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Monday, 18 November 2013

Ryushi Battlecarrier Unboxing

The next unboxing in this series is the Ryushi Battlecarrier and attendant cruisers. It's a shame the Ryushi are on the wrong side of the war, as they make some fine-looking ships, and (as for Hawker) I was slightly gutted that they wouldn't be my guys!

Protecting the Ryushi  Shautrai Class Battle Carrier is the sturdy cardboard box that's become all too familiar in this series, complete with its glossy card sleevethis time showing the imposing Shautrai in a rather nice red colour scheme. As with the Hawker ships, they look enviably pretty.

A quick peek at the rear shows the Shautrai in all its glory, plus a shot of the cruisers. Time to find out how they look in resin form;

Opening the box reveals a slightly lighter haul than some of the other fleet sets, but this is hardly surprising given that this is jus a single ship and her accompaniment of two cruisers. The standard Spartan Games layout is revealed, with bubblewrap bags protecting the resin and plastic bags protecting the bases and blue acrylic pieces.

The Shautrai is comprised of three resin pieces, two hull sections and an engine block - plus a blue acrylic insert and two optional blue acrylic pieces, depending on whether you wish to display it "open" or "closed". Finally, a white metal radar dish/sensor suite thing tops it off. Here's the laid-together parts compared to a Manta;

So as you can see, it's a big ship! The hull pieces are quite large, and due to the cut-out for the acrylic, the front upper section is quite thin compared to the rear of it, and my example was plainly warped - more on this later.
As in the Hawker set, the cruisers are single-piece resin castings, and are elegant looking ships. This shot was actually taken from the Support Fleet (as there are four cruisers in that box), but I thought it silly to take two pictures of the same ship in different quantities;

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;

I love the little wing castings on the inside of the bay, a great little detail to add. The only mars on the casting are pouring stubs on the engine block and upper hull, cleverly positioned to be the joining faces, so they just need clipping back so they fit flush together, and you'll never know.

Next up is the cruiser;

The cruiser is a sleek ship, looking fast and efficient, and fitting with the Shautrai very well. Good detail both above and below, no problem with these beasties at all.

So I mentioned my upper Sautrai hull was warped, which is not a huge surprise given the quite slender, open nature of the upper front compared to the relative bulk of the rear. Here you can see how warped - putting the lower hull flush at the front creates a gap of several mm at the rear.

Now, this is not the disaster some of you might expect, as this sort of simple bend is easily sorted. If it had been twisted, that would have been quite a different matter. So, the first thing to do is put the kettle on....for a cup of tea? Well, yes, that'd be nice, but actually what I need is a cup of just-boiled water, into which I plop my bendy hull piece;

After about a minute, I can take it out (being careful not to scald myself!) and, using the lower hull as a template, clamp my now-slightly-flexible upper hull onto it, forcing it to conform to its straight line. I then plunge it straight under a rnning cold-water tap to fix the resin in its new configuration;

As you can see, the two hull pieces now align perfectly...voila!

Altogether the Shautrai is a lovely model, she's a pretty ship despite her size, and the option to make her two different ways is an interesting one (I might see if I can magnetise mine and make her able to do both!). The cruisers are lovely one-piece mouldings, and really show how Spartan has come on in terms of design and casting in just a few short years. Compare a Storm and an Hokita side-by-side and you'll see what I mean. Not that the Storm isn't a nice ship, it's just outclassed by what SG can do today. 

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