Things Get Opened - Dropzone Commander Shaltari Tribes

Greetings all! I've returned, with many great ideas for blog articles! Many of these will be discarded as I approach certain times because, lets face it, I'm lazy :D

So, first of all, sorry for the lack of posts. With work, GD, and other things going on, I barely got a chance to check my emails some days, and I'm only now getting a handle on things.

So this is going to be a quick Things Get Opened post on this shiny new device:

 (And I'll apologise now for the shift in camera settings. I forgot to change them at one point...)

So what is it? Dropzone Commander is the new Hawk Wargames 10mm sci-fi game that got into Australia a few weeks ago. The rules got here a bit before the minis, and I got these from Aetherworks at MOAB. The Shaltari are an alien race, the ones who make first contact with humanity as they start to travel into the universe. They aren't exactly the bravest of races, but at the same time, they aren't exactly the most upfront and moral. Having said that, the DZC models are all nicely designed, but I felt when I first saw them that the Shaltari were the most interestingly designed. They also remind me of the Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion, especially the large dropships, and the anime feel was something I really liked.

This post is going to be an unboxing, but now an individual look at each mini. I'm planning on doing that as the time comes to paint them. So, first up, I remove the sleeve from the box to get at the box:

This is the Premium army starter, and comes in a KR Multicase box. At first I was a bit cautious about the idea of this box, but after seeing a friend's KR case, I was a bit more confident. It's basically a tough cardboard case (Cardboard being the thing I was concerned about previously) with custom cut foam and a plastic handle. The handle pulls through the flap at the front via a hole cut for it, and locks it together. It's a bit fiddly to open at first, but after the first two or three goes trying to show off the minis to friends, I got the hang of it quicksmart :)

So far, so good. A packing slip showing all the items marked off, and a brochure showing other KR cases products. Under the first layer of foam:

This is laid out quite nicely. All the minis for the kit are in the top layer, the metal infantry and their bases (The heavy bits in the top left corner) are separate from the ships and tanks in the bottom right. Flight stands in the top right, and combat cards in the bottom left. The DZC panel at the top centre is removable for a larger section. The packaging at first seems to be 'here are spaces large enough', and it works. But thinking about it, they have made an effort not to have the big heavy lumps of metal near the delicate resin ships that could potentially break with the right knock. The cards aren't overly packaged, but aren't going to scatter around. It's a great mix of everything getting to you in one piece, but not being damaged or scattered when it gets to you. A win in both ways!

These are the cards for adding a bit of variety to games with special events and abilities. Mine are now in protective sleeves, and in sleeves, the nestle well in the top tray once the DZC panel is removed. The other areas on the top try aren't designed for any minis, but seems that they would fit dice, templates, a tape measure, and basically the multiple small bits you would want to keep with an army in order to use it. The cards themselves are good quality, and have some fun flavour text on them to set the scene for what is happening for each event.

Troops! These are Shaltari Braves. They are larger than the other troops due to these ones wearing large suits of powered armour. They also come three on a base, as opposes to others that come five on a base. This means I was able to clean them and stick them to the bases in order to paint them on the base. A few of my friends with five to a base troops are planning on painting them off the base so that they can get to all the places on them.

Vehicles! As nice and well detailed as the troops are, the winning models for this game appear to be the vehicles. The resin casts are really nice and clean, and have stunning detail. These bags have my three large 'gate' dropships (Shaltari use teleportation instead or carrying their ships around) as well as my tanks and APC's (Themselves having gates mounted on them as well).

I know I'm not reviewing the models yet, but this is a look at the layout of one of the gate ships. The large block at the front is the resin spout from the mould. At first it looks like a pain to remove, but it seems to have been made large so that it cannot be overlooked, and positioned so that the piece can be removed with little risk to damaging the details on the model itself.

On with the box! This is the second layer with the foam not yet all taken out...

...and with foam removed! The cuts are really clean, only holding at a few small points at the bottom, so the pluck out easily, but they aren't going to start floating around in transit.

And the final tray before removing foam...

...and after! One thing you might notice is that there are more holes than there are miniatures. This appears to be the case across all the army cases - they have room to add in more models. While it is tempting to fill it up straight away, I'm also looking forward to slowly growing this to see what it looks like as it fills up. However, if anyone knows what goes where, that would be a big help :D

Finally, the mess at the end! This isn't that bad actually. The foam stays in one piece, doesn't rub apart at the joins, and they are in reasonable sized chunks. I just scooped these up, and put them in a box for packaging later.

At the end, it's a good product. I'm looking forward to painting some of the models up, and slowly filling the case up, then having a few games of it (I already have the book, but haven't had a chance to read it yet apart from a few chapters of the fluff). So far, Dropzone Commander seems to be a really strong product from Hawk Wargames! What does everyone else think? Have you constructed/painted/played with any of the minis yet? Have you got any cases yourself? Do you know what goes where?


  1. I think everyone is guilty of being lazy from time to time...Nice blog post.


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