Sunday, 21 December 2014

Star Trek: Citadel Miniatures from the 70s

Regularly, I scout 2nd hand websites in search for old ranges of toy soldiers or wargaming miniatures. Since I live in Belgium, I limit myself to Belgian websites. This is, of course, a limitation, but at the same time it makes the finds much more interesting.

Last week I stumbled on an ad selling Citadel Miniatures from the Star Trek range (produced during the 70s). The ad was not placed in the toy soldier or wargaming sections, but in the Star Trek fandom section. No one had bid on it before, although the miniatures had been there for quite a few months. The pictures showed not only the miniatures, but also mentioned the that all "cards" were still available. I recognized these as the cards that were used to keep the plastic bags stapled together in which the miniatures were sold. Also, the ad mentioned there were 48 figures total. Since the original range had 24 codes, consisting of 2 miniatures each, I had the suspicion this might be the entire Star Trek range from Citadel.

Original photograph from the ad on 2ndhands.be
So, I immediately contaced the seller, and made arrangements to pick up the miniatures at the seller's place. When I arrived, I was surprised to be greeted by a very friendly elderly woman. She told me she bought the miniatures many many years ago as toys for her son, and now wanted to get rid of them. She was oblivious about wargaming, so I filled her in a little bit about why I was interested and what the figures were meant for. Anyway, 20 minutes later I left with 48 miniatures and 24 original cards.

When I arrived at home later that day, I set out to check what exactly I had bought. According to Stuff of Legends, there are 24 entries in the range. Also on Stuff of Legends, the Citadel Red Catalogue (1980) lists the same entries, so the figures must have been made in 1980 or before. The Collecting Citadel Miniatures wiki also has page, having photographs for all miniatures in this range. Additional information can be found on the Memory Alpha site. Putting all this info together, I managed to identify all 46 miniatures. Only 46? Yes, there was a little surprise involved, but more about that later.

Anyway, let's take a look at the Star Trek miniatures first:

Complete overview of all Star Trek miniatures.
Kirk and Spock
McCoy; Scotty&Chekov
Sulu & Willard Decker; Uhura & Nurse Chapel
Ilia & Janice Rand; Only 1 figure from the Enterprise Crew (see later)
Security Guards & Vulcans
Deltans & Klingons. The Deltans are 2 identical figures, although an alternative pose was available.
Reviews from the time also implied that some packs contained 2 identical figures.
Aaamazzarites & Kazarites
Betalgeusians & Arcturians
Zaranites & K'normians
Rigellians & Rhaandrites (2 identical figures)
Shamin & Megarites
Saurians (2 identical figures) & Andoreans (only 1 figure)
So, in total 46 figures from the original Citadel Star Trek range, all in pretty good condition. A very interesting addition to my collection, and we'll add them to the painting queue.

But what about those other 2 figures? Indeed, the Andoreans (ST24) and Starship Crew (ST8) each are missing a figure. Out of the 48 figures that I bought, 2 figures did not match the Star Trek range:


This was at least a strange coincidence. If the original person was a wargamer (and bought more figures than just Star Trek), probably some more loose figures would have been part of the deal. But there were exactly 48. I assume that my seller bought the figures from a wargamer herself, who sold 48 "Star Trek figures". Probably, 2 figures were lost, and he added 2 from his collection, or he was not entirely sure what figures constituted the Star Trek range, and 2 figures were swapped by accident.

Anyway, I managed to identify the figure on the  left as Citadel's "S1 Star Patrolman with Laser Pistol" from the Spacefarers range. This puts this figures in the same period bracket as the Star Trek figures.

The other figure didn't look like a scifi figure at all, but looked more like a fantasy figure. Indeed, on the base we can see: "(1?)977 Ral Partha". My search through old Ral Partha catalogues hasn't yet produced a definite answer (because not all ranges are documented by photographs), but I suspect the figure might be "ES37 Monk" from the range "Personalities and Things that Go Bump in the Night".


In any case, an interesting acquisition!

4 comments:

  1. What a great find! Congratulations.
    I have a great love for the neglected ranges Citadel produced under license (Paranoia and Gothic Horror leap to mind, but I guess those were a little later). How is the scale on these minis? They look like they might be a little too small to be mixed with later Rogue Trader mini... is that the case?

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  2. The minis are 25mm, but before scale creep set in. The actual height is more like 23mm to be precise. But when mounted on a slottabase - to give them some height - they could blend in with other 25mm figures.

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  3. They are indeed true 25 and were some of the earliest work of the Perry twins IIRC. I bought a complete set from Games Unlimited in Kingston on Thames sometime between 1977 and 1979. IIRC they were released at the time of the first Star Trek film. I also had a set of the spacefarers, which included the original Emperor and Space marines. Alas I sold them on when in need of cash in the 90s. I have though still got my traveller crew from the spacefarer range, all in some new age landsknecht inspired rig, and a couple of Jet Bikes. (Rocket fired Harleys and Royal Enfields by the look of them) The other early range that I kept was the Gangsters and Hoodlums, complete with Al Capone at his desk. LOvely figures and I was amused that the pin stripe suits were sculted with tiny grooves. Paint on the suit colour and then dry brush the stripes! All of the stuff is in store in Belgium. Will happily show it off when I get from India, which may be in Autumn 2016. That and my vintage GW 40K and Warammer kit.
    Best
    Graham

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    Replies
    1. Graham,

      As you probably might have guessed, I am always interested in acquiring vintage wargaming figs ;-)

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