A couple of days ago, I received a pre-release C3M25 Heavy Combat Drone in the post. As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t help but spend as much time as I could putting it together, despite work and visiting family in hospital.  This is the first heavy drone to be released (discounting the Boromite Hauler as a transport-tank) for Warlord’s Beyond the Gates of Antares SF wargame, continuing the promised, constant stream of vehicle releasesfor the game.

C3M25 specs

If you’re interested in the C3M25, the relevant page on the Nexus is the ‘Heavy Combat Drones’ page. In short, it has the heaviest armour in the game (Res 15), sports a plasma bombard (SV 7) or the short-range compression bombard (SV 9 at close range) and also carries the ever-useful plasma light support (PLS). It’s a MOD3 vehicle, but is Slow. It can be used by both the Concord and, unsurprisingly, the Freeborn.

The M50 is based on the same chassis but has a different main turret and weapon load-out.  We’ve seen the turret in studio W-i-P photos so it would be nice to think that it won’t be long, now, before we see the last of the Concord vehicles released!

C3M25-C3M4 comparison
Size comparison of the C3M25 and C3M4 combat drones

The components

This is a big drone. Most of the model is resin with the weapons and PLS turret in metal. The main body comes in four parts with both turrets and weapons separate. The image below is after I’ve washed the parts (though I’m not too sure if this is needed with the models from Warlord, frankly – I know others who don’t), and trimmed off what little flash or resin pour channels there were. Experience has shown the resin wizards are really good at cutting the pour flash close to the model without damaging it, so there was very little to remove – the casting was very clean.

C3M25 Components
C3M25 Components

The main structure assembly is straightforward. I use a thick superglue gel which takes some time (20s) to set, giving me time to align pieces correctly. It seems the best sequence to assemble the drone is with the rear suspensor generator first, leaving it to set, then connecting either wings. On the forward wing pylon is a lug that fits onto the side of the body whilst at the rear the pylon has a wedged piece underneath that fits into a recess on the underside at the rear. Both wings should fit tightly against the rear suspensor generator – as in the diagram below – and I glued along these as well to ensure solidity. After each was glued, I held it in place to make sure the fit was tight.

C3M25 Assembled
C3M25 assembled with compression bombard – note smooth join between wings and curved suspensor.

Magnetising

The main weapons of the M25 are either a plasma or compression bombard.  I’m sure many players will stick with the compression bombard and perhaps just glue it in place (Bernard Lewis has done this already, for example – hopefully we’ll see some photo’s of his force soon). However, I sometimes play in some really large games where the range of the plasma bombard could be useful so I wanted to be able to switch them out.

Being metal, the main weapons are front-heavy so to ensure they didn’t tilt, despite there being a really nice recess for them to fit into, I hoped to put the magnet as far back as possible. For this I chose some 4mm neodymium magnets (I used 2mm deep, but the 1mm deep would probably be better – see First4Magnets) and drilled carefully into the angle on the weapon and on the turret. I stress carefully as at this point drilling too far could push through – I felt the drill bit at 2-3mm with my fingers, for example.

Magnetised Bombard
The compression bombard and turret, magnetised on the angled face. Very sturdy!

I didn’t think the main turret needed any magnets as there is a good peg/recess and a ring into which it fits, really firmly. The PLS turret, though, was likely to come off in my clumsy hands, despite the deep peg and recess (I’m pleased to see these, btw!) so I cut off some of the peg and just used a pair of 3mm magnets.

Overall, a really easy kit to put together – really easy. It’s now ready for priming, and painting – but that’s probably a blog for those who are better at that side of things than I. But I’m excited: how it performs on the table is something that should be fun to explore!

Though this is an independent blog, Tim Bancroft is the Antares Co-Ordinator at Warlord Games. Coloured photo’s courtesy of and (c) Warlord Games – thanks for their use.

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