really would not notice it. The bolt action models from warlord games fit perfect to this scale which if you have those give you more weapons, ammo packs etc to add to these models.

The wargamesatlantic models for death fields the heads fit but the arms seem to big where as the British Riflemen are too small. You might be able to make the weapons work with a bit of effort with a knife and greenstuff.

I should also say they do fit with all the other Northstar kits like the frost grave cult figures and the gnolls. I have yet to put those together but that will be coming soon hopefully.

Overall this is the best kit I have had to put together. It was quick and simple, no problems trying to hold arms in place, trying to lie up parts they just fit. No green stuff, no fixing gaps with glue, no parts so small they brake when trying to remove from the sprue. They are great little models to use as part of your crew or to take on your forces as a local enforcement team. They would not look out of place in a model warfare game either.

I would say as a general review of the kits with the price and purpose I would give them 9/10. I will look more closely at the indervidual boxes next time.

We are going to need some models

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Stargave offical models Stargave offical models

Stargrave allows you to use what models you like to represent the crew but they also have 3 boxes of models which is an ideal place to start. I was luckly enough to get these 3 plastic sets at a reduced price through the nickstarter and some metal models below.

I am going to start to build 5 from each set just with the elements from that set to see what I can come up with. In doing so we will review the kits as well. At this point I am not building them with any defined crew in mind it will be just the rule of cool and what I like. Later we will have a start at building a crew for the Captain Horatio Nelson.

For Captain Horatio Nelson I am going to be using converted Imperial guard model pictured below. He is not quite finished at table level just waiting on some paint to complete him.

Captain Horatio NelsonCaptain Horatio Nelson