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Friday, 22 January 2016

Maelstrom's Edge Karist Faction Build

After the brief look at Maelstrom's Edge last week, the next step was to put the models together and see if they lived up to their expectations. As I'd chosen the Karist faction I started there, and the obvious model to start off with was the mature Angel. This has a two-piece body, split front and rear, with a separate face piece.



This is followed by the four legs



Followed by the two main claws - these are chosen from two options for each side, even before you start kit bashing.



There's also a small tentacle piece that goes between the two legs on the right side.

The model goes together flawlessly, and you end up with a couple of spare claws, so if you fancy chopping things about for different poses, you shouldn't be worried about messing things up! It's very imposing when complete...and I have four!

Next up are the Karist Tempest Elites...of course I went for the heavy guys with the big guns first! The bodies for these are split front-back, and go together very well.


Next are the legs - these take a little care in placement, but once in place the model is extremely well balanced, to the point where it will stand unaided without a base


After the legs, the head and arms go on. The arms are each in two pieces, which I was initially slightly nervous about. In practice, the shoulder pieces lock in very positively, and the forearms go on nicely. Once placed, I used the gun to ensure they were in the position they should be whilst the cement was still not completely set. This is the great advantage, of course, of having the kits in plastic as the cement gives you a tack bond with some flexibility before complete setting.


The head also goes on without issue, and between all of these pieces (legs, arms and head) they cover any joins in the torso pieces shown in the first pic. The last step in their construction is the addition of that big gun, and you get two options (whose names I do not yet know!). I went for this beast;



 As you can see, he maintains his centre of gravity even with the gun, and looks great. The power armour looks chunky but realistic, with a lot of support in the legs. The gun looks like it's heavy even in power armour, which lends a real sense of these guys being heavy support units - I hope their stats live up to this expectation!


I completed the other Elite with the other weapon, pitched up to fire. This did mean he didn't stand up, the gun pulling the centre of gravity forward a shade too much, but I hardly think that's a cause for complaint! I love the look of these guys, and can't wait to get them airbrushed.

Next up are the shadow walkers. again, I really loved the concept of these guys, so they were a priority for me in putting together. These guys have a similar back/front upper torso split, but then an abdomen piece and separate legs. They are "handed", but represent no problems going together at all. Once again I was impressed that they stand unaided without a base;


Now although you can make two of these guys from each sprue, there's only one head, so I left it off at this stage (I'll come back to that later). As you can see they have different arm options, and even with the default poses you can build some dynamic looking figures.


The next figures I put together were the regular troops. You get three of these to a sprue, and they're simpler again from the shadow walkers, being a simple single piece torso with a separate abdomen. They still have separate legs, and there are both several different arm poses and various different weapons. As the other figures, they stand independently of bases.


The arms are one-piece, with hands moulded onto the weapon separately in the same way as the Elites - this is actually a very painless way of doing things and worked well for my guys. Two shoulder guards (which are Space Marine-esque but look better somehow) later and the head pops on - voila!


You also get four heads for the three troops, meaning you can use a spare head for one of the Shadow Walkers, which is exactly what I did.

The other troop-like units the Karist's have are the Angel Minnows. These tyranid-like flyers come on a sprue with two bodies and multiple sets of wings, so you again get choice of what sorts you'd like to create. The fit on these is pretty exceptional - this one is just dry fit together!



With glue they go together without any fuss in no time. I spent more time deciding which wing options to use....


The final model in the Karist set is the Kaddar Nova, the chief loony. He's both the most complex single model and has the most choices. First of all you have the multi-part torso 


Now this is in four parts - in the image above two of these are just dry-fit, but the fit is near-perfect. Here I've taken them off sequentially - these images were all shot in this order, I've not cheated by photographing as I've glued it together!



This level of precision is really admirable from a Kickstarter, and can't be faulted. Anyway, I then glued it together properly, but just thought it worth showing how tight this design is. Once the torso is complete, I set about creating the three lower body sections, each made up of 6 pieces. Here he is with all the options laid out;


I decided to go for the head with the bits on it, and the pointing arm, to give me this guy;



I then took a picture of all the models;


Not bad for half a force, I thought, but then realised I'd not made two Elites and three troops, so it's not even half way through the box minis yet!

I have to give the guys at SAS a real thumbs up on these minis - the execution of them is pretty flawless. Whether you like individual designs or not, you can't really fault the crispness of casting, the fit and the poses these minis have. Add to that the choice that you're given and options for different poses, weapons etc, and this is a huge hit. If you're interested in the minis, then I have nothing but praise for the way these are executed, and have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending them.