From the previous posts regarding the history of the setting and the adventure seeds, you may have begun to imagine how things are in Galaxtar. Now we are going to visualize it with the help of some minis that I have bought purposely to roleplaying in this scenario.
One of the keys elements is that mankind is the youngest race to conquer space. Despite the huge advancements from present day, humans are in their napkins regarding high technology when compared to other far more established races. I put so much importance in this because it helps getting a hard scifi feeling. Science fiction is usually divided amongst space opera and hard scifi. Clearly, with humans inhabiting different planets, and ships that make hyperspace jumps, Galaxtar has quite a lot of space opera. But, honestly, for roleplaying I prefer the hard scifi approach, as it provides more interesting plots. So I’m trying to walk the thin line in between the two main science fiction streams (as do the Alien or Riddick movies, for example).
And a way to visualize that naïveté is choosing some crude designs. When a new manufacturing field appears, the first designs are usually rather crude, as efficiency is the main (and perhaps only) concern; the use of straight lines and lack of aesthetic values is a typical characteristic. Only after there’s a good grasp of the technical problems involved will aesthetics be incorporated in the design process.
Applying these principles to Galaxtar we come with the first mini, Debra, a science fiction light trooper by Hasslefree Miniatures (link in the sidebar). If you look at her armour, you’ll see it’s made with the straight lines I have talked about, and gives a sense of practicality and utility above all else. Next are the heavy troopers, to represent which I found these excellent CSO Peace Keepers made by Aberrant Games for the Rezolution skirmish wargame. Everything I’ve said above is evident in these little sculpts. Even the mecha (a VASA Pacifier from Urban Mammoth’s Metropolis game), that I just had to buy when I saw it, follows the same guidelines of being made mainly with straight lines and having a somewhat crude looks.
And from the small to the big, I am keeping that ethos for spaceships, too, specially military ones. After quite a lot of web browsing I decided to settle with the Full Thrust range of spaceships manufactured by Ground Zero Games to represent the human ships from the Galaxtar setting. What follows is a pair of examples of big military ships, a strike carrier first, and the second is the capital ship, the super-dreadnought.
On the other hand, there are other older races, such as the asgards. For them the designs I envision are different, more refined; and as an example we have this miniature of a Tipako battleship manufactured by Ninja Magic, that I’d use to represent a typical asgardian battleship. There’s a big difference amongst the styles of the ships that helps emphasize the differences amongst the races that build them.
But there’s more than military guys in Galaxtar (even though they’ll likely have a predominant place as PCs in many adventures). For civilian fashion I’m not going too far fetched; nothing of people dressing in space suits. Doing a bit of theorization, I don't think things will change much from how they are now to the invented future of Galaxtar. The time elapsed is just four centuries, and that's not really much if we compare it to the whole of human history. Science and technology can advance at a fast pace, but social forms always tend to go slower. So the general aspect of most people would be rather similar to present fashion.
The following minis are the ones that will be used to represent the cops of the future, and you’ll see that they are closer to real life cops, even in the colour schemes based on blue and black, than the troopers showed above. The first mini is from Heresy Miniatures (link in sidebar), Sgt. Dove from their science fiction range, with a typical police scheme: black footwear, black pants with red line, and blue jacket. Mostly it’s just the gun and the ear device that looks futuristic. What follows are two minis from Reaper Miniatures, from their Chronoscope range, a Security guard officer and Veronica Blaze, agent of G.U.A.R.D. The first represents a police in a tactical armoured suit; I’m likely to remove the helmeted head and replace it with one of the heads from the Heresy cops, to show they are actually the same characters but with different outfit. The female cop is wearing a different kind of tactical suit, one for stealth operations, with a system that inhibits electronic detection (somewhat like the Ghost in the Shell device commonly used by the protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi). With their more realistic look these characters are better suited for adventures that focus on the hard scifi approach.
Some of the other characters that will feature in my adventures are mercenaries. The minis will come for diverse sources, as I like a somewhat rag-tag feel for them; yet, using a similar colour scheme will help giving a coherency to the group (they are organized contractors, after all). Said scheme consists mainly of a blue-grey urban camo pattern for the trousers, and black t-shirts and boots. The next minis are Grant from Hasslefree and the Major from Heresy, in which you can see the mercenary outfit I’ve just described. In this case, too, science fiction elements are kept to a minimum, and they are little more than the guns and the kneepads (yes, kneepads are futuristic… or at least I can’t help getting that impression).
Of course, my previous ramblings are not 100% canonical and the ultimate unmovable truth. After all, humans are newbies in space just when compared with the other races from the galaxy; but have actually been there for approximately four centuries. So there’s the possibility that things are starting to evolve, and new, better, and more advanced designs starting to appear. If central Earth authorities are planning a major military take on the galaxy, that surely means the armamentistic business is on the rise. Thus, a possible new light trooper could be the one portrayed by the Union special forces sniper made by Iron Wind Metals as part of the VOR wargame. As you see, he’s more armoured than Debra above, with shoulders, elbows and forearms protected by new armour with more rounded and overlapping shapes, placed over a rubber like inner armour that seems to replace the standard fatigues. The evolution for heavy troopers is the one pictured by an old I-Kore VOID Viridian assault marine sergeant, with an armour that covers almost all the body with a thick armour that still seems to be fairly comfortable to wear and allow for easy movement.
So these minis may end in my Galaxtar drawer, just in case…