This may be the death of me

Ok, maybe not that extreme, but he new Ratkin Death Engine model is shipping for Kings of War.

The kit has options for both the Impaler and Spewer version.  Mantic took a bit of a different take - this is essentially a tank that is powered by a trapped nightmare, which is either optimized for shooting (the spewer) or combat (the Impaler).  I like how Mantic is turning away from the look and feel of the old G**** W******* s***** and making these their own, but not abandoning the rickety gadgets that so many people are fond of.

There are a lot of pieces to this - 14 resin sprues, so lets take a look.

First there is the crew

Then comes the body of the nightmare that is built into the machine.

The head is on the next pair - and I think RDE6 is the base of the guns for the spewer.

Then parts of the machinery

Then bases and frame for the whole thing

These are obviously the treads

Some handles, and what I first thought were smokestacks (but this has no 'engine') are actually the barrels for the spewer option.

When I opened the box, the first pair of sprues were loose, and everything else (except the base) was in a big bag.  However there were two small pieces that were not on a sprue - looking at these I think these are, unfortunately, pieces broken off the parts on RDE7 and RDE10.

So a drop of super glue on each of these (and a bit of accelerator (which is where the white comes from, but it is easily painted over) and we'll see if they hold.

Then onto the assembly.   Kirsten Robinson (the Mantic resin casting guru) wrote up a Facebook post in the Ratkin group talking about some of the pitfalls of assembling the model.  As a response to this post, David Symonds added this picture saying he had Luigi draw this up to help.

This helps, but I still thought I'd do show my steps.

First is the crew.  These are pieces RDE1, RDE2 and RDE13.    (While not required as there is only the single model in the package.  However these really make it easier to talk about he pieces, especially when you might not be sure of a name for some parts :-) ).

The right arm in 13 easily fits onto the body on RD1.  However I did accidentally remove the tiny pin on the bottom of the stool which he is sitting on, thinking it was flash (until I stood him up, and also saw the point where he would later be attached).

The two arms for the other crewrat are quite fiddly, as you are gluing a very thin pole onto another.  I don't like when this is required - it would have been easier for assembly if the hands and control rods were single pieces that then attached at the wrist, or even the entire glove attaching to the arm.

Next is putting together the nightmare 'engine'.  This is simply three parts - RDE3, RDE4 and the head on RDE5.

Then assemble the base of the death engine, with RDE7 and RDE9.

There is a bit of a gap in the back that you can fill with green stuff, though it seems like it is hidden anyway.

Then put the ladder on the top of the tank ( RDE5 and RDE10).

Next, if you want to make the spewer (or magnetize it to switch versions) then you need to assemble the guns by gluing the barrels to their base. (RDE14 and RDE6).  These are aligned so the little tabs on the barrels point down (toward the blank side of the base).

Also, now is a good tome, if you have a pin vise, to drill out the barrels.  

This only takes a few minutes, but can make any guns look much better.

Then glue the nightmare to the tank base.  There is a tab on his body that fits a hole in the base, and the 'wires' on the  ase slip into grooves on his underside.  

Each of the legs also should sit in place (and you may want to add a drop of glue there as well).

Then the top is glued in place.  There are two cross bars that match the collar / brace on the nightmare.  Also, the rear supports attach to the barrel underneath the ladder.

The front crosspiece fits behind the collar, and on top of the belt.

Next comes the treads.  There are three attachment points - line these up and dry fit before gluing.  I found it easiest to center it on the large tab in the lower center, then the forward top tab, then the last.  I tried to mark and show how the tabs and where they fit.

When I glued the tracks into place, the chassis seemed to be a bit uneven - I'm not sure if something was actually wrong or it was designed with a slight list - though I actually like it and think it fits Ratkin better.

Next glue the crew in place.  There are small holes and marks to guide where to attach these.

Place the rear crew-rat first.  His stool fits in a small pin hole at the rear of the top, and his two handles fit onto two tabs on the top of the tank.  (marked in black)

Were I to do it again, I would wait to glue the control sticks to his arm until this step, to get them to align better.

The other crew-rat's control stick fits into the indentation on the right of the top, and his stool has it's own indentation.

The last part is then the weapon option - either the guns for the spewer, or the grinder for the Impaler.  On the bottom of each are a pair of small, square holes.  These fit onto a pair of pins on the tank top.

For the Impaler, the grinder fits on in the same place and way as the guns did.

If you want to magnetize the weapon options, it looks to be really easy - magnets onto the back of the nightmare, and then either corresponding magnets (stronger) or thin sheets of magnetic material (roofing tin, or flex steel).

And that is it.  a very cool model helping to fill out the range.  The kit looks much more imposing than it actually is IF you have any experience building models (I would not recommend it to anyone who hasn't put together lots of models already).

A great kit and an awesome edition to Ratkin armies.  I don't like the way they crew went together, but otherwise it is a great kit, and I look forward to seeing them on the table (well, other tables, not the one I'm currently playing on :-)).

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. I have mixed feelings about gunpowder in fantasy so this is far too advanced for my taste, it would be ok in a sci-fi mid-tech setting.

    1. So don't take the guns (though they also have Clawshots - which are rifles). I like the 'lower' tech of having a slaved nightmare as the 'engine' instead of an actual machine.

      The other thing is that Mantic's Ratkin are mixed tech because they are using some of their models that originally were sci-fi for it.

      Thanks for reading.


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