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Rodak
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Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Miniatures Reply with quote

Just curious to know why more effort is not put into the miniatures for the games? The star fleet universe is awesome and I have always felt Amarillo is sitting on a gold mine with it, but whoever is sculpting those mini's is in real bad need of some imagination.

Just take a look at the FASA line and compare. Those mini's are 100% better and they came out in the 80's! Many right now go for as much as 50$ on ebay. Who do you suppose is buying them? I think SFB players.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of curiousity, how are the SFB miniatures lacking? Is it the details? Or is the the designs themselves? Or is it some other aspect of the miniatures?
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MikePowers
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FASA miniatures were produced by Ral Partha. Both companies are out of business.

Note, also, that the FASA miniatures were produced back when miniatures could be made out of lead.
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Rodak
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the current miniatures are lacking in detail, yes. Most of them look like the sculpter took the SSD and created a hunk of metal in that shape, instead of using imagination to creat starships.

Do you remember star fleet command? You remember the Lyrans, Hydrans, and Kzinti ships in that game? Now they applied some imagination. The ships still retained the shape of the SSD's but they went beyond that and they looked very good.

I think everything else with Federation Commander is first rate, it's just a shame the mini's don't quite live up to the rest.

I am not convinced lead/pewter would matter. Have you seen some of the recent games workshop models?
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Vanessa
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodak wrote:
I think the current miniatures are lacking in detail, yes. Most of them look like the sculpter took the SSD and created a hunk of metal in that shape, instead of using imagination to creat starships.

Do you remember star fleet command? You remember the Lyrans, Hydrans, and Kzinti ships in that game? Now they applied some imagination. The ships still retained the shape of the SSD's but they went beyond that and they looked very good.

I think everything else with Federation Commander is first rate, it's just a shame the mini's don't quite live up to the rest.

I am not convinced lead/pewter would matter. Have you seen some of the recent games workshop models?
Confused I'm guessing you have failed to see the newest Fed Cruiser. pretty detailed IMO. Rolling Eyes
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodak wrote:
I think the current miniatures are lacking in detail, yes. Most of them look like the sculpter took the SSD and created a hunk of metal in that shape, instead of using imagination to creat starships.


Well, keep in mind that there are multiple sculpters involved. For some ships I do agree that detail is lacking (e.g. Lyrans), but for many others there is good detail on the pieces.

Quote:
Do you remember star fleet command? You remember the Lyrans, Hydrans, and Kzinti ships in that game? Now they applied some imagination. The ships still retained the shape of the SSD's but they went beyond that and they looked very good.


Well, if you are going to claim they kept the basic shape of the SSDs, then I will assume you are actually referring to the models collected and distributed by Firesoul. The stock models were quite often pathetic and totally unrelated to the SSD.

But, looking at the Lyran models from Firesoul's collection is a good example of what I was talking about. Sure those models look "kewl", but they have so many flanges and dohickeys and stuff that the model is completely "impractical". The only way you could access any of those "kewl" bits would be to put on a suit and go outside. ADB tries to keep their models a little more rational.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lyran models seem fine to me. Now all I have to do is learn to paint tiger stripes. Very Happy
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Rodak
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the new Fed cruiser as well. I fact I really like all the new Fed cruisers.

I guess it really comes down to taste. I think the Lyrans are the coolest race in the game and thier miniatures are not terrible, they could be alot better though.

I particularly do not like the newer Romulans, not just the miniatures, but the ships themselves. SFC used Romulans from the Trek series for those. I know ADB can not do that. Again, it's all about taste. I have friends in the historical miniature buisness and I know it would not require that much investment to redesign some of those ships.

I think the SFC universe is much more interesting than the Trek universe. One area the Trek universe is better off is with their models. It does not have to be that way.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random responses.

First, I want all of you guys to be nice to Rodak (and every other new member) even if you don't agree with him. We're trying to build a bigger universe here.

Second, we have over a hundred minis in the line. Some have more detail than others. Some were done 20 years ago, some more recently, and age doesn't define detail. When saying "ADB ships need more detail" it would be nice to define the specific ship in question. I think Rodak mentioned the Lyran. I'm not sure what his specific issues are and would like to hear them. The ship has phaser bumps and a lot of engine detail and disruptor mounts and ESG mounts. I'm not sure what more detail is needed. The mini looks like the ship looks. As a registered professional engineer (TX #47252) I'm probably in a better place to know what a starship looks like, but perhaps reality is more boring than fantasy?

Third, allow me to wisecrack that Fasa and Ral Partha are out of business and ADB does not take lessons from the losers. We're still here, they're not, and that says something. Given my sales figures, I suspect I sold more minis in the last 12 months than FASA sold in any three years.

Fourth, I think this is the third or fourth person in the last year to show up and say this, and while most don't agree with this view, it is a valid view. If Rodak has come by the other forum previously, I welcome his return, since the last flamewar we had on this subject resulted in the highly detailed Fed Command Cruiser, a ship the two new women in my office like a whole bunch.

Fifth, lead DOES matter. Lots of details mean it's in lead. Pewter won't hold detail like lead does. Just a fact of metalurgy.

Sixth, I know a lot about miniatures production too, and I know that it actually is a pile of money to replace a miniature, and the sales don't justify it unless the miniature name starts with "Federation" or just maybe "Klingon". There are a lot of variables in the equation, but the cost for sculpting and molds and mailing samples back and forth can vary from a couple of hundred dollars to nearly a thousand. It just depends on whether I can get one of the reasonable sculptors to do a ship for me or if I have to go to one of the sculptors who took a class in Mafia Extortion Techniques. Even so, it's tough to find a ship that has been on the market for years that will sell enough copies to pay for a do-over. Remember that MOST players are quite happy with the Lyrans (and those goofy designs in SFC are not just impossible to cast but they just plain look stupid) and spending even say $300 to do one Lyran ship over again on the theory that sales are going to increase enough to cover it is extremely iffy. My profit on a ship sold to wholesale is less than $2 each, and sales of a new ship count in the low hundreds. You've got to convince me that I will sell 200 more "new Lyrans" than I will sell "existing Lyrans" and, frankly, you can't convince me that sales will go up.

Seventh, it is a matter of taste. The SparrowHawk has more detail and nicer lines that the crappy Romulan ships seen on television recently. Those things are just goofy, silly, and ugly. The SparrowHawk takes them down every single time.

Eighth, I'm all for increased detail when the detail has something to do with how the ship operates. We had quite a nice chat at origins with sculptors, collectors, and retailers. The retailers pointed to some of our ships and said "great" and others and said "no so great". This included some that were not yet in production and the sculptor took them back to add more detail, and it was detail that mattered, not detail just to add a piece of detail for the sake of adding a meaningless detail. I see no point to add a "bump" to the side of a ship just so say "look, we adding a bump!". If the SSD has a weapon or shuttle bay or tractor beam there, then by all means let's add the appropriate bump.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
Terry, send me a pm and I'll email you step-by-step directions for the tiger striped Lyrans I've painted... if you're interested.

http://www.geocities.com/scoutdad13
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CatWithThickFur
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Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find myself agreeing with Rodak on this - a majority of the line is rather bland compared to some of the other miniature space games. And that's the key statement - in comparison.

For Star Fleet Battles, the line is more than adequate. It's also plenty adequate for Federation Commander as well, but may fail a comparison test in the eyes of many of the target market from other games.

As an example, the Imperial Navy ships from Battlefleet Gothic are ridiculous designs as a first impression - until they are painted and on a table, and look great in formation. Fantasy may indeed trump reality when it comes to minis on a board.

It's unrealistic to expect a line overhaul - but it's something to consider when designing new ships and new minis. The Federation Fast Cruisers are a break in the fleet design philosophy that might serve as the example - the Manta Ray is an awesome ship that would look good in any game, and is one I wish I could see animated/CGI'd one day.

Another example would be the Romulan hawk ships. They look generic. Within the game's history, that's how they are *supposed* to look, but from a random outsider's point of view seeing them on a game table, "Those are Romulans?" is going to be the cringe question.

I've had no intention of getting miniatures for Federation Commander - the 1-inch counters are good enough for me - but a "raiding squadron" of a New Fast Cruiser, 2 Fast Destroyers and 2 Fast Frigates is something I would get. A new Kzinti design that stood out like the Federation Fast ships would also get me fumbling with paint brushes again.

I know that I've just proposed 4 new minis and 2 or 3 new ship designs out of personal desire, and that doesn't run a company. That's my current threshold, and it can go into the pile with everyone else's.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad: Pm sent - thanks.

CatWithThickFur, I agree that the BFG ships do look good on the table. However, they fit in with the general design philosophy of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, which has all kinds of gargoyles and flying buttresses and stuff on everything.

The SFU has a different aesthetic to 40K. SFU ships are "futuristic from the point of view of someone from the 1960's", just like the Original Series on which the SFU is based. IMO, the Lyran (and other) ships in the miniatures range fit well with the Star Trek Original Series designs.

Still, I think you're probably right - many players are used to more recent science fiction with doohickeys on everything. Perhaps new sculpts to be added to the Starline range could have more details, like shield grids and so on. Leave the existing ones alone until the moulds need to be replaced (if that ever happens). Smile
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps the scope for more 'contemporary' ship designs could be made when or if Omega or Magellanic ship types ever make it across - certainly for unique races like the Loriyill or Souldra, I'd expect them to look wholly unorthodox to other factions' shipbuilders (well, with flying dark matter crystals and giant energy-butterflies, they better be!)

And when it comes to BFG, funnily enough I remember once suggesting the idea of unofficially repping ISC X-tech ships (X2 more than X1, now that I think of it) using the resin Tau ships from Forgeworld - they vaguely remind me of the ISC designs from the Star Fleet Command PC games. You can see them on this page, and here are a couple from my own collection:








Gary
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since everyone is chiming in on this issue, I thought that I'd add my 2 Quatloos worth.

As a self-styled, miniature afficianado... I have several hundred Starline minis, a couple hundred D&D minis - from nearly every mfg, Battletech Mechs, Micro Armor, tens of thousands of points worth of 40K minis, etc... I think the Starline miniatures work fine just as they are.

Several companies produce highly detailed miniatures (C-in-C micro armor comes to mind) that are a pleasure to paint. Several other companies produce highly-detailed minis simply for the sake of adding bumps and fiddly-bits, while other companies produce minis with much less detail.

Typically speaking, I prefer the less detailed versions. I like having the options for individuality provided by the plain, flat panels on the SFB miniatures. If I want to paint my Romulans with "fre-hand" warbirds on the belly... I don't have to file off any existing details or paint within the etched-in design of the original sculptor. If I want a squadron of Lyran CA's in various camo-patterns (i.e., one tiger-striped, one with cheetah spots, and another with a snow-leopard pattern) I can do it by simply painting the strips. None of this would be possible (or at least not easy) with the super-detailed miniatures produced by certain British casting companies.

Again, this is only my opinion and YMMV.
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Rodak
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If Rodak has come by the other forum previously, I welcome his return, since the last flamewar we had on this subject resulted in the highly detailed Fed Command Cruiser, a ship the two new women in my office like a whole bunch.


Geez dude are you calling me a woman? Are you serious?

First of all I have no intention of engaging in a “flame war” with you. I was only asking a question/giving an opinion that I have held for a long time. I apologize if I was wrong in assuming that this forum was intended for that purpose.

Second, that’s great you have an engineering degree but I’m afraid the SF universe, like the Trek universe, is fantasy. I have a degree too, it is in legal studies. Great.

Third, FASA is out of business because you have a much better game than they did. Period.

Fourth, I played SFB back in the 80’s. I am not new, I just have not been around in a while.

Fifth, Okay you would know better than me.

Sixth, I understand. I was not saying you should run out and blow all your cash on a new line. But you’ll eventually re-do some mini’s right? A few here and there would be cool.

Seventh, I agree completely it is a matter of taste. I just don’t agree with your opinion about the SparrowHawk.

Sorry if my post made you feel insulted because that was not my intention. I know how it feels to have your work criticized. But really, I would think you would be used to it by now.

Just and idea here but have you ever considered a contest to have players come up with a miniature design? Not sure it is practical but I would be happy to mail in something original (and legal) that you could make a mold out of.
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