We are very proud to release a pair of 6mm scale civilian space traders. Both of these fine kits can be built with the landing gear extended (and access stairs for the Venturian ship) or with them retracted for that in-flight sleekness. The Far Ranger can be found HERE for $20 USD, and the Pak'Eras can be found HERE for $22 USD.
Here we see see the Federation Far Ranger class ship 'Better Than Free' and her shuttle '2fer' after a much needed refit in the friendly white-and-green livery of ZIP DELIVERIES, a small independent shipping firm that specializes in getting anything that will fit into their hold to far away locales with "primitive bush" conditions.
ZIP DELIVERIES was founded by a trio of amateur mechanics turned small-time cargo haulers who made a very unwise deal that turned out to be a genuine rags-to-riches situation, and also happened to help spark the "Inkwell War". Their freight business began with a small and well maintained (read: ancient and on its last legs) Modular Scoot, sometimes called a Cutter, which was used to transport replacement parts and returning-to-duty miners from shoreleave on the planet "Inkwell" to various mining ships and outposts out among the asteroid belts. Often returning laden with not just more miners but consignments of raw Lanthanum and other precious ores for refinement our intrepid mechanics decided to become an actual shipping firm. Originally named ZIPPY DELIVERIES they shortened the name to just ZIP after learning the word Zippy (pronounced Shee-pay in Khiffain) was Feral-Khiff slang for 'sheep' or easy prey. ZIP DELIVERIES made a deal with a very eccentric prospector friend for a percentage of his next strike in exchange for repair parts he desperately needed to fix his ship after a misunderstanding with a crew of Garrhul entrepreneurs. Little did they know the boon and curse this would later become. Their sudden windfall allowed them to purchase the damaged and impounded tramp trader "Bad Angel" for a steal, and after repairs, refurbishment and a new paint job Better Than Free was ready for service with ZIP and their plunge into history...
This class of ship is well suited to the rigors of frontier delivery service, with a front and two side loading ramps for small and specialty item loading into the small lower cargo deck and huge rear double doors for loading larger items into the main cargo deck the Far Ranger can utilize its landing legs to lower the body of the ship until its belly just brushes the ground, not needing the specialty cargo lift services vehicles that often charge exorbitant prices as most ports for their "aid and service". Designed for simplicity and ease of maintenance, even though this is an older and very common ship there are many of the original production run still plying the spacelanes and hyper-routes today.
The Pak'Eras (Star Hopper to non Venturians) is the smallest "business-ship" operated by Venturian Corporates and most often encountered being used by either frontier-fringe Offices or Independent Speculators.
Unlike its human counterpart, the Star Hopper is not just a cargo hauler type ship, but also a small factory. Traveling from planet to planet these ships carry a small Office (a Venturian extended sort-of-family that is also a business) which upon landing opens up as a sort of one-stop-shop/general store making and selling small devices, objects, tools and trinkets for which the owning Office has either their own patens (sometimes held in both Venturian and Human agencies) or license to vend. Fully 1/3 of the ship is made up of 3d printers and manufacturing machinery of different types allowing the Office to create special orders on the fly when needed, with the remainder being crew/staff habitation and a large cargo space accessed by large sliding doors at the rear or a large belly platform which can be lowered.
It is also well known that these small ships and their crews also act as commercial scouts, trouble shooters and Tattlers for larger Venturian concerns. "Tattler" is a human term for someone (usually Venturian) who discovers others illegally making or selling items of Ventuain paten without license or permission. Depending upon the severity of of the trespass reaction from the paten/license owning/controlling Venturian concern can be anything from forcible confiscation, legal wranglings within the offenders planetary judicial system all the way to armed intervention and "putative destructive punishment". Indeed, it was the piracy of the design of a Venturian softdrink maker by FRESHDRINK INC. that provoked the first Human-Venturian conflict that began as an orbital drop assault on FRESHDRINK INC's home office and manufacturing complex on Esperansa and a strike on their main orbital shipping complex above Sherwood by Venturian Tar'Ar'Neyss Corp after the (Venturian) proscribed 3-day advanced warning. The Federation Steering Council learned a hard lesson in the seriousness of Venturian legal warnings, corporate methodology and strike capabilities, and brought understandings between the two cultures in much greater clarity very quickly after the dust had settled.
Despite the "alieness" of Venturian cultures and their tattling tendency (and we all know that many humans are foolish enough to think they can get away with a little alien IP infringement here and there), the announcement of the impending arrival of a Star Hopper Office on a backwater world is often cause for celebration and a great market gathering, bringing families from far-and-wide to party, renew old acquaintances, make business deals and of course stock up on much needed tools and material otherwise not available to subsistence level colonists.
Darkest Star Games
Established in September of 2012, Darkest Star Games strives to bring you the best in 6mm and 15mm miniatures!