Thursday, July 12, 2012

ACTA: thlIngan maH! (We are Klingons!)

I'm gonna start including category tags in my subject lines, so you can better find specific topics/settings. Though it'll probably be easy to guess what each post is about as it is.

Anyway, earlier this week a Klingon Fleet Box for ACTA was delivered, along with a few other goodies. I'm going to be running intro games at my local store this weekend, and I needed to spice it up and give people a choice besides Federation ships. Also, this gives me two full fleets, so now when I pester friends to play with me, I can provide them with all the ships they need as well. Mua ha ha.

So, the fleet box contains a whopping sixteen ships. I'm planning on giving a couple away to anyone who does exceptionally well at the intro games. I'll still have plenty left for games on my own afterwards. Here's the fleet about 1/3 through the painting process. All the pics today were taken with my phone, as both my SD card readers are now broke, ugh.

While ACTA is based purely on TOS of Star Trek, I'm going to give my ships lots of influences from later stuff, most notably with more greenish hulls and proper Klingon names. I'm likely going to steal a lot of them from Star Trek Online, heh. Maybe IKS Vo'quv for the Dreadnought.

You may notice that these ships all kinda look alike. Not really Mongoose's fault, that's more to blame with Amarilo, who did all these designs in the '70s (back when apparently variety didn't really exist or something), and Mongoose had to base all their models on those. But there's nine different ship classes here, all with different stats and equipment. I need to do something to make it easier to distinguish them. If you notice, on the wing sections of the ships, there's raised areas that are in different patterns. I'll be dry-brushing these areas gray, which will help distinguish them, as the patterns are a little different for each. I can likely do some basic marking patterns that are different between the classes, as well. Or, I could even make decals with the classes (E4, F5, C6, D5, D6, D7, etc. Even the class names aren't very unique) in Klingon (or a font that looks like Klingon).

The upper row is a psuedo-Klingon font, while the lower row is the actual language.

Another thing that struck me about these ships is how big they seem. They're basically the same size as the Federation ships, but something about them makes them feel a lot bigger. It's probably the long necks on them. In any case, here's some size comparisons.

An E4 frigate (lower) and and F5 frigate (upper) next to a Burke frigate.

The iconic Constitution against the iconic D7 (the only Klingon ship actually shown in TOS, and which the rest of the fleet is based on).

Dreadnought vs. dreadnought! I shudder to think how massive the Klingon battleship will wind up being. The C8 dreadnought is also a resin/metal combination model (probably to make it much lighter), while the rest of the fleet is all metal (and I kinda wish the Federation dreadnought was resin too, that thing is HEAVY).

In addition to the fleet box, I picked up a squad of House Decados Donatello gunships from Mongoose's ACTA: Noble Armada line. I figured they'd make excellent Klingon shuttles (as currently ACTA: Star Fleet only has Federation-style shuttles available). They definitely fit the aesthetic, I think, especially with TNG-era and STO Klingon shuttles.

Speaking of shuttles and small craft, with the upcoming rules for fighters, I picked up a couple blisters of fighters from the older Starline 2400 range for Star Fleet Battles. They actually scale pretty nicely to the rest of the ships, and are about half the size of the shuttles above. I also got a blister of the 2400-line Federation shuttles. Surprisingly, they're actually much larger and more detailed than the 2500-line ones by Mongoose, and I think I'll use those instead, especially as they're about the same size as the Klingon shuttles above. Obviously, the shuttles/fighters aren't to scale with the regular ships anyway (if they were, they'd only be a few millimeters long!), so I'm not worried about that. I'll have some pics of the fighters once I get some work done with them.

So, I think that about wraps it up for now! Expect more pics over the next few days as I finish up the ships! Qapla'!

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