Warhammer Orcs & Goblins Arachnarok Spider review

A veritable behemoth that builds it’s lair in the deepest darkest depths of the forest, where nothing is safe from it’s rapacious appetite from careless Beastmen herds to the mighty Cygor. Canny and cunning as ever, the shamen of Forest Goblin tribes have developed methods of cajoling or coercing the services of these gargantuan beasts. Bedecking their enormous carapaces with comic-looking howdahs, weapon platforms or shrines, enables even the least threatening greenskin to command ultimate respect as they power forth crushing all in their path…..

The Arachnarok is a rare troop choice from the Orc & Goblin army book, but may also be taken as a shrine mount for a Goblin Great Shaman or carry an upgrade ‘flinger’ that is a unique war-machine.

First Impressions

Like a child fed on E-numbers for a week (I’m a dyed in the wool Greenskin at heart!), I was almost unable to control my excitement at being given the opportunity to assemble and review this creation. When I finally got my clammy mitts on the goodies I was blown away! I must admit to being a little intimidated as reality hit home, could I do justice to the sheer level of detail portrayed over such a huge kit? Only time would tell…….

On Closer Inspection

The 95 part kit was, as expected, up to the usual phenomenal standard one would come to expect from GW’s current plastic output. The individual details are portrayed perfectly in every aspect of the kit, from the humour of the goblins to the utter horror & revulsion created by a spider the size of a large two-storey building. Warning! Staring at the components can cause delay in assembly.

Sprue Thumbnails:

Arachnarok Spider Sprue 1
Arachnarok Sprue 1
Arachnarok Spider Sprue 2
Arachnarok Sprue 2

Assembling the Kit

I’m an experienced model maker (with 30 years experience), but was under no illusion, having perused the instructions, that I would not be calling on ALL those years experience. The build got under-way at a flying start. The assembly of the actual spider proper (up to and including part 41), was a cinch. The parts were expertly designed to ‘click’ reassuringly into place during dry-fitting and each overlapped subtly to hide prominent seams.

My  relationship with this kit began to show signs of strain as the instruction manual entered phases 6 & 7. At this point you are going to be putting some terra-firma under your not-so-wee beasty (basing). The manual will have you believe that your base is square (which it clearly isn’t!).



Arachnarok Spider Complete

TOP- TIP 1. Remember your spider needs to face one of the short sides of your RECTANGULAR base! ( I nearly didn’t!).
From part 8 of the instruction manual we were heading for marriage guidance! The assembly & attachment of your howdah, (prior to deciding your final choice of build), requires a steady hand, persistance & an inexhaustible patience!

TOP-TIP 2. When the instructions advise a dry-fit assembly, heed the advice!

On fitting the howdah, it’s decision time. For our review model, I took the decision to build the one choice that would use the most parts! So, we were going to end up proud owners of a ‘flinger’ (an impressive mobile artillery platform).

It was from here on in that the kit became a little ‘testing’.

The various howdah options all required some seriously fiddly work, and it was at this point that my one and only gripe arose. I found the instruction manual to be not only inaccurate, but the diagrams were often misleading or at best unclear. Fortunately, the kit was so good it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the overall experience.

On the Tabletop

Arachnarok Spider Complete
Arachnarok Spider Complete

As a basic model with no upgrades your Arachnarok will weigh in at a hefty 290 points. So if you’re playing 2400 point games why not take two?! The flinger upgrade is only 30 points and the Catchweb Spidershrine only 40.

The bog-standard 290 pointer hits home with 16 attacks on a 100mm frontage. Eight of those are poisoned & strength 5!

For 320 points your added ‘flinger’ will enable you to shoot as a stone thrower with strength 1 (3) (even on the move!) from 12-48 inches, deluging your target in sticky webs that cause them to ‘Always Strike Last’ next turn (not so great against High Elvsies, but will put a damper on just about everyone else!)

For just 10 more points, the added shrine will give your Great Shaman the ‘Loremaster’ special rule.

If you consider that the upgrades are in addition to the basic attacks and then add the thunderstomp as a final flourish you can rest assured that the Orc & Goblin Army has just joined the big league…..quite literally!


Without doubt a high scoring delivery from GW with an overall web-tastic 9 stars! Only (maybe harshly) reduced from the maximum by the problems arising from a poor set of instructions.


Accurate as of 18th February 2011.

12 thoughts on “Warhammer Orcs & Goblins Arachnarok Spider review

  • February 19, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Thanks again!

  • February 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Impressive, a very helpful review.
    I have never found the GW instructions to be any good.
    The exploded diagrams are often confusing and have too much information.
    They are written for the universal market of language independent.
    The step by step guides on the web are very helpful as are the comments of staff or others who have learnt through experience.

  • February 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Great review! When I saw the first pictures of the model, I wasn’t too sure if I should get one but when I look at that pictures and your instructions and advice, I’ll be seriously rethinking that decision…

  • February 20, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Well looks like fun got to get the book willl mack 2. Thanks WKJR

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  • February 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Nice review Ade, Im thinking of doing an Orc army when Mantic release their figures. Ill be adding a couple of beauties.

  • February 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I assembled one this weekend as well. The howda and options were brutal but the spider was a dream.

  • February 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Paul – it’ll have to join the ever growing queue – but not at the back, there are shop cabinets waiting!

    Notsaying – Always a pleasure….. stay tuned for more ;^)

    Jon – If you pay heed to the TOP TIPS you should stay on target! Also, follow their written tips, but pay little to no attention to the diagrams. Great tip about the downloadables :^)

    A Person fr. Porlock – Glad you liked the review. If you follow the review, and/or download the on-line instructions from GW you won’t go far wrong. It’s definitely worth it in the end!

    David – Well you know where to come for them ;^)

    Gemrich – Then you know where I’m coming from!

  • February 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Good review, I liked that you’ve included praise as well as criticism where it’s due because if gives us a clear picture of what to expect.

    Personally Orks and Goblins aren’t my thing but I love this model, so much buggy-goodness. I have no greenskins but I am thinking it deserves a place of honour in my Tyranid Hive fleet, after some converting of course.

    With that in mind can you tell me it this spider is assembled without it’s Goblin-howdah how much space will need modelling and filling to sort out any gaps left over or will there be few gaps at all?

    • March 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Leech!
      There are no gaps to fill if you assemble without the howdah.This is my major issue with the kit. there are no obvious location points whatsoever! Great if you’re looking to have no howdah!
      The kit is fantastic & very much worth the effort in retrospect :^)

  • March 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Cheers, thanks for that it’s very useful info about the spider. That this giant bug can be easily converted or simply used as a giant spider is a good design feature by GW. I think I will be getting one now.

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