Painting the Zeta Colony ships

Well I printed out the Zeta Colony ships to use in games of Stars & Lasers, I am still printing more as I want a good number to use in my games.

So far I have printed one of each of the bigger ships and have been printing multiple of the smaller ones, so far I have got six Corvettes and I am printing three more Frigates.

Over the next few weeks I will print out at least two more Destroyers and Light Cruisers, to go with these I will probably print out two more Heavy Cruisers.

After that I will probably only print out another Battleship and that I think will be enough for most games, but I will have to see how the fleet looks.

So the picture below shows how I printed all these ships on my FDM printer, I simply cut the file in half and then printed the two halves flat on the printer bed at the same time, this seemed to work best for my printer.

All based and ready to paint.

So onto the painting, I first airbrush primed them with Vallejo Light Grey to give them a nice first coat, also as I was going to have this fleet painted in different greys it was a good start.

This was then covered in a quick airbrush of Vallejo Xpress Color Space Grey, this was mainly for the actual colour rather than the effect that the paint has ( similar to Games Workshop Contrast and Army Painter Speed paints ) I just wanted the ships to be base coated in this great grey colour.

Once this was dry I did a very quick and rough dry brush using Model Color Light Gray, this just picked out a little of the detail on the tops of the ships.

I then started to pick out some of the panels on the ships using Game Color Wolf Grey, this was a bit slow and not easy as I am not a great model painter ( old eyes don’t help! 👀 )

The next thing I did was to paint in more panels, this time I used Game Air Glorious Gold, this just gave a little variety to the panels, then I painted a few more panels in Army Painter Gun Metal.

This was all the detail I was going to add to the ships at this point, next I added a good coat of Citadel Drakenhof Nightshade over everything, what I did next depended on how this dried.

If it dried too dark then I would probably need to touch up some of the panel details, but I was keeping my fingers crossed… I hoped it would dry allowing the detail to show through 🤔

And well it did, well enough detail showing through as I wanted, I did want the colour and detail of these ships to be slightly muted, mainly because I have tried to paint bright and bold colours on ships and when I do them they always look… odd!!

As I have said before I am not a great painter I can get models looking ok for gaming but rarely anything better than that, so muted colours work better for me.

Next I painted the bases and the stands Vallejo Black primer to finish of the stands, all that was left to do was add a tiny bit of detail on the fighter Carrier and the Dreadnought and this was going to be a very basic yellow and black launch bay floor.

I undercoated the area of the launch bays in Vallejo Dead White then used some Vallejo Black to paint in the “chevron” type lines ( yeah I know its not really a chevron but I wasn’t sure what else to call it ) once this was dry I filled in between these with Game Color Sun Yellow.

And that is this fleet finished….

I just thought that I would mention that when test printing these ships ( this was also the same when I test printed my UEF fleet and the Merchant ships ) I ended up with these ships shown below, nine extra ships to be added to the fleet one day.

These ships may have been the wrong size for what I wanted or maybe the detail wasn’t as good as I wanted, these I will base up and paint one day to add to this fleet or maybe broken up a little and used as debris scenery, but for the moment they are going into the box which has all my other test prints in.

I got a friend to test print the Zeta Colony Light Cruiser on his resin printer and it came out really nice, because the bigger ships are… well bigger! they would probably need hollowing out before printing with a resin printer, just so that it used less resin.

So to finish here is a couple of pictures of the ships I have done so far, these include –

1x Dreadnought

1x Battleship

1x Battlecruiser

1x Fighter Carrier

1x Heavy Cruiser

1x Light Cruiser

1x Destroyer

1x Frigate

6x Corvettes

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    • Mac

      Hi Vic,
      Thank you.

      I like how they have turned out, they are a fair bit darker than my photo’s make them look, not sure if it is the lighting or the actual camera.


  1. David

    I agree a fine job. Printed miniatures are getting better and better, you did well with you paint choices. Yes, make use of those extras, other variants of a Ship class, “Waste not, want not”.

    • Mac

      Hi David,

      Thank you, I was pleased with the end result, although things were looking very odd before I added the dark wash.

      I have lots of the extras to sort out, but I will definitely be using them as variants of the ship classes.
      A few will end up as debris scenery or even as scenario objectives etc.


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