Friday, February 28, 2014

COLLECTION DIARY: FEBRUARY 2014

This month I got a very good start on my STAR TREK Model Collection, in fact I can begin playing some ATTACK WING Games as soon as I get the rules. I joked about tossing the little models that come with the game in the trash, but the fact is that they will be fine as Backdrop ships.


This is the second time I have had so many packages delivered on the same day, that I had to use a shopping cart to bring them all up to my apartment...Ha, Ha! The first time I pulled this stunt was when I started my STAR WARS collection...


Federation

The heroes of the galaxy have has founded! I am going to build this faction with several model brands because The Federation has the most diverse Starfleet of all the races in STAR TREK.
This was the challenge from the begging of this endeavor, to get everything into 2/500 & 1/50 scale.
I am very pleased by the fact that I could make this Boss' BIG ATTACK WING Project of mine actually happen.


Klingon

I love the Klingons, and and I am going to have a very nice fleet for the faction! This is a decent start. I am going to use the classic AMT Vor'cha model to convert into either a Neg'varh, or a Bird of Death. The reason I have the different types of K'vort class BOP's is to use the Corgi model as a character's ship...just for fun. The rest of my K'vort BOP's will be Hot Wheels models.


Romulan

Probably the most amusingly treacherous evil faction in all of STAR TREK in my view, and I am going to have a lot of fun with them. I am using the very cool and screen accurate Playmates version of the Warbird for the Faction's Flagship. I am going to convert the Hallmark ornaments into other smaller versions of Warbirds...because I can, and it IS cool.


Dominion.

Are they the best Bad Guys in all of STAR TREK? How evil can Lizard-men and Snake-men be, when they are led by Shape-shifting-gods? I am going to build a very nice fleet of Cardassians and Jem'hadar. I will definitely be having several Dominion War battles in my ATTACK WING Games.

Borg

This is the most challenging faction to realize in my collection! They will be represented by a few scratch built models and several converted models to make up some cool Assimilated ships. I am using parts from several kits for the faction. 


I focused on getting my BBAW Project started this month with a bang, however I still managed to even up my STAR BLAZERS Earth Defense Force Fleet, with another Main Battleship and Battle Carrier. I wanted two of these so I can have them cover Flagships, just as the little Destroyers and Escorts cover them.

Trekkie Boss out!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SFMA LIVE ON THE BENCH HANGOUT FEBRUARY 25 2014

This week we talked a bit about the upcoming SFMA Members Spring Builds, and all manner of other projects and modeling tips.


Some of the highlights from this hangout were Ralph of TenaControls discussing some finer aspects of his control boards and model lighting. Ralph and Jim also talked about using small scale electric motors in models for moving parts.
Bob and I talked about using florescent paints on backdrops. Boyd and I talked about plastic adhesion promoter and it's uses. This is a good product for cleanly enhancing prepainted models. When you use this spray you can paint over painted models to improve their quality, without having to completely strip and prime them.


Chris presented a current list of The SFMA Spring Build participants, so far we are at twenty three entries, and Boyd clarified some of the contest rules and announced the opening of an all new members events board just for the Spring Build Contest.

Boss out.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BOSS SHOP SFMA SPRING GROUP BUILD PROJECT OVERVIEW: BORG SHIPS

With the big SFMA Group Build coming up in a few days, I figured I would post a little overview of my entries.



This is going to be a fun project I think...

Project Preview

Video Borg Boss out.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FFG PREVIEWS THE TANTIVE IV!

We get out first official preview of the forthcoming Tantive IV from FFG today!


The Capitol Ships are going to make X-WING a game that will last for years to come!


I am very happy to see the Tantive and the Transport come to improve the game.


 A lot of shortsighted people have raised a fuss about both of these excellent Expansions. They must not love X-WING as much as we do...

Boss out.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SFMA LIVE HANGOUT FEBRUARY 17 2014

I  have been watching Sci-Fi Model Action (SFMA) hangouts for a few weeks, and decided to participate last night. We are all gearing up for our SFMA Spring Build Members Contest. In this episode we talked about Star Wars, Star Trek, and generally cool science fiction and modeling topics.


I had a nice little moment in this hangout at time talking about some of my thoughts and goals for my Boss' BIG STAW Project. The guys at SFMA came to the rescue with some cool possibilities for how to perhaps light the smaller 1/2500 scale ships. I need to think about all of these options for a while yet, because I want everything to be consistent over the entire collection.
The SFMA members that I have interacted with are some of the most REAL and cool people that I have met on the internet. It was a hell of a lot of fun chatting with them.

I suppose being the new guy, you get your pretty face up on the video banner.
Brave men they are...yes.

Ha, Ha!!!

Boss out.

Monday, February 17, 2014

BOSS' BIG ATTACK WING PROJECT PART FOUR: THRIFTY COLLECTING...WALKING THE TALKING!

I have been very happy to share with you friends of B6*R7 all that I currently know about building a serious and cool STAW collection in our go to scales of 1/2500 and 1/50.  Now to demonstrate how easily one can achieve this I am going to share with you the reality of  making this sort of project happen.

You can collect a properly scaled fleet worthy of appreciation, and do it for the cost I have outlined in previous episodes of this series. $10 to $20 per model is the golden figure I have given as our target. Here is what I was able to achieve with about two weeks of EBay searching in my free time.




$333.41 is the grand total including all shipping and handling fees, this month, to get exactly 32 wonderful ships. I hope that my Star Brothers out there will do the same while keeping within their financial means, and share their projects at the forums where we chat.

The fun math says 32 ships x $10 = $320. So with a lot of searching on EBay, and going to Hobbylink, my long time source for cool model gear at a great price, I kept to our Boss' BIG Approved cost.

I hope this makes it real for you like minded collectors out there. Many times I had a cool model in my watch list and almost bid or paid for it as a buy now item. Then a new auction would be listed or because I changed my search words another auction would come up on my search. If you can not find a model or group of models that fit your budget do not buy them...Ha, Ha! You have to have discipline, and keep looking to find some of these awesome toys at a nice price! Remember the ultimate goal is a larger picture.

As my collection stands now I managed ten great big bucks per ship when you look at the whole...and that is close enough to perfect for me.
Of course the large resin models presented in episode three of the series will be an expensive treat, and I will have to buy them over time.
In the end, my collection as a whole will be closer to $20 per ship...and that is still awesome. You could say that for a mere $5 upgrade per ship to the $15 STAW Expansions standard cost...I fixed Attack Wing. If you are of the mind to do this and have a cool looking game on your table, YOU CAN DO THIS TOO.

This was a fun project! I will be posting a lot of STAR TREK ATTACK WING modeling articles soon, and one day I will even be able to post some cool battle logs, I think...

PART THREE: FIXING THE SCALE...INTO THE RESIN NEBULA!


PART FIVE: UPDATING THE MODEL COLLECTION...SIZE STILL MATTERS!!!

Trekkie Boss out!

Friday, February 14, 2014

BOSS' BIG ATTACK WING PROJECT PART THREE: FIXING THE SCALE...INTO THE RESIN NEBULA!

In part two of this series we took a good long look at readily available and very affordable 1/2500 and 1/50 scale plastic and die cast models we can use to upgrade our STAR TREK  models to Boss' BIG Approved status.

Now we are going into the crazy Risen Nebula my friends...which is a whole new world of adventure! These models fit into our BBA Collections, but they are not so easy to find and some of them are damn expensive (Ha, Ha!) but they are all very cool and out there... for people like us that are willing to pay a reasonable collectors price for them.

I appreciate the positive responses this series has received at the various forums where I have shared my efforts I would also like to make it clear that I am in no way making fun of people who love STAW as it is produced by Wizkids. As I have confirmed, we can use many of these models to nicely represent the small scale Star Trek ships.

Resin is not some creepy secrete cult or even a shadowy aspect of the model hobby.

Resin is just another form of plastic with different properties than ABS Styrene model kits. In other words these models are still just plastic models. But because of how they are molded they require a different approach to assembly. I am not going to go into all of that now. I will detail the resin preparation methods I use when I post an appropriate modeling article.

We are talking about what is available to make the standing, and soon to be released, STAW game models a reality in our Boss' BIG Approved Collection.


In my travels online during my research, I found this very appropriate image of a fellow Trekker's collection. It contains many of the AMT plastic kits covered in episode two, and some of the resin models that I mentioned, such as the perfectly scaled seven inch Klingon Vor'Cha model (pictured top right). As I stated all of these models scale very well, regardless of what they are made of.

I talked about the Romulan War Bird by Playmates already, but this company also makes a very nice Borg Cube and Sphere model. Both of these are OOP but you can find them here and there online. The price for these collectors models are widely varied, typically ranging from $50 to $150 MIB.


Eaglemoss comes back into this series, with their special collectors reward model of the First Contact Cube. I am not sure how much they are charging for it, or if you can even buy it directly from them. I suggest that you simply contact Eaglemoss and see what they will do for you.
There is a huge resin model made somewhere in the UK. All I know about it is that it is in scale for our purposes, to represent a Scout Cube. I think it cost $200. I am certain that it would be a monster to build.


I have decided to use the Eaglemoss sphere as a smaller version of the scout, and I am probably going to scratch build a variant Tactical cube from a plastic storage crate The Borg are the hard faction to upgrade to BBA  status. I am going to play the faction however because I have other plans for my Borg, that do not require using the typically seen boxes and balls. More on this later...

The models pictured below are pretty straight forward quality resin kits. They are priced from $40 to $120. All of them are of course1/2500 scale, Boss' BIG Approved, and need little more explanation from me. What you see is what you get, and what you get is serious TREK-Awesome!

I am eventually going to purchase all of these beautiful ships!

This is a lovely model IMO. It is $40 worth of awesome. The Eaglemoss version is $20 and looks very good too.


The size options we have for this ship are kind of cool. I may get both versions to have some variety on the table.



I started my STAW Collection just two weeks ago, and I have not yet purchased any of these resin kits. I have read a lot of good reviews and positive comments about Federation Models and Starship Modeler, who sell these kits, and I am going to purchase from both companies.

To sum up what we have covered as we did at the end of part two of the series, here is the updated STAW Model Chart which now includes the resin models presented in this episode. I also included other ships that I have researched fully now, that I was not certain about when I wrote the previous episode. The only ships that are still giving us problems are framed in  yellow . There are of course the problem children, the Borg, and the rest of the ships are in question also.I have to investigate further before I present them as available. The Bren ship may very well be released by Eaglemoss at some point. Their ships are about five inches long thus I am pretty sure that their version of the Gor Portas and generic ships of it's class will fit into our BBA Collection. Monogram made a Kazon model kit years ago, and you can still find it on EBay. I think this ship is about half the size it should be, but it is still a large kit, and like the Borg alternate models I have talked about, this Kazon model should still look good on the table.
I will update the status of  the remaining yellow models if and when I have more definite information for you friends.

 
Well gang that just about completes our Boss' BIG Approved STAR TREK ATTACK WING Models Collection...for now.

PART TWO: FIXING THE SCALE...SIZE DOES MATTER!!!

PART FOUR: THRIFTY COLLECTING...WALKING THE TALKING!

Boss out.

Monday, February 10, 2014

THE BALGRAY AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THIS WEEK!

The Great Imperial Garmillas Astro Fleet is currently being reinforced by The Guipellon Class Multiple Flight Deck Astro Carriers. The first in service was The Deadly Lambea! This month we are getting the workhorse of the fleet, The Battle-hard Balgray!


This is probably my favorite of the three Astro Carriers Bandai is producing in this class. The Balgray is the mutt of the fleet, and features the stock Mean Green...Ha, Ha! Garmillas Fighter. I love it!


This is the type of rugged ship you want for Wargaming. I recommend purchasing this beast from either Hobby Link Japan or Hobby Search. I have traded with both of these companies and they are Grade A+.

Boss out!

Friday, February 7, 2014

FFG PREVIEWS WAVE FOUR...AND IT IS GLORIOUS!

This will teach us to allow ourselves to become jaded. FFG has just Previewed Wave Four today!

 
WOW! This wave has three of my favorite Expanded Universe ships in it! I am very happy about these forthcoming releases!

Good Job FFG!

Boss out!

BOSS' BIG ATTACK WING PROJECT PART TWO: FIXING THE MODEL SCALE...SIZE DOES MATTER!!!

We want to play ATTACK WING, but the models...the models...the models.
How do we fix this mess?

We collect 1/2500 scale models. There are a lot, in fact in my research over the last month, I have found most of the current ATTACK WING models in 1/2500 or 1/50 scale. These are very compatible scales, and on the tabletop the minor size variations are about an inch. My easy rule of thumb here is keeping within an inch of true to the correct scale. If we approach this project like some scale nazi, then almost nothing will work for us here...screw that asinine hub-bub my bubs. We are trying to have some fun!

Before we get into this article, let me say that I have spent weeks researching this information, and I have collected more than a dozen scale charts which contain all of the important ships in STAR TREK, and ATTACK WING. Many of these ships have been listed at various sizes on these charts.
What I am doing is averaging the commonly agreed upon sizes or the variants of the ships presented here. The goal being to improve vastly upon the Wizkids FUBAR models and make our ship captains proud of their vessels.
Bare in mind that my solution is not perfect either, because no one company makes all of these ships in their correct relative scales. My solution is however... damn close to being right.

This is a scaled image which I have edited a bit, of the Eaglemoss ships. This was posted by somebody cool at the Eaglemoss Face Book page. It is not entirely correct either, but it is certainly what I like to call "Damn Close!" :) and that is way better than done completely wrong. Nothing is perfect, but we are going to try...

The STAR TREK ship models presented here make what I am calling: "Boss' BIG Approved" collection (Pardon me friends, but it is funny). They range in size from three to thirteen inches long, with most being about five inches. This covers ships  from 200 meters to 900 meters long. Oddly enough, when the the BBA Collection approach is applied; Hero Clix, Micro Machines, and the official Attack Wing models for craft that are 100 to 150 meters long suddenly become correct in scale. 
You can use the STAW Models for these small ships, or an alternate like Micro Machines,  and it is all happy space battles time, because the bigger ships have now been fixed by using larger models to represent them properly.
When the small ships are on the table with their larger BBA model counterparts everything will look just fine. Now to my eye, on a four by six foot table, a dozen of these BBA ships ranging in model size from 1 1/2" to 13" long will look awesome, and play just like the standard scale game in terms of maneuvering. It Works.

If you are getting lost, just trust Boss, because he loves all of you Star Trek Babies!
Ha, Ha!
I have made a nice chart to show all of the models we can use, or that need to be replaced based on everything currently in STAW, or that is soon to be released. It is at the end of this article, as a visual review of what we are going to cover in this episode.

Okay lets start looking at the wonderful Boss' BIG Approved Ships that we all want to buy, and hold, and talk to.
"That's my mean little Birds of Prey...you are going to kick some serious butt, because you are now in the proper relative scale!"

I found this cool image during my research over the last month. My Birds Of Prey all arrived this week, and currently consist of two of the Hot Wheels models backing up one of the nice and stocky Corgies. Note: The Hot Wheels ships have fully possible wings. I need two more I think. All of these models are right at four inches long from nose to tail.

The Eaglemoss Collection as it stands today, provides us with a dozen usable ships. All of the Eaglemoss standard models cost $20 each. They are well made but some look good, whiles others look great. One important point to share with you about using these models to game with. They all have a clip on plastic stand that attaches to the back of the ships and into the metal bases. If you want to have a more stable base arrangement you will need to drill mounting holes in the models and supply your own rods for the stands.

The two classic core Ships Of The Line, in any Federation force... and we love them both.

There are thirty three models in the Eaglemoss collection as of this articles publication.  Nine  of these are right on, and will work with most of the other 1/2500 scale model kits now in production, while  three  are pushing the limits of our size parameters, but will still look nice on the table. The  remaining  ships are either way to big or to small for our purposes. Who wants a 5" long Defiant Class on the same table with a 5" long Constitution Class? Nobody.


The almost there yellow ships. I have marked them as usable because they are close to being in scale. To give you some reference to my approach, let me share some math with you. The scale of the Vor'cha is stated more often than not as being 481 Meters. Now the easy way to get a reasonable scale is to take the figure of 4.8 and divide it by 1.5. You will get 7.2, in other words the model should be about seven inches long. The Eaglemoss version is about five inches long. To small right. How much do you want to use this ship, and have it fit in with the rest of our BIG Trek Games? In this case I may be willing to fudge out of my own general within an inch of true rule, rather than not have the ship at all. Then there is the fun reality of knowing that I can buy a very nice seven inch resin version for $75...but this episode is all about reasonably affordable Die-cast and Plastic models. Lets move on.

The AMT Cadet Series of 1/2500 models gives us more ships. All of these Federation models are in their correct relative scale to each other...which is rare to see since other manufacturers toss scale right out the window.


Here are all of the AMT 1/2500 Adversary model kits currently available. Note that the Romulan War Bird is not in 1/2500 scale, but it is still a viable option that will look good with the Federation ships.
The Klingon Bird Of Prey and Ferengi Marauder are not in correct scale either, but they still conform to our BBA scale, and will look very good. Remember we are not counting rivets here gang, we are collecting super cool models that will be fun to game with!


According to my research there is a smaller 1,000 meter version of the Romulan War Birds. The math says that a model of this ship should be about 15" long. The AMT model is 13" long, and that is about as good as it gets, for $20.


There is a Playmates toy that looks very good, and is 15" long, but that thing is hard to find for less than $50. I got mine MIB for $40 delivered, but I was diligent in my EBay stalkings...Ha, Ha! I have seen them for sale used and in good shape for around $25.
Here is an image comparing the Playmates and AMT War Birds. This was posted at AST Forums, thanks for the info guys.

Note that the AMT model is not completed in this image, but the owner was kind enough to share the information to help people like us decide on which version to purchase.

I have both of the War Birds pictured above, as of this articles publication. I am going to use the AMT version to make a Romulan Kerchan. I will be using the Valdore rules for this custom model, it will be cool, and it works..."All Glory To The Empire!!!"

The AMT Round 2 Cadet Series is a great option for anyone who wants to build the core TOS and TNG ships to our BBA scale. All of these kits are currently available at any good hobby shop and from Amazon too of course. This excellent series fills some of the gaps left by the fine Eaglemoss series and provides us with alternates too.


All of these AMT kits are readily available for $20 or less. That is at most $10 per ship if you get the complete series and deal with a seller who is reasonable about their shipping fees.

Rest assured that these AMT models will work very very well with the Eaglemoss range, however there are some slight differences in the exact sizes. For example the AMT Enterprise builds to about 4 1/2 " long while the Eaglemoss Enterprise is right at 5" long. I suggest that you pick one or the other of these brands to purchase. That way all of your ships, by their classes, will be the same size.
If you only want one of each ship then the minor size deference does not matter. This variation issue will not come up much because in most cases there are a number of ship models in our scale that are only available from one company. Some important models that this applies to are; Enterprise C, D, and E, and the War Bird (unless you want to go crazy and get the rare Playmates version, as I have done).


The AMT Enterprise sets are around $15 each. To my knowledge these excellent kits are the only way to get the C, D, and E ships. Keep in mind that you can (and I will) convert these big girls into other models, such as the Sutherland or the Titan.

Well my friends these are all of the Die-cast  and Plastic models that I know about that are all currently readily available and are at a reasonable price ranging from $5 to $20 each.

Keep in mind that the AMT Trio Kits are $15, so each ship equals $5. Now there are other options of course, many of the ships covered in this episode can be found as pricey collectable Di-cast series such as Hot wheels, and there are many custom Risen model kits out there. We will cover them in Part Three. Do not forget that the cute little Micro Machines offer some options for the smaller ship, and these can be found on EBay again, for around $5 each.

Now let us review what we have covered here. The STAR TREK ATTACK WING Release Schedule Chart below is the best way to do this I think. All of the models which are framed in  blue  are models that are already in scale as is, when we apply The BBA Collecting approach to them. Several of them may be swapped out for the more detailed Micro Machines options at our discretion. Particularly the 105 Meter Brel Class Bird Of Prey. The Federation Defiant Class, Nova Class, and NX Classes are also available from Micro Machines as well as a few others in the STAW Game.
All of the models framed in  green  are out of scale as they are produced by Wiz, but as we have seen in this article we have the very nice large scale models available to us, at a reasonable price, and we can buy them without having to go on a trek into the unknown.


We started this episode with a scaled image of The Eaglemoss Die-cast ships, so it is only appropriate to end it with a scaled image of the STAW Plastic Models presented in "Damn Close" glory...Ha, Ha! This was originally posted by someone who feels as I do, at the Attack Wing Face Book page. I have edited it to make it look nicer.  This is a good representation of what should have been, and for some of us, it is what will be.

Well my friends that is enough to chew on...for now, I think.

PART ONE: THE TROUBLE WITH TREKKING!

PART THREE: FIXING THE MODEL SCALE...INTO THE RESIN NEBULA!

Boss out!

Monday, February 3, 2014

BOSS' BIG ATTACK WING PROJECT PART ONE: THE TROUBLE WITH TREKKING!

I have had my eye on WizK!ds STAR TREK ATTACK WING for some time now.
 
I started collecting FFG's X-WING last Fall as most of you know. ATTACK WING did not go unnoticed then, but there was my first and newly rediscovered geek love to take care of FIRST...Ha, Ha!
I have shared with you friends of B6*R7, my love for STAR WARS and STAR BLAZERS... but there is one more biggie. There is STAR TREK. This was the third Sci-Fi Universe that really got my attention. Like many people, I discovered Trek-coolness in the reruns, as an adolescent. To this day I still love the Original Star Trek, and much of what has followed it on television, including the old and new films.


I have been happily collecting Star Wars and Star Blazers models to game, but with Star Trek I have remained hesitant. I love the models produced for my Sci-Fi Trinity, but I also am a gamer, I want to play with the cool toys. Ha! With Star Wars and Star Blazers that is kind of easy to do now, as I have indicated in previous articles, thanks to FFG and Bandai.

With Star Trek, well... there is some work to do! No single company makes a complete range of models in their correct relative scales...so you have to be creative. I am going to enjoy ST as much as SW and SB, so I have finally decided to get to work on this project!

I have been put off from buying into ATTACK WING due to how poorly Wiz Kids has handled the models! Then I discovered just last month that an English company know as Eaglemoss started a new series of Star Trek Models in 2013. They are not at all in relative scale, of course, and the painting and even the molding on several of their offerings is poor in my opinion, and the opinion of others as I have noticed after researching the product range. However there are some very nice models too, and these few good pieces also happen to be in the right size for my chosen scale.


Irish Trekkie has posted a general overview video of all of The Eaglemoss Ships released as of January 31, 2014. This video is worth a watch if you are like myself; just getting into collecting this series, and want to see a comparison of all of the available releases. At first glance these look nice, and some look very nice. I will pick up the few that fit my project.

Credit where it is due, seeing these new Eaglemoss models spurred me into action and now that I have done the research I know what I need to do to make my BIG Attack Wing Project a success.

PART TWO: FIXING THE MODEL SCALE...SIZE DOES MATTER!!!

Nothing is perfect... is it my friends? Hench: The Trouble With Trekking!

We will try to be close to perfect...and it will be fun I think.

Boss out.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

FFG PREVIEWS THE REBEL TRANSPORT!

FFG Officially Previewed their forthcoming Rebel Transport Expansion this week! We finally get to SEE this long awaited, and much anticipated ship in all of it's glory... and I like it!


The Rebel Transport Expansion is going to be a very good addition to the game I think.


The GR-75 includes a lot of support upgrades which improve the performance of escort ships, and give us several new options for fleet tactics.


How cool is this my friends? Very!

Happy Boss out!