Honestly, if it was just the game that appealed I'd likely have passed, opting for something less expensive. However, the ability to give it some extra zing, and a personal touch, by painting up the ships sung to me. It's too good an opportunity to pass up.
NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered the game from Amazon and the first shipment came with several of the cards busted out of their wrapping and scattered throughout the box, with three ships snapped off their Clix stands. They're pretty easily fixable with some super-glue, but I also noted some of the nacelles on various ships were put on haphazardly, not lining up, etc. I went ahead and filed a return with Amazon and they next-day shipped me a second box. The second box had the same problem with the cards, but only one ship had snapped clean off its base. Between the two boxes I was able to pick-and-choose to get the best looking fleets I possibly could. I'm not sure how much of the breakage is WizKids fault, and how much is Amazon's fault for only padding the box on one side, but I hear WizKids' replacement policy is pretty good re: broken ships. If I had had the time to wait for replacements, I'd have tested that route out. /NOTE
I started painting Nov. 6 with base-coats and washes, and finished painting the last detail on the 24th ship on Nov. 10. There's a few things I'll do differently if I get another chance, (some color choices and order of techniques) but I'm pretty happy with the results. Oh, you want to see them? Coming right up! (All clickable to larger versions.)
The Federation ships were a pain-in-the-ass to paint. Not because of any fault of the models, but because I was trying to make sure they resembled their on-screen counterparts. When I started the Klingon ships I stopped looking at reference pictures and just did whatever I felt like. Subsequently, I had far more fun with them. The lighting conditions for the Klingon pics doesn't work as well as it did for the Federation, but I think clicking to the larger images give a pretty good idea of the patterns and detailing used.
I had an absolute blast painting these up, and I think they'll look great on the table with the rest of the game's paraphernalia. I enjoyed it so much I'm actively wanting my own set to paint up (as well as the inevitable Romulan expansion), but that'll wait for another day. Right now, I need to pack these up so they can go to their new owner...
The recipient lives out of town and his flight out leaves just a few hours after he'll get the game, so squeezing a play in is highly unlikely. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. I can only hope he brings it back next year when he comes to visit!