The models are of course out now and I'm actually starting to think they may be my favourite faction of them all. I can see myself collecting an army if they all look as cool as these.
My favourites within the favourites has to be the Ripper suits. These are the ultimate one-Orx heavy weapons team. An already hard as steel and just-above-psychotic genetic monstrosity strapped into a powered exo-suit with every weapon available strapped on top of that - whats not to like?
The resin kit is great. But you get two models in a bag, plus some goblins, and all the weapon options so it can be a confusing pile of parts to sort out. So here's a quick guide to what's what and where it all goes.
I've laid out all the Ripper suit pieces here. I didn't put the goblin heads out because its kind of obvious what they are and they slot straight into their bodies anyway. But you should be able to see, on the left of the picture, two arms, a two-piece weapon, a chainsaw, a las-weapon, and a grenade launcher. Then, in the middle, are three head options, a radar/scanner dish, and a missile launcher. Finally, on the right, two more arms, a multi-barrelled weapon, a close-combat weapon, a small rocket launcher, and two ammo belts.
It doesn't matter which body you put which weapon or head or arm on - they are all interchangeable. Most of the weapons are too but the gatling gun does, I think, need to go on a left arm. This is largely because the attached flame-thrower would look a bit silly on the 'inside' of a limb. If we can say anything on a 10ft tall orx with this many weapons systems attached looks silly, that is.
Edit: after gluing all my models together, I finally got round to opening the packs of cards and looking at building lists. It turns out I messed up a bit here. While the weapon systems are all interchangeable on the models, in the cards there are two distinct builds for Ripper suits. One is the clos-combat oriented Mauler, the other the more shooty Rainmaker. The two piece weapon I tend to refer to as a missile launcher is actually a Ram and should be paired with a Buzzsaw - I believe you can use either of the two saw-type weapons to represent it and make a Mauler. The las-cannon, or HEW Beamer as it should be known, should be paired with the rotary cannon. This makes the Rainmaker. The addon components are all more or less still interchangeable, although the back mounted launcher should also go on the Rainmaker.
Here's how the models look with heads, arms, and major weapons attached. The two-part missile-launcher thingy was the only one that was a little problematic at this point. It has a guide stud on one part to help align the pieces when gluing. The female receptor on the weapon head was not really drilled out deep enough on mine though. Even though I bored it out a little, I still didn't get a good fit and so my weapon is now a little wonky. My own fault though for not being thorough and I'll be fixing it before painting.
The trickiest part of the whole kit was the ammo belt for the gatling gun. For a start, you get two of them, in different lengths. So you need to figure out which one to use. Now, there are a couple of possible reasons for this. One is that each one is intended for use when mounting the gun on a different side of the body. The second, more likely one, is they are both for the left arm, but you get two different left arms of differing length, so you need different length ammo feeds. Whatever the truth of it is, if you mount the gun on the bent left arm, like I did, you need the longer ammo belt.
Moving on to the extras, you get some cool stuff, but only one of each piece. I would have liked more, but then perhaps the suits wouldn't be as cool or individual if every suit had every upgrade on it.
Each suit has two holes in the top of the chest plate, about level with the orx's head - the scanner dish will fit in any of them.
It looks like the top-mounted rocket-launcher is also intended for use on either suit. Perhaps I got a bad cast, but ti didn't feel like it fitted perfectly on either suit. It looks like there are guides and slots in the sculpt, but none of them seemed to make the part go on just right. I ended up picking the one that seemed best.
The shoulder-mounted rockets do have well-sculpted guide rails though. You should be able to see crenelations on the underside of the piece that fir into the zig-zags on either suit's left shoulder.
The small grenade launcher for the right side also has a guide hole bored into it and it fits onto a vambrace, or wrist armour. I seem to have managed to forget to take a picture of that though, so take my word for it ;)
Once all is done and dried though, you should have two very cool and mean looking Marauders, as well as a spare head, ammo belt, and chainsaw.
I had no major issues putting these models together. Mold lines were pretty minimal too. Mantic seems to have made a habit of casting the two halves of the Orx heads right down the middle in Deadzone though, and both heads did need a little bit of slightly tricky scraping here.
I'm painting mine like he's snapped a broom in half and put the end on his head :)