Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Constructing birthday models.

One of the great things about having a birthday in the middle of the summer holidays is that I always get time to enjoy my presents! It's year has been no exception and I have been constructing some of the models bought for me by the boys in E.L.F. Today will be a review of GW's recent release, the Vengeance Battery. It's is a kit which I saw and thought looked interesting but would probably never have got around to buying for myself as I failed to take advantage of the Wall of Martyrs bundle deal when it first came out and always seem to find something more urgent to spend my gaming money on (Nurgle Daemons, expansions to board games, you guys know the feeling). So how did I get on with this kit? Was there anything innovative or more slightly expensive but pretty scenery from GW?

Here's what you get in the box!
Straight away when you open the box you get a big surprise (well I did , but maybe those folks who bought the Wall of Martyrs have seen this before) as nothing is on a sprue, it has all been bagged up for you allowing GW to make the box size significantly smaller. Also there are not many parts to the basic model. Just a one piece base (more on his in a moment), plate and sides for the gun and the barrel, that's it. There are lots of 40k style extras of skulls and spiky bits that can be added but you could choose to leave these off. 

The base seems to me to be the reason that GW may have made the move to de-sprue the components as it is a couple of inches deep and you would be wasting all the depth of the rest of the mould if you only cast a couple of complete kits at the same time and once you start to pay people to de-sprue one part you may as well go the whole hog and do the rest allowing you to have a much smaller box to boot. 

The second thing that struck me was that the rules come in the box, a real departure for GW as it wouldn't seem too unreasonable to put the rules in the Apoc' book that came out the same month. I wonder if this will be the new format for fortifications and therefore frees them to release them as and when they need a sales bump. If only they'd start release some Xenos fortifications/scenery. 

Sadly it's a booklet with all the languages so you either have to cut it up or carry paper you'll never use.
The instructions are very straight forward and the hardest part of the construction is cleaning end mould lines off of detailed areas as it passes in and out of crevices, something which GW have become pretty good at avoiding of late. I may be being a little mean here but the guy that designed this is pretty new to sculpting and his main job is the scenery designer for the studio tables so let's hope he continues to progress and develop ways to make his designs easier to clean. On that note the models have an inconsistent quality to them when it comes to detail. Some areas are very flat with no texture whilst others are more fiddly than they need to be. It's said as they are terrain pieces the designer has done a good job of making a model that goes to together quickly and intuitively. Each one only takes about 20minutes if you get the sections with nice, small mould lines, bough his goes up significantly when you get the parts with serious deep mould lines. 

This is how they come, though the mould lines are bit fiddly along the ridged sections.
The plastic feels different as well. I'm not sure if this is a specific change for the scenery products to give them better physical properties but it feels more rigid and less likely to snap than some of the previous plastics (yeah, I'm talking about the Plaguebearers again). 

I cannot decide which look I want to go for.

Things I liked:
- The removal of the sprue is great as it means I'm wasting less bin space on material that could have gone back into the production of more models (don't even mentioned the GW recycling initiative) and save me time.
- Other than a few poor mould lines they are quick to put together and look pretty good as defence outposts. 
- Putting the rules in the box is a really nice touch and whilst it may seem a bit of a waste getting them each time you buy a box the quality of the paper is great so I appreciate the effort.
- They left of those awful dead bodies and ammo crates that they put on the the defence lines and bunkers.

Things that made me go hmm:
- The side of the base are supposed to have little skeleton sections stuck on and spiky struts and whilst they make it very Dark Millennium I just can't be bothered to stick them o as it will increase my painting time considerably (not to mention the cleaning time for ribbing on the spiky struts). What do you guys think, is it worth the effort?
_whilst the gun options seem cool (Battle or Gatling cannon) I'm still not overly sold on the idea of fortifications as part of my army. Though I think they make great scenery pieces and  could be a good way to show horn in an extra battle cannon into a list for 85 pts so we'll see.
- They do seem a tad expensive for what they are and the complexity of the model.

3.5/5 Daves (based on people buying it for themselves)

1 comment:

  1. They look pretty good, i had heard they were off sprue which is an interesting development, i hadnt considered that may just be a scenery thing moving forward.
    I think they look better without the skeleton bits btw. But i tend to prefer functional over flouncy with my battlefield equipment.