Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Demolisher Kit (40K)

Built as Executioners with magnetized turrets.
Each took two hours to assemble, including turret magnets.

The new Warhammer 40,000 Demolisher kit comes out in two weeks, but Games Workshop partner stores that got one of the legendary "black box" kits received a preview this weekend. The box contains two Demolisher kits, which also includes parts to make either an Executioner or a Punisher.

I'm in the middle of building three Demolishers using Forge World parts and the old Leman Russ kit, so I opted for the Executioner build. The black box also contained a kit for the new Hellhound, but I haven't put that together yet (I'll be making a Devil Dog). There's also an Ork roller accessory sprue and a Planetary Empires terrain hex.

Some details about the new Demolisher kit:

  • No vehicle accessory sprue. It didn't come in the box. I'm not sure if it will be included in future kits. The antennas in this photo are from Leman Russ sprues.
  • No tread wheels. You know, the ones that take extra time to assemble but nobody can see? They've been replaced by four posts. Hardcore modelers lament. The rest of us thank GW for the reduced assembly time. Thought question: How simplified can a model kit become before it's a toy? Tread assembly is also idiot proof now, with grooves for perfect tread placement. I put three current style Leman Russ tread assemblies together this weekend and the instructions weren't even right, let alone foolproof.
  • No side panels. The side panel is sculpted into the tread assembly. Sponsons are added over this. If you want to magnetize your sponsons, be sure to add the interior magnet before you glue your treads on. On the other hand, without the wheels getting in the way, it's not a critical fail if you forget (which I did). Just hold your magnet on the outside of the tread assembly and drop in a magnet with some glue on it. It will jump to the right place.
  • Turrets not interchangeable. The Leman Russ turret (and Forge World variants) do not fit on the Demolisher. Sure, you can shave off the bottom of the turret and glue on metal washers, but that's a hassle. For some reason, Games Workshop wants to make it very clear that this kit is not compatible with the current or future Leman Russ kits. I personally think they should have included another sprue of cannons and eliminated the stand-alone Russ kit.
  • Plastic. Everything is plastic and tightly packed on several sprues.


The project I was hoping to do this weekend was building three Forge World Leman Russ Demolishers. Unfortunately, the Demolisher body kits still haven't arrived. The order my Forge World orders have arrived after being placed has been: 4, 3, 2, 1, with my 1st order still not arriving after a month. Still, there was work to be done.

These are some of the tread assemblies. The red circle is a magnet. Within the tread assembly (accessible through the side door) is a magnet on the opposite side of the red magnet. It has been glued into place and when it dries the red magnet will be removed and glued to the accessory door. Later, I'll assemble sponsons and install a magnet on them as well.

Using magnets has been a challenge today. Your usual metal tools are useless. I've been using paint brushes like chopsticks to move them around. In fact, a good pair of plastic or wood chopsticks might make a good magnet tool (or aluminum tweezers). You also have to be careful where you lay down your parts to dry if you've got a lot of magnets around. At one point everything went ricocheting around my desk as various magnetic forces collided. I had to re-glue a few things. Also consider painting one surface of each magnet so you can remember which side to glue.

Finally, if you're really clever, you can use magnetic forces to assist you. You can't lose a dropped magnet in an assembly, for example. Just use it's twin to fish it out. Magnetic forces aren't terribly picky on exact placement either, which can be a nice change from precise joints. Also, you can't break a magnet, so making mistakes is usually just time consuming.