Tuesday, 27 December 2016

From SamuliS: Dropfleet Commander PHR (54 Points)

With Christmas over and the tour of relatives done it's time to get back into painting. About 700 years into the future from my last entry with a set of PHR starships from Hawk's new Dropfleet Commander game.

Spaceships have always facinated me and I did love Battlefleet Gothic back in the day and have been playing X-Wing and Armada in the last few years. So when Hawk announced their Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter I immediately had to put in a pledge for a couple of fleets. With the Kickstarter being massively popular (around 550k gathered just from the Kickstarter and a lot more from late backers) I wasn't too surprised when they didn't make their original June/July goal. With packages starting to ship out in late September I was hoping to get in early, but apparently Finland wasn't too high on the list and I only got my package a few days before Christmas as did most other guys here that I know who participated.

I'd caved in already in November after seeing painted ships popping up everywhere and ordered two PHR starter fleets as I was only getting a small force of them from the Kickstarter. I finished those a few weeks ago and now that I have my Kickstarter loot it was time to paint up some reinforcements to allow me to play full sized games.

What we have here is the Kickstarter exclusive Battlecruiser Leonidas alongside one starter sets worth of ships, 3 Cruisers and 4 Frigates. They are pretty darn massive with even the small frigates being slightly larger than 28mm infantry and the Battlecruiser being the size of a smaller 28mm tank and clocking in at about 15 cm length. No idea what points they should yield, I'll leave that to our gracious Snowlord Mr. Campbell.

These ships are pretty darn big!

PHR seems to have two different playing styles available to them. Most of their ships have enormous broadsides and fight a bit like sailing ships did. On the other hand they also have the best launch assets in the game with very powerful bombers. Originally I felt drawn towards the broadside way of fighting, but after a few test games it seems very tricky getting it right, so I ended up building a few more carriers for the force from this third set of ships.

Leonidas class Battlecruiser and Bellerophon class Heavy Cruiser

Paint scheme wise I tested out multiple different ones trying out different camo schemes, hexagon effects etc. before finally just settling for a clean airbrushed blue surface with light modulation with lighter blue towards the front and back ends of the ships. With large clean surfaces it just seemed to work much better for me. I might still try some decals on them, but have yet to find nice looking ones. Tau decals from GW seem pretty nice, but I still need to source some to try them out.

 Ikarus class Vanguard Carrier alongside a Theseus class Light Cruiser

They take surprisingly long to paint up. The airbrush phase is actually pretty fast only taking a few minutes per ship, but boy is it hard to get metallic paint into every nook and cranny as there's just so much small raised detail everywhere. Even now from the close ups I've noticed I actually missed a couple of spots on the Battlecruiser that I have to go and fix. And with the metal parts done picking out the tens of 'Gravity nullifiers' on those positioning wings is a pain in the a**. Still it's definitely worth the extra effort to make them pop out, even if it meant that most of the painting time on these goes into such a small thing.

 Two Europa class Frigates and two Medea class Strike Carriers

With these out of the way  it's back to Flames of War. The missus is out of town for a few days with our little warhound so I have the house all to myself and some quality painting time ahead of me. No interruptions outside of a Dropfleet game scheduled  for tomorrow so I'm hoping to be able to crank out a couple of more entries this week.


Terrific work Samuli!  Your airbrushing really did a lovely job on these ships - That blue that you've used is very sharp. I'm a Star Wars: Armada man myself, but I'm quite taken by the sweeping elegance of these ships. I particularly like the long fins that you've highlighted with the orange running lights. 

I'm going to score the smaller frigates and strike carriers as 5 each, the Vanguard Carrier and Light Cuiser as 7s and the larger ships as 10s. So that comes to 54 points. Well done!


  1. Those are remarkably gorgeous paint jobs you have there. I love the blue and the time spent on the fins was well worth it. Brilliant work!

  2. Excellent paint job and colour choices. I really need to get to mine, you may have managed to bump them up my priority list a bit!

  3. The turquoise colour scheme really works well - lovely job!

  4. I love the colour combination on these. An excellent looking fleet.

  5. That blue is absolutely stunning! Very nice ships, sheep...erm...fleet!

  6. Wow, that blue is stunning and the orange is a cracking counterpoint colour. Top notch!

  7. Lovely work on these ships Samuli :)

  8. Very nice work first time I have seen these painted other than the promo stuff form Hawk

  9. I think they turned out fantastic! That blue and red should really pop on the table. I like the color pattern you picked for the bottom of the base as well.

  10. Gorgeous colour on these, and very smooth

  11. Beautiful! They shine like jewels, great work.

  12. Love the colours used, that blue is sooooo very good. I would not know where to start


  13. Impressive! Really love your take on these ships. The blue combined with the smooth airbrush transitions really work a treat on those large, plain surfaces.

  14. I don't know about Dropfleet but I do know these are drop dead gorgeous work. My favourite entry so far!

  15. Those are just plain, stonking, beautiful, Samuli! That blue is truly gorgeous and the matching bases just enhances them all the more.
    I've been looking for a replacement for BFG, how does this one play?!

    1. The main goal in the game is to take control of ground assets and space stations with various troopships. So not actually that much of a space game, rather high orbit.

      Pretty fast paced and not much down-time waiting for your opponent as you take turns activating battlegroups which you normally have 6 in a game. As you pick your activation order for every turn before hand it adds a nice little extra bit of strategy into the mix.

      I've only gotten a couple of games in until now, but seems really promising. The factions really seem to have really distinct playing styles.


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