Friday, 16 August 2013

Federated States of America M18673" Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon, assembly instructions, review and unboxing

Federated States of America M18673" Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon
The Hotchkiss is rolled into battle in a medium Spartan box.
The back has a render of the included models, some fluff and a detailed list of the contents:
The included game card suppressing fire has the potential to be useful.
The two crew are both multiple part models:

 The gun has a large number of parts:

Assembly Instructions:
Here are the steps I took to assemble the model along with some suggestions on how to avoid the mistakes that I made. The process took me a little over an hour and will require: A pair clippers, a pin drill and pins (I used paper clips), a craft knife and super glue. A round needle file would be helpful but is not required. I find that super glue with a brush applicator or the gel kind to be worth the extra money, if you have the type that takes a little while to set that will be ideal.
Step 1
My first step was to assemble the crew. I used a piercing saw to remove the tabs from the models then gave them a quick file to remove any flash; this can be done with clippers and a craft knife if required.
Do not glue the man holding the lever's arms to his body. Instead, place the arms either side of the model and gently press on the shoulders until they hold against the model on their own. I had to bend mine to be further apart to start with. This should allow the lever to be moved up and down while remaining attached to the man.
Step 2
Next up, I started to assemble the gun. I first removed all of the flash and mold lines from all the pieces. I then selected the main part of the gun and the triangular stock to be my starting points.
 I strongly recommend that you pin this joint. Unlike me before completing this step you should also drill holes into the sides of the stock so that it can be pinned to the wheels later. Here are the two parts attached to each other and the ammo feed to be attached in step 3:
I have gone with a directly vertical angle, this was not the best as you will see later a slight angle would be better, be careful to ensure that you will still be able to attach the ammo feed.
Step 3
Next is the ammo feed, this required me to crush the part such that it held its self in place, then apply glue. I wore gloves to do this and recommend great care is taken in doing so.
Step 4
 Next we need to assemble the wheels. The wheels are in two parts shown here:
I found that the joint between the wheel, the leg and the stock was rather poor and required some work to fit correctly so I highly recommend that you dry fit first; I found pushing the needle file through the hole to be the best way to adjust the fit. Glue the legs to the wheels, their being circles means that it doesn't matter what angle you do this at. Here is a picture of the three parts that the model now consists of (excluding the crew):
Step 5
Attaching the wheels to the stock is fairly easy if you pin them (and pretty difficult if you don't). Here my poor choice of angle between gun and stock comes into play as I discovered the completed gun did this:
To address this I placed a small block in front of one the wheels. In the image below I have also added the handle - I have gone for a directly downward angle however any angle to the right of the centre line should be fine if you have not already glued the gunner's arms in place. This is because the gunner must be positioned to the left of the gun and takes up a large amount of space due to how far apart his feet are.
Step 6
Now all that is required is to attach the gunner with the lever in his hands. To do this, I blue tacked the gun to the base and attempted to make the models dry fit. Once I located the correct position I marked the base to indicate where to place the model with a pencil and glued the gun in place. From there attaching the gunner was a simple case of holding him in place, I glued his feet first.
All in all I would describe this model as fiddly and not ideal for people new to building things.

Contents as list:
Hotchkiss revolving cannon
Two crew
Large base
Game card
Activation card

The model is of a high quality as expected of Spartan
The model has an obvious deadliness about it that works well.

Table Top Usage:
The hotchkiss is fragile, there is no two ways about this which, considering how much it costs and its damage potential, is going to make it a primary target. With this is mind I think the three riflemen that you can attach to it are a great idea, park them in front of the gun and they will soak up the incoming fire first.

Given the short range of the model and the FSA dislike of melee I would suggest that the best way to use this model seems is parked in cover on the end of your gunline, ready to proud fire into anything that attempts to close with you.

Price Per Model:
At an RRP of £14 or £12.60 from the troll trader or FireStrom Games the hotchkiss  is a good price for a model of this ilk.

The Hotchkiss is a nice kit, worth a solid 8 out of 10!

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