Friday, 30 April 2010

The Empire Strikes Back

Finally, here are the first of the Imperials forces for my Fifth Frontier War project. It's a rather feeble force to take on the might of the Outworld Coalition so far but I'll be adding more later.

So far I've only got a single squad of marines done.

I intended to use these RAFM (ex-Citadel) Hi Tech troopers as my Imperial Army. I still might but...

... I've recently been dithering on whether to use them as Aslan in power/combat armour like these from the cover of this FASA supplement. They are a pretty close match but maybe need some conversion on the helmets.

Anyway, back to the Marines. I first painted them red, as in the classic Traveller canon but they looked too 40k, so I redid them white, as in Megatraveller canon. That looked quite good but I based them on MDF that warped, so stripped and repainted them again. I was going to use the colour they are now as a base for the white but when I'd washed them I liked the look, so I left it. I'll do some more experimentation later, maybe try a darker red.

Here's the heavy support, in the shape of Trepida grav tanks.

The inspiration came from these 3D models by Andrew Boulton.

See Andrew's website at for more 3D Traveller goodness.


  1. Nice job!

    The only issue with using the RAFM High Tech Troopers as Aslan would be the legs (well, for me, anyway) as Aslan legs have the joints in quite obviously different places.

    Glad I'm not the only one having issues with Imperial Marines ;) - I ended up painting them dark blue with a camo pattern. I have recently finshed some Earth Force Marines in a red style which doesn't look so bad.

  2. I did mine in a darker red, like you. Here's a pic.

    BTW, nice decals...Genere Store's a pricy bunch though!

  3. I love the paint scheme on the tanks. The bright colored troops is one of the things I like about the Traveller universe. I seem to always paint myself into a corner in my 15mm scifi by building around more hard scifi concepts that require the use of camouflage or at least basic fatique colors.

  4. Hi all,

    The RAFM Aslan miniatures, and the Vargr too incidentally, don't have animal-like legs. They are just 'men in masks'. While not strictly canon for Traveller, it does mean I can use human suit equipped troopers for either.

    I'm going to try Red Marines again, as I do like the idea but I really don't want everything to just look like 40k. I do agree with Eli though, I don't want too much of a hard sci-fi look either.

    The sunbursts are actually painted. Not as precise as decals but cheaper, especially given the rather weak pound at the moment.

  5. I don't think you can say that your troops will look too 40K when they are painted like the troops from the universe they come from. Besides, we all know that Traveller came first.

    As long as you resist the urge to paint flame jobs, animal faces, etc on your armor you should keep from looking too 40K.

    Those sunbursts look amazing for being hand-painted.

  6. Are those custom-made or commercial imperial grav tanks? Love them!

  7. @ Paladin, I think the tanks are those High Tech jobbies Rob from Topgun Marketing has been talking about on TMP - actually, on the page I just linked to, about halfway down, is a size comaprison between these tanks and Ground Zero Games' High Tech tanks. Ohhh, decisions, decisions ;)

    @Trev - hah! You are correct, sir, I just went and had a quick look at the five Aslan I scored off eBay and they don't have the 'cat-legs' from the Keith illustration, either! I have never noticed - d'oh! In that case, the space/combat suited figures you have would work pretty well, when compared with the illustration.

    And the sunbursts are hand done? I thought I was pretty clever finding Nationalist Chinese sunburst transfers from a place in the UK.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Sorry, typo!

    Mark on Dropship Horizon has found a nice aubegine colour for his post-apoc undercoating which looks alot like what I'd imagine Imperial Marine armour to be coloured.

  10. Hi folks,

    The tanks are from Topgun Marketing. I think they make excellent Imperial Grav tanks.

    My previous idea was to use the GZG High-Tech Grav Tanks for second-line Imperials but they might do for Aslan instead. The curved shape certainly fits the Aslan artwork. Although, I think I prefer the Khurusan tanks for Aslan manufactured kit, except that their APC doesn't look like it could carry many troops. Maybe I'll use the GZG vehicles for Imperials and Imperial Aslan.

    I'm using the GZG 'Mid tech' Grav vehicles for the Sword Worlders or second line Zhodani. They'll be coming up next.

    Here's the link for the Traveller decals I considered using (and Starship minis too btw) here.

  11. BTW, Trev, how did you paint the imperial sunburst? Totally freehand or a template?

  12. Trev,
    Here's how I did my Marines:

    I used VMC Mahogany Brown as the base coat, then drybrushed Testors Model Master Acrylic British Crimson, then a wash of Citadel Flesh Wash (though P3's would also work well!) and then highlighted with a Liquitex red. The weapons are VMC Black Grey dryrbushed with VMC Gunmetal Grey and the visors are VMC Gloss Black. As for the sunburst, paint an area on the right shoulder black and then a Citadel Sunburst Yellow dot in the middle. Simple, and the best you're gonna manage at this scale short of a decal, which nobody makes!

  13. Thanks for the tips PF. As for the Sunbursts, they were totally freehand. I painted the centre circle, then added a few of the longer flame points around the edges. I then joined up the points by painting a thin line and adding shorter flames where needed, being careful to leave as uniform a gap between the centre circle and circle of flames as I could.

  14. Hi, Some one from facebook refereed your link i have book marked it nice blogs you write see Free Adwords Voucher here