Monday, 14 July 2014

Iron Warriors: Rapier Laser Destroyer

I've been busy since my last post, working on a number of different units at once (I know, no discipline) and have even fit a couple of small games in, which I will discuss in a future post. Lately I have finished the first of my two Legion Rapier Weapons armed with Laser Destroyer Arrays. I will discuss the modelling, painting and tactics behind the Rapier Battery, in that order.

From the front, I give you, a Rapier Laser Destroyer!... and friends
These things go together pretty easily though without the instructions (men don't need such things) it took me a few minutes of staring at the parts to work it out. There are a few things to consider with this model. The kit comes with the tracked weapon model and two space marines in MkIII armour to fire and, god forbid, move the thing. I decided early on that I didn't want to put a Space Marine on the weapon platform for two reasons. Firstly he looks liked bit of a gimp standing there and secondly in gaming terms it restricts you. If he's stuck to the weapon then he's not able to move into combat, run away or be positioned tactically in regards in incoming fire. Also holding that lever seems a little 19th century, so nuts to that. I based both of my Space Marines and cut down the lever to look like a (in hindsight rather awkwardly placed) targeting screen or something of that futuristic nature.

From the back, note the muddy footprints on the platform. Space Marines, so rude.
One thing to consider is whether to stick the gun into the track mount or to leave it free to swivel. Once the blast shield is in place the gun can barely swivel anyway and I've found it has a tendency to point downwards if not glued in place. So mine are glued. The Space Marine handlers themselves are strange models. Slightly bow legged and actually taller than your average Marine. It didn't really bother me so I'm using them with a few weapon swaps from the MkIII assault weapon sprues to make up for not holding the lever. But if you're a perfectionist you might want to trade them out for more regular models to tie in with the rest of the army.

Comparison between a Tac Marine and one of the "Handlers"
Lastly those tracks were a pain. In the end I cut them up and just chucked them on. They're not perfect but if you're not looking closely you can't tell. If I had my time over again I'd probably break out the wife’s hair dryer and try to mould them more precisely onto the model.

Painting Iron Warrior models is never particularly hard. Silver. Nuln Oil. More silver. The ubiquitous hazard stripes however can pose a challenge and will make or break an Iron Warriors force. For this first model I used a pencil to mark the lines and then free handed the job. The key to yellow is to water down your paints and do at least four layers, don't rush it. I like my yellow a little darker so I finish the job with a sepia wash. They're not perfectly straight or aligned but are pretty close for a free hand effort. With my second piece I have kept the blast shield separate and intend to use tape to get a better effect, sticking it to the model afterwards.

They're almost straight... kind of...
I applied a good amount of the colour I'm using for basing my models to represent splashed mud on the front/sides, mud stuck in the tracks and mud on the platform where a marine might have stood with his grubby boots. It's the little touches like this that add realism to a model. The models are not quite complete and I plan on using some Stirland Mud (a texture paint from GW) to get a better mud effect on the tracks.

Muddy Goodness, subtle but effective
I decided to paint the coils on the weapons in a green colour, representing the weapon being in the process of powering up. Hopefully that's what it actually looks like...

Having now used the Laser Destroyers in a game I have a new perspective on them. A 36" range just isn't that far when it comes to artillery. Although artillery can move and (snap I believe?) fire in 7th edition you really want to be keeping these things stationary. But if you put them too far forward you're leaving them open to a possible assault, at which point they're useless. My plan is to hunker them down at the front of my deployment zone (depending on the enemy of course) and babysit them with a cheap objective holding tactical squad. While they didn't cause much damage in the games I've played so far, they did create a 36" bubble which my opponent was VERY hesitant to move even Land Raiders into. While their strength isn't overly impressive (can't everything be S10?) they get a second dice to choose from thanks to Ordnance and more importantly their low low AP is more useful than ever in 7th edition.

The Rapier covering the Iron Warrior's advance and a cheeky sneak peak of future projects

The ability to scare your opponent and dictate his battle plan is certainly worth the measly amount of points you pay for these things. They're also ridiculously survivable if you put them in some cover. Just make sure when you set them up that you put one of the Space Marine handlers in front of the weapon mount to soak up a wound. One thing to note is that they take up an Elite slot which are pretty precious to a Crusade Heresy list. If you're not planning on moving Terminators to Troops in some manner then you might not have space for these guys.

Next on the podium will be my Masters of Signals. In the meantime, enjoy and keep the dice rolling.


1 comment:

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