Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mauler/Forgefiend Kit: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly... and Easy Magnetizing!

By Rich K.

I recently completed the Mauler/Forgefiend kit I purchased at the CSM codex launch and I have some observations to share...

The Model

It seems that GW is engineering the newer models to have options that are no longer easily magnetized and swapped (see my previous Heldrake post).  To make a single 'Fiend model with all the swappable parts magnetized I think you would need something like 22 magnets!  I think the designers went in with the specific idea to make it as hard as possible to swap parts, which is unfortunate.

GW's business is selling models, after all, so I can't blame them.  But, there is such a thing as going overboard.  It really felt like there were parts added to the model that just didn't need to be added; the only purpose was to make magnetizing the thing just a little bit harder.  To me, that's just silly because what they are essentially doing is making a model harder to build in an effort to stop folks like us from doing what we do so well: defeating their puny attempts!  Bwahaha!

One other thing: the mold lines and injection points were not as well hidden as on some of the other GW models like the Dark Vengeance box and the Heldrake.  It just seems like they didn't spend enough time putting the finishing touches on the 'Fiend.

I like the model, in general.  It's dynamic, it's aggressive, and the stats look like it will be fun on the table.  I just wish it was easier to put together in an economical way (both time and money-wise).  The kit doesn't seem polished.

The Instructions

Holy crap the instructions sucked!  There was no step (or even graphical representation of where they go) for installing the magma cutters, there were no part numbers on the diagrams even though there were numbers on the sprues, and it seemed like the steps were not in the optimal order.  Small things, easily figured out, but come on...  I can imagine one of these slip-ups getting through to a production run, but not all three!

My advice for building this model: disregard the instructions and put the legs and feet on second to last and put the neck and head on last.  It's really hard getting the thing to stand flat when you build the legs and feet so early in the process.  Also, the pose for the head and neck are hard to gauge before putting the legs and feet on.  If you pose the neck looking up too far, you can't put the armor plate on the back of the 'Fiend because the spines on the neck get in the way.  I had to pry the neck out because I posed it wrong in the second step and couldn't get the back plate on!  WTF!!!???


This model was a PITA to complete.  If/when you buy one, go in expecting to wrestle with it.  Especially if you want to magnetize it.

Now as a contrast, the Heldrake was a well engineered kit, the mold lines and injection points were hidden very well, the instructions were precise and included every step, and there were few parts to the customizable bits (meaning you didn't have to duplicate a bunch of work when you built it or if you wanted to magnetize the model).  Great kit, well executed.

Magnetizing The 'Fiend

Magnetizing this model is a bit of a hard squirrel to slap.  As I stated before, there are many many parts to each configuration.  If you want a Mauler you have to mount the huge front legs (each of which has 4-6 parts) in the front sockets and either tendrils (3 parts each) or cutters (2 parts each) in the two middle sockets.  If you want a Frogefiend it's some fancy multi-part gun mounts (2 parts) in the front sockets with two types of big guns (2-3 parts each, depending on the gun type) on top of them and then smaller legs (3 parts) in the middle sockets instead of tendrils/cutters.  You're also supposed to use different feet on the back legs (2 parts each) depending on which configuration you choose.  What's more, there's also two different head styles you can chose from, which is nice.

All the weapons options.

I do like that there are a lot of choices.  Plenty of parts that if you did decide to just make a Mauler and glue it all together (i.e. no magnets), you'd have lots of other bits left over you could use on other conversions.  I'm not wealthy so I need to squeeze everything I can out of every kit I buy.  That's why I magnetize.

After struggling for a few nights with the sheer amount of magnets needed to set up the model in all its wonderful configurations I finally said "Screw it!  I'll just make this easy on me."

Note the large magnet at the shoulder.

I drilled out 0.25" holes in each vertical piece of shoulder armor for magnets of the same size.  I went with these giant neodymium magnets because they will need to hold a fair amount of weight securely.  Larger magnets makes more magnetic flux with means more weight can be held more securely.

I installed all the legs in their respective sockets.  I really like the look of all those legs.  I think the Forgefiend looks a bit anemic with only two sets of tiny legs.  Further, the Mauler's secondary weapons (tendrils/cutters) seem like they are too distant from the fight to make a real difference, so I like the look of them being more forward mounted.

Then I flattened the ball end of the lash and cutter mounts by razor-sawing them off, I drilled them out, and installed more magnets.  This time they are .0125" neodymium's.

To mount the guns I just drilled holes inside the center of the ball sockets and mounted a large flat-topped steel screw in the hole.  Not too hard.  The plasticard circles are bits I punched out of a thin sheet of plasticard with a paper hole punch.  They are there to prevent scratching the paint.

I then built up the volume around the screws with GS tubes (made via a Tentacle Maker Tool Box) and muscles and such to tie the parts together aesthetically.  I did this by super gluing the tubes in place and the sculpting a ring around the end that joined the Fiends shoulder.  Let that GS ring cure and then genlty pry it off.  This makes a perfectly fitted joint for the magnet/screw combo.

Lastly, I magnetized both head options.

The guns are a little higher than normal, which could get you accused of "modeling for advantage," but they are still in the same general area. Also, the tendrils and cutters are more forward leaning and scary this way, I think. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the modifications I made to my 'Fiend. It just looks scarier this way.


  1. Very informative. I was seriously considering picking this model up immediately, but I think its lower on my list currently, only because I have a bunch of heavy support models, and I'm somewhat unsure of where it fits in my army. The limited range of the plasma option is painful and the autocannons just don't seem to do that much damage for their cost. I'll buy them eventually though, if only for the satisfaction of running a list with 6 walkers and 3 flyers, all daemon engines.

    1. Yeah, Ian, it's a great model once you have it done. It's getting it done that is the problem. I really like the idea of a bunch of d-engines! I might have to try that! Right now I have this one, 2 home-brew mauler proxies, and 3 'brutes (one that is second ed). That sounds like a bunch of fun on a bun.

    2. I'm planning to run mine as 3 brutes (mm/pf cause its cheap and both results are good, although I'm modeling autocannons so I can try both) plus 2 forgefiends and a defiler. I am also considering buying 2 slaughter fiends and using them as counts as mauler fiends.

    3. The Slaughterfiend (Bloodslaughter?) is a great model, I just wish FW wasn't so damned expensive. What do you think of the Power Scourge? I might try them this weekend.


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