Thursday, September 10, 2015

...And Then There Were More Starships!

Yup. As the 70s rolled along into the 80s more variety crept into the starship miniatures available, including the Space Squadrons 2998 series from Grenadier Miniatures. While I did manage to acquire the boxed set I never managed to get enough of the ships to really satisfy me desire for a galaxy conquering armada thanks to my measly allowance and the then perennial problem of not having found either a satisfactory  set of rules for starship miniatures combat that was generic enough to allow me to design my own ships nor the dratted basic problem of how to base the ships themselves and make them look good! So alas, I lost interest, and eventually sold off the Space Squadron 2998 ships that I did have to my eventual and eternal regret, but I did manage to retain a handful, a pair of the sleek Aurora class strike cruisers, the minelayer which remains to this day I think the best starship miniature of its class ever, and the repair tender which I have buried in storage at the moment so I'll have to post a shot or two on a later date.

Here in all their late 70s early 80s glory are the Auroras painted and based as New Anglian Confederation strike cruisers for Full Thrust, and the minelayer based as a generic enough human vessel ready to muck up the spacing lanes with a whole passel of 600 gigaton space mines ready to slide off the racks:

Later in the 1980s along came some very fetching plastic kits from Japan into the local hobby shop, and among them were some small, relatively inexpensive plastic kits of various starships from the classic anime Space Battleship Yamato. Here I thought might be a means to revive my space combat gaming hopes and aspirations. I collected quite a number during this period, but alas, the twin problems of no acceptable rules and no acceptable bases mitigated once again to drive me back to focusing on ground combat and using up the majority of my cheap plastic starship kits as parts for other kitbashing projects of a sci-fi ground combat nature (and several of them made great Lascannons or Plasma Cannon conversion fodder!).

Then along came Full Thrust to my great delight, and with the added bonus that some extremely clever 12-point cast metal starship flight bases complete with clearly marked 90-degree rear arcs were also being produced by Geo-Hex to coincide with their newly achieved status as the official U.S. licensed manufacturer of the Ground Zero Games metal ship models and distributor of the game itself! I could buy the flight bases separately, the game was generic and included a handy ship design system! 

Further joy came in the form of Silent Death 1st edition, so now I could play either at the fleet level with the big dawgs, or down and dirty at the space fighter dogfight level to my heart's content! So I forged ahead, building up my fleets again and ever vigilant for new and adaptable starship models. As it turned out, those handy little Space Battleship Yamato models were getting set for a return, and in a manner I did not suspect but would be very happy about upon discovery.

Know in Japan as gashopon ("capsule toys"), these came in a sealed box assortment, and sure enough Space Battleship Yamato was experiencing a renaissance of sorts due to an anniversary of the first release of this classic anime, so not one but several sets of assorted starships and fighters from the series came out in pre-painted preassembled assortments. By this point we had the internet, and further there was the sterling mail order service of HobbyLink Japan ( 

I did not hesitate, and upon receiving my first shipment and discovering that the lion's share of the models were hard plastic and therefore eminently suitable as wargaming models, I proceeded to repaint them all to make them my own, and fulfill my mad dreams of a galaxy-conquering armada to call my own! 

Here are many of those splendid Space Battleship Yamato mini kits and gashopon adapted to serve as my armada from the Imperial Terran Space Navy, the defenders of all things Terrestrial, Civilized, and Imperial in the spirit of the creative visions of H. Beam Piper, Gordon R. Dixon, Poul Anderson, Keith Laumer, and Robert A. Heinlein for your consideration and enjoyment:

Something old and something new! The latest version of the Garmillas tri-deck carrier from Yamato 2199 Mecha Colle from Bandai, and the 70s vintage Garmillas tri-deck carrier form the original Space Battleship Yamato anime! The newer tri-deck carrier is thinner and less imposing than the original, but the latest in plastic mould tooling technology and CAD capabilities has resulted in a kit just dripping with detail even at this tiny scale so wonderfully suitable for tabletop wargaming:

Standard EDF battleship of the Borodino class reimagined as an Imperial Terran Navy dreadnought:

The main carrier division of my Imperial Terran armada to date! I plan to add two more fleet carriers eventually, and DON'T let Bandai or anyone else release the original EDF carrier dreadnought hybrid, or I'll have another four or six of those while I'm at it:

Imperial Terran superdreadnoughts and their attendant heavy cruiser and torpedo destroyer escorts:

The hybrid dreadnought carriers with a superdreadmought and many heavy cruisers in attendance, plus their fighter complements drawn from various sources: 

A closer look at the Imperial Terran Navy's latest class of superdreadnought and its attendant heavy cruisers:

Like wolves ready to charge after their prey, a wedge of Imperial Terran Navy torpedo destroyers ready to surge forward to deliver their deadly cargo of 600 gigaton warhead torpedoes:

Another view of the Imperial Terran Navy capital ships and their escorts:

Ever vigilant, the Imperial Terran Navy stands ready to repel the barbarians at the gates! And they don't come much more barbaric that the Entomolian Empire:

That's right, I didn't stop with the Terrans and the Carnivorians once Bill Char and Monday Knight Productions brought the classic Superior Miniatures Star Fleet Wars line back to us after so many decades! He in all their brightly colored insectoid menacing glory is my mostly finished Entomalian fleet. I have a half dozen destroyers and a small swarm of the star bombers to finish and base, so for now, they'll just have to make due as a very powerful assault group looking to overrun a border colony on the fringe of the Terran Empire:

The Entomalian incursion is repelled after much hard fighting, but the threat to the safety and security of the Terran Empire never ends, as a new aline menace appears! Classic Ground Zero Games Sa'avasku from the Full Thrust optional game universe. These are marvelous biotechnology symbiotic starships, quite literally living starships fully capable of traveling across the vast distances of space and wreaking havoc with their biologically generated energy weapons:

Oh, and there's still another fleet, but that, dear readers, is for another time... Stay tuned to your TBD receivers for further news from the fringe of the Known Universe!


  1. Good grief so very many starships! Brilliant stuff, lots of fun indeed! You need to post a picture of your game space someday, I can't process how you are able to store all these goodies ;)

    1. How? I'm an inveterate packrat to begin with! LOL!! The short answer is that bubble wrap is my FRIEND! One of these days I will take a photo of the whole damn Imperial Terran Navy fleet, a massive group shot to remind myself of the madness in miniature I've perpetrated over the past decades of my misspent life! >;)

  2. Wow! Maybe you've mentioned this in another post, but what rules do you use to game with these, Full Thrust, or something else?

    1. Full Thrust is my default system for fleet actions, however we have the rough draft of a set of starship combat rules based upon the Silent Death/Metal Express game mechanics... hope to have a 1.0 Beta playtest version ready by end of year/beginning of 2016... >;)

  3. Wow, those are some gorgeous ships. Where did you get the smaller Yamato kits? I've been looking for suitable-scale ones to go along with my battleships and cruisers for ages.

    1. The smaller kits are also from the Yamato gashpon collections. Zakka Pop released IIRC three such collections, and they included EDF and Garmillas destroyers and frigates amongst the assortments. There were even some original series EDF fighters including the three-seater torpedo bombers in one of the series, along with the Black Tigers and Cosmo Zero, and just the right size for Silent Death: The Next Millennium.

      Hopefully the popularity of the Yamato 2199 reboot will continue to build, and we'll see new gashpon and Mecha Colle kits released accordingly. As it is, there's a new Mecha Colle mini kit just announced that really made my day, the Garmillas S-class dreadnought no less! I have two already from an earlier Gashpon release, but I have always wanted to be able to field a full line-of-battle squadron of six of these particular brutes, so now it looks like I'll finally get my chance... >;)

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    1. Wow! An emo-nazi cyberstalking me? I'm shocked I tell you all, shocked! ROFLMAO!!! Comment deleted, little child! Hope you get some help from a licensed mental health professional, and grow up some day into a real human being, but until then, adieu!