TGN Review: Assembling a Leviathan Crusader from DreamForge-Games

By Polar_Bear
In News
Mar 5th, 2013
10 Comments
849 Views

Hey there everyone!

Welcome to our first video production here on TGN (at least, during my tenure). We’re starting off big with a Leviathan Crusader from DreamForge-Games. First up we’ve got an unboxing video. Then we’ll show you as we put together this monster of a figure (with lots of pictures included) and finally a short little ditty giving you an idea of the pose-ability of this bad boy.

First up: Unboxing video.

So you saw our Unboxing Video (theoretically, anyway), now let’s take a look at assembly.

I can’t really say I was “intimidated” by the project, really, but I knew it was going to be a challenge. Looking over the 39 steps that constitute the assembly book, I was doing my best to take note of where I should and should not glue. This model supposedly was extremely pose-able, and I didn’t want to foul things up by gluing something that should be able to move. So I was really taking my time as I went along.

So the instructions start out with the leg and immediately I could see that this was going to be a model assembly with a difference. Step 1 involves screws, ball-joints and not a drop of glue. Having assembled Gundam models before, I instantly realized that putting this guy together was going to be more like that than putting together a miniature for a game. One note on the screwdriver that they supply with the model… forget it. The head is way too small to actually turn the screws effectively. You’ll just end up striping out the screw. I’ve got a small computer repair kit that’s got several small screwdrivers in there and used one from there. It worked perfectly.

But anyway, with all that in mind, I got to work, completing the inner leg assemblies one at a time.

From there it went on to adding the first sets of pistons to the model. Just about everywhere there’s an extendable joint, there’s pistons as well. It’s an extra bit of detail I really like, as you can see where the power to move the parts would come from if it were a “real working robot.”

From there it went on to adding the outer armor plates to the legs. These… confused me initially. There is a lot of detail on the inner leg segments, as you can see, and you’re covering a lot of it up with those plates. In fact, there’s an extra little plate that you put on the front of the leg to cover up a seam, and then you cover it up with the outer armor plate. So it seems as though all the outer plates on the model are purely optional. Or, if you’re really ambitious, you could magnetize the pieces and then it’d be up to you if you wanted them on or off. Personally, I glued mine on as I like the bulk that they add to the model. But that was just my choice.

With the legs done, we move on to the pelvic girdle. The “spine” fits into a ball-and-socket joint so it can swivel at the base. Later on we’ll find out that the top of the spine also is a ball-and-socket joint. This gives a really nice range of motion for the model. The first picture is one without the pistons. The second is with. Like I mentioned before, if there’s a place of movement on this model, chances are good there’s a piston or two involved as well for extra detail. Without pistons, that pelvic girdle is 10 pieces. Add in the pistons it’s 27.

Next came the arms. The assembly for the sword one was pretty quick. Though I ran into my first real “I don’t know how this is supposed to go together” moment for a bit. The guide that comes into the box is, unfortunately, not entirely complete. They’ve updated their Facebook page with a new .pdf guide, but I wasn’t using it (or knew it existed yet). When attaching the shield, you have to put a little spacer piece on the inside. In the book there’s no mention of this piece. So it was sort of by “I hope this is supposed to be here and I don’t find myself kicking myself later on for using it in the wrong place” moment. Thankfully, it appears I was correct in my assumption and the arm went together easily. As always… more pistons.

Finishing the sword arm I’d officially made it more than halfway through the model. I got to flip over the instructions and start my way back down the other side. The gatling gun went together easier than the sword arm… until I came to the ammo belt. It, alone, is 10 pieces. That took some patience and I glued myself to it several times, despite being rather careful. And yes, the barrels spin.

With all the extremities done, that just left the upper torso to do and I would be finished! Unfortunately, some of the most complicated pieces are in this section, so despite wanting to speed up and just burn through things, I kept my cool and took my time. First up, shoulders. It would have been a tad bit ambitious to try and do ball-and-sockets that big, so instead they opted for a swivel and a hinge joint for them. And in this case, I think it gives a lot better range of movement than a ball-and-socket would in the same application.

Here’s a look at the sprue that holds the other shoulder, still attached there, plus the piece that makes up what I would eventually find out would be the lower connector for the torso.

And here’s what it looks like when you’ve got the two shoulder pieces onto that torso piece. The torso piece you can see the ball-and-socket joint that will connect to the spine. The oval-esque openings will attach to the pistons that are on the pelvic girdle. There’s photos for the inside and outside, showing where all the screws go.

Next comes the smokestacks. You can see from the photo of the parts still on the sprue, each one has many segments to it. Including attachment pieces, each one is 11 bits. Yup, 11.

And here’s a photo of where the smokestacks attach to the back plate of the torso. By this point, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The main torso was getting closer to looking finished.

And here’s the last “assembly in progress” photo. At this point, my excitement over finishing the model outweighed my rationalization of slowing down and taking lots of photos. This is the torso when it’s about 80% done. There’s still the head and front plate to add on, but otherwise it’s complete.

After adding on some plates, the model was completed.
Friday… was a busy day. In the morning I’d had to deal with stuff for a convention and as a result, I burned my oatmeal, so I never had breakfast… or lunch… so I’d not eaten at all yet that day. I’d started this monster at something like 1-1:30 or so and with only a few breaks or having to be pulled away for things, I worked on this model (now dubbed “Friday”) the whole time. In all, it took me about 6-7 hours to get him finished.
And let me tell you… I thought a spacehip was going to land and tell me that I was the Last Starfighter.

The most satisfying photo of them all:

There were a few problems I had with the model, though:
1. The screwdriver that comes with the model… forget it. There’s 1 extra-tiny screw on the model that it’s good for, but you’ll need to bring your own for the vast majority of the screws.
2. On the pistons, the “sleeve” part could use to be longer. If you fully extend most joints, the rod will come out of the sleeve and you’ll have to realign the two.
3. The torso pistons are always falling out of their proper place. I’ve heavily considered gluing them into place and hoping it doesn’t mess up the movement in the body too much. But since Friday’s going to be standing relatively static as a display piece, it’s not too terrible.

But those gripes are minor compared to how much I adore this thing. Friday’s quite a monster, as you can tell from this scale photo:

When putting Friday together, I had the size of my Stormwall in mind. When I was done, my initial thought was, “Yeah, it’s bigger, but seemingly not by much.” Then… I put one next to the other. As you can tell, the Stormwall’s fairly well dwarfed by the Leviathan Crusader. He’s quite the beast.

And as I mentioned before, Friday’s extremely pose-able. The only way I felt I could accurately display that was through a video. So if you dare to listen to me again, here’s a look at the final, moving product:

And there we have it. I hope you enjoyed all of that. I certainly felt it was a great project and I look forward to doing more like it in the future (and getting better at the videos thing). Thanks to, my cameraman, for his help as well.

And while we don’t have a specific give-away for this post, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the article, seeing as this is a “new sort of thing” for us. What did you like? What didn’t you like? We’d love to hear your feedback, as well as your thoughts on what you’d like us to do next.

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  • Stormcaller3801

    Seems like a pretty solid model kit; not really something I’d pick up myself, as I’ve never been overly into the aesthetics of Dreamforge’s larger stuff, but certainly worth a lot of respect for its design.

    I’ll be interested to see if the piston and screwdriver issues get addressed in future production runs.

  • Barret

    I couldn’t agree more, I was blown away when I got it together. IMO the quality and value is hard to beat. My only regret is I didn’t get more from the Kickstarter. I can’t wait to see what Mark has in store for the future

    • The previews of the “evil” varietal gets my excitement levels up. I plan on getting one and putting it together so Friday can have a nemesis… he will be named Monday.

  • xoddsx

    Thanks for this, very comprehensive. How does it compare to a small canine… Perhaps say a Jack Russell?

    • I’ve seen Chihuahuas that are smaller than this model, actually. And my parent’s dogs aren’t much bigger than it (I assume. They’re in St. Louis and I’m in Atlanta).

      A Jack Russel would probably be larger than Friday.

  • I think the attention to detail and all those pistons and moving detail should be standard and I don’t really understand why noone in the mini industry has done it before. Like the reviewer mentions it’s like a standard gundam kit when it comes to posability except you don’t have to glue gundams at all and they’ve been around for ages. There is a complexity in the kit that goes beyond a static model, but what a payoff!

    More companies should follow suit and produce awesome kits like this – at least when it comes to mechs. 😀 Maybe then the kits would cross over to the mecha building modellers and you’d sell tons of copies instead of just to gamers. I mean the price for a mastergrade gundam is like £20 for the midrange ones (more details and moveable parts, but similar size), but then again they have an established market catering to millions of fans of the anime so it’s not really comparable. Somehow tapping into that market would be a good business move for everyone.

    Thumbs up for DreamForge and a nice review!

    • About 15 years ago, my friends and I were heavily into collecting Gundam models (they’re still around… somewhere), so this guy was really familiar for assembling him. We’d also started coming up with rules to use those models for a game. Nothing ever came to it, but if this kit’s a big success, I may have to revisit that idea.

  • Wow, thank you!

    TGN is my first stop in the morning and my last before logging off. I am honored you chose my kit to review as your first video.

    I am glad you rely liked the kit, I know I am damn excited to see these out ‘in the wild’ As you noted there are missing steps in the instructions and a mislabeled part number, so please visit the DreamForge-Games website for the updated instructions. WGF is now placing decals on the boxes warning of this issue and giving a web address to the instructions until we get through the first run and update the printed instructions.

    Have fun and enjoy your new toy 😉
    Mark
    DreamForge-Games

    • Thanks Mark!

      As soon as those came through the warehouse door, I knew I had to grab one and put it together. There was no question about that.
      And the few complaints really are massively outweighed by how happy I am with the final result. The few missing steps in the instructions weren’t really much more than a hiccup in assembly and an intuitive gamer and experienced modeller can work around it with no problems other than going, “huh, there’s a missing step here, but that’s fine.”

      But yeah, awesome product. I really can’t wait for the other arms to come out so Friday can get some different armament options.

  • Marauder

    Nice review and congrats to Nosegoblin for producing such a top notch kit. Don’t have it myself but am enjoying some of his Kriegsmarine.

    -Tim