Updated: Jan 16
Good day everyone, it’s Build Monkey here back with another review piece for you all, and after a recent visit to one of our local gaming shops, Grey and I came home with a very nice little present for me to put together; the Sicaran Battle Tank.
Just looking at the boxart of this thing it looks fabulous, and me being me I couldn't wait to get my hands on it to see what it’s like to put together. So buckle up, grab a drink and some snacks, and let’s dive straight into this review shall we?
Starting right off, I’d like to say I managed to get my own hands on the box the moment we got it home, but sadly this didn’t happen… Grey got to it first, grabbing a scalpel to tear his way into the box through its plastic (cheeky bugger, taking away my own unboxing fun). And almost immediately after opening the box and looking inside, Grey looked at me and held out one of the best sights I think I’ve ever seen from a Warhammer vehicle kit: an entire sprue of tracks… And not just any tracks, chunky tracks. Substantial feeling tracks with some significant weight to them, and much like the Spartan they have 2 tabs on the inside edge to make what will be their installation a breeze (hopefully). And they are so well detailed. I have to admit, I did have a moment of giddiness and glee at the sight of these tracks in this manner. I was a very happy Build Monkey.
Once he’d gone over the sprues himself, he then gave them all to me and I began turning them over in my hands one at a time, and I have to say I really like how solid they look, and there is a real feeling of substance to each of the pieces on each of the sprues, which is refreshing.
I took a look at the build guide before starting to see how this vehicle goes together and straight away saw that the Sicaran is already different to the other vehicles I’ve made previously; the tracks get built near the beginning of this build, as you put the sides together rather than waiting until both sides are built and attached to the main tank body. Which is a nice change.
With this in mind, I got straight to work carefully clipping the first few pieces of one of the sides of the Sicaran from its sprue, and using a scalpel to clean up all the mouldlines and flash. This was quite easy as each side is only constructed from 5 parts (not including the tracks), but when it came to glue these pieces together as the build guide suggests, I found it really fiddly.
Each of the sides are quite wide with over a centimetre of space between the panels. The solid outer panel gets 1 piece glued directly onto it, but the other 3 have to be put together separately according to the build guide and then attached to the outer panel via a set of small pins dotted around the outer edge on the inside of where the wheel arches are located. And these pins are tiny. There isn’t much to give the delicate 3 piece glued section stability during this part of the build and with it glued together on only the shortest edges of each piece, it actually fell apart twice while trying to shimmy it into position on the pins. And this wasn’t helped by 1 of these 3 sections only getting 1 pin to glue it to the outer panel. If you’re not very careful how you position and glue it, and hold it carefully as the glue sets so it doesn’t slide or tip under even its own weight, it will end up off-centre and will end up bowing at the join, which could go on to ruin your model or at the very least, make it a little more awkward to continue building.
This is where it makes a lot of sense now to attach the tracks at this point, because it adds some much needed stability to the piece, negating the wobbliness of the side panel and securing everything solidly in place. And as I was already very impressed with the tracks, I was quite eager to see how they’d fare… And honestly, while I was definitely not disappointed, I did actually discover something particularly irksome about these tracks…
Each of the tracks is connected to the sprue at so many points and some of them are so overly attached to the sprue, it almost seems unnecessary. And there are so many mouldlines on each of the tracks, that you just can’t get away with not taking time to scrape them off because otherwise they will just look ugly. So I ended up spending what was most of my actual time building the Sicaran, just scraping flash and mouldlines off the pieces of track (hand cramp became a real issue because of this). Once done though, they glued on so well and each section fit so snugly into its corresponding piece, beautifully wrapping around the tank with no gappage whatsoever (happy Build Monkey is happy).
With one side done, I moved onto the second but because of how fiddly and unstable I found it to build by following the instructions, I decided to do it a little differently; I took the large outside piece, and just glued all the smaller pieces directly onto it instead. And then attached the tracks. This worked so much better in my opinion because I didn’t have to struggle with flimsy pieces that would inevitably just fall apart in my hands. And so with that done, I had 2 very solid feeling side panels fully completed.
I moved on to building the body next, and this was also more interesting than previous tanks I've built, such as the Spartan, because the body of the Sicaran has a lot more detail to it. As a result, there are a lot more parts to make up each of the panels of the roof and base, which include the turret mount and a freely manoeuvrable Hull (Front) Mounted Heavy Bolter. All in all, there are 14 pieces that make up the roof and base of the body of the Sicarian. The Spartan only really has 10 (ignoring the “cosmetic fluff”). But as much as I like it, it's all very intricate and again, fiddly as a result. While building it’s so easy to apply slightly more pressure than intended and have the whole piece collapse in on itself.
With the body built I carefully attached the sides, and once this was done it gained a whole lot more stability, which is to be expected. The final roof panel and a pair of brackets to cover the rear side of the tracks is all that’s left and the main bulk of the build is done.
One thing I found though when attaching the final roof panel to the tank was that it had a tendency to pull away from the rear of the body. Handily though, the Sicaran has 4 exhausts that attach to the back of the tank, and 2 of the 4 have what is effectively a little “hooked indent” that quite literally hooks over the back edge of the roof panel, pulling it down and firmly holding it all together. These exhausts each come split in 2 pieces and they are 2 different sizes, shorter for the outer side and taller for the inner side, and they’re very simple to put together as a result.
After finishing the main body and rear of the Sicaran I moved onto the main turret itself, and this was the easiest part so far. It has a nice amount of bulk to it, and each piece feels significantly substantial. It comes with a free-moving front mounted camera targeting array and a set of containers behind the hatch, neither of which get in the way of the Turret’s movement giving it a completely free 360 degree rotation when placed in its socket in the Sicaran roof, which is nice.
The guns though were a little more awkward. There are 2 of them to build and mount on either side of the turret, and each consists of 8 separate parts. Not so bad, but some of the parts are tiny (such as the tips of the barrels). And there are a lot of mould lines on these as well, with awkward divots to try and wiggle a scalpel or scraper into to try and remove them to make the barrel properly smooth. But all in all, it wasn’t too bad and they came up quite clean after a little scraping.
Building it on the other hand became a slight chore, but this was mostly a problem of my own making… The tip of the barrel of each gun needs to have an extra piece glued into it, and the piece in itself is very small. The hole in the barrel it needs to be glued into is also small, but it was a nice fit when I dry-fitted the pieces first. Then I applied glue, attached the barrel tip, and let go… And it promptly dropped to the floor… Onto a grey/brown carpet… Cue myself and Grey on our hands and knees with a torch for the next 5 minutes searching for the piece… We found it in the end, thankfully, but it made me question why it dropped out so easily. So I inspected the piece and the barrel and noticed the piece had not made contact with the glue I'd applied to the barrel at all. There was actually a little well in the tip of the barrel that the glue had pooled in, which is why the barrel tip had fallen out so easily without being glued at all. So I do strongly advise when building these barrels that you not only do it over a table or a bowl just in case you drop any of it, but also apply more glue to the rim of the barrel tip as well and not just a little bit into the hole, or the pieces will not actually make contact to bond together at all.
Once both guns had been made it was then a simple case of mounting them to the turret. And this is a little interesting (though not unexpected, as it’s a relatively standard manner of gun-mounting when it comes to models like this). There is a plastic “stick” on the sprue that is as wide as the turret, which fits into the turret through the 2 holes on either side. The inside edges of both of the guns have corresponding holes that are a slightly rounded hexagonal-shape, so you can just plug them onto the ends of the “stick” and you’re done. Although, in spite of this method of attaching the guns to the turret, there isn’t actually much movement capable in these guns at all. The whole turret can swing around a complete 360 but any up and down movement is very limited, if possible at all because of the amount of bulk on the back sides of the guns themselves. They just get in their own way. It’s not really an issue, but it’s a bit of a disappointment that this feature has been implemented but can’t actually be utilised just because of the style of the tank and its guns… What can move freely up and down though is the camera targeting array on the front of the turret, and both Grey and I are quite confused as to why it’s necessary for this detail in particular to have such an extreme level of movement when the guns get next to none. But at least one of these two design elements work…
Finishing up the tank, all that’s left are the Sponson mounted weapons, and with so many variations you’re somewhat spoiled for choice. You could have a pair of Heavy-Bolters, Lascannons, Heavy Flamer’s, or Volkite Culverin’s, and with an easy twist-on gun mount, it’s even completely possible to magnetise each of the weapon variations so that you’re not limiting yourself in the heat you want your Sicaran to be packing for battle. With this in mind, Grey and I decided we would build each of the weapon variations for the Sicaran specifically so we could magnetise them down the line, so this did affect how I finished my build of the Sicaran slightly.
I started by clipping the parts of the gun mounts for each side of the Sicaran from the sprue. Each mount itself is only made up of 3 parts, so it’s very simple to put together. Following on from this, I began working on the weapons themselves. Again, there are quite a few mouldlines to remove, but the most predominant ones are those on the Lascannons, which isn’t such a big issue and they were nice and clean and smooth in only seconds.
Each of the weapons are only made up of either 3 or 4 parts, and for the most part it’s either just 2 halves of a single piece, or a particular part for a weapon that is exactly the same for both sides of the tank, so there is nothing too complicated when it comes to building any of these at all. As such, I was able to breeze through building the Lascannons, then move quickly onto the Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer and the Volkite Culverins. And when dry-fitting them into the mount the fit is very snug, which made me question whether magnets would even be necessary in the end. But nonetheless, I continued.
At this stage of the build, usually, I would go on to attach one of the weapons to the gun mount using the 2 joining pieces that make up an upper targeting laser and a lower rotating bolt to clamp the gun into place in its Sponson. But as I’ve chosen to magnetise these weapons instead so that I can switch them out at will, a little modification of these pieces will be necessary to make this option viable.
It is important to note however that, even if you don’t intend to magnetise your weapons and you choose to use the pieces as they are straight out of the box; the lower rotating bolt that holds each weapon in the Sponson is different depending on which weapon you choose. As such, there are 2 different kinds. This is because 3 of the weapons; the Lascanon, Heavy Bolter and Heavy Flamer, have a cable running from the back of the weapon and into the Sponson itself, with the end sitting in a little groove set into the rotating bolt so that it spins freely with the weapon. But on the Volkite Culverin, this is not the case, as such this little groove in this weapon's corresponding bolt is missing. So be sure to pick the right bolt for the right weapon when building these weapons and fitting them in their Sponsons.
As mentioned, I’d chosen to magnetise the weapons for the Sicaran. As such, unless I wanted to use twice the number of magnets necessary, I’d have to choose which of the lower bolts I wanted to use. So with the knowledge that 3 out of the 4 weapons all use the same bolt anyway, I went with the bolt that has the cable groove in it.
Inconveniently though, when looking over the holes in each of the guns to fit them for magnets, the ones at the bottom of each gun were ever-so-slightly smaller than the ones at the top. It’s not that much of a big deal, but I had to break out the pin-drill to make the hole a bit wider in order to fit a 3mm magnet into it.
With this done, carefully using superglue, I applied a little glue to each magnet and then slotted them one by one into each of the holes at the top and bottom of each gun, and a pair of magnets into each Sponson mount, being extra careful to make sure the polarity of every magnet matched properly throughout the process because the last thing you want is the magnets repelling each other when trying to fit the guns into the Sponsons.
With this done, all that was left was covering up the magnets so it didn’t look so obvious. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be a problem, because there wouldn’t be magnets in the way, but because there now were, the targeting laser and the lower bolt of the Sponson wouldn’t be able to slot into the now non-existent holes and clasp the gun into the Sponson itself. So a little more modification was necessary to fit these pieces into place. To do this, I just clipped the “pins” off of each of the targeting lasers and lower bolts, shaved down the area of excess plastic until it was smooth, then simply super-glued them into place on the Sponson.
Then to finish up each Sponson I glued the final cable into place at the base, giving the impression that each gun is fully connected to the Sicaran.
With this done my Sicaran Battle Tank was now complete.
I had a lot of fun building this tank as it’s very intricate and, in my opinion, a lot more detailed than the Spartan Troop Carrier. I love the way the tank plating wraps around the tracks giving it a nice feeling of chonk, and the tank as a whole has a very solid feeling to it. Admittedly it isn’t as heavy as the Spartan, but it is also about ¾’s of its size, so this is to be expected.
If there was one word, though, that I would give this tank in terms of building it, then that would be “fiddly”. It’s a word you’ve likely noticed that I’ve actually used repeatedly throughout this review, but for as much as I enjoyed this build there were a few things that I found somewhat exasperating for me; such as the number of mouldlines on the tracks and each of the weapons, the amount of flash and excess plastic to remove because of how well each piece was held onto the sprue, and the awkwardness of some of the parts to clean up because of them being so small, or the excess plastic was in such a tiny gap that I struggled to fit the tip of even a scalpel into the space to clear it out without hacking off parts of the model by accident. But these personal gripes aside, the Sicaran Battle Tank went together like a dream and even with my own modifications to the model, nothing about this tank disappointed me. It’s also gorgeous to look at.
I can’t recommend the Sicaran Battle Tank enough, so if you think it’s worth it for you and your army; get one.
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