Friday, 2 September 2011

An eccentric departure: US 6" gun review (good for a Medusa/Basilisk)

When I went to pick up some balsa the other day, I found a kit I'd not seen before. It interested me, so here's a review.

First the basics: the manufacturer is 21st Century Toys, so don't expect that a Golden Demon winner painted this bunny. It is pre-painted, but that amounts to an overall sprayed-on coat, some sloppy dry-brushing and a few other bits. "So what's in the kit, Pete?" Well, you get a 1/32 scale M59 155mm Long Tom US artillery piece, which the box tells me served from WWII to Vietnam. You guys accustomed to GW/FW stuff will be surprised at the size of this thing once assembled. It's about the same footprint as a superheavy tank.

The casting is nothing to write home about. In some ways it exceeds the standards we expect of GW (small parts lack flash), but in other ways it falls down badly. The actual barrel of the gun has a weird shape. It slides down like a whale's back. Either it's really obvious that the moulding has gone wonky or my eyes are totally screwy. My eyes, while screwy, aren't that bad. Yeah, the moulding's bad. Now, you might think that was bad news, GW-fans, but remember what I said: the gun has the footprint of a superheavy. So if you lop off the barrel after the N of BERLIN, then you'd have a hefty Medusa, let alone a Bassie. The kit has some nice details. You can even pull out the breach and get yourself a prettily detailed screw feature running round it.

"Shut up, Pete, you rambling fool. Should I bother buying this?" Sheesh, you're rude. Yes, buy it. It cost me £5.99 for this kit. All you need to deal with it is a set of small screwdrivers to secure the screws that lock the wheels and bits of the framework in place. The only problem I had was that I didn't have the right size of screwdriver. Yes, there are mould-lines. Yes, there are casting problems. Indeed, the casting problem with the length of the gun is basically insurmountable, if you want to use the kit as sold. But you've got a £5,99 kit that yields 10 rubber (yup, rubber) wheel, so if you fancy "wheeling-up"a couple of Chimeras, it's a cheaper option that resin. You've got a huge, long gun, so you can slap that on a Baneblade chassis and get yourself a Shadowsword, or you can cut it down, giving you a Medusa and a spare bit of barrel. You get a pre-painted kit. Frankly, I would re-paint it. Respray and then re-do the whole thing . . . if I intended to keep it. But it's inarguably well-painted enough for tabletop gaming. Six quid for something I can use to make a Medusa, a Shadowsword/Laser Destroyer, 2 Chimeras and still have parts left over? Yep, that's a good buy, kids. Until next time, dear readers.

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