Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[The Rogue Trader] Chapterhouse Studios Vehicle Kit Reviews

I've had my eye on some of the Chapterhouse Studios stuff for a while and decided it was time to place an order with them. Specifically I ordered the "Armored door and armor kit for Rhino tank" and "Death Angel doors for Space Marine Land Raider" kits.  Price wise, I think the Raider kit is very good for what you get.  The Rhino kit I'm not so sure on, it'd need to be a little cheaper for me to order another.  Not much, but comparing the two, the Raider kit is definitely the better deal.

Having ordered them I discovered shipping would be delayed due to a hold up in production.  Not a big deal as their communication about it was decent. When the package arrived it was well protected and undamaged.  They do a decent job on shipping.  So now, on to the specifics of the pieces.

Armored door and armor kit for Rhino tank

This was definitely the least impressive of the two pieces.  The casting quality was OK, with a few flaws but not enough to send it back over.  A corner was broken off the front piece, and a few studs were flattened on the doors (both visible in the photo below).  As both were identical it would appear they need to make a new mold for that piece.  What was odd was that the various pieces seem to be of different origins.  The L shaped pieces that go on the sides were all badly warped and had surface markings that made their green stuff origins pretty obvious.  The front armor was much cleaner and straighter and had a look more of 3D printing or at least decent work with plasticard.  If they are updating this set they should do it quickly as the angled pieces are a real weak link.

The pieces were very well attached to their sprues with thick bands of resin.  You need to be really careful detaching them so you don't damage the pieces.  Once off they are reasonably easy to attach, but all aside from the front piece exhibit some warping.  For the L shaped side parts I snapped them it two so they could be added flat rather than trying to soften them up to unwarp them.  It made the operation much easier.   The top hatch I also had to be careful fitting.  There was a support strut on part of the hatch, but the second strut and some detail were missing on the other end.  A miscast that won't show up if you want the hatch closed, but did make it a little harder to get everything lined up.

Once everything is on the model it does give you a nice looking and distinctive Rhino.  Particularly for anyone looking for Heresy era stuff as the model looks a lot older with this paneled armor.  Would I recommend the kit?  Well it does give a strong look and not one I've seen elsewhere.  The kit needs some love though to bring its quality up.  I'm going for a meh vote on this one.  At least until Chapterhouse get a version cast from a 3D printed master.

Death Angel doors for Space Marine Land Raider
Maybe I'd have liked the Rhino kit more if I didn't also get this one.  If this is the quality Chapterhouse can do they really need to bring their older kits up to speed as it is much better done.

This piece consists of two side doors and the two assault ramp doors.  The side doors have 'death angels' on them.  The right side with a heavy flamer, the left with an assault cannon.  The left door on mine had a couple of significant flaws, the most notable in the barrels of the gun.  Hopefully they disappear once everything is assembled and painted.  The top part of the assault ramp has two more winged things with gun halberds, while the bottom part isn't far from the normal ramp, aside from horizontal slats similar to the Rhino kit.

This kit does require a minor amount of assembly as the wing and ammo feed of the left door angel need to be glued on.  The ammo feed can actually glue on a few different ways and I had mine down and back.  The photo on their site has it forward and sticking our the lower wing.  Not really sure it is meant to go that way, prefer my way.  The left door also had the most notable casting errors with a gap in the barrels of the assault cannon and a couple of visible air bubbles.  Getting everything off the sprues was easier than the Rhino, with some narrow cut lines helping.  Lots of flash in these, but easy to clean so no big deal.

One issue I had was with attaching the assault ramp door mechanism.  The flat surfaces that let you orient the little pieces that hold the cross brace were at the wrong angle and the ends too large to fit.  The thing is, I was assembling an older Land Raider model so it is possible these parts have changed.  I didn't have another to compare to, but I'd be interested to see a comment from anyone that adds this kit to a new Land Raider.  As it stands though the door doesn't stay closed very well.  I may add some magnets, or just glue the thing shut.

Once everything is assembled (well OK it isn't all glued together yet) the pieces go together well and add a great, distinctive look.  Would I recommend this kit?  Yes, it is well enough made and I really like the style of the pieces.

Overall I think this was a worthwhile purchase.  Two pieces, one good, one average but both distinctive and will look great once I'm done painting.



  1. These look great. I have ordered some stuff from CHS before (Iron Hands Terminator bits) and was very pleased with the bits.

    personally, I am also eagerly looking forward to the storm raven conversion kit they are getting ready to release (take a look at their "news" page)

  2. Interesting - I like the look of the Land Raider upgrade, but that Rhino kit doesn't do much for me. I had picked up the other Rhino kit they've done and liked it quite a bit (though I had similar warping/poor casting issues):


    Much like Oink I'm really jazzed for the Storm Raven upgrade kit they've been talking about!

  3. I really like how those doors look on the Land Raider, Marcus. Like you, not big on the Rhino pieces.

    With some plasticard you could accomplish a similar effect if you so chose, I think.