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Stargrave – The Talons of Solubris

Stargrave – The Talons of Solubris

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Project Blog by dugthefug1644 Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

The Talons of Solubris, the crew of The Peregrine. The last remnants of a resistance force that have had their planet left in uninhabitable ruins at the end of the Last War. Captain Maughan Vars and his brother and First Mate Mihaan Vars

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In case you were wondering... The Evil Daktari

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In case you were wondering... The Evil Daktari

I am going to make a second warband that will be able to play off against my Talons of Solubris. They will be lead by some well meaning Jedi-esque Mystic characters that put the greater good above all things. Trouble is, they decide what the greater good is via their opinion and the ethos of their religion. Which means that the Talons are criminals to their way of thinking, vengeful terrorists prolonging a lost war over the uninhabitable planet of Solubris. Who sold them this narrative? The Daktari of course.

The Daktari have faired better out of the Last War, but only by becoming vassals of the Pirates. Their own home planet of Daktar is being harvested of its resources to fuel the Pirate fleets, but the Daktari were ultimately successful in beating the Solubrians and still have a place to call home. The universe is in an apocalyptic state, so like everyone else the Daktari have next to no commerce that isn’t Pirate controlled and many of the young Daktari fighters have left home to ply their trade as mercenaries throughout the local galaxies. This is where a section of 5 Daktari (two runners, two recruits and a guy with a carbine) have joined the crew of The Chagrin with Captain Qui-Gon Jim and First Mate Kobi-Juan Aloogobi.

These will all figure in their own project as a fresh crew. This guy was just crying out to be painted and I want you to see the enemy of the Solubrians. They wear a mixture of garish coloured garments and black and brown fighting overalls and basic armour.

This guy is made from a NorthStar Cultist body and left knife hand, a Stargrave Crew right pistol arm and a carbine support left arm and a NorthStar Gnoll head. The head is meant to be placed on a sculpted neck, so I glued a piece of whittled sprue on to the neck section of the cultist body and then glued the head into that. Because the Cultists are designed for a fantasy setting the leading foot was attached to it’s paddle tab base my a grass tuft. To keep the same basing style I replaced the tuft with a bit of sprue. I figured it would look like a piece of broken ship. To give the illusion of the damage happening recently I threw down some ash type flock and some bits of Warlord Games pin markers sprue that is a lovely translucent red.

The purple arms paint is Emperor’s Children Pink with a wash of Druki Violet. The cuffs are Trollslayer Orange. The trousers are Warpstone Glow green with Deathguard Green stripes with an Athonian Camoshade wash. The whole mini was primed in Sceptre Black from the new TT Combat primer spray range and a zenith from above with Army Painter Leather Brown. I really like the pattern of the waistcoat on this mini. The whole overalls got a drybrush of Steel Legion Drab and an Agrax Earthshade wash.  The waistcoat got a coat of Darkoath Flesh Contrast Paint. The socks are Flesh tearer Red Contrast Paint with Mephiston highlights.

The face was the reason for the brown zenith to be honest. Knowing that I would need to bring the face up to a Zandri Dust and Morghast Bone colour for the patterning on the face I didn’t want to start that progression from black. The Zandri Dust was applied on the teeth, hair ruff, nose, ear tips and eyebrows and dotted on for the markings pattern. The whole face and neck got a Casandora Yellow wash, then the high areas got a highlight of Morghast Bone, as did the teeth. The tongue is a Bugman’s Glow flesh colour.

In case you were wondering... The Evil Daktari
In case you were wondering... The Evil Daktari
In case you were wondering... The Evil Daktari

Recruit Jean Luc LaForge

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Recruit Jean Luc LaForge

I have built this 2nd recruit, another runner, a grenadier or gunner and a Trooper. All using the Les Grognards Adrian helmeted heads. After those 4 there would definitely be enough for a campaign and plenty of options.

The head and body are from the NorthStar Stargrave Crew set. The blade hand is the bayonet from a Les Grognards carbine. The pistol hand is from my Gates of Antares Freeborn sprue.

This guy was a real joy to paint and the blade hand was just a Sci-Fi way of making him more wysiwyg. I think I run the risk of having a selection of dark age and WW2 blades as the “knife” in various soldier types and that will eventually look out of place. I also wanted to use as much of this cut up carbine after using the trigger and the right arm already for my first recruit.

Room for campaigning... My Gunner Gunslinger

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Room for campaigning... My Gunner Gunslinger

This metal mini was part of the Nickstarter. I see that duel wielding guns seems to have no effect in-game, so decided that I want this alien to at least represent a specialist class of crewman.

I saw the Let’s Play at the start of Stargrave Week and saw how useful the Rapid Fire class of weapon could be.

The only crewman using those weapons appears to be a Gunner. The trouble is that the rapid fire rule is meant to represent lazer Gatling gun or multi mini rocket style weapons, but I love the idea of a gunslinger from an alien race that have amazing reactions, amazing eyesight and super human trigger finger speed to represent the multi targeting and firing of this class of specialist.

The other factors were needing the mini to have heavy armour and plus rapid fire weapons are meant to have a 24 inch range, which seems a bit off when pistols have far less.

I tried to give heavy armour a nod by attaching two plates of armour at his shoulders and wanted to attach a sight to one of the pistols. After finding a scope I was happy with (From a Lost Patrol scout pistol from a spare bits sprue) I realized it would ruin the aesthetic of the mini if added to either gun. I settled on adding it to his belt instead.

The heavy armour is the heavily cut down upper arm and forearm of a Gate of Antares C3 right arm, that I already hacked a weapon off of to make my Commando.

I am also going to make a human runner to wear my last remaining slouch hat. I imagine Runners and Recruits to be the only replacements I need regularly but I can still use my Skitarii to fill gaps too.

 

Room for campaigning... My Gunner Gunslinger
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The crew of the Peregrine

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Captain and First Mate Vars with their specialistsCaptain and First Mate Vars with their specialists
And the regular soldiers of the crew.And the regular soldiers of the crew.

Robot Codebreaker

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Robot Codebreaker

I had imagined building a random Skitarii and just adding a “deck” tablet thing from the Crew Sprue to fit at it’s waist.

When I looked at the build instructions for the sniper from the same GW Kill Team set I saw a Skitarii radio fella and felt this would work nicely as my Codebreaker. I can imagine him chatting away, whispering sweet binary nothings in the data ear of a digital loot token and getting it to open its secrets to him.

Robot Codebreaker
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Robot Sniper.

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Robot Sniper.
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Skitarii Sniper from the GW Kill Team box set. No kitbash this time. The base is from Rubicon and has a fun texture, designed to help with people wanting to pin their minis to the base. I just used a piece of textured plastic like the other bases under his right foot, a piece of dried paint from the lid of a citadel pot under his left foot and the gun rest in a hole on the base.

I forgot the screaming eagle decal this time but will probably add one to the coat.

The clothing is all the same colours as with the rest of the crew. The metal is all Runestone Silver dry brush hit with a wash of Cryptek Armourshade Gloss and highlighted with Retributor Gold.

The purple on the hosing is all Shyish Purple Contrast Paint with a drybrush of Emperor’s Children Pink. The pipes were mostly just Emperor’s Children Pink.

Robot Sniper.

Pathfinder

Tutoring 5
Skill 9
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Pathfinder

Decided to use the last Solubrian head on my Pathfinder. I know there’s a danger I may confuse him with my First Mate, both having carbines from the NorthStar Stargrave Crew Sprue, but I did my best to mitigate this. They both have Les Grognards bodies, but this guy is covered in grenades and the base has some nice yellow floor markings.

I like the team photo of the last of the Solubrians on this photo.I like the team photo of the last of the Solubrians on this photo.

Going Commando

Tutoring 7
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Going Commando

I realised that when I was assembling ideas on kitbashes for my crew I had oversubscribed on the alien heads. The Les Grognard Adrian helmet and facemask seemed a nice solution to my alien heads blunder.

Commandos have heavy armour and grenades, so I stuck with my Gates of Antares C3 sprue for the armour. There are two grenade arms on my Les Grognards sprue so I used one for this build and one for my Pathfinder (Pathfinders are also prescribed to have grenades, but not heavy armour.)

The C3 rifle looked great, was easily cut from a hand, but obviously looked different to my other carbines. I accepted this change because cutting at the NorthStar carbines to fit felt like a lot of work and unlikely to end in a nice result. With the right hand busy throwing a grenade I had to work out how to have the carbine on show. One of my few remaining Grognard left arms was a rifle support arm. I snipped off the C3 hand and used the stock and grip of a WW2 Japanese LMG to drag the look slightly more in keeping with the other carbines. The gun rested neatly in the Grognard support arm across the model’s chest. I also visited the Japanese Warlord Games sprue for a light mortar round pouch to suggest some grenade storage.

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Going Commando

Hacker

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Hacker
Hacker

The metal Hacker that came with the Nickstarter was a nice addition to the team. With no time spent on the build it was fun to spend some time of the base.

As you see from my base building post in this project it was just plastic texture glued to the base and sprayed black. I must have been a bit slapdash and this base had a gap and one side raised more than the other. I picked a spare piece of sprue and a piece of wire and poked them under one edge, squirted in some PVA, clamped with some clothes pegs to try to make the gaping less pronounced and left overnight.

The purple of the hair was achieved with Shyish Purple Contrast and Emperor’s Children Pink highlights.

 

Hacker

The Recruit

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The Recruit
The Recruit

This was an interesting kitbash.

Stargrave Crew box body and human head. Perry Miniatures Kepi slouch hat.

Used Les Grognards arms again. The right arm is meant to be holding a carbine but I cut it short as he’s only meant to have a pistol. I whittled away the stock of the carbine as best I could. To finish the pistol off I gave it the barrel section of a Japanese LMG. It’s still a bit long, but I think it looks OK.

The bayonet and the left hand holding it are from a Japanese Warlord Games sprue again.

The paint scheme and colours have remained the same as previous models in this project. I chose to paint his waistcoat in Brown Violet. The bayonet has a super heated element that allows it to slice easier. Just achieved by running a thick layer of Nihilakh Oxide over a layer of Runefang Steel along the edge.

I used a 101st Airborne badge decal again and this time I used a reference code that appears in the corner of the transfer sheet. Just added at the hips of his waistcoat. No reason just because Sci-Fi.

The Recruit

Chiseler with Lazer Spanner

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Chiseler with Lazer Spanner

The build is mentioned below but it was  built on a North Star Stargrave Crew box body, head, spanner, holstered pistol with Wargames Atlantic Les Grodnards sword arm and rifle support arm. The chain sword was cut off and replaced with an Oathmark Heavy Dwarf Sword.

Then I used the same sprue stretching technique that made the runner’s knife below to make a nice thin Lazer piece to fit in the jaws of the spanner.

I like the idea of him focusing the spanner on a lock and popping it and making off with the contents.

The spread of paint hadn’t changed from the Captain’s basic scheme. I wasn’t sure whether to make this model human behind the mask or not, but went with another Solubrian. The Recruit and hacker will definitely look human. Looking forward to getting the rest of this project done.

Chiseler with Lazer Spanner

Jemima the runner

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Jemima the runner

Probably put too much effort into this free to purchase runner.

Started with a Gates of Antares Freeborn body and arms with Stargrave Crew alien head. The arms are meant to combine with a two handed rifle of some description. The runner class is meant to have no armour and a pistol and knife. I reached for an old Warlord Games Japanese army plastic sprue and used a grenade right hand and a painting left hand. I found what should probably be a communication device from a Epirian Handlers from a Maelstrom Games sprue I got free at Salute years ago. To me, laid flat on the pointing fist hand, looked like a Sci-Fi pistol to me. The grenade hand was meant to look like the hilt of a knife, but as I looked through sprues I wasn’t finding anything I really liked. So I turned to: a Gerry Can…

Gerry Can Show You How To Reuse Miniature Sprues

I had a red clear sprue that held Warlord Games pin markers that seemed perfect to give me a Lazer Stiletto (baby light saber) that would fill the sci-fi knife brief nicely.

The paint job was about playing down the armour, going away from the main Les Grognards uniform of the Captain and throwing down my obligatory dose of tartan. The alien head was always going to tie the body back into the rest of the warband so I didn’t need to make her grey and yellow to match the Captain.

I used Snakebite Leather Contrast Paint for the majority of the model, but left the right leg as the bare Halfords grey primer to give me some OSL effects. I built up this space with some Averland Sunset, Citadel Yellow wash, some Reikland Fleshshade wash, then a touch of watery Mephiston Red and Blood for the Blood God mix. I think it came out OK. The rest of the “armour” got a Steal Legion Drab highlight.

I used Black Templar Contrast for the webbing. The tartan started out with a Brown Violet base and a Athonian Camoshade wash. Then had Deathguard Green lines with parallel Mephiston Red lines either side. Then Orcflesh Green Contrast horizontal lines were added but these finished very glossy, so I hit it all with an Agrax Earthshade wash that kinda washed out a lot of my fairly subtle work. I built some of the lines back up with the original Deathguard and Mephiston. I really like the end look, but sadly the photos haven’t really captured what you get to see with the mini in hand.

Jemima the runner

The basing was kinda necessary after realising that the pose pitched the mini too far forward. I wanted it to look like a head long runner, but I glued the head too straight forward and it looked odd. I cut some neatly cut coffee stirrer pieces and spray painted the silver to be the steps. I didn’t just want them to be a straight staircase, so to add a Sci-Fi element I added a clear red support column from the pin markers sprue again, that I imagine can raise and maybe produce more stairs or something.

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Jemima the runner

First Mate Mihaan Vars

Tutoring 6
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Same paint scheme as the CaptainSame paint scheme as the Captain
Added a 101st US airborne transfer to the shoulder pad.Added a 101st US airborne transfer to the shoulder pad.
First Mate Mihaan Vars

The addition of a Warlord Games Bolt Action British Weapons Sprue PIAT ammunition case and a Skitarii Plasma backpack make this guy look very different. It does look a bit excessive, but I wanted to advertise the fact that he has an Energy Shield Stargrave Power that takes three hits of damage once activated.

I really liked the Stargrave Crew NorthStar carbine arms. I wondered whether to make shoulder pads to make him more in keeping with his brother, but as these guys are meant to be in light armour I guess what he has on display should be enough.

On his left hip Mihaan has a “deck” from the Northstar Crew sprue. It kinda looked like an 80’s tape deck to me so I put a red button on it, just incase he wants to hit play and record to make himself a mixtape or something. The screen came out OK with a Templar Black Contrast first layer, with some spots of yellow paint to try and imitate fine text, followed by and Orc flesh Green Contrast over that.

Mihaan also has a spanner on his canteen to indicate his Repair Robots Stargrave Power.

I added a Warlord Games 101st US airborne transfer to the shoulder pad and shoulder of the brothers. I think it ties in with the “Talons” background and I don’t see it as an immersion issue.

First Mate Mihaan Vars

Captain Vars

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Captain Vars

The paint job started with a Halfords grey plastic primer spray. I hit the whole mini with a Nulin Oil wash to help pop out the details for me. Then the skin was a Morghast Bone base with a Wraithbone and an Apothecary White highlight.

The beak is Trollslayer Orange.

The red slouch hat top is Mephiston Red.

The air filter at his hip is Brown Violet with Deathguard Green highlight and more Mephiston Red for the central piece.

The webbing is Abaddon Black.

The yellow piping and cuffs on the uniform is Averland Sunset.

The blue trousers, canteen and cuff pieces are Macragge Blue.

The metal is all Leadbelcher and silver edging.

The sprue piece on the base is meant to be a bulkhead or door way of some description painted in Brown Violet.

The Captain has trodden in the gore of someone he has winged with an earlier shot and is following the bloody trail.

 

 

Captain Vars

Basing

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Basing

Trying to work out basing when the game could be played on almost any planet anywhere was proving awkward. I decided to go with an industrial flooring look that could hopefully be space station / shuttle flooring.

The texture is provided by polypropylene box strapping that you get on large boxes e.g. office printer paper, 5 ream boxes. I glued this down in cut strips and then cut them round the base once dried.

I have primed them black and will dry brush them silver and weather them heavily.

Basing

Talons Assemble

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Just a pic I found on a Google search. I may be attempting a similar paint scheme. Just a pic I found on a Google search. I may be attempting a similar paint scheme.

I was struggling with the fact that I really like the Solubrian droopy mouthed alien heads but knew that I didn’t want to buy an extra box just to get more of those heads. The warband needs to be coherent without the head binding them. The kepi slouch hats are from an extra purchase of a Perry Miniatures sprue, but I feel those 5 slouch hats will help bind the unit without needing to use the alien heads every time. The use of Skitarii robots will definitely make life easier, because I can use a paint scheme that ties their robes with the Captain’s great coat etc. I can use Skitarii Rangers for any lighter armoured soldier types and have plenty of options from my unbuilt Skitarii Kill Team sprues. There are also the Vanguard Skitarii heads that I can use for some of the heavier armoured soldier types as a distinction.

390 universal credits
Robot Sniper – Skitarii ranger sniper from GW Kill Team. – 100 uc

Robot Codebreaker – Skitarii ranger with rifle with a Stargrave Crew sprue “deck” at the hip. – 75 uc

Pathfinder – Les Grodnards body, grenade throwing arm and Stargrave Crew carbine arm and alien head. Perry Miniatures Kepi slouch hat. – 100 uc

Commando – Warlord Games Gates of Antares C3 Body and arms, Stargrave Crew alien head with alternative helmet. – 75 uc

Chiseller – North Star Stargrave Crew box body head, spanner, holster, pistol with Wargames Atlantic Les Grodnards sword arm and rifle support arm. The chain sword cut off and replaced with an Oathmark Heavy Dwarf Sword. – 20 uc

Hacker – North Star Stargrave Nickstarter metal hacker. – 20 uc

Runner – Gates of Antares Freeborn body and arms (pistol knife?) with Stargrave Crew alien head. – Free

Recruit – Stargrave Crew box body and human head. Perry Miniatures Kepi slouch hat. (pistol knife?) – free

I will probably use a predominantly grey uniform, with yellow and red accent colours and pale blue trousers as a nod to confederate rebel style uniforms. Obviously my lovely, unfortunate, and homeless Solubrians never condoned or engaged in slavery even when they had a home world, so the uniform and rebellious nature are the only connection.

Chiseler

Tutoring 6
Skill 5
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Chiseler

Chiseler.
I am thinking of adding a piece of thin red sprue out of the end of the spanner to make it a bit more futuristic once part painted.
Les Grognards arms on a NorthStar Stargrave crew box body. The chain sword was removed and an Oathmark Heavy Dwarf sword added to make it more like a big knife. The head, spanner, pistol and holster are all from the crew sprue as well.

Preparation - Powers

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Preparation - Powers

I made some powers cards with the free download from the Osprey Publishing website.

I printed off the quick reference guide and the solo rules and I laminated a crew sheet and started to look through the book.

I decided on the background of my crew and then set out to create my Captain and First Mate.

I decided that thematically both the Capt and 1st Mate should choose the “Veteran” character trope. Even though game wise I am sure you should mix up the classes and utilise all the fun abilities I thought I would stick to my narrative for now and didn’t want any jedi like powers initially in this crew. The only nod to this side of Sci-Fi is that. Some Solubrians have a natural healing skill. A type of telepathy that, by shear force of will and suggestive powers, that the target hearing the faint foreign clicking heals themselves and their own body reacts at a heightened regenerative rate.

Captain Vars has:

Command – Extra player in line of sight is able to activate in his phase.

Coordinated Fire – +1 shoot awarded to a crewman for the rest of the game.

Target Designation: Target mini has -2 Fight when defending a shoot attack.

Heal: 5 points of health restored on a target in 6″ range.

Regenerate: Vars recovers 3 points of lost health.

For his brother with one fewer power as First Mate I thought I would use up more of the remaining Veteran core powers and have him command the robots I am thinking of having in my list.

First Mate Vars has:

Energy Shield: 3 points of damage from shooting taken by the shield. Remains on until depleted.

Remote Firing: A target robot fires a +3 shoot attack over and above their activation.

Power Spike: Next shot gets a +3 damage mod.

Repair Robot: 5 points of health restored on a target in 6″ range

The first steps

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The backstory got my ideas flowing and the rules and the Crew NorthStar box arriving gave me chance to throw my first kitbashes together.

The Background

Captain Maughan Vars hates the technologically advanced evil Daktari Empire and their mercenary Pirate allies that eventually destroyed his homeworld Alpha-Solubris.
That said, after years of guerilla fighting he has realised that men don’t fight for causes any more. They fight for money and survival. The only way to get comfort in the sea of grief for his endangered race and his derelict planet is to snipe at Daktari power and Pirate dominance under the guise of contracted works for the last remaining pockets of civilization in the chaos.
That ship they scavenged last month happened to be a Daktari vessel. That outpost they raided for supplies last week happened to belong to a Daktari protectorate. This space station they are stealing from today is a known Pirate slave trading port. The war continues one contract and one heist at a time. The crew share the spoils, as Captain Vars gets his revenge one shrouded triumph after the next.
Oh and there’s his brother the first mate, but more on him once some paint goes down. 😊

The first steps

The captain has a pistol and pointing arm and body from the Les Grognards Wargames Atlantic range. I got a three body sprue from this set just for filling in the big annual wargames survey a couple of years ago. The head is from the NorthStar Stargrave crew box. The kepi slouch hat is from a Perry’s ACW sprue.

The First Mate is made from a Les Grognards body and the head and arms are from the Stargrave Crew NorthStar box.

There are also some additional items around the waist that are meant to denote the breathing filter, codebreaking “decks” that the First Mate has and the physical lock “picks” that the captain has.