Friday, January 28, 2011

Small craft: Star Frontiers and Stardate: 3000

So I'm taking a closer look at the Star Frontiers ships I recently bought.  The Federation scout looks pretty cool, in a retro style reminiscent of War Rocket minis (although the latter came out last year, and the former came out in the early 1980s):
The tops and undersides of these ships are almost identical.
As you can see, these scouts are very small when compared to the SF frigates (or any other ship, for that matter):
Left: Fed frigate; right: Fed scout.
Not to harp on scale discrepancies again, but although the scouts look OK on their own, or next to larger ships, they just don't mesh well with the Starfleet Wars/Galactic Knights fighters--or rather, they are so close in size that the Star Frontiers scouts blend in with the SfW fighters:
Left: Terran Comet; center: Fed scout; right: Ent Mosquito.
I also have these small craft from the Stardate: 3000 range of miniatures, referred to as pursuit ships.  Once again, they look all right on their own, and they're supposed to be in the same scale as the larger vessels in this line of minis:
Left: assault ship; right: interceptor.
However, the Stardate ships also close in size to SfW fighters:
From left to right: Comet, assault ship, interceptor, Mosquito
Why does this matter?  At present, it doesn't.  But in the future, I may want to expand the game to include rules for small shuttles or transports that are larger than a fighter, but smaller than the typical warship on the board.  The SF scouts and Sd:3K pursuit ships would fill this role nicely.

The problem comes if I have them on the table at the same time as I have stands of fighters--it might create a mixup, with players confusing a transport for a fighter, or vice versa:
That's the Federation scout in the middle.
The first solution is the same one I came up with before: don't worry, be happy.  Another solution: use smaller fighter minis.  Stardate: 3000 also has sprues of fighters.  As you can see, they're a lot smaller than the SfW/GK miniatures:
Stardate: 3000 fighters still on their sprue at top.
Of course, they're fairly expensive.  And Battlefleet Gothic fighters, although the right size, are also just as costly.  Not to mention neither line of fighters is compatible style-wise with the ships of the Five Powers.  Since I don't have any looming games in need of transports, it's a moot point right now.  But it's something to think about (or obsess over) in the future.


Mike Slade said...

You know these might work for you (they have that retro style) as they are much smaller than the SF & SD:3000 stuff.

Desert Scribe said...

Thanks, Mike. I have a new post up listing a number of sources for space fighters, including your suggestion.

HarmlessHamster said...

Heya! Where can I go to to buy an Assault Scout from Star Frontiers? Any suggestions?

Desert Scribe said...

HH, I'm not sure which ships you're asking about. The Star Frontiers Federation scouts appear on ebay pretty often. The Stardate: 3000 assault craft are available at the site I linked to in the post above.