WIP: Heldrake #1

It has been a while since I last posted here. The past weekend was not very forgiving in regards to life events and I had absolutely no time to spend on any kind of model in my possession. Now that things are getting back to normal again, I’m returning to the projects at hand. Find out what I’ve been up to after the jump. 

As I mentioned the past weekend was a hectic one. We had a death in the family and some life changing career moves that really threw me around. It is difficult to just move on at times like these, so I had to step away from my workshop for a while at least. Now that I’m back, I made some progress on the Heldrake competition piece I am preparing for the end of May.

Going back to the sprues and the manual to figure out where it’s best to start I thought one phrase really defined this model: subsection building. The model has a lot of pieces interlocking with the body, with each other, which would leave very little space for a brush to get into the nooks and crannies, so it is best to finish off separate sections. This is especially valid for the main body, where you have a few tendrils in the back that look very fragile. So far I have cut away the pieces for the head, neck and the front talons.

Yeah, I'm not touching those before my specialist tools arrive.

Yeah, I’m not touching those before my specialist tools arrive.

The sprue design we see on the new kits really lends itself to housing a lot of complex pieces together on as few sprues as possible. The downside is, of course, having delicate parts in hard to reach areas. When it comes to separating these pieces, either use a bent cutting tool or just do what I did: cut the sprue as far away from the actual piece as possible. Remember, the models are pricey, and you have all the time you want to work on the models if you’re aiming for display or competition quality.

I tried a dry fit of the pieces I cut away and looked for join lines and other malformations. The ones that pop up are not too visible at first, but considering that I will apply a very metallic looking gold to the sections they will be bright as day. A short application of Liquid Green Stuff is a must at this point.

Going through the pieces I stumbled upon the spine assembly here… of course it’s difficult to call it a proper assembly, since all you have to do is attach the final plate! I don’t know why they didn’t just leave the spine fully assembled on sprue or divided the piece into more pieces. It just looked very weird to me.

I have to say that I like spiky imagery on Chaos Space Marine models, and this kit just delivers beautifully. After carefully removing the talon pieces I was relieved to see that the larger pieces have ball joints that allow for some posing of the “hands”. I may just put a hapless ork or marine in there to bring some life to the model. We’ll see.

I still have to decide which weapon I want to install in the beast’s mouth, either the Hades Autocannon or the Baleflamer. As mentioned before I am not interested in the wargaming aspect (and couldn’t care less about the “what you see is what you get” rule even if I did play) and am torn between two decisions. The Baleflamer allows me to go for an OSL (Object Source Lighting) effect that would really add to the model. On the other hand, I am a sucker for miniguns! A very difficult decision, but I’m sure I’ll make up my mind by the time I’m done cleaning the mold lines and flash from the pieces.

As soon as my specialist tools arrive (which I’m told will happen sometime this week), I’ll begin cleaning up the model. GW has a nasty habit of creating mold lines that run OVER spiky bits, which means you’ll dull the spikes if you try to work on them with heavier tools.

What do you think about the model? Which weapon choice do you prefer to see on a Heldrake? Let me know in the comments.



  1. Hey Roemer! When you get your specialist tools, do you mind sharing them? I’ve been looking for some better sprue cutters/scrapers for awhile now, and I’m a bit lost as to which would be a good investment.

    On the weapon option. You could still do a OSL on the mini gun. It would just be the barrels glowing, instead of the flame coming out of the tip. (Since you seem to like the look of the minigun).

    Pic for reference of what I mean.

    And don’t get me started on mold lines. I didn’t clean them up on my original models, and now they stare at me constantly while I play.

    Keep up the good work!


    1. Hey Greggles,

      I want to share the tools on a separate post, that’s for sure. They’re not too fancy though, just the right stuff for the right situation. For sprue cutting I recommend a bent clipper which you can find in many hobby stores.

      Thanks for the link and the idea on the minigun!


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