Category Archives: UCM

DZC: UCM Infantry (Mortar Teams, Hazard Suits, and Ravens)

Since starting Dropzone Commander, I’ve managed to make it to a couple of game days and tournaments.  I’ve learned a lot, still get confused by CQB, and commit my forces too soon.

The number one lesson, of course, is more models!  A bunch of new infantry came out this summer, and I’m a sucker for new, so I figured they’d make a good next step.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the mortar teams.  I haven’t found their concussive blast to be useful at all, since I haven’t found people trying to shoot me from buildings too much, and I run out of reasonable targets for E6 weapons.

The Hazard Suits, though, I really love.  E7 Focus-2 gets to high strength pretty quickly, and they’re pretty durable.

Of course, everybody needs a ride.

Starting Dropzone Commander

Dropzone Commander has intrigued me for a long time.  The scale is interesting, and I really like the nesting models.  I played a demo at the Hawk booth at Adepticon, and got a starter as swag.  I kept waffling.  I got a second demo at Endgame (thanks Kyle!) in May.  Finally I decided to take the plunge.

I figured I should go ahead and sign up for the Bay Area Open, because everybody loves a newbie at a tournament.  Right?  I wanted to get at least one real game in first.  Since I only play with painted models, that gave me a hard deadline for getting things painted: July 4.

I had the PHR starter army, but swapped it for UCM.  The UCM aesthetic speaks to me, plus I could get a second set of some core models in the two-player starter.  I picked up a semi-random collection of other interesting models:  A Kodiak for command, Wolverines in Ravens, plus Falcon and Eagle gunships with Archangels to taste.

For the basic look, I liked the idea of doing arctic camouflage.  The problem with camo is that it is designed to break up the shape of the object.  A gaming model really needs its shape defined for it to work.  Fortunately, a bit of edge highlighting can bring the shape back without ruining the look of the camo.  Stippling the same off-white gives a frosted look.  I also added some weathering powders around the wheels to give a bit of color, and help to provide some contrast with any board color.  A few test models would prove the scheme.


That settled, I could go about painting up the rest of the ground forces.

Next up, the dropships.  I had a bunch of Condors from the starter boxes, plus a set of Ravens to carry the Wolverines.  I went for a similar scheme, with camo for the major body panels and exposed metal for the rest.  I figured the clamps would get dirty like the ground vehicles, so hit them with weathering to match.

Finally, the gunships and fast movers.  The UCM dropship and gunships look a lot alike, especially from a few feet away.  They share a hull design, and the main difference is on the underside.  I wanted to give the gunships a distinctive look.  I settled on a solid blue, centered around the same color as the spots on the camo.

The army looks cohesive as a whole, although different components have their own appearance.

I had to rush a bit more than I would have liked, but I was able to get everything done in time.  After a couple of games (and a bit of a break), I’ll see about expanding the force.  And I’m already lusting after the Resistance models.

Updated October 2016 with improved images.