Also came across a few scouts and gates very cheap and nabbed them. I like the scout tanks in particular, they’re quite cute.
My goal building this was to avoid towering over the other behemoths, and so twisting over itself was how I solved that. This would also provide a dynamic and more aggressive pose compared to the standing straight up arrangement. My first try had the spiral axis oriented vertically, but the center of gravity was too far to the side and it would tip over, so angling it as seen was the solution. The only problem I’ve had with this pose is the weight of the head piece caused the upper portion to slowly sag downwards. It seems to have reached a stable point, but I’m monitoring it to see if the rate of sag has just slowed down or if it’s truly reached equilibrium. If it does need support, a small acrylic rod glued between the lower and upper segments should do the trick and not be too visually obvious, but I hope to avoid that if I can.
Assembly was easier than expected, although consisting of a lot of uncomfortable hand clamping while waiting for glue to dry. The casting of the pieces was good, no real issues with mold slips or bad resin or anything, just a few simple to fill bubbles and a bunch of easy heat bending.
I decided to go with the Earth Dragon over the Celestial Dragon for two reasons. First, the pose suited the shorter head better. The long snout/nose/proboscis of the Celestial head would both stick out and angle downward too far, and look awkward as a result. Secondly, I feel the ‘mouth’ looks more insectoid on the Earth, while the Celestial is more dragon-like, and I wanted to visually convey ‘giant centipede’ over ‘龍’.
Something to note is the end segment. The final piece as seen on the store photos/box is one of the gap segments. There are 7 total of that segment in the picture below: 4 in the neck, 2 between the gun segments, and the end tail piece. 18 total legs are present.
However, the instructions show no gap piece at the end, and 16 legs:
And they only list 6 of those gap segments in said instructions, which would cover the 4 in the neck and the two between the guns. It also lists 16 legs here as well, sufficient to build as shown in these instructions, but not the store/box photos.
My kit came with 18 legs and no end gap segment!
Interestingly, the Shaltari behemoth build blog post by Dave has him mentioning that he forgot to get that same piece for his build. It makes me wonder if there was some sort of error or miscommunication, and they ended up making the instructions/boxing/shipping the production batch without realizing it was intended to have that piece and did not notice there was an ‘extra’ pair of legs.
In any case, I emailed them and requested the piece and they sent it out without issue. All the pictures I’ve seen of other Shaltari behemoths posted online have not included this piece, so make sure to get yours if you pick up this kit and it doesn’t have it!