This Saturday you will be able to pre-order two new tanks for The Horus Heresy, the Spartan and the Sicaran.
The Spartan is a “re-imaginging” of a Rhino Land Raider conversion from the 1980s.
The mighty Land Raider is a design that has stood the test of time ever since Arkhan Land dug it out of the catacombs on Mars – but what’s a Legion Praetor to do when their prized Terminator squads can’t quite squeeze into its armoured hold? They reach for the Spartan Assault Tank – and now, with a stunning new plastic kit, you can too.
Also known as the Land Raider Spartan, this armoured carrier was designed to punch through the most overwhelming enemy defences and deliver a knock-out blow of massed Astartes infantry. It became a common assault vehicle during the Great Crusade, where its nigh-impervious chassis could shrug off regular anti-tank weapons as it ferried up to 26 Legionaries – or 13 Terminators – into the fray, with a surprising turn of speed for its size.
A resin version was available from Forge World, but this is a full plastic kit.
The article in White Dwarf had instructions for the conversion of a Land Raider and a Rhino into two new Imperial vehicles. One was the Spartan, Terminator Battle Tank using the kit parts with the addition of plastic card or cardboard. and an Imperial Tank Hunter utilising the remainder of the parts from the two kits.
The article also had an overview of the Spartan Assault Tank.
Horus had thrown around the captured Adeptus Mechanics city of Aries Primus. This was then the second city of Mars and the largest single source of war munitions in the Imperium. With the city in Horus’ hands, the besieged Earth stood no chance against the forthcoming attack from his Rebel forces. Only by recapturing Aries Primus and its weapons factories could Earth’s hard-pressed forces be resupplied. Horus had ordered a defensive plasma ring to be constructed around the city and called it the Ring pair can shoot against targets on that of Death. Without vehicle transport, even the Terminators were unable to get through. The Imperium had lost most to hit with each pair – so either both of its armoured carriers in the first battle for Aries Primus, and facilities to replace them were meagre. So, taking what spare parts and production facilities were available elsewhere, the Spartan and vehicles much like it were hastily devised. Although many died attempting to cross the Ring of Death, it was eventually penetrated and destroyed, and the city was carried thanks to the devotion and sacrifice of the Terminator Suicide Squads. The Spartan design proved so successful that it was refined and retained as a standard part of Imperial equipment.
The Spartan is a special conversion based on the well known Land Raider. The extra luggage space and open-top main hatch are designed to accommodate the extra bulk of Space Marines wearing Terminator Armour. The Spartan is armed with two sets of twin lascannon, exactly as the standard Land Raider, and it is provided with an additional forward facing heavy bolter and rear facing bolt gun. Both these hull-mounted weapons are designed to be operated by a Terminator standing in the Spartan.
The Sicaran is a more recent model, but before this plastic version, there were multiple resin versions from Forge World.
Of the two I prefer the Spartan.
Both will be available to pre-order this Saturday.