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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ~ Edmund Burke

Sunday, 13 February 2011

New Savage Orc's and The Arachnarok - The Sprue Review

A few days a go I went down to my local GW store in order to check out the contents of 'The Black Box' or basically the little package that GW store managers get every month full of all the new things they need to construct and paint for the shop as well as all the marketing bum fluff that goes with it.

After taking a quick look at what had changed (having planned out my Goblin army before finding out they were getting a new book) I decided that I didn't have to correct much, taking into account that most of the magic items I'd chosen for my war bosses and shaman now don't exist I just filled up the spare points with more goblins.

When I was finished drooling over the new sprues the GW store manager was kind enough to let me build up the new Savage Orcs, as for the Arachnarok I wasn't going to steal his fun (also the guy HATES spiders, he was grossed out the whole time, I laughed my ass off at the expressions he was making).

Savage Orc Model Breakdown

Sprue first glance
Nearly everything was extremely well placed so that you could clip it free from the sprue without damaging the piece or leaving half the sprue still attached, the detail some would argue as being simplistic but personally I would use the term 'minimalist'. Things like bones, fur, stone and wood were all sculpted with the intent of giving the models texture so that the model remains savage and brutal without being overly busy or going towards the other extreme of boringly basic.

Production Quality
At first glance you could build the models and be forgiven for not bothering to remove mold lines, there's practically none anyway! Although if you wanted to be horribly pedantic such as myself the ones that do exist are difficult to get at if you rush head first into building them and cleaning them up afterwards.

Building
Basic construction was very smooth, considering the only instructions the store was supplied with were for the Arachnarok I was pretty much making it up as I go along, with that in mind none of the models took too much figuring out and as with all the ork models I've done in the past they are quite robust so if you use a quick drying glue and you clean your parts up before attaching them the models aren't fiddly at all to build. One small issue was attaching them to their bases, all of the models have different feet positions (some are even on one foot) so getting them to rank up without producing models that are top heavy and keep falling over was frustrating, still I wouldn't penalize them too much as when they are complete the variety in poses means that each ork looks (to some extent) unique.

Conversion and Customization Opportunities
The sheer amount of spare bitz you get from this kit is fantastic, with the choice to equip all 10 models with bow's, spears, shields, hand weapons (Choppa's), additional hand weapons and finally Da Big Stabba! as well as options for a full command you are always going to be left with parts to add a savage flair to the other models in your army (heck even 40k Ork players might make use of the spares from this kit). The key thing you have to look at here is for the most part the orc's you get are naked, if you are any good at using modelling putty you could spend ages making various costumes for these orcs meaning that you could have an orc army with whatever theme you can think of! Scottish orcs with kilts, Roman orcs with Toga's or even orc's with tuxedo's!


Overall Score
Although not perfect these models are a fantastic addition to the Orcs and Goblins range, some might argue that they are significant improvement over the previous metal ones, myself being a fan of the old models feel that they maintain the high standard that was set down before and preserve the style, themes and form of what a savage orc is all about, a rage filled and unpredictable monster! For value for money they share the high price tag of all models but really if painted up well these guy's would make a fantastic investment and characterful addition to any collection, definitely 10 out of 10.

Arachnarok

Sprue first glance
Pretty much all I heard all day from other customers was that 'they expected it to be bigger' and although I can't disagree with them you certainly can't say it's small and once you start inspecting the more intricate details of the model you won't be disappointed. Considering there are actual real world spiders roughly the same size as this model (The Goliath bird eating spider for example) it's rather creepy looking (you probably shouldn't stare at it's face for too long).

Production Quality
Like the Savage Orcs this model was pretty much pristine, however the few mold lines visible were incredibly easy to remove with just a sharp hobby knife, although really to be fair if you don't have actual money to burn I would definitely say take your time to look it over and clean it BEFORE building, even if you use plastic glue it will be quite fragile and the last thing you wanna do is be playing tug of war with it's mandibles trying to get the mold lines off of them.

Building
I didn't get to build this kit however in the words of my local GW manager who did 'it fits together like a dream'. Since he's built more models of a similar size to this beast than I have (I tend to avoid anything big unless it's in metal, call me crazy but big stuffs not worth having if when you hit a guy in the face with it they don't go down and stay down) I'm inclined to respect his opinion. One thing to mention though that he remarked on is that there isn't a clear indication on the spiders body of where the Howdah is meant to go so it's worth doing a bit of planning before hand so you don't make a mess.

Conversion and Customisation Opportunities
I'd like to think that you guy's don't need me to give you ideas for this thing, IT'S A GIGANTIC HIDEOUS MONSTER! go god damn crazy with it! My GW store manager shortly after inspecting the sprue suggested carefully removing the face and not attaching the goblin Howdah and constructing an elaborate tyranid creature like a trygon or a heirophant bio-titan out of it. Another suggestion was building an alarm clock into it which when it goes off the spider vibrates, you definitely wouldn't stay in bed after a giant vibrating spider goes off next to you! Personally I prefer my own elaborate and perhaps slightly insane scheme of the Arachndonolith! It's a Necron monolith with a stegadon head coming out of the portal on the front with giant spider legs propelling it forward! Maybe I haven't quite thought this through...

Overall score
Even if Orc's and Goblins aren't your thing I would quite happily encourage anybody to buy this thing, taking into account the necron monolith is pretty much the same price as this kit and it doesn't pack anywhere near as much detail and extra gubbins, this kit is great value. Also as the goblin Howdah is sculpted with the option of not including it you could just paint up the giant spider as a freakishly disturbing display piece. I don't really know how to score it so I'm going to give it a OH LORD IT'S GOT MY LEG! out of 10.

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