Monday, March 22, 2010

Heroes of the Imperium: Dreadnoughts



It took GW a while to get the Dreadnought to the point where it didn't make your eyes throw up. The stopgap version between this (current) and the Rogue Trader version looked like complete ass, and the awful was compounded with the retconned "Pre-Heresy" Mr. Potato head:




Apologies to those of you who spent hours painstakingly making one of these, but man, that thing is so incredibly ugly I don't want to touch any of it with a ten foot pole. I had a pair of the old Rogue Trader ones, and now have only the "figure 8" torsos. Maybe I'll convert them, maybe I won't, but I sure as hell won't make Golden Army bots out of them. "Who?" You say? Well, then, take a gander:




Look ma! I'm Pre-Heresy! Man, it was bad enough that this movie killed the franchise. The Golden Army soldiers were neat in their crab-faced clockwork sort of way, but that also made them kind of comical and as a big a threat as, say, the evil super-elf villain (elves? hah!). Anyway, on to the blocky-stumpies:




I've spoken before (haven't I? ) of my preference for metal models over plastic, and all of my dreads are big honking pieces of metal, courtesy of eBay. They weigh a ton, and should. I honestly can't visualize how the thing runs at any speed at all. With its center of gravity being so low, why don't they mount battle cannons and other ordinance weapons on them?
Anyways, back when you could do such things, I bought a several cheap scroll/purity seal steam tank bits, and have been adorning vehicles with them ever since, and my dreads are no exception. 




Many people assume that lower round bit on the end of the assault cannon is the muzzle, but if that were true it'd quickly overheat and melt down. Vulcans spin to keep the barrel temperature down, otherwise they'd warp something awful and the the gun would be useless. GW would benefit from having someone with engineering expertise on staff, or at least someone who looks at military hardware once in a while. Oh well. 


I was sorely tempted to complete the "Rifleman" look by giving him a radar wing, but AC dreads don't get any extra bonuses vs skimmers like Hydras do, so what would have been the point? The smoke discharger is more useful on the battlefield anyway. Here's another look at his cannons:




Which, like so many others out there, are based on the Defense Line twin-linked AC's and bulked up using plasticard  and other oddments to fit the dread chassis. Other people mount them stock, but they looked too spindly to me by themselves, hence the armored housings. 




This poor beast came to me with all of his frontal detail filed off. Luckily I had a plastic sarcophagus armor bit to restore his good looks, along with a grail pilgrim shield to hide the scraped-off remnants of his sensor array. The right torso wasn't as bad off, so I went with the old campaign-list motif. 


I prefer to have all my dreads stomping along/reacting to something instead of standing pat and firing, not an easy feat with the metal legs. However I find that the effect is much more pleasing, and forces you to turn the model and look at it from all angles, rather than just the one. I would've made my Harpy models coiling and reacting to things too, if I could've, but given the parts it just wasn't possible. 

11 comments:

Dverning said...

I do love the look of the new Dreads...

Nice figs there and the "walking" pose looks much nicer. Glad to see I'm not the only one that put the time in for that.

I also prefer to old metal ones, if only because they feel like they could do some damage when lobbed at a head...

The_King_Elessar said...

Well, I can't stand metal models - but I like your Dreads. They have a lot of character. :)

Greg said...

You should totally make some rules for a AA dreadnought - such things would make sense in cramped battlefields where tracked vehicles would not be able to get in, especially if the marines needed protection from air support when away from Imperial Guard units.

I'm not so sure about the barrel comment, though. In a game with super-human soldiers in powered armour and dead versions of these men in gigantic walking, fighting caskets, I don't think it's a stretch to assume their metallurgy could create a highly conductive metal for use in weapon barrels.

Brent said...

I love that there is someone out there who loves that much metal! I'm sorry I got rid of mine - I often thought I could use it as a weapon of last resort.

The obvious thought, of course, is who I thought I'd have to protect myself from in a game store...

Brent

Mordian7th said...

I really like the dreads you've done, especially knowing they're metal. Nice work! I wanted to like the Horus Heresy art retcon/update of the RT-era dread, but there's just something about it that doesn't quite sit right for me either...

#2501 said...

@ Mordian7th: Right? It's just such a half-assed design, and doesn't fit in with the rest of the Pre-Heresy designs. That art dept. can do a lot better (and worse, and has). If I ever decide to convert those old RtT torsos into full units, I'll post them.

@ Dverning: I tend to do that to a lot of my models, especially my Terminators and other walkers. Flip back a few posts to the Heroes of the Imperium and Space hulk ones and see what I mean. I like your Space Wolves. I've been coveting that Logan Grimnar mini forever, and it may be time to pick one up.

Dverning said...

Flip back a few posts to the Heroes of the Imperium and Space hulk ones and see what I mean.
Oh yeah, I know the ones. I've been following you for a while. :-p

I like your Space Wolves.
All due credit: the Wolves pics I have up belong to a friend. I do need to get some pics up of my own guys...

Gotthammer said...

Very nice conversions, loads of character to them.

The retro / preheresy dread look is inspired by the plastic Space Marine 2nd ed ones, so actually pre-dates the walking coffin look.
Is that ine what you meant by the stopgap between RT and the current design?
I've only known the figure 8 torso (RT) and the 2nd ed metal monster coffin design in 40k scale.

#2501 said...

@Gotthammer: there is a 3rd design that didn't last long between the current "metal monster" and the older "figure-8" Naismith version. Now I'm going to have to dig through my old WD's to find it, and it was so eyeball-clenchingly ugly....

Anonymous said...

I noticed what you said on the Assault cannon.
The bottom barrel IS the muzzle, and it DOES spin.
Then again, you failed to see that it is the 41'st millenium :)
Nowdays the Imperium got ceremite which is extremely heat resistant.

#2501 said...

@Anonymous: I fail to see nothing. I know they mean it to be a muzzle (which is stupid), and I know it does spin. If they have ceramite, which doesn't heat up, why do they need rotating barrels, hmm? The thing could just have one barrel, and it wouldn't matter.

Fact is, multiple barrels look cool. That's why people are putting gatlings on everything nowadays. What GW doesn't realise is that A) in real life, they eat up CUBIC FEET of ammo, and B) vulcans chew through armor and mault tanks like nobody's business. Despite this, the AssCan and Punisher Cannon are the weakest guns in the game.

Go read Armored Cav by Tom Clancy. Although it's dated now, it'll teach you a few things about tanks, guns, armor, and modern warfare.