Tuesday, 8 January 2013

HaT Assyrian Chariots

The Assyrian Army is proceeding apace.

I expect that pace to pick up now that I have finished the Allies and can concentrate on the regular Assyrian troops, which have a greater degree of uniformity when it comes to colours. Every single one of the 44 Allies has a different colour scheme, and that did tend to slow things up a lot.

I have made a start on a box of cavalry. Again, these are soft and bendy plastic, which I think has more drawbacks than positive features. But the figures seem to take the Humbrol cement well, and are easy to paint up too. No flash or seams to speak of, and overall a very good standard.

Sadly, the same could not be said of the first box of Assyrian Infantry I opened. Almost every one had a bad seam that needed careful trimming with a sharp scalpel. A few figures were malformed, as the two halves of the mould had obviously slid sideways before the injection run. The worst examples were the four men loading their slings, and they had a noticeable step from the base all the way to the top of the figure. Annoying.. HaT need to get a grip of their Quality Control. It's not the worst set I have seen (that award goes to a couple of packets of Revell WW1 Germans) and the figures are all usable. But it took close to half a day's work just to trim the seams and clean up the figures. The too-soft plastic doesn't not help, as when one comes to a curve or a step when trimming, the blade will either tear the plastic or slip off and leave a long strip of trimmed surplus that then needs to be cut off. Trying to scrape this off does not work, as the plastic just tears up. Thankfully other other two packets of Assyrian Infantry figures are much better, with just a couple of the bowmen having seams.

I also moved onto the chariots, and started to put together and paint the first one. Once again HaT have used a very soft plastic. Thankfully the mouldings are very clean, with no seams or flash, but there are still problems. The instructions on the back of the box showing how to fit the main beam to the chariot and the yoke are totally wrong. I ignored them and went by some photos I found on-line. That led to problem 2. The locating holes in the chariot floor for the main beam are too far back. If the two pins on the main beam are located in those holes, the triangular support for the main beam fouls the front of the chariot and it will not fit. I had to drill a hole nearer the front of the chariot and locate the second pin of the main beam into that, in order to achieve a proper fit. The plastic takes glue well, but it is so soft that tying to get the three sides of the chariot body together is a right pain, as any finger pressure just distorted the body and popped the sides out of their locating slots.

However, with much cursing it did finally go together and started to look okay. I am now in the process of painting it up, having given it its base coats. It's by no means a push-together model. It needs gluing, and even then will be very fragile on the gaming table, so I will not add the horses and crew until I can base the thing properly.

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