|Blood Runs. War Calls.
I do not think that I am out of line by saying that we all love Space Marines. And for the most part, Games Workshop has created a fantastic line of models to represent them on the tabletop. There is one notable flaw with them, however, and that is that they simply are not in scale with other models in Warhammer 40k. Instead of being mythical godlike giants, they stand as tall as Imperial Guardsmen. Because of this, many talented people have created their own “true-scale” marines. Just to name a few, MoneyBallistic has some seminal Iron Hands, while Kari has some terrifying Red Corsairs. Also from Iron Sleet, Migsula is creating a whole army of properly scaled Space Wolves with his Vlka Fenryka project. The only other thing as iconic as a Marine in power armor is the lumbering armored sarcophagus that is the Space Marine dreadnought, so it stands to reason people would want to try to create a true-scale version. This task, however, presents a whole new range of challenges. While not easy by any means, the task of creating true-scale marines is dramatically aided by the availability of plastic and resin terminators, whose added bulk is often a good starting point for such conversions. But when one tries to move beyond simply creating warriors in power armor, the task becomes substantially harder, because all the Space Marine vehicles are based upon the improperly scaled power armor marines. There is really only one other plastic kit, besides the basic dreadnought box, that might serve as a base for such a conversion, and that is the Dreadknight. As a part of his Invitational entry, Kari did exactly this, to excellent effect. The Dreadknight’s long limbs do not quite mirror the aesthetics of the traditional Dreadnought, so I have been looking for alternatives. I am excited to say that the search may be over, after seeing Forge World’s newest release, the Leviathan pattern Dreadnought!
|In an uncharacteristic move, Forge World had the Leviathan painted in a large assortment of Space Marine Legions (and they even look nice!).
|The various sides of the impressive Leviathan Dreadnought.
More so than the Deredeo, and even the Contemptor, the Leviathan Dreadnought looks like a Space Marine dreadnought. While the Contemptor embraced a bulbous, round look, the Leviathan maintains a lot more of the harder edges that are so characteristic of the traditional Dreadnought. Case in point, the Leviathan has the broad armored panels that span its entire body and frame the sarcophagus at the core of the warmachine. More than any other element, this ties the Leviathan to the classic Dreadnought design. It also maintains the classic grenade/smoke launcher motif on its top, this time in the form of a hunterkiller missile launcher. More subtly, the body of both walkers is mounted on a disc, housing targeting equipment on the normal Dreadnought, while the Leviathan has heavy flamers. Even the model’s legs are visually reminiscent to the classic Dreadnought. While the legs are still more articulated and nimble looking than the classic Dreadnought, the Leviathan’s still captures the image of a walker with short, over-armored legs. The Leviathan adopts the four-toed ‘plus’ shaped feet iconic to the modern space marine dreadnoughts that was eschewed by the Contemptor. In addition, it has the obligatory heat skortched powerpack mounted to its back, as well as blockly slabs of adamantium attached at the shoulders where it’s arms are attached.
|Although true side-by-side comparisons are not out yet, it is clear that the new dreadnought is gigantic, rivaling the Deredeo Dreadnought.
|The more I compare the two dreadnoughts, the more striking similarities present themselves.
Currently, Forge World has only released a handful of weapon arms to equip the Leviathan, two long-ranged options and two close-combat options. For the long-ranged weapons, we get the Storm Cannon, a modified four-barrelled autocannon, and the Grav Flux Bombard, an over-charged gravitation weapon. As for the close combat weapons, they are pretty standard fare for Forge World, with a clawed powerfist and a siege drill, both with inset meltaguns. Of these weapons, I am most impressed with the Storm Cannon. It visually resembles many of the other Forge World Dreadnought autocannons, but they decided to keep its size relatively small, so much so that it does not look like it would make the walker topple over… I am sure if the Leviathan proves successful, all manner of additional weapons will be released, hopefully with some mimicking more of the classic dreadnought weapons, such as lascannons and plasma cannons (therefore making the conversion to a true scale dreadnought even easier!).
|Although the weapon options are somewhat limited at the moment, the Leviathan does have some neat choices. The storm cannon is a four barreled autocannon that is not comically oversized!
The more I look at the Leviathan, the more impressed I am with it. It is massive and imposing like any Space Marine should be, and it isn’t just a thinly veiled Contemptor modification. Instead, Forge World took iconic elements from each dreadnought to create this new one. This uniquely positions it as an ideal starting place for a true scale dreadnought conversion. In all honesty, I do not think any conversion would really be needed at all to make it convincing; it already has the broad armor plates flanking its sarcophagus, as well as the four toed feet. If you did want to do some extra work, however, you could modify the torso, replacing the helmet with a flat sarcophagus piece. I think the Leviathan will quickly become a new favorite model, alongside the Contemptor dreadnought. And if the Deredeo dreadnought is any indication, this one will also be cast extremely well. What is not to be excited about?!