Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chapter House Studios - Chimera Wheeled Conversion Kit Review

UPDATE: Click here to see the finished product.

After the release of the Codex: Inquisition I knew I wanted to build a show quality Inquisitorial Chimera.  In order to achieve the standout quality I was looking for I knew I was going to be adding some aftermarket bits to the standard Chimera from Games Workshop.  I chose the Chimera Wheeled Conversion Kit from Chapter House Studios.

At $18.50 it was priced right for the size of the kit.  And at first look is well cast and had very little flashing and only one very small bubble on one wheel, which will be hidden from view when completed.

The master model was clearly a 3D print which was polished up with a little putty and sanding.  That being said there are some parts along the top edge where either the master model wasn't cleaned up very well or they have some serious lines in the mold.

These lines where not easy to clean up and required a bit of "carving" with my x-acto knife to bring back in line with the rest of the model.  I had to be very careful not to remove the rivets.

I had already read reviews of this kit at Codicium Aeternum and WarFrog's Hobby Blog so I knew that there was going to be some work involved.  Both of them complained in their blogs about the poor fit of the kit.  This had been explained by Chapter House representatives as a result of the conversion being designed for the older Chimera model.  While it can still be used on the new model without any modifications, it just looks a bit off.

Taped into position the asymmetry of the kit becomes apparent.  This also created an odd ridge along the sides of the rear hull where the kit extended over the model edges by about 1.5-2mm.  I didn't grab a picture of this but it can been seen to some extent on the Chapter House website, as can the rest of the perceived misalignment discussed here and in other reviews.

Given that this kit is shown on the Chapter House website assembled just as it would out of the box, it is my impression that they're choice was one of aesthetics.  And while I prefer WarFrog's finished version to that shown by Chapter House.  I think mine is going to fall somewhere in between.

For persons like myself, who are hobbyists first, gamers second, this kit will require some skills to assemble/modify in a way which is pleasing to the eye and satisfying to our level of perfection.  For those with fewer hobby skills the kit will still work out of the box, will still make your model a unique addition to your army, just understand that it will look like an aftermarket kit when finished.

Right about now you may be wondering where my pictures are of the modifications and finished product.  Well that will come later in my Inquisitorial Chimera build posts.  I couldn't just order the Chapter House kit and call it a day!  I've got some Forgeworld, some scratch built and what I think will become one of my future product lines in the works for this.  Stay tuned.

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