Monday, March 8, 2010


Sort of a side post this week , to fill in the time while I work on the Harpies some more, among other things.

Some time ago, back in the heady days when there was still a FASA (sort of?), the Crimson Skies board game and metal miniatures came out (at the time, my gaming group and I played the hell out of it; it's great fun) Given what was available, I embarked on a side project to re-create some of the airships from the Final Fantasy games. Mind you, this was years ago and I'm a better modeler now by magnitudes. Anyway, instead of presenting them in the order in which they were made, here they are in order of the games:

Setzer Gabbiani's Blackjack from Final Fantasy VI. The PS1 version had beautiful trailer and all new (at the time) cg cutscenes, not to mention a gallery of stills for me to ogle while I worked on the model. That's a Reaver torso in there, along with jets from some old metal jump packs. I couldn't find a sailing ship hull that small, so an epic Ork Fighta worked nicely.

Those rather baroque tails are old thin hex bases from Aerotech fighters (which fetched an alarmingly high price on ebay). I liked the Blackjack much more than the airship you exchange it for halfway through the game, which looked like just a blimp with jet engines.

The High Wind from Final Fantasy VII. Still my favorite ship from all the games so far. Hey wait a sec-- something looks odd about her tail section...

Why, those elevators are monstrous! What happened to the overly complex series of rudders and flaps? Well, if you'll recall, it looked like this:

Each nacelle had a lower set of four rudders and three elevators; a veritable grille. Although I'd be up to the challenge now, I don't want to break up a venerable miniature. At the time I must've just said "to hell with this" and gone with the whale-tail. That propellor shaft needs to be longer too, but oh well. It looks nice on the shelf. 

Final Fantasy VIII's Ragnarok. At the time, I was hard-pressed to find decent reference material (and that red is too much on the orange side...) . The original artwork makes it look shockingly complex, until you realize it's just a mecha dragon with a bloody big cannon on it:

Given what was available, I think I did a decent job, although again now I'd do certain parts entirely differently. The cannon is an old metal bright lance I somehow came by back in late '80's/early '90's. A guy at the (now closed) Fairfax GW store just GAVE me a huge handful of metal bits. Man, but those were the days. Of all of these models, the Ragnarok bulks the largest.

Another comparison shot for you. Finding the parts to replicate this thing was an ordeal. If they hadn't put out a series of fish-like tanks for an obscure Babylon-5 based ground combat  game (it had a lifespan of 5 minutes) then the model probably wouldn't even have been possible.

The Hildegarde III from Final Fantasy IX. Thankfully, crazy-ass designers took a turn for the delightfully steampunk. Some people hated that game, but it hit the right spot for me on a lot of levels. If I could've gotten some stills of the summoned convertible airship Ark, I would've made that thing, too. Once I got the summon, I used it almost exclusively; it was cool as hell. 

The boat hull and steamship paddle wheels came from an obscure mini I found at the local gaming store. Looking back there was a lot of detail on the original that I just glossed past. I must've been working on some kind of "good enough" mentality back then. 

That's the last one. The airships for FF-X and so on were so outlandish and unnecessarily complicated it would've been impossible to make them without significant amounts of green stuff and a lot of patience. I'm not even going to go into that bizarre thing from X-2 and its weird arm/wheel nacelles. Jeezus.

Speaking of Crimson Skies, I can do a post of the airplane minis some time. They're great designs and were a lot of fun to paint and use in the wargame. I didn't do the full range, though they're still readily available. I'm guessing the video game kind of eclipsed the hex-based boardgame, which is sad, really. 


Hetairoi said...


Orinn said...

I would happily pay for the blackjack model. If you were willing to part with it that is.

they are all great but I do love me the blackjack.

#2501 said...

@ Orinn: sorry, none of them are for sale as of yet, but I do take commissions. The Blackjack might be a challenging one b/c I don't think they make the Narn battlecruiser I used for the hull bits anymore, but for the right money I'd be wiling to try.

Anonymous said...

you are a legend beautiful!!!!!!! you should defo make more and sell them. i think you would do very very well. dare i say it..puts Kotobukiya to shame