Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bring on the Big Boys: The Heresy-Era Thanatar Siege Automata

So, time to put on our Jeremy Clarkson hat and take a look at the FW Thanatar. Though fiddly, this model, when you finally manage to get it together, is a great piece. I only wish it were hollow plastic, because it begs to have LED light stuffed into it to illuminate the plasma mortar. 

Look at that thing. How is it this came from basically the same place as those revolting robots they put out for the CultMech books? There's some real artistic schizophrenia going on over there.

If the Mechanicum are such tech-hoarders and so reverent about their machines, then a great deal of these and other automata should have feasibly survived the heresy era. Sure half of them went to Horus, but for pete's sake, half didn't. Also, if the AdMech do anything, it's stuff things in vaults. Where'd all those crab tanks and walker cavalry units come from? They weren't stuffed in turkeys, you know. 

Or maybe they were. Who knows how big turkeys got at the height of the Imperium. 

Three things about it are shit, however. The first is FW's insistence on "heat and twist" ammo belts. They're awful. They never bend and flex properly. If someone over there had half a brain they'd cast the belts in pewter so you bend and shape the hell out of them, or better yet, make them actual plastic belt-link chain feeds, like these. Note the price of those kits, by the way.

In retrospect, I went a little overboard on the source lighting.
The second thing is the Hellex plasma mortar support mechanism. This flimsy bit of resin just does not have the strength to support this immense block of resin, and quite honestly, needs a set of hydraulics to elevate and  stabilize the thing. Sorry, FW designers, but you need to step it up and stop phoning it in like this. It's the details that make your models and stuff like this just won't do. 

Yes, there were wee pistons that go dead on the backs of the legs.
Yes, I left them off, because I lost one, and frankly, he looks just fine anyway. 
Third, the unnecessarily complicated hips. Why are they jointed in the middle instead of the more dynamic and more sensible ball joint? Quite honestly, posing has been FW (and GW's) biggest problem as they don't seem have a grasp on the basics of composition and dynamic form at all. Never mind the over-produced look everything has been getting on the GW side nowadays. Have you seen the Terminator Captain and Librarian? They're utter shit. Boring, under-detailed models in boring poses. The previous models were ten times better. Who quit or was fired from their models department? 

The base is from Secret Weapon Miniatures, and has this dreadful rut on one side. I was obliged to fill it with sprue to give the model more contact area and stability. SWM is really stepping up their game nowadays, and giving the Dragon Forge stuff a run for its money. This didn't stop me from investing in their kickstarted, though, and you should too. Especially if you have a machine-y army like, say, Admech or Iron Warriors. 


The GunGrave said...

This Thanatar is a beauty! I've got 2 on the go now as well, I really love the model though.

I feel your pain with the rear leg Pistons!! I just left half of them off as wel!!

#2501 said...

Right? I hope there will be relic rules for using them in 40k, because they're just too cool.