Headline Score: 5/5. An excellent model, really easy to put together, convert, magnetise and paint.
So, a little while ago I picked up the Strato Miniatures Studio’s Ratel, because the WVR-6R is one of the best 3025 mech’s out there: and one which I didn’t have. What follows is a review of this most elegant of mech designs.
As you can see, it came in the fairly stock configuration: two arms, two legs, separate pelvis and torso. Normal amounts of cleanup were needed, the only notable faff being the need to fill in some casting bubbles that had holed the front of the pelvis section. Everything else was a fairly effortless case of sanding down the seam lines and cleaning off the flash.
The kit comes with a few options. Your primary weapon is most definitely a clip-fed autocannon, however, the inclusion of the medium-sized lasers on both arms, and that of two SRM-6 racks, allows you to build this mech as a number of variants including the -7K with it’s distinctive dual missile racks. The only thing it’s really missing is a Large Laser option for the primary weapon mount, but a little ingenuity and greenstuff soon saw to that!
The large laser, as you can see, necessitated a bit of converting, which proved to be one of the hardest parts on the mech to paint. The missile launchers are a little bit awkward to get on the model, and I nearly lost one attaching it to the mechs shoulder. I should note that the medium lasers are really easy to smooth off the arms, and clip off very nicely.
The kit was surprisingly easy to magnetise, and while several dozen coats of paint and a slightly-too heavy matte varnish have solidly sealed my mech in place, I would definitely recommend trying to magnetise yours.
By the time I was finished trying to get a smooth finish on the converted Large Laser, I was too tired to really pick out any more details bar the bronze shoulder scales and the gun mounts, so I resolved to leave it Sword of Light Red. Slightly lazy, but I just wasn’t sure what additional detail work to add to it.
I love this kit. The little double-laser ball turret, the blocky, slab-sided armour plates and the clip-fed hand-held autocannon are fantastic nods to the original artwork, without being derivative or unoriginal.
Strato has taken this aesthetic, and smoothed it out beautifully to produce something that’s just a little less clunky and awkward, but still a serious-looking piece of machinery. It’s retained aesthetic of something which contains high technology onto an engine which is both well-engineered and old-fashioned, akin to the Centurion tank.
To wrap it up: It’s a great kit. Easy to build, gives you plenty of options to configure it. Really, the only criticism I can think is that I’d have liked an option for a Large Laser, but beyond that I don’t have any grounds to criticise.