Pulp sci-fi has a certain appeal to me, so when I stumbled onto Starguard just had to look into it. Eventually it lead to my own project called Star Gladius.

The 1:72 scale is very interesting. I think I prefer it over the chunky distorted "28mm heroic" (which is actually closer to 30mm and up). A 1:72 human should of course be around 20mm to 27mm, probably 25mm for a swedish male (180cm). The Starguard figures (which I have (mostly robots actually)) are pretty tall, around 27-29mm, but heads and limbs are realistic proportionally. The female Amazons are around 25mm excluding the high heels.

Some artwork

Starguard fan art redesigns

Drawing these guys is a bit like interpreting old game sprites. I don't have most of the miniatures, so I'm working from fuzzy photos.

Starguard fan art redesigns

The Kali bot is interesting. I tried adding some of those hanging decorations.

Starguard fan art redesigns

Sketch for a cover based on the existing ones.

Starguard fan art redesigns

More scribbles. A bloated Necromorph could be all sorts of fun. Unsure about the more cartoony proportions for the Orilla.

Starguard fan art redesigns

Attempt at painting the Conqueror bot, but I don't really know what it looks like.

Starguard fan art redesigns

2012 doodles. I'm learning the shapes and taking liberties where I'm uninformed about details and scales.

Cleaning up and painting the miniatures

An all female army amassing. The Starguard miniatures are 1:72 (a man is 24-25 mm, or an inch, tall at this scale). I've used 20mm and 40mm bases (from Hasslefree miniatures). I prefer to keep the bases somewhat flat, simple and natural looking, without much noise. The focus should be on the miniature and not base-noise. It's a good idea to "wash" (it's a sort of dark paint which flows into crevices) the minis for photos like this, so the details show up. I didn't have any wash at the time though.

Starguard Amazons

The base rim is painted in Citadel Snakebite Leather (brown). I use a brown for the base rim, because black feels unnatural, and green feels like it's failing to be grass. Brown is still an earth color, so it fits in, and stands out just enough, I think. Because the flock and wooden glue is slightly transparent laid on, I prepare the top of the base with various warm greens.

Alien vegetation on round 20mm bases

I'm quite happy with my current flock. I never liked static grass much, it feels like a material that rhymes badly with the solid chunky feel of miniatures. Painted sand might work for asphalt and desert terrain, but I wouldn't use it as grass.

Sawdust flock can look terrible, but I was lucky to find some that I really liked. It's quite fine, and it has a warmer tone with some nice hue variations. It gives the grass a nice thin but solid feel, and works with my often warm palettes and toy'ish painting style. It clashes against a more drab, realistically painted miniatures though. I don't know where to find this particular sawdust flock anymore. I think it was GW (re?)packaged, but I'm not sure. If I had enough I'd flock an entire gaming board segment with it. (If you know where to get this particular kind, feel free to mail me. Perhaps it was originally from Woodland Scenics.)

My decades old 'Green Stuff' (Kneadatite) will be used to secure the miniatures in the base slot and seal up the gaps. I also use it to attach straws (from an old toothbrush that I use as a splatter paintbrush) and for sculpting alien mushrooms. I painted these in grass greens to avoid cluttering up the bases with colors.

Valkyrie Fembots and Norgal Destroyer

As for the painting of the miniatures themselves... I don't have patience for anything more than "looks OK at a distance". I prefer to just use a base color, then do the panel lines / indents with a darker watered down color (not necessarily a wash) (I didn't have one at the time), then I do a very thin and relatively bright highlight. Never a gradient building up towards the edge of the highlight, because it's time consuming.

In the case of these Valkyrie Fembots I just washed with a bit of black + brown + window cleaner (worked so-so) on top of the metal, then polished some off. The Fembots are almost 30mm tall by the way. This makes them 2.09 - 2-16 meters tall, but this includes high heels.

Byline: Niklas Jansson, 2009-2010. Starguard designs by John McEwan 1974 - 2010