Dropfleet Commander is a game I have been really excited about for a long time (since I first heard about it a few years back), and one that I just had to get. I backed the kickstarter for it big time, and while there were several MAJOR issues with the kickstarter and everything is not sorted out still (How hard is it to email back to people and sort out missing items....) the game and the figures are very good. I just wish that Hawk Wargames put even 10% as much effort into actually communicating to people and fixing issues as they put into the game and figs to start with. I don't they realize that no matter how good something is, if they piss everyone off, no one will support it!
Anyway, rant mode off, Hawk Wargames in general is very good at making unique items and cool rules, and almost entirely done by one guy!
So, onto the models....
Wow... (not for my paint job, which is basic as hell, but for the models) Ever since I first saw these UCM ships I wanted them. To me they look like a cross between a B5 and Battlestar Galactica type aesthetic. Making them look completely real and believable as human space craft in my mind.
I have been struggling with these models since the challenge started. Not because I didn't know how to paint them, but because I couldn't figure out how to get a look I liked for an effort per ship that I was ok with. One of the ships above has been re-painted 4 times.... The first time I got 1/4 of the way done and it had taken almost 3 hours, too much time when you have about 30 ships to do! The second time, it looked too chalky, the was too long again, then finally I decided to go with something purely for gaming, and not worry too much about it being amazing (which is what I wanted, but was trying to get paint time to less than 2 hours per big ship).
This final scheme / method is fast and has a high visibility on the table, but kinda falls apart up close. At tabletop distances though it looks really good, and paints fast enough that I will not get pissed off with all the time it would take to do it a super detailed way and stop painting them!
In the end the paint method was airbrush the ships black, then fade in lighter grey over the whole top of the ship at an angle to pick up some detail, than fade in a light grey along the edge of the top to provide some contrast. I then gloss coated the whole ship and let it dry. I then mixed some black artist oil paint with a lot white spirits to make a thin pin wash. Done this way you just touch a panel line and it literally runs through the whole line. I let this dry and then pulled out a secret weapon tool that Greg showed me about 2 years ago....
|Gaianotes.com g-06 finish master|
Anyway, once all the panel lines were all done, it was time to edge highlight the outer panels, and then paint in some accent panels. Lastly, I painted all the little close defense guns on the ships and the engines silver, and then washed them with an armour wash, and called them done.
While the ships did not turn out as the show pieces I had set out to paint them as (I had visions of doing them as show type pieces, silly me), they did turn out pretty nicely and in a time per ship I am happy with. I still have about 8 capital ships and 16+ frigates to do for my UCM forces so doing anything super detailed would take too long. These 10 ships done in this method (once I figured it out) took less than 8 hours (and I think less than 6), which I can deal with.
Lovely work Byron. These are terrific looking spaceships.
I'm constantly amazed at the amount of technical 'stuff' that you guys do with your vehicles, but the results speak for themselves. That Q-Tip thingy looks very cool and gives a great effect.
The high-contrast between the grey and white on the ships is both very striking and I can see how they would be distinctive on the tabletop as well.
So, Byron, what is the fleet that opposes this one? Are they already done or will we get to see them this Challenge?
Great work Mr. M!