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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Hawker Industries Unboxing

When Spartan Games announced the Hawker fleet, I must admit I was rather envious of my son for supporting the Kurak Alliance, rather than my own Zenian League affiliations. The initial renders looked rather good, and judging by just about every FSA ship I've seen in reality compared to their renders, they'd look even better in resin and metal form. Anyway, it was inevitable we'd pick them up at some point, and as we have them now, here's the unboxing!

As usual, SG supply the Hawker Industries Alliance Fleet in a sturdy cardboard box with a glossy card sleeve, the front sporting a nice composition shot of the studio fleet ships. They do look rather gorgeous.

On the rear of this is a plan layout of the three ship types included in the box - an Excelsior class battleship, three Resolute Cruisers and four Endeavour Frigates. Their names remind me of sailing ships of the 18th century great age of exploration, which is somehow fitting for the traditional Hawker company. Anyway, time to look inside;

The box is quite full, and in the now-familiar layout of these offerings - the ubiquitous token cards and bases, the battleship, cruisers and frigates in bubble-bags and a little bag of metal bits. The space is filled rather well as the Hawker ships are not small!

The battleship is pretty much standard size - about mid-way beween a Razorthorn and an Apollo. Here is the main resin hull, together with its resin add-on parts, compared to a Manta;

Now the battleship would be no good if it didn't have a little extra protection, which is where the shield projector arrays come in....and there are a LOT of them!

The cruisers are single-piece resin castings, with cut-outs for six of the above shield parts each;

Again, they're coming out about average in cruiser mass, but they have a sizeable presence when you see them. Next up are the Frigates, which we can see here with our Manta again;

Now these are HUGE for frigates! A third again on a Pilgrim, and only about half the size of an Aquan Storm cruiser...small "Smalls" were obviously not in Hawker's remit!

Taking a look at the parts in more detail, they follow the recent trend in Spartan's castings - finely detailed, well cast and free from flash;

The underside has some visible printer marks on the lower spine, but these will be easily removed (without destroying deail elsewhere), and are also invisible when on the flight stand anyway, so it depends how much of a stickler you are as to whether you do anything about this or not.

Thecruiser is a lovely ship, possibly my favourite of the group. Looking at it's design, perhaps it was enterprising Hawker ships the pre-Dindrenzi Terrans were equipped with way back - the design isn't SO different! make it a bit blockier, don't add the shield emitters and install a rail cannon in the central hull...just saying, it could be how they got started....

Underneath the cruiser is just as detailed, another enormous quad-turret sitting amidships, and a tracking rader/sensor thing located under the nose.

The frigates don't look that inspiring in these photos, but are actually quite impressive, tying in with the design of the battleship especially well.

Looking at the underside, and of the overall shape, and there are definite hints of the terran here, which is unsurprising, Hawker being one of the Terran Alliance's main weapons producers. These metal castings are very clean - probably some of the best I've seen from Spartan, who aren't especially known for their metal (primarily due to them being eclipsed by their resin pieces!). Certainly they'll take less cleaning up than the shield projectors, which (as with the Works Raptor set) are going to take longer than everythig else put, where's that scalpel?

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