Monday, November 21, 2011

Imperial War Rocket: Review & Tutorial: Ming the Merciless Eat Your Heart Out.

Nearly three months back (you can see how little time I get for my own hobby projects, especially lately) I reviewed the Zenithian fleet for War Rocket by Hydra Miniatures, which you can find here. At the same time I ordered the Zenithian ships I also ordered the Imperial fleet, since I have a compulsion to have at least two factions for any game that tempts me.
Now that the second fleet is assembled, on with the review & tutorial.

The assembled fleet, containing one fleet pack (nine Class I ships and 3 Class II ships) and I upgraded the order to have a Class III & a Class IV ship to round them out.  So let's get to building:

On opening the bags and sorting the pieces this is what you'll find:
The small Class I ships are simple single piece minis.  The higher class ships are a little more complicated than the Zenithian Class II-IV ships, needing several separate pieces.  The Class II ship is the ship design that made this whole line of miniatures a 'must-buy' for me.  The Imperial Class II is my favorite ship of any of the fleets: it's just dead sexy.  Unfortunately, shipping wasn't kind to them:
The one on the right is only a bit bent, but the other two look like mosquitoes that tried to bite Superman.

I started with the Class II, since the bent spikes was very distressing. It took some careful bending and reshaping, but they came out all right in the end.  The Wings then needed to be glued to the hull:
Next small problem found: quite a bit of a gap as you can see above.  Luckily this is only visible from the underneath, which means it will never be seen, and a little green stuff fills it in fine. So it didn't bother me much. 

Class II's complete.  Just a little extra attention and they're showroom ready. 

The Class I ships are very easy. Just trim flash and file.  There was moderate extra metal in the inner curve of the tail fin, so that needs to be carved away and then file to clean it up. 

On to the Class III:
It also had a bit of a gap for the wings underneath, but same solution as for the Class II. 

The Class IV worried me just a bit.  It's wings are in 2 pieces, and I wondered how stable they'd be.  I've run across other miniatures with individual wings that are a nightmare (none more so then the current GW Dwarf Gyrocopter!) But I was relieved and impressed.  The design for the wings and two-part hull is elegant. 

Each wing fits snugly and there is a recessed area that covers the wing's turret. You can't help but assemble it perfectly and it is very secure.  If only all miniatures were designed so cleverly.

The Class III & IV 's hulls are cast from resin, and it's very smooth without any defects.

The flight stand and connection spots are the same as the Zenithian ships: holes are much too big for the connector stub, which is a blessing: clip them off and attach directly to the top of the flight stand.  See the Zenithian Review for those pictures.    Like I did for the Zenithians, I added a few longer flight stands to vary the heights for a few of the ships. 

**Important Note: if you plan to use the ships for War Rocket, please remember to line up the ship facing a flat edge of the hexagonal flight base, not a point, as that is important in the game rules. **

The Class IV ship however felt too heavy to me, with it's thick metal wings, so I pinned it to the flight stand.  It comes with a metal flight stand luckily, so simply drill down into the flight stand and into the ship and reinforce with a pin.

Speaking of flight stands, since many of the ships are metal I felt it'd be best to weight the base down, to help against ships being knocked over.  I did this for both fleets.  I put a bit of green stuff in the base and glued in bits of left-over metal from base tabs and sprue.  Since I work with so many minis I must have a few pounds of this saved up.  I could have used washers, but that costs a bit of money, and this solution is free ;)
It's not quite up to 'weeble-wobble' standard but it's close. 

And so the Imperial Fleet is assembled:

And facing up against their foe:
From top to bottom, a comparison of Class IV, Class III, Class II and Class I. 

Hydra has already released the Class I ships for the Space Pirate faction, and they're my current favorite Class I ship.  If the future releases are as good I'll be adding a third fleet I have no doubt. 

The Imperials are a human-like species with an overbearing powerful military and royal family.  If you are thinking 'Ming the Merciless' then I bet you're pretty close to the mark.  The ships are fast, but not the fastest in the game.  They are also not the most (but not the least) maneuverable.  They have a decent amount of firepower, but seems their greatest strength is in their durability.  They're easily the most sturdy ships in the game. 

So how do I rate the Imperial Fleet?

Casting: 8/10
Cleverness of Design: 10/10
Aesthetics:  10/10

Again I'm very pleased with the items from Hydra Miniatures. 
I hope to have a chance to paint them in the not too distant future.  My plans for them are pretty simple actually, so they shouldn't take too long to complete if I can find time to start them.  Hopefully that can be done before they release any more of the Space Pirates!

Enjoy the movie!


Desert Scribe said...

Thanks for the review. I appreciate the in-depth look at the imperials. I think my favorite is the Class III, and I also like the Class IV (which reminds me of a B-29).

The Angry Lurker said...

They're really lovely.

Michael Awdry said...

Now not something I'm familiar with but they do look so very cool! Looking forward to seeing them painted up.

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