One of the most masquerading Fantasy Characters, that can be found within the Fantasy Realms, of my Warhammer 40,000 Ork army - is no other than my Ork Killer Kan(s):
For in the Heat of Battle, is it all too-easy for me to forget, that an Ork Killer Kan - is no Dreadnought! So if not a Dreadnought, what exactly is an Ork Killer Kan then? Well ... I shall answer in two parts. First: in terms of assembly and painting ... The hardest part for me, was ensuring that the Killer Kan, sat reasonably upright - when glued into it's base. I found achieving this, to be harder than you'd think - as my Killer Kan, is leaning backwards slightly! It also took me a while, to find the ideal pose for the Power Claw - eventually deciding upon, aiming for above head height (aka take that you bigger Dreadnought!). As far as the painting was concerned, I decided to under-coat in Chaos Black, dry-brush in Gun Metal, and work in some contrasting Ork'y colours: Dragon Red (for the Power Claw, Ork Lip/Banner and View Slit), Angel Green (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Bolts), Golden Yellow (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Banner) and Ushabti Bone (for the Horns on the front). I then mixed in a twist, with some Tuskgor Fur, upon various belts and wraps (being dry-brushed in Ushabti Bone), together with a dab or two, of Shining Gold - upon each rivet. This was followed by a dry-brushing everywhere, in Shining Gold (the really old one), to complete the masquerading look, of this particular Ork Killer Kan :) Second: in terms of game-play ... Battle One ... Being a fan of using new models, in smaller Skirmishes at first (so I learn how to use them), I took a single Ork Killer Kan, and included it with 26 Slugga Boyz, and a Gretchin Mobz of 30. Against this, a friend wielded 18 Khorne Berzerkers - both armies totalling around 360 points. Now each army, was itself split into two main flanks - with my Ork Killer Kan, joining 13 Slugga Boyz, and 15 Gretchin fodder (in Da Front!). This was just as well, as I was soon on the receiving end, of 18 Khorne Berzerker Bolt Pistol shots - slaying 12 Gretchin. WWAAUUGGHH! My Orks replied in kind: with 18 Grot Blasta shots, 26 Slugga shots, and six Big Shoota shots from my Ork Killer Kan (split over two turns). The result of all this? Two Khorne Berzerkers fell - to the Kan's Big Shoota :) My Gretchin then bore the brunt again, as they were charged by the Khorne Berzerkers - slaying 18 Gretchin. Unfortunately, my Slugga Boyz had lost their charge advantage (the Khorne Berzerkers having used, their 3 inch consolidation move to engage them). Fortunately, this made little difference - as my remaining 24 Ork Choppas, were soon cutting down Khorne Berzerkers! And in the back? Did my Ork Killer Kan, bring his Power Claw into play - with a charge, and 3 dead Berzerkers (from instant death). The Khorne Berzerkers, were now loosing rapidly: 5 dead, 4 dead, 3 dead, 2 dead - leaving just 1 Khorne Berzerker (as 3 had been lost earlier due to Ork shooting). It felt as though, my Ork Killer Kan, had never really been challenged (which indeed he hadn't!) - though he still grinned at the end, as his Slugga Boyz, dragged down the last remaining Khorne Berzerker :) Battle Two ... Having compared the statistics/profile of an Ork Killer Kan, against a Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought (Bjorn the Fell-Handed) - did I start to think: their very similar! A battle against Space Wolves, would cause pause-for-thought on this :( Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon, which amazingly bounced off (with some bad shooting) from the Killer Kan's front armour. My Killer Kan then opened fire, with his Big Shoota (which also bounced off - as Bjorn's front armour, is just too thick). My Killer Kan then charged Bjorn - but as he prepared to raise his Power Claw (he missed!), did Bjorn simply smash him, with his Lightning Claw (causing a Crew Stunned result). Having lost his charge advantage (and the ability to move/fight), was my Ork Killer Kan, then ripped to bits (on the next turn). In my Battle Lust, had I made one mistake - I'd forgotten about the points difference, between an Ork Killer Kan, and a Venerable Dreadnought (125 minus 45 equals 80 points less!). But, was it really a disadvantage? A Power Claw for 45 points? A masquerade or not? Battle Three ... Was against Space Wolves again :) Yet this time, did I wield a more sensible unit of Ork Killer Kans - three of them :) It was whilst they were fighting against Bjorn, that I feel that I learned so much more, about the weaknesses, and the advantages of Ork Killer Kans. As this time, it was my friend that was under a masquerade - as he believed that Bjorn had the upper hand. Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon (tearing a Killer Kan to bits), then charged into the second Killer Kan (also tearing this Killer Kan to bits). Unfortunately (for Bjorn), whilst this was going on, did my third Killer Kan, sneak around the back of Bjorn - and tear Bjorn apart, using his Power Claw!! Overall: for some time, did I find myself wondering at the difference, between the Ork Killer Kan's failure in the second battle, and their success in the third battle. After looking at their profiles, comparing against a Space Marine Dreadnought's - did I eventually realise, that they are in-fact very similar (and hence a bargain in terms of points). But the difference lies, in whether you get a chance to bring their Power Claws into play! The more Killer Kans you have, the greater the chance that you can :) Thus, one on one, fairly even - as both the Killer Kan and Bjorn, strike at the same time (Power Claws and Power Fists both strike at Initiative 1). But three on one, confers all sorts of advantages to the Killer Kans (as they have potentially 6 to 9 Power Claw attacks, compared to a Dreadnoughts 2 to 3, or 3 to 4 for a Venerable). WWAAUUGGHH!
| Victorian Hawk | Web: Newer Version - UK, US, CA
At first glance, the Space Marine Rhino may appear to be somewhat unimpressive (to most of your 40K opponents). This is hardly surprising, as it's armour is on the lighter side - being considerably more vulnerable, when fired at, by even a slightly more powerful conventional weapon (such as a Chaos Autocannon, a Krak Missile Launcher and a Ork Kustom Mega-Blasta). Whereas the Rhino's intended use is as a troop transporter (within Space Marine armies), it is when the Rhino is combined with the lust of trigger-happy Space Marines, that we see it's first evolution - as a powerful mobile weapons platform (aka Tank). The first such Rhino variant that I have added to my Space Wolves army, is my Predator Annihilator:
Perhaps it was a voice from The Fang, perhaps it was with the foresight of Russ himself, I'm not entirely sure ... Yet it was, that I only ever considered constructing the triple-armed Lascannon version of this tank (two side/sponson mounted Lascannons and one turret mounted twin-linked Lascannon) - ignoring the possibility of two Heavy Bolters (entirely). Upon the first battle, was this decision vindicated: my Predator Annihilator opened fire and destroyed a Space Marine Dreadnought (with three penetrating hits, ripping the armoured sarcophagus apart, immediately slaying an ancient Dark Angels Space Marine). Upon the second battle, was this decision cemented: my Predator Annihilator opened fire and severely wounded a Chaos Daemon Prince (with three direct hits, even Daemonic Stature failed to protect, leaving just one wound, from Daemonic Essence, and pause-for-thought, on behalf of the Chaos commander!). Yet a Space Marine commander should not be so easily convinced! As within, a later battle, did a Blood Angels Dreadnought tear into the armour of my Predator Annihilator: it's front armour failed to hold up to a Power Fist! Then again, within a later battle, did the (same) Chaos Daemon Prince, exact his revenge: 2D6 plus strength (6) and a Dark Blade (plus 2), proved too much for the side armour! Thus did I (the Space Wolves commander) learn some important lessons: a Predator Annihilator is most effective when it's kept out of hand-to-hand combat, is orientated to face the enemy (so any hits are taken on the thickest front armour), which in-turn, allows you to bring all three Lascannons to bear, on a single target - take that Dreadnought! Now, this is the first Space Wolves heavy-tank that I ever painted: it's an older Predator Annihilator (fifteen years or so), yet it still looks great on the battlefield! When constructing: I assembled and glued the main plastic parts (i.e. the chassis), then (when dry), super-glued the metal tank top into place (excluding the turret) and super-glued the side sponsons bottom plus inner-side to the chassis (excluding the Lascannons and side sponsons top/front). This greatly simplified painting - as I could treat this main-part as a simple (all be it heavier) Rhino chassis: under-coating in Chaos Black (spray paint), tank brushing in The Fang, and dry-brushing with Elf Grey. I was then able to use a Fine Detail Brush (with Chaos Black) to paint the tracks, grills, funnels and view-slits. I also made use of a cocktail stick when I painted the (Chaos Black) rivets - by dabbing the end in Chaos Black, and then dabbing onto the rivet. A dry-brush in bolt-gun was then sufficient to complete the core painting of my Predator Annihilator. I then decided to show the lineage/connection to a Space Marine Rhino: I included the same Grey Hunter and Blood Claw Pack Markings (that I have on my Rhino), even though a Predator Annihilator, is unable to transport troops of any kind! I then assembled the three Lascannons, and worked on them separately (with the same approach as the main tank chassis). I then used a modelling file, to file-off a small amount of paint, so that I could glue the remaining parts of the side sponsons on - touching up, where necessary, after the glue had dried. I found the glueing of the turret, into the turret base, extremely challenging! I had to use my rotary kit, to remove both paint and metal, from the inside edge, of the turret base (so that it would fit on). I was eventually successful (none-the-less), and the final results speak for themselves! Overall: the Predator Annihilator is a Space Marine tank that shall add tremendous fire-power to your army. It's capable of destroying vehicles (such as Dreadnoughts and Chaos Defilers). It's also capable of wounding/slaying special characters (such as the Eldar Avatar and a Chaos Daemon Prince). Being equipped with three Lascannons, it's probably not worth shooting at normal squads (unless there's nothing else to shoot at, or you wish to destroy a Devastator Squad). Despite being powerful, it's not a Space Marine Land Raider (nor is it as forgiving): if you expose it's armour to hand-to-hand combat weapons (such as Power Fists, Lightning Claws and Daemon Princes), you are likely to regret it! As such, it's a vehicle that I like to keep away from the enemy (sometimes, even reversing, so that I can increase the distance, between the enemy and my tank/army). Such a tactic may not work though - especially if your up against Imperial Guard or Chaos Iron Warriors (as their big guns shall leave you vulnerable). On the plus side, the Predator Annihilator, costs less than a Land Raider (in terms of points) - which means you may be able to wield two or three (of them) - giving you six to nine Lascannons to fire! I also enjoyed being able to customise my Predator Annihilator - as I decided to opt for a Dozer Blade (great for difficult terrain tests) and Extra Armour (which I feel, is modelled appropriately by the kits metal top/turret base). Perhaps my ultimate customisation is the fact that I glued the rear ramp on upside down (for consistency with my Rhino) - which means (in theory) that your troops may get shot in the ankles! In Conclusion: I found this an enjoyable kit to make, especially as it took me several weeks painting (mostly in the evenings at weekends) - and I am extremely pleased with the finished model!