In this Blog post, Staffer Dan has created a new Stargrave crew, focused on using high-tech science fiction weapons and gear, with some unique conversion ideas for Anvil parts!
I'm back again with more Stargrave goodness! For my previous crew I created a uniformed, Star Trek inspired team, but this time I wanted to create something a little more varied. Starting with listbuilding, I knew I needed access to some specialists, a few heavy hitters, and some line troops to fill out the 10 figures I need for a crew. Aesthetically, I wanted to make something cohesive, a group that shared a theme, but was also a lot more varied in their choice of weapons and equipment.
In the end I have a crew with a Captain and 1st Mate (which are non-negotiable), and then I chose to include; 2 Troopers, 1 Sniper, 1 Code Breaker, 1 Chiseller, 2 Sentries, and 1 Recruit.
To start, I chose to keep a single part the same across the entire team; Beret Caps with Gasmasks. This gives each team member a signature piece that ties them all together. This way, when painted, they'll look like a single cohesive unit. With that choice I found the theme for my crew settling into a veteran mercenary group, and from there my choice of parts became easier!
This group came together as an odd progression of parts was selected, half used, and then the spares re-purposed for future team members, which only lent a greater feeling of variety, but also group cohesion that I've ended up really loving! Starting from the first miniatures I built, we'll look at the two Troopers
This Trooper pair are the most regimented among the crew, equipped with heavy armour and carbines, I needed to model these options and wanted a Sci-Fi weapon for the team. After a little time considering my options, I settled on a sprue of Nomad Jezail Rifles. These would perform excellently as all three weapon types I wanted for my team; as carbines, shortened to become shotguns, and the sprue also comes with a sniper variant; perfect! I chose to give both Troopers Heavy Armour torsos, Grenadier legs, and Void Suit arms. Each of these choices are quite bulky, and give the feel of an armoured uniform of sorts, but before I put everything together I knew that I wanted to try to add something a little "extra", that would set them apart from just stock parts. To achieve this, I took Grenadier Heavy Shoulderpads and attempted to add them on the front of the torsos, to create a raised, armoured gorget. Both the pads, and the torsos, needed some modification to get the fit right. By cutting back and shaving down the pads and the torso's front details, going back-and-forth between the two, I was able to get a smooth join between the two parts!
The extra weight on the front required something extra for their backs, to give the figure balance. I decided on adding Camo Cloaks, which needed just a tiny bit of modification to get them to wrap around the large neck armour from behind, but ultimately fit perfectly, and gives the Troopers a very distinct silhouette.
My two Sentry crew members are robots, made stock from our Regiments Robotic parts, and use the Ares assault rifles as weapons. While not a radical departure in terms of conversions for these figures in particular, I did want to use some of the spare bits from the Robotic Arms sprue specifically, for my other crew members, later on.
My two specialists are mission objective critical, and would be an unwise exclusion from any Stargrave crew. Featuring Cyberpunk torsos, as well as PMC legs and arms, I gave the Chiseller a box of tools and a heavy pistol, while the Code Breaker received arms holding a tablet, and an Ares assault rifle slung over his back.
The Sniper mirrors the other Specialists, with their Cyberpunk torso and PMC legs, and adds a robotic arm to help with the extreme size and power of her Jezail sniper rifle! Her eye visor comes from the Cyberpunk head sprue, with the addition of a spare beret cap, to keep the theme going. The Rookie is the only member of the team to not have a beret. Perhaps this is because you only get one after being with the team for a few missions, and earning the honour to wear one? She's wielding the other pistol present on the Katanas and Pistols sprue, and uses the final cyberpunk torso.
My two characters; the First Mate and Captain, both feature the Cyberpunk Trenchcoat bodies. This helps them stand apart from the rest of the team as leaders, because of course only the leaders could wear such stylish coats! Cutting out the middle section of the Nomad rifle and re-attaching the front and rears together gave a snub-nosed shotgun.
My Captain used a Void Suit right arm, and a robotic left arm, which were both spares from my earlier crew members (Troopers and Sentries) and these were capped off with a return of the Heavy Grenadier Shoulderpads, which I modified slightly to emphasis the extended shield at the top. Reusing parts from multiple different sprues that make up the other crew members was a great way to keep the Captain looking like he belonged to the same group.
Like her captain, the First Mate also features a robotic arm, except that this time I needed greater flexibility in the pose, and used one of our Cyborg Multi-pose arms instead. This arm holding their rifle while they perform calibrations on the sights (using the other arm from the tablet arms sprue). Again, I added the large heavy Grenadier shoulderpads with slight modification, making both of my characters stand out from the rest of the crew.
As a final touch, I gave both my Captain and First Mate a Hard Shell backpack, to carry any extra gear I might acquire after missions, and to give both figures a larger and more unique silhouette.
I had a great time building this crew! I hope this gives you a few ideas on how you might build your own crews for Stargrave, or any other small-scale skirmish games too! Finding a unique element to carry throughout the entire squad can really keep each individual looking like they belong, even if they otherwise are wielding different weapons, or other equipment.