Hobby Hack #4 – Cutting the Costs


We are all aware of the cost of our hobby (well, except our partners, who we usually fudge the prices of our purchases to). 
Let’s face it, our hobby isn’t cheap. Between model/ miniature costs, the cost of accessories, paint and glue, costs rake up pretty quickly. As such, we are usually on the look out for ways to either cut our costs or to get a good deal on our purchases.
Some times this is buying on the secondary market, other times it’s finding alternative products, and it’s the latter (alternative products), we’re going to delve into today.

The first item we’re going to look at is ‘Primers’. For those of you who are uninitiated, a ‘Primer’, is basically the first step in painting a miniature or model. It’s basically a base coat of paint you apply to your model, so that your other paints can grip to, and not flake/ rub off. Although the most common colours to be used in priming a model are black and white, you can use nearly any colour, it just basically depends on your paint scheme.
There are a number of different ‘Primers’ available on the market from companies such as Games Workshop and Army Painter, just to name a few. Generally they are applied either via an Airbrush or a rattle can. I use the rattle can variety (as I don’t own an airbrush), the price of a can of ‘Primer’ can vary depending on where you get them, but usually a can of ‘Primer’ will cost between €10 to €15 per can, and if your painting an army of miniatures for games such as Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Warmachine/ Hordes, Dropfleet Commander, or Infinity as an example your going to need multiple cans.

Today we are having a look at a cheaper alternative to the big boys.

Today we are looking at Halfords Plastic Primer (grey colour). I’ve been previously told about this product but haven’t had a chance to test it till now. Now that I have tried it, I don’t think I’ll be using anything else going forward.

So how much does it cost?

At a cost of less than €8 for a 300 ml can, and less than €10 for a 500 ml, price wise you can’t go wrong.
What’s the coverage like?

To me, the spray seemed to be finer than say Games Workshop or Army Painter ‘Primer’ sprays. It didn’t clump or collect in recessed areas either, like I have happened with the previously mentioned sprays. I was impressed in the colour coverage, the spray even reached those hard to reach places (you know the ones I’m talking about, like between the legs, and in recessed tight corners).

So how did the ‘Primed’ model turn out?

I was interested to see how a ‘primed’ model would turn out, so I tested the spray on a number of different models. I would a this point take a moment to point out that although I did ‘prime’, for the most part I didn’t remove mold lines and flash from the models.


First up I primed a couple of containers from Puppetwars.eu, the containers are made of a resin-foam material. In a few places it appears the spray ate into the model but I believe this is more to do with the resin-foam than the spray.


Next up I tried a Fusilier model from the game Infinity.


I then did the Librarian from Games Workshops Dark Vengeance box set (I swear it has nothing to do with 8th edition 🤔). The grey is nearly an exact colour match for the Colour of GW plastic. The spray actually got in between the sections near the shoulders and back pack.


Next up I primed my fleet of UCM spaceships (8 frigates and 5 cruisers) from Hawk Wargames, Dropfleet Commander.


Finally I primed the web store exclusive Saratoga class cruiser from Dropfleet Commander.

The Halfords sprays come in a variety of colours so if grey isn’t your preference, you have a range to choose from.
If you haven’t tried the Halfords Plastic Primers before, based on my experience with them I can’t recommend them enough. 
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

Assemble the Fleet -web exclusive  Saratoga Class Light Cruiser 


With the relaunch of the Hawk Wargames Website, the folks at Hawk, offered for a limited time an alt sculpt for their New Cairo class Light Cruiser from Dropfleet Commander. 

I chipped in with a couple of other guys and we got some goodies. Gameplay wise, the Saratoga has the exact stats as the New Cairo Light Cruiser, but as I needed a few  extra ships to grow my fleet, and as they are visually different from my other ships, I wanted them.

I have to give it to Hawk Wargames, in how they have worked the Saratoga class into the Fluff of Dropfleet Commander…
…The Saratoga is an experimental development of the New Cairo class Light Cruiser with a focus on efficiency, incorporating the very latest systems. While the New Cairo inherits many core attributes from the older Rio class (itself several decades old), the Saratoga features an entirely new prow and amidships superstructure, conceived from the ground up.
Early field reports of the class in action have been exemplary, showing the ship able to provide equivalent combat performance to the New Cairo while consuming less energy and requiring fully half the crew to operate effectively. The few in service have served with distinction and none have thus far been lost to the enemy, leading officers and enlisted to declare it a uniquely lucky class.
Unfortunately for the Admiralty, the Saratoga’s were built exclusively at the FSI (Ferrous Shipping Industries) yards over the planet Ferrum which were entirely destroyed during the Scourge onslaught in late 2671. The yards had turned out a meagre 12 vessels for early void trials before their loss, making this one of the rarest ships in the UCMF. Compounding this, several proprietary systems were integral to the design and the subsequent collapse of FSI makes future construction of the class unlikely.

I look forward to when I go ‘Weapons Free’ with my Battlegroup of 2 Saratogas, and 4 Taipai and rip into some Xenos or renegade UCM with their burn through lazers.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

Dropfleet Commander – Scourge Basilisk Battlecruiser 


The Man Cave takes a look at the Scourge Basilisk Battlecruiser, which was available during Hawk Wargames Kickstarter of Dropfleet Commander.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Dropfleet Commander – UCM Battlecruiser Avalon


The Man Cave shows off the UCM Battlecruiser Avalon, that was available thru Hawk Wargames Kickstarter of Dropfleet Commander.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter Unboxing Part 2 – The Ships


The Man Cave takes a quick look at the Cruiser and Frigates of Dropfleet Commander.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter Unboxing Part 1 – The Box 


The Man Cave received a package… It’s his Commander Level Pledge (with bolt on’s) from Hawk Wargames Kickstarter for their new game Dropfleet Commander.
We did a quick Unboxing, why not have a look.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Dropfleet Commander on Kickstarter

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Roughly a week ago Hawk Wargames launched their Kickstarter. Their aim, to fund the tooling process, so that they could release their new game (Dropfleet Commander) in plastics. Their goal amount, only £40,000. At the time of writing this article, they’re at about £310,000 in funding. Their Kickstarter was funded in under 10 minutes.

So what is Dropfleet Commander? Well, Dropfleet Commander is a tabletop spaceship combat game, designed by Andy Chambers (of Battlefleet Gothic fame) and David Lewis (the creator of Dropzone Commander), set in the universe of Dropzone Commander.

So what’s the story/ fluff to Dropfleet Commander? To answer this we have to go back to the story/ fluff of Dropzone Commander, Hawk Wargames first tabletop game.

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So basically in the future mankind has moved out into the stars and colonized many worlds. One day a mysterious alien tennis ball (seriously it’s nicknamed a tennis ball in the fluff, but its not really a tennis ball) shows up with a dire message for mankind. Basically if mankind doesnt meet at a certain place, at a certain time to leave known space, mankind will fall.

As you would expect not much credence is given to the message but as the deadline gets closer and closer, more and more people begin to believe the message.

Fast forward to the time and place of the deadline, a large group of humans want to leave and the military doesnt want this. A battle breaks out, and a good chunk manages to leave, to places unknown.

Enter stage left, the baddies of the game, the Scourge. The Scourge are a parasitic race. Their ships, vehicles and technology is organic in nature. They lay waste to mankind, Earth and the worlds closets to Earth (known as the Cradle Worlds). The Scourge either kill or abduct humans to be hosts and forces surviving humans to make a run for the furthest frontier planets they can get to.

Skip forward a couple of centuries, mankind has rebuilt its civilisation and decided its time to retake Earth and the Cradle Worlds. Hoo- Ra!!!

Dropzone Commander is the tabletop game about the ground battles to reconquer the lost worlds of humanity. Dropfleet Commander will be the tabletop game about the space battles to get the troops on the ground to retake humanities lost worlds.

About a year and a half ago i hit some financial troubles and had to sell off my army of PHR (Post Human Republic, a splinter faction of humans in the game). I spent the time magnetising the dropships…

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… and even gave my infantry little smiley faces…

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… but when needs must.

Watching the Kickstarter has made me abit wishful. So i went out and bought the rule book again. As a fluff bunny, I found the fluff of the game great and as a little side note it was all written by David Lewis.

Hawk Wargames Kickstarter has 5 pledge levels, each of which has different benefits.

Luetenant pledge level

Commander pledge level

Captain pledge level

Commodore pledge level

Admiral pledge level (I believe this was the first level to sell out)

In the 2 Player Starter box, you’ll get 14 ships, tokens, dice, a tape measure, a map to play over, basically everything you need to start playing out of the box. You should check out the contents of the 2 Player Box for Dropzone Commander, to get an idea of what they cram in the box.

The 2 armies available in the 2 Player Starter Box will be the UCM (the United Colonies of Mankind)…

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… and the Scourge…

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When the game launches, your going to have dozens of options on how to build your fleet of ships. Just for cruisers alone you can build nearly any thing you want from carriers to weapons heavy. Hawk Wargames released an example of cruisers you could build for the UCM, just by using what will be on cruiser sprue…

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… my favourite is the Moscow class for the UCM. The same goes for the Scourge…

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As they have been smashing thru their stretch goals, all 4 factions will be released in plastic. They have shown 3D renders of the Shaltari Starter Box…

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… and most recently previewed a PHR cruiser…

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I have to say, so far this game looks amazing and thats just going by the information on their Kickstater and their 3 videos on The Beasts of War website.

If you get a chance drop by and have a look at their Kickstarter here! or go on over to The Beasts of War site here!

– from The Man Cave

P.S. Just to be a bit cheeky, if anyone from Hawk Wargames likes what they read and wants to gift me with new toys… I’ld be your BF for ever and Ever