Workbench: Studio Bergstrom Seth Fighters

When I laid eyes on the Directorate models for Firestorm Armada, I decided I absolutely needed to own a fleet of them. We play a lot of spaceship games in this house, so I knew they’d be useful no matter what system we used. There was only one problem. Firestorm Armada fleets don’t come with fighters. Tragedy! That sure put a dent in my plans to dominate the Starships and Battlefleet Gothic field with them.

Luckily for me and my plans for interstellar domination, Studio Bergstrom makes a fine set of fighters that blends perfectly with the Directorate force. The Seth fighters are roughly 10x10mm (a little less than .5″ x .5″), which makes them just the right chunky size to fit in with the rest of the beefy Directorate ships.

I painted my Directorate force in a golden-red and coppery-bronze color scheme, mostly because despite how much they remind me of the Milennium Falcon (a big selling point), I wanted to do something different. It had been a while since I’d painted the main fleet, so it was a good thing I’d written down exactly what I’d used, or I might’ve never remembered.

Here’s the main fleet. The bases are unglued to the ships, so that I can easily transport them around. That does mean that the ships change names from time to time. Whoops.

I sprayed the fighters with Army Painter’s Desert Yellow for the base coat, the same as I’d done for the main fleet. They sure don’t look much alike to start with, do they?

A generous wash with Citadel Casandora Yellow started fixing that problem up.

It took a few tries to figure out how to paint the fighters to properly echo the markings on the bigger ships. Following the lines of the models led to too much dominance by the copper/bronze part of the color scheme, and I wanted more yellow.

I ended up settling on freehand-painting the fighters with the same pattern on the Directorate frigates, using Citadel Warplock Bronze. There is a very subtle ridge on the Seth fighters that you can use as a guideline, but it is small and takes a steady hand to follow. I made a lot of use of my magnifying lamp to make sure that they all turned out even.

I followed up with a drybrush of Citadel Screaming Bell. Warplock Bronze with a Screaming Bell drybrush is one of my go-to standards. I think the colors look fantastic together.

I then got the fun of destroying a small brush by using it with Citadel Hexos Palesun dry paint on the yellow parts. I really like the Citadel colors; they’re intensely pigmented and you get good coverage, but I am less comfortable with the super-dry thickness of the dry paints, and they tend to put a lot more wear on your brush than drybrushing with a looser paint. I’d like to try the Dorn Yellow edge paint someday and see how it compares.

There was a lot of quick correction with more Desert Yellow and Casandora Yellow when I slopped. Fortunately the bronze/copper is mostly out of the way and I didn’t have to fix that up too much.

The “lens mounts” on the tops of the fighters are painted using the standard jewel technique — a deep blue coat, then two highlights, one in a lighter blue arc, and a white spot for reflection. I used Reaper paints for these: Maritime Teal for the base, Mint Green for the highlight, and Pure White for the reflection.

Here we are, all finished:

Never leave your minis without a sealant. I sprayed them down with Citadel’s Purity Seal and went back to highlight the lenses with Citadel Gloss Varnish.

I based them using Litko flight stands and peg toppers. I’m not a fan of the Studio Bergstrom bases that came with them; the rubber bases and pins feel fragile to me, and don’t vanish into the table as well, in my opinion. This was my first time working with the flight stands and peg toppers, so I didn’t get them on perfectly. I’ll do better next time now that I know what I’m doing with them.

There’s a fleet that’ll pass muster!

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