Product VIDEO review: Dark Works Loricatus Heavy Armor

The Dark Works Loricatus Mk. II Heavy Armor kit for loyalist Land Raiders.

I really, really like The Dark Works, and the work Subtle Discord posts on the Bolter and Chainsword in general. So, when I was thinking of what products I’d like to review first, this Loricatus Land Raider armor kit was a no-brainer. I wanted to do an unboxing of sorts, but my fiancée is so cool she opened the box for me while I was at work and sent me a dozen pictures because I couldn’t contain my excitement.

The bottom line: Amazeballs.

This kit is amazing. I could talk about it for days. But, you know what? I’m going to put this YouTube video here because it took forever to make. I basically just learned how to use Adobe Premiere CC to do this video review, but I think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt at this kind of thing.

I’d really like you to go look at it. I’ll write up a text review as well, for those of you at work or if you simply don’t like watching videos like this (yes, I read BoLS comments and I see how upset people get about it).

When your Land Raider needs a little extra beef…

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Screenshot from The Dark Works’ webstore.

Why would you need something like this? Well, for starters, extra armor has been a vehicle upgrade option for ages but there’s never been much in terms of official ways to model it. This has, over the years, given rise to a ton of admittedly cool conversions and plenty of DIY scratch builds. This kit, however, is nothing if not an insanely professional-quality way to represent it. Also, there’s a lot to be said for the rule of cool, if we’re being honest. And this armor is very, very cool looking.

While The Dark Works has its roots planted firmly in the blood-soaked loam of a Dark Mechanicum forge world somewhere within the Eye of Terror, they’ve now begun producing loyalist kits as well due. Thank the Emperor. As you’ll see in the video, the entire kit is very cleverly designed and pro-produced. For a fun drinking game, take a shot every time I say the word clever or clean in the video. I didn’t notice until post-production, but I started chuckling every time I heard them.

So fresh and so clean.

The one thing I cannot stress enough is just how slick and clean this is. SD posts a ton of progress shots on the forums, and he’s about as transparent about his process as you can imagine. You can watch these kits take shape, from the plastic card to the green stuff, right down to the molding and casting. He puts it all out there. Looking at the finished product, it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t designed on a computer and 3D printed, honestly. Every line is razor-straight and he’s so exacting that you’d swear you were looking at an official product from Games Workshop or Forgeworld. In fact, I’ve heard people claim that his work is cleaner than FW and I believe it could be.

Let’s have a look!

Okay. Say it with me: “Damn that’s clean!” I really dig the heavy, reinforced look he’s going for here. It meshes very well with the original model’s aesthetic, but it kicks it up a notch. It’s not fancy, per se, but it could be. Talk about a great surface for some serious freehand work, right?

I’m no resin expert, but I’m certain that this is the best I’ve ever seen. Admittedly I don’t have a lot of resin in my collection, but I’ve seen buckets of pics online and usually in closeups you can see all kinds of flaws and imperfections. There are so few of those in this kit they’re almost not worth mentioning. There are some very small air bubbles, but they’re all on the back of the pieces so they’ll be invisible when you assemble the kit. The flat areas are glossy-smooth, and each and every rivet is perfectly molded. He uses a pressure degasser and it shows.

Fitting the armor

I’ll be posting another video soon, explaining how you need to modify your Land Raider to get the right fit. It was designed in such a way that, in order to fit properly, you need to shave away certain elements of the surface detail. In addition, you need to be sure you don’t glue your sponson weapons in place before you fit the armor. While you could pretty easily hack it up to rectify the latter (albeit it might look a bit funny) there’s no getting around the former.

The shaving of rivets was perhaps the only hangup I had when I was first looking over this kit, but it didn’t take long for me to get over it. After all, look what I did with my knight… I’m no stranger to cutting up my most expensive models. I will say this was the first time I can remember willingly defacing an aquila, machina opus, and crux terminatus. It felt a little weird for me, but this is just a game anyway. Right? RIGHT?!

If you’re getting hung up on it, I’ll tell you right now it’s not that bad. A few rivets, some of those weird rectangle blocks, and some other bits just need to be shaved down with a hobby knife. Keep your eyes peeled for my next video if you’re hesitating, and I’ll show you which bits need to go.

Pros and cons?

Hard to do with this kit. There really aren’t any cons at all, unless you consider the price a con. I feel like you get what you pay for, but some people will never see it that way as it’s essentially a cosmetic thing. For me, this is for people who want something really special in their army, on what’s likely the biggest tank you’ve got. And, as mentioned, there’s no better platform for freehand. If you’re rocking a chapter master and honor guard, they’d better ride in style is all I’m saying.

As for pros, I just mentioned a bunch. As far as 3rd-party kits go, this one avoids pretty much every single pitfall you might normally worry about, and manages to exceed the original model in many ways.

Okay, I thought of a con: I’m pretty sure Subtle Discord really created this to force loyalists to deface aquilas and machinas opus. Ever a loyal servant of the dark gods, that one.

UPDATE: Part 2 is up.

I uploaded the second video, finally. This one focuses on what you need to do to get a proper fit, including trimming down elements of the Land Raider and cleaning up the Loricatus kit. It’s a long one, but you should be able to do all the prep work you need to assemble and prep your Land Raider before you even get the armor kit in the mail! Enjoy.