How to paint and collect citadel spacefarers miniatures

Citadel Spacefarers were first seen in the Molten Magic review column of White Dwarf 16. This was dated December 1979 and presumably they were launched around this time. The first full product listing was revealed in the Citadel Red Catalogue for 1980.

The range was designed by Alan and Michael Perry (as were many Citadel ranges of the time). An interview with Tony Ackland (by David Wood here) reveals that Tony actually sculpted the bikes and some of the robots with the Sentinel originally planned to be part of the 54mm Spacefarers range. Thematically it seems to be inspired by major science fiction tropes of the era – Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Flash Gordon and 2000AD.

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction
Molten Magic Column,
White Dwarf 16. December 1979.
First appearance of Spacefarers
First page of Spacefarers advert Citadel Red Catalogue 1980
Second page of Spacefarers advert Citadel Red Catalogue 1980
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction
Spacefarers: Rules for Science Fiction Skirmish Adventures
(Games Workshop 1981)

In 1981 Games Workshop released the Spacefarers wargame skirmish rules designed specifically for the use with the figure range. They were written by Andy Murkin and Nick Henfry with development also by Dave Morris.

Nick Henfry has said that Games Workshop were looking for a set of games rules that would help sell more figures and although Bryan Ansell had an existing system ready it was decided to develop a new, simpler set that would be more accessible by younger players.

The Bryan Ansell set would then go on to become Laserburn. This game predated 40K by a few years but it is difficult to see that much (if anything) of Spacefarers influenced the later ruleset. The rules were launched in White Dwarf XX alongside a new marketing push for the figures.

In 1982 Citadel produced two catalogues. The first (yellow) added two new figures (security guards) that were transferred from the now defunct Star Trek The Motion Picture range. Presumably they were only models in that range that were generic enough to be produced without the license. The second 1982 catalogue (blue) for the first time advertised the Spacefarers rules for sale.

1983 saw the range reorganised as C100 Spacefarers, with a number of figures removed from the line. Some of the (previously separate) Superheroes range were incorporated and the Dark Disciples were – for reasons unknown – rebranded as Rebel Warriors. This was around the time of the D&D “Satanic Panic”, I wonder if the renaming was an attempt to de-evil the range ?

C100 range of Spacefarers. Reorganised and reduced
First Citadel Compendium with Spacefarers range alongside an advert for the Rogue Trader RPG

In October 1983 the First Citadel Compendium was produced. In the introduction Bryan Ansell described the development of a new set of science fiction RPG rules… Rogue Trader. He wrote “We’ll be re-making and re-titling our Spacefarers models to coincide with the release of these”.

And that was the last we ever heard of Spacefarers.


References

There are some great resources out there that are very helpful for researching early Citadel figures. The links below are the ones I used when putting together this blog post.

If anyone has any further information on the history of these wonderful figures then I would love to hear from you – please leave a message in the comments below or message me as @goatmajor on Twitter.

Stuff of Legends
Lost Minis
Collecting Citadel Miniatures
Delaney King’s Spacefarers Page
David Wood’s “Dear Tony Blair” Old School Miniatures Blog (Including interview with Tony Ackland)
BoardgameGeek (Spacefarers Rules)
Alegis Downport Blog (Spacefarers Rules)


Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction

My Collection

I’ve been a big fan of the range since they were first released. We used to use them when playing Traveller with the old Judges Guild starship deck plans. They then sat in a box for decades before I started topping up the range with eBay purchases, some generously gifted by my good friend Gary Philips and an excellent Dark Disciple jet scooter rider courtesy of David Wood.

I don’t own the whole range, the gaps mainly being the vehicles and some of the robots but a couple of months of focussed painting means that I finally am able to share painted versions of most of this fantastic range. Some of them have had to be repaired, gun barrels in particular being quite fragile. So observant collectors may occasionally spot some weapons that aren’t quite the same as the original sculpts.

S1 Star Patrolman with Laser Pistol

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

S1 Star Patrolman with Laser Pistol Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction
S1 Star Patrolman with Laser Pistol Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction

S2 Star Patrolman on Jet Cycle

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

S3 Star Marshal with Laser Rifle

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S3 Star Marshal with Laser Rifle
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S3 Star Marshal with Laser Rifle

S4 Star Ranger with Autolaser

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S4 Star Ranger with Autolaser
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S4 Star Ranger with Autolaser

S5 Bounty Hunter with Bolt Rifle

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S5 Bounty Hunter with Bolt Rifle
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S5 Bounty Hunter with Bolt Rifle

S6 Planetary Citizen

((Sculptor: Michael Perry))

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S6 Planetary Citizen
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S6 Planetary Citizen

S7 Female Planetary Citizen

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S7 Female Planetary Citizen
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S7 Female Planetary Citizen

S8 Adventurer with Machine Pistol & Power Glove

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S8 Adventurer with Machine Pistol & Power Glove
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S8 Adventurer with Machine Pistol & Power Glove

S9 Adventurer with Autolaser and Force Sword

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S9 Adventurer with Autolaser and Force Sword
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S9 Adventurer with Autolaser and Force Sword

S10 Adventurer on Jet Cycle

S11 Adventuress with Laser Pistol

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S11 Adventuress with Laser Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S11 Adventuress with Laser Pistol

S12 Adventuress on Jet Cycle

In the painting queue

S13 Star Lane Pirate with Machine Pistol

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S13 Star Lane Pirate with Machine Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S13 Star Lane Pirate with Machine Pistol

S14 Star Lane Pirate with Laser Pistol

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S14 Star Lane Pirate with Laser Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S14 Star Lane Pirate with Laser Pistol

S15 Star Lane Pirate with Bolt Gun

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S15 Star Lane Pirate with Bolt Gun
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S15 Star Lane Pirate with Bolt Gun

S16 Star Lane Pirate on Jet Cycle

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

S17 Star Lane Pirate Girl with Laser Pistol

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S17 Star Lane Pirate Girl with Laser Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S17 Star Lane Pirate Girl with Laser Pistol

S18 Star Lane Pirate Girl on Jet Cycle

S19 Street Rebel with Machine Pistol

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S19 Street Rebel with Machine Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S19 Street Rebel with Machine Pistol

S20 Street Rebel on Jet Cycle

S21 Interplanetary Scout with Bolt Gun

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S21 Interplanetary Scout with Bolt Gun
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S21 Interplanetary Scout with Bolt Gun

S22 Interplanetary Merchant

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S22 Interplanetary Merchant
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S22 Interplanetary Merchant

S23 Supreme Lord of the Dark Disciples

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S23 Supreme Lord of the Dark Disciples
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S23 Supreme Lord of the Dark Disciples

S24 Dark Disciple with Machine Pistol

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S24 Dark Disciple with Machine Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S24 Dark Disciple with Machine Pistol

S25 Dark Disciple crouching with Bolt Rifle

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S25 Dark Disciple crouching with Bolt Rifle
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S25 Dark Disciple crouching with Bolt Rifle

S26 Dark Disciple with Portable Missile Launcher

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S26 Dark Disciple with Portable Missile Launcher
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S26 Dark Disciple with Portable Missile Launcher

S27 Dark Disciple in Power Armour with Heavy Bolt Rifle

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S27 Dark Disciple in Power Armour with Heavy Bolt Rifle
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction  S27 Dark Disciple in Power Armour with Heavy Bolt Rifle

S28 Dark Disciple Follower on Jump Scooter

S29 Dark Disciple Monk with Bolt Gun

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S29 Dark Disciple Monk with Bolt Gun
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S29 Dark Disciple Monk with Bolt Gun

S30 Dark Disciple Fanatic with Bolt Gun and Power Glove

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S30 Dark Disciple Fanatic with Bolt Gun and Power Glove
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S30 Dark Disciple Fanatic with Bolt Gun and Power Glove

S31 Fanatic Disciple Priest with Bolt Gun and Hand Flamer

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S31 Fanatic Disciple Priest with Bolt Gun and Hand Flamer
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S31 Fanatic Disciple Priest with Bolt Gun and Hand Flamer

S32 Emperor of the Imperialists

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S32 Emperor of the Imperialists
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S32 Emperor of the Imperialists

S33 Imperial Marine with Laser Rifle

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S33 Imperial Marine with Laser Rifle
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S33 Imperial Marine with Laser Rifle

S34 Imperial Marine with Needle Rifle

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S34 Imperial Marine with Needle Rifle
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S34 Imperial Marine with Needle Rifle

S35 Imperial Marine with Conversion Beam Projector

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S35 Imperial Marine with Conversion Beam Projector
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S35 Imperial Marine with Conversion Beam Projector

S36 Imperial Marine in Power Armour with Autolaser

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S36 Imperial Marine in Power Armour with Autolaser
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S36 Imperial Marine in Power Armour with Autolaser

S37 Imperial Marine on Jump Scooter

S38 Imperial Marine Officer with Laser Pistol

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S38 Imperial Marine Officer with Laser Pistol
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S38 Imperial Marine Officer with Laser Pistol

S39 Imperial Invincible Trooper with Autolaser

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S39 Imperial Invincible Trooper with Autolaser
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S39 Imperial Invincible Trooper with Autolaser

S40 Imperial Invincible Captain with Needle Gun and Force Sword

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S40 Imperial Invincible Captain with Needle Gun and Force Sword
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S40 Imperial Invincible Captain with Needle Gun and Force Sword

S41 Robot Fighting Machine

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

In the painting queue

S42 Security Robot

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S42 Security Robot
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S42 Security Robot

S43 Battle Droid

(Sculptor: Alan Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S43 Battle Droid
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S43 Battle Droid

S44 Giant Android Law Enforcer

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S44 Giant Android Law Enforcer
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S44 Giant Android Law Enforcer

S45 Cyborg Assassin

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S45 Cyborg Assassin
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S45 Cyborg Assassin

S46 Armoured Hovercar with Crew

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

S47 Spacefarer’s Jet Packs

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

In the painting queue

S48 Spacefarers’s Weapons

(Sculptor: Michael Perry)

In the painting queue

S49 ‘Big Brother’ Armoured Security Vehicle with Crew

S50 Six Gun Attack Droid

In the painting queue

S51 Street Rebel on ‘Chopper’ Jet Cycle

S52 Robo-reconnaissance Droid

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S52 Robo-reconnaissance Droid
Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction S52 Robo-reconnaissance Droid

S53 Giant Robot Sentinel

(Sculptor: Tony Ackland)

WANTED!

Citadel Spacefarers 25mm vintage science fiction
Goat Major Written by:

8 Comments

  1. Richard Seward
    February 3, 2022
    Reply

    Really enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I had a few of these – uncertain if they are with the rest of my old metal figures in the loft. (Sadly the Laserburn and Spacefarer rules are long gone.) Thanks so much for posting this.

  2. February 3, 2022
    Reply

    This has been an outstanding project and a pleasure to follow the progress. You’ve done some classic figures proud. And good to get some history as well.

  3. Charlotte Gräfin von Blumenthal
    February 4, 2022
    Reply

    Wonderful post and painting!
    Look forward to seeing these in action!

  4. February 7, 2022
    Reply

    Great post. I’ll keep and eye out for those you still need.

      • February 9, 2022
        Reply

        Found you a S28 Dark Disciple Follower on Jump Scooter and a S51 Street Rebel on ‘Chopper’ Jet Cycle – only the riders though, no bikes.

  5. […] **Update May 2022** – the GÖATERDÄMMERUNG blog has an excellent article describing some history and images of painted Spacefarers over at How to Paint and Collect Citadel Spacefarers Miniatures. […]

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