Striking from within the rift

The second wave of the Riftforged Orcs have started to ship, and they are some very cool resin models.  Today I'm looking at the Helstrikers.

The Helstrikers are flying large cavalry - being riftforged legionaries riding Manticores! With CS(1), TC(1), Brutal and Lifelech(1) added to their fly ability (though not nimble), these are some very fast cavalry hitting hard and fast.

This kit has the largest number of spruelettes I have yet seen, with 25!  Initially looking at all of them, I as a bit intimidated.  However after sorting (and some deduction for a couple of pieces that had broken off the spruelette) it turns out they are actually pretty straightforward to assemble.

First off, each model uses a distinct set of spruelettes - 1-9, 10-16 and 17-25.  The exceptions are 24 and 25; 24 has the weapons for two models, and 25 has the head and back for two (and the arm for one) as well.  But even these are keyed specifically for each model.

So to help with assembly, I'm going to show the spruelettes for each model then it's assembly.

Based on the pictures on the box and the spruelette numbers, 1-9 are model A (the one on the left), 10-16 are for B (the one on the right), and 17-23 are for C, the middle one, with 24 & 25 sharing parts for B & C.

So first off, A - the one with both rear legs raised as if he is landing.  The parts were in two bubble wrap bags.  The one body was off the sprue, but it was the only disconnected sprue, so was obviously 01.


Left (port) wing

Right (starboard) wing

rear legs

fore legs


orc head, shoulder pads, back

front and back of the spear

lion head
Not only are all the pieces broken out by model, but they all are keyed so that it is very difficult to put them together incorrectly.  (This can also make the difficult to convert, but being resin they soften with hot water, so you can reposition them if necessary, and cut them as required.  But converting is for experienced modelers at this level - so don't start with these if you aren't sure what you want to do).

For model A, the legs  (04 & 05) fit onto the body (01)

The tail goes on the butt, of course

The wings are actually keyed to each side, to make it easier to match them.
One thing to note - the 'pin' on the wings actually fits into the fore-leg, not the body.

For this model, the lion head has a separate jaw, but it easily fits on, and the head fits in place.  The body may need some additional cleanup to make sure the head fits in properly, it is very snug.

The two shoulder pads are actually keyed as well.

So it turns out this isn't that hard to do.  The one thing I did find is you want to make sure you put the wings on LAST - as they will make it much harder to get to some of the other points on the model (such as gluing the front and back of the spear into place).  Much like painting, start on the inside and work your way out.

Model B is fully on the ground


left (port) wing - this spruelette was missing completely, but was easy to identify based on the slot in the fore-leg for this model (and via process of elimination, as all the other wings were attached to their spruelettes)

right (starboard) wing


more legs


lion head

shared weapon sprue

shared 'orc' sprue

Again the assembly is very straight forward.  All the parts are keyed, so it would be quite difficult to put a leg or wing into the wrong place.

after putting the legs on the body.

The weapon arms on spruelette 24 are keyed to the two bodies, one is square, the other is round.

for spruelette 25, only model C has its left arm molded on.  The middle back is a bit narrower than the one on the end, so fits this model better.  The heads seemed to be interchangeable however.

The final model 'C' seems to be launching itself into flight.

This body was also 'missing' from it's spruelette - however the number, once they were all sorted, was obvious

left (port) wing

right (starboard) wing

rear legs

fore legs (with one broken off)


two piece head.  The two holes where the jaw fits make it look like a space ork wearing goggles :-)

shared weapon sprue (again)

shared orc sprue (again)

These were the two pieces that were left, so go on this body

And the unit was done.  Some care will have to be taken when basing these, so that they will all fit together.  They did seem to fit the order of the box picture (A-C-B).

Some very powerful models to strike fear across the table (unless you are fielding elf Drakon Riders, which are every bit as cool and as powerful!).

At this point they feel a little busy to me, but once they are painted up that should go away (though I don't think I will use the blue metallic color on the armor - I'd like it to be a little more distinct from the manticores).  Still, some awesome models.

Next up - the Ambarox!

Because it is all fun and games.