Hey there Chaos fanatics! How's your holiday week going? Was Santa good to you? Did you get some 40K goodies in your stocking? I sure did- I got 2 boxes of the new Raptors, Khorne Bezerkers, a Warpsmith, and a Dark Apostle. The new Raptors are fantastic models. I love the new jump packs, and the models can be posed very dynamically. I also love the Wapsmith- the pictures did not do this model justice at all- lots of detail that just didn't come through in the photos.
I did indeed see The Hobbit. I will be writing my review shortly. I must say that I had very mixed feelings about it. There were parts that were amazing- parts that made me remember why I fell in love with LotR, and filled me with hope about The Hobbit, and there were parts when I wanted to just yell at the screen and say "Is this the same Peter Jackson who made the brilliant LotR movie?". Mixed feelings indeed... not something I wanted with The Hobbit at all, unfortunately. I'll review that movie soon.
So- I have just finished my Heldrake. Would you like to take a look? Hehe! I thought you might after all...
Since I already had a Hell Talon painted in my Death Guard scheme, so I decided to make the Heldrake a part of my new Khorne Bezerker army. Initially, I had been ambivalent about the Heldrake model when they first showed it in White Dwarf. Indeed, I still don't know how I would go about "Nurglefying" it. However, the dragon look ended up being a perfect fit with my Khorne Bezerkers.
The model goes together really, really easily. Like a dream, as a matter of fact. Despite the sheer size and vast amount of detail, the model is actually a good kit to build. The directions are really clear and straightforward- even newcomers could tackle it if they carefully follow the pictures/numbers. Once assembled, it is hard to not to be impressed with the model, as looking at it in person is way better than any magazine shot. The wings can be posed in several ways, making the Heldrake look very dynamic. The detail work is extraordinary, with tons of Chaos symbols, baroque rims, a tail that is both metal and flesh, and a dragon head that looks vicious.
The only downside, to me at least, is that conversions would be difficult, to say the least. There seems to be little room for massive conversions, which I am used to as a Chaos player. The only difference is the 2 guns (minor at best). Converting is more difficult as you have so much detail that conversions won't look (or be placed) right. A small quibble, but for a longtime Chaos modeler its a bit of a bigger issue. I did add to icons and a skull chain from the Chaos vehicle sprue.
Painting-wise, I did it in my typical World Eaters color scheme- a deep, dark red with plenty of brass trim-work. I also used what I did with the Maulerfiend- I used blues to represent daemon-warp energy inside the metal shell. This ties the two big beasts together in a further way. Looking at both models, I really like the synergy between the two. I know that I was not a fan of the models when they first appeared in the pages of White Dwarf, but after assembling and painting them, I really do like them now. I do wish that you could convert them a bit more, but... I can see ways of doing it with a Maulerfiend (I have ideas for my next one), but less so with the Heldrake. However, that said, I do like these two now, and they are a worthy addition to the forces of Chaos. They also look nice with the new Helbrute (which will always be a Dreadnought to me).
The other day I happened to be in the city, and as often happens, I wandered by the Games Workshop store there. I decided to ask some of my rules questions to the guy there. He answered a lot of my questions about the Maulerfiend and flyers. After his suggestions, I realized I simply should not have charged a Wraithlord. He's just too damn powerful. If my Mauler went after the War Walkers or something, that would have been very effective. Oh well- live and learn. He also clarified that the Heldrake CAN do a vector strike over something he passes over and then fire his gun at a different unit. That makes the Heldrake even more effective than I initially thought. The GW guy was very helpful and patient with my questions, and I do appreciate it.
So, with these new models ready and new strategic ideas learned, I can't wait to play my next game. I don't know when that will be exactly, but I can't wait to try out my new models and ideas. With the Heldrake done, I'll be working on some of the other stuff- the Raptors are first up for me- I'm so excited for them! The models are absolutely first rate. I also have a Land Raider and Possessed to work on too. I'll let you know as I get done with 'em.
I hope you've enjoyed the pics. Until next time, my friends...