Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hawk Wargames Newsletter #33

As is to be expected they mention Salute 2014 and the GIGANTIC spaceship on their stand...and some models...obviously...

Salute 2014 Special 16/04/2014
Now that the dust has settled after one of our busiest shows on record, it's finally time to reveal some of what we have been working on over the past few months! If you missed the show or didn't get time to see everything, here is a full summary of all the new things we showcased in London:
1) Reconquest: Phase 1 - DZC expansion book announced
At Salute 2014 we revealed the title and cover art for Dropzone Commander's first expansion book. Reconquest: Phase 1 will advance the storyline of DZC and will introduce a new faction; The Resistance. The book will include full background and army lists for this vibrant and varied faction as well as printed rules for all our new releases and some unseen units for the existing factions. The book will also include many new scenarios, rules and campaign info to add further variation and narrative to your games of DZC. Reconquest: Phase 1 will be available in Summer this year.
2) New Resistance Miniatures - showcased for the first time
We've been hard at work completing the range of highly detailed Resistance miniatures and at Salute we displayed the Barrel Bomber, Medium Dropship, Halftrack, MBT, Battle Bus and AA Tank (working titles). These are among our most detailed creations yet and are some of the most important units in the range. Keep an eye out for more information on these exiting new models over the coming months!
3) Scenery Packs Pre-Released - Further products also previewed
At Salute, we began to pre-release our new range of scenery packs, starting with the Monorail and Orbital Defence Laser (available in Stores end of April and May respectively). We also showcased work in progress on the Bunker Complex, Landing Pad and Civilian Vehicles sets. These will all be released in stores over the coming months and will be accompanied by scenarios designed specifically for them. These will be available to download for free (starting next week) and will be printed in Reconquest: Phase 1.
4) UCMS Avenger - 3m long display model unveiled
Recently, I've been working on a unique (and frankly insane) one-off project - a 3m long, 10mm scale spacecraft! Avenger is New Orleans class Strike Carrier and one of the largest vessels the UCM has that is capable of atmospheric flight. It's core role is to provide a bridge between the fleet and the battlefield, transporting whole flotillas of dropships within range of the combat zone. The New Orleans class carries a compliment of 100 Condor, 6 Albatross and 30 Raven dropships with a varied payload of armoured vehicles alongside a full cohort of 1000 legionnaires.
This behemoth has many thousands of custom cast resin components as well as over 4000 plastic parts. It also features 300 lights and 250 moving parts with interior detail. So far, it has been well over 400 hours in the making (+ 3 weeks of design work over Christmas). Despite working extremely long days I was unable to finish it quite in time for the show (the prow and engine housing sections remain un-detailed). After all that work however, we simply had to bring it to Salute anyway!
I've kept a full video and photo diary of her construction from the very start of the build. Once complete, we will be working with Beasts of War to compile a special feature on how this monster came into being. I'll be back in the shipyard next week to complete her construction, after which we'll get to work on the video - so watch this space!
If you missed Avenger at Salute, or want to see her finished, the ship will be on show again at the UK Games Expo in May, Gencon 2014, Spiel 2014 and our own Open Day and Tournament in September.
5) Space Combat Game in Development - official announcement
Part of the purpose of building Avenger is as a tangible bridge between Dropzone Commander and our in-development space combat game set in the DZC universe, Dropfleet Commander (working title). For this exciting project, we've been working with Andy Chambers on the ruleset, which is currently well into the playtesting phase. There's a lot more work ahead of us, but expect to hear much more before the end of the year!
6) Escape Pod Available - exclusive 2014 show only miniature
In tandem with unveiling of Avenger, we released our first ever exclusive show only model - the Shackleton class Escape Pod. The Avenger sports 46 such craft, designed for emergency escape from a stricken ship in orbital or atmospheric flight. With a capacity of 42 men each, the Avenger's compliment can evacuate all 1700 souls aboard during a full combat drop. It is strictly a one-way vehicle, which ends its fiery decent to Terra-Firma in a controlled crash! This model can serve as a characterful objective, scenery or display piece.

The Escape Pod will only be available direct at shows we will be attending this year, so there's plenty of opportunities to get your hands on one if you missed out at Salute. See our full show schedule here for more details.
7) First 30mm Scale Collector's Edition Models Revealed - Work in progress on an exciting new range
We've been asked many times over the last few years to produce a select few of our most popular models in a larger scale, so we have obliged! At Salute, we previewed a range of test pieces printed on our own in-house 3D printer (not production quality) as well as a fully fledged and finished resin kit, the 30mm scale PHR Ares Walker. This will be the first kit in our Collector's Edition range and has been rendered in an extremely high level of detail. The larger scale allowed us to add many new features not seen on the 10mm version as well as a higher number of components. The 30mm Ares' legs are fully poseable, right down to the individual toes!
This model will be available for pre-order as soon as the production moulds are complete (keep an eye on subsequent newsletters for details). If this kit proves popular, we will expand the range in line with demand!
It is worth mentioning at this point however that we are NOT working on a 30mm scale game at this time. These kits are purely for keen modellers and fans of our regular 10mm scale miniatures.
8) The Invasion of New Eden - an in-store DZC campaign pack
Lastly, at Salute we previewed the aged pewter race pendants available only as part of our upcoming Retailer Campaign Pack - The Invasion of New Eden. This product will only be available to bricks and mortar retailers and clubs and is designed to bring a group of new players into the Dropzone Commander universe. It can however also be used by stores with an established DZC community as an aid to running an in-store weekly campaign in the setting of the UCM's first Cradle World invasions! This pack will be available direct and through our distributors from June.

Lastly, we'd like to thank all our Hawk Talons and volunteers who helped us demo and display Dropzone Commander at Salute this year. Your enthusiasm and dedication was awesome and we hope you'll help us again in future! Thanks also to all our fans who attended Salute and filled our stand from open to close - you made it a fantastic day for all of us!

- David J Lewis, Director,
  Hawk Wargames

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