Star Trek: The Motion Picture – “Citadel Miniatures”
One of the best things about the wargaming hobby is undoubtedly the generosity of some of its members, and their beautiful benevolence in bestowing gifts upon their fellow gamers. One such fellow is my Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge comrade-in-arms, Iain White, who just this week sent me an extremely well-received box of miniatures from the early Eighties.
I plan to leave my review of its two well-cared for boxes of officially approved 15mm figures for “Traveller” for another day, and focus this posting’s attention upon the fantastic array of old “Citadel” Star Trek models my present contained. These truly are something of a holy grail for me, as they’re based upon the original U.S.S. Enterprise’s bridge crew during Robert Wise’s 1979 American science fiction film “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, and were released over forty years ago in early 1980.
The Paramount Pictures Corporation licenced 25mm figures were sold in twenty-four pairs, including both the central characters from the Constitution-class starship’s bridge, and a “multitude of background aliens seen in the feature [film].” Iain’s box did contain a few Vulcans and Klingons, but I thought I’d tackle Admiral Kirk and his crew first and foremost, as at least one of the Qo'noS-born warriors requires some conversion work before being pigmented.
To be honest, time has not been terribly kind to these “white-metal” models, as many of them have the remains of an all-blue uniform painted on them, which seems strangely reminiscent of the Federation attire worn in “Star Trek: Enterprise” than Robert Fletcher’s somewhat monochrome two-piece tunics. In addition, the actual detail on the sculpts is incredibly soft, almost as if they’ve been worn smooth by over-handling and Father Time himself. They’re certainly nowhere near the crispness of the castings which were advertised way back in Issue Eighteen of “White Dwarf” by “Games Workshop”.
I had initially considered simply throwing the miniatures into a bath of detergent or some such in an effort to remove the remnants of their former paint-jobs. However, I’m really a little unsure as to just what impact such a dunking would have upon such old metal figures, especially as those which have suffered the odd hard impact during their lives would appear to be a little crumbly in places.
As a result I’m planning to treat the models as simply being pre-primed, and use both some watered-down layers and shades to bring out what detail remains on them. In addition, I don’t actually have all the Bridge Crew characters, so intend to use some of the duplicates for Spock and McCoy, whilst utilising some of the alternative casts of Admiral Kirk for the likes of Captain Willard Decker…