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ONCE YOU HAVE completed your conversions, you
will want to paint them. Finished models should be glued
to their bases and then spray painted with a single, even
coat. If you don't want to invest much time in painting,
pick an appropriate color and leave it at that. (Brown for
Martians and gray for British is recommended.)
With a little extra effort, however, you can add a great
SELF-DESIGNED SHIPS deal to the appearance of the ships by painting them in
WITH A LITTLE thought and several colors. Start with a white or light gray coat of
a minimum amount of work, spray paint. Don't overdo this: It is easy to lose detail
you can change the look of the if too much paint is applied. An overall spray coat is im-
existing ships considerably. portant because the models have large, flat, smooth areas
Wing mounts and catwalks can on which brush marks will show. If you spray them first,
be sanded off or added on us- you will have a surface on which paint will adhere evenly.
ing thin sheet styrene. Small It was common practice in all navies to have the decks
bits of putty can change the done in a light natural wood color or polished white, and
shape of the superstructure and you should do the same. Paint the decks white or light
a couple of pieces of plastic rod tan. Martian ships are often painted in very flamboyant
and styrene can add extra colors, and individual captains have wide latitude in se-
masts, or plastic card can be lecting colors. Contrasting upper and lower hull colors
shaped into a unique ram. It's
easy to switch quarterdeck
assemblies or forecastles. It
are common, with sails often matching the dominant hull
color. Gun mounts should be painted black or brown,
while guns themselves should be black or brass. Mer-
adds a lot to the fun of a game
to have a unique model to
represent the ship you 've
chant vessels are more often of somber colors, perhaps
a simple brown with white- or linen-colored sails.
Once the basic painting is done, you may wish to con-
designed for yourself. duct some special detail work using decals or art markers. MINIATURE PLASTIC
Many hobby shops carry a variety of heraldic shield
decals. These have emblems on them (such as coiled
dragons), as well as geometric designs. These can be used
for excellent detail in ships, particularly on the large
upright sails of kites. For example, if you have a green
fish decal, you might paint a ship with a green hull and
a yellow sail and then put the green fish on the sail.
Art markers, particularly colored fine-line markers,
are an even more useful means of detailing. Martian ships
are often overpainted with contrasting filigree work and
this can be added easily and expertly with a colored mark-
er. A black fine-line marker can be used to add deck
planking lines, to outline the masts where they lie against
the sails, and against the vertical faces of stairs to make
them stand out and give the impression of shadows.

IN ORDER TO undertake these conversions, you need 1. Knife.
a good hobby knife and plastic glue. A liquid glue, such
as Testors, is preferable to a thick tube glue, as it is less
likely to ruin detail. A solvent-type glue, such as Weld 2. Glue.
On, is even better. Sandpaper is also handy, both for
removing some gun mounts and for conducting some fin-
ishing work on hull surfaces. Some of the more advanced 3. Sandpaper.
MARTIAN CLOUDSHIPS conversions also call for the use of hobby putty. I recom-
ONLY A LIMITED selection of vessels could be in- mend a two-part putty, such as Tamiya ribbon epoxy put
cluded in Sky Galleons of Mars when it was released, ty or Miliput. Squadron Green Putty is excellent for 4. Hobby putty.
so we concentrated on providing a good generic mix of working with metal or resin, but it contains a powerful
ships. The Martian vessels in the game consist of a large solvent which will soften and dissolve styrene (which is
and a small screw galley, and a large and a small kite. what these ships are made of). Very thin sheet styrene 5. Styrene.
Although the large vessels resemble the familiar (called plastic card) is also handy for adding fine detail,
Whisperdeath and Hullcutter, many vessels are not particularly rams and rudders. Finally, a Mototool, while
specifically represented. not absolutely necessary, is a great labor-saving device 6. Mototool.
Since players of Sky Galleons of Mars have expressed and makes many difficult conversions a breeze.
the need to expand their cloud fleets or use additional Once you have finished a conversion, painting is a
ship models to make special conversions, we have made must. No matter how careful you are, cut lines and glue 7. Paint.
available this set of additional Martian cloudships from marks will be visible and only painting will cover them
the game. This boxed set contains a total of four sprues up. Despite the small size of the ship models, painting
of plastic ships and bases. Each sprue has four bases, them is very easy. The hard plastic of the models takes
a small screw galley, a large screw galley, the hull and and holds either enamel or acrylic paint. For suggestions
mast for a small kite, and the hull and mast for a large on colors and techniques, see the end of this booklet.
kite. These are assembled as shown in the accompany-
IN THIS SECTION we are going to go through every
A SIMPLE CONVERSION GUIDE Martian ship described in Sky Galleons of Mars and ex
FOR FLYING VESSELS plain how to build it from the various parts included in
Adapted from an article by Stephen Laurence this box. As we do so, several terms will be used over
In Challenge Magazine and over again, so for clarity we'll discuss them first.
NOT ALL THE many different types of Martian cloud- Forecastle: The large decked structure that makes up
ships were represented in the original boxed game. But the front part of the ship.
with only 12 cloudship models in the game, players were Quarterdeck: The large decked structure that makes
understandably reluctant to begin cutting them apart and up the rear part of the ship.
experimenting with different configurations, especially Mounting Socket: The structure on the bottom of the
since most conversion jobs result in parts of several ships hull into which the end of the base fits.
being used to make one finished vessel. Outrigger: The two wings that extend to either side
Now that this boxed set is available, however, it's of the large kite's hull.
much easier to begin converting ships into the entire Sprue: The plastic "tree" to which the ship parts are
variety of kites and galleys that ply the skies above Mars. attached.

Bloodrunner Whisperdeath
THE BLOODRUNNER conversion requires the hull of THE LARGE KITE included in the current set is pat-
a small screw galley and the mast of a small kite. Cut terned after the Whisperdeath, and can be used as is. It
both the forward and aft gangplanks off the hull. Sand has only one mast, though. To make an accurate version
the guns off the rear gun mounts and use one of the of the Whisperdeath, drill a hole in the quarterdeck just
gangplanks to make a single aft gun mount. Now cut one at the top of the aft stairs and glue a second upright mast
of the sails off the small kite's mast and glue it to the in place. If desired, a little bit of sheet styrene can be
top of the hull as an upright sail. used to make a more elaborate ram.

Warm Winds
Swiftwood THE MAIN FEATURE of the Warm Winds is that it's
THE SWIFTWOOD conversion requires the hull and really big. For this conversion you will need two large
mast of the small kite, the hull of the large screw galley, kites and one small one. Start with one of the large kite
and the mast of the large kite. Cut the quarterdeck off hulls and cut off the forecastle and the two outriggers.
of the small kite's hull and place it in your parts box. Next, cut the stern off flat slightly behind the two gun
Now cut the forecastle off the screw galley and glue it mounts on the quarterdeck, and then sand the guns off
in place of the small kite's quarterdeck. This now the mounts. Now take the second large kite and cut the
becomes the new bow of the ship. Now take the mast quarterdeck off immediately behind the stairs. Sand the
of the small kite and cut the two sails away from it. Glue guns flat on these two mounts and glue this piece to the
the mast in its normal place, where it now serves as the back of the first hull. You now have an enlarged
ship's outriggers. Finally, drill a hole in the deck im- quarterdeck.
mediately in front of the crosspiece of the outrigger and Next, take the hull of the small kite and cut the
glue the upright mast in place. foreward half of the ship off, making the cut just behind
the mounting socket. Sand the guns off this piece, and
sand the bottom of the mounting socket until it is even
with the bottom of the hull. Fill in the remaining depth
of the mounting socket with putty. Now glue this to the
U.S.S. Ranger main hull assembly.
THIS IS NOT a Martian vessel, but it is so easy to The last step is attachment of the masts. Glue the small
model that it seems foolish not to include it here. The kite's mast in place in its normal bracket. Drill two holes
Ranger is described in Cloudships and Gunboats. Begin in the quarterdeck, one immediately behind the stairs and
by making the Swiftwood conversion described above, one between the two aft gun mounts. Glue one of the
but leave off the mast. Now find a small piece of plastic large kite masts in each hole. You should cut one-eighth
rod or piece of scrap plastic that can be filed into the of an inch off the bottom of the mizzenmast (the one to
shape of a smokestack and glue it to the center of the the rear) before glueing it in place, however, so that it
quarterdeck. is shorter than the mainmast.

Small Bird Glory Sled

THE MODEL of the small screw galley was patterned THESE HIGH MARTIAN screw galleys require the
after the Small Bird and may be used as is. If added detail hull of a large kite and the hull of a small kite. Fist, cut
is desired, cut off the gangplanks at the bow and stern the forecastle and outriggers off of the large kite's hull
and add a rudder to the stern cut from sheet styrene. and put them in your parts box. Next, cut the forecastle
off the small kite's hull and sand the bottom of the hull
and remnant of the mounting bracket smooth. Glue this
to the front of the large kite's hull as the new forecastle.
Finally, make a ram out of sheet styrene and add it to
the new bow.
THIS CONVERSION requires the hull piece from the
small kite model. Cut away the central deck and hull from
immediately behind the mounting socket to the immediate
front of the quarterdeck. Now glue the quarterdeck to
the main hull, thus shortening the hull. Fill in the mast
hole with putty.
Fenian Ram
THIS CONVERSION requires the hull of a large kite
and a small kite. Begin by cutting the forecastle off of
the large kite's hull. Next, cut the back half of the hull
off the small kite, making your cut just behind the mount-
Sky Runner ing socket. Return the forward part of the hull to the parts
FOR THIS CONVERSION you need only the hull of box. Turn this around and glue it to the front of the large
the small kite. Begin by cutting off the front of the hull kite's hull, so that the stern of the small kite's hull faces
just behind the forward gun mount and sanding the front forward. Now glue the forecastle of the large kite to the
into a smooth, gentle curve. This will now be the stern front of this, filling in any gaps with putty.
of the ship. Next, sand the bow of the ship (which used
to be the stern) so that it has a rounded instead of rec-
tangular shape. Finally, fill in the mast hole with putty.

Endtime Hullcutter
THIS IS A VERY EASY conversion and requires on- THE MODEL of the large screw galley is patterned
ly the hull of the small kite. The gun arrangement on deck after the Hullcutter and does not require any conversion
is correct as is. Just take putty and fill in the hole for work. Some sheet plastic can be used to detail the ram.
the mast. If desired, a small amount of putty can be used however, and that can improve the appearance of the
to round out the shape of the forecastle. piece considerably.