Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Dropfleet Commander Kitbashing: Using Up Some Leftovers

Dropfleet Commander released three year ago back in 2016.  I didn't back the Kickstarter but after fulfillment was done there was quite a lot of it for sale very, very cheap on ebay.  Some was obviously from backers dumping stuff they didn't want, some was etailers who'd backed jut to flip the stuff fast, and (once normal distribution started) there were several stores doing scratch-and-dent sales as UPS beat up their stock orders in transit.  I wasn't real sure about the game but I'd seen previews of the minis and decided they'd make good grist for the paint-and-resell machine.
 
So I went long on the game.
 
 
Really long.  At one point I had five more boxes of PHR starters I sold off without opening.

 
It was early days, pre-corvette release, so not much variety, just lots of starter fleets and a few battleships.  I did grab a bunch of space station kits too, but that was later, and a story for another page - notably this one:
 

 
Fortunately, these minis sold quite nicely for six or eight months.  People were still getting in to the game, and building fleets fast by buying painted was a popular choice.  The market's much slower now that the game's been around for a while.  Hawk selling to TTC doesn't seem to have helped any, but I've painted about enough of the range at this point for a lifetime.  A few samples of the various fleets below.
 
UCM
 
 
Like many DfC sculpts, these lend themselves to ink washes for base hull colors, followed by a  whole lot picking out details.

 
I'm particularly fond of the frigate designs for this line, they're not as strange as the cruiser hulls are.

 
Scourge
 
 
Yep, a dull metallic pink there.

 
They sold well enough, so I guess I'm not the only one who liked the color.

 
PHR

 
Looked at the catalog images and said "screw painting featureless white" right away.

 
Color scheme inspired by Dark Eldar from Battlefleet Gothic, if it wasn't obvious.

 
Shaltari

 
Like most people, I magnetized to battleship/supercarrier "turret" so it could serve as either.  So much hanger bay detail you can't even see when the top is on in either configuration, it's maddening. 
 
 
The battlecruiser's a custom kitbash.  Too parts intensive to do repeatedly, unfortunately.

 
My gods, so many dots. Never again, I tell you.


While I'm long done with the ships, the very modular nature of the kits meant that I wound up with spare parts.  A lot of spare parts.  I've slowly been using them on various projects for years now, but the pile was still enormous - two large boxes full of part-empty sprues.  A commission job recently fell through on me and I found myself with some time on my hands, so I made a concerted effort to clean off as many frames as I possibly could and build all the kitbashed starships I could from what I had on hand.
 

Twenty-three sprues and a long weekend later I decided I'd gotten all the useful builds out of spares I was going to manage for now.  Could have eked out a few more, but I'm running out of flight bases and it took me a week to paint everything anyway, just in time for the next commission to arrive.  What did I get out of it?
 
Turns out the UCM kits give you a LOT of parts that almost make spaceships, and really only need some added bits from other fleets to round them out.  They're by far the best faction for this kind of Frankenstein work.
 
 
The Shaltari and PHR kits wind up with plenty of interesting but much simpler builds, and I've got another couple of dozen that will be waiting for bases a bit.  The Shaltari do give you a lot of spare hull sections (especially the big saucer sections) but it's hard to find interesting bits to add to them to round them out.  PHR is maybe the best faction for add-on parts for other models rather than ground-up builds due to the plethora of extra guns and broadside panels you wind up with.  Scourge didn't contribute much this time, but I bought less of them to start with and I'd used most of their bits up on earlier projects:
 
 
 
A gallimaufry of smaller ships, about the size of a Full Thrust destroyer.

 
The next week should see posts giving all these things some Full Thrust stats and background fluff.