I went and picked up a package from the Post Office late last week. This particular package was highly anticipated as it contained a card deck and my Dindrenzi starter fleet for Firestorm Armada. I was eager to crack things open and dive in to see what things were like, after all, I’d read the book and seen things online, but nothing compares to actually holding things in your own hands. There are lots of posts over on the Spartan forums at the moment regarding issues that people have had with these fleets in general (Dindrenzi apparently being among the worst). The Uncharted Seas stuff was excellent and I had no issues there, the new items seem to be a different resin as the off-white of the Uncharted Seas models has been replaced with a grey resin for the Firestorm stuff.
For the Dindrenzi the battleship comes in 9 parts, there is the command deck, two sides for the main hull, two engine bays a dorsal gun-rack and a mid-ship gun-rack with a fore and aft plate. The major construction obstacle for these guys seems to be that the battleship is designed to have a gap running between the two sections of hull. This didn’t prove too tricky as the command deck and gun-racks allow you to position things correctly, however there are large sections towards the aft of the ship that could do with some kind of spacing as it would be very easy to vary the depth of the gap as you build the ship. The model itself is huge when fully built, there was quite a lot of flash left on the pieces as they had been cast, most of this as easily removable with a hobby knife. One of the engine pods seemed a little too big for the cut-out on the side of the hull but a modicum of filing saw this problem removed. There was also a small amount of overfill on some of the parts, a bit of filing dealt with the worst of it but I do have some parts where you’re looking at getting rid of a couple mm of overfill which I don’t really find acceptable, but that’s me. There is no hole to mount the flying base so I’m going to have to do some minor construction work to balance it properly but I’m pretty happy with the time it took to build it. Once it gets a lick of paint I’m sure it will look fine.
The Cruisers were pretty much the same, they have a dorsal gun-deck, two hull halves (no gap this time though) and two engine pods. I personally would have preferred the hulls to be cast as a single piece but that’s really just nit-picking. I got two left pods for one of the cruisers so I’ll need to get a replacement but everything went together easy enough, there was more flash and bigger overfill on these than the battleship, there is a lot of filing and sanding down to do if you are a perfectionist with your construction (I’m not with my model building, more-so with painting though). The frigates are white metal hulls (one piece) and two engine pods, I have only assembled one so far but they go together very easily, just remember to score the metal before attaching the pod for some extra bonding.
I only have the 5 Frigates left and one errant engine pod on a cruiser to assemble. There are a lot of resin shavings all over the place though. The models are very detailed and look great, however, it does seem like the quality has slipped from what I experienced with Uncharted Seas stuff. I don’t know if they’ve changed the casting process or what? However, saying that there isn’t too much work involved in tidying things up, maybe I’ve just been spoilt in recent years with models getting to the point where there is often little need to clean up items before painting, I don’t know.
Would I recommend these to a friend? For sure, the detail is superb and the ships really are great models, hopefully with future castings Spartan can work out the issues they have at the moment and I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from grabbing them, just know you might be in for a little work. It’s probably not the best set of models to jump into if you are new to the hobby either. Resin isn’t something you tend to come across very often in the mainstream games systems and therefore experience of working with the stuff isn’t something you’ll pick up quickly (resin dust is toxic). There is a decent amount of work involved with prepping stuff before you’ll want to chuck it together too, as mentioned. I know that nBreaker has his Sorylians now and I look forward to getting some games in over the Christmas break to try out the system.
ZombiePirate Rating: 7/10 for the Dindrenzi Fleet – excellent models let down a little by ever so slightly dodgy casting. s