Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Small Scale Sci-Fi: Drones

I thought I'd take a look now, at some developing concepts that have recently come to mind regarding the mixed 2 and 6mm Small-Scale Sci-Fi project. Taking advantage of some of the Christmas/New Year sales at various manufacturers (Budget? What budget?), I've been looking to expand the basic forces as they stood.
One area that had been bugging me for some time was the balance or look of the various units. Big tanks, small tanks, APCs, etc, etc, all well and good, but in a way, all so 20th Century!
What the Future needs is some future concepts, well, at least some 21st Century ones.....

So what better to represent a more futuristic battlefield than Drones? Whether AI or remote-controlled, at least they would begin to give a contrast to the heavy metal of earlier eras.
Which minis to use for them though; well if we began from a standpoint of mixing sizes, why not continue in the same vein? I had been enviously eyeing the breadth of choices available to 15mm Sci-Fi gamers, particularly the expanding range over at GZG, and especially the new Drone units. Surely, these would be too big, even though there where some exciting sculpts available? Well, we shall see.....

Continuing the theme, I realised that Drones might operate with in-theatre controllers, and the need to represent these in a futuristic way luckily co-incided with the re-sculpting of an item by Brigade models, namely their SFS-492 Surveillante from the Eurofed faction...... Alright so this is a bit 20th Century AWACS-looking, but I couldn't resist it:
(All models shown in this post are straight out-of-the-baggie, so no flash removal, etc, just as they came.)

So how might this 'controller', ostensibly a fleet-scale sized craft for Spaceship battles, compare with the Drones from GZG? Well, here we see it alongside the new winged V15-71 Mini Aero Drones:

Next up against the other Drone type that I chose, the V15-70 Mini Hover Drones:

Of course, the million dollar question was really would these new items match up with the existing, mixed scale units, so here goes with some comparison pics; first up the winged drones beside a Venusian assault unit of Irregular 2mm Alien APC and SPG....

and then against the ostensibly 6mm scale Baldur Light Tank from Brigade:

Moving on to the rather beefier-looking hover unit from GZG, and the 2mm Irregular again:

Well, to my eye, at least, not so disproportionate, certainly they could represent some pretty heavyweight robot/AI weapons, in that the removal of the human pilot means extra space for systems, and 'oomph' in terms of weaponry and capability.
I suppose at a stretch, they might also be used in a more aerospace sense if based individually, certainly they look as if a 2mm crew could fit inside. Talking of conventional fighters then, how would they compare to the fleet scale efforts, of say, Brigade Models, that might be more in proportion for a teeny-tiny crew?
Next to the SFS-464 EuroFed Folgore fighter:

Well, a pretty good match really, and if you were to go down this route, and move away from the plastic EM-4 miniatures types I showcased in a post last year, then how would more 'in-scale' (in the visual sense) sized craft compare to the ground units?

Well, not a million miles off, so, lots to think about here, as I spin around in ever decreasing circles of mixing and matching size and scale!
I suppose the base-line of the whole thing was to take advantage of the breadth of different models and concepts available from differing manufacturers and scales, whilst retaining a visually pleasing balance; something that would look good on the tabletop whilst remaining true to my liking for the littlest of minis!
I'll reserve judgement for now, but expect more to come on these strange experiments in defying the holy commandments of 'Scale'......


  1. Great treatement on the subject, and nice to see the photos of the miniature alongside each other.
    I'm planning on doing something similar myself, using GZG's 15mm VTOL as an unmanned drone in 25mm

  2. I hope to see lots more experiments in scale mixing - there are no rules

  3. Cool stuff, I like the new blog colours too!

  4. Cheers guys, as always, glad you liked the ideas -sometimes I think that I am going to far with the mixing and matching - glad it's not just me who sees the possibilities!

    More on this to come, and of course, hopefully some photos of it all painted up as soon as I can.

    @Sam, thanks, glad you like it, of course the old setup was the classic default Wargamer's Blog colours, but I found that it was a bit dark and hard to read, particularly on long posts and on handheld devices like the iPod/Phone - have to keep up the kids these days! - hence the changes.