The Narn were the first fleet I chose to collect for ‘Call to Arms’ for no other reason than I liked the way their rather unique paint scheme stood out from the crowd. They may not have the most advanced weaponry when compared to races like the Mimbari or Centauri, but what they lack in technology, they more than make up for in resilience with some of the best skirmish ships in the game.
Out of all of the races for ‘A Call to Arms’, the Narn probably represents the most work intensive painting wise, but also the most rewarding for the time invested into it. A really spectacular eye-catching fleet when deployed due to its boldly patterned hulls, it is also by far and away my favourite. Central to the fleet is the G’Quan-class Heavy Cruiser and if you have ever watched the Babylon 5 series, this is probably the Narn ship you will have seen most. Out of all of the Narn ships produced by Mongoose, it is the G’Quan that has undoubtedly suffered the most detail degradation when the molds were purchased from AoG and getting the ship into a fit state to be assembled, let alone painted was a task in itself. Fortunately, after a bit of hard work with a few files and a little pinning here and there, what emerges is a real gem of a ship. To create a little more detail I also added a few lengths of thin brass wire to the prow and wing pods similar to where sensor arrays and such like can be seen on the ship in the TV series.
Painting the G’Quan
As the metallic areas were the most messy to work with being a mixture of dry-brushing and ink washes, it was these that I painted first of all. Starting with a dry-brush of boltgun metal I picked out details for the bridge, engines and edges of the hull in chainmail silver. a quick black ink wash helped pick out the details and then a final poke at the detailing in mithril silver helped emphasise the central sections nicely.
For the main hull I began with a mix of 50/50 terracotta red and scab red. I then highlighted this by adding increasing amounts of blazing orange into the mix. Once dry, the colour was intensified with a thin wash of red ink mixed with a tiny drop of black paint.
For the markings, the trick is to actually start in reverse and begin with the bleached bone lines. Ensuring I kept the outer edge of each line neat, I didn’t worry too much about any overpaint inside each shape as I would be correcting this later. With all of the patterns carefully defined, I went back over the lines carefully again with a 50/50 mix of bleached bone and white to help neaten them up as well as highlight the extreme edges. I then very carefully filled in each of the shapes with a 50/50 mix of scorched brown and black. By working from the points of each shape and painting ‘inwards’ you can create a really sharp edge to the lines. Once you have those initial boundaries in place, its easy to simply ‘fill in’ the rest of each shape and voila! All done. The two flights of Frazi fighters are also part of the G’Quans arsenal and were painted in a mix of camo green and scorpion green with a bleached bone and white central stripe and tail.
Starting to bulk out my fledgling Narn fleet are three ‘skirmish’ level ships in the form of a pair of dagger shaped Ka’Toc Destroyers and a G’Karith-class Patrol Cruiser. Individually they are not really a match for larger warships, but as part of a hunting pack they can be deadly.
G’Karith Patrol Cruiser
Normally the G’Karith is painted in the same complex patterning you see on the other Narn ships. However, for my fleet I wanted to work in some other colour schemes and I got the inspiration for it from the Gorith fighters. The palette is very simple and is a base of hawk turquoise to which I added increasing amounts of bleached bone for the highlights.
For the interior sections of the hull and elliptical wing section I started with boltgun metal and highlighted them using chainmail silver. A black wash was then applied to bring out the detailing and shadows before a final highlight using mithril silver picked out the edges. The rest of the detailing on the outer wings, bridge and engines used the same mix that I used on the G’Quan, namely a 50/50 mix of terracotta red and scab red with a blazing orange highlight.
Similar to the G’Quan I added additional detailing with brass wire to the outer wings before painting a few ‘very’ small windows and lights along the bridge and wing sections.
The ‘dagger’ shaped Ka’Toc destroyers are quite simply one of the best skirmish ships in the Narn fleet. For my starter fleet I decided to take a pair of them as they operate excellently in hunting packs and with the support of the G’Karith were without doubt my best performers in the tournament consistently punching above their weight whilst remaining stubbornly resilient against enemy broadsides, much to some of my opponents chagrin.
n exactly the same way as done for the G’Quan and the majority of my Narn fleet, the markings were started in reverse with the bleached bone lines and then very carefully filled in with a 50/50 mix of scorched brown and black. The bone lines were then tidied up with a final bone white and skull white highlight. The two flights of Frazi fighters are also stationed aboard the Ka’Toc’s, one flight on each destroyer. With the skirmish ships mostly out of the way, that just leaves one ‘Raid’ level ship left to add; the mighty T’Loth.