Star Frontiers: The Miniatures

Finally, to wrap up my three-part Star Frontiers posts, an actual post about miniatures! (Yes, I still do that here.)

Back in the mid-80s, TSR released a couple of boxed sets and blisters of Star Frontiers miniatures, both for the Alpha Dawn game and the Knight Hawks spaceship expansion. Let me skip to the end, here: like most TSR miniatures, they suck.

I have vented my spleen about the TSR line of miniatures before. In addition to Star Frontiers, TSR released miniature sets for Marvel Super Heroes, Indiana Jones and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. They all suck. Awkward poses, poor sculpts, no sense of scale…all made out of what has to be the shittiest white metal alloy ever produced. It’s too soft, holds paint like shit, and is prone to metal rot. This was not a good era.

The best Star Frontiers miniatures by far are the spaceships for Knight Hawks. Although also prone to metal rot, these are in scale with each other (mostly). Spaceships in Star Frontiers don’t have artificial gravity, rather, gravity is achieved from the centrifugal force generated by the spinning of the ship on its axis. All the interior decks of the ship are perpendicular to the ship’s body. The miniatures look pretty good, but then again the sculpts should be hard to fuck up, considering they’re mostly cylindrical as a result of this gravitational concept.

Which brings us to the modern era of miniatures. Star Frontiers definitely has a retro vibe to it. Although there are several companies that make terrific retro sci-fi models (like Hydra Miniatures, Killer B Games, and Black Cat Bases; not to mention our own friend Roger from the now-sadly-closed Wargames Supply Dump), none of these really capture the feel of Star Frontiers, which has a retro vibe firmly rooted in the 1980’s. It seems like there just weren’t any good options, until now.

Behold! Reaper’s Chronoscope line has done it again, coming out with a Korkosan Explorer (a not-Yazirian if ever there was one) and an Argamite Explorer (a not-Dralasite). Together with their “Rand Daingerfield, Smuggler” this trio could have walked off the pages of any Star Frontiers book published back in the 80’s.

Check out that vest and those metal pants on Rand! Sadly, there’s no “not-Vrusk” miniature yet; but I’m holding out hope, as Vrusk are by far my favorite species in Star Frontiers.

I painted the Argamite and the Korkosan last year with the intent of doing a Star Frontiers post for the Year of Pop Culture; but since I didn’t have Rand painted yet I put it off. I only just got around to painting him last month.

I converted the Korkosan by removing his pistol and giving him a GW laspistol, then adding some wire as a power cord connected to a beltpack. (Everyone knows beltpacks are the way to go. They hold five times as many SEUs as a clip.)

This brings me to the end of my Star Frontiers retrospective. Maybe I’ll get around to running that game this year. Best way to find out is to join my Discord server and keep your eyes peeled in the announcements channel!

6 thoughts on “Star Frontiers: The Miniatures

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Dave. It’s pretty clear Reaper was going for the SF races with these alien miniatures. Maybe they heard Star frontiers was due for a remake and made them before they discovered exactly what Ernie Jr.’s plans were. Now I think we won’t be seeing any more of these, which is sad, because I really want a Vrusk.

  1. Jeremy

    As TSR have adopted the original non-human races for the revised Spelljammer setting, you may see a Vrusk, although I think they renamed them Rastipedes. Yazirians got renamed Hadozee and Dralasites as Plasmoids. And Ganesha Games, under their Space Simian X line (available from Alternative Armies here in the UK) do a whole range of Yazirians, as well as a single Vrusk and Plasmoid figure, so there are figures out there. Some of the Counterblast range from Bombshell Miniatures also suits the 80’s sci-fi aesthetic, so that might be worth a look too.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      I had heard the Yazirians made an appearance (albeit renamed) in Spelljammer; but I didn’t know about the others. I never played Spelljammer as the setting never appealed to me. I was unaware of the Simian X line, too, but they look fantastic! Looks like I can get them from Noble Knight here in the States…

  2. Dick Garrison

    Late to the party again mate, first off the Elmore painting in the last post was awesome! I’d love that image up on my own wall too!

    Your proxies are spot on mate, I think I’ce noticed a couple of them on Reapers site, but never put two and two together, but now you say it….I see it!

    Reapers “Farrah” I painted a few weeks back would make a pretty good proxie for the girl on cover/Elmore painting with a little work I think.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      I had to look up Farrah. She would be pretty great, too. I was going to paint another Reaper female sci-fi miniature, Tess; but she was buried in my pile of shame and I forgot all about her!

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