A Merchant Fleet for Stars & Lasers!!

I have been busy over the last couple of weeks working on a merchant fleet for my games of Stars & Lasers!!

I already have a load of merchant ships from several manufacturers but after working on my human fleet I have sort of got the bug!! and I really want to keep producing ships for my game while I can.

First thing I did was work on the main engine section and the bridge of the freighter and then simply added a long thin body section in between.

I wanted to have a basic design for a freighter / cargo ship but have the option of adding different container sections so I could build a good selection of different ships, I can always add different cargo containers at a later date but for now I just wanted four different types.

So then I started designing containers to add to this basic ship, but that didn’t work out as well as I had planned.

After printing out the containers for the ship I started adding them individually, but this seemed a bit fiddly and awkward, also a bit odd, mainly because they had to be glued to the ship one at a time and I had a feeling that they were not going to look very even, well not as even as if they were attached to a real ship all lined up correctly.

And well I wasn’t wrong they looked uneven and horrible!!

I could have stuck the three together on each side first and then stuck them to the ship, but I wanted a little gap between the containers and sticking them together didn’t leave enough of a noticeable gap so that also didn’t look right to me.

So I had another think… and realised that they would be better if they were attached to each other and with a gap of some sort already between the containers.

This would make it simple to stick the containers to the body of the ship and they would be perfectly even and straight.

Then I realised that if I put a thin flat section under them and joined them together with a gap big enough for the freighters body to fit in, it would make things even easier.

So far I have come up with the four “container” sections that I wanted… first a set of boxy containers.

Then a set of spherical tanks that would probably carry some sort of liquid, maybe fuel or water or even Romulan Ale!!

And then more liquid containers this time long rather than spherical.

And next up some weird hexagon shaped containers.

Next I added a smaller ( light ) freighter and then designed two cargo sections for this smaller ship, just the boxes and the tanks this time… although this ship may change as I am not 100% happy with how it looks.

So that is a good start for the freighters / cargo ships, I am very happy with the way most of these look.

The other thing I have been working on is a Civilian Liner and has proved to be a little more of a problem than I thought it would be as I couldn’t seem to get it looking right.

First off it seemed very ‘thin’ so then I had to look at ways of making it not so thin but without just stretching it, I added lots of extra sections to the top areas and built the ship up that way and that again looked wrong, it was very ‘fat’ now.

Then someone said that I should go for a much longer ship, a huge luxury class liner, bigger ( or longer ) than most military ships and well I came up with this…

This thing is 125mm long!!! And I can’t wait to get it fixed to a flight stand and painted…

I then did a smaller passenger liner just so I have some choice.

Next thing on my list was a couple of a simple ‘Tender’ or ‘Repair’ ships and after a little fiddling around with the basic shape I came up with these, one large and one small, both have arms that connect these ships to the damaged vessels.

All these ships will mainly be used in scenarios such as convoys or as space station support so they will be used often.

Now there’s an idea, a space station… well that will have to wait for a while but it may be something that I will attempt.

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  1. Zac

    Hi Mac
    Looking good.
    How about doubleing up on the pod’s?
    so the part of the cargo that s glued to the bottom of the main ship is now glued to the top, and a second cargo section is upside down and glued to the bottom of the main ship.
    If that makes sense!
    Maybe the details on the top of the ship could be between the cargo pods.

    • Mac

      Hi Zac,

      Yep that makes sense.

      I have been mucking around with some extra pods / containers to add to the ships, but so far I have not been able to get them looking or fitting right.

      Hopefully I will get it right soon.


  2. Zac

    Hi Mac
    I’m looking at those passager liner’s maybe the top rear’s deck’s could taper downwards at an oblique angle like modern seaborne pleasure liner’s.
    The small one especially looks a bit blocky to my eye.

    • Mac

      Hi Zac,

      The liner has changed a tiny bit since these picture, the printed test ship that I did didn’t ‘feel’ right so I will be trying again with a new version one night this week, I will think about the rear deck and see what I can do.

      Yeah I know the smaller one looks a little blocky, but it isn’t too bad, I think it will look better once I get around to painting it.


  3. Zac

    Also the repair ships could have a mirror imag variant
    So two of these ships could work on a ship at the same time!

    Would these ships be able to repair ships during a game?

    • Mac

      Hi Zac,

      In the supplement “More Lasers…” I give the rules for Tenders – small and large, these ships can do “emergency repairs” to a ship in a game, but they can only be used once.

      As always just a simple rule covering this action, the small tender repairs D6 hull points and can even replace half of the ships fired missiles, the large tender can repair D10 hull points and replace missiles as well.

      Mirroring the ship should be fairly easy, hadn’t thought about that.


  4. Zac

    The small liner looks fine! but I think you can improve the design it looks more like a ferry than a liner.

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