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Cybrid Vindicator Tank
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7 March 2000converted to new format
1 October 1999page first published

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For those who haven't gotten into Starsiege, let me explain that the Cybrid side is the enemy of humanity, a rogue Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is developing many of its own technologies, but also designs military units in order to achieve psychological effects (in other words, to look "mean" and "scary" to the poor humans...)

Where does the Vindicator fit in? It's a pretty basic piece of equipment, one that comes in the Starsiege Rebellion boxed set - a scout hover tank, 20 tons, 4 meters long, 180 kph maximum speed, outfitted with a pair of electro-mag autocannons (high rate of fire, and the static charge helps wear down enemy shields).

The Model

the pack

Two vehicles come in the package. The Vindicator is a one-piece model, so you don't have to worry about assembly. It measures 24mm long x 27mm wide x 15mm tall. The basic shape is a half-disk with guns hanging down on each side, and two fins at the rear. The top is sculpted with a nice carapace-type effect, while the bottom and rear are inscribed with "alien" markings.

Note that there's nothing about this model that reveals its scale - no canopy, no doors or windows, etc. That means you could easily use this for any scale, from 25mm (a robot scout?) to 1/285 (a large hovertank?).

sample with defective fin and protruding bits

The models required a bit of clean-up with file and nippers, mostly due to odd bits of metal sticking out that should be removed. One of our samples had a defective rear fin with a prominent seam-bulge, which we filed down flat.

sample with bent fins and odd bits

You'll also need to make some "adjustments" to the models - now, and probably at intervals throughout their gaming life! The rear fins are attached to the main hull by only a small contact area, which means they are quite free to bend around (and they come in the pack with fins pointing in all directions). Furthermore, there's no clear guide as to exactly what position they are supposed to be in. So just pick the position you like, then gently bend all the fins until they look similar.

To a lesser degree, you may also need to straighten out some of the gun barrels. Some of our barrels needed some minor filing on the ends, to have the notch that the other barrels had.

The Paint Job

Perhaps it's just artistic laziness, but I usually like to paint my minis up to match the "official" specs. In this case, however, the painting example provided in the boxed Rebellion set didn't appeal to me (see below) - so I tried a slight variation...

painting example from the boxed set

First, the usual steps:

  1. Wash the models in soapy water to remove any dust or residue, rinse well, and let dry
  2. and then prime (I used flat-white spray paint, since I wanted some bright colors and white makes a good base for that)

Then I gave the entire model a "lime green" paint job, in three steps:

  1. I painted the whole model using medium lime-green paint.
  2. I painted the model using a heavy wash of a dark lime-green paint, making sure the color got into the crevices on the bottom and sides. In order to get good coverage, I gave one wash, let it dry, then flipped the model over and washed the other side. (This is because gravity determines where the wash flows, so its hard to wash into the bottom crevices without having the vehicle upside-down.)
  3. Then I dry-brushed the entire model, using a light lime-green paint. (I was using Aleene's acrylic craft paints, which conveniently provide multiple shades of the same colors.)

What I liked about the "publisher's" paint job was using a second color for the "inside top" carapace, so I did the same thing here (only with different colors).

  1. I painted the "inside top," back, front, and fins with a dark red wash.
  2. I followed this up by dry-brushing with medium red to bring out the highlights.
  3. And finished with a dry-brush of orange (I used orange rather than "light red," which sometimes looks too pink).

And that was pretty much it, except for some detailing...

  1. The guns were painted silver, with a touch of black ink at the tip to suggest an opening in the gun barrel.
  2. To give the model more of an alien "slimy" look, I finished it with a glossy coat.

This was an easy paint job, but it turns out nice.

painted Vindicators