|"Stilgar, do we have wormsign?"|
|Hunted through the ice, the Titan-class Troop Transport can only watch in horror as the Aristotle-class Battleship rises from beneath the waves|
Rapidly losing patience and realising I had to get the fleet done before my copy of Operation: Shadow Hunter arrived, I looked back over some previous projects for inspiration...
|The Red Viper - Death Bringer-class Submarine of the Black Wolf Mercenaries|
When I originally painted the Black Wolf Mercenaries, back in February, I took a great deal of inspiration from the Command and Conquer series of computer games, as discussed in great deal here. Sturginium seemed similar to Tyberium, the Callimachus Time Orb is just a giant Chronosphere, etc. This comparison was one of the ways in which I had tempted Goth Craig in trying out Dystopian Wars, and it seemed fitting that I continued the theme by painting the entire Covenant fleet in a red and black scheme inspired by the Brotherhood of Nod.
|The Red Viper and Covenant allies|
Thematically this fitted well as the Black Company are funded by the Covenant of Antarctica, and having visual links between the two fleets would be good for future campaigns and games where they could play together as allies. The bold red and the black Terror Markings were taken from my Death Bringer-class Submarine Red Viper, and work especially well on the sleeker Covenant ships, like tiger stripes.
Background wise, I justify it by claiming the captain of the Red Viper was a former Covenant military commander, sent to the Black Company for some perceived misdeed or to help train them - keeping his old colour scheme in the mean time. This easy background can help develop a narrative that can drive a campaign and lead to some interesting scenarios and situations, something I intend to discuss a lot more in a future post.
|Sirius-class Submarine Tender of the Commonwealth of Free Australia|
Brass was kept for the Screw Drives, glazed with a verdigris wash to give a worn yet somewhat ethereal quality - turquoise being the colour associated with Sturginium in all of the fleets I have painted. This green/blue was also used for certain models where they had visible Generator machinery or other unusual protuberances, such as the Fresnel-class Gunships, the Aristotle-class Battleship and the Epicurus-class Sky Fortress. Lastly, yellow was used for any windows that could be painted, such as on the Heavy Destroyers and Corvettes, or the armoured portholes of the Diogenes-class Frigates.
Onto the models...
|Arronax-class Assault Robot|
|The maw has been pinned so it can be used closed or opened|
|Plato-class Light Cruisers|
|Far less potent than they were last edition, Plato-class Light Cruisers still pack a punch, and will be useful for taking out Small squadrons|
|Plutarch-class Heavy Destroyers|
|Now with statistics to match their size, the Plutarch has changed to squadrons of three rather than five|
|I like their segmented, lobster-like armour plating|
|Capable of incredible speed, the Thales bring some Boarding potential to the Covenant fleet|
|Their powerful Energy Turrets make for a formidable threat at any Range Band|
|The Energy broadsides drip with the excess Sturginium|
|The Gunships are now limited to squadrons of two, perhaps to offset the potential of their massive weapon arrays|
|Callimachus-class Time Orbs|
|Under escort, the Callimachus moves slowly through the water|
|Epicurus-class Sky Fortress|
|This model was a lot of fun to paint, with lots of gold|
|The turret has not been glued to aid transport and posing for pictures!|
|A rather large engine dominates the rear of the vessel|
|The assembled fleet - currently standing at 1750pts with upgrades|
Adding some more Aerial models would also be a great step for the fleet, so the Aerial Support Group with the mighty Euclid-class Sky Dreadnought would be an obvious choice. A big investment however, and one that can wait while we play some games with the new edition!
After that, a Dreadnought and some of the Armoured Cruisers would round the fleet nicely and give Craig almost all the options possible. Perhaps not the most organised method of collecting a fleet, but sometimes they just grow organically - then you count everything up and discover you have 10,000pts!
The important thing for me is that the fleet has enough to play some good size games, and the scheme is simple enough that when we eventually do expand the fleet, it will be quick to bash out a few more squadrons. I may have a list of "Works in Progress" longer than my arm, but I can't say I'm not looking forward to painting some more Covenant vessels!
I only hope Craig has as much fun running them in the game.
Thanks for reading,