DIY Space Fleet – Spaceships!

You’re going to like this. Grab a beer, this is a big one.

So, as you’ve seen over the last few weeks, our lockdown game of choice recently has been the short lived 1991 predecessor to Battlefleet Gothic, “Space Fleet”. This game was a bit of an oddity, in that existed as a small box set before being not just expanded but essentially entirely rewritten over the course of about half a dozen White Dwarf issues, now available from various sources online… legitimately, we assume…

I downloaded the relevant WDs, printed out the rules (I will compile them all into a PDF at some point, but right now I have NO idea how to do that) and got stuck in to making a board. Counters and helm computers were cut out and stuck to bits of cardboard and away we went, with cardboard silhouettes taking the place of the models.

And much fun was had, although it didn’t make for much of a spectacle. Certainly the squared board and the helm computers really lent themselves to a remote game via Zoom, which gave us both a bit of a morale boost. However, I quickly got the bug and decided to build us some proper models… and this is where our story begins!

This is where we begin – DIY disposable razors!
See where we’re going?
I canz measuring!
Here we see our two cheap knackered disposable razors, cut in half and the bottom part of the handles glued onto a cardboard base – fuselage and wings for the Imperial Gothic battleships!
Detail added – the rear conning tower is a superglue tube lid, the broadside cannons made from granny grating (the miracle material Dan introduced me too) and the engine tubes are from the plastic tube inside a defunct old Biro! Same for the chin mounted vortex torpedo launcher. Held together using a mix of superglue and greenstuff. Forward tower was from some bizarre bit of plastic packaging I’d kept because of the interesting shape. For about eight years.
So much for the Imperials – what about their adversaries, the two Eldar Wraithships? Well… let’s take the other halves of those razors, shall we? Add the unused bit of our bizarre piece of plastic packaging for masts, granny grating for forward laser cannons, bit of sprue for the forward plasma torpedo launcher, cut the solar sails from paper, some greenstuff bodging to represent wraithbone smoothing out any too-straight lines.. Eldar ships are “grown”, not manufactured – according to 1991-era fluff, at least!
Doesn’t look like a ride fit for Eldrad Ulthran yet, but let’s see what happens when we throw paint at it…
But before we get to that – bases! These are important parts of Space Fleet, holding shield counters, damage markers, critical damage info and so on. I began with this octagonal shape cut out of single corrugated card (yes, from a wine box. How are YOU coping with lockdown?!?)
Second layer of single corrugated card – this is creating the spaces where the counters will sit.
Third and final layer – a 25mm square of chipboard with the edges trimmed. It just looked better that way! I used tacky glue (basically PVA mixed with isopropyl alcohol to make it fast drying) to stick it all together. Hot glue would probably work too, but my hot glue gun was playing up and I couldn’t be bothered taming it’s machine spirit. Regular PVA would do the job too, but will take a thousand years to dry.
Ships primed! White for the Eldar, Imperials sprayed gold, holes drilled in the bases and 1 1/2″ lengths of kebab skewer used to mount them on
The famous dice tray! In this instance a pizza box, measured into nine equal squares, Sharpie and ruler to the rescue here.
All set up and ready to go! Eldar ships painted with craft bone paint, washed with Vallejo skin wash and then drybrushed back up, the blue pastel done with blue grey house paint and washed with thin craft blue. Imperials sprayed gold, washed with brown ink, drybrushed silver – the reds are craft red and Vallejo German Grey washed black for the blacks. The bases were sprayed black, painted craft black and then varnished… and we are good to go!

And there we go! Got to say, I’m really chuffed with these, the Wraithships particularly – the broken razors were a heaven sent flash of inspiration! And although the Imperial ships look nothing like the Gothic battleships of 1991, they do look pretty close to later iterations (Battlefleet Gothic), and they having a pleasing pulp fiction Flash Gordon “War Rocket Ajax” look to them…

The above pic is from the battle we played last Friday via Zoom, so battle report soon, and as Dan has custody of our Betrayal At Calth set I’m looking forward to a bit more virtual gaming this coming Friday, as even with 12 million+ vaccinated (including Shakin’ Stevens!) it doesn’t look like lockdown is going anywhere anytime soon….

Still, hang in there folks, we’re on the home stretch. Stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty and we’ll see you soon.

Advertisement

17 thoughts on “DIY Space Fleet – Spaceships!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s