First of all, I am a tread head. Hell, my first army was the armoured company from White Dwarf 294 (yeah, no need to tell me how that worked out). I have built plenty of tanks and am very familiar with this build. If I do any model in 40k eight it's tanks. With my credentials out of the way, let me get to the review.
I gotta say hats off to Games Workshop for this kit. We have gone from FIVE sprues and metal parts to just TWO plastic sprues. You get enough in this kit to build the feared Demolisher, Punisher, OR Executioner variants. You may fit your tank with side sponsons weapons and you get a great choice of weapons. Computer generated instruction and decal sheet are in the box as well.
The kit itself is well made. The plastic is of good quality and there was very little flash to trim.
The instructions are easy to read but the decals are of the standard fair. A lot of the detail like the doors on the side of the track assembly and engine cover are now molded into the model instead of separate pieces.
One thing that was a pain building any of the old tank kits was the track assembly. You had to make sure all of the wheels were just so and then get the tracks on just right. Now, there NO wheels to deal with. The assembly comes together in two halves but he best part is that the track has slots to guide them in. There is no real guess work putting these buggers in. They're even numbered for left and right!
Of course for the kind of tanks that I make, the absence of wheels now this presents a problem for future tank builds:
As for the hull, it's a simple two piece deal but the hull gun position seems easier to build. The sponsons are easy to put together and must be glued into place. It would take a little bit of effort but you could get them to be magnetized to the sides on a conversion with the right parts. Another really nice parts about this kit is that you can change the weapons out on the hull and sponsons. They fit in the slots and stay reasonably well. This is nice when it comes to the points crunch and need to drop a las cannon for a heavy bolter. Really, no magnets needed!
I love the new look for the turret. It looks more realistic (as 40k goes anyway) and real easy to put together. The rear ammo compartment has two versions, one for the plasma gun and the other goes for demolisher and punisher cannons. I have found that you can leave them unglued so if you are a stickler for detail they maybe swapped out. The tops will stay on for the most part. A lot of you are wanting to know it the main gun will swap out like other weapons. The answer is yes, mostly. You don't have to glue them in to make them stay on but they are a bit loose. The best way to keep the gun of choice it to insert it and simply raise the barrel up. This will lock them in place (assuming that you followed the directions correctly assembling the turret). Small magnets could bolster the fit but I think that you can get around using them on this part of the model.
Final thoughts about the new kit: I found it enjoyable to build. It has good detail and quality. Instructions have never been this informative. With the slotted weapons it almost makes me think that the designers were listening to all of us who don't want to be restricted into using just one weapons load out. There is a floor detail on the lower hull piece that can't be seen once the tank is built. My guess is that this is part of the Colossus and Medussa models due out later. If you still have some of those older Demolisher kits, you could use the parts like the punisher cannon to mount on the metal bits. This makes the kit worth more the while for some of your older stuff.
There are only a few things that I could complain about with this kit. The new smoke launchers are such that only fit well mounted on sponsons, that is, if I were to add sponsons to the tank. There is NO tank accessory sprue! WTF? So if you want to add a little extra detail, dozer blade, or stubber/storm bolter you are going to have to order it through direct now. Paying around $50 for this kit and not including the accessory sprue is a bit steep.
Over all, this is a good kit if you don't mind the price.
- good on quality for kit and instructions
- easy build
- interchangeable weapons
- no metal parts
- no accessory sprue
- high cost without accessory sprue
- poor placement of smoke launchers
- no metal parts
I'd give it an 8 out of 10