The instructions for both the Warlord Games kit and the Rubicon Models kit start off with the basic hull both upper and lower. Pretty traditional from an assembly point of view. I'll start off with the Rubicon kit.
Dealing with the lower hull usually just means working with the running gear and maybe the tracks depending on the kit. The Rubicon model adds a twist, unlike the more traditional single piece lower hull, this one is two pieces and requires assembly. This, in turn, creates a more rigid structure, from a gaming standpoint this model already feels more substantial. Let's take a look at how this one came together.
|The main components of the lower hull. Left and right hull halves and back plate and lower front glacis|
|Assembled, I really needed clamps for this part but I didn't have any with me.|
|Ready to add the tracks now. note that the running wheels are your best way to make sure everything lines up|
|Some fiddlyness as the drive and return sprockets need to have a back piece glued in place BEFORE you glue them to the lower hull!|
The lower front glacis and the back engine plate are overlays on the basic lower hull. This should provide quite a bit of extra strength that would be needed for handling on the gaming table. With the lower hull complete the instructions moved on to the upper hull.
|Here are the basic upper hull components. Again this are primarily appliques to the basic hull. Pretty easy to assemble.|
From here I moved on to the Warlord Games kit. I mentioned in the first post that I thought this was an Italeri kit. That appears not to be the case. In the comments section Leif points out that this is a scaled up version of PSC 1/72 scale kit. The instructions, like Rubicon, start with the lower hull so lets take a look at that.
|The three main components of the lower hull. A single piece lower hull and the running gear. Note the basic upper hull in the background.|
|Like the Rubincon kit you must glue in the back half of the drive sprocket and return roller.|
|Here the lower half of one of the tracks is glue in place on the driver side. Just be sure you haven't switched left and right as well as top and bottom as this point.|
|The top half of the track glued in place. Pretty seamless method of doing it. In the Rubicon version you have a mold line running right down the middle of the track.|
At this point I moved on to the upper hull and completely forgot to take any pictures till I was done. Here is the finished lower hull. Its similar to the Rubicon upper hull in that you are attaching plates to the basic structure, including the air intakes on the back which had me baffled for a few minutes trying to figure out how they should go on.
With this basic assembly complete I can do an initial comparison between the two models. The Rubicon kit is definitely the heavier of the two and feels more rigid. The details are about the same from one kit to the other. the details on the Warlord Games kit are a bit crisper or sharper. I do believe that the rear engine deck on the Rubicon kit is more accurate detail wise, but the tracks on the Warlord kit are much better. Right now, unpainted, these two kits are really neck and neck with each other. Once there is paint on the models that may not be important. From a build standpoint it took me slightly longer to put together the Warlord kit because of the tracks, but maybe only five minutes or so.
From a size standpoint, these kits are almost identical. The tracks on the Rubicon kit are a tad bit wider but the hulls are almost identical in size to each other. Without considering the turrets or the skirts I wouldn't hesitate to have both of these next to each other on the table.
A quick side by side look at the two lower hulls