Sunday, June 26, 2016

Building the Darkest Star Games Scorpion LACV

Many moons ago I supported a Darkest Star Games Kickstarter for some 15mm sci-fi vehicles, with factions heavily influenced by Traveller (see this post).  I only went in at a level high enough to earn a Scorpion Light Armored Combat Vehicle as this was only the third Kickstarter I had ever supported, and the second gaming KS, so I was still fairly new to the KS game and really did not know what to expect.  I am glad I supported this particular campaign as I think Darkest Star has the real potential to become another Ground Zero Games in terms of quality product, and to have such a company in the Uniteds States is a real plus, although I will say that the service from GZG is superb!

I have had this vehicle sitting in its baggie for far too long, and with the recent purchase of Federation and Venturian figures from Darkest Star, I thought is was time to put the Scorpion together.  I was fortunate enough to buy a painted Scorpion from Micropanzer, so once I assembled and painted my Kickstarter version, I would have a pair of these sweet looking vehicles to support whatever sci-fi faction I desired.  Those of you who have seen Generation Kill will understand this...they are the Warpigs of a far future conflict, breeding hate and discontent like a mother.

The Scorpion LACV is a resin and metal kit, with the hull and turret in resin, and the remaining parts in metal.  As you can see, the resin quality is super high...nary a single bubble as found in many other resin products (the same high quality I have also seen with Old Crow).  There is very little resin flash from the mold-line, so prep work is minimal.  The metal parts have a small fraction of flash, so again minimal prep work needs to be completed.  The metal pieces include a choice of turret bustle, four choices of weapons, eight wheels, a stowage bin, and a hatch cover which can be installed open or closed.  See picture.

Assembly should have been easy, but for some reason the two types of super glue I tried did not want to adhere in a quick manner (Zap-a-Gap and Citadel thick super glue).  This made assembly time higher than I would suspect it needed to be, as I had to wait quite some time after gluing a piece before I was able to move to the next piece.

The wheels are cast with hubs that insert into hollowed out ends of the axles, making lining up the wheels a breeze.  The toughest part of this process was deciding on which weapon system to use.  The Scorpion I purchased from Micropanzer had the railgun installed, so I decided to go with a lighter gun option and use the 40mm autocannon, which also uses the other turret bustle, giving me two similar yet distinctive Scorpions.

The build continues....

Wheels on, turret bustle in place:

40mm autocannon in place, along with the storage bin and hatch cover.  I just received a pack of 15mm stowage items from S&S Models, so I might add a piece or two to provide even more "flavor" to these excellent vehicles.

The size of the model:  70mm long, 31mm wide, and about 25mm tall (depending on what turret bustle is used and if the hatch is open or closed).

Overall, these are some of the top vehicles in 15mm on the market for sci-fi gamers.  Realistically they could be used in a modern setting depending on weapon choice.  Run, don't walk, over to the Darkest Star website and order one or a dozen of these excellent vehicles (or any of their other cool toys) today!


  1. Very glad you like them, and thank you for the kind words! We do our best to ensure the quality of our castings remain as high as possible.

    Like you, I've had mixed results with different "super" glues for metal on resin, which is why some of the parts are designed to fit together as they do. I've settled on using the "extra strength" gel from HobbyTown USA (no idea who actually makes it), and usually put a little on each part, rub them together then let them sit apart for 5 minutes before then putting them together. Seems to bond better that way for some reason.

    For stowage, we do actually have a set which part of the KS, designed for the Federation vehicles (the Vents have internal stowage bins). It included tools, tarps, boxes, coolers, ammo, and other bits. Some of the parts were very difficult to cast and I am just now getting around to reworking them so the set can be re-launched soon. Will keep you appraised!

    1. I had never really had issues with any sort of superglue before, and what i bought at my local Games Workshop store didn't work any better than my Zap-a-Gap. But, with some patience, I was able to get everything together. I will have to try your method of gluing both pieces and letting them set for a few minutes.

      As for stowage, I do have that pack from S&S and it should be enough for several vehicles, but will keep an eye open for your reworked offerings.

      All in all I am very happy with the DSG products I have purchased thus far!

  2. It's cool to see one assembled. I got several with the kickstarter. I need to pull them out at some point and get them assembled. Looking forward to see yours painted.

    1. Build them! They are really fine vehicles. I hope to start getting some things primed and ready for painting soon, and will be adding more posts when I do.


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