Two modelers modify the AoG Omega mini .

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Modifying the Omega Class

Editor's Note: Yes, we know the ships depicted below are really Advanced Omega Class ships, not Warlocks. The modelers called them Warlocks, however, so that's the title we chose to use.

By Matt Mckendrick and Terry Miesle

In this review, two modelers tell us how they modified the AoG Omega-class mini to represent Earth Force's baddest destroyers.

Warlock-class Destroyer
by Matt Mckendrick © 1999.

This Warlock Class Destroyer is nothing more than the Omega with the addition of "spider legs" and an interesting paint-job. It is a white metal (lead) miniature purchased for around 10-12 dollars. This model presented all of the usual problems experienced with lead miniatures, but overall, it was a great deal of fun to create. The creation of this model basically followed the same procedure as the Omega.


The keys to putting this model together are a sharp exacto knife, a magnifying glass, Band-Aids, and a whole lot of gap-filling adhesive (super-glue gel), and patience. As with all of the B5 Wars lead miniatures that I have put together, the parts never really align and fit properly without grinding away at them with a file or carving out problem areas with the exacto knife. I opted for the non-rotating, 2-stand construction of this model because of this fact. After I had cut away as much of the parts as I dared, I proceeded to assemble the sections using gap-filling adhesive to eliminate the seams and unsightly holes. Probably the most frustrating task in the assembly stage was trying to cut the particle beam cannons off of the sprews. It was fortunate that AoG supplied extra, because I lost and/or messed up 2 or 3 of them. (They're about the size of a sand grain).

Click on each picture for a (much) larger view. Warning - these are BIG files!


^Bow-on view, showing spines and hangar to good effect.


^Top view.

[Top rear]

Spider Legs:

The legs are the most distinctive feature of Shadow vessels. The Warlock, having been designed using Shadow technology, naturally took on this feature as well. Creating these legs from scratch was not as difficult as it may seem. I used the discarded plastic sprews from countless Star Trek models for this task. Using a candle, I took several lengths of sprew, and applied the flame about mid way, being careful not to let the plastic ignite before it became pliable. When the sprew became soft, I slowly pulled it apart like taffy, being careful not to let it come apart, and then forming it over a 1" pipe. I repeated this process on about 40 sprews so that I could get 16 I was happy with. Then using the knife, I cut off the best looking pieces that would become the "legs". I cut four 1" pieces for the rear legs, 6 1/4" pieces for the mid-section, 2 thicker 3/8" pieces for the lower front, and 4 thinner 3/4" pieces for the front. The 1" pipe provided the curvature necessary to make a menacing looking appendage. I glued the 4 larger legs to each corner of the rear section (the fat part) with the legs facing forward. The 6 small pieces were glued along the sides facing forward. The 2 thicker 3/8" pieces are glued on the sides of the front lower section almost all of the way down facing aft. Finally, the 4 thinner 3/4" pieces were glued to the front. One on each side of the front section just above the laser cannons facing forward and slightly downward and 2 glued directly above the hanger facing forward and slightly downward about 30 degrees apart from each other. Thicker legs should have a diameter of no greater than 1/8" tapering down. The thinner legs should have a diameter of no greater than 1/16" tapering down.

The locations, lengths, thickness', and orientations of these legs are my best guess from careful review of the episode involving President Clark's Elite Omega Destroyers. It is very much subject to interpretation. All of the renderings and pictures I have found on the net have been inaccurate in one way or another, so there are no definitive guides out there. I think that as long as the basic elements are there, the effect will be successful and no one would be the wiser.


Duplicating the look of the Shadow hull was difficult, at least for me. The pictures that I have seen depict a moving gray webbing over a black surface. On review of several episodes, I have found that it is almost better to leave the whole thing black and be done with it, but I believe the webbing effect makes for a more interesting model and captures the "organic" and random appearance that we have come to expect from the Shadows. After applying 2 or 3 coats of flat black with the airbrush and letting that dry, I began the daunting task of creating the webbing. I used the smallest brush in my arsenal (10-0) and flat gray paint. I began to make randomly connected polygons all over the surface. I attempted to keep my lines as thin as possible to allow as much black to show as I could. 2 days later, I had the webbing completed. Fortunately for me, the randomness of the webbing made my amateur painting skills look intentional and appropriate. After applying flat dark red to the hanger, gun ports, and the insides of the thrusters, I applied lots of Gloss Cote.

This is my favorite ship in the B5 universe. Menacing, tough, and technologically advanced, yet recognizable as the typical Earth ship designed like a dumpster.

Click on each picture for a (much) larger view. Warning - these are BIG files!

[Beauty shot]


[Port side]



^ Comparison with the unmodified Omega (bottom).

Advanced Technology Destroyer
by Terry Miesle © 1999.

One of the most speculated about and mysterious ships in the Babylon 5 universe is the EarthForce Advanced Technology Omega Destroyer. This is an Omega Destroyer which has been hybridized with Shadow technology. The result is a black "dog nose" skin covering the entire vessel, and numerous spines protruding from various parts. It would seem the secondary pulse cannon turrets have been replaced with a form of the "Ginzu Beam" shadow vessel weapon but the ships lack the advanced, nearly invincible Shadow targeting capability.

This is one of the most difficult vessels to research. The images on the screen are dark and move quickly. I spent a good amount of time crawling around the web trying to find good vidcaps or renderings which matched what I saw on the screen, but was not rewarded with any good results. I took out the videotape and began advancing frame-by-frame to develop sketches.


The assembly is identical to that of the Agents Of Gaming (AOG) Omega Destroyer miniature, which serves as the base for this conversion. The hanger bay and engines were deepened with a burr bit on my Dremel tool.


Painting this type of texture is a challenge. The scale of the AOG minis are small enough that real texture is ignored, but the suggestion of a mottling effect is needed. I began by painting the entire mini with Testors Acryl (TA) Flat Black. After sealing this with Gunze-Sangyo (GS) Flat Clear, I lightly stippled the surface with Testors Model Master (TMM) Blue Angel Blue. This coat is very light and translucent, and gives a mottled bluish black look. This was followed with a stippling of lightened TMM Blue Angel Blue. A little bit of drybrushing with this shade was done to highlight the details, not much - the ships really aren't blue. After this, a faint stippling of TMM Steel was applied to provide a glistening appearance.

After all that, some details were picked out. TMM Gunmetal was used on some of the instrumentation in the bow. Flat black was applied in the hanger bay and a couple other places. The framing detail was painted on with TMM Steel, in the same pattern I used for my Omega mini. The engines were finished in the same manner as the Omega, with a TMM Chrome base coat, sealed, and topcoated with TMM Arctic Blue Metallic and Burgundy Metallic. A bit of TMM Chrome drybrushing helped the details here and there. I used Tamiya Flat Red for the lifeboats (I think, or maybe missile silos) on the hull sides.


After I had painted the mini, I began to add spines. All the spines are made from stretched sprue sanded to points and bent into shape. This is a fair amount of work, but once I figured out to cut the spines so they sit at the correct angle, the fit wasn't a big problem. This stage was composed as much of watching the episode frame-by-frame as constructing the pieces.

I also added the numerous antennae on the bow section, including those sticking out of the hanger bay. This is something I had wanted to do on the Omega, but never got around to. The spines and antennae are all attached with superglue. This makes them a bit vulnerable, as I didn't drill any holes to mount them.

After the spines were affixed, I painted them flat black, and speckled them with Steel paint. The pictures make this contrast look a too great, in reality the effect is more subdued.


I will attach the model to a slab of plastic, which will allow it to be fitted into an acrylic case. This is vital, as the spines would surely snap off when transported without substantial protection. This was not done at the time of photography.

This isn't as hard a conversion as it might seem. It is fine, small work to make these spines, and steady hands are needed, but by all means try it! Now I have something really menacing in my fleet. I really should make some Shadow vessels someday...

General Notes Part I: Minbari Capital Ships
Part II: Narn Capital Ships Part III Earth Alliance Capital Ships
Part IV: All Races Fighters Part V: Centauri Capital Ships

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Last updated on 30 November 1999.