Well here they are: all 10 ships assembled in a push-fit manner. No glue used at all. There is one bit I haven’t assembled as I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it apart again to clean and assemble it properly. Still, it would go together if I wasn’t bothered about that. My choice, not the kit’s fault.
So how was the assembly process? On the whole, not too bad. There are only a couple of pitfalls to avoid.
- Be careful clipping stuff off the sprues. There are lots of connecting lugs and so on, and not all of them are obvious from both sides. If in doubt have a look at the other side before you snip. I made only one mistake but luckily it’s not really noticeable.
- Some of the bits are quite delicate before they’re assembled. Once in place they’re usually OK, you just have to be a little careful when applying pressure to assemble them.
- If you want to do a nice paint job on them you may want to paint some bits of them (especially the partly exposed interiors) before you put them together. If I decide to paint mine I will do so as several sub-assemblies (masts and sails, hull, and so on).
And a few suggestions that might make life easier if you’re not used to this sort of thing.
- Use the sides of the box as reference. This is where the assembly diagrams are, and they do help. I also did this in front of a computer so I could use the 360 degree animated shots on the GW website (look in the slideshow of pictures under the box photo). Occasionally these were very useful to see exactly how a piece fitted.
- Only clip off the bits you need for the ship you’re making at the moment. Each ship has a different code letter, and all the bits for each ship have a letter next to them on the sprue. Some of the bits for different ships look similar (masts and sails, for example) and though you can always work out which is which if you look closely it’s easier if you don’t have to.
- Start with the simple ships and get the hang of the way they’ve designed them. The two flagships, the Araby one (with the fire and air djinn), the floating ghost ship, and that blasted Skaven dead fish thing were the ones I found most awkward. I ended up leaving the upper gun decks on the Skaven one loose as I can’t see how they’re supposed to stay in place without glue.
- As with all modelling and painting, take it slowly and carefully and take a break if you get annoyed.
There are quite a few opportunities for swearage in assembling this without glue. This is especially true of the ships that have to balance several bits in place while pushing the two halves together. The Heldenhammer wins the prize for this, though it was a close run thing with the floaty undead ship. Note that this may not be as bad if you’re gluing them.
On the plus side, the models are nicely made and have clearly been thought about carefully. I was stopped from assembling things incorrectly a couple of times because of the way the pieces had been designed. They fit together nicely the right way and not at all the wrong way. Hat’s off to GW on that count.
The detail is very good and quite extensive. Lots to pick out with a paint brush. I particularly like the individual bases, many of which also have characterful little details on them. Sometimes this really lifts a model. The Dwarf ship, for example, looked rather lumpen and drab to me in the product shots, but when you see it for real there’s an airship hanger inside it, which is cool 🙂
All told, it’s a very nice set of ships for the Warhammer High Seas (as they say).