Stars & Lasers merchant ships, finally painted.

As the title says I have finally got around to painting my 3D printed merchant ships for Stars & Lasers.

I printed eleven of my ships from my merchant ship files and was fairly pleased with how my 3D printer managed to print them, there were a few bad areas but once painted they should be less visible.

I first had to base them which didn’t take too long, I just used my recent normal method of using stiff wire drilled into the underneath of the ships and then fixed into a normal plastic flight base which was glued to a square of plastic.

I then primed them all black…

This is when I realised I had made a mistake and shouldn’t have fixed all the containers to the ships, this was going to make things awkward when I get to the main part of painting, I really should have painted them all separately before I glued them together! 😒

Ah well it’s something that I will hopefully remember if ( or when ) I print more.

So next stage was to dry brush all the “ship” sections with Gun Metal, this just picks out all the detail on them ready for picking out different areas in colour.

I then put the base coats on to the cargo containers, this was Ultramarine Blue, Orange Fire and Gold Yellow ( these are the same colours I used on my old GZG merchant ships )

I thought that I would do the Hex Containers slightly different so I base coated them with Tinny Tin this gives a nice dark base for some copper or brass highlighting later as I want these containers to look as if they have carried maybe a fuel of some sort over many years and they are oily and possibly rusty or at least slightly dirty and damaged from re-entry into a planets atmosphere, well the containers at least, as I have read a couple of sci-fi books where cargo and containers were taken down to the planet’s surface by smaller tug type ships after being dropped off in orbit at a space station by transports, this is how I see these merchant ships working.

Next I highlighted the containers with Electric Blue, Orange Fire and White mix and Sun Yellow, these brighter colours just make the containers look less flat / plain.

Once this was dry I did a wash over the main ship sections with Soft Tone to dull down the Gun Metal dry-brush, then I did the same with all the containers, this was to just tone down the bright colours and add a little shading to them and to make them look dirty rather than new and freshly painted.

I then did a dry brush of Gun Metal all over the Hex Containers, followed by a few areas of rust mainly on the top sections and down the joins, these areas were then coated with a heavy coat of Strong Tone to dull down the rust areas.

I then put a coat of White onto the top section of both of the Civilian Liners, this will make these ships stand out from the rest of the Merchant fleet as they are meant for carrying passengers not cargo, although the lower decks have plenty of space for cargo.

The ships were now ready to have the small panels picked out in random colours to match my UEF fleet, as these ships were going to be the work horses for Earth and its colonies.

Once the panels were done I then used Bright Silver in the engines at the back of every ship, once this was dry I used Blue Ink to give it a blue glow effect, this matches all my other UEF ships.

I gave the white sections of the two civilian ships another coat of White to cover up the black showing through in some places, this I then hit with a watered-down Strong Tone wash to try and give the white some shadows and dark contrast in the grooves and around panels etc. once this was eventually dry I did a light dry brush back over some of the details using white again.

And finally I hit all the panels on the main part of the ships with a thinned down Light Tone wash just to take the brightness away from the metallic paints.

And that’s it my Merchant ships are done ready for some games of Stars & Lasers.

Here are few close ups of a couple of the ships.

Three UEF Frigates escorting some cargo ships.

A UEF Light Cruiser and a couple of Frigates escorting a fuel ship.

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  1. Mac

    Hi Jack,
    Thanks, I wasn’t sure about the colours to begin with but I think they look ok now they have been dirtied down a little.

    Thanks for getting my ships, I hope you like them when printed and hopefully you got them at the cheaper price!

    Show us some pictures of them on the discord server when you get them printed and painted, I would like to see them.


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