New miniature company, and the 10mm scale… Dropzone Commander

I am predominantly a painter of 28mm+ wargames miniatres, but I dabble in some of the larger scales – 1:20 scifi, 1:10 busts and the odd 54mm/75mm figure. I would normally dismiss anything smaller than 28mm out of hand due to my perception that the models will be a) less impressive and b) less detailed than a 28mm counterpart.

It appears I may have been wrong… Check these out

These miniatures are by Hawk Wargames for their new massed battle wargame called Dropzone Commander. As you can imagine from the name (and the photos above) the game appears to revolve around drop-lifting your mechanised army onto a battlefield and completing various missions whilst you are there. The models look superb, are resin, and have a really painterly level of detail. I really can’t wait!

More pictures of the models can be found here. I am compiling the teaser images they post up on the Facebook page, and very nice the look too! I love the aesthetic of the Post Human Republic faction… I will definitely be getting myself some of them.

All of these are 10mm scale (so 10mm = 1.7m /the height of a standard human). Why 10mm you ask? Well, Dave from Hawk Miniatures had this to say:
(I stole this from the Miniature Review blog)

Dave: A lot people have been asking this, and it’s nice to get the chance to answer this question. There’s a whole set of reasons:

A) The project started with the concept of air mobility. I wanted to give gamers something fresh (very hard to do in the world of Sci-fi, which can be quite ubiquitous). As such, the entire game as well as its models were designed around this central tenet. That way the whole thing could stay pure to its ideal.

In 6mm, the miniatures would have frequently been too small and fiddly to achieve the designs I had in mind for such a game. 15mm scale would certainly have given me that freedom, but would have made the game too unwieldy to play. 15mm scale works fantastically for WWII games, where the largest unit you’re likely to field is a King Tiger Tank, and games tend to revolve around infantry actions, supported by armour. However, DzC is far more focused on vehicles, many of which are very large (e.g. heavy dropships able to deliver nine main battle tanks to the fray!) These would have been very big in 15mm, making the fielding of groups of them unrealistic both in terms of cost to the player and space required. I wanted a 4×4 table to be fine for a normal sized game. Also, buildings (capturing, garrisoning etc.) are central to the way the game plays. These would have been too large to be practical for most gamers (above small houses anyway).

B) I always intended to be as accurate as possible in scale, with as little abstractions as possible. 6mm would have required over-thick gun barrels etc, detracting from the realism. Also, I feel that 6mm infantry usually possess very little character. 10mm I think is the minimum scale to inject some real personality into infantry models (at least of the kind ordinary mortals can see!)

C) Heroic (ish) 28mm scale has proven so popular over the years, because I believe that’s about the ideal size for a miniature (at least for a ‘standard’ sized unit). In 10mm scale, my tanks are around 30-35mm in their largest dimension, closely matching the size of model people seem most happy with. Since you will be fielding mostly units around this size, it makes it familiar and friendly in terms of handling.

D) As Dropzone Commander will be a complete game, with a full range, rules and design ethos, I hope people will buy into this wonderful scale, previously largely overlooked by the mainstream. In terms of scenery availability, we intend to provide a full range. This includes the highly detailed resin modular stuff shown at Salute, but we also have plans for a modern style ‘flatpack’ city, which will be inexpensive. This will allow players to play with a highly portable city, reducing the investment needed to play in urban environments to a small amount. Also (although no one seems to have picked up on this yet), at 1:188 scale 10mm is very close to model railway N scale (1:200), where plenty of affordable scenery is readily available. Of course, 6-15mm natural scenery can easily be used for 10mm games. Sorry for the long justification – it’s just nice to get this out there to end the speculation!

This makes a lot of sense to me – especially the bit about the 30mm sized models being important rather than  30mm scale! So add me to the ‘I’m convinced’ pile

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2 thoughts on “New miniature company, and the 10mm scale… Dropzone Commander

  1. I totally agree, I’m really looking forward to seeing these new models come out. The examples they had at Salute were exquisite, although I wasn’t so enthusiastic about the infantry models, the overall aesthetic is very appealing.These could even get me gaming again!

  2. Yeah, fortunately the infantry are not the main focus, and the fantastic aesthetic of the vehicles of all factions really outweigh that concern for me :)1st June for pre-orders as far as I can tell 🙂

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