Friday, 31 March 2017

Meet the Inmates: James Turner

Hi, I'm Paul, and welcome to The Asylum.

Tonight I bring you another episode of Meet the Inmates, in which we at Asylum Wargaming surrender the spotlight to those most dear to our hearts: you. Herein you can expect to see insights into what our readers are painting, playing and sculpting, and tonight's edition is no different...

James Turner has been building and painting models since childhood. More commonly known as Pig of Sparta, the majority of his work can be seen on his blog, The Pig's Sty. Although he's currently playing Elder Sign, Star Wars Armada and the Horus Heresy, he always has a project on the go or some crazy notion to start playing or collecting something else. 

Over to you, James.

One of James' Dropfleet Commander UCM ships.
I’m James and I’ve been hobbying in various forms for more than twenty years. Like many kids, I mangled a fair amount of Airfix and Revell kits in my youth but my true descent into hobbying came whilst helping a school friend clear out his garage when we were about thirteen. He began emptying a large box of Citadel Miniatures into a rubbish bag and saying he didn’t want them anymore. I had no real idea what they were, but I told him that if he didn’t want them I’d give them a home. That was pretty much that; I was hooked.

As well as Games Workshop and Forge World I’ve dabbled in a lot of other game systems and universes over the years as well. I’m a bit of a hobby butterfly as my personal blog, The Pig’s Sty, shows. These days I’m more a miniature painter than a gamer I suppose but I do still play occasionally, with one of the games I play being Dropzone Commander.

I discovered Hawk Wargames' Dropzone Commander a couple of years ago. It’s a cracking game with some fantastic miniatures and a great storyline, so I was very excited to learn about Dropfleet Commander (although I’ll admit I’m a bit of a sucker for spaceships, as my X-Wing and Armada collections can attest!) I'd already settled on the UCM in Dropzone Commander as I loved the look of them and I’m a ‘good guy’ at heart. When it came to picking a faction for Dropfleet I stuck with the UCM. I loved the utilitarian design of their ships. The UCM might not have the flashiest toys, but they’ll get the job done!

Work in progress.
Being more of a painter than a gamer, I’ve assembled my fleet based on what I think looks cool rather than what might be most effective on the table top. Despite this I’ve stuck to the fleet building rules so I can use them for games too. Of course, being able to get boots on the ground is a vital part of the game, so I’ve tried to go for a good mix of offense and drop capability.

Being more than a little bit of a geek, I read through the Dropfleet rulebook before assembling my fleet. I noted the names of the various classes of vessels so that I could name mine appropriately. Each and everyone of my ships proudly displays its name on its base. I find that little details like this add to the narrative of games: when the Carpe Noctum fires a shattering volley it’s so much better than just ‘Generic Ship #78’.

Just as I did when painting my Dropzone Commander force, I’ve tried to create a simple yet good looking and coherent colour scheme that makes the fleet look good as a whole rather than focussing on picking out every single detail on each individual ship. I guess you’d say these are ‘table top’ quality rather than display; I reserve the later for one-off projects. Not only is this quicker, I think it’s a similar approach to one the UCM would take; they’re more interested in function than form after all. That’s not to say that you couldn’t go to town on the Dropfleet miniatures if you wanted to, Hawk have crammed a stunning amount of detail on them.

An example of the sumptuous detail packed into the average Dropfleet Commander starship.
Having sat down and painted some models and established the colour scheme now, it’s just a case of working through the rest of the fleet until they’re all ready for battle. Here you can see a Moscow Heavy Cruiser accompanying a pair of Toulon Frigates and a pair of New Orleans Strike Cruisers: Not that I’ll be quite finished when I’ve gotten these done as I believe there are Corvettes on the horizon now and then there’s the limited release Saratoga Class Light Cruiser too…

A Hawk Wargames Dropfleet Commander UCM fleet in full  flight. 

And there endeth the sermon. Please take a moment to thank James for his excellent insight into Dropfleet Commander. If you're all very well behaved, maybe he'll pop back  in a month or two and give us an update on his fleet. I for one look forward to it.
Until then, Inmates...

...Stay crazy.
Dropfleet Commander is available at our webstore. Just sayin'

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