Being out of the country for a few weeks put a halt on the slow grind of painting progress, but I’ve been busily catching up and nearly reached the end of the model queue. Still have a few to go, but nearly complete for the first time in what must be years. Of course, there’s still a big pile of terrain to do, but that’s a different mental category, so I can pat myself on the back comfortably regardless.

First to discuss: the new bases. I had just enough of the old small bases to get the cutters and lighters as seen above on the old style to remain consistent with the rest of the Resistance fleet, but had none left for the civilian ships. And so with trepidation, I dragged these frosty pucks out to see what could be done.

After a little work, they’re actually not as bad as first impressions gave. It seems they don’t bother giving them a wipe down after the cutting, as a good deal of the aforementioned frosting is just residue from the manufacturing process that comes off easily enough. To make the lines a bit more visible, I took black paint, and thinned it with both glaze medium and a bit of water. Roughly applied it into the grooves, gave it a minute to dry a little, then the excess was easily wiped off by hand. Brighter colors might be worth experimenting with rather than black, too.

The cuts are a bit rough; they need to decrease their step size (not 100% on the terminology of laser cutters) or something of the sort on the outer edge in particular. It’s smooth enough to the touch but you can see the imperfections on the edge quite clearly.

I think clear bases actually work better for flying/space/etc. miniatures, and so that is an improvement from the old bases in my opinion. Contrary to popular opinion, I found the bases worked well for tracking signature/orbital level, and so losing that functionality is a downside. The hull point tracking was never attainable by human hands though, of course.

Spent a few minutes thinking of reasonable color schemes, and decided fuck it, copy the ‘official’ ones!

Casting wise, these were mostly fine, with two notable issues. Firstly, there was significant gap filling between the prow and aft bits of the rightmost ship which was a bit of a pain and I didn’t end up getting quite right. Secondly, the thruster on the bottom of the left ship was connected by such a thin slice of resin that it would rock back and forth across the joint to the touch, and so I had to reinforce that section with some glue to get it rigid.

The thing that gave me the most consternation was the thrusters on the industrial ship. The set of three engines come as separate pieces that have to be glued on, and the thruster section has a small pyramidal tab on it. This makes sense; it’s a small piece, and that would provide much needed stability and alignment. The other two ships both had similar tabs and slots for their small bits.

Except the body has no matching slot for those tabs! I spent far too long trying to figure out if I was missing something, but no, it’s just two flat sections of a square mm each that you need to glue it to, and it’s only possible to do so by cutting off the tab and doing your best to line up two tiny flat squares with glue.

Despite the issues, scenario-related pieces like these are the sort of thing I like seeing most. The civilian ship scenarios are my favorite, as they provide a change from the standard sector control without resorting to a boring kill fest due to still requiring drop-capable ships.

Decided to pick up a Pungari pal so each of the Dropzone armies could have their mascot. The only issue being I’m not 100% on the paint recipe for the skin! I believe it was a thick drybrush of Vallejo Ghost grey over black primer, a coat of Citadel Dreadful Visage contrast paint, then a layering of Vallejo Glacier Blue and a final highlighting with white. If for whatever reason I ever have another Pungari model I’ll have to hope for the best that it matches.

I consider this model a lesson in carefully considering the differences between base and accent colors. All my PHR have had the tan as accents, and so I decided to try mixing it up and having the core of the model being tan. I can’t be bothered to repaint, but I don’t really think it works at all; it’s too close to skin-tone, and almost looks like a nude torso with a blue hat and sleeves in my mind. I also tried a new approach to the thrusters that I think is a tad too yellow.

In any case, went with the Sarpedon over the other two variants as it looked the most visually distinct of the three, and rules-wise the Minos is my favorite battleship in the game, and that covers the close up/neutron missile niche. Additionally, the Rhadamanthus commits a horrific sin:

The missile array should cover up half the broadside guns, but it actually leaves one of them blocked by the array, but still able to be seen from the back! I’m not sure if they weren’t able to get a design that worked, didn’t notice, or didn’t care, but I rather hate this.

On another note:

I thought the under-slung lasers would be angled as such, but after getting my hands on the model, no, they slot in (albeit a very tight fit) and face forward parallel to the ground… wait! Zoom in! Enhance!

Yeah, they left the blu-tack used to keep it variant switchable for the photos exposed due to the gun drooping. This isn’t a horrendous crime or anything of the sort, but it’s rather silly they went with this photo for the front of the box.

I’ve been unsure about expanding out and getting Shaltari for Dropfleet Commander to go along with the ground forces. The models are fine, and there’s nothing I really dislike in there, but only a few stand out as particularly interesting to me. I decided to grab the Thresher as a bit of a test case, and I’m still unsure after doing it! The more I look at it, the more I conclude I really need to up the amount of bright contrasting red and white dots on the various gribbly bits. Am I ready for that level of commitment? Probably not.

In terms of Dropzone Shaltari, however, I added on some of the variant Aaru Ronin. Conceptually, I prefer the idea of small walkers versus large infantry. They’re roughly the same height as unit+base of the standard model, but have a larger footprint. I wouldn’t want to make a squad of the same loadout with mixed variants, but having each variant being their own design is satisfying and useful for visual distinction on the table as well. The new design also gets points for being far more posable.

Also completed the heavy grav tank collection with the two proper combat variants. These are both old Hawk blisters I picked up second hand, so what’s worth noting is that the left is actually a Warchief Isis model, not a modern Crocodile. The Caiman also differs in the side weapons:

The Isis/Gharial have Neutron Launchers, and the Caiman has Laser Pods. However, as near as I can tell from the store photos, the current Caiman/Gharial only comes with the bits for the launchers, despite the weapon differentiation existing in the rules still!

The other model I bought alongside the two grav tanks was a Hawk Salakhan. I honestly didn’t ‘need’ this for the sake of completing a collection or anything, but it does allow me to do an Alexander + Napoleon list if I wanted to. More importantly, the model has some nice flavor to it in the aggressive spikes, heavy metal paneling, etc., so it was fun to do up.

Alongside the Isis and Salakhan came their command cards from the 1.0 Dropzone Commander rules. I don’t have a complete set of all the famous commander cards, nor do I desire them, but I think for posterity’s sake and curiosity, uploading what I do have could be of interest to someone at some point.

Jocasta Caine and Marcus Barros:

Isis the Clairvoyant:


The Jungle Devil, The Cavebreaker, and Eden’s Dinosaur:

Almost complete Resistance fleet now! All I’m lacking is a Phalanx (maybe getting it? eh), Baleares (really dislike the hammerhead bit, unlikely ever getting them), and one of the new battleship variants (tempting, but hard to justify buying just yet).

And lastly, a Lokheira. Wanted this to be even more active in the pose, with the rear end raised to a sharper angle, but unfortunately the leg design only allows an angle about as high as seen here, which isn’t too drastic.