Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fighting Fields of the Reconquest - Terrain part 3

I can't honestly go through a survey of small scale terrain pieces without including the card stock and resin offerings from Hawk Wargames. Any of the 10mm pieces I have looked at so far would be an excellent fit with Hawk's popular Dropzone Commander game, but Hawk has produced a line of their own (mostly) resin terrain pieces to fit the scale as well.

Although very clearly molded in the style of Dropzone Commander, these pieces are perfectly usable in other 10mm scale games, such as CAV or Firestorm Planetfall. Really enterprising 10mm sci-fi gamers might even trot out their old GROPOS models to play along.

In this installment, I am going to talk about two separate, but related terrain products from Hawk. The first is their line of resin scenery, focused on buildings and military installations from the world of Dropzone Commander.

At present, I only own a small number of Hawk terrain pieces. The first, shown above, is their art deco monorail set. The train comes in multiple pieces, and is actually set up for the individual cars to link together, and ride along a thin track. I have not gotten far with the piece, but I will be sorely tempted to add magnets to solidify the train's articulation.

The other sample I have is a cluster of five bunkers, perfect for providing objective makers or small buildings on a military style of terrain board. Both the bunkers and the monorail are scuplted with Hawk's usual high level of detail. In the picture above, I have already started to prepare the models for primer, and have installed a set of magnets to allow the missile turrets to rotate freely.

I was also very pleasantly surprised with how easily the bunker pieces painted up. They are very well designed to respond to simple washes and edge highlighting, yielding high quality results very quickly. Although I have not painted it yet, I suspect the monorail will be nearly as quick.

The downside to Hawk's resin terrain pieces is, not surprisingly, price. MSRP for the bunker set is £35, and the monorail is a bit steeper at £45. Neither is unreasonable for high quality resin pieces, and it is true that you can find discounts on the boxed sets if you hunt around, but it will never be cheap. Hawk also sells resin building kits to build up a beautiful cityscape, but they are only sold through their own web site, so they are nearly always full price. They are look like considerably more work than the engineered scenario kits. They are beautiful though.

The second offering from Hawk comes at the opposite end of the price spectrum.

In addition to their high quality resin, Hawk offers affordable card stock urban terrain. They have two versions, "Cityscape" and "Ruinscape", depending on how worn you want your battlefield to look. Both kits come with 24 double-sided 1' x 1' card tiles, each pre-printed with urban streets and grass parks. One set is enough to set up a 6'x4' game board.

Each kit also comes with 20 pre-cut buildings that can be quickly folded and glued together to provide scenery for your game. The buildings are printed with the same textures that you find on Hawk's resin building offerings, but require only minimal gluing to get onto the able.

I have taken an additional step with my own pieces by gluing a piece of foam core into the base of each building. It prevents them from nesting for efficient storage, but it also reinforces the card stock, making for a sturdier, and, hopefully, more durable terrain piece.

The card stock terrain has proven very popular among DzC players, and would probably also serve very well for similar games, providing you want a dedicated urban environment. The printing is very high quality, making it quite attractive, but it will never rise to the level of well painted resin or MDF terrain. On the other hand, a complete battlefield in a box comes for just £30, making it by far the most affordable option I have looked at to date.

This brings me to the end of my series on commercial 10mm terrain options. I'll post a summary and follow up soon.

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