Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ship's Record

As mentioned in the last post - the MDF board cutoffs make a great "clipboard" for the ship's registers.  Each of these boards is just a bit bigger than 5-inches by 7-inches - perfect for printing the ship records.

Ten players, ten boards.  We divvied up the ships to keep things interesting and give everyone something to do each turn.  If you get the capital ship, you wind up with two ships.  The other players get a three ship task force.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Frankly, I didn't have enough foam to build a second capital ship.  So this foot-shaped beast is the strongest in either this force or the human force.  Instead of building two nearly identical fleets, I plan on making this ship and the escorts strong for the bio-fleet than for team human.  Team human's frigates are better than their counterparts and they have two battleships to the bio-fleet's one.  That should keep things fairly even, and open up different strategies for the two fleets.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Slightly bigger, slightly badder, here is the meat and muscle of the bio-fleet.  The first two shots are of ships where the plastic domes popped off when the foam expanded.  I went with it - just painted them up as if it was still in place.  The one of the left had an odd protrusions that looked nice and tentacley, so it got the orange paint treatment to make it look like I did that on purpose.

Friday, March 15, 2013


The paint jobs are all complete.  Like the hit-mongering whore that I am, I'll be breaking up the shots into multiple blog posts.  So let's kick things off with the escort class ships.  A better man than I (gunga din) would have sat down with his bits and his ship records and decided what each bit represented to make the game truly WYSIWYG.  These ships take the opposite tack - they are just random bits stuck here and there every which way.  The only real concession made was to keep the thrusters on the backs of the ships to make it easier to tell which way the things are headed.

The eyes don't do anything for the game, they just give these ships that wonderful shoggoth look.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bio Ship Sizes

Quick thought for the day.  Here's a comparison of the bio-ships (which really need a better name) to human ships of comparable scale.

No fighters yet.  We need to assemble those for both forces yet.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bio Ships with Paint

Continuing on with the bio-ship construction, we've got paint on the field - paint which illustrates why you have to let these ships dry before you paint them - especially if you stick extra doo-dads into the foam.

Painted too soon.  Didn't put foam on top of the cupolas to hold them down.  Shame on me.  We can fix this - we have the technology, but man, what a hassle.

Snot fighters!
Yeah, so the paint job here is meant to evoke plants, right?  So, I painted these brown first, and then held the can over the top and applied a layer of green.  You know, like trees?

Halfway through the process (as in, these only had the brown paint on them) my son came out to the yard and asked me why I was making a whole bunch of really giant turds.  Danged if he wasn't right about what they looked like.
I may have hurried to apply the green paint, just to keep the neighbors from wondering what the heck that crazy Warren was doing this time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More Bio-Fleet Construction

The nice thing about this construction method, is you can use it for all kinds of ship sizes.  These little pukes will wind up as fighters:

And this big bad boy is going to make for a fine capital ship.  That egg looking thing is a toy package for a dragon.  It had a cool 'veiny' look to it that will add to the feel of these alien ships/critters.

Again, remember that the foam keeps expanding as it dries.  The above is a picture taken just after 'spraying'.  The next one is a shot of the ship after it is fully dried.  Note how much bigger and smoother it is - not entirely smooth, but more than the above.

And you can build ships in between as well.  See those cupolas?  Yeah, you really want to either spray foam on top to keep them in place, or wait until the foam dries before sticking them on there.

I'll show you why next time...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Fleet Recipe

Today we start construction on an opponent for the KoDan Armada.  We want ships that look nothing like the human ships, so we'll need new construction, new paint colors, and a unique look.  We're also going to be building an alien force, so all that works together to make this fleet nothing like the first one.  Instead of straight lines and flat surfaces, this will be an organic force with ships that look grown rather than constructed.

So let's tart with the construction material.  The bulk of our resources come in a can that looks something like this:
Not this:
Turns out the DAPtex stuff doesn't dry very fast, and when it dries it has no structural strength - it's soft and spongy.  The Great, stuff, does dry pretty quick, and doesn't 'smoosh' when dry.  This, it turns out, is why my idea to fill shampoo bottles with the stuff didn't work - that DAPtex neer would have dried enough to allow for more conversions.

So to build the fleet, just spray a series of 'blobs' of this stuff onto newsprint.  Experiment a bit, go crazy with the general shape of the ships.  For the most part, I've used oblong designs that will help make it clear which way the ship is facing.  Be careful when you do this, though, because the foam keeps expanding for a while after you're done spraying it.

Longer than you think - if you aren't careful, your ships will 'bleed' into each other, kind of like this.

It also means your ships wind up a bit smoother in the final analysis than it looks when you finish growing/building them.  More on that next time...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The KoDan Armada

Watch out, Space Nerds and Starfighters, the human fleet is leaving dry docks and headed for a sandy stretch of beach near you!  Okay, they still need posts and fighters, but this seems like a good time for a group shot.

The total cost of this fleet was probably under $20 if you don't count the materials on hand from other projects.  Five bucks for a sheet of foam core, five bucks for the bright blue spray paint, and ten bucks for glue and the various doodads.  Seems odd to me that you can get a giant fleet so much cheaper than one for the tabletop.

As you can see, I've taken to calling this the KoDan armada, more to see if any of the kids pickup on the scifi reference than because these ships are faithful to The Last Starfighter aesthetic.  May have to have a door prize for the first one to spot that reference.

At any rate, next time well take a look at my strategy for a matching opponent, only a lot more alien...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Human Flag Ship - The Fleet Carrier

Can't remember if the unpainted version of this ship was ever posted or not.  Either way, here is the last and the biggest of the human ships for Big Thrust - the mighty fleet carrier.  Down the road we'll assemble some fighter groups for it, but that won't take long.  Again, this is mainly foam core and cereal box cardboard.

The funny thing about these ships is that they are harder to paint to a high standard, but the sheer size of this behemoth means that you can get away with it.  These ships are painted using the same techniques used for table top ships, and it shows - no one will mistake these ships for a store bought model.  But i think it still works, be ause it's obvious that they are game pieces, and what they represent.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Big Thrust Size Comparison

Still have a lot of ships to paint up, but here's a few shots containing one each of the escorts, frigates, and battleship class ships for Big Thrust.  These should give a better idea exactly how big that battleship is compared to the deodorant-stick escorts.