Tuesday 20 October 2015

BFG Support Ships

I've been busy preparing my fleet for a tournament between Vanguard (my local club) and Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts (HATE) at the end of November. It'll be a mixed 40k and Battlefleet Gothic event in which I'll be playing three rounds of Planetary Assault with, as yet unknown, additional rules governing the victory conditions and also not knowing which side I'll be fighting on! Engagements will be at 750 and 1,500 points.

The interesting thing about planetary assault is that it gives you free transport ships or (a random amount of) bonus points to spend on planetary defences depending on whether you are attacking or defending respectively. This means I'll need at least 6 transport ships and 180 points of defences in order to be ready for the event and the downside is that these models are all relatively obscure or hard to come by (read: expensive).

Fortunately I managed to pick up some as part of a collection a while back and a couple of other odd bits off eBay. Others I'm going to find proxies for (Spacefleet?) or try and acquire through trading groups. I love these more unusual vessels though so really this is just the excuse I've needed!

The cruisers Drake and Aurora, assisted by the defence monitor Fervent, guard a transport convoy.
One thing I've really enjoyed about doing these odd ships is trying out colour schemes that I'd rejected for my main fleet or would otherwise have considered to be too lurid.

I definitely didn't want to make them seem like military transports, instead I was aiming to have them seem like merchant shipping and civilian vessels travelling dangerous routes or being requisitioned for military use.

The transports Beacon of the South and Sweet Ameline.

For these two I tried out the classic green/white scheme that Imperial ships typically have and a more colourful gold/blue that's close to an inverse of the rest of the Navy.

Both look fairly smart in their livery and definitely stand out among the darker blues and white of the fleet. I think the sculpts are really quite nice overall and have a good amount of detail for their size.

The transports Delight and Starling

This picture isn't actually blurry, the ship on the left is actually just really badly miscast! It looks like it was somebodies attempt to recast a transport ship in metal and it is seriously wonky. I don't think there is a single straight edge or right-angle on the entire ship. I guess I can write it off as battle damage though. Maybe it took a hit from a Tyranid's pyro-acid batteries at some point?

The red and blue is an interesting mix which borders slightly on the garish. I imagine it as a space-bound Cola company (Arbites Cola?) and I think I'll re-use the quartered look of the fuel transport elsewhere as it looks pretty neat.

The defence monitor Fervent

I love the idea of defence monitors. They are the slowest ship in the game at a whopping 10cm movement but pack an incredible punch! Strength 8 weapon batteries plus a lance is cruiser levels of firepower and 2 shields with 6+ armour on an escort makes them surprising survivable against return fire.

I went back to the gold/blue scheme, with a streak of green, for this one because I like how the first transport turned out. Possibly the monitor is owned by the same transport company? The rings on the sides were painted blue as well although I'm not sure what they are meant to represent. Shield generators possibly?

A selection of refitted luxury liners and independent vessels armed as a reserve force.

Lastly, I have the humble System Ships. These small sub-warp vessels team up in order to put out the same firepower as an Iconoclast Destroyer (i.e. 3), albeit on a far less manoeuvrable hull.

Basing these up gave my a curious problem because none of the ships have room for pegs and I don't think GW ever made split flight stands for them. My solution was to glue two small flight bases back to back and separated by 3mm plastic rod. This, hopefully, lets them look as if they are flying across a star field.

All the ships are painted in different combinations of colours with a few odd details picked out. There wasn't a whole lot of work to do on them and I think they add a nice bit of colour to the fleet.

With all this done, the fleet has started taking up a second shelf on my display cabinet! Next up I'm going to have some ground based defences, a finished Vengeance Class grand cruiser, a heavy transport and maybe an orbital dock.

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