Updated: Jan 16
Hi there everyone, it’s Build Monkey here.
Following the release of the Horus Heresy boxset, many more releases have come out to fill out the Legiones Astartes line. Which is great news for us! More models, more to add to our collections, it’s certainly a good time to be in the community.
As such, Grey recently managed to get hold of the brand new Legiones Astartes: Deimos Pattern Rhino. So I took no time in tearing this box open to see how it differs from the original Adeptus Astartes Rhino. I’ve been pretty scathing in the past with my opinions, so I’ve been eager (and hopeful) that this new edition Rhino would be a good thing. So… Let’s see…
Opening the box the first thing to catch my attention was the amount of space inside the box itself. This model consists of very few parts, all on only 3 sprues. It’s a lot less than I expected, and makes me wonder why there was such a big box for it when the sprues themselves only take up half of the space within… But nonetheless, I got straight into it, turning the sprues over in my hands to inspect the quality of the plastic, looking specifically for the tracks to judge them indiscriminately. When I did find them I was pleasantly surprised with how solid and detailed they look in comparison to the original Rhino. They also felt a lot more “rigid” than I expected, which is nice because I’ve always felt the original tracks were very flimsy in feel and appearance, and it’s never really sat well with me. But how they look and how they go together are 2 different things, so I reserved my judgement and got to the building of this vehicle.
As expected, I started my build with the sides. Each side is made up of 3 parts and both sides went together really easily. There are tabs in the central section of the outer panel where the door slots in, giving a nice surface area for glueing and holding the door panel in the right place as the glue dries.
After putting together both sides I moved onto connecting the 2 with the base body panel. Now, when putting things together like this I always like to dry fit the parts together to see how they should go. However, dry fitting this Rhino… Was just, effort…
To find out why, I began inspecting the gap I was trying to slot the tabbed side of the body panel into, discovering casting defects… On both sides… These weren’t visible as I was putting the sides together, so I didn't realise the issue until trying to ram a tab into a far far far too small gap.
Scalpel in hand, I carefully carved into all 4 slots to try and make them big enough, then tried again… But then I realised another issue. The tabs of the body panel were too fat. And this wasn’t a casting defect; they’d been specifically designed to be fatter at the ends, tapering towards the middle…
With the older model of the Rhino, there was always an issue with the base panel pulling away from the sides and making the whole build a lot less stable. So by making these ‘tabs’ thicker, in theory it means when they slot into the gaps they’ll be a nice tight fit and won’t cause issues with the model pulling apart… In theory, that is… Unfortunately, these tabs are just so fat that the fit is far far far too tight to actually easily get the base panel to slot into the sides. It is possible, but it’s extremely difficult and requires a lot of strength to do it. To put this into perspective; I braced my model with plenty of cardboard and actually stood on it to try and get the base panel to slot properly into the grooves in the sides, and even with my entire body weight it just would not go into the slots.
In the end, I actually had to resort to carving away a chunk of each of the tabs to make them thin enough so they would actually physically fit into the slots. This may impact on the overall strength and integrity of the sides and base panel but there was nothing else I could do, so we’ll just have to see if this does cause me issues with the Rhino down the line. I don’t know who designed this Rhino, but while i appreciate your wish to make this model stronger and negate the past issues with the sides and base not fitting quite so snuggly; may you be deafened forever more by the sounds of people facepalming you decision to make this design choice a thing. I mean there’s snug, and then there’s crushingly snug.
Even with these “modifications” made though it was still a real struggle to get the body panel into the slots of both side pieces. But again, my struggles didn’t end there, as I also had to fit the rear door into place as well, and the non-glue hinge pegs were… Also too big for the holes. Sigh. Not only were the pegs themselves far too long for the space, the holes they were meant to fit into were way too tight as well. But luckily, I could just cut a bit of each of the pegs to make this fit a lot easier. So, more “modifications” necessary. Eventually though after adding glue, copious amounts of elbow-grease to squeeze too big pieces into spaces far too small and a lot of very rapidly waning patience, I finally managed to get the 2 side pieces, the door, and the base panel together (hooray! *waves pompoms enthusiastically*).
After the hassle of fitting the base body panel and the sides together the rest of the body pieces were a dream. As with older models I've put together it was just 2 parts and done; the middle cross-panel that makes up the back wall of the interior and the roof. Straight on with glue, slotting in nice and snugly and done (yipee).
And now for the moment I’d been waiting for… Track time! I’d been looking forward to seeing how these somewhat seemingly less flimsy looking things held up to the older very wobbly ones (that I still feel look like someone’s dog has gotten hold of ‘em and given ‘em a bit of a chew.) The tracks themselves feel very nice, actually having some substance to them in my hands. Kind of like mini versions of the Spartan tracks, which is a big deal for me to give them such a compliment, as I'm usually pretty scathing when it comes to the quality of these things. They do only have 1 row of pins though rather than the nice 2 that the Spartan had, but the Rhino tracks are only thin so I can forgive the lack of space.
When dry fitting these to the tank they seemed to go on like a dream, too, as they fit snugly into slots in the wheelbase all the way round. When it came to glueing them however, as much as I may applaud these tracks for their improved quality, they couldn’t hold up to my expectations. They still couldn’t fit fully flush. On one side they fit so snuggly up against the wheel arches all around the edge. On the other side though, they don’t. They just, don’t. Even if I tried to wiggle them a bit and slightly shift the higher track piece up a little more to make room, because they fit directly into slots there was no wiggle-room to give them. So it may only be small, but there is gappage between the tracks and the wheel arches on the sides. I expected there would be, but I quietly hoped this would have been fixed… My hopes have since been dashed.
Following the disappointment of the tracks I moved on to the various “dressings” completing the Rhino; the front panel, roof hatch, side hatches and steps, and 4 exhausts, 2 on each side and each coming in 2 halves that need to be put together. These were quick and easy to piece together and add onto the exterior of the tank, which helped dull the pain I'd experienced from wrangling the sides together with the base of the body and trying in vain to make the tracks properly fit.
With all of these pieces done, the Rhino was more or less complete.
I’d completely used up all of the parts on sprue’s B and C, leaving only Sprue A left which is where all the snacky little details are kept to really personalise your tank, with weaponry, lights, the customary Dozer Blade and your choice of hatch designs, dictating whether you want the squishy marines to be hanging out of the roof, or kept inside the many inches of armour where I feel they should be. As you’d expect from my opinion on this I went with the latter of these two thought processes, but rather than a pair of simple hatches I picked the two that gave me the option of having a pair of Pintle-Mounted Combi-Bolters. I then added the Dozer Blade, and followed it up with a pair of Smoke Launchers and a Searchlight. And then with that, I was done. One Deimos Pattern Rhino built.
Aside from the frustrations of the ill-fitting and badly designed sides, base panel and door, and the disappointment of the ill-fitting tracks (as per usual with a Rhino), this was a nice little built. It feels really sturdy and substantial in my hands which I appreciate, because I was worried it would feel cheap and full of unsightly holes where panels just don’t fit together how they actually should. It’s also very nicely detailed and has a lot of character to it.
Following on from my issues with constructing the Deimos Pattern Rhino, Grey thought it a good idea to buy another one so he could have a go at building it, just in case he had any problems as well with this build.
Initially, he didn’t discover any problems with this build at all. The sides went together quite nicely, and inspecting the grooves where the tabs of the base panel were meant to fit revealed some very nice and cleanly cut spaces. Much nicer than before, as there were no casting errors this time.
But then came the fitting of the base panel… And again, the fit was so overly tight it was a real struggle to get it in. It took a lot of wiggling and elbow-grease to make both pieces fit together properly but he did manage it, but even he commented that the fit was extremely tight, tighter than it probably needs to be. And from reading people’s thoughts on this model online, there are a lot of people who agree with us.
Following this though came the rear door and this was actually an even bigger problem for Grey than it was for me. While Grey was fiddling with one of the sides and the base plate, I decided to try and see how the fit of the hinges would be in the sides… And it got stuck, really badly. I struggled a little when I was building my Rhino to get the door to fit into the hinges, but Grey and I both noted how this fit was insanely tight, to the point that if you tried to put the peg into the hole, which is meant to be a loose enough fit so the door can open and close freely, the peg will get stuck and as we tried to pull it free we almost lost the peg of the door in the hole entirely.
In the end Grey took a scalpel to the holes on both sides to widen the gap, because otherwise that door was not going to fit.
But really, we shouldn’t have needed to make these “modifications” to the model at all. Such tight gaps and ill-fitting pieces shouldn’t be a thing in a model that is meant to be well designed. These problems are easily remedied, but the fact we had to, effectively, deface both of our Rhino’s to make the pieces fit is a concern to me, as much as I may like the finished model itself.
But I shall leave it up to you whether you choose to invest in one of these Deimos Pattern Rhino’s. I can recommend them, but I do advise a bit of caution when building one, as you will find problems in places where there really shouldn’t be any at all.
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