Space Marine Dreadnought Review

Introduction

Okay, I just finished building my Space Marine Dreadnought, and it’s review time. I mentioned in my Space Marine Scout review that the Scouts were a little bit of a letdown in the plastics department. The Dreadnought, however, totally makes up for that and then some, because it was a fun build.

Box Contents

What you get in the box are 4 sprues and a pretextured 60mm urban base. The base has several cracked concrete slabs, rubble, bullet holes, spent assault cannon shell casings, and a cute little skull in the rubble. I don’t want to use it, though, so I’m going to be using a normal 60mm base instead. I think it also came with a sheet of decals, but I can’t be positive because I have zillions of these SM decal sheets.

There are too many parts for me to give you the usual “what’s on the sprue” section, so instead I’ll go over the included parts by body location.

Legs: The legs are composed of front/back halves with nicely detailed cabling, hydraulics and servos, two 4-toed feet, and 2 curved lower leg armor plates. The waist is almost a ball-socket joint, except a lot flatter, and so are the ankles. The armor plates glue to posts on the front of the legs.

Torso: Composed of a top plate, a front plate, a bottom plate, 2 side plates, and a 2-part engine/exhaust assembly. You glue the top plate to the front plate, then you glue the side plates into the recesses on the underside of the top/front plate assembly, and then you glue the bottom plate to this assembly. The engine/exhaust assembly is in front/back halves, and closes off the back of the torso assembly.

The last piece to add is the faceplate panel of the sarcophagus, and you have 3 cosmetic choices here: one with a Crux Terminatus, one with a winged skull, or a dorky looking “human skull on eagle body” panel. All three have a rectangular vision slit up top and a banner at the bottom that you can add the name of your Dreadnought to. I chose the winged skull because it looked cooler than the other two options.

Right arm: You get 2 choices-an arm with twin-linked lascannons in an over/under configuration, or an assault cannon arm, each of which is a 2-part assembly composed of an inside half and an outside half. The inside half of both weapons has a deep hole for the arm pegs on the torso.

Left arm: You get 2 choices here as well-a 3 piece close combat weapon arm with optional storm bolter or heavy flamer, or a 3 piece missile launcher arm. Both arms consist of inside/outside halves like the right arms. The CCW arm has a claw that glues to the front of the forearm, and the missile launcher has a front plate with the missile tubes on it. The storm bolter/heavy flamer options glue to the underside of the forearm, with their respective ammo/fuel feeds gluing to the underside of the shoulder block.

Note on the arms: The hole/peg mounting system for both arms is snug enough that you don’t have to glue the arms into place, and you don’t need magnets. If you don’t glue them to the torso, you can swap out the arms if you need to.

Optional parts: You get a 2-part searchlight, a 3-tube set of smoke dischargers that comes in 2 halves, a large Crux Terminatus icon that fits on the side torsos, and two purity seals. I used all of the options-the Crux Terminatus on the left torso, smoke dischargers up top above the sarcophagus, the searchlight over the left torso, and one purity seal each on the assault cannon/CCW arms.

I got some sprues from different lots, incidentally‚Ķthe one with the assault cannon arm, heavy flamer, smoke dischargers, and purity seals is in a much lighter gray color. The other 3 sprues and the bases are in a darker gray. This doesn’t affect the model in any way, and is just an observation on what I got.

Unlike the other boxed sets I bought recently, there’s no instruction booklet. Instead, there are 6 exploded assembly diagrams on the back of the box, which cover all of the included build options.

Build Notes

Assembly went well, with less cleanup required than the Terminators or Scouts. This is partly because of how several of the Dreadnought parts were sprued to minimize mold lines, and partly because I happened to get good sprues. However, the parts often go together in deceptively simple ways that could result in applying glue to the wrong place if you aren’t careful, so I recommend dry fitting EVERY part BEFORE applying any glue, and making a note of how the parts join. That way, you’ll know exactly where to apply the glue and where not to apply it. I know it sounds stupid and patronizing of me to say the above, but when you dry fit the torso parts, you’ll see what I mean with the whole glue thing.

Conclusion

The original metal Blood Angels dreadnought with the multimelta right arm and CCW left arm was one of the models that sucked me into 40k back in 1995. The metal ones were a pain to build sometimes, and I’ve accidentally dropped metal dreadnoughts more than a few times with painful cosmetic effects. The plastic model I just reviewed is a vast improvement over these earlier models for several reasons: it holds up to falls better, it stays together better, you get more options in the box, and it’s just a really nice model with a lot of pleasing technical greeblies on it.

Sizewise, this thing is squat and beefy. It’s over 2 inches wide, stands over 2 inches tall, and is about an inch and a half deep through the torso. It looks huge next to Scouts and tactical marines, and looks really nice with the new Terminators.

Also, I don’t know if this is representative of ALL plastic dreads, but there are a couple of small spots on the arms that you might want to fill with a little bit of putty to hide gaps. In my case, there’s a small gap under the assault cannon’s ammo box, and another one on the front of the assault cannon right below the frontal slope of the shoulder. These defects were only on the light gray parts, and I didn’t see any fitting issues on the darker gray majority of the parts.

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