Review: Solar Auxilia Basilisk/Medusa and Hermes Light Sentinel

Solar Auxilia players have recently received a flood of lovely new models. Arriving this week are two new kits, the Basilisk/Medusa and Hermes Light Sentinel. Thanks very much to Games Workshop for sending us these kits to review. Let’s see if I can do them justice.

Solar Auxilia Basilisk and Hermes Light Sentinel
Solar Auxilia Basilisk and Hermes Light Sentinel. Credit: NotThatHenryC

The Basilisk/Medusa

This is a great kit that really shows off what Games Workshop are capable of in plastic kits nowadays. It has far better interior detail for the fighting compartment than anything we’ve seen so far, including a couple of nice crew figures.

The kit shares the Leman Russ’s track sprue and the generic Solar Auxilia accessory sprue with its dozer blade, commander, etc. Its whole new hull, gun and interior are efficiently laid out on a sprue and a half. You get all the parts to make both a Basilisk and a Medusa, though actually the barrel is the only difference that’s visible externally.

The Basilisk feels like a bit of a labour of love by the designers, almost a step towards a scale model rather than a gaming piece. It’s still sturdily built though, so you don’t feel like bits are going to snap off if you look at it the wrong way. My favourite feature is that the gun’s breach not only opens, but it has a shell loaded – and they give you a different shell depending on whether you’re making a Basilisk or Medusa.

Basilisk breach with shell loaded
Basilisk breach with shell loaded. Credit: NotThatHenryC

I was surprised to find that the Basilisk is a bit wider than the Russ. You get a couple of strips to add to the hull floor from the generic sprue (no Rogal Dorn gap here!) so it fits with the Basilisk pieces. The result is a vehicle that feels a bit chunkier than the Russ, with a taller, wider and longer hull – though of course no turret.

Basilisk hull widening
Basilisk hull widening. Credit: NotThatHenryC

The basilisk looks like a vehicle that could actually work. The two gunners are in the opening bit on the left of the vehicle the commander and driver (I imagine) in a sealed compartment on the right, in front of the engine. My only gripe is that there are only six rounds stored on board but a ramp at the rear allows for more to be loaded quickly.

The kit goes together very nicely without any gaps to fill. You do have to make a choice about whether to paint the interior, or to skip it like a coward. If you skip the interior you can use the crew as two bonus infantrymen, perhaps to make something like medical orderlies out of. They come with a nice selection of hands that include pointing, holding a scanner or a stop watch and pointing, which could be useful for infantry kit bashes.

But I chose to paint the interior of mine, albeit very quickly as the deadline of this review loomed. I’ve seen tank interiors that looked a lot like wraithbone so I essentially stuck with that and picked out the detailed bits in metals. Doing the interior meant painting the whole thing in bits. which was a bit awkward but not too bad. It’s sensible to do the tracks as sub-assemblies anyway I think, so this kind of forced me into good decisions where otherwise I might have been lazy.

Solar Auxilia Basilisk interior
Solar Auxilia Basilisk interior. Credit: NotThatHenryC

I went for a far more complicated approach for the outside. The Solar Auxilia armoured vehicles have always reminded me a bit of the very earliest tanks, with their wrap-around tracks and many, many rivets. In those days people tried out all kinds of weird and wonderful camo schemes and I loosely based mine on a 1940 French pattern, featuring patches of various colours separated by wiggly black lines.

This was much easier said than done and I’m not sure I’ve really succeeded, but it’s getting there. I found a stippled final coat of paint helped to make it look less like a piece of smooth plastic and more like a piece of machinery, so that’s a technique I’ll use in future.

Solar Auxilia Basilisk
Solar Auxilia Basilisk. Credit: NotThatHenryC

I haven’t yet decided what to do with this Basilisk. I could add it to my small Solar Auxilia force but instead I’m actually thinking about using it for 40k. I think it would be perfect for DKoK and I have a few of those built – though nowhere close to enough for an actual army. When I figure this out I’ll add some insignia, mud and other weathering to suit the rest of its army.

For now though this was a really fun kit to work on and I’d definitely recommend getting one if you’re looking for an interesting model to work on. I’ve made a lot of GW’s model vehicles and in my opinion this is the best they’ve ever released.

Hermes Light Sentinel

The Hermes is a small and very light scout vehicle, more like a walking bike than the Dreadnought-sized Aethon that was released recently. As well as the standard Hermes this kit can build the Veletaris version, which has more armour, different weapon options and a few different parts for the pilot.

Solar Auxilia Hermes Veletarii
Solar Auxilia Hermes Veletarii. Credit: NotThatHenryC

In the box you get two identical sprues, each with all the parts to make either version of the Hermes and its pilot.

Hermes Light Sentinel Sprue
Hermes Light Sentinel Sprue. Credit: NotThatHenryC

The kit has fully-articulated legs, which is great to see on a model this small. As usual you have guiding pegs to produce a walking pose (with either leg forward) but these can be removed to let you shape it however you want. I followed the fixed design for my first one but plan to do something different for the second, when I get round to it.

Of course, the Hermes is tiny compared to the Basilisk, so this was much less of an involved project. The model fitted together very nicely and I’m happy with the result. When building it you essentially make the standard version and then stick on the Veletarii one’s extra armour if you want.

I built the Veletarii version myself, as I run a Solar Pattern Cohort. These guys will slot neatly into a Tercio and even become Line in my army.  I love a Volkite gun so it’s pleasing that you get one for this kit.

Be a bit careful with the added plates for the Veletarii version. I found that I had somehow pinched the two sides of the cockpit, so they weren’t alighted right. I was able to fix the issue before the glue set but it would have been a bit unfortunate if the poor pilot had no room to sit in there.

I went for a very simple paint job starting from a Leadbelcher spray base and adding grey. I painted the pilot separately using the same scheme I’ve used on my infantry, using Flesh Tearer contrast on his armour. A pretty short time after I started I had this adorable little walker ready for battle – at least when its brother is ready.

Solar Auxilia Hermes Veletarii and friends
Solar Auxilia Hermes Veletarii and friends. Credit: NotThatHenryC

One minor gripe is that the vehicle transfer sheet it comes with doesn’t seem quite right. The transfers are big, designed to go on things like the Basilisk, not a little walker like this. I expect the infantry transfer sheet would work but I don’t have any of those yet.

I’ve been wondering if I should get more Hermes when the set comes out or just run a pair of them. I’m a bit concerned about their poor LD stat, which can’t be improved by adding a vox to broadcast the Legate’s commands. I wouldn’t want to see a big unit running away. It might be better to keep them small and cut your losses, but on the other hand I do like the idea of the deterrent effect for any opponent firing at a Tercio of Veletarii that included a full unit of these. I’ll probably use two to start with and see how I get on.


So there you go, another couple of great kits for the Solar Auxilia. Games Workshop has gone all in on these guys, which is really interesting to see. Personally I think the rules for the faction need some attention if they’re going to be able to properly mix it with the Legions. The Basilisk in particular seems to be paying for its sins in the edition gone past, meaning sadly it’s pretty lacklustre now.

As a modelling and painting project I think the Solar Auxilia army is looking ever more tempting, because the quality of the kits is just so high. If they keep releasing stuff this good I might have no choice but to collect a full army.