Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Studio Bergstrom's Britannia-class battlecruiser for Full Thrust

Just a quick post highlighting a recent purchase from Studio Bergstrom's Galactic Patrol range, inspired by the 1984 Lensmen anime.  This is the Britannia-class battlecruiser, the "hero ship" of the movie.

 
The model is about 3" long, cast in two pieces, the main hull and  asmaller engine cap at the rear that fits snugly and smoothly in place.  Quite a durable design despite all the little fins.

 
The overall sculpting style reminds me of the Battlespace/Aerotech range from Iron Wind Metals, mostly due to the fins and hull detailing.

 
I've stuck with a fairly plain color scheme to honor the original inspiration, but you could obviously go wild with picking out all those small panels and details in different colors, striping the fins, etc.

 
In Full Thrust terms I'd rate her as a fair-sized battlecruiser.  The anime (unlike the books) doesn't give the Britannia her signature experimental weapon, nor does she appear to be particularly undergunned for conventional combat.  The stats below use the playtest rules for the UNSC, including grasers and three-row hulls.  See here for details:  http://star-ranger.com/UNSCpreview.htm

 

Britannia-class Battlecruiser
Mass 104
NPV 394 / CPV 398
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
3 Fire Control Systems qqq
3 Point Defense Systems qqq
4 Graser-1 (360 degree arcs) qqqq
1 Pulse Torpedo (180 degree front arc) q
30 Hull
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
 
Galactic Patrol battlecruisers are built for close-range fighting, using their high thrust to close rapidly at odd angles before lighting up their targets with massed fire from their broad-arc graser turrets.  They also carry a pulse torpedo launcher for added damage output and a bit of sniping potential.  If you want to experiment with some tech-sloshing, you could trade out the pulse torp for a Phalon plasma bolt launcher and an extra PDS mount.  Personally I think it's a more interesting design, but it breaks a whole bunch of Full Thrust's rules, loosely defined as they generally are.  For balance you might want to declare the ship's screens to be inactive on any turn it actually launches a bolt.
Britannia-class Battlecruiser (Bolt Variant)
Mass 104
NPV 394 / CPV 398
Thrust 6  q 3 q
FTL q
Screen-1 q
3 Fire Control Systems qqq
3 Point Defense Systems qqqq
4 Graser-1 (360 degree arcs) qqqq
1 Plasma Bolt Launcher-1 (180 degree front arc) q
30 Hull
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
qqqqpqqqqp
 
The Britannia miniature is available from Studio Bergstrom here:   https://studiobergstrom.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=92
The painted miniature in the photos is currently on ebay here:   http://www.ebay.com/itm/282586686740?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
 

 

 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dropfleet Commander Space Sation sprues & parts guides

There don't seem to be many images of these online, so here are images of the parts guide/assembly instructions (more like "vague suggestions" really) from the Dropfleet Commander space station kit.


 
The box set comes with the guide sheet and two frames worth of the elaborate Dropfleet Commander bases, including their required labels, tracking pegs, flight posts, and widgets.  There are six 50mm bases and eight 35mm ones, although any of them will work reasonably well for any size station.  That's probably enough to give you a couple of spares even if you really stretch your parts out over smaller builds.  You can easily get eight to ten good-sized builds out of one box, and twelve is not a huge stretch.  This is what I built out of my first box, with only a few bits left over for future projects.
 
 
There are also four identical frames of actual model parts, which you can see photographed from both sides below.
 

 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dropfleet Commander Space Station Builds - A Gallery

Hawk Wargames' Space Station boxed set may be the best starship gaming product I've ever encountered.  It was made as part of the Dropfleet Commander launch Kickstarter, but it has uses in virtually any space combat gaming rules set and beyond.  Not so much a kit as a very deep toolbox for putting together an infinite number of variant buildups, it's got unmatched modularity and can easily be integrated with leftover parts from their other kits for even more utility.  I'm going to be posting images of painted buildups as I finish them, so this post will be getting updated from time to time.  It's also likely to get rather image-intensive, so my apologies to anyone who has problems with that.
 
Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the builds I've completed so far:
 













 















 
 
 



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dropfleet Commander Lemuria-class Battlecruiser Custom Conversion

While experimenting with battlecruiser designs the UCM initially developed the Atlantis as a testbed platform that used many shared components with the lighter crusier classes.  Following her successful deployment, High Command proceeded with the mass construction of the Johannesburg class which used a spaceframe built from the ground up.  Officially this was an economy measure, the purpose-built battlecruiser hull being "far cheaper to produce and easier to maintain" than the earlier Atlantis design.



But that's not the whole truth.


What isn't widely known is the fact that the naval architects of the Atlantis project insisted that they could develop a refined version of their earlier project that would be no more expensive and far more efficient to produce.  Furthermore, by using as much existing equipment as possible the new ships could be put into production almost immediately.  By comparison the shipyard retooling required would result in a delay of at least half  a year before the first Johannesburgs were completed while also reducing the production of standard, light, and heavy cruiser hulls.



The new class, designated "Lemuria" by her designers, would share major structural components with the proven Moscow and Seattle designs.  Major modifications to the internal bracing and armor plating upped durability even further from the already-tough Moscow hull, but the biggest changes were found in her reactor cores.  These were modified to run on at a sustained 115% of their original rated load, with maximum emergency output as high as 150%.  To achieve this the designers added  massive array of armored coolant/radiator stacks to the rear hull, giving the Lemuria a unique and distinctive silhouette.  Other external changes included the addition of light railgun turrets above the "wing" hanger decks and modified prow wave guide/sensor arrays that made better use of her increased power reserves.


So, why didn't the Lemuria go into production?  UCM High Command rejected the design outright.  They claim computer modeling showed the class would be unacceptably vulnerable to severe damage, with the overloaded power systems likely to explosive failure.  The design staff insists their own results showed otherwise and the vessels would have been no more fragile than the Johannesburg (with all her new technology) has proven to be.   Some have even claimed political motivations behind the choice to go with Johannesburg class over the Lemuria, and some of the politicians involved have since come under suspicion of being involved with the PHR.  The full truth may never be known.


Or maybe Hawk would just rather sell resin models?  :)


The Lemuria is a proxy design for those who don't have an Atlantis and who don't want to wait for the Johannesburg release.  It's a fairly obvious kitbash, essentially a standard Moscow build with Seattle wings subbed in and standard wing turrets added.  I've added some parts (the cooling stacks and prow spines) from the Hawk space station kit to make the model more unique, but a more minimalist kitbash could be done with nothing but parts from the cruiser sprues.