IntroductionA few weeks ago, I showed you my progress so far on fighters for the new 5150: Fighter Command ruleset. That's fine as far as it goes, but I need some capital ships as well. I've seen Bandai's "Space Battleship Yamato" [aka "Star Blazers"] series of plastic kits widely recommended for this role; HobbyLink Japan seems to be the most popular source for these. I'm not a great fan of the styling of spaceships in Japanese anime, but I thought I should take a closer look to see why the Bandai kits are so popular.
Ordering from Japan
I put together an order of 4 kits on the HobbyLink Japan site; the postage came to 680yen, or about as much again as the kits themselves. That's not too bad; I figured that I could afford to take a chance for a little over £9.
So what about delivery time? Well, I had a shipping confirmation notice 2 days after payment was made and a carton containing a Japanese customs label and other markings arrived some 6 days later than this. I'd say that 8 days from start to finish was quite acceptable for goods from the other side of the world!
What's in the Boxes?
ConstructionEach kit was very easy to build; the parts fitted together well and there weren't huge numbers of them. Because these will be used as gaming models, I left off some of the more fragile-looking protruding aerials and pylons. I suspect that they would all have been broken the first time I transported these ships!
I also left off a few of the turrets, some of which I felt had very improbable locations (blocked by parts of the superstructure &c, with virtually no field of fire). For the turrets that I did use, I cut down the gun barrels considerably; the Japanese style has excessively long, thin weapons for my taste.
ConclusionI will certainly paint up some of these models and use them in my games, though probably not in the "official" colour schemes as shown on the boxes. The others? I'm not so sure - there are enough competing demands on my time that the ships I like least will be some way down the workload queue. Still, it was a fun experiment and hasn't cost a great deal of money or time so far.
A Request for Help
- Yellow all over, with black nose and red markings.
- 2-tone "camouflage", much as used by the RAF for the past 75 years. Maybe green/brown, grey/green or brown/grey. This might look good, but what would be the point of such camouflage in space?
- Overall block colour (red?), but with "flying circus"-style markings. The leader is just red, while others all have variations to distinguish them, such as black and white stripes on the wings, a yellow fuselage or a blue tail.
They all look pretty cool to me. But they're not for me to game with. They seem really reasonably priced I'm tempted to something maybe perhaps space fighters or something as I was wondering around the Shapeways site this morning lol.ReplyDelete
As for the fighters you make a good point about the camouflage. Perhaps a Grey with some panels picked out in blue.
There are some very nice models on the Shapeways site, but the cost (especially for the better materials!) is quite off-putting!Delete
Grey and blue had occurred to me, but my first group of space fighters are grey already.
Of the three colour choices I would go for the yellow base etc.ReplyDelete
Good to know about the speedy delivery from Japan.... makes me want to check them out!
The 3 ideas I gave weren't intended to be the only possible options! I agree that the yellow would look good, though I've always had difficulty with coverage for that colour.Delete
The speed of delivery may well vary; I was expecting it to be more like 5 weeks!
For yellow I found it easier to start from a light brown basecoat, add a bit to of the brown to the first coat of yellow it should then cover better.Delete
I usually start with a white base for yellow (sometimes cream).Delete
If you want an open choice of colour scheme for the space ships. Then you have so many choices it becomes ridiculous. The first things I would suggest is determine if these ships are able to fly in a planets atmosphere. If so Then Camo is an option. If they are not capable of atmospheric manoeuvres it all comes down to what you think is best. and the only way I would work that out is to start putting colour on one and see if it inspires you.
One of my old university lecturers used to say "draw three times and think once!"
I like the first color option. Paint them yellow and give them black tiger strips with red markings.ReplyDelete
So how do the Space Battleship Yamoto models scale up with your ships? I have been debating on whether to order some or not, myself.
Hmm - tiger stripes is definitely one of the more complex schemes to attempt. Maybe I'll do a tester first with one of the small models above.Delete
How big is a capital ship? The Space Battleship models in this article range from about 2.5" to 5" long. That's roughly 2-4 times the length of my EM-4 space fighters, so clearly the ships wouldn't be to anything like the same scale. Note also that these Bandai kits are "box scale" - they're whatever size will fit in a standard box - and are therefore not a consistent scale with each other. For spaceships, that doesn't bother me, as long as there are no clear reference points for size (such as a cockpit).
I will definitely have to think about ordering some of these for when I do get 5150: Fighter Command. Can't wait to see them painted and based.Delete
Hi Hugh, nice pics of the models. How about a nebula camouflage scheme. Sort of a dark blue or black with red and yellow shapes to break it up, or any combination to help it blend into the snazzy space background.ReplyDelete
Yes, I wondered about something like that. Camouflage on gaming pieces is tricky: it has to look plausible enough, but without being so effective that you cannot find the model!Delete
Good to hear of the inexpensive pricing! Since BFG is now officially OOP, I will be looking for proxy models! The stuff on eBay has been crazy inflated. It's more like speculators than hobbyists are selling!ReplyDelete
For the paint schemes, I like the flying circus theme. Although I am not sure of the scale, some squadron markings like the USN Jolly Rogers would not be amiss!
I just painted a lot of BFG ships on my blog and used a blue, white,black, and gray camp. Feel free to peruse and copy, perhaps you'll get a better inspiration and execution than I!
The Space Battleship fleets certainly seem to be close in spirit to Battlefleet Gothic, don't they?Delete
The Jolly Roger scheme is certainly the kind of inspiration that I'm looking for, thanks! And your BFG ships are very nice, too.
You could try a wasp or hornet-like pattern with 4 black bands on one ship, 3 on another... or just vary the width of the bands in between ships...ReplyDelete
That would be quite impressive, wouldn't it :-) ?Delete
I'd paint them in silver chrome with red nose and red markings just like those fighters from USAF during the Corea War. I painted mine like that and I liked the result: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gTXkhVyI2DM/UYY1iKHPGdI/AAAAAAAADNk/E8bNXSIKGPE/s1600/orcs+030.jpgReplyDelete
BTW, you could use Kit #17 as a star base.
Ooh, I like your fighters! Chrome with a solid colour trim would be relatively simple and very effective, I think.Delete
Yes, I'd also thought that about #17. It's not quite symmetrical enough for my vision of a base, though I did have visions of kit-bashing 2 together!
I was looking at the Bandai ships after someone commented on your fighter post about them. Thanks for being the guinea pig and ordering them! ;) Good to see it wasn't an incredibly arduous process too.ReplyDelete
As to colour schemes, I think early WW1 would be a good inspiration, and if they are non atmospheric craft as Clint said, then the more colourful the better. Your idea of a theme per flight is a good one though, especially if you use a group of colours for a side - e.g. red & orange, shades of blue, shades of green etc
It was all too easy; not really good for something that is essentially a distraction from my main activities!Delete
I agree that WW1 German craft are a very good source of inspiration for colourful schemes.
They are really impressive for the price and service- nice find.ReplyDelete
I think camouflage on Space craft always looks complete pants, but paintschemes are there for those moments to show off at starports etc.
I think a "Darth Maul" type pattern, with an orangey-red base colour and black stripes (diagonals, zig,zags etc)would look the part. Although all the wasp inspired patterns I think are great too.
For inspiration look at the colours of some of the snakes of the world (coral snake springs to mind)
Camouflage might make some kind of sense for fighters that were atmosphere-capable, though even then I imagine that electronic sensing would be much more important than visual.Delete
Good call on the snakes! I imagine that some lizards, frogs and iguanas would be similarly colourful. Basically they're all saying "Look out - I'm dangerous!". Very appropriate for fighters :-) .