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.