In the upcoming Sons of Taurus army, I plan to have two Dreadnoughts/Helbrutes done up. One is from the Dark Vengeance Starter and the other is the recent Helbrute kit. So, I thought I would do a little side by side and review.
|In case you don't know, Dark Vengeance Helbrute on left (with different head)|
The two different brutes are very similar in many ways and obviously patterned on each other, but are not identical. The multi-piece kit (MPK hereafter) has more options than the Dark Vengeance (DV) one but follows similar stylings. I went with the option for the big horns to make the MPK match DV even more closely as I was using them together, and the big horns go well with the bull theme of the Sons of Taurus but there are other possibilities. The design of the armor plates and weapons are very similar, and both have a techno-organic/daemonic mix going on. The DV one seems somewhat further along the path, with some bits being more organic/daemonic than the MPK kit, like the legs, abdomen and back, and DV is a bit bulkier overall - powerfist arm bigger, torso thicker, legs a bit wider.
|DV arm on left, a bit larger but very similar styling.|
The MPK is a bit disappointing as far as poses - the way they did the arms, you have two options for each side - up or down (which are really kind of up and kind of not so up). It is nice having so may weapon options, and if you plan to have multiples of them and are converting up DV kits, one MPK could serve you well with giving the DV guys an easy variety of weapons. Probably pretty easy to snip off the multimelta barrels and add your weapon of choice. You could probably use some of the MPK parts to convert other dreadnoughts with some more work on the connections, but they won't easily swap around with other dread kits due to how the arms connect.
There are a number of cable bits in the MPK kit to make it look even more like DV, but at least in my dry fitting attempts they didn't fit well, often not reaching all the way needed. You could of course make your own cables or shave other parts to make them fit, but I just decided to just leave them off.
Overall I probably prefer the Forgeworld various legion dreadnoughts and contemptors for looks, but these are alright, and fit in with the daemon engine look of the mauler/forgefiend as well. If you're already going to use the DV helbrute and/or are going with -fiends the MPK could fit in well. If you plan on multiple dreads, I think the MPK kit alone would wear thin fairly fast unless you did some more serious conversion or made loadout choices that emphasized the differences (ie lascannon/missile launcher, twin power fists, ranged weapon and tentacle mass).