24 July 2013

What's in the box? CMG Strike Hawk and Galacia VTOLs

Two of  the strech goals of the ZAS Kickstarter (infantry reviewed here, mechas to follow) were an attack VTOL and its transport conterpart... Obviously I couldn't resist. So there went another £26 (£11 for the small guy, £15 for the big one).

On top, the Galacia Heavy Transport VTOL: the two top row are the engines and their support "blocks", note that the two forward are wider, putting the forward engines more outboard that the aft ones and paying at least lip service at avoinding one engine exhaust feeding the next one; on next row are the 4 skids, the body, a chin gun and a chin sensor (that seems to actually go with the Hawk but fits both).
Lower half of the mat, the Strike Hawk Attack VTOL: the top row shows the engines (identical to the Galacia ones but for the connection peg which is a male one, not even remotely an issue for the end user but from an engineering point of view, wouldn't it make sense to make it identical and put the peg on the body?), body, 3 pairs of weapons pods (4-missiles pods, 9-missiles pods and gun pods mith metal gun insterts); bottom row, 3 skids, stub wings to hang those pods (2 per wings) and chin gun.

So, what do I think?
  • I like the fact that they form a matching transport/gunship pair...
  • I like the general shape of the Hawk (very near-future European as Mr Harlold says), the Galacia is more BFU but I guess it goes with the job... 
  • What I'm slightly disappointed about is the "polygon count"... Both craft, especially their noses, have overall rounded shapes, but are made of a lot of polygonal flat surfaces. Probably some sort of technical constraint. But in this case I feel they're too few and individually too large, giving the VTOLs a "unfinished 3D model" look.


  1. Very nice review... I agree with your points.

    Funny thing about the "polygon" count, I actually like it since it seems like some type of "stealth" design, but I can see where you're coming from!

  2. Can't really pin down my problem here... I guess there's too few polys for a "regular" design and too many for that F-117 design...

    Beside, the faceted shape associated with stealthiness is actually a suboptimal design resulting from technical limitations too!

    "The F-117A's faceted shape (made from 2-dimensional flat surfaces) resulted from the limitations of the 1970s-era computer technology used to calculate its radar cross-section. Later supercomputers made it possible for subsequent planes like the B-2 bomber to use curved surfaces while staying stealthy, through the use of far more computational resources to do the additional calculations needed." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk

    1. Very interesting... I didn't know that!

  3. I still kind of like the look of all the planes on the aircraft. Just adds a little touch of detail that could easily be related to future or maybe even alien technology. Sometimes lots of just smooth surface feels too plain to me, so I like these.