|A heraldic flag from Paulson Games helps mark the leaders and looks really cool!|
|Look at all those really thin plastic thingies everywhere!|
You have to be very careful when handling these figures while painting. The antennae on the back of the mount are extremely thin and can easily be broken off accidentally. The Ballistarius has these thin spines that stick out from the sides of its knees. These thin plastic parts break without much effort and there are some weak points exactly where your hand naturally grabs while picking them up. You have to train yourself not to grab them from the hips, but pick the model up from the base at all times.
Furthermore, the design makes assembly rather involved. I'd place these models in the difficult-to-assemble category. There are numerous small pieces that must be attached from awkward angles. etc). There are three cables that attach the servitor's legs to each of the machines legs and on the forward leg, the middle cable needs to attached on its own. Its a small piece and its very awkward to attach correctly. Likewise, there are cogs that need to be attached onto the sides of the machine-leg's joints (knees) and these pieces are very difficult to get right, even though they have a tab that should guide them into the right position.
Besides fiddly parts, the model is composed of a huge number of parts. Assemble involves probably 50 or more separate pieces.
On to painting, also very involved. The model is incredibly detailed so you need to plan your painting out. I normally start with big areas and go towards the details. There's not a lot of opportunity for airbrush work either, because there just aren't that many big areas. I painted these in sub assemblies like so:
3) Armor Plates
4) Guns (if Ballistarius)
|Sub-assemblies help make the model easier to paint.|
|If you assemble the riders separately, then make sure you dry fit to the mount first.|
I also found that attached them to the base was necessary before painting, so I would have something to hold (see above about fragility).
For transport, I'd suggest getting some very soft egg-shell foam and laying them down on their sides, but that's only possible for the Dragoon version. The Ballistarius should probably not be placed on its side with those spines sticking out.
1) Be careful how you handle these models. Pick them up from the base.
2) Do not attach the side-knee spines as per the Ballistarius instructions. Instead, go with the Dragoon version (circular caps). This will allow you to lie the Ballitstarius on its side for transport, if needed.
3) There's a flaw in the design of the riders. If you plan on assembling and painting the rider separately, then make sure the rider's legs fit in the saddle properly before the glue dries. Otherwise, the legs will be positioned too narrowly to properly fit into the saddle. Double check this.
Overall, a great kit for an advanced modeler, but I'd imagine it would be tough for beginners to get this thing assembled and painted without pieces breaking.