Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Return of the… Thing (Part III)

Not a whole lot a description required around the above in-progress item: a Forge World Landspeeder Tempest. I snagged one because I’ve migrated back to a set of Astartes which can use one (Blood Angels renegade analog), and simply because I’ve always thought it was an amazing model. Now that I have one, I am seriously considering another.

Not a lot of warping or flash, easy to assemble. Highly customizable… just replace the nose-mounted Assault Cannon with your chosen flavor of death. Best part? You can easily “hide” the integrated Typhoon Launchers for those WYSIWYG lawyers. ‘Nuff said.

Second item for your perusal is the Forge World Mk.IVc Predator conversion kit.

Of all the bits, bobbles, and pieces-parts I have acquired from Forge World over the years, this is likely the only kit I would not recommend for purchase. There’s actually nothing “wrong” with the kit, and it’s a decent deal compared to the retail Predator (as you get a full Rhino hull as well as the resin portions) but the differences between the Mk.IVc and the Mk.IVb (the standard kit) are so minor as to be almost unnoticeable to all but the most discerning eye. In fact, from a distance of greater than perhaps a few feet it would be exceedingly difficult to spot dissimilarity between the Mk.IVc and the Mk.IVb with turret (FW) Extra Armor.

I would have killed for some comparison pix when I was considering the purchase... and after scouring the interwebz I simply couldn't find any which fully satisfied my curiosity. I've taken more than a few shots of the conversion kit for your benefit if you're debating. One good deed a month... that's my motto.

Summary: the Mk.IVc turret is slightly more streamlined, the hatch has a different offset, and the upper sponson supports blend more smoothly than the standard kit’s 90-degree angle.

All the above being said: being a discriminating (read: obsessive) hobbyist, I am fond of the kit’s aesthetic and have decided to utilize it to flesh-out the Predator Which Shall Never Be Completed. This did generate some of its own challenges as the resin is cast specifically to fit the included twin-linked Lascannons, and the Mk.Dryw will sport twin-linked Assault Cannons of the new Baal kit variety. Fitting the Assault Cannons into the turret itself wasn’t too difficult after some cutting and shaving, but I soon discovered that the IVc turret sits considerably lower in the turret ring than both the standard and Baal kit turrets due to shape (the standard Predator turret has more of a wedge shape on the underside). This was resolved by completely removing the IVc resin turret insert and adhering it firmly to a modified Razorback “turret”. This allows the IVc turret to sit high enough to provide 360° clearance over all the sensor spines, viewports, etc which exist on top of the Predator hull. Also gives the turret ring a bit more character/texture... an unintended boon.

I've added the Baal front plate from the new kit (very streamlined and smooth… I like this new piece a lot) and the IVc sponsons. Of interest: the width of  the IVc sponsons is notably less, even with extra armor installed, so when in-place there is a noticeable gap between sponson and hull. A bit of putty/green stuff may be required.

The Predator Which Shall Never Be Completed may soon require a name change.

Miracle of miracles.


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