Horus Heresy: Kratos Heavy Assault Tank
Updated: Jan 16
Hi everyone, it's Build Monkey back again with another guide for you all.
Not too long ago Grey managed to get his paws on a brand new Kratos Heavy Assault tank and there was much celebration at the arrival of the meaty box. But impressive box aside, why don't we all dive in and find out what it's really like to build.
My first impressions of the Kratos are somewhat… Blunt. Looking the sprues over, it seems like it's just a really big Sicaran. And I liked the Sicaran, so I already had high hopes.
Starting the build with the sides as usual, the Kratos really is just like the Sicaran as tracks get built at this point, with pieces of armour plating to wrap and envelop the tracks and make the whole piece feel very solid when fully constructed. But to get to this point, I discovered my first issue with the Kratos, and it isn't one I expected.
Now looking at it, it's quite clear to see that the Kratos is big. Really big. It's just so big, that some parts of the model are so tight against the sprue that just cutting them from the sprue was a bit of a challenge, because my clippers just couldn't fit. This isn't an issue I often come up against, but it really hammered home the sheer size of this model for me right from the get-go.
Despite size issues though, once I had the pieces free of the sprue and cleaned up, piecing them together was like an effortless dream. Each part just fits so well and each piece goes exactly as you'd expect it to. Then there's the tracks which are just so so so so so lovely. They're substantial in look and feeling, and they're just so easy to glue into place. They just fit so well, and gloriously there is no gappage at all! They fit so snuggly against the wheels of the Kratos, and then get fully enveloped by the armour plating of the tank itself to give a real look and feel of bulk and security; there’s little chance of these tracks ever coming loose I tell you.
With sides done, it was time to piece them together with the main body of the Kratos and as hoped, things continued to be effortless with this build. Each side and body panel has tongue-and-groove style tabs which guide the fit, and they fit. Properly, and snuggly, giving a nice sense of substance to the Kratos... Unlike the Deimos Rhino, which I even now continue to have horrible flashbacks of whenever I come to this particular sequence of a vehicle build…
With this stage of the build complete though, I looked it all over and at the rear I found something unexpected. You might have a different experience here, so I’ll let you judge for yourselves, as I’m still unsure if it’s just a casting defect of my Kratos or whether it's just a specific design element (though I am leaning strongly towards the defect side of this query… oh no…) between the slots for the exhaust pipes; there’s a slightly rounded and somewhat malformed looking little tab. Don't know why, or what it's for. But it exists… (*Shrug*)
The final touches to the body are the 4 exhausts and 4 armour plates that add extra detail to the build, all of which slot easily into place in ready-made grooves. But unlike a build such as the Sicaran, which also has 4, the exhausts for the Kratos are all exactly the same. Each consists of 2 parts and are just a simple plug-into-place, which is great!
At this point, you'd usually move on to build with the roof before working on the weapons, but the Kratos, being the beastly chonkster that it is, has a lot of weapon options for it. And I mean, a lot; Bolters, Laacanons, Volkite Calivers, Melta weapons, you name it it's probably got it somewhere. So with this in mind, you need to start thinking how you want to arm this baby before attaching the roof at all, as there are grooves specifically designed to fit movable hull mounted weapons that are held into place by the large roof panel itself. I decided to go with a pair of Bolters for my Kratos, so I moved onto working on putting them together.
Once built, they sit into a pair of circular grooves on the top of the Kratos body, which then get fixed into place by the roof panel itself to give them full side-to-side movement capabilities, as well as their in-built up and down… When fitting them however, it is very important to also make sure that the guns you have chosen are the right way up, as they fit either way and you don't want to be accidentally mounting them upside down, leading to you needing to peel the whole roof panel off again just to flip them around the right way, so take care.
Moving onto the turret, in previous builds it’s been relatively simple as most turret mounts (minus specific weapons) come as one whole piece. The Kratos however, comes in 12 pieces alone, and when choosing which weapon you want to mount as the Kratos's main turret, this number jumps to between 16 to 24, all ranging in sizes from smaller than your little fingernail to as big as the palm of a hand (or at least, the size of my palms… I do have somewhat tiny hands…)
I chose to mount my Kratos with the Battlecannon, which makes my total pieces for the turret mount as a whole 16, but that's still quite a number considering they're usually just one big hollow dome printed as a whole. Being done in this way though, it does mean Gamesworkshop can pack a whole lot more detail into the Kratos, which is a great step-up in quality from some other tanks I've made. It really shows that a lot of care and attention to the details has been taken, which is very much appreciated.
As mentioned though, some of these pieces are tiny and so it is highly advised when you cut them from the sprue and scrape off the flash that you do it over a table or into a box, just in case you drop one of them because if you are as ham-fisted as I can be, the last thing you want to be doing is dropping one of the tiny pieces and have it ping off onto a grey-brown carpet, leading to you spending the next half an hour of your life scrabbling around with a torch trying to find it again, hoping to the God Emperor himself that it stayed near your feet and didn't ping off somewhere underneath the sofa never to be seen again… Personally I used a white-ish coloured lap tray to avoid this situation, as I have far too much experience of it and am only just now beginning to learn from my mistakes…
Glueing all of the turret pieces together with the main gun in place, I found for once there was actually plenty of movement in the main and secondary guns, which initially I thought was fantastic… Until that is, I came to attach the last piece. Which is a piece of armour plating that wraps around the main gun near the base. Completely eliminating any manoeuvrability whatsoever… Why? Why is this a thing Games Workshop? Why go to all the effort to make these guns manoeuvrable, even stating in the build instructions they're not to be glued to make sure they remain free-moving, if you're just going to box them up so tightly with other pieces it takes away any movement at all?
The only way around this I can think of to maintain movement and give the Kratos any gun-depression at all is by pinning this piece of plating near the back where it looks like it is meant to be a hinge. But the amount of space is so small, and so insecure that it might not be worth it in the end for the risk of breaking your Kratos. So I'll leave this thought of pinning up to you.
Now done with the turret, I moved onto the sponsons. And I really sense there is a theme going on here, as every vehicle released recently has exactly the same sponson design and size; there’s no differentiation for vehicle size or even seemingly weapon type. I could, for example, if I really wanted to, mount my large Kratos sponsons onto the Rhino or the Sicaran and, despite looking quite big, they’d fit. Perfectly… Games Workshop clearly has a mould for sponsons that just plop off the conveyor into a pick-and-mix box for vehicles.
I built my sponsons and kitted them out with Bolters, keeping the theme of Bolt weapons for my Kratos, because Bolters. And with this done, my Kratos was complete.
Overall, this build was gorgeous. It was a fun “little” thing to work on as everything just went together so snugly, and it really looks like there is a lot of meat to it with all the armour and, of course, all of the many many many weapons it has. After all, it’s called a Heavy Assault Tank for a reason, right?
My only gripe is the weapon manoeuvrability… They seemed to go to so much effort to design this vehicle with free-movement of the weapons in mind, only to box them up so tightly that it eliminates all ability to benefit from this feature… It just doesn’t make sense to me and feels like such a shame and a waste of a feature. But hey ho, that’s just my two cents.
The Kratos Heavy Assault Tank. Great build. I highly recommend it.
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