(written from a Production point of view)
This article provides an overview of FASA's Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, its associated components, supplements and reference works which were produced by FASA and, where the gaming miniatures were concerned, a small number of related gaming companies.
Games and rules supplementsEdit
Adventures and rules supplementsEdit
Ship recognition manualsEdit
Micro-Adventure Games Edit
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When FASA released the Starship Combat Simulator (No. 2003) in 1983, which was re-released in 1985 and added as an extra component in the deluxe edition of Star Trek the Role Playing Game (No. 2001) of 1983, they simultaneously released, during 1983 and 1984, a line of starship gaming miniatures to give the game, which was standard equipped with carton playing tokens, an extra dimension. They could also be used in the later-released Star Trek III Starship Combat Game (No. 2006). The miniatures, which had a stated scale of 1/3900, were made out of pewter (a lead-tin alloy in a 60%-40% ratio respectively, according to sculptor Ab Mobasher) and packaged in a transparent bubble attached to a card (blister pack). They came unpainted and most of them required a certain amount of constructing with the aid of superglue. The 1983 edition also came with transparent plastic hexagonal stands, on which the miniatures were to be mounted, and which fitted the hex grid maps accompanying the Combat Simulator. They were colored to denominate the major factions in the game, blue for the Federation, red for the Klingon Empire, purple for the Romulan Star Empire, green for the Gorn Hegemony and neutral for the Orion Syndicate. Apart for the then-known canon ships, the range was expanded with non-canon ships as earlier designed by the FASA staff.
Though not the first to release starship gaming miniatures (that distinction fell to Task Force Games, who likewise produced miniatures for their Star Fleet Battles game), the quality and imaginative designs of canon and non-canon ships alike made FASA's miniature line the most popular item of the whole FASA Star Trek product range (as well as the most popular gaming miniature line), becoming highly sought-after collectibles in their own right amongst non-gaming Star Trek fans as well. Remarkably, most of the 1983-1984 releases were issued with ISBN numbers, something normally only given to print materials.
FASA reissued the line twice, once in 1985 and once in 1988, each issue expanding the line with further additions. The color coding of the stands was abandoned with the first reissue as all models were from then on accompanied by neutral transparent plastic stands. Each release had its own distinctive design style of the cards on which the models were mounted. Contrary to the first issue release which did ("The Trouble with Tribbles" for the Original Series-era ships, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock for the film-era ships), these two reissues did not sport imagery from the live-action productions on the cards, but rather non-descript redesigned card imagery.
In 1985 FASA sub-licensed the UK-based Citadel Miniatures to manufacture the miniatures for the UK market. Apart from being mounted on different style cards, the models differed from their US counterparts in that for many models less construction was needed and that they were more detailed, due to the fact that the pewter had a higher tin content. Although that made the metal more brittle, it also made the metal harder than their relative soft US counterparts and thus more susceptible to retain detailing. Eventually, Citadel released fourteen out of the eventual thirty-four models FASA produced (in essence following their numbering, which explains the gaps in Citadel's numbering), when the latter lost its license in 1989.
Apart from the ship models, FASA also produced 17 small pewter crew members figurines in 1983 as gaming pieces (one release only). Testament to the popularity of the starship miniatures was the fact that the sculptor of the first 22 starship pieces, Abbas Mobasher, received an H.G. Wells Award from the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design in 1985 for his work in the category "Best Vehicular or Accessory Series" , whereas FASA itself had received the award the year previously in the category "Best Vehicular Miniatures Series". Mobasher's successors for the expansions, Randy Hoffa and Steve Apolloni, received the same award Mobasher did, in 1987. FASA had their miniatures of the 1983/84 issues manufactured by Ral Partha Enterprises, while their 1985-1988 issues were manufactured by the Canadian company RAFM Miniatures and Games.
The popularity of FASA's Star Trek gaming models attracted the attention of Rawcliffe, who also began to release Star Trek miniatures in 1988, the same year FASA released its second reissue. Sub-licensed by FASA, Rawcliffe started to release high-quality solid pewter gaming pieces with the stand now as an integral part of the model. Thirteen of FASA's models were re-made as Rawcliffe's "SS" (Star Ship) series. FASA was mentioned as co-licensee both on the clear plastic packaging boxes and on the bottom of the stand, while simultaneously following FASA's numbering.
When FASA lost its license in 1989, Rawcliffe renegotiated a separate license with the Paramount Marketing and Licensing Department and acquired the molds for the models from FASA. FASA had geared up to add Star Trek: The Next Generation figures into their product line, but it was Rawcliffe that eventually released these in 1992 after FASA was unable to. These former FASA miniatures became the basis for Rawcliffe to include larger scaled starships, figurines, key-chains, and sculptures in their product line.
In 1991 Rawcliffe started anew with their "RF" (simply standing for "Rawcliffe") series (now including, besides figurines, larger scaled ship models without the FASA pedigree as well), but as per their new license agreement, only produced canon ships. This meant that the five non-canon ships they had released in their original "SS" series (SS2508, 25010, 2513, 2516 & 2529) were not reissued, resulting in they becoming sought-after rarities by collectors afterwards. With all references to FASA and their gaming miniature origins dropped – though in most cases retaining their hexagonal shaped stands – , the models were packaged in Rawcliffe's blank white carton boxes which stated only Rawcliffe's name. The models in this series came accompanied by a small colored carton nameplate which emphasized that they were released as decorative display items.
Rawcliffe's license to produce Star Trek products expired in 1999.
|FASA Role Playing Game Miniatures|
|2501||1984||FASA||ISBN 0425069303||USS Enterprise|
|2504||1983||FASA||n/a|| Romulan Bird-of-Prey|
(FASA 1983 issue in unassembled and assembled variant; Citadel issue contains two assembled pieces)
|2505||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069346|| USS Enterprise|
|2506||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069354||Regula One|
|2507||1983||FASA||n/a||Larson Class Destroyer|
|2508||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069370||Klingon D-10 Heavy cruiser|
|2509||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069389||Klingon D-18 Destroyer|
|2510||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069397||Klingon K-23 Escort|
|2511||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069400|| Gorn Cruiser|
|2512||1983||FASA||n/a|| Orion Blockade Runner|
|2513||1983||FASA||n/a||Klingon L-9 Frigate|
|2514||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425069438||Loknar Class Frigate|
|2515||1984||FASA||n/a||Romulan Winged Defender|
|2516||1984||FASA||n/a||USS Chandley Frigate|
|2517||1984||FASA||ISBN 0425066428|| USS Excelsior|
The orthographic views art on the back of the first edition card, was used to create the LCARS display for the class, seen throughout the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first time in the second episode, "The Naked Now".
|2518||1984||FASA||n/a||Klingon L-42 Bird of Prey|
|2519||1984||FASA||ISBN 0425066444||USS Grissom|
|2520||1984||FASA||ISBN 0425066452||Deep Space Freighter|
|2521||1984||FASA||ISBN 0425066460|| Romulan Graceful Flyer|
(Citadel issue contains two pieces)
|2522||1984||FASA||ISBN 0425066479|| Orion Wanderer|
(two pieces; one of only two original FASA designs elevated to canon status)
|2523||1985||FASA||n/a|| Kobayashi Maru|
The second and last original Fasa design elevated to canon, though not as such, but rather as a LCARS display, quite possibly the USS Gremlin.
|2524||1985||FASA||n/a||Romulan Gallant Wing|
|2525||1985||FASA||n/a||Gorn BH-2 Battleship|
(one issue only)
|2526||1985||FASA||n/a||USS Baker Destroyer|
|2527||1985||FASA||n/a||Romulan Nova' Battleship|
|2528||1985||FASA||n/a||Romulan Bright One Destroyer|
|2529||1985||FASA||n/a||Klingon L-24 Battleship|
|2530||1985||FASA||n/a||Klingon D-2 Destroyer|
|2531||1985||FASA||n/a||Romulan Whitewind Cruiser|
|2532||1988||FASA||n/a||USS Northampton Frigate|
(one issue only)
|2533||1988||FASA||n/a||USS Remora Escort|
(one issue only)
|2534||1985||FASA||n/a||USS Andor Cruiser|
|2535||n/a||FASA||n/a|| USS Enterprise-D|
(announced but not released by FASA)
(announced but not released by FASA)
|2599||1984||FASA||n/a||Starship Support Stand|
(five color variants; one issue only)
(at the time only available through Star Trek: Communicator)
|Contrary to the first, 1983/84 release, where each starship had its own individual (game) specifications spelt out on its blisterpack back, the 1985 and 1988 reissues merely featured a generic blisterpack back (l-r) for all the ships. Likewise, the 1985 Citadel Miniatures also only sported a generic blisterpack back.|
|2612||Dr. Carol Marcus|
|2615||Klingon Officer with Agonizer|
|2616||Klingon with Disruptor Rifle|
|2617||Klingon with Disruptor Pistol|
|3001||1983||FASA||ISBN 0425059443||Number One: USS Enterprise and Crew|
(contains 2501, 2601, 2603 (remolded), 2604, 2605, 2606, 2607 and 2608)
|3002||ISBN 0425069451||Number Two: USS Reliant and Khan's Crew|
(contains 2502, 2609, 2611, 2615 and 4 figurines not separately released)
|3003||ISBN 042506946X||Number Three: Space Laboratory Regula One and Staff|
(contains 2506, 2610, 2612 and 5 figurines not separately released)
|3004||ISBN 0425069478||Number Four: Klingon Battle cruiser and Crew|
(contains 2503, 2615, 2617 and 6 figurines not separately released)
The appeal of FASA's 1/3900 scale gaming miniatures did not end when FASA and Rawcliffe lost their licenses. In the decades after official production had stopped small, non-licensed, amateur "Garage" model kit companies like Impulse Models, FMX Models, Macro Trek, and UK-based Future Legend continued to produce FASA-like miniatures, typically in resin. In most cases relatively short-lived, they often expanded on FASA's line with canon and non-canon ships of the later Star Trek productions. Particularly noteworthy was Future Legend, in business around the turn of the millennium, who not only expanded the line with canon ships, but also released FASA designs (in resin as well as in pewter), which FASA itself never got around of releasing.
See also Edit
- Citadel Miniatures
- RAFM Miniatures and Games
- Ral Partha Enterprises
- Star Trek starship miniatures
- Star Trek model kits