Home Forums Sci Fi 6mm Sci-Fi 3mm Hover and Grav Tanks, National Cheese Emporium

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  • #12317

    As I mentioned last week, I received a package from Andreas Udby, AKA “Javelin98”, proprietor of The National Cheese Emporium shop on Shapeways in mid-May. In it was a nice selection of Andreas’ 3mm science-fiction stuff, which I have finally gotten around to painting up.

    As I also explained last week, TNCE’s stuff varies wildly in quality. Andreas’ began making figures years ago in 1/900 scale for Ogre Miniatures players. When Oddzial Osmy’s 3mm (1/600) stuff started becoming popular, he re-sized some of his production and started in on new lines. As the years have gone by, his 3D sculpting skills have drastically improved. So you can kinda say Andreas has sort of a “the good, the bad, and the ugly” dynamic going on.

    Last week, I presented the vehicles of TNCE’s Wheeled Taskforce, which I found to be quite good. These, of course, are a relatively recent sculpt. I thus decided to do some “ugly” vehicles this week: the hover and grav task forces.

    These are “more recent” sculpts: not as nice as Andreas’ newest stuff, but not as basic as the re-sized 1/900 line. I do not like these sculpts, but I must say, the hover vehicles ended up looking much better than I thought once they were painted! I am still not into the grav vehicles, however.

    Let’s take a look…

    The hover vehicles are obviously inspired by David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers series, so I painted them up as if they were from that universe. I think the silver paint scheme turned out quite nicely! I am not so sure about the grav vehicles, however. I wanted to go for a US Air Force basic gray paint job. It doesn’t seem to have worked as well as the silver scheme and that might be one of the problems with these vehicles.

    The main problem with both lines, however, is that I think they are too small for 1/600 scale.

    Here we see the hover tank and grav IFV models in relation to an O8 Caesarion (from that company’s sci-fi line) and a TNCE wheeled AFV. See the difference? It is particularly noticeable in the grav vehicle. These figures need to be at least 25% larger, in my opinion.

    To top it all off, the packs have the same problem as the earlier vehicles I reviewed: they come in a pre-established mix and you can’t buy the sculpts you want seperately. This is particularly problematic for the hover line. O8 has also produced some (much superior, IMHO) hover tanks based on the Hammers’ franchise, but they stopped expanding the line, apparently due to fears that they were infringing on John Treadaway’slicense for HS miniatures. We thus only have the blower and combat car for that line. It would be nice to get artillery, command cars and maybe some other vehicles and TNCE’s figs could fill that niche… if we could actually buy only the figures that we need. As it is, we have to buy the whole selection at 3-4 times the O8 price.

    TNCE’s combat car is particularly bad in my opinion. I’ve stuck one of O8’s Heavy Infantry troopers in there, just so we can see how it scales. Not very well, as it turns out. There’s barely room for two troopers in the back, let alone the canonical three. And where is the driver and engine on this bloody thing?

    This brings up another point: far too many GEV-style futuristic tanks – from almost all the companies producing them – don’t make adequate space provisions for the vehicle’s drive train. Many manufactures seem to think that the way to model an air-cushion vehicle is to chop off the treads and stick on a ground effect skirt. GEVs, however, need air intakes and enough space UNDER that skirt for fans or jets or what not, not to mention what needs to be a pretty robust powerpack. They thus shouldn’t be lower to the ground than treaded or wheeled vehicles. TCNE dosn’t sin particularly worse than other manufacturers here, but it’s still annoying.

    My grades for these vehicles are: B- for the hover combat team and C for the grav combat team. Resizing the hover vehicles and making their mix geared to the kinds of models we can’t get from O8 would raise that team’s grade to a B+ for me. Resculpting them slightly to let them fit in better with O8’s vehicles (i.e. higher chassis and add intake fans) would move them into the A range.

    The grav vehicles, however, aren’t worth redoing, most particularly because TNCE has recently sculpted two far better grav lines, so why waste your money here?

    We will look at those new grav lines in a future installment!

    More photos can be seen on my blog: http://leadnobleed.blogspot.com.br/2014/11/3mm-gev-armored-task-force-and-anti.html

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #12320
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Good review sir, keep up the great work.

    I am not big into grav/hover so the below is new on me:

    This brings up another point: far too many GEV-style futuristic tanks – from almost all the companies producing them – don’t make adequate space provisions for the vehicle’s drive train. Many manufactures seem to think that the way to model an air-cushion vehicle is to chop off the treads and stick on a ground effect skirt. GEVs, however, need air intakes and enough space UNDER that skirt for fans or jets or what not, not to mention what needs to be a pretty robust powerpack. They thus shouldn’t be lower to the ground than treaded or wheeled vehicles. TCNE dosn’t sin particularly worse than other manufacturers here, but it’s still annoying.

    Are there some images you can show us, that illustrate what you mean at all please?

    #12326

    Here’s the 15mm Wombat, from Ground Zero games, for example:

    It looks like it has a bumber car skirt attached to it.

    Here’s another offender: the Mao Zehdong from Brigade:

    And here are two ways of doing it right. The classic GEV from Ogre:

    …and the Hammer’s Slammers combat cars:

    Compare that image, in particular, to TNCE’s not-a-Hammer’s combat car:

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #12332
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I see, as a rule of thumb, what would you expect…
    The skirt a certain depth in ‘feet’ or the skirt as deep as the hull?

    Also, and please take this as a genuine question not a dig.
    Why is the deeper way the right way?
    Based on…?

    I may be asking as flat bottomed hover style vehicles would be easy to resin cast…

    😉

    #12333
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I think the complaint (and mine as well) is that they don’t look plausibly like hovercraft, but like tanks with a lift skirt tacked on the bottom.  Generally speaking, deeper and wider skirts are needed to generate more ground pressure to lift heavier vehicles.  Also, the intakes on the TNCE tanks are not evident – hover vehicles need to draw in a LOT of air.  To wit:

    These are the ones that are from earlier in the TNCE career, and are more tentative.  The Grav vehicles are particularly plain, and would benefit from a “remastering.”  They aren’t “bad,” but they are not as good as they might be, given later efforts like the wheeled vehicles previously reviewed.

    #12336
    Spurious
    Participant

    My personal problem with a lot of hover stuff is that it looks like someone just stuck an up-turned soap dish (or the aforementioned bumper car skirt) on a tank. Mechanical problems aside, it’s not exactly aesthetically pleasing to look at.

    Whilst it may not make as much sense mechanically, I prefer more of this:

    Than this:

    #12349
    Evyn MacDude
    Participant

    I think the complaint (and mine as well) is that they don’t look plausibly like hovercraft, but like tanks with a lift skirt tacked on the bottom. Generally speaking, deeper and wider skirts are needed to generate more ground pressure to lift heavier vehicles.  

     

    Generally speaking a wider plenum chamber produces a lower Ground pressure than a narrower one, skirt height is more about how much clearance equipment in the plenum chamber needs coupled to how much gunwale height is necessary to securely attach the skirt. Also consider the volume of air that needs to pressurized to lift said vehicle to a height where it can operate.

    So mostly I think we can assume is what you mean the larger Plenum chamber is require to reduce the ground pressure of extremely heavy vehicles to manageable levels.

     

    Evyn

    #12351

    I would presume that the powerplant and equipment needed to provide lift would take up about as much space as tread-based movement would. So what you shouldn’t do is just plane off the treads and slap a skirt on it. As Mathieu says, the entire thing needs to clear the ground, so the tank would need to hold all that powerplant and drive equipment and hover it at a level that clears reasonably sized obstacles on the ground. So the skirts need to be wide, for the reasons Mathieu points out, and probably thick as well. In any case, the bottom half of the hull still needs to be there, raised up above the ground, and not replaced with a thin skirt.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #12352
    Evyn MacDude
    Participant

    Ignore what I just wrote, it hit my brain as a mechanical advantage problem and it really is a fluid dynamics problem, so you were right wider is better.

    Evyn

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