Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Babylon Project

Recently I've been struck with a touch of nostalgia.  If you paint miniatures long enough you inevitably pick up ones that don't get painted, or perhaps you pick up ones that you want to paint for aesthetic purposes.  Possibly both.  I have a sizeable collection of unpainted miniatures, but the ones that I regret neglecting the most are my Babylon 5 Wars miniatures.  I picked these up solely based on my love of the Sci-Fi TV series Babylon 5.  Never played the game, but I painted a small selection of some miniatures I had gotten my hands on.

After I painted those I started to search for and find others, and have managed to pick up a small selection.  Today I am setting a goal for myself.  Each month (30 days) I plan to paint a portion of what I have even as I pick up more.  Each month I will paint at least one squadron, and hopefully more if I can get my hands on them.  I'll be starting with the Narn Regime as I have six Frazi Heavy Fighters, a G'Quan class Cruiser, and a Var'Nik Destroyer.

The group shot above was painted about four or five years ago.  Since then I have managed to add a few new skills to my repetoire that I plan to try out.  So here are some closeups from the group shot with my own observations.  I'll start with the G'Quan class cruiser.

Pros: The Chevrons and writing were all done by freehand.  The process was VERY long and very trying.  It does produce a very eye-catching effect though.
Cons: The metal of the ship is a bit garish.  While not completely without depth it lacks the smoothness that an ink or a wash can bring.

Next is a scout ship of some sort.  While not in the actual TV series I like the look of the model and felt that it fit the general theme and style of the Narn ships.


Pros: Again the chevrons are hand painted, which adds a very custom look.
Cons: Metal again lacks depth, but in addition to that there is very little distinction from the orange ship plating and the exposed metal.  I can also see a bit of sloppiness from the yellow I used for the chevrons that got on the metal.  The edges of the Chevrons are not as smooth as they could be either; which is something for me to try and fix on my next Narn cruiser.

Last up is a squad of Narn Frazi Heavy Fighters.


Pros: These turned out really well.  There's not a lot of color on them, but it comes together really well.  Note the freehand once again.  Freehand is fun!
Cons: VERY fuzzy.  To see them on the table they look great, but when you get up close they look really rough around the edges.  You can tell that I did a lot of drybrushing on these guys.  The next set of three I do I'm going to avoid doing any drybrushing, and see what I get.

My Babylon Project will last for at least five months, and possibly more if I get my hands on more miniatures.  Here is what I have prepared for the rest of the five factions:

Earthforce: a squadron of Star Furies, a squadron of Raiders, and an Omega Class Cruiser
Minbari: a squadron of Nial fighters (anyone know where I can get more?  Please?)
Centauri: a squadron of Centauri Sentri fighters, a Primus battlecruiser, and two Centauri Haven Patrol Boats
Shadow: a squadron of Shadow Fighters, and a Shadow Scout (I would LOVE to get my hands on a Shadow Cruiser!)

If you think the models look cool then you should definitely check out the series itself!  Very good story and great characters!


  1. I like that scout ship a lot. I like the metal on it very much

  2. Thank you! The scout ship has a very appealing design, and the metal effect is achieved through drybrushing. Essentially you take a basecoat color (usually black for metals), and then with a dry brush you put a little paint on the tip, wipe off most of it, and then lightly go over the area you wish to drybrush. The advantage is that it picks out details and gives a textured look, but the downside is that the area looks dusty, and the bristles on the brush are damaged the more you do it.