Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Enter The Dragon


I may have painted this fleet quite a long time ago, but I thought with their recent activity in our tenth Battle Report and a new set of rules with the Second Edition of Dystopian Wars, it was time to have a closer look at the Chinese Federation. 

The Chinese Federation have some of the most striking ships of all the models currently released by Spartan Games, distinctly historical in flavour and covered with all kinds of small details that really add up. The dragon-shaped flamethrowers are my particular favourites, but the wonderful roofs with their Forbidden City look, the "Floating Great Wall" of the Bastions and the kite-like flyers are other aspects of the fleet that really make it stand apart.

They were a joy to paint and suited a strong, bold colour scheme with an assortment of colours I had not used for Dystopian Wars before - rich golds in abundance, deep reds that highlighted almost up to yellow, and jade details on areas of banded armour and sculpted dragons. This was drawn almost entirely from the studio scheme for the Chinese Federation, though I may have switched a few colours or highlighted others slightly differently.

Painting the fleet was quicker than initially expected - given the running aesthetic theme of the fleet each of the ship classes share a great number of details. The models were initially sprayed a yellow-brown and the painting began from there, which did most of the work on the superstructures by itself. The roofs were painted a black-grey and then drybrushed carefully, while the red probably took the longest working up from brown-red. Gold and jade details were done last, with the jade dragons taking the most effort as I wanted them to be the focus of the models that featured them.

One the lightest and more colourful of the fleets I have painted, they look great on the table and certainly stand out from the fifty shades of grey my other fleets tend to come in!

The Chinese Federation Naval Battle Group
The Chinese Federation Support Box
The Jian-class Battleship, modelled with the closed armour plates as Ben was not a fan of the look of the rocket battery
The flagship of the Naval fleet, the Jian stands proud with powerful broadsides, rockets and a terrifying set of flamethrowers
Beneath the flame weaponry was painted black and burned, as if the chemicals spewed forth had dripped down and damaged the area around the nozzles
Two Wodao-class Gunships and a Dao-class Cruiser
The Dao-class Cruiser easily switches into a Wodao-class Gunship with the drop-in turrets, a feature I have seenSpartan use with their Firestorm Armada ships and would like to see more of. Unfortunately the Chinese fleet only comes with two turrets as the Gunship squadron was limited to two models in the previous Edition
Without the turrets, the standard Cruiser is left with more room for conscript-soldiers, and has a very high crew score to represent this
Simple models, the Cruisers were fine to paint
Nu-class Frigates, packing powerful sonic cannons and a good number of crew
Even in models this small, the details are beautiful
Swarms of tiny flyers engage the enemy - I painted them to match the Luxing-class Air Bombards
The Dun-class Bastions form a Great Wall between them with Rampart Generators. Having to paint the top and the bottom of these models made it feel like twice the work!
Chui-class Support Cruisers with their squadrons of tiny flyers
Dominated by the decking, the Support Carriers were a great opportunity to practise painting landing strips
Despite their small size, they still pack a nice broadside
Guan Dao-class Battlecruiser
With three sonic turrets, the Guan Dao packs the firepower of a Battleship at an affordable price
Yue-class Destroyers
Everyone's favourite models, the Destroyers have the impressive Dragon's Breath flamethrowers running down their keel
Luxing-class Air Bombards
Painted to imitate the tiny flyer tokens, the Air Bombards were feathered up from dark brown/red to the orange at the front. Details like the sonic barrage cannon and engines break up the red nicely
The Zhanmadao-class Dreadnought Bastion - centrepiece for the fleet and largest Dystopian Wars model I believe I have painted - though maybe the Stiglitz comes close
I'd love to say all these rooftops were fun to paint... but... yeah, it's a very detailed model
The Dreadnought Fortress dominates the table
The fleet has seen some games now, but with a new Edition come changes, and it seems high time to bulk out some of the smaller squadrons and bring everything in line with the other fleets. The Chinese Federation are a fleet that both myself and Ben enjoy playing, and it would be nice to have some more options. 

This being the case, I picked up a second support box which was split between Ben and a friend of ours, Dr. Alex of Breakthrough Assault fame. A further Dun-class Bastion, Guan Dao Battlecruiser and Chui-class Support Cruiser (with SAWs) will bring two squadrons up to full size and add a second of the wonderful Battlecruisers, something I am sure I will regret playing against I am sure! Painting will begin on these sooner rather than later, though I make no promises as the number of unpainted ships sitting on my painting table is... somewhat embarrassing. 

When I get round to placing a Parts Order with Spartan (should they develop their Parts Service a bit more... I would like a few individual ships from a LARGE number of fleets) I will be picking up a third Luxing-class Air Bombard and some more SAW tokens to give the Zhanmadao the option for the full complement of 12 (!) SAWs. 

Dr. Alex has received a Dun-class Bastion, Chui-class Support Cruiser and four of the Yue-class Destroyers - he likes his flame weaponry! I hope one day we can get some pictures of his Chinese fleet for the blog - a very different colour scheme than my own, with greens in abundance. 

Further in the future, the leaked pictures of the Robot Dragon have shown that support for the Federation is not over yet. If the Nation does get more models, I suspect it will be mainly as Land-based forces, but any that can be used for Naval Games (Surface Skimmers, etc.) will be picked up, no doubt. I am currently debating how to paint it... traditional red and yellow or a more jade green dragon to match the weapons of the fleet? Perhaps I will have to get two...

The madness of the Robot Dragon
Rumours say it matches a Battleship in length, if not more. I am glad the Imperial Bond get all the cool toys
The fleet as it stands today
In a future post I may talk tactics and gaming experiences with the Chinese Federation, but might need some more experience first. In the mean time...

Thanks for reading,



  1. I love the Chinese models. The dragon, when spartan games showed it on there facebook the same day they came out and said something like sorry for the mistake its an armored robot

  2. I toyed with the idea of selling my CHinese fleet but I have to think about that again. :) ENtirely your fault! lol. Wonderful paint job and nice information on the fleet itself.