Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Martians Have Landed!!!

Let you think that I'm all about the steam tanks, I've also been working on some of the Martians as well - much to the delight of my 6 year old son, though honestly I think he prefers the tanks at this point (good boy!!!).  The All Quiet on the Martian Front tripod sprues are very good.  While they share some of the same fit issues with the alignment pins and tabs, there are no sink holes so far in the pieces themselves.  This is a critical metric for any plastic kit that is using larger pieces.

At this point I've received both the Scout Tripod sprues and the Assault Tripod sprues.  At this point it appears that the two will share a leg sprue going forward, despite the prototypes in the rule book having different legs.  The leg sprue is shown below.  You get two fixed legs and one articulated leg.  There is usually a little gap between the two halves of the upper leg (which surrounds the ball joint) - you'll need to fill it with putty.  Mold lines and flash are light and easily removed by scraping with a hobby knife.  The legs and tentacles fit into the circular leg unit - and here the fit is actually quite good.  All of this is put onto a the base provided.  The fixed leg tabs fit right into the base, and the remaining hole can be filled during the basing process.

The Assault Tripod sprue is roughly the same size as the leg sprue and it includes all of the weapon and arm load outs you need for the Assault Tripod.  The upper body... or head... or whatever... comes in three parts. The top and bottom halves need a little work to fit together properly, but the front with the characteristic eye fits well once you have the top and bottom together.  You also get a heat ray arm, two regular arms (one of which can hold a globe of green gas if you're so inclined), a black dust launcher, and the green gas rack.  There are also a couple of weapon arms which are used to mount the black dust or green gas systems.  There is a fair amount of flash on a few parts, and you'll need to be careful with the alignment on the black dust launcher.  Make sure you use the spacer (it attaches directly to the leg unit top) as it gives the Assault Tripod its characteristic height.

The Scout Tripod sprue is much smaller as there are fewer options for the "little brother" of the Assault Tripod.  As before, the body... or head... or whatever... comes in three parts.  The top and bottom halves of the scout tripod seem to go together just a bit better than the Assault Tripod, though I had a little more trouble lining up the front.  Clamps and liquid cement are your friends!  You also get the heat ray arm, a targeter arm, and a regular arm (just in case you don't want/need to mount the targeter).

The hardest part of assembly so far has been cleaning up the metallic tentacles without breaking them.  They both have a mold line running down both sides of their full length. As they are fragile thin plastic I can envision that this is where people are going to run into trouble not only in assembly, but in storage and transport as well.  However as you can see below, the final product looks just amazing!

I need to do some final clean-up sanding on the tripod before painting.  At this point, it isn't glued to the base.  As the tripods are supposed to be not only metallic... but VERY metallic, I'm going with Alclad II metalizer for them. I've had mixed results with metalizers in the past, but this product has gotten good reviews.  Hopefully it will work well for me - again, I'm hoping to get to it next week while I'm on vacation!

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