Thursday, 19 January 2012

This is nice...

very nice! I picked up three Secret Weapon 6x6 Rapid Assualt Vehicles from the post office this morning (yep, customs got me - £21, could have had another one!) two for myself and one to paint for Jeremy. Let me say right away - I love it! Great design with lots of detail, several main weapon options and even a choice of two anti-personnel weapons to mount on the hull. Fit of parts is excellent and particularly well designed in terms of aligning parts. The main hull is cast in resin with the armanent cast in metal. As with any resin casting there are issues but I consider them very minor and should not present difficulties to anyone with a modicum of experience of working with resin. On to the photos.....
parts: you may have seen the parts and options on the Secret Weapon site but here they are anyway.

The lower and upper hull parts have locating pins and holes

and the fit is almost perfect even without cleaning the edges (i'm just holding the hull parts loosely)

this join is covered by the wheel unit - very clever idea this to cast the wheels already mounted to the side and to glue the whole side to the hull. Again I'm holding everything very loosely and haven't cleaned-up any of the joining edges

Positive joins at front and rear

all of the weapon options fit well and could, I think, be attached with magnets to ring the changes. The two hull weapons just slot in the rectangular hole in the hull with very little preparation.
Detail on the turret and hull is excellent

and here's one I prepared earlier (five minute to put together after about 30 mins of cleaning and prep). There are a couple of casting blocks to be removed the largest (and this is small really) and most awkward of which is on the hull front where it's difficult to get the appropriate tools in the space. I shaved it off with a new scalpel blade very carefully (didn't make a great job of it and will need to replace a little detail and maybe add some cast metal texture).

there's even a little detail on the hull bottom

You may have noticed a little mould slippage here and there  - again, like casting blocks, pretty easy to deal with apart from one of the tyres which was badly flawed (and this after little trimming of the excess resin)

To be fair to SW it was the only one out of the 18 wheels that needed more than a little attention!
If I do have a concern it is with the packaging. I received two boxes - one with my two and one with Jeremy's single vehicle. Boxes were fine and sturdy but when I opened them I was somewhat surprised to find only a wad of brown paper on the top of the loose contents for protection and as a consequence one of my wheel units was broken. Happily it was a very clean break and will be easily repaired

A bit of bubble wrap please!
This is a great little (not so little) model that will fit with any miniatures in my (or your) collection. Detail, as I said earlier, is first rate, building is simple because of the excellent planning by SW and casting  is very good (the lines from the 3D print are evident - and I haven't experienced that with Jed's vehicles - but I expect the painting process will hide them) with very few defects.
I'll do some size comparison photos with several figures and vehicles and post them later in the week. It does seem an ideal vehicle to match with Defiance Games Marines which are due to be released very shortly and I'll match them up when mine arrive.
Oh, one more thing, personally I'd like to see more open hatches for figures.....


  1. They look nice. Bummer about the customs fee. Do the send to your local post office or do you have to pay and then thats where they send it. I hear about it often but have not order from abroad before.

    Could always sell the spare turret bit on ebay to claw some of the fee back

  2. Wow, thank you for the incredible review! We'll be sure to start adding some bubble wrap to the packaging.

    On the wheel with the mold slippage -- let me know if you'd like us to ship a free replacement. We discovered that the right (starboard) side mold had some slip issues only after they were shipping. Like you said, it's only one of the six wheels... but a replacement is available.

    And now to share this review far and wide! Thanks again.

  3. Hey B. The postie brings it to the house - unfortunately i was out so because there is a fee to pay parcels are returned to the depot (not the PO just up the road) so a 40min round trip required. The guys there know me quite well now and even commiserate if the customs nab me!
    Thanks MJ - it was one of 18 wheels actually (I've got thee kits here) so that's good by any standard. As I said on facebook - great product and I will order a few more.

  4. So do they like demand money then or somthing?

  5. more or less - you can't have your parcel until you pay the duty (VAT) and the exhorbitant Post Office handling fee, £8.00. It's an odd system because a lot of the time it's not charged at all. Random checking maybe.

  6. The handling fee is the one that makes me cringe. Our orders are generally under VAT but I've seen them show up with the £8.00 simply because they were opened or too big to fit in the mail slot.

  7. I sooner pay the fee than not have the models!

  8. There is that but my mind especially with postage is I could of bought this and that with what i could of saved. I often only get stuff that can be ordered from my local hobby shop. I do get stuff off ebay and second hand