While slogging through a huge army project, I yearned for a quick break. I wanted the complete opposite of the dingy hordes on my painting table. A small crew of vibrant models was exactly what the doctor ordered. My copy of Space Station Zero caught my eye as I walked by a bookshelf, and the project was off to the races.
Space Station Zero is a miniatures-agnostic skirmish game, built for solo and co-op play. The second game from Snarling Badger Studios (Vincent Venturella and Tabletop Minions’ Adam Loper), it’s set in a mysterious station that has a habit of collecting wayward crews. Around the time I picked up the book, I snagged some Stargrave minis to use for it.
Crew members in Space Station Zero are split into a few different roles; pilot, medical, science, engineer, soldier, and a commander. Certain crew archetypes require a minimum numbers of specific roles. The plan with this project was to make a pool of figures that would cover all of the archetypes for any 6-person crew, with some wiggle room if I wanted to run 8.
My parts list for the project build was as follows:
- 1 box Stargrave Crew II
- 1 sprue Stargrave Troopers
- 1 sprue Stargrave Crew I
- 1 sprue Stargrave Mercenaries
And I set out to build the following figures:
- 2 pilots / wildcards
- 3 medical officers
- 3 engineering officers
- 3 science officers
- 4 solders
- 2 commanders / wildcards
The Stargrave kits have an amazing variety of options, and are generally very compatible with each other. There are pretty clear modeling options available for the crew member types: carried cases that can be painted up as medkits, data pads for scientists, wrenches for the engineers, and beefier armor for the soldiers. In addition to accessories, there is a staggering variety when it comes to weapons. Piles of pistols, pulse rifles, rocket launchers, and knives. While it isn’t likely to remain 100% WYSIWYG, I wanted heavy weapons to be clear. I’ve got loads of 25mm Void War bases, and this seemed like a great project to use them for – especially as I will be playing Space Station Zero on Gallowdark game boards.
Army Painter recently sent me a Speedpaints 2.0 Mega set (many thanks!), and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to road test it. The plan for painting was to use vibrant colors in a somewhat 4-color comic book style. The art for Space Station Zero is phenomenal, and I wanted to capture some of that flavor in my paint schemes. The only highlights were silver edge highlights and scratches on armor. Metallics got bright silver, a nuln oil wash, and a drybrush / very rough highlight with silver again. A few details like eyes and the wrist… display thingies got some color blocks so they would stand out.
A quick note on Speedpaints: I was definitely very apprehensive of them after the 1.0 debacle. At Adepticon I had a chance to try out a couple of 2.0 speedpaints and was impressed with the results… especially how they held up when I dunked that mini in a cup of water a couple of hours later. They behave differently than Contrasts, and there is definitely a learning curve. When you clean your brush, be sure to REALLY get all the water out, and definitely let one color on a mini dry completely before you add another that is right up against it. Reactivation does briefly exist, but it it’s really only in the moments after the paint goes on the model – and I have messed up contrasts in similar situations. Also – the Orange I used here is from the Contrast line. My orange Speedpaint bottle had an issue.
After Speedpaints, I waited about 8 hours and then added a coat of satin varnish before I want back to brushwork – just for some stability. My secret weapons for making these minis REALLY look like sci-fi comic book weirdos were to: 1. use Votann transfers to make them look more space corporate. The people I am going to play with aren’t familiar with 40k anyhow. And 2. apply enamel panel liner to add a bit of definition. Basing is just Talos Bronze with a wash of Agrax Earthshade. A brybrush or highlight would really make it soar – but it is a surprisingly great paint for industrial bases on its own.
I hit the results with Ammo By Mig Ultra Matte varnish, and they were done! I am really happy with the results, especially given the time commitment.
This project was a blast, and I am excited to get this game on the table asap. Myself and many others have caught the miniatures-agnostic indie game bug, so expect more coverage on these games in the future. Got a suggestion for a game for us to check out? Got some cool minis for Forbidden Psalm Last War? Drop us a line at Contact@Goonhammer.com.