Okay, with the UPF Battleship completed, I’ve now recreated all the original military miniatures. I still need to make the Pirate Frigate model and also the freighter and privateers but those are going to wait a bit. Before I tackle them, I want to finish all the ships in the UPF and sathar order of battle. These remaining ships are ones for which no miniature was made by TSR. There weren’t models for the fighters or destroyers either, but I’ve already made those. That leaves us with these missing ships: the UPF Minelayer (if you don’t use the sathar Cutter model), Assault Carriers for both sides, and the UPF Heavy Cruiser. The latter is the topic of today’s post. The image to the right shows the completed model. This post will talk about how we got there.
There aren’t a lot of sources for the Heavy Cruiser. For “definitive” images, we only have the silhouettes on page 6 of the Knight Hawks Campaign Book (KHCB) and the game counter. You might be able to argue that some of the other ships depicted in the books are heavy cruisers, but nothing else is labeled as such. Since I’m saving the profiles from page 6 & 7 of the KHCB for a second set of miniatures I’ll produce later, we’re going to go with the image on the counter for our basic profile.
This is the image we have to work with. It has a relatively small head, wide fuselage segments and a fairly narrow “waist” region. We also notice that like the destroyer, this has a prominent cannon hanging under the bow of the ship.
Based on the data in the KHCB, the heavy cruiser should be between HS 16-18 and have 6 engines. Since the Battleship was HS 20, and the Light Cruiser is HS 12-14, this ship should fall somewhere right between those two ships in size. That’s what we have to work with, so let’s get started.
The Basic Hull
Building the basic hull was straightforward as I just had to measure the relative sizes of the various parts of the ship and scale them appropriately. There were two main deviations. The first was the engine region. The images on the counters show small engine structures. Since the light cruiser and the battleship both use the same engine design, I intend to reuse that engine here on the heavy cruiser as well. That necessitated making the engine region just a tad bigger than what is shown on the counter, and the engines will stick out further from the body of the ship.
The second variation was in the bow or “head” of the ship. The rules say that heavy cruisers are all old ships. That, combined with the fact that the bow of the ship looks kind of small compared to the body of the ship, led me to make the decision to use the same bow portion on this model as I used for the light cruiser, similar to how I used the same head on the destroyer that I did on the frigate. This gives us the following basic profile.
Next I decided to reuse some of the major elements from both the light cruiser and the battleship. On the aft portion of the fuselage, I used the domed structure from the back of the battleship but only placed three of them compared to the battleship’s four.
Then on the forward fuselage, I used the cannons from the light cruiser placing four of those compared to the light cruiser’s three emplacements. I also add the external cannon onto the bow of the ship. Along the way I also added in the crenelated trim at the edges of the cylinder sections. That gave me this profile.
That was the relatively easy part as I was reusing major structures that I had created for the other models. After that it was time to work my way up the fuselage adding in random bits of machinery, piping, and other structures to give it a bit of surface character to match the other ships in the series.
For some of these bits, I reused some of the structures from the light cruiser and battleship models while for others, I just added things in that fit my fancy. In the end, the final model looked like this:
In the end, the model was 112.5 mm (4.4″) tall which put it right in the middle of the 94 mm and 120.75 mm heights of the light cruiser and battleship, respectively.
The next step was actually printing it. It’s all well and good to have a cool looking model, but if it doesn’t print, that doesn’t do us any good.
For this printing, I switched back to the grey resin that I had used for the light cruiser. It’s an opaque resin and takes about 50% longer to print but it photographs much better. The total print time with this resin was about 14 hours so I started the print before I went to bed and let it run overnight. When I got up in the morning the print was almost done. After it finished and I gave it some time to cure, I snapped a picture of the heavy cruiser model along with the light cruiser and battleship.
This shows the relative sizes along with a ruler for absolute scale. I think it turned out just fine and looks like a ship made from the same design templates.
Getting the Model and Miniature
I’ve added the Heavy Cruiser to the Miniature Price Table if you want to order a physical miniature. The cost for this miniature will be $5.50, the same as the sathar heavy cruiser. Anyone who joins my Patreon this month (Nov 2019) at the Crafter level will get a printed battleship and heavy cruiser miniature in December.
If you would like a copy of the model STL file, I’ve made the model available on DriveThruRPG along with all the other models. The cost of the UPF Heavy Cruiser model is $1.99. My Patreon backers received the model last week when I finished it.
What do you think about this model and miniature? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Next up is the UPF Assault Carrier. I’ve’ already started working on it so you can expect to see a post in December with that model and a printed version of the miniature.
I’m also considering making a chess set using the ships from both sides as the pieces. Is that something you would be interested in? Let me know.