One of the coolest moments as a hobbyist happens when I see a project that makes me think that I could have designed it. Not that I'm suggesting that I'm as skilled as the designer but more that it's an idea I've had myself and not created. Pretty much like somebody reaches into my head, grabs a mental image, and then makes it real. Recently this has happened twice, first during the eagle rescue scene in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, and next when I opened DreamForge Games Leviathan Crusader kit. In both of these instances something connected with me and shouted:
" Yes! That's it! That's how it should be done."
I supported the DreamForge Kickstarter campaign and chose to get a basic Crusader and the Eisenkern Trooper Accessory pack since I wanted the robotic "mule" that comes with it. I actually received quite a bit more due to stretch goal goodies so I got a couple of extra weapons for the Crusader as well as an Ada- Little Lady with a Big Gun and a Feral Shadowkesh and Handler. There was so much stuff to look through!
First up are the Leviathan upgrades: Capacitor Coolers, Excalibur Combat Sword, and Left Vulcan (this allows for both arms to mount Vulcans since the main kit already comes with the right). Nice packaging and clear images on the boxes to show how they are used with the main kit. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the "Fast Arm Swap" feature works. This will allow the arms to be removed for shipping and easily optional weapon arms. All of the parts are well cast in gray plastic and are clean and sharply detailed. Casting is equal to any plastic model kit that I've seen and the parts themselves are solid and strong.
Next up I'm tackling the main monster itself, The Leviathan Crusader. This massive beasty promises to stand 8.5" once assembled and certainly the amount of parts back up this claim. There is so much plastic in this thing!
Upon opening the kit you are suddenly confronted with THE BASE. This was a bit of a shock because although I've been using plastic miniature bases since their creation I've never encountered one that nearly the size of a 45rpm record. And since it's the first thing you see of the kit it certainly lets you know that this sucker is bloody big.
|The Black Belles are pretty cool as well.|
I pulled out some foam and there are two stacks of sprues that use that groovy sprue connection that Wargames Factory uses. The stacks are rubber banded together so they fit perfectly in the box. The problem however is trying to remember how to stack them the same way to get them back into the box. Oh well, I took pictures.
|Oh my god, it's full of sprues....|
|Now to get it to all go back in.|
It's pretty hard to get a sense of scale for this kit but one thing I was impressed by is how simple the parts of the Leviathan seem to be. There's a good amount of detail to them and they will look great once they're put together. But there aren't a lot of super-fiddly bits to make assembly tortuous and painful. The arms and legs use a screw system so that they remain posable once assembled. And they even include a screwdriver!
|They added a screwdriver, isn't that nice? That Mondragon fellow must be a class act.|
Instructions seem to be clear and well illustrated with colored images showing how sub-assemblies fit together. Assembly looks to be straight forward and well designed.
Next blog I'll go over the Eisenkern Trooper Accessory Pack and the other miniatures that were included.