Sunday, 9 March 2014

Rule The Skies


FSA Tiny Flyer Tokens
An integral part of your fleet whether it be Land, Sea or Air, the Tiny Flyer Tokens (TFTs) are often an overlooked aspect of the Dystopian Wars game. In this post, I will show off some of the tokens I have painted for various fleets and discuss my preferences in choosing colour schemes, the model designs and the different types of token. 

Black Wolf Mercenaries - featuring split wings and snub nose, these are very large planes compared to other Nations. To me, they look very modern
I often hear people complain that they've spent a great deal of time painting their fleet and then remembered they have another three dozen of these small tokens to go - not a pleasant feeling! The tokens are a struggle if you're not confident with them - lots of small detail, and several different aspects to consider - the sculpted edges, the flat area (to paint as sky, sea or not at all?) to say nothing of the planes themselves - canopies, guns, engines and wings, markings etc.

East India Merchant Company - I use these for my Australian fleet. The engines on the wings look great and make them look like they can move pretty fast!
They can be a pain and seem like they are not worth it (they are free, after all), but I think making the effort is important for a great looking fleet - you're going to use them in every game, more than a lot of your ships, so make sure they're something to be proud of! If your fleet doesn't feature any Aerial models, these tokens bring a whole new dimension to the Fleet or Army. If you do have some, the tokens will make them look even more impressive, and give a strong sense of scale. 

Republique of France - red, white and blue! Some of the finer details on these models are lost very easily, making them seem less detailed than other tokens
  • Scheme - are they going to match other squadrons in your fleet? I prefer to have the flyers in a strong contrasting scheme to make them stand out, such as bold reds, greens and blues, something different from the Naval or Land fleets but linked with other Aerial models in your collection. 
  • Different Classes - Will your squadrons be Fighters, Bombers or Recon Planes? The decision to paint them differently is one you need to think over strongly. Plenty of people will paint them all the same so they can switch between classes, as I have done with the Danish and Australian TFTs, but for my larger fleets I have the luxury of being able to mix and match. 
  • The Flat Area - will you paint this as sky, or sea? I have also seen people paint it simply grey, or black. All valid, so long as it is neat and the same across the whole fleet.
  • The Edges - how will you paint these? Will you spend a great deal of time making sure all the struts/detail is painted correctly and highlighted? For my fleets, I paint the edges a single colour that links with the hulls of the parent fleet - grey for Prussians, green for FSA etc. 
  • Squadron Markings - will you be attempt ways to differentiate your squadrons? For example, though all of my Danish TFTs are the same red, they have tail markings to show their squadron and carrier. Not necessary, but it looks great. 
Chinese Federation - very closely tied to the Liuxing-class Air Bombard, I painted them the same. A friend remarked they look like kites
I always paint the flat sea first, as this can get very messy when I'm wet blending. After this, each plane is basecoated a single colour, which is then highlighted a few times. Details are done after this, such as the canopies, guns and engines, with squadron markings done at the end. The edges of each token are painted last.

League of Italian States - with their distinctive tri-wing design
The blue for the sea is painted with three Citadel colours, wet blended so the next stage is being added while the first is still wet. This is done randomly in dark and light patches, though some thought is given to making the tokens look like they're not all over the same area.
  • Kantor Blue - the base
  • Thunderhawk Blue - the first layer
  • Temple Guard Blue - the final highlight
Kingdom of Denmark - big machine guns and large engines make these guys the best Fighters in the game
Looking over my collection, I have repeated some of the markings and colour schemes, sometimes intentionally, sometimes by accident. This is only really apparent when all the tokens are presented together - like this article! Future fleets will add some new colours into the palette - I plan on painting my Ottoman TFTs a cream colour. When expanding the French fleet, I also plan to experiment with each squadron as a different colour.

The Honourable Eclipse Company - I am convinced these are smaller than the planes for other Nations
Prussian Empire - Bombers with yellow tails, Fighters with the red Ace, Recon Plane in white. The swept-forward wings give me the impression of a sports car

Beyond the two wings you start the game with, the best way to get more tokens is Carriers. Some of my favourite models in the game, Carriers are always a joy to paint, crammed with detail and additional superstructures you don't see on other ships. The decking is clearly the most important part of the model, and I always consider a rich brown that highlights nicely. This brown should match the rest of the fleet, so Calthan Brown for my Prussians, or Snakebite Leather for the FSA. There are many methods for painting a good looking flight deck, but I tend to highlight towards the ends to make it look used and weathered - maybe not the most accurate, but impressive nonetheless. I have seen some ships with beautifully done markings on the decking, and though I have not been confident enough to try it myself yet, I will give it a go with the French in the future. 

Rhine-class Fleet Carriers - flat, fat and slow, but I love that Bombard and the broadsides are nice
Chui-class Support Cruisers - the earliest example of the light carrier in the Naval fleets

Elysium-class Airship - come for the TFTs, stay for the Earth Shaker Cannon

Fafnir-class Light Airships - great turrets, great aesthetics
Everyone's favourite - the Imperium-class Sky Fortress
Saratoga-class Fleet Carrier - not Ben's favourite due to the weak offensive weaponry, but a great model nonetheless
Affondatore-class Fleet Carrier
Packing serious broadsides and another Double Decker, the Savannah-class Sky Fortress always gives me a struggle
The Stiglitz-class Floating Fortress - a true monster
Mercenary Support Carriers - especially useful for the small fleets without their own carriers - Australians, Black Wolf Mercenaries etc.
I hope this has been an interesting read - in the future I am planning an article about my new Landing Field set (once it's painted...) and hopefully I'll be able to photo some new flyers for that - Eclipse Company, Ottomans and more.

Just remember your Tiny Flyer Tokens! They may be a pain and too small to consider, but they bring so much to the aesthetic of the game, and really complement a well painted collection.

As mentioned in other articles, the movement trays I use for my TFTs are from a company called Red Vectors, though I bought mine from eBay. At time of writing their website is still under construction, but I hear if you email them they will be more than happy to sort something out for you.

Thanks for reading,


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for article and great photos. I have too much painting to do and other work as well so I am stalled for now. Too many games, but your article makes me want to finish my KOB fleet.