When I run demo games of Hard Vacuum at conventions the most common question I get asked is: are those awesome ships specifically for Hard Vacuum, and if so where do I buy them?
Sadly, we never did a miniatures line for Hard Vacuum. Sierra Madre used to sell sets of plastic ships that worked okay, but they weren’t anything specific to the setting. But most of the designs were based roughly on whatever minis I already had available, or could convert with minimal effort. So for those who asked, here’s what I used for my own conversions, and where they are still available.
The vast majority were based on the plastic Silent Death ships of the time, and those are available again at Metal Express. I recommend you go straight for the “Plastic Ships Frame” as most of the hulls in that are identical to the ones below, plus cheaper and easier to convert. I use the following:
0601 Spirit Rider – Works great for an Arrow.
0602 Thunder Bird – Doesn’t look that much like a Trailblazer but I always use it anyway just because I always thought they looked the coolest.
0614 Kosmos – Makes a passable Ermorden.
0605 Salamander – Makes a good Sieger.
0611 Pit Viper – Nibelung, and works even better if you tack an oversized gun underneath.
0625 Saucer – Make good Totdiscs, but for a beefier version see below.
0730 Samurai – Stibitzen.
0612 Shryak Shuttle – This is what I used for my Charger mini, plus some Centauri fins (see below) and a turret.
0676 Karttikeya – I cut the tail section connector to make a Bronco.
0693 Prowler – Pioneer.
0631 Narwhale – Raider.
0630 Conestoga – Dead on for the Von Braun, and best if you can find some kind of tower to glue onto the top.
0629 Scorpion – Absolutely perfect for a Tyrann.
0641 Windjammer – Perfect for Firesprites.
0740 Cossack – Cyclones.
0622 Sentry – Trusty Shellbacks.
0620 Talon – Use these but mounted backwards for Russion Foo Fighters. (You have to get a bit creative painting the cockpit.)
0686 Shark – Makes a great customized Space Patrol/Tesla ship.
The other option isn’t as reliable, but the results can be amazing with a little effort. The old Babylon 5 and B5 Wars that Agents of Gaming used to do had some really amazing stuff if you have the heart to convert them. Some of the miniatures (and especially the bases) are still available via Agent One on Amazon. I strongly recommend the Fleet Action Flight Bases because they have flat hex tops perfect for placing rotation vectors on. I like the shorter Fleet Action ones, but if you have big fingers the taller B5 Wars bases will save you some headaches. Once these sell out they are gone for good, but if you can still get them:
Hyperion is a fantastic Destructor. If you want the full effect, just cut some thin cardboard into the ram struts shape and glue them from the front down to the lower tower.
Drazi make amazing customs, just mount them backwards and paint their engines like a B-29 cockpit.
Vree (especially the Xorr) make epic Totdiscs.
Civilian Freighters are good for any of the transport objective ships for either side.
For awhile you could get “Centauri” spare bits, that had the art deco trim, fins, and turrets that tended to get lost and was the most useful resource ever for making space patrol ships or changing the apparent scale of a ship by adding some visible guns to it.
And there you have it!