Monday, 5 January 2015

ByronM - Dropzone Commander - PHR Starter Army (55 Points)

Ok, my Gamer ADHD got the better of me once again...  This time I got dragged into yet another game, can you be dragged by yourself into something?

Regardless, the game in question is a game that I have looked at several times in the last year or so, Dropzone Commander.  It is a 10mm sci-fi game that focuses on drop zone type combat, meaning what happens in and around your transports and aircraft.

I have looked at the game several times, but until recently everything was resin only and therefore fairly expensive.  However, they recently released the starter armies in plastic versions, and then around Christmas they had a sale online!  How could I resist.

My PHR starter army
I decided to pick up the Post Human Republic (PHR) starter purely by aesthetics, not knowing anything about the game.  I liked the smooth look of the dropships and the cool looking walkers that they had.  Now that I know a bit about the game and the background I like them even more.

The PHR are essentially humans that fled from Earth 200 years ago after receiving a warning of a coming disaster.  Since then they have been evolving and upgrading themselves thanks to the mysterious AI entity that saved them.  They are now far from human, and make extensive use of nano and bio tech.  They are an extremely hard hitting elite army, they are however very slow and few in numbers.

4 units of infantry (5 models per base) and their armoured transports the Juno IFV 
I decided to go with a paint scheme very close to the basic one shown in the book.  I played around with a few new techniques (for me) on these models that I had seen and kept meaning to try.

The models were painted mainly with my airbrush, and I pre-shaded everything as well.  I base coated the models in light grey, then shaded around the panels and the underside with a black ink airbrushed on as a 50/50 mix with a  flat clear.  I then did a thin coat of khaki and then a few coats of bone mixed with a glaze medium.  This let the shading show up around each panel (although not in the photos!! Sorry).

The PHR use heavily armed and armoured walkers
instead of the tanks that most other armies us.
Once the base colour was on, I applied a gloss coat via the airbrush to setup a solid surface for the next step.  I then mixed an enamel based ink with about 3 parts thinner and touched each detail area on the model.  It did exactly what I was told it would, it wicked instantly into every detail without staining any of the flat areas around it.  It was extremely fast and amazingly clean and something I recommend trying, I know I will use it again for vehicles.  I tried the other way that it should work as well, which is to just wash freely and that worked too.  You can go over the whole model very quickly, some will stay above the details, however later on (give in an hour or so to start to set) you just wet a cotton ball, sponge, or cloth with some thinner and wipe the model down.  Everything not in the details comes on immediately due to the gloss coat.

A PHR medium Neptune dropship.
Each of these can carry either 2 walkers or 2 troop transports
Anyway, the army itself is made up of 3 Dropships, 2 anti-tank walkers, 2 anti-air walkers, 2 transports, and 4 units of infantry.   I have not done a whole lot with 10mm figures in the past, having only done a little bit of Epic a long time ago.  I found these models extremely clean, and had a ton of detail for the size.

Due to the colour of these guys, they are not photographing very well, and the shading is being lost.  Hopefully from what does show you can see how clean the inking went from that experiment.

I had a blast painting these figures as the detail on them was super clean and crisp, and the size made it very fast.  In fact, I painted the whole force while watching the NFL wildcard games this weekend!

From Curt:Sweet! These look amazing Byron! I really like the subtle shading on these vehicles and your process with the enamel based ink wash sounds very cool. I've never worked with an airbrush as I've never have the room for their use but I'm always fascinated with what others can do with them.  
I've looked at this game over the past few years and while I've been sorely tempted by the figures I've always thought the overall premiss to be a little thin. 'Lets all use vaguely similar airdrop technology to drop into a conveniently abandoned (yet pristine) cities to fight each other with vaguely similar armour and infantry.' I'm pretty good  at suspending disbelief, but this one's too much of a stretch even for me.  
Nonetheless, it does look gorgeous and I'm sure it gives a fun game so really, what do I know. Byron, you'll have to get another force done so we can have a game and convince me to throw in. :)


  1. Cracking stuff Byron. Your colour choice is beautiful and the models really pop with the outlining effect.

  2. These are lovely.... Which doesn't help as it's a game I've been trying to avoid getting into as well!

  3. That's some great work on them! Your colour sheme makes them almost look like made from ivory. Have to agree on Curt's comment about the game though. Some guys at the club enjoy it quite a lot but it's definitely not my cup of tea. The figures are quite nice though.

  4. I don't like to but I have to agree (this time) with Millsy. I think the colours work incredibly well. As always good painting as well. I have to like it all and a lot.

  5. They do look very pretty! I like the subtle shading and those ships are very cool looking!

  6. Ooh, lovely work!
    I've seen this game being played a few times at shows but I've never stopped to take notice of the miniatures. Now I've seen them they look rather nice.
    And your painting off them sets them off a treat. Top drawer stuff!

  7. Very clean, great results


  8. You've definitely made this look extremely tempting. I also like the scenery, is that part of the game?

    1. Yes the terrain is part of the game. It simply card stock that comes pre-cut and pressed for folds. While just being card, it was a pretty good deal (and can be bought separately), it was I think $40ish for 24 different buildings and 24 12"x12" tiles for ground.

  9. Airbrush envy once again! Great job Byron - the results are marvelous.

  10. The dropships are works of art. I'd love to get a tutorial on how to get such fine control with my airbrush - I'm intimidated just trying to do a basic camo pattern on a 20mm model with the airbrush.
    Very cool toys.

  11. Fantastic work on the dropships. You should be painting for Hawk Wargames!