This is a quick review of the Knarloc Riders kit from Forgeworldhttp://www.forgeworld.co.uk/knarrider.htm
Video of kit contents - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caxWcJwiyRw
The kit arrived in the usual plastic bag, and a quick check of the components revealed one missing claw. A call to Forgeworld sorted that, and I received the missing claw a week later.
Each Knarloc Rider comes with one main part, comprising the whole Knarloc and the lower body and legs of the Kroot rider. The parts of the Knarloc you need to assemble are the lower legs and the front arms and claws - everything else is cast from a solid lump of resin.
The usual washing is recommended - see details on Forgeworld's site for how to do this. If you don't, your paint might not adhere properly.
The quality of the cast was excellent in most
respects. There was very little flash to clean away; what there was was mostly between the toes of the Kroot rider. A mould line runs along the belly of the beast from nose to tail, requiring scraping or filing away. It is not very visible, but you are best to get rid of it. There is a large gate on the tail of the Knarloc that needs to be sawn or clipped off. This leaves an ugly mess that you need to sand down into something resembling the tip of a Knarloc's tail. Can any of you picture the appearance of the tip of a Knarloc's tail without looking it up? I can't, so it helps to have picture handy for reference. I encountered bubbles in the resin here in all three models, meaning I had to get out some greenstuff to plug the gap.
The lower legs and the front arms are easy to assemble, and are numbered on the mating surfaces so that you can easily match legs to torso. A fine idea and it works perfectly. The joins are almost invisible if placed correctly. I see no need to pin them for further strength given the amount of surface area available for gluing and the relatively light weight of the parts.
Which leaves us the claws. Frankly, Forgeworld should be embarrassed about these. Knarloc claws are not tiny, and should not present the issues these did. In all three sets of claws, the individual fingers were joined by a thick web of resin to one another and to the 'thumb'. I put quote marks around thumb, because on most of the models the web of resin and the 'thumb' were simply indistinguishable. It was a matter of judgement where one ended and the other began. I do not appreciate having to carve my best approximation of a Knarloc thumb from a solid mass of resin. Not when I paid Forgeworld to do the job for me. On one of the claws the thumb had vanished entirely - I sorted that with my earlier phone call to Forgeworld I mentioned above. I got two replacement claws in total, and both were in the same sorry state as most of the rest. Not impressed.
The upper body of the Kroot rider is made from the normal Kroot carnivore plastic sprue, which you get plenty of. In fact, you get enough to make four Kroot if you really wanted to leave your Knarloc with just a set of legs on top! The kit also includes a resin arm holding a Kroot rifle, a resin arm holding a long spear and a resin rifle on its own. No issues with these, other than flash on the rifles.
In summary, other than the claws I was suitably impressed with the standard of these models. They are very expensive for three cavalry figures whose rules leave a lot (a lot!*) to be desired, but they are great looking miniatures and full of Krooty flavour. Mmm, Krooty flavour...
Sholto* No special cavalry weapons or I bonuses on the charge. No S bonuses, power weapons or rending attacks. They might well be the weakest cavalry unit in 40k, although there's not much competition (Rough Riders, Seekers?). Whoever they attack will usually hit them first or at the same time, and in the usual manner of Kroot without hounds and with abysmal armour saves, they will be lucky to be able to hit back at all. Not to mention wound allocation won't let you spread the wounds around the unit, since they are all identical. Then combat resolution and sweeping advance will usually see the end of them. Grrr.