Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Space Marine Sprues...Was it Enough?

Now that the new horse is out of the gate, so-to-speak, how's he faring? Are the new marine rules playing to everyone's expectations? Better? Worse? I know that those of us getting the "Enhanced" iBooks version of the codex were let down quite a bit with the absence of the Force Requisition portion of the book. I'm sure that an update will rectify that, but still.

For those of us hobbyists, however, who do so enjoy the building, converting, and ransacking of kits for a single, solitary bit, just how do the new releases fare when in comparison to the bar set so high by the new Tau and Eldar kits?

Personally? I'd say they fare just fine, thankyouverymuch. I've gotten my hands on these sprues personally, and have poured over them for a goodly long time. Now, they weren't mine, so I had to give them back, but I still got my hands on them! In the interest of quality photos, I snagged these images from the GW website...all rights reserved, yada yada yada. First up? The Veterans, Sternguard and Vanguard!

With the Sternguard, I have only one, small, little complaint. I wish the tabards had been a separate bit from the legs. Other than that small selfish wish, I love the kit. So many options, combi-everything, marks of armor, and more!! The Vanguard, on the other hand, I have no real complaints over. They are exactly what I had hoped they would be.

What about the new Tactical Squad?

I've heard way too many folks comment that the new Tactical box isn't different enough from the old one to make it worth paying more for what we were already getting. Really? Lets take a look at the old sprues and compare them to the ones above, shall we?

No comparison. The new sprues offer a vastly wider array of options, from the customizable combi-bolter, to the new poses on the legs, marks of armor and added character to the bare heads, and everything in between. You get far more options and little details than ever before, and lets be honest, it's the little things that matter. My only complaint is the catch 22 I'll end up in as I'll want to buy one of these boxes, as well as one Sternguard and one Vanguard in order to make twenty tactical marines, because I'll want all that added character and flair from all three kits.

How about the new anti-air tank variants, the Hunter and Stalker?

I like em. They are built on the tried-and-true Rhino chassis, so no really surprise there, or need to post those sprues. I'm enjoying the details of them, and love the heavy-duty armor and reinforcements built into the new sides and front. If you ever want your Rhinos and Vindicators to have this kind of feel, buy one of these and a Vindicator. Swap the sides from the Hunter/Stalker to the Vindicator, the Vindicator sides to the Rhino and then keep the rest to finish off the Rhino. Custom build a top hatch to fit where the turret would have gone, and you have two highly armored vehicles that were a snap to build. What to do with the remaining turrets? Custom Quad Gun, anyone?

What about the new HQ plastic blisters?

Like them just find, but they are highly static and once you've seen one, you'll have seen them all. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a converter worth his or her salt could take these and make some great pieces out of them, but I'd rather sink my money into the Tactical, Stern and Vanguard boxes. I do like some of the stand-alone bits in them like the heads, backpacks, torsos and a couple legs, though, and I have been known to drop the cash for a single bit if I thought it was perfect enough to, so who knows. The one that I was most excited for, however, only comes in a $90 box with the old command squad and a Rhino. If GW ever releases the Chaplain outside of that box, I'll buy him, but otherwise I'll have to pass.

No onto the elephant in the room...

They...they are growing on me. The sprues are definitely well split and thought out. Enough so that I may just be able to do my own thing with them and make them shine in my eyes. Mechanicus Legio Cybernetica perhaps? We'll see.

Lets hear it folks. What are you enjoying most about this release? Or perhaps, what aren't you?

- Tim



  1. I think the tactical squad box is a vast improvement on the previous kit. Although at first glance you don't notice much differences between the old and new tactical squads, the benefits come when you're putting the kit together. Not only are the parts and posses much better designed but the options available pretty much give you any tactical squad you need. The only thing missing of course are the other heavy weapons but that's not so much of a big deal. Having the assault weapons and the cool new combi weapons is a massive bonus! I also really like the new heads so all in all...good times :)

  2. I for one am excited about getting my greasy mits on the Tactical Squads. They're worth it for me because:

    I'm putting together an all-Mk7 battle company with winged torsos, be they a winged skull, aquila etc. All legs will have the round knees, all helmets will be the Mk7.

    The Mk6 bits (legs, torsos, heads and studded shoulder) will be used for a special "post Heresy" idea I'm working on.

    Agree with you on the Chaplain, I want him seperate to the tank. I like that I can have a different head for the Librarian. Love the Captain model, with or without helmet, just wish I could swap the gun for a pistol. Love the Sternguard and Vanguard kits and have no complaints.

    I like the tanks, but would rather take an AA Whirlwind. Really don't like the Centurions, even if their rules sound awesome in the WD battle report.

    That's my opinion anyway.

  3. I'm really liking the new kits. Like you Tim, I see myself getting a couple of boxes of veterans along with the Tacticals to dress up some of the Tactical squads. I'm liking the idea of making a very slow-building Space Marine army with lots of customization, which is something I've never done on an army-wide basis before.

  4. It's cool, but the prices make forge world look pretty good too. I think they need to be careful or they will have a civil war that could spilt their galaxy asunder - a heresy of sorts(again)...

  5. I've buy the new sternguard and vanguard kit.

    The first is the state of art of cad and plastic injection, the second leave me pretty upset :(

    Sternguard have nice recent dark plastic with crisp details and near invisible mold lines, vanguard have old clear plastic with bold details and massive mold lines, like the kits of ten years ago, the same! :O

    It's really strange and weird that two new kits have two results so different; anyone have the same experience?

    1. Maybe it's just your kit, Marco. I have a box of each veterans and both of them are highly detailed and the plastic is the same type (dark). Mold lines appear similarly on both for me with Sternguard winning that argument but only by a hair.

  6. The Sternguard and Vanguard kits are amazing.

    I'll reserve judgement on the Centurions until I buy a kit but they look pretty solid from a sprue standpoint (and overall their aesthetic is growing on me).

    As I stated in your previous post, the chaplain with the razorback command squad is a bit of an irritation. Because we couldn't just buy all those components separately (other than the chaplain of course)?

  7. LIke I said, those Sternguard are pretty good looking models and to see all those options they look even better.

    Vanguards aren't that special aside from the TH/SS and Claws options.

    Yes the Tac Marines have lots more options now, but GW have still sculpted them almost throughout with the crouching Horse-Stance legs again. *sigh* Some more variation in leg poses please!

    Centurions would be good to grab for conversions, but I still think they look bloody silly.

    Lastly though, the Librarian is possibly one of my fav Libbie sculpts ever - just a shame it's so overpriced.

    In all I can see a lot of hobby options with all of these new kits. In all, I'll be buying exactly none of them. These prices have gone crazy and the way it's going ($30 for one mono-pose figure? Brother please.), they'll be lucky to see me spending out on their sculpts again, period.

  8. Sorry for my lack of responses here folks. I kinda said my peace on them above :) I'm glad to have everyone chime in though as we all have our different opinions, and I think they are all valid!