I've always loved the Forgeworld line of resin kits and conversions for Warhammer 40K. I came to 40K from a background in static model building, and in the early 90's built and even cast some of my own resin kits. I've continued to keep my hand in the game with some of my 15mm projects as well. When I saw the Valdor Tank Hunter on the Forgeworld site, I knew I had to add one of these beasts to my burgeoning Cult Brood Brothers force.
Armed with the massive Neutron Laser Projector, the Valdor looks very much like a World War I British Mk IV tank with a massive fixed gun - right down to the sponson on the right side of the vehicle. I chose to go ahead and go with a heavy bolter as a good anti-infantry weapon to keep pesky enemy troops from trying to bog down this behemoth so it can concentrate on eliminating high-value targets with its overwhelming firepower.
As with most Forgeworld kits, this one isn't for the faint of heart. It is a 100% resin kit. The only plastic parts are the Leman Russ tracks used for most of the track run. The tracks around the rear drive sprocket are molded in. There are also some molded in tracks right above what I assume is supposed to be the power system for the Neutron laser on the left side of the vehicle. However, as these are entirely covered up by the assembly over the laser breach itself, I left them unpainted. I had a few parts that were snapped off in transit - mostly the latches for some of the hatches on the sides of the vehicle. These were easy enough to fix with styrene rod and sheet, and now that the vehicle is painted, I challenge anyone to pick out the fixed ones without seriously looking!
The paint scheme carries on my 50 Shades of Russian Green theme I've been using for all of my cult vehicles. As an aside, I've met another Genestealer Cult player online that's also doing a Soviet theme for his cult. He's an amazing artist who has created a whole series of Soviet-style propaganda posters for his cult. He kindly sent me a copy and I'm modifying them for my own force. I'll go into details in a future blog entry, including links to his original work which is absolutely spectacular. Getting back to the paint job, this one is yet another color from the Ammo of Mig Mythical Russian Green set, in this case it's a modulated version of Alkidno Uretanovaya (A.MIG-022). It gives the vehicle a darker, more olive shade as compared to the bluer 4BO green.
As challenging as the vehicle was to build, getting it painted was also a major chore. Though I used the same techniques as I've used on my other vehicles, Forgeworld vehicles are often far more detailed than their plastic Games Workshop equivalents. In fact, the level of detail on this kit is far more comparable to a static model kit than a gaming piece - so simply completing a pin wash takes far longer than a Leman Russ - even accounting for the kit being roughly twice the size of a Russ. As I've done before, I added AK chipping color with a sponge to simulate paint wear, dark brown streaks using Ammo of Mig oilbrushers, and then Ammo of Mig black wash. The exhausts are done with the rust set and a little Alclad II exhaust manifold.
I also painted the engine on this vehicle since it is included. This wan't easy to accomplish either as the engine is simply molded into the back of the vehicle and has to be painted in place. It would be a lot easier if the engine was a separate part that could be lowered into the bay, but I'll take some detail over none any day. Because the engine came out so nice, I decided to leave the engine deck hatches open (maybe they're having overheating issues?). I have them propped up with a couple of lengths of piano wire which looks innocuous enough to leave as is.
The commander figure received a relatively simple head swap using the Imperial commander figure included in the kit. I left the very cyberpunk connector wire going into the back of his head which required a bit of careful surgery when removing the original resin head. Rather than having the commander manning the heavy stubber, I have him at a more relaxed position, though the stubber is at the ready in case it is needed!
I kept the markings to a minimum - a weathered hull number and a couple of spray painted cult insignia courtesy of Scumb4g Kustoms. I did add one of the cult insignia from the sprue to provide a little visual interest on what is otherwise a sea of green. I'm pretty happy with how the vehicle ended up coming out, but it was a beast to complete! I may do another one some day for my Death Korps army which would be in German World War I camouflage, but that's a while off!