Here we go with a review on another brilliant kit! I have to admit that the model itself is not the hottest stuff on GW stores right now, I have a personal attachment to it and found it interesting enough to call for a full review. Find out what’s so exciting about the Aspiring Champion and a few WIP shots after the jump.
The Aspiring Champion comes in a blister pack with a single but busily decorated sprue that houses all the components of the kit.
The kit comes in as many assemblies as possible, however it seems it was just laser-cut randomly for the chest piece.
There is also a custom base for the Champion, among other goodies.
Short instruction manual on the backside of the blister.
The first thing that comes to mind when you take out the one little blister sprue from its packaging is how incredibly detailed the model is. This beast rivals the level of detail on some resin kits and definitely puts the level of quality up several notches when compared to, say, the aging CSM troop box or the Khorne Berserkers. Some of the details are smaller than the tip of a finger and has edges for highlighting, like the hand grenade or the chains hanging around. Just look at the thing:
The base has some Necron remains buried in the ground along with the rock the Champion steps on.
The chestpiece for the body. The studio paint job somehow depicted the bones on the collar in red.
The Champion’s body is decorated with an assortment of goodies.
Chains, grenades, skulls, Chaos stars… what’s not to like?
The backpack is very badass too. A mounted inquisitor head and chained ranged weapon… sweet.
Too bad the barrel of the weapon is not accesible, so I can’t drill it. I will open the side holes though.
The parts, although not many, are all numbered. GW really takes care of us it seems. You can see some detail on the axe and shoulder pad too.
Truly a beauty. Without further ado I clipped the pieces from the sprue and went to work with some dry fits. The pieces have considerably less mould lines than any plastic kit I’ve tackled thus far and are almost invisible. Still I traced them with the scalpel instead of the mould line remover to not harm anything on the way. It took me less than half an hour to completely clean off all residue of casting. Then came the dry fits, which I thought was crucial to determine the pose. Turns out the model already is designed to hold a single pose, the one shown on the box art, and for a different look you need to use your knife and putty. No worries, I like the stance as is and will use it when painting.
The mould line is very difficult to see. It runs along the pistol case up to a zig zag pattern on the “tubes”.
The line on the leg is a lot more visible.
Since the base itself has sculpted details the model will stand on it alone. I may prepare a larger scenic ground built up on this example however… will see if I can correctly extend it without breaking the immersion.
The dry fit shows perfect alignment on the right…
… yikes! The left side bottom tube is clearly mis-aligned.
A little blade work and some pushing fixes the problem for now. Will take another look before I assemble the pieces.
GW has cleverly left all unseen parts without detail (joins etc.) which is great for determining when and where to apply paint. For example the chest piece needs to be attached later since the parts behind the bone collar become inaccessible with a brush after assembly. This also means that any additional modifications (like tube alignment) have to be done with dry fits and before primer. Similarly, the shoulder pad may be assembled in parts to correctly paint the daemon head leering from it. No big deal. Other than these the sculpt is a joy to work with and leaves you in awe. Reminds me a lot of the Champion models from the Dark Vengeance kit. Here are the detail shots of all cleaned components.
Every time I pick up the body it leaves me in awe. Arguably one of the best CSM releases ever.
Going for a panoramic shot now…
Great details around where the back pack is as well.
Sculpted details lend themselves to highlighting much better than the standard troop models.
The main weapon is the axe and I’m still trying to think of a way to portray this in painting.
I’m thinking along the lines of living demonic presence – OSL on the eyes and blends to metallics.
Another very busy piece.
Lots of neat little details to pick from the head to the combi bolter to the chains…
They spared no detail from this piece for sure.
The hairline mould line was easily removed with the soft application of a scalpel.
A chest with the Chaos Star trinket and multiple eyes that will be painted in the Horus scheme. This will be promising.
The inside reveals some details too. Others may ignore this part as it will be very likely invisible, but I want to be thorough in my paint job.
Coming to the left arm assembly, the first piece that shows the hole in the shoulder pad that houses…
… the daemon. Neat little trick.
That growth there is the daemon’s tongue.
Having two separate surfaces on the blade allows for extreme highlights. I may refer to NMM for this piece and tie it in with the axe.
A dry fit shows that some gap filling may be required. Then again, glue may also be a solution here.
The gaps may also work as natural shading for the daemon and the armor.
Planning to assemble these first and attach the daemon with the arm after painting.
Time for a final dry fit and some tacking to see how it looks, and the model certainly does not disappoint:
Haven’t seen many comments on this but I think the new Dark Eldar Succubus’ pose owes its popularity to the Champion.
Very dynamic model that will be a joy to paint.
Stepping on the fallen to seek enemies. I like that.
So far so good… it seems the only piece that can be assembled to an extent is the left arm and shoulder, the rest I’ll mount on cork and prepare for primer. I may go with the brush as I’m not entirely convinced that the spray can won’t cover details on this delicate model. Hopefully we’ll have the last bit of good weather for spraying this weekend so I can get on with the painting sessions for all my kits for good.
Thanks for tuning in with the review, and see you folks on the next post.