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2,802 hits since 29 Nov 2014
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mech dude Inactive Member29 Nov 2014 5:45 p.m. PST

One of my friends bought into RRT, he brought over some his models to let me have go at assembly and get a good firsthand look at everything.

Over the last 30 years I've literally built thousands of miniatures and models so one might say that I have a just a bit of experience as both modeler and wargamer. Looking over the sprues there were a couple issues that were obvious before I even began work.

1 – No part indicators
While the parts are laid out like model kits on a sprue there is no numbering or lettering system used, this makes it difficult to pair up a number of the parts like the legs and feet which have a particular mating part. It does not prevent you from building the models however it did require that I take off each of the legs parts pre-assemble them and test fit each of the feet, which required extra time and was slightly annoying. Easily avoid able by adding some sort of indicators or even using some sort of custom pin or peg arrangement for each leg that would allow the builder to quickly determine which parts mate up.


2 – Incredibly thick sprue connection points
A lot of the connection points for the sprue are very thick compared to other brands of models. This leads to larger attachment marks on the models and requires more cleaning. The connection points are all made to a really fat ball like shape, where on most other model company try to have a smaller flat runner that attaches to the piece which is also a bit longer. While on it's own it isn't hugely problematic it combos with point number three for a lot of headache.


3 – Parts are incredibly close to the sprue
The parts are all very close to the sprues, to the point where it's quite difficult to get a pair of clippers in between the part and the sprue. This means that in many cases the parts are at risk of being gouged by the clippers or the part will be come off due to being forced or being pried loose rather then being cut off cleanly. This can easily lead to the part being pitted and leaving ugly tool marks, or broken mar points which require gap filler. It also further combines with both points two and four for what I feel is the largest issue with construction.


4 – Incredibly thin parts
A sizeable number of parts are incredibly thin, all of the head lasers for instance, lasers for the Zentraedi pods, Veritech missiles, and the Defender arm guns. These parts are very tiny and will be prone to breaking while being handled either in assembly or during game play. This is further complicated by points two and three, on the small parts the sprue attachment points are almost as large as the diameter of the part itself and the closeness to the sprue makes it very difficult to remove the parts without breaking them. Your best option is to use a hobby knife to separate the pieces, which is not ideal. As any experienced modeler will tell you that part removal with clippers gives a more controlled result and a cleaner cut. It also helps avoid tiny parts springing off into the blue yonder when being cut free. Given the size of the parts they will be near impossible to find on the floor if they pop off the sprue and go flying, which occurs more often when using a knife to remove parts.

While the thin parts may be more accurate to the source material they are a total PITA and won't tend to hold up well to transport and game play. They are very delicate parts that will tend to get snapped off when they stick in transport foam or if the user isn't super careful in how they are handled and they fall over. I'm not talking about dropping them on the floor or throwing them across the room, these parts are thin enough that they will be subject to breakage from a wobbly model simply tipping over on it's own. The Zentraedi lasers are likely going to need constant repair and I don't think the Defender's arm cannons will fair much better. As they don't have any major details the pod lasers can likely be replaced by brass rod or pins, but that will take some serious dedication that I don't think the casual user will want to put in.

For display models thin parts aren't the end of the world as they just sit on the shelf and look pretty, however these are intended to be used as game pieces so they will be subject to a lot of handling and jostling around during transport which results in the fine parts seeing a lot of stress. This is why with most other wargaming models we tend to see over sized weapon and details as it increases the durability.


5 – The plastic
The plastic is bit odd, it appears to be a bit shiny or oily in appearance but to the touch it actually has a very slight grit to it. The plastic is also slightly brittle and when handling it it felt very much an actual kit from the 1980's that's been in storage somewhere. It's very rigid which is helps with details, but when being cut it feels more like it's an aged and quite brittle plastic and it makes me want to be very careful when removing them from the sprue. Even as a very experienced modeler I feel like I'm going to break everything just removing the parts. Having worked with aged plastic a lot in the past I was super careful and I managed not to break anything so far although I did have several of the pieces gouge or pit more then I would have liked. I think somebody without as much experience will have more difficult time with it and it certainly won't help the survival rate of the thin and tiny parts. The working properties aren't quite as nice as I'd see with a GW or WGF product who use a slightly softer plastic that cuts easier and doesn't mar as easily (but is still plenty rigid and durable)


6 – Somewhat soft details
They certainly aren't lumpy blobs, but there are a lot of edges that are slightly rounded and areas on the finer parts that aren't as crisp as I was expecting. Most of that stuff isn't all that visible at table distance where it'll be seen the majority of time, however anyone wanting to use these as a higher end display piece for painting is going to have to do a lot of additional work.


7- Marked difference between factions
There's a very notable difference in the detail and quality between the two factions. As many have mentioned it almost seems like the Zentraedi and RDF stuff was handled by seperate companies. The Zentraedi stuff is clearly better in overall quality and detailing, the RDF stuff not so much. The RDF stuff is still viable but it's clear that it didn't get quite the same amount of love and attention during the detailing and parts breakdown.

Overall they certainly aren't the worst kits I've assembled but at the same time there's nothing stellar to rave about. IMO they look alright but have a number of pitfalls in the product execution. On a scale of 1-10 I'd give the RDF stuff about a 6/10, the Zentraedi by itself would likely be a 7/10. I'm pressed for time at the moment so I'll cover the assembly review in another post.


Pics ahoy!

Reference for how tiny some of these parts are, not in itself a bad thing for display models, but for gaming pieces it'll require a delicate touch. At this scale many parts would likely benefit from being metal for durability, but kinda moot since the project is done in plastics.

Over the years I've had plenty of the rifleman arms break in transport and game play which are basically the same size and design but the Rifleman has metal barrels that are slightly thicker then the RRT Defender version. (the blue ones were the crappy FASA resin version in the early 90s and were super fragile.)


Super fiddley Veritech head and missiles. Overall the body parts are ok, but the heads are really tiny and overly complex IMO.
Keep in mind that on your monitor they are many times larger vs what their actual size is.


Weird ball attachment points that make clippers difficult, front and back views (also Bleeped text is up with so many connection points on the upper arm?)


Vs standard size clippers (spacing isn't impossible, just difficult to work with) one extra mm in working room would make a world of difference especially with the big ball connection thing being so close as it tends to complicate the proper angling of the clippers.

DesertScrb29 Nov 2014 8:27 p.m. PST

Thanks for the very comprehensive review. Makes me glad I didn't spend money on this.

Garand29 Nov 2014 8:38 p.m. PST

ISTR these were to be made out of ABS plastic rather than Styrene. Can't recall where I saw that though…

Damon.

Dan Wideman II Inactive Member29 Nov 2014 8:53 p.m. PST

I've gotten 56 various models built in a few hours this week without any problems. One of the things that helps on the smallest parts is to cut a section of the sprue off of the main piece to get a better angle on the piece you need to remove. So far I've broken one piece out of all those minis.

Personally these are no worse than Eldar guardian, and FAR easier than putting the weapons under the wings of GHQ aircraft of the same size.

Unless you were expecting 2-3 part board game pieces I don't see the issues.

Lion in the Stars29 Nov 2014 9:23 p.m. PST

I had issues with the chin guns for the Glaug/Marauders, they shattered on me. Also had issues with the antenna for the Glaug/Marauders. Didn't have issues with anything else.

Though I should mention that the Valks are a bit of a pain. Getting arms to line up is a matter of cutting all 4 or more arms per sprue off and playing mix and match (worked best with a big chisel blade in the large xacto handle). Oh, and that's at least 3 pieces per arm, too. Upper arm and lower arms are separate, and lower arms are two pieces.

On the plus side, it has let me build 9 different Valks, with not a single duplicate. On the minus side, it took close to one hour per Valk to build a single mode/model. And it was the worst/longest time to build on the Battloid mode, which was the last models I built.

There's once piece that I just cannot figure out why it exists. It's the armored cover for the canopy on the Battloid model, and it's a separate piece. There's no physical/mechanical reason I can see, no molding reason, there's just this one itty bitty piece off by itself that you MUST install before the arms.

But overall? They're really pretty solid once you get them built. Use plastic cement, not superglue. Except for the Glaug's feet. Those are annoying, don't want to stick. I ended up doing the super glue and baking soda trick to get them to stay in one piece.

Though I should mention that I still haven't figured out which weapons to hang under the wings of the fighter and Guardian/Gerwalk mode.

mech dude Inactive Member29 Nov 2014 9:35 p.m. PST

Dan the estimate of your time commitment seems to be rather "generous".

The first Tomahawk took me the better part of 45 minutes to get together, the second tomahawk and defender each took me about 40 minutes. I may not have rushed through them but I really don't see how anyone can manage to bring them under them under a 25 minute window, which at that rate would take the better part of 23-24 hours worth of work to tackle 56 minis.

Assuming you managed to work at a blistering pace of 10 minutes per model that's still 9 hours of work, not just a couple hours. I highly doubt anyone can assemble them that quickly, especially using plastic glue as it takes significantly more time to set.


Your suggested case of "56 models in a few hours" meaning in 2-3 hours? if so you somehow managed to average a model ever 3.2 minutes? Sorry not buying it.

mech dude Inactive Member29 Nov 2014 11:23 p.m. PST

Assembly Review

At present I've built a pair of Tomahawks and a Defender, I have yet to build any of the Veritechs or the Spartan which have the highest part counts for the current RDF items.

The plastic takes well to standard plastic glue like Testors or Tamiya. I used Krazy Glue brand super glue as it's what I had on hand and because it sets faster then plastic glue. (I build everything with crazy glue) I didn't encounter any issues with the super glue.

It took me about 45 minutes to build the first Tomahawk and I had to fiddle around with finding the matching leg and foot parts. The second Tomahawk took somewhere around 35-40 minutes as did the Defender so there was a bit of increase in work speed, although I doubt I'll be crushing that down under 30 minutes simply because of the number of parts and the care needed when removing parts from the sprue.

Some general observations about the assembly process, there's a lot of parts the Tomahawk comes it an 17 pieces, or 19 if you want the missile bays open. The Defender comes in at 22 pieces, both of which contain a lot of parts for something this size. In comparison their older Battletech likenesses are 5 parts for the Warhammer/Tomahawk and 4 parts for the RIfleman/Defender. It's not a very fair comparison as the molds for metal and resin models are far more versatile then injected molded plastic. (As the owner of a casting company it's something I'm well aware of). But even then there are a lot more parts then likely what is needed, I'd suspect they could have brought the part count down to around a dozen parts per model and been fine.

They did try and capture a lot of detail on the models and as a result that pushed the parts count up higher. Had they been done with slide core molding (like what Wargames Factory uses) it would have allowed them to use some undercuts and fewer parts, but it's also a more expensive process. I'm not going to say the parts count is a bad thing, but it certainly does complicate the build process due to fiddlely sized parts and it significantly increases the time it takes. Not inherently bad, but you need go into assembly knowing they will be a bit more difficult then standard gaming minis like what GW, PP, or WGF produce. I think it was done fully with the intent of making the parts as detailed as possible, but when you are looking at renders that are many times larger on a computer screen it's easy to misjudge the actual reality of what size of the final parts will be.

To somebody without a lot of modeling background a 4-5mm tall part looks pretty big on screen and doesn't give much indicator of of how difficult it'll be to manipulate and assemble that part. I certainly don't think it was done out of malice to make the lives of modelers hell, but it happened due to unfamiliarity with the process and how things translate into final physical form. That's something that's built up over time and practice.

It seems like there were some hang up points that resulted in extra pieces just to capture a detail aspect that's largely hidden from view in most angles. The nose cone on the veritech battloid mode for instance. The chest and nose cone could have been one piece but when looking at the nose cone it's apparent that they wanted to capture the detail of the nose lasers and thus needed to rotate the part line 90 degrees from the torso, requiring that it becomes an extra piece. The issue is that when the model is assembled the legs and hip area block pretty much every view of the nose lasers. They easily could have been left off and 99.99% of people likely wouldn't notice or care, but being that it's a licensed product they need to make sure the details conform as exactly to the established product details as possible. So in order to capture the detail as closely as possible it needed that extra part, which will largely be ignored by gamers on the whole, and unfortunately pushes up the overall parts count. In the quest for more detail you go from what could be a simpler 8-10 count model to now having 20+. I think this largely a complication due to inflexibility and exactling nature in how the established product image has to be adhered to. No real way to work around it, but it does seem to overly complicate the design on some of the parts

The model seams
Nowhere as bad as the gaps that were shown on the prototype pieces, however they are noticeable on quite a few pieces. They actually do a decent job of hiding the torso seams on the Tomahawk and on the Veritech torsos. The main area that they are visible is on the legs. The destroid legs have a fairly complex shape to them and the only way to avoid having a seam on the face plate would have been to make each leg in 3 parts which would be even more of a pain. The Tomahawk suffers from a seam running down the center of it's back and the Defender still has a seam down the center of it's cockpit window which is more difficult to use gap filler on because it's in a recessed area. The calf area on the rear of the legs has a similar issue where the seam is in a recess. All of which can be addressed with some greenstuff or other gap filler but it's not something that will be easy for a novice builder. But at the same turn a novice builder likely isn't going to care about a display quality piece and these will work fine at a normal table viewing distance. If you had planned for display pieces you have a good amount of work ahead with the gap filling.

Assembly time
The Destroids I averaged 40 minutes on, if I had a boatload of them to build it'd probably get a bit faster but I don't think it's going to happen in under 30 minutes. Given the amount of models needed in the game it'll take a good chunk of time. Not a bad thing if you enjoy building models and the hobby aspect. But as a game looking to attract many first time wargaming converts from the rpg side I suspect that it'll be a bit challenging and frustrating at first. I think they will adjust but I'm not entirely sure it's something I'd suggest to a novice. While I don't try to turn every piece into a masterwork I do like to take the time to fill in seams and drill out gun barrels etc and I can easily see putting in another 30-60 minutes worth of work on each model to get it ready for paint. For the hobby centered guy not an issue, but the pick up and play types may find the build time a bit daunting.

You do also have to be careful trimming the parts from the sprue, thin stuff like the missiles doesn't have much detail to indicate where the attachment point ends and the part begins so you do need to take care not to cut them too short. The plastic is quite rigid and little on the brittle side so it's best to work slow when removing it from the sprues rather than mar any of the parts. I still need to take a crack at the Veritechs which seem to be the most complicated of the models.

Not Poseable
This was an area I found to be a bit disappointing, I'd though that part of the push to do plastic minis was to grant them some degree of poseability. The sculpts are more dynamic then Battletech models for instance but they don't offer anything outside of the 2 default poses on the Destroids. The arms can be rotated to give them a bit of upwards or downwards direction but that's pretty much the same range as what battletech models with separate arms offer. I think there's maybe 5-6 total poses for the Veritechs? (I'm not too sure as I haven't built any yet)

Being plastic will make it easier to convert them into other poses, but that's something that will be for advanced modelers. One of the aggravations I did encounter was that the legs and feet have specific pairings, and there's no indications of which ones belong together either from numbers or lettering or unique pin locator shapes. The hips on the Tomahawk were also a total PITA as they offer no support at the joint and the peg is very undersized. A big improvement would have been to skip using a round peg and used a square peg which would help get the leg lined up better without it popping off constantly. I suspect it was caused by inexperience by whoever made the call on how to separate and cut apart the model for molding. It doesn't stop the model from being built but it could be done better. The hip piece on the defender went together much easier as it has an identical style to the mounting point but it's slightly larger and deeper. It paired up much more easily as a result.

While I've yet to build the Regults I did notice that the foot pads are somewhat heart shaped, I think the narrow part points forward but there's no way to tell that based on the instructions and due to the lack of identifying markers.

The assembled miniatures look decent, but there's a lot of work in getting them built. I'm not sure that there's any particular strength that plastic brings to the model that couldn't have been done in metal with a lower parts count. But the reduced weight is nice and the details level is a good standard for viewing at table distance. A tiny bit soft when viewed close up but it conveys the right look for the models. The test will be to see how well all the tiny lasers hold up to game play and transport. I suspect that over time a lot of replacements with pins or brass rod will be needed.

While I love putting the Defenders arms in a raised position to be shooting I know from past experiences with my Rifleman models that it'll only serve to constantly snag them on transport foam or catch on other models causing them to break. The best counter to this while keeping the cool pose would be to magnetize them at the shoulders so when it comes under stress it can pop loose rather than break.






Tgunner30 Nov 2014 5:56 a.m. PST

A sizeable number of parts are incredibly thin, all of the head lasers for instance, lasers for the Zentraedi pods, Veritech missiles, and the Defender arm guns. These parts are very tiny and will be prone to breaking while being handled either in assembly or during game play. This is further complicated by points two and three, on the small parts the sprue attachment points are almost as large as the diameter of the part itself and the closeness to the sprue makes it very difficult to remove the parts without breaking them. Your best option is to use a hobby knife to separate the pieces, which is not ideal. As any experienced modeler will tell you that part removal with clippers gives a more controlled result and a cleaner cut. It also helps avoid tiny parts springing off into the blue yonder when being cut free. Given the size of the parts they will be near impossible to find on the floor if they pop off the sprue and go flying, which occurs more often when using a knife to remove parts.


I'm not an old hand with plastic kits, but I have been building them since I was a kid,so I know a thing or two. One thing that has worked for me with these kits are the old finger/toe nail clippers. I haven't tried the Glug yet, but I've built a couple of Valks and they have really helped me. Use your big clippers to cut the part off the main spru then use the nail clippers for the fine cuts. It's worked like a charm for me.

I've built two battleoids and it's taken me areoud 30 minutes each. The real killer was lining up the right arms for the GU11.

Thanks for the very comprehensive review. Makes me glad I didn't spend money on this.

You're really missing out dude. They are nice kits and the game is a hoot,

While I've yet to build the Regults I did notice that the foot pads are somewhat heart shaped, I think the narrow part points forward but there's no way to tell that based on the instructions and due to the lack of identifying markers.

No, it's the wide part that goes forward. The easiest thing to do is clip all of the legs and the footpads and test them. If you have the correct parts together then the pads will line-up, flat, with the front toe. Now tow of them won,t do that. They are for the pod that is jumping and that uses the flying piece. These pieces shouldn't be flat because the pad and toe separate when the pod jumps or flies. You can see that in the show.

But yeah, it would be nice to see the parts labeled and to have more detailed instructions. Maybe in future waves.

dragon630 Nov 2014 8:48 a.m. PST

Fantastic thread.

THIS is why TMP is a great place evil grin

Delthos Inactive Member30 Nov 2014 10:31 a.m. PST

I've built a bunch of the models now.

1 Glaug
1 Recon Pod
2 Artillery Pods
6 Regults
1 Recovery Pod

4 Battloid Valkyrie
1 Guardian Valkyrie
1 Fighter Valkyrie
4 Tomahawks
2 Defenders
1 Spartan

I agree with some of the points that the OP makes and disagree on others.

1. There is no way to disagree with this point. There are no part labels and they are definitely needed to make identification and assembly easier. They also need a better instruction sheet that isn't for an older design of the miniatures when they had even higher part counts. That being said, it doesn't take long to figure out which parts are which and it's not a big long term issue. You definitely need to dry fit to make sure you have the right parts before gluing your first one of each type though.

2. They do have thick connection points. It just isn't a big problem for me as I'm fastidious when it comes to cleaning up flash, mold lines, and stubs after cutting them out. Thick or thin connection points don't change the clean-up time any for me.

3. Some parts are very close to the frames. Again this hasn't been a huge problem for me. It doesn't take me any longer to cut out these parts than it does to cut out say 40K parts. I use the tips of my cutters to cut out parts. They are smaller and will fit into smaller areas without marring the parts. Most of the time there is enough room for the flats of my cutters to be against the parts, but on some parts you just have to put the flats against the sprue. I those cases the parts are small enough that they fit into the 'V' of the clippers without problems, just take it a bit easier and less pressure on those parts and they cut out fine.

4. They definitely do have some very thin parts. That being said I found out the secret to cutting out thin parts without breaking them long ago while cutting out thin bits on Eldar models. The secret is to reduce the amount of compression pressure caused down the length of the part. Compression pressure almost always caused them to break. So instead of cutting the end of a long piece first, cut the sides first. Use the tips of the cutters instead of using the deeper part of the jaws on the cutters. Using the deeper part of them causes more compression while the tips cause less. This can't be avoided on some parts like the Valkyrie missiles which are connected only at the ends, but it can be reduced. Just use the tips to cut one end, then slightly bend the part to the side so that it is no longer pressing against the sprue and then cut the other end. So far I've not broken a single thin part and I don't expect I will break any. Who knows, I have hundreds more of them to cut out and assembled, so maybe I will break a few.

I've not played with them, but breaking thin parts during game play has never been a big problem for me in any other plastic miniatures I play with. I guess some people handle their miniatures differently than I do.

5. The plastic is ABS not polystyrene like many companies use. Palladium went with this just to save money I'm sure. All the ABS models I've ever put together seem to have less defined detail than polystyrene does and it is a bit harder to clean up as the plastic is harder and more brittle.

Depending on the type of ABS used some model glue won't work on it well. I had problems getting Testor's model glue to work on Warzone ABS and Starship Troopers ABS plastics, but it works on these just fine. I use the stuff in the black triangle shaped bottle, not the tube gel or glass bottle liquid. I'm sure the glass bottle would work as it contains MEK.

It's taking me about 60 minutes per model to clean up, scrape mold lines and assemble because of this. It would normally take me about 20 30 minutes on most models.

6. The details are definitely a bit soft, but as I mentioned in the previous the previous point, ABS doesn't seem to capture the same detail as polystyrene. I don't know if it's the nature of the material or a problem with inexperience on the part of the producer but all the ABS I've assembled have had soft details. None of those were experienced plastic miniature companies. They chose ABS so I don't know if it's one or the other or both.

7. I'm not sure there is a big difference in quality. I think the UEDF suffers from them trying to put in too much detail and accuracy. This causes some issues like seam gaps, which could have been reduced my more smart seam placement. Rather than sticking them in the middle of the flat panels with high edge trim, they could have placed them right the edge of the trim which would have disguised them and made them less unsightly. Other than that issue, once assembled I don't see a big difference in quality.


Some of these problems can be easily remedied in Wave 2 and I hope they are. Some of them really aren't a problem in my opinion. I guess my 35 or so years of building plastic models and plastic miniatures has some bearing on my lack of problems with these. I just wish I wasn't so fastidious about cleaning up mold lines as it's going to take me a year to assemble all of these at 60 minutes each. Only my Warhammer Tomb Kings army takes this long per mini to clean up and assemble…stinking skeletons with mold lines every where.

Lion in the Stars30 Nov 2014 11:55 a.m. PST

Not Poseable
This was an area I found to be a bit disappointing, I'd though that part of the push to do plastic minis was to grant them some degree of poseability. The sculpts are more dynamic then Battletech models for instance but they don't offer anything outside of the 2 default poses on the Destroids. The arms can be rotated to give them a bit of upwards or downwards direction but that's pretty much the same range as what battletech models with separate arms offer. I think there's maybe 5-6 total poses for the Veritechs? (I'm not too sure as I haven't built any yet)

Here's where you need to be sneaky.

The Guardian/gerwalk mode has two sets of arms: One with the gun in one hand, one with the gun in both hands. But if you mix and match the arms, you can get more poses.

You can also put the Guardian/gerwalk arms on the Battloid mode, but the shoulder joint peg is in a slightly different spot between the two (you CANNOT put Battloid arms on Guardian/Gerwalk models). I didn't bother with changing the peg location on my models, but as I mentioned I have 9 different Guardian/gerwalk and Battloid models. No repeats.

Rifleman/Defenders and Phalanx destroids don't really have any posability other than playing mix&match with the legs. But mix&match applies to almost every model, and you can swap arms between the Tomahawk/Warhammer models in addition to leg swaps.

I strongly recommend magnetizing the Phalanxes to swap between the two missile types on the sprues.

The Spartan/Archers are extra-fiddly, I wish Palladium had made the hands with a round wrist-attaching point (and a hole for that peg to set into!). And who on earth decided to only include ONE empty right arm on a sprue containing TWO models?!? Sure, there are two right arms for the stun batons and two right arms for the gun pods, but there's only one EMPTY-HANDED arm! So I guess I need to figure out how to resin-cast a arm so I can magnetize between all 3 options on all 6 models.

Same applies to the Artillery Regults. Telnesta-Regults (with the gun) have one turret/arm for the guns and a different turret/arm for the missiles. But there are two different missile sets, so it would be a lot easier to magnetize if there was a second missile turret/arm. Guess I need to resin-cast a second missile turret/arm.

I suspect part of what happened with the greatly different visual qualities of the Zents and UEDF is how many mecha models each side needed. The Zents only needed 4.5 models sculpted for Wave 1 (Glaug, Recovery pod, Recon Pod, and Regult, with the artillery pods counting as a .5 model because there are only a few differences), while the UEDF has 7 models in Wave 1. With half again as many models to do, the UEDF models just could not get as much polishing (unless someone assigned a separate designer for each model, which is kinda silly for the Destroids which share all their legs and most details from the waist down)

And I neglected to shave most of the mold lines on my models. The only place I think I'm going to go back and fix is across the "faces" of the Valks.

Weasel30 Nov 2014 2:11 p.m. PST

As a child of the 80s, its super weird to see this much Robotech love.

Dan Wideman II Inactive Member30 Nov 2014 9:04 p.m. PST

My estimation was from building those 56 models over the course of a week working for a couple hours a night. A lot of them were battle pods which seem to take about 5 minutes to build. I assembly line them by clipping all three body parts off the sprue, gluing those together, then cutting a couple similar pieces off at a time. It takes 15-20 minutes to do a sprue using Plastruct plastic weld for ABS, and cutting the parts off the sprue with a jewelers wire cutter. The Veritechs take a similar amount of time for the fighter.

The guardians and Battleoids take longer, but the arms are arranged on the sprue with all the matching parts in the same area on the sprue. If you are cutting all the pieces off the sprue and mixing and matching then I can see where that would give you real issues. I cut the parts off the sprue as I use them.

On the really thin pieces (regult guns, antennae, etc) I clip the thin end first. That releases the tension before cutting the thicker attachment at the base, and keeps them from snapping.

Now if some people started with the veritechs I can see where you'd have a long build time. Of the 56 minis I've built this week, about 30 are pods, 8 are Destroids, and the remainder Valkyrie variations. Like I said earlier, if you are using the right tools, these don't seem any worse than other models I've built in this scale. Obviously opinions will vary, and they really didn't need that separate canopy piece, but with a little patience this will all come together fine. I fail to see this needing to rise to the levels of outrage I've seen.

Maybe they reached out to the wrong market?

Dan Wideman II Inactive Member30 Nov 2014 10:29 p.m. PST

Just because I was doubting my own time estimates, I decided to build a Battloid and see how long it took. I started with all the parts still on sprue, but with the tools laid out for work. Here's the process I used. The build was of a single VF-1A Battloid with the two handed cradled gun pose

Tools: Small Jewelers wire clippers
X-Acto Knife
Plastruct Plastic Weld Plastic Solvent (Orange label)

Step 1: Cut the leg halves from the sprue and glue them together.

Step 2: Cut the front and back torso pieces from the sprue. Glue together, then add the (totaly stupid) canopy shield.

Step 3: Cut the lower torso (nose cone) from the sprue. Glue one leg to the base at the foot. Then glue the nose cone to the single leg. Apply glue to the hip and foot of the other leg and attach to the leg standing on the base. Set aside.

Step 4: Cut the VF-1A head from the sprue. Glue to the upper torso.

Step 5: Glue the upper torso to the lower and set aside.

Step 6: Remove the lower arm halves from the sprue one set at a time and glue together. (A note on this. If you hold the Battloid sprue with the legs in the upper right corner I used the arm set in the lower right)

Step 7: Remove the upper arms from the sprue and glue to the lower arms. (note that the upper arms for this set are located just above the lower arms to the left of the two handed gun).

Step 8: Remove the gun from the sprue and glue the arms to the gun. This will make sure the arms line up right on the body. Getting the arms aligned is the most time consuming part of this build.

Step 9: Glue the arms to the body.

Finished.

I timed this build from start to finish. It included scraping the attachment points to remove the flash from the cutting, but did not go all the way to puttying any seams. From tools in hand to tools down was 13 minutes. That's about the same time it takes me to build most GW figures.

The key I think is in choosing the proper glue. If I were using CA glue or standard model cement the pieces would hold, but they wouldn't bond in 20-30 seconds the way they do with this MEK based glue formulated specifically for ABS plastic.

I hope that helps to improve people's experience.

haywire01 Dec 2014 5:57 a.m. PST

Someone on the RRT Facebook page mentioned using a heated knife for cutting off the smaller bits.

mdauben Inactive Member01 Dec 2014 11:39 a.m. PST

The assembled miniatures look decent, but there's a lot of work in getting them built.

I've got my box over a week ago, but other than doing a quick inventroy of the box I have not had time to carefully look over the miniaturs. Looking at the photos posted by mech dude all I can say is the destroids at least look like crap. What terrible castings! I was expecting much better.

Thanks for posting that detailed review though. Much appreciated.

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