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CptKremmen29 Dec 2011 8:35 a.m. PST

Thought I would do a little review of the new Mongoose star trek Klingon and federation models for those of you tempted but do not yet have them.

Firstly they are relatively large, a little alrger than older models, the larger cruisers are up in the 4 inch long range.

I believe they have all been designed on CAD packages and mouled/cast from that which means that on the whole they are very precise and well detailed. Some of the etching in the models is slightly deeper than historically accurate for the scale…. GOOD! that makes it much easier to paint and looks better from a distance.

They are made out of "resin" but there seems to be a million types of resin, theirs is very white and VERY soft, not much harder to carve than soap! Very easy to deflash the models, got to be a bit careful not to take off bits you intended to keep.

You get 5 klingon vessels, 1 tiny frigate and 1 very large ship, plus 3 frigates that look "almost" the same, you could I am sure use any of them as any of the klingon cruisers.

The star fleet universe does seem to have a lot of cruiser sized ships that are all almost the same both in looks and stats. Not sure why but they do…

All I can say about the Klingons is they are awesome! I love them.

Only downside on the modelling, the 3 middle sized cruisers have pointy down wing tips that attach very badly to the main model, I had to use green stuff to get them attached. The tiny frigate is moulded in one piece and the big ship is so big the pointy wing tips have proper lugs on them and I was able to attach them just with super glur.

Federation models are a bit more boring, but that's just the nature of the federation. You get 3 big cruisers and a small frigate thingy that still has the big saucer bit, the 5th ship does not look remotely like a federation ship at all, I don't like it, but that is just because I like all feds to look like the enterprise.

The actual fed models assemble easier than the klingons, only bits to add are the big engine nacelles and they glue on fairly easily.

Overall I would give the models about 8.5 out of 10. I really like them, sure you can't please everyone but I love them.

I may also get Romulans, but have no interest in any of the other races as they all look a bit naff to me….

A few comments about the rules. If you have never played an earlier "A call to arms" game or starfleet battles then look elsewhere for a better review, in short they are a very good fast simple set of rules.

If you have played ACTA:Babylon 5 then the rules will be instantly recognisable and are probably about 80% same as those rules.

If you have also played star fleet battles in the old days you will see a few homages to that rules set in there. My favourite one is the critical hit table. In most rules you chuck a couple of dice and if you get lucky and roll double 1 the target ship blows up, great but a bit random.

In SFB you used to work your way from left to right across a table so every time you took a critical hit you went to the next severity of damage on the table, though the table was a bit random.

In ACTA SF they have borrowed the table idea but made it more logical and progressional. So when you get a critical hit you roll to see what was hit, engines, weapons, shields etc. then starting at 1 and working up to 6 you mark off a critical on whichever path you hit. 1st hit will always be mild, lose a few shields or a weapon etc. the later ones become very serious and by the time you get to 6 you have either blown up or are wrecked.

Great idea, I like it.

Hope this mini review helps some of you get interested in what looks like it could be a great game with some great models.

Andy

Caesar29 Dec 2011 9:24 a.m. PST

Thanks for the reveiw. Is the resin "bendy" or fragile? Were there miscasts? How was the weight?

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian29 Dec 2011 9:45 a.m. PST

Same question. If the resin is almost as soft as soap, will those long Klingon booms start to sag in short order, or is the resin light enough that it won't be an issue? Sounds like the casting quality is better than the earlier ACTA: Noble Armada resins (which had some issues with unformed gun barrels) but the material is the same "blinding white" soft resin.

In SFB you used to work your way from left to right across a table so every time you took a critical hit you went to the next severity of damage on the table, though the table was a bit random.

The SFB damage allocation chart doesn't shift columns due to crits (which are an optional rule, and an unpopular one IME), it shifts when you run out of boxes of a given type or have hit all the once-per-volley underlined results on the line already. Tends to produce much more statistically average results over the life of a ship than the ACTA systems' crits do. It's less random, not more so.

FWIW, the crit system in ACTA: SFU is closer to the one in ACTA: Noble Armada than it is in the older B5 version, but all three use different charts with slightly different effects. Noble Armada's actively (and probably unintentionally) discourages the use of ships larger than a destroyer (a mid-sized ship in that universe). Haven't seen enough SFU played to know if they changed that pattern, or if a swarm of smaller craft beat a few big ones there as well.

Sounds like you bought the squadron boxes. The fleet boxes are an even better bargain per hull (if you want/need that many minis in that particular mix) the blister packs seemed exorbitantly priced to me, especially since they seem to be the same cost for dreadnoughts as they are for cruisers.

the 5th ship does not look remotely like a federation ship at all, I don't like it

Old light cruiser model, I assume? Or did they put a police cruiser in the squadron box? Both are very atypical of the usual saucer-and-cylinder aesthetic and look out of place.

They give you any shuttles in the squadron boxes, or are those just in the fleets and blisters?

The star fleet universe does seem to have a lot of cruiser sized ships that are all almost the same both in looks and stats. Not sure why but they do…

Blame Steve Cole. The stats (and performance) of different cruisers may be more different than they apppear at first glance. There's an article on Mongoose's blog talking about how relatively small changes radically alter a ship's effectiveness, with nice comparisons between the Fed frigate vs battle frigate, and heavy cruiser vs battlecruiser. Worth a read if you haven't seen it already:

link

link

CptKremmen29 Dec 2011 3:06 p.m. PST

Thanks guys,

The resin is quite firm, and incredibly light, i don't think it will bend or buckle or anything like that.

Quality is very good.

Actually I had one miscast on one fed ship, 2 sides of an engine nacelle did not line up by quite a bit, i will probably fix myself. The nacelle is supplied as one part but perhaps is cast in 2 parts? Whatever happened they did mess up the allignment of that piece. I gather on the forums that is quite rare.

Yes i think the fed ship is an old light cruiser.

I bought the 2 squadron sets and the rules, glad i did the fleet boxes do not appear to have been made in time for xmas so i would not have got anything if i had ordered fleet boxes….

I am sure you right about the "crits" really being similar to the table on SFB when you run out of boxes to cross out. Have not played for 30 years :)

Ah NO shuttles in the squadron boxes. I never liked shuttles though, you never see them being used in the TV series as war craft or dog fighters, they just don't feel right being used as pretend CAP!

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian29 Dec 2011 4:09 p.m. PST

Yeah, the fleet boxes are delayed until January according to the site, now that I look. They seem to be running behind on everything, especially shipping to US distributors. The local store says they aren't expecting anything at all before January, although some UK shops seem to have gotten theirs (or maybe it's all UK customers buying direct?).

Did they give shuttles their usual suicide bomb & seeking weapon decoy functions in the ACTA version? I can't imagine the ADB guys letting them ignore that element of the game – wild weasels are such a huge part of plasma defense tactics in the game, and ACTA is supposed to be staying as true to FedCom as possible. Not that you really need minis for that, but they must be making the figs for some reason, and being a dirt-slow phaser-3 platform probably ain't it.

Personal logo Inari7 Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2011 8:40 p.m. PST

Looks like a better game then both Fed. Com. and Klingon Armada, might have to check out.

CptKremmen30 Dec 2011 7:35 a.m. PST

I have played federation commander and I prefer ACTA.

I think I have a copy of starmada? not played klingon armada.

There is an option for suicide shuttles yes, though i don't remember any wild weasel shuttles….

Andy

Caesar30 Dec 2011 9:23 a.m. PST

SFB and ACTA definitely scratch different itches.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian30 Dec 2011 11:13 a.m. PST

Duel versus squadron/fleet action, I'd say. The Starmada variant does bigger actions farly well too.

I'm still surprised no one's come up with a real competitor for SFB in the "starship duel" niche even after all these years. I can understnd a minis manufacturer not seeing it being a good idea, but a boardgame company? Write a set of rules that gives something close to the same number of options as SFB/FedCom with a more streamlined, intuitive, fast-playing engine and you'd find a market – especially if you did it generic but easy to mod for the real Trek universe. Nothing associated with ADB's license will ever do that – their games only look like Trek on the surface, and anything from the movies onward is eternally forbidden.

Caesar30 Dec 2011 11:35 a.m. PST

Agents of Gaming had Babylon 5 Wars, which was somewhat along the same lines.
Ordered Federation Commander, may check out ACTA. It is a nice idea to be able to use the same models for duels or fleet actions, depending on the mood.

CptKremmen03 Jan 2012 6:07 a.m. PST

I would like to do an update on my review.

I have now painted and based the Klingons and almost finished the Federation squadron boxes.

One good update one bad…

The good – the models come with a clever plastic flight stand with a ball joint connection so a little piece stays permanently attached to the space ship and the stand clips in and out. Works great and the space ship can be angled as desired.

The not so good – When I came to paint the models I noticed a lot more flash and pitting in the models than I had initially noticed. Some so bad I had to do quite a bit of green stuff filing. Surprised I had not noticed more of it all before I got to the painting.

Overall I still really like the models but they need to tighten up the casting quality control a little.

Andy
PS WIll post pics of finished models soon.

Caesar03 Jan 2012 7:45 a.m. PST

Sigh.
Unfortunately, Mongoose Matt has perviously said he thinks it is cheaper to perpetually replace faulty products than to pay someone to look them over before sending them out in the first place.

It seems things may not have changed much, afterall.

CptKremmen04 Jan 2012 4:14 a.m. PST

Taken a few pics of feds and klingons. The last 2 close up pics of the enterprise is to show the damaged nacelle. I have done a LOT of knife and green stuff work to make this usable at all. I think it is now OK. Some will agree some will say it is still not very good.

I do like the finished models but wish I did not have to half carve them myself!!

Andy

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star fleet 000 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 001 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 002 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 003 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 004 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 005 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 006 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

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star fleet 007 by andywatkins1963, on Flickr

Caesar04 Jan 2012 7:45 a.m. PST

Your paint job is superb.

CptKremmen04 Jan 2012 10:23 a.m. PST

Thankyou very much!

Whilst I am a terrible modeller, I am a good painter… normally, but I am more comfortable with 15mm FOW WW2 and 28mm SAGA Vikings!

Haven't quite got the look perfect on the spaceships, but it will do for me.

billclo05 Jan 2012 9:11 a.m. PST

Hi. New member here.

I just got my Klingon Squadron models. There are definitely some QC issues; the F5 frigate had a large bubble that removed a fair chunk of the engineering hull heat radiators (?). Matt is sending me another one.

However, the C8 model had serious issues, ones that I suspect were a misaligned mold, but I can't be sure. The model is usable, but it took 1.5 hours of filing and de-flashing it before it was decent looking. It had excess material is some areas, missing in others.

Part of this may be that resin minis are new to them, as well as major time pressure to put out product. I expressed my concerns to Matt, and I hope they'll get addressed soon.

So I had a 40% defect rate, but a fellow gamer I talked to had seen the contents of 6+ squadron boxes with only 1 defect (which took only 15 mins to correct). So I don't know what to think.

The Klingons also seem to be prone to slight boom droop, wherein the bridge module droops a bit. Putting it under running very hot water and gently bending it seems to help, but be careful; it's still not hard to break off the bridge module.

However, the other models are looking pretty nice, with good detailing.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian05 Jan 2012 9:20 a.m. PST

Why didn't you just insist on a new C8 while you were at it with the F5? A model that takes an hour and a half to prep for painting should never have been shipped out to a customer. That's just as much a QC failure as a big air bubble on a small ship.

billclo05 Jan 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

Well by the time I noticed the issue with the F5 and emailed Matt, I had already assembled the C8 and put on a basecoat, so I didn't feel it was appropriate to demand another one.

I was in a rush to get something put together, you know? :)

Next time I would probably say heck with this, I'm not spending that much time on it and send it back for an exchange.

CptKremmen06 Jan 2012 7:11 a.m. PST

Mongoose are pretty good with replacements. I have requested a replacement for the Enterprise model with the damaged engine.

I think they will probably send me one.

Andy
PS I have every intention of buying more models despite some quality control issues.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian06 Jan 2012 8:18 a.m. PST

I was in a rush to get something put together, you know? :)

Yeah, I know that feeling. Unassembled starships depress me far more than merely unpainted ones. :)

Ghostrunner06 Jan 2012 11:56 a.m. PST

Interesting takes on the Klingon ships.

Less impressed by the Federation designs.

In terms of casting/production quality, I don't think anyone has surpassed the quality of the original Lou Zocchi miniatures from way back in the 70s/early 80s.

I think ADB still sells them.

Like your paint jobs overall, but just out of curiosity, did you intend to swap the left/right engines on the Enterprise(Fed Heavy Cruiser)?

CptKremmen06 Jan 2012 2:45 p.m. PST

Oops! Have i assembled it backwards?

Ghostrunner06 Jan 2012 3:45 p.m. PST

I just noticed that the 'fins' (2 of them at the back end of the engines) are pointed outward. Normally, they are on the top, like on your other ships.

CptKremmen07 Jan 2012 6:43 a.m. PST

If Mongoose send me a replacement not only will the engine nacelle be properly cast but I will put them on the right way around….

Pretty securely superglued in think I will do more harm than good if i try and change them now.

My excuse is that i was traumatised by the miscasting on the engine nacelle :)

Andy

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian07 Jan 2012 8:39 a.m. PST

Clearly your oddly-positioned radiator fins are the result of one of those experimental eengineering refits the Feds were playing around with in the years leading up to the General War. Those funky fast warships and flat-strut battlecruiser designs didn't appear out of thin air, you know. :)

billclo07 Jan 2012 2:35 p.m. PST

I think that cruiser's engines were installed the day after a mega-going away party for the Shipyard's Superintendent, and the workers were still hungover.

"Gee, George, something doesn't seem right with the engine cabling today…I dunno, Ray, just splice in some extensions and lets finish this job. I need to go home and rest after that all-night going away party for Leon at the Orion Slave Girl stripclub".

:)

billclo08 Jan 2012 2:09 p.m. PST

Lovely. I just was working on the C7 mini in the Klingon squadron box I just received. One of the wings/engine has the following defects: the front of the engine had an air bubble which destroyed the disruptor bump and a chunk of the front of the engine. I'm trying to putty that up and sand and if I'm lucky I can salvage that.

PLUS it appears that the wing that attaches to the rest of the mini did not cure correctly; it's very flexible.

Bah, 3 of 5 minis had serious issues. This is most discouraging.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian08 Jan 2012 2:56 p.m. PST

PLUS it appears that the wing that attaches to the rest of the mini did not cure correctly; it's very flexible.

Maybe the intermittent reports of soft, soaplike resin are the result of bad mixes? None of the resin I've cast with has ever had the "sets up, but not completely hard" issue, but the Mongoose resin looks and feels like something completely outside my experience.

John Treadaway08 Jan 2012 3:29 p.m. PST

In terms of casting/production quality, I don't think anyone has surpassed the quality of the original Lou Zocchi miniatures from way back in the 70s/early 80s.

Ghostrunner is spot on: superb, injection plastic with a perfect fit and in all the ones I bought a zero percent failure re miscasts etc.

Remind me, why are we doing this to ourselves?

John T

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian08 Jan 2012 4:36 p.m. PST

Because far too many of ADB's sculpts look like fishing sinkers, and we were hoping against hope that Mongoose would do things right for a change? :)

Seriously, there are so many illegal Trek knockoffs out there now that I don't know why we bother. Even the FASA beauties have been copied, including some of the figs from the RPG that they never even cast. And if you prefer cheap and cheerful, WizKids is giving us Star Trek clix inside of a month. They don't look half bad in the previews, they're actually real Trek rather than SFU, and if you really want to, you can even use them to settle the longstanding question of whether Batman can singlehandedly defeat a Klingon battlecruiser.

My own SFB nostalgia has faded to virtually nil, though. Fans of the SFB setting will eat this stuff up, no matter what QC problems arise. Mongoose has their target audience already in place and what little love for SFB I still feel makes me hope ADB survives whatever negative backlash comes out of the miscasting and bumbled release. They may have picked the wrong bed partner this time around, but that's going to happen sooner or later when you license out to so many companies.

BTW, CptKremmen – one of the ADB staffers was calling for painted photos of ACTA SFU ships over on the Mongoose forums. You ought to send her over some images. Quite aside from the fame and glory, I bet a nice closeup of that miscast nacelle would go a ways toward getting you a replacement toot sweet.

Caesar09 Jan 2012 7:42 a.m. PST

"you can even use them to settle the longstanding question of whether Batman can singlehandedly defeat a Klingon battlecruiser."

I think we all know the answer to that.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian09 Jan 2012 8:44 a.m. PST

"I'm Batman – and I can breathe in space."

CptKremmen11 Jan 2012 3:35 a.m. PST

Mongoose have sent me a replacement engine nacelle rather than a whole model. That is fair enough, but I am not going to use it.

I would have to try and disassemble the existing engine and get the new one in, then repain to match and of course I said the right engine was damaged so they sent me a right engine, only afterwards I was told i had put the left engine in the right engine.

All in all I will leave well alone and just buy another squadron box :)

Tuegis12 Feb 2012 8:31 p.m. PST

Interested in getting some of the models as I enjoyed the CTA system for Babylon 5- but ordering from New Zealand – then waiting and getting miscasts??? Not easy at all to just get replacements for a miscast – so the above reviews are pretty discouraging really

CptKremmen13 Feb 2012 5:55 a.m. PST

My understanding is that Mongoose are "relaunching" the models, at a higher price but with better quality control. The extra few dollars is probably worth it if you are having them shipped to New Zealand.

Mongoose seem to be suffering from over demand and relatively poor quality control. I think they are trying to solve both issues, will have to see if they succeed.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian13 Feb 2012 7:36 a.m. PST

That's the third time I've seen mention of a price hike – you got a link to the source for that? At $15 USD a blister single ships are already pushing the limit, although the Fleet boxes are fair bargains at their current price.

Caesar13 Feb 2012 8:48 a.m. PST

On the ADB boards there was a post about them raising the prices of the boxed sets.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian13 Feb 2012 10:26 a.m. PST

You can probably scratch my "fair bargain" comment, then. At least they're not daft enough to think they can soak even more for the (yet to be seen) blisters. :)

EDIT: I take it back, the Mongoose forums claim the first blisters are available now too.

malleman13 Feb 2012 12:16 p.m. PST

As much as I like the ships, I can't see starting a new scale and paying $15 USD for one ship that may have casting problems that need to be corrected. I don't mind fixing little problems, but for $15 USD I would expect the ship to be near perfect. I also understand that there are Fleet and Squadron boxes, but I don't like being forced to buy certain ships just to keep my cost down. I wish they would have kept to ADB's original scale, in which case I would have been broke by now. Anyways, good luck to both companies.

CptKremmen20 Feb 2012 7:15 a.m. PST

The fleet and squadron boxes are much better value than the single ships.

I now have 4 squadron boxes. 2 feds and 2 klingons. Quality of models in both klingon boxes was pretty good. 2nd box was very good.

Afraid quality of pretty much all the models in both the fed boxes was quite poor, a lot of miscasting especially on the engine nacelles these were almost all miscast a little and one was unusable.

billclo29 Feb 2012 5:48 p.m. PST

There is now a visual comparison of the Mongoose resin ships vs the new metal ones:

blog.mongoosepublishing.co.uk

I can't tell the difference, which is nice to see.

DavePauwels02 Mar 2012 10:44 a.m. PST

I was pretty impressed with the detail on the Klingon squadron box. There were certainly issues that needed fixing and the clean-up on a few was a little time-consuming, but nothing so far out of the realm of typical hobby work. I'm very interested to see how the metal versions compare.

malleman02 Mar 2012 10:55 p.m. PST

Nice paint job. Is the D6 the same size as the D7? Also which one had less cleanup required?
Thanks

billclo05 Mar 2012 8:35 a.m. PST

Here are some pics of my recently completed Klingon Death Hand Squadron, using my new custom firing arc base stickers.

billclo17 Mar 2012 1:58 p.m. PST

Some Federation squadron goodness…Decals by: tenneshington.com

Firing arc stickers done by myself, and are for sale. PM me.

Closeups:

jdpintex18 Mar 2012 4:12 p.m. PST

Are those resin or metal federation ships?

Nice paint job. I like that you didn't feel the need to blackline/highlight the lines on the saucers.

And I really, really like the Texas (OLC). The sculpt looks much more like a space ship than the 2400.

Great job.

PS: How are the decals to work with?

billclo19 Mar 2012 3:31 a.m. PST

These are all resin ships.

I think a faint highlight on the saucer lines would have stood out more, but I didn't want to go to the effort and risk botching the basecoat. Maybe once I'm more practiced with washes.

The Decals were generally easy to work with, with the exception of the DNG. The War Rings (which I didn't put on the model) are large and easy to break. You also have to put a cutout in the decal between the name and NCC number to accommodate the photon launchers. Not easy to do and keep the decal intact when you slide it onto the model.

I did have some initial problems (decals not adhering and requiring repeated attempts to get them to stick, some cracking when I put on the matte spray). I discovered a product called MicroSet that when put on the model helped them adhere and softened them up. After I used that product the decals didn't crack much. I recommend the Microsoft.

It's also been recommended that I put decal varnish on top of the decals before matte spraying and I'll try that with the next batch of Federation ships.

jdpintex19 Mar 2012 8:41 p.m. PST

Another idea is to hit your ships with gloss spray, set the decals and then follow with the matte spray.

The initial gloss coat prevents/inhibits silvering of the decals.

Love MicroSol/MicroSet. Gotta have it for decals, no matter the scale.

Thanks for the info.

trynda170126 Mar 2012 3:10 p.m. PST

For those interested, there are a few pics up on the Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board of bare metal Starline 2500 minis in the Federation, Klingon and Romulan sections of the board.

starfleetgames.com/discus

…then "The Joint Venture with Mongoose", then "Starline 2500", then "Federation Ships" etc.

billclo21 Apr 2012 8:32 a.m. PST

Here's my latest D5 metal mini:

I decided to do something different with the Klingon War hulls (F5W, D5, D5W). Reasoning that the Klingons would not bother to paint what they considered to be an attrition unit subject to high casualties, they just left the hull in it's natural metal color.

Certainly the new paint scheme will alleviate the apparently common inability of newer players to distinguish a D5 from a D7 or C7.

Thus, my new D5:

I used a grey primer with:
GW (Citadel) new paint called Leadelcher, 2 coats.
Followed by one of GW's new shades called Nuln Oil, which did well as a shading wash. Touched up all the recessed/shadowed areas.
Followed by a drybrush of GW's Necron Compound.

What do you all think?

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