Ok, here we go with part two of the review.
I think that a few people might have been a little disappointed by my lack of rabid enthusiasm for the Skitarii Vanguard/Ranger models in the first part of this review. Well, prepare to feel the enthusiasm flow for the second release for the new Mechanicus - The Ironstrider Ballistarius/Sydonian Dragoon.
This is some classic John Blanche madness right here. When we might have expected a tracked platform for a heavy weapon, we've been given this beautiful, ostrich-legged monster. I love the organic lines of this model. I love the design elements that are echoes of other models in the Imperial ranges (like the "bones" of the legs that echo the leg shapes of the Imperial Knight). I love servitor slaved into the machine and the wonderful backstory about the machine itself, a perpetual motion machine that must keep moving, even when the servitor "burns out" and must be replaced while the strider keeps striding. Throw a Skitarii pilot on top and given him some twin-linked weapons and you have a winner!
But what could be better than the Ironstrider? The Sydonian Dragoon, of course. Not only does it have all the wonders of the Ballistarius-variant, but it replaces the big guns with a taser lance. It's a wonderful blend of "bringing a knife to a gunfight", the Polish cavalry of WW2, and the goblin knights from the movie Labyrinth.
All three of the models I've bought will become Sydonian Dragoons.
One of the things I'm enjoying about the Mechanicum (Forgeworld) and Adeptus Mechanicus (from GW) releases is that with each release I'm getting the chance to slide a model or unit of models that I built for fun into a set of rules. I built that crazy floating Techpriest thing for fun, and then FW released the rules for an abbeyant, a perfect way to bring that model to the tabletop. The new Codex allows me to field the walking lascannons you see above (inspired many years ago by a conversion by Graham Davey) as Ironstriders. They're a little bit smaller, but there's a general feeling of a similar bulk.
Of course, this model can now also be used as an Ironstrider. Slightly shorter and much bulkier, but still ready to pursue the enemies of the Omnissiah relentlessly.
Here's the first of my new models, assembled and ready for priming.
So many lovely shapes in this kit. I might have to do one up as a display piece : )