First of all, people have been telling me for years that the Land Raider is a living nightmare of a kit. I've been told how awful it is to build, how nothing seems to fit together and the unnecessary complexity of the tank commander add ons and such.
Now, either GW substantially reworked the sprues when they made the plastic Crusader/Redeemer kit or against all logic I am better at building things than my friends.
(I am not. I once rage quit building a Land Speeder Typhoon.)
The only component I've had any problem with is the tank commander: the connecting point between the multi-melta and the commander's hands is rather small and not quite the right shape to make good, solid connection. Its a truly minor complaint fixed by a little trial and error.
Next thought: I love the design of the Land Raider. As much as it is a big metal box, the placement of the weapons around the different facings makes it look like a rolling fortress. You get a much better idea of why the Space Marines view these things as akin to (or, in some cases, as literally) religious relics to be preserved and venerated.
I also like how the Crusader is very, very well optimised for mowing down infantry. Whereas the purpose of a Rhino has always escaped me (“Let's put wheels on a storm bolter!”), the purpose of the Crusader is clear. Its a linebreaker: it drives up to the enemy line, firing mainly anti-infantry weapons and one multi-melta for dealing with barricades and emplacements and then the front ramp smashes down and disgorges a six pack of Terminators or the large family size Crusader Squad.
It literally only just clicked for me writing that sentence that the Black Templars' signature squad is named after the Black Templars' signature tank. I am an idiot. That realisation took almost twenty years.
Funnily enough, I'm not building this for my Flesh Tearers. I want to concentrate more on Fast Attack options there. Rather, this is to accompany some older models I'm reconditioning, though I can't say for what army as my best friend reads this blog and I'm planning a little nostalgic surprise for him when we have our first 8th edition game. We'll be doing that this week as the local GW is running some taster events for which we're being asked to bring one HQ, one Troops choice and one “special thing”. My special thing, depending on how much I can get done this week, will either be this Land Raider or a Venerable Dreadnought I'm in the process of reconditioning (that is to say, painting better than when I first bought it).
As to the HQ and Troops, well that would be telling and my bestie would guess what I'm bringing but I'll have pictures up when its too late to spoil the surprise, probably on Thursday.
You know, I never thought I would ever be this enthusiastic about 40k again. I'm far more of a Fantasy fan, games wise. Even though its still all theory at this stage, the new edition looks like its been streamlined in all the rights ways to be smoother to play and easier to remember the mechanics without sacrificing depth.
Still, proof of the pudding and all that. Maybe I'll change my mind after playing the thing. I hope not.