Sunday, October 14, 2012

DOE - D'oh!

The DOE Gunship from Khurasan - frustration awaits...
As the Green Bay Packers rightfully hammered the pretenders in Houston tonight I thought, since I was busy clearing the decks on 15mm sci-fi, that I would try and complete an acquisition that had been hotly anticipated for some time - the 15mm DOE Gunship from Khurasan's sic-fi near future Nova Respublik faction.

This model had been hotly anticipated, and the seemingly endless amount of time it took to arrive from computer drawing to actual model available for sale makes it "exhibit A" in my case to figure retailers that showing greens/renderings on a "coming soon" basis is actually a means to create frustration more than sales...

All that aside, who doesn't want a "Space Hind"?  The Soviet Hind attack helicopters are iconic pieces of kit.  A sci-fi version for the cool Nova Respublik? Sign me up!!!  When they were FINALLY available for sale I ordered right away...too bad, because I should have thought this through...

First of all, the model is a blizzard of parts.  This is not a simple or intuitive kit to put together.

And for all of the detail, there is NOTHING about the model designed to accommodate any sort of flying base in any way.  I find this oversight to be quite bizarre - this is, after all, meant to be a gaming miniature, used on a gaming table. It will need a flight base, so it can "fly" over the troops on the table.  As a VTOL craft, preferably some kind of base it can detach from - but failing that, some kind of flying base.

But this model was designed with none of that in mind.  I find this baffling, and very surprising coming from a solid outfit like Khurasan. You can build it with the landing gear down if you like (which you can see in the pictures through the link), but other than making the model useful as terrain or an objective, this is not useful for gaming.  I want this thing cutting across the table lighting tanks and troops with rockets, not sitting in a revetment waiting for the rebels to get it...why this was not more thought out, I don't understand.

Some might say "well, you can just use tools to rig it up yourself".  That is true, but I don't WANT to have to bother with drills and tools and other silliness just to put a 15mm wargaming model on the table.  Companies that assume you should just do that as a matter of course make me nuts. How is it that every rocket launcher, gun pod and sensor was so thought out, and the flying aspect of basing the model was not?

I drilled a little magnetic bit into the bottom of the craft.
To try and find a way around this I drilled out a hole for one of those round magnetic pieces I have seen the guys use on "Wings of War" planes.  I am trying to find a way to mount the counter-magnet into one of the GW flying bases.  I have not figured it out yet.  On the plus side, I have developed a number of new swear-word combinations today.

This is how I generally feel when trying to work with magnets, drills and other silliness
But at least I have a start on the magnet thing.  I figured I would at least get the model finished and painted, and then sort out the flight stand.  WRONG.

As I said, this model is a blizzard of parts.  The DOE is a twin-tailed VTOL gunship, with a fin/wing at the back between the tails. The picture up at the top, replicated again below, shows where this fin should go, and also shows how it does not fit - not even CLOSE.  This isn't a matter of green stuff - this is a part that is not even close...and it is a key part.

The tail wing bit is not EVEN CLOSE to fitting where it should - it should join to each tail fin, but there is an ample gap on each side.  And yes...I use my thumb nail as a paint palette...
I thought perhaps I had not mounted the tail pieces snugly enough to the body, but this still does not cover the distance. So suffice to say, this DOE is going nowhere for now.  D'oh!  This "breakdown" appeared on the third step of assembly - I didn't even get to all the small wings, sensors. rocket pods etc. Grrr!

I have to figure out some kind of bodge for this tail fin...I'm sure this is some kind of fluke, or maybe a sign of a new product, as generally I have seen nothing but top quality from Khurasan.

This model is beautiful, and I would love to get this thing on the table. I commend Khurasan for coming up with this and getting it to the market. I am sure it took a lot of work.  But I wish they had thought it through a little more - as in, how will this thing actually get out on to the table top? And I urge caution to all out there who are thinking about getting one of these things.  On the other hand, if you are like me, you had been waiting for so long, you probably already bought which case, I wish you better luck that I am having!


daveb said...

Apparently bent/warped resin is not uncommon. The suggested method is hot tap water to heat up and then gently bend to proper alignment.

I have not done this myself, but here is a thread discussing the issue.

The Angry Lurker said...

I have one of these sitting in a bag waiting assembly....I weep!

A-Historian said...

I don't know how much the DOE weighs, but I just glue my magnets to flying bases for my smaller and plastic models.

Dallas said...

Wow - the fit (lack of) on the stabilizer is shocking. Is it a result of the booms being out of true or something else that's not correctable?

If the latter, I'd suggest making a part out of plasticard to fit. Not as pretty but would get the job done.

Greg B said...

Sadly the issue is not one of warping...both tail fin pieces are straight, and are pretty much flush to the hull. The issue is the joining piece - it's not even close to the right size.

Am very surprised to be encountering these kind of issues with Khurasan, as oppoed to Forgeworld, or GW "Finecast". Khurasan quality is typically top of the line.

Mike A said...

Maybe email Jon and ask for a replacement piece. I don't know about you, but whenever I have a problem with minis, no matter how small it might seem, I always contact the company. I am a firm believer in getting what I pay for. Just my two cents.

Allison M. said...

Eh, I'd just make a replacement fin out of plastic card. It's just a fin. But I'm not surprised there were fit issues, the KM blog post about the Doe basically admitted that the metal and resin parts would need to be fiddled with to fit together, due to different mold shrinkage. Hmm, why not take that into account when designing them?

Evyn MacDude said...

From looking at your photos it looks like neither of your tail fins are vertical. They may be since the photo only shows the error, there is no good way of suggesting a fix.

As for flight stands, we all use different methods, I often have found that models with flight stands just get in the way of how I would do it.

In general I prefer a smaller miniature as a flying model with the figures scale model built in the landed form.