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Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review
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Old 27 May 2006, 09:06   #1 (permalink)
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Default Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review


This review is written as a summary of the forgeworld Tau battlesuits, so that people thinking of buying the model(s) would at least know what they are getting into. When I bought the model, and i opened the package, there were at least a few surprises that I wish people would have told me about beforehand. i suppose the stuff in here will be common knowledge with veterans but other casuals like me could learn lots from this. I am well into assembling the suit now, maybe i'll post some pictures when I'm done.

so. where to begin...


everyone knows that forgeworld models are resin, but the Tau battlesuits are different: every forgeworld 'suit is shipped with a full XV8 battlesuit sprue and most parts (arms, legs, head, and jetpack) will be replaced with resin pieces. This leaves you with both the great looking FW stuff, and your option to replace certain parts if you find them unsatisfactory (say, you dont like the FW 'suit heads).

Like plastic, resin should be either undercoated with spray or cleaned (old toothbrush + soap) before any painting is done. recommend the former, since cleaning will not take care of all the little edges and seams that all things Tau seem to have so much of. this will become problematic since resin is even more resistant to paint in its uncleaned and un-undercoated state: whereas only certain Citadel paints have problems bonding to plastic (like yellow, white, red) NOTHING will bond to resin very well without cleaning or undercoat.

Oh, and resin is very fragile stuff. it's pretty easy to snap a piece in half--however apparently you can bend it slightly if you heat it with hot water. it is flammable, too, i believe, so dont use fire.

the resin molds:

considering forgeworld's reputation with awesome-looking models i was pretty disappointed with the resin cast pieces. while the larger pieces (in my XV81 'suit's case, the modified jetpack, legs, and SMS launcher) were mostly fine, the small parts, particularly the weapons, were badly cast. all of the weapons (except for the missile pods) suffered mold "frame shift" makinng for large gaps all but irrepairable. in fact i am not going to use any of the resin weapons (again, cept the missile pods) that came with it--they're all much worse than the GW plastic 'suit weapons, which will fit on forgeworld 'suits after like two minutes of cutting operations.

meanwhile the larger pieces have a few bubbles (~1mm in diameter), but considering i've never even seen a bubble in a plastic kit i'm sorely disappointed. I suppose it's the resin, harder to cast and stuff.

also, forgeworld being something like a 5 man operation has literally no back order catalog; you order something they make for you right away, thats why it takes so long to arrive.

degree of magnetization:

advanced people might want to know how easy it is to mount magnets on forgeworld 'suits. let me tell you, God couldn't have done a better job with the weapon customization magnetiz-ability. the slots for the suit's arms are really nicely done, seems to be made with magnets in mind. an average hobbyist would have no problems mounting magnets for the weapons, whereas the average XV8 actually needs a whole tutorial for it.

forgeworld 'suits are indeed posable at every visible joint; for the XV81 in particular advanced modellers might want to try magnetizing the head, SMS, and arm joints. the knee, while tempting, won't be posable without some serious handiwork--not recommended, but i doubt anyone would try.


buy it only if you had extra weapons to spare: i doubt my weapon warping is an isolated incidence, don't take that chance. if you do, this would be a very rewarding model, and looks indeed very striking when playing a game or just in a glass case to show off to your imaginary friends.


As i believe Khanaris pointed out, there will be considerable numbers of extra pieces left over from the forgeworld battlesuits. to get your money's worth, purchase both an XV81 battlesuit and the special battlesuit character Shas 'O Myr. If you also have a broadside battlesuit, and haven't lost the extra pair of feet, the extra pieces from these three kits (XV81, XV88, 'O Myr) will come together for a single XV8 battlesuit. 4 for the price of 3, see it's smart to save your bits.

Addendum #2:

You can get replacement parts from FW, but to me going through the trouble of calling them up, having them verify my order, and waiting weeks, months even, to receive a new plasma rifle and burst cannon is simply not worth it.

Addendum #3:

I forgot to mention: why magnetize your joints to make them posable, when you can simply drill a hole and free-pin them? FW couldn't have done a better job in this respect.
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Old 27 May 2006, 11:21   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

Thanks a lot pal, that was a good read I doubt I will be getting anyone though, but having said that I must also point out the fact that I really like the look on the Forge World Crisis suits.

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Old 27 May 2006, 14:51   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

Yeah I noticed that the FW battlesuits have some moulding problems. Had to do a fair bit of "putty patch-up" when i got my 89.
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Old 27 May 2006, 15:33   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

quite alot of FW's stuff has this problem with casting. They are just sloppy, is what it is. People will say "oh, it's the resin process", but that's only 20% of the problem. Things like mold slipping, that's just bad QC, and bad manufacturing. Bubbles in the resin, meh, that can happen, but can also be advoided if they take a little more time. I know of a few professional commision painters who are pretty much at thier wits end over FW products, and almost to the point where they won't do any more of them, just because of the fact that it's about a 90% fail rate on molding, and they spend more time greenstuffing the mistakes out of the model than they do painting it.
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Old 27 May 2006, 21:23   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

i had the shift problem on my fw plasma rifle so badly that i had to trash the piece, and use the plastic one instead.

the full joint customization also needs attention.... just make sure you have greenstuff or brown stuff or somthing on hand because the joints aren't snug and will need some help.
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Old 27 May 2006, 22:18   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

Wow, I honestly would not ahve thought that there could be so many problems with ordering models from FW. That puts another roadblock to me ever wanting to order one of their models; the first block being the costs of course. :P

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Old 27 May 2006, 22:23   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

Originally Posted by Shaiden
Wow, I honestly would not ahve thought that there could be so many problems with ordering models from FW. That puts another roadblock to me ever wanting to order one of their models; the first block being the costs of course. :P
I think the problem is mainly with the large models. I have always bought vehicle accessories from them (extra armor for rhinos, WH and Imperial Eagle doors etc) and have never had a problem but some of the larger pieces of kit have had bubbles and require cleaning etc.

As far as fragileness goes, I have dropped my tanks a couple of times and they haven't broken...of course that could also be luck
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Old 28 May 2006, 02:47   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

i wouldn't let it deter you, when you finish, the model looks great, and the ability to pose is amazing~ you can make them very dynamic poses.

mine is doing the side strafe run

magnetized weapon and systems hardpoints as well.

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Old 28 May 2006, 03:34   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Forge World XV81 battlesuit: a review

Have you asked FW for replacements? I bought a Tau tank commander, it was horribly miss-aligned, I shot them an e-mail and they said they would replace it at GDLA (where I ordered more stuff). I got one that was perfect ;D. When I went over the stuff I bought at GDLA, (2 Battle suits, and a Wave Serpent) one of the suits arms had a block of resin where their shouldn't have been any, it destroyed the detail around the elbow. But I shot them another e-mail and guess what, their sending me a replacement (I should point out, it took them 2-3 months before they answered me back, so it should be quicker to just call them up). I admit the FW mold process is not that great, but they'll replace bad products. Its also true that you shouldn't be getting the stuff if your a newb, but I've herd plenty of praise for FW, several if not most people on Warseer seem to have never gotten a bad product from them.
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