It’s been really slow around here. I’ve been sick, in a bit of a painting procrastination phase and just generally being way to quiet. However, things have finally started moving again. I’ve got a couple of painted miniatures to varnish and photograph, but before that I’m going to do a quick post on some assembly and magnetisation I’ve done for Dropfleet Commander.
Dropfleet is Hawk Wargames’ new game and it stays in the Dropzone universe. However, now the battles are in space between massive space craft. Hawk used a Kickstarter to generate funds for this new game. There’s the usual retailer vs Kickstarter prioritisation issues and associated nerd rage, but I’ll leave you to trawl through internet forums, the KickStarter page and Facebook if that interests you and talk about the models. Pledges are just starting to arrive, and parts of my pledge were one of the lucky ones that’s already been delivered. I’m waiting until more arrive to paint them, but I’ve been looking through the instructions and parts for the Scourge Cruiser sprue and have put one together with some magnetisation. In today’s post I’m going to put together my thoughts and show all you good people how I’m magnetising them.
Hawk have gone the route of a single sprue making a raft of different variants by mixing and matching parts. The Scourge Cruiser sprue makes 9 different models. They all share a common core hull, but have different options added on that make the different models. I’ve deviated from the way the instructions describe the variants, and indeed how I’ve magnetised things is different from order in the instructions.
The core is made up of parts 1-8 and I’ve glued all of these together. You could make it so the inner wings (parts 7 & 8) could move around, but I chose to glue them into position. From this core you then add components to 4 areas:
- The rear “wings”: full wings, winglets or launch pod.
- The front “mouth”: nothing, Oculus Cannons, Plasma cannons or Furnace Cannons.
- The “crown” above the mouth: nothing or the crown.
- The “belly”, below the mouth: nothing or the belly launcher.
The most options are present with the rear wings and the mouth: 3 wing options and 4 mouth options. In fact the crown and the belly only have one option. Most models have neither. However the two Heavy Cruisers have a crown, and the Troopship the belly. I’ve summarised the different options in the table below.
|Model||Class||Wing Option||Mouth Option||Crown||Belly|
|Sphinx||Cruiser||Full Wings||Oculus Beams||No||No|
|Ifrit||Cruiser||Full Wings||Furnace Cannons||No||No|
|Wyvern||Cruiser||Full Wings||Plasma Cannons||No||No|
|Yokai||Light Cruiser||Winglets||Oculus Beams||No||No|
|Strix||Light Cruiser||Winglets||Plasma Cannons||No||No|
|Hydra||Fleet Carrier||Launch Pods||None||No||No|
|Shenlong||Heavy Cruiser||Full Wings||Oculus Beams||Yes||No|
|Raiju||Heavy Cruiser||Full Wings||Furnace Cannons||Yes||No|
The obvious option from the above is to make the mouth as the front of the ship interchangeable. However, I’ve got no idea how you would do this: there is no where I can see that you could install the magnets and have the fit look good. In fact it takes a bit of messing around just to get a good fit when gluing (see the image to the right for the Oculus Beams attached to the head – sorry for the quality it was a quick snap on my work desk). The crown is also another good choice from the model spread. However, it’s also very difficult to magnetise. The two options that look relatively straight forward are the wings and the belly.
Long story short the magnetisation options aren’t great. But I’ve decided to press ahead anyway and I’ve done the work to make both the Sphinx and the Yokai (and if I can sort out how to magnetise the crown it will also be the Shenlong). The other options I can see are the core with the Plasma Cannons for the Wyvern and Strix, or the core with no mouth for the Chimera and the Hydra.
The first image is of the base model I’ve chosen which is the core model with the Oculus Beams (pieces 13-16) attached to the mouth. I drilled two 2mm holes in the impressions where the wings go and glued in tiny cylindrical magnets (2mm diameter and 1mm high). You have to be careful here as it is very easy to punch out the back when you’re drilling as the depression doesn’t exactly line up with the tab out the back that slots into the main body. If you look carefully at this image you’ll just see the shiny magnet in the hole.
Next I took the two options: the little winglets and the large full wings and added some magnets to these. While I mostly drilled these holes there was a fair bit of cutting involved as well. The tabs are each just under 2mm wide – so the 2mm hole takes up the entire tab. Rather than a hole you are cutting a slot out of the tab to insert the magnet into. It’s a bit fiddly, but not too hard. As always with magnets the hardest thing is making sure you get the polarity right. I mark one side with black permanent marker (you’ll see some black stains on pieces where the super glue dissolves it), but just be careful as nothing is more annoying that having to remove a stubbornly stuck magnet that’s not the right way in.
It’s fiddly and irritating, but once you’re done you’ve now got a cruiser and it’s lighter brother as options.
If anyone has ideas on how to attach the Heavy Cruisers’ crown I’d be interested to hear them as it would make give the one I built a 3rd option. As it is the Ifrit, Raiju and Shenlong would each be dedicated models, which would be a little disappointing as you would need 6 different cruiser spruces. While making the crown optional reduces that to 4 (one for each mouth option).