Friday, August 3, 2012

Klingon Fleet Trials: Task Force Karn'j

Life stepped in and prevented the three of us budding admirals from getting together to paint our fleets tonight as we had planned, but I took advantage of a quiet evening to get my Klingon squadron finished off and photographed.

They aren't going to win any prizes, but that is largely because I don't plan on entering them into any contests.  These are first and foremost playing pieces, but as painted models, you want them to reflect well on you in addition to making the tabletop look more interesting.
In many ways, photographing model starships is even more challenging than shooting figurines like the ones from my Valhallan army for Warhammer 40,000.  It's hard to find a good background, lighting them is tricky, and the flat surfaces love to reflect light and wash out colour.

Add to this the fact that I am working with a new camera, and I'm still not very familiar with the menus or how to get the macro-focus setting to stay on.  Still, the basic idea comes across pretty well, and battlecruiser IKV Vengeance pictured above still comes across as ominous as it did in the '60s.  I had to paint the Klingon Deep Space Fleet trefoils by hand, so they are pretty sloppy, but still add a little something.
The Klingon range doesn't have a whole lot of variety; it is mostly variations on the theme of the classic battlecruiser from the original series, the D7.  Since this is one of my favourite spacecraft designs ever, this isn't too much of a problem, but could pose difficulties in telling the ships apart while in the heat of battle.  The dreadnought above (Sword of Kahless) has an additional nacelle beneath the command boom, and is also significantly larger, so it will be easy to pick out.
Likewise the tiny frigate (Argoth) shown in the centre of the formation above is unlikely to be mistaken for a cruiser.  The only real differences between the heavy cruiser (Ravenous), battlecruiser and heavy battlecruiser (Fiery Crown) is the amount of plating on the 'wings'.  At least there isn't a precedent for painting the names on the ships themselves, unlike the Federation!  My eyes are bad enough as it is.
When playing around with the camera's settings, I discovered that taking a picture with no flash and using the 'Night Scene' autosetting gave the squadron a lurid green hue that was positively unsettling...and a little cool.  I hope I remember that the next time I'm photographing a model of a monster or ghost, or anything radioactive.

Now to learn the rules and prepare for the imminent conflagration; here's to a willing foe and sea room!

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