Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Crew of the Ace of Spades

In WOIN, at the top of each character sheet is a descriptor. This is a short introductory character summary. Each player should read their full descriptor to the rest of the group before beginning play. The descriptor is made up of the following elements, some of which are not always used.
a[n] [age] [trait] [species] [career] who [hook].
Age. The age entry is only used if the character is younger than adult or older than middle-aged. You may choose any synonyms for young and old (adolescent, youthful, aged, mature, etc.); age can give you a free exploit.
Trait. The trait is the name of a special ability or quality defined by a character’s lowest or highest attribute.
Species. There are many races and species in my campaign, so this indicates which species the character belongs to.
Career. The career entry can be one of two choices. It can be the character’s current career, or it can be the character’s longest-serving career. If the longest-serving career is not the current career, it should be prefixed with “ex-” (for example, an ex-cop or an ex-marine).
Hook. The hook is a broad background/skill/interest chosen by the player. It can be anything, but it’s designed to round out the character with personality, interests, or hobbies. For example, a player might choose “...who enjoys hard liquor” or “... has a taste for romance” or even “...who collects insects as a hobby”. The hook is chosen early in the character creation process. It complements career and skill choices as a lifelong background aspect to the character, unconnected to specific vocations and training.
This preamble is just to let you know how and why I shall be describing my player characters and non-player characters in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. Let's meet the crew of the scout ship, The Ace of Spades.
These three characters are the BFFs - Best Friends Forever. They have known each other longer than any of the other crew members and have a very close bond. At the left is Gwendoline Papillion - a brilliant human nurse who has an insatiable curiosity about everything. I love Gwendy so much! She sees the good in everyone and is so full of life. She has a bubbly, extroverted personality and is extremely friendly - some would say, too friendly. Because of her natural desire to know everything not everyone can appreciate her inquisitive nature. She is, by and large, a pacifist, but she will defend herself or friends if need be. Although she carries a Phaser Rifle, it is almost always set to stun. Her figure is from the Denizen sci-fi range - SF25 Female Adventurer with Laser Carbine. 
In the centre is Kimberley Jane Wells, an inspiring human smuggler captain who loves to gamble. Kimberley is the player character I have played the most in my life. She is not at all like me in any respect but I love playing her. She is the captain of The Ace of Spades and the star of this campaign. Everything revolves around her. She has an uncanny knack of getting into trouble, but more importantly, of getting out of trouble. She is very easy going, cool under pressure and has a laid back, carefree attitude to life and is very charismatic as she inspires confidence and loyalty in those who get to know her. She is also incredibly lucky and it is this good fortune this that has seen her survive many a scrape in her short life so far. She is skilled in combat but she prefers to avoid confrontation whenever she can. Her figure was part of the Ral Partha Shadowrun range (see below). Note to the left is the controversial second front cover of  FGU's Space Opera RPG. It was controversial because of the busty red-haired female  showing far too much cleavage and flesh. In the third front cover, she is covered up from the neck down and she is blonde haired. I hated the third cover but I absolutely loved the second cover shown here, simply because of the redhead. As soon as I saw her I knew I wanted to play her as a player character and I thought up her name, Kimberley Wells, and her background in an instant. It was amazing how quickly and easily I connected with her. I even made a 28mm scale figure of her in that exact same pose. It is fair to say that it was love at first sight for me and she is without doubt, my favourite player character of all time.
At the right is Kyran Katherine Calaveri, a brilliant human engineer who loves driving and fixing cars. Kyran is always friendly and amenable. She is definitely a tomboy - she like to get dirty when fixing stuff and she does enjoy wild parties and letting her hair down, but if the occasion calls for it, she scrubs up well and can be very glamorous and sophisticated. Her attitude to combat is the same as Gwendoline's - it is to be avoided wherever possible but she will fight (quite dirty!) if necessary. Her figure is unique, as she was sculpted by me, and I'm really proud of this figure.
Next up are ship's deadliest pair of killers. To the left is Celeste, a deadeye android assassin who wants to protect Kimberley Wells at all costs. Celeste is a mystery. No one knows what her true past is or where she came from or why she is so fixated on protecting Kimberley. She just turned up unexpectedly two years ago and told Kimberley she was her guardian angel and would do all in her power to protect her. She is far more powerful than she lets on and she is a natural born killer without conscience. She is polite and well spoken but she rarely has much to say and the crew have learnt to leave her alone... apart from Kimberley, who trusts her implicitly, and Julia, who sees her as a kindred spirit. Her figure is a former Grenadier Robot and she is now sold by EM4 Miniatures as 0087 Female Cyborg in their Future Skirmish range.
To the right is Julia Frostorm, an alert human bounty hunter who gets angry at anyone who touches her weapons. Julia earned the nickname of "The Ice Lady" due partly to her upbringing on an arctic planet, but mainly because she is a cold-hearted killer who shows her victims no mercy. She is introverted and slow to make friends but once her respect is won, she will prove to be a valuable and trusted ally. She was an assassin before becoming a bounty hunter, whereas Celeste was a bounty hunter before becoming an assassin, so they have much in common and they get on well together. Julia has taught most of the crew various fighting skills. Julia's figure is a conversion of an old Citadel fantasy fighter.
The three humans shown here are the most pacifistic of the crew. At the far right is Fizz, a young daggertooth cat, who was rescued by Judith one year ago, and who is now regarded as the ship's mascot. Daggertooth cats are the result of a genetic experiment to recreate the DNA structure of a sabre-tooth tiger. It was a great success. Daggertooth cats are a more intelligent, miniature version of the sabre-tooth tiger. They are popular pets of the very rich and are often used as security beasts. As pets they are affectionate and well-behaved, but a daggertooth trained to attack is a killer. Fizz, however, is a softy! I sculpted this cute little figure.
Next to Fizz is his owner, Judith Kramer, a brilliant human doctor who loves animals. At 31 years old, Judith is the eldest human member of the crew. As such, she is regarded by the others as the mother figure of the ship. She is very studious and is highly skilled at her job as the ship's chief medical officer. She is loyal, trusting and trustworthy and she gets on well with all of the crew. She is far and away the most pacifistic member of the crew and has thus far, resisted all attempts to learn any combat skills, including self-defence classes. She is another Denizen Miniatures sci-fi figure - SF27 Female Crew Member.
Second from the right is Lynda Pelligrosso, an erudite human research scientist who will claim familiarity with any technical subject. Lynda is highly intelligent but after a bad experience working for a mega-corporation, Lynda now works freelance, and she serves a few roles on The Ace of Spades. In addition to being a research scientist, she often takes on the role of ship's communications officer as well as helping out in the engineering bay. She is charming and well bred, but can often come across as a know-it-all. She learnt martial arts and pistol shooting purely for self-defence purposes as she abhors violence. Like the figure of Kimberley, she is from the Ral Partha Shadowrun range.
At the far right is Sharuna Randall, a young, brilliant human computer hacker who rebels against authority. Sharuna grew up with computers and there is little she doesn't know about them. With her rebellious nature, it was little wonder that Kimberley hired her to control the ship's electronic defence systems and counter measures. At 21, she is by far the youngest member of the crew. Sharuna is shy and introverted, but her personality changes once she goes online. Then she becomes more confident and sassy. She much prefers staying on board the ship than venturing outside, even when in the relative safety of a starport. She only reluctantly learnt martial arts self-defence techniques from Julia but she won't touch guns as she finds them too frightening. Her figure is yet another from the Ral Partha Shadowrun range.
The next two crew members both worked for the UFP Starfleet before joining The Ace of Spades. To the left is Jeanette Grey, a persuasive human gunner who strongly respects authority. Unsurprisingly, she does not get on well with Sharuna and she finds Kimberley's carefree attitude to command worrisome, but because Kimberley is the captain, she keeps her views to herself. Jeanette is a spy working for BRINT and has infiltrated the ship to keep tabs on Celeste. She acts friendly and easy going and so far, no one suspects her true motives for being on board. She is the ship's chief gunnery officer and is highly skilled in many forms of combat. Her figure is an old Citadel Rogue Trader figure, now long out of production.
To the right is Storm Galloway, an ambidextrous human pilot who collects expensive perfumes. Storm is the pilot of The Ace of Spades, with Kimberley being her co-pilot. She is every bit as easy-going and extroverted as Kimberley is. The two share a love of piloting and adventure. Storm left the Star Navy under a cloud after she assaulted a senior officer (he was in civilian clothing and very drunk at the time) and resigned rather than face demotion. Kimberley had no hesitation in hiring her and the two have become very close friends. With her military background, Storm is quite well skilled in combat. The figure of Storm comes from Bombshell Miniatures, where she is called Wanda Whitestar and is still available at the time of this post.
Finally, are the three scouts of the ship; after all, The Ace of Spades is classed as a scout ship. At the left is Danica, a juvenile, tough as nails Venetian scout who is very secretive about her real name. Although she is 110 years old, that is classed as being very young by Venetian standards, who can live for over five centuries. Danica is not like most Venetians, who are often viewed as being aloof and ascetic. Danica is more impious and has a cheeky sense of humour. She is the best friend of Katja and for the past five years they have been lovers. They have much in common, particularly a love of exploring the great outdoors. Danica is a highly skilled combatant and the ship's only psyker. Her figure is a converted old Citadel Rogue Trader adventurer. I sculpted on her pointed ears.
In the centre of this trio is Katja Sondquist, an ambidextrous human scout who keeps a diary she updates whenever she can. Katja is much more extroverted that her best friend, Danica. She is cool under pressure, very loyal to her friends and incredibly energetic. She is also a keep fit fanatic. She got to know Danica when they served together as scouts prior to joining The Ace of Spades. Due to the shortage of space on their previous ship, they had to share a room and soon they were sharing the same bed. Katja has a lot of combat experience and can be relied on in a fight. Her figure is a converted old Citadel fantasy fighter with her sword and shield being replaced by a rifle and laser sword respectively.
Finally, is Rebecca Faye Ellington, a young, ambidextrous human burglar who likes to make jewellery. Rebecca is a criminal whose life was turned around when she was caught by Kimberley as she broke into her hotel room, thinking Kimberley was away. After hearing Becky's life story, Kimberley took a chance and hired the young orphan as a scout. Whilst she is not technically a scout, she is superb at scouting urban environments and breaking and entering buildings. Becky's personality is friendly, boisterous and mischievous and she has a devil-may-care attitude to life. Being a smuggler herself, Kimberley has a great deal of affection for Becky, as she has also bent the law many times. The figure of Becky is the fourth one from the Ral Partha Shadowrun range.
Before I close, here is a group shot of all 14 members of The Ace of Spades, out on the town, ready for action.

Incredibly, I found this photo to the right, on the Internet that shows the four Ral Partha 28mm scale female Shadowrun figures, in their unpainted forms, that I'm using for Rebecca, Kimberley, Sharuna and Lynda. They were perfect for what I was looking for and required no conversion work at all. I have to admit, Ral Partha made some gorgeous looking females!


  1. Fantastic looking crew and I love their game backgrounds alongside their historical origins from previous campaigns.
    Totally agree with your Ral Partha comment :-)

    1. Many thanks, Greg. I'll be doing much more detailed biographies for all of the crew, which will include how they all met. There's a lot to tell about them, so I'll be splitting these bios over the next four posts.

      Ral Partha rocks!

  2. Well there a crew you wouldn't mind being shipwrecked with! Though perhaps not the most politically correct. Who doesn't love a feisty group of females in revealing costumes fighting their way across the galaxy!! looking forward to this immensely. Great figures and perfect representations of the characters they represent. I'm so impressed with the figure you created from scratch, you really cant tell it apart from the commercial one's.

    P.S. I like this cover a lot more too, I can see why you were besotted with that red head!

    Cheers Roger.

    1. Much obliged, Roger. Imagine being the only male in that crew! The figure of Kyran that I sculpted was one of the best figures I ever sculpted. The stars aligned perfectly that day. But I was also chuffed with Fizz, who is so small but so cute!

      Yes, the second cover for "Space Opera" was vastly superior to the first and third covers, and only the PC brigade could object to the drop dead gorgeous redhead who became my inspiration for Kimberley.

  3. Great introduction into the crew Bryan, some fantastic conversions and full sculpts by you with great looking paintwork to bring it all together. Look forward to finding out more about the crew and back stories

    1. Thanks so much, Dave. I really appreciate the compliments and I hope you enjoy reading a lot more about this crew.

  4. Those are some nice looking paint jobs - and I love the conversions, especially the daggertooth.

    These series of WOIN posts have certainly been cracking good reads, so far.

    1. That is so kind of you to say so, Roy. Many thanks. I, too, like my daggertooth cat.

  5. Oh man oh man oh WOman! What a stunning post, where do I start?

    Great intros, so important in RPGs to get flavour into your characters. These really drew me in and I can't wait to find out more- that's a real skill buddy!

    The sculpts - yup I like the cat but that mechanic/engineer, totally blew me away! Great job dude.

    The brushwork- I wish I could capture faces like you do mate, simple as! Really tight, especially Kimberley

    All in all one of your best posts this year for either blog!

    Ps love the group shot... ;-)

    1. Shucks, Andy. Where to start? What a wonderful comment. Yes, intros that draw the viewer in are so important. You'll be learning a lot more about these characters as the campaign progresses.

      I do love both of my sculpts and I was at the top of my game when I sculpted both of them.

      Regarding faces, I find it is the same with drawing them - get the eyes right and you're well on the way.

      Best blog post of the year? Wow! That is seriously high praise, Andy! I'm flattered.

      The group shot was a must. It had to be done.