Sunday, 26 February 2017

USS Matakishi: Away Team

Introduction

Many of my recent posts have been about "classic" Pulp miniatures: 1930s aircraft, archaeologists, Nazi agents and the like.  However, I've always had a hankering to do some space opera as well.  In this genre, Star Trek is probably my favoured setting (although Flash Gordon, Retro Raygun or similar has considerable appeal as well).

For quite some time, I've been quietly collecting miniatures that are suitable to represent a ship's crew or an away team.  My Klingons come from Space Vixens from Mars; it's not a huge range, but still very useful.  Other aliens are harder to come by, but I'll keep trying...


Of course, for a human-centric story, it is necessary to have Federation figures as well.  I'm aware of just a few current sources of these (excluding legacy stuff from FASA and the not-yet-released Star Trek Adventures game from Modiphius):
  • Victory Force Miniatures has a large range of "Spacefarers".  I have a number of these still in their original packaging.  One day, I'll get round to painting them...
  • Matakishi's Tea House has a small collection of what are essentially 25mm crew figures, but with a more recent 28mm Captain/Admiral sculpt.
  • There are small numbers of pre-painted, "Heroclix" crewmen available.  Board games such as Star Trek Expeditions include these, though I understand they can be obtained separately as well.
I just finished painting up my Matakishi models, so here they are.

Science


To represent the science division, we have Lieutenant Gupta and Doctor Forester.  The former is using a tricorder to look up something, whilst the latter is talking urgently into his communicator whilst wielding a phaser.  Evidently his Hippocratic Oath doesn't prevent him from at least threatening to use force on someone or something!

Command


In the second picture are Captain Hunter and his faithful assistant, Yeoman Brookings.  The captain clearly has his arms open in the universal gesture of welcome.  He hasn't put down either his communicator or his weapon, though - so he's not completely trusting ("We come in peace.  Shoot to kill"?).

Unusually, Hunter is an older gentleman with a grey beard and a bit of a protruding belly.  It's not obvious whether he is wearing a visor for medial reasons or whether he just has some funky sunglasses as a style thing...

The relatively-small yeoman is dressed in the traditional mini-skirt & thigh-length boots and has an appropriate regulation beehive hairdo.

Security


Not much point in giving these guys names, really.  Life expectancy for a security guard on an away mission is negligible...


Conclusion

The Matakishi miniatures are good figures, but somewhat dated and not really up to the standards of today's best sculptors.  But hey - all my models are just playing pieces, right?  They're perfectly acceptable as that, especially given the rarity of "not Star Trek" figures.

This is a small (but significant) start to my Star Trek collection.  In due course, I'll build and paint the Victory Force miniatures I own; that will give me the opportunity to add some alien crew members.  Not all Federation members are human, after all, so I can play with lumps and bumps on the heads as well as different skin & hair colours.

But there's still the problem of where to find suitable enemies...

28 comments:

  1. The problem with Victory Force Miniatures is that whilst their range is large, unless you're an existing customer or live in the US, they won't ship to you anymore.
    However, CP Models here in the UK do some 'spaceship crew', the multipart ones I think they may have bought the molds of from Matakishi's Tea House. They recently released some newer one-piece sculpts which aren't bad, so might be worth a look if you need additional crew.

    Jez

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    1. As for enemies, depends how accurate you want to be. Some of Black Tree's Doctor Who figures (Ogrons and Draconians spring to mind) could work, but wsit for one of their sales on the specific models you want.
      Plus Wargames Supply Dump do 'Retrovians' which are Dan Dare Treens by any other name, but are nicely sculpted and very good value. Hope that helps.

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    2. I had forgotten about CP Models! At least some of their "Starship Crew" figures do look and sound much like the older Matakishi sculpts; the men are acceptable but IMO the women are grotesque with extremely implausible legs.

      From memory, I did see a news article a while ago about Victory Force cutting back operations. I'm hoping that I have this wrong, as their zombies and Spacefarers are very useful.

      I hadn't thought of using Draconians as enemies; that's worth thinking about!

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  2. These look wonderful and I have to say that I rather like that old style feel to them. Beautifully painted too, I might add.

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    1. They're fairly simple models in style, but totally plausible (anatomy, clothing & equipment) once painted.

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  3. Nicely done, I like the less than athletic Captain in particular.? Reminds me of David Bellamy! CP Models now do a set of starship crew that you might appreciate - think they have some Andorians in there too.

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    1. Hah, David Bellamy as a starship captain? I like the sound of that :-) . "Captain Bellamy" it shall be!

      Yes, I had forgotten about CP Models (see an earlier comment & response), though I don't remember seeing any Andorians amongst their offerings.

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    2. I think that the 'separate heads' sprue you get with the multi-part models does come with an Andorian head option, although the current pictures on the site don't show this.

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    3. Ah, thanks for that. I might just have to purchase a few (though CP Models' postage rates are very expensive, especially for small orders!)

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  4. These are some nice Trek minis mate. The beauty of StarTrek is that literally anything can be the Alien menace, from 1930s gangsters to vividly coloured femme fatales to giant space blobs and everything in between

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    1. Well, you're right that anything at all can be used as opponents, though typically only for one episode. I was thinking more along the lines of recurring enemies such as Klingons, Romulans, Borg and the like (but hey, I'll use cowboys, sapient rocks, primitive cavemen and the like as well!).

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  5. Of course I watched Trek growing up but I must admit I was never a huge fan. (I can hear a sharp intake of breath from some other readers). But I am a fan of wargames figures and these are while not as nice as "Modern" sculpts do have the feel of the TV series. While not my thing I do appreciate them

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    1. No, you're entitled to your opinions without prejudice, Clint :-) . Thanks!

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  6. Can't say I'm taken with 'Trek' gaming but these would fit the bill if I were and I will be looking forward to one of your batreps using them.

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    1. It might be a long while off, at my present rate of collecting & painting. So many other things are clamouring for my attention and are much more advanced in preparation.

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  7. Lovely stuff, the Star Trek minis. Rarely see them done and love what you did here.

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    1. Thanks! I'm really not sure why it is unusual to see this type of figure, when there are so many for some other TV shows and movies...

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  8. Nice job. Have you looked at Space Vixen's they have some very suitable aliens

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    1. The Space Vixens models are excellent, but there is typically only 1 figure for each alien race. Even my 6 different Klingons are essentially just 2 bodies that have been cast with different arms and weapons. I'd really love it if the owner (Gary?) expanded all of these races, but I don't imagine that's very likely!

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  9. I love Star Trek but oddly enough I never collected any of the models, looking as your's all nicely painted C6 has me thinking maybe I should invest.

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  10. Even though there are only two poses, I hope you've got the 'not-Gorn' figures from the Rim Aliens range. Seeing a squad of those would be awesome. The pics on the web site look very cool! The Romulans look cool as well, pity there isn't a rifle armed third figure.

    Didn't know the Victory Force minis weren't available to us in the UK anymore, wish I had picked up some. Ah well. :(

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    1. I don't have any not-Gorn; I'll need to look again at the Rim Alien range. I only remember one pose, but in my opinion even 2 poses gives a set much more credibility!

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  11. Yep, definitely two not-Gorn figures. The little pics on the site show you how nicely they paint up.

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  13. I've just remembered this link to a thread about Trek minis on Lead Adventure forum...

    http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=42772.15

    ...which might be of interest. Uses some of the old Heritage minis and some suggestions for proxies you could possibly use.

    Mark

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    1. Thanks, Mark. I'll take a look.

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    2. No problem. I know the Heritage figures are old style, less detailed figures compared to modern minis, but I think the Skorr figures came up nicely in those pics. Yes, only one pose, but it IS a Trek alien from the Animated series.

      You could probably use something else as a proxie, but hope it gives you ideas. I've got a couple each of some of the Heritage minis on eBay over the years, including recently, but never got round to painting them. Must try harder! :)

      Mark

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