That’s right. You heard it here last (probably – I sincerely doubt that H&H has broken the news to you, but if it did, yay me). June 17th is the day that we’ll all be able to get our hands on the brand new rules and, excitingly, the new box set as well. In an article that will be a repeat of many of those facts with a few of my opinions thrown in, here’s what’s up…
What’s In The Box!?
Well, shockingly, there are Space Marines in the starter box (I don’t think anyone would have guessed that, do you?) and, once again, the forces of Chaos show up in the opposite corner. What is kind of new, is that we haven’t got a standard marine or tactical squad in sight. The Primaris Marines will take on the role of “goodies” this time around, and I have to say that Jes Goodwin’s newly designed Super Marines have got me itching to get the brushes out. They’ve taken the existing, much loved Space Marine template and subtly improved on that, though not in a way that invalidates the old miniatures. These are cool because they’re new and different, and not because the old ones were bad or boring (Oh, I can feel the xenos players itching to write a contradictory comment to that).
My one criticism of the loyalist force in this box is that they’ve given them a unit of five Primarines (I invented that – you read that here first) with plasma guns. I hate plasma weapons. Not only do I tend to fail more than my fair share of ‘gets hot’ rolls (and my subsequent saves) but I’m also getting slightly tired of the over-done lighting effects that are often done with them. Seriously, the OSL used with plasma is reaching ridiculous levels. But the rest of the loyalist force is looking great. Especially the lieutenants who are going to be really fun to work on. I haven’t seen a Space Marine Lieutenant in a long time so it’s good to have them back.
I’m also very excited about the Plague Marines. I’ve got an old Death Guard army somewhere (not very well painted) and these could be some damn fine reinforcements for them (though, thinking about it, the old army is so badly painted, I may as well just start afresh here). The plague cultists look like a lot of fun, the new drone isn’t quite as nice as the Forge World miniature but it still looks top notch and it’s still great to see – makes a change from a dread/brute. The Death Guard themselves look brilliant – all puss-oozing, horn-covered and disease-ridden – as it should be. The characters look like a lot of joy to paint and play with too, though I’m not a huge fan of the sorcerer – kind of has a little baby head, and unless there’s a story behind that, I’m not sold on it. He kind of looks like he needs a dummy.
Miniatures aside, we’ve got a rulebook, a couple of specific guides to the forces included, a set of templates – oh, wait, sorry; force of habit. No templates (RIP), but we do get some dice, rulers and rules cheat sheets as well. It looks like a good set, and I will definitely be getting my pre-order in on June 3rd.
Too Much To Take In
I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog for the last month, and while some of this is down to being rather busy (started a new job), I’ve also been somewhat overwhelmed. There’s been an unprecedented amount of information coming out of Nottingham over the last couple of months and with so much to take in, I’ve barely been able to get my head around the idea of writing any articles.
That’s not in any way a complaint. Don’t get me wrong; it’s amazing to be getting so much information out of GW at the moment, but with such a high level of breaking news pieces, it’s been hard to get one’s head around it all. Every time I think I’ve got the bones of an article in my head, another bit of news hits! I think ‘Wow, the Imperial Knights are going to be good. I could write and articles abou- ooh, the Tyranids are going to be top notch now, I better wri- wow, the new starter set is out…’ and it’s been like that for a month at least! Brilliant but exhausting.
So What Are The Official H&H Stances On 8th?
Well, they are pretty much all positive. I generally like what GW does, but I don’t think I’ve ever been scared to take a pop at them when GW does something I don’t like. And try as I might to find any real negatives surrounding 8th Edition, I really can’t. As was covered in a previous post, even the invalidation of codices was handled very well by Games Workshop. So here’s the official line: We (yes, I’m using the royal Imperial ‘we’) are remaining positive. To break that down a little:
Finally! My Blood Angels Veteran Tactical Squad is, at last, done. The Horus Heresy now welcomes Squad Castor – The Black Helms, 1st Squad of the XIIIth Chapter of the IX Legion. It’s a bit of a long title, so let’s just call them the Black Helms, shall we? It’s taken me a couple of months to find the time to finish them, but I’m happy I took the time – not too shabby looking, and certainly unique, even if I do say so myself.
This marks the last bit of the Betrayal of Calth box and the penultimate unit of ‘Phase 1’ of my 30k Blood Angels Legion project. And boy, do these chaps like setting fire to things. I showed them off in the WIP from last month, but you can see better above that these guys are certainly packing plenty of templates (which should still be around in 30k for a little while at least, even if they’re not long for 40k). Let’s take a look at the rest of the squad shall we?
So, why the black helmets? Well, I initially planned to paint them gold, as per the conventions regarding Blood Angels vets, but for whatever reason, this didn’t sit quite right when I was imagining them. This project, as long term readers will recall, has drawn a lot from the 2nd Ed 40k box art from John Blanche, and there’s not a whole lot of gold going on there. I guess there could be, but there isn’t and the effect felt a little alien to the rest of the army’s aesthetics. Then I realised that, without the Death Company around in this era, and with no other unit claiming the colour for their helmets, I thought; why not? I used mostly Forge World upgrade BA heads and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. Also, this can add to the unique narrative I’m forging for the XIIIth of the IX. Black means death to the Blood Angels, and maybe these warriors have cheated death for so long, that they wear its own colours in defiance. Something like that, anyway.
I also wanted a bit of yellow throughout to make them pop. Maybe this shows off that they have the ability to operate as assault vets, though on this occasion they’re favouring a tactical load out. The knee pads, and yellow blood drops on their shoulders help to liven them up a bit, and help to tie them in to the themes of my army as a whole.
You’ll notice that my Legion Vexilla is a little different for this squad too – a piece borrowed from the Sanguinary Guard kit that helps these guys to both fit in and stand out in the army. The heavy flamers are a great looking bit of kit but if you want to avoid hobby-inspired rage, you should be warned that fitting the fuel line from the tanks on their backs to the weapons can be a nightmare. They actually led to me thumping a model with my fist (don’t worry, I pulled the punch) for the first time in decades. “Fiddly” doesn’t begin to describe it. But hey, that’s what super glue, green stuff and therapy are for, right? Oh, and as with other minis in this army, heavy flamers mean white flames and their shoulder pads do help them to pop a little more.
I’ve given the squad a bit of height and variation with some very simple but effective basing too. Half on slate, half not – it’s a very easy way to keep things interesting and it takes very little effort to do. Oh, and the sergeant is wearing the Master of Signals’ backpack. It was meant to be the nuncio vox upgrade from Forge World, but I mixed them up, and in the end decided to stick with this. I’m not intending on using my Master of Signals any time soon, and it does look rather fancy – again, it helps to make him a little different from the other sergeants.
Speaking of the sarge, meet Sergeant Castor. He’s got his black flames, yellow cloth, and even a golden Sanguinius mask to be getting along with. He also has his trusty hand flamer and a stonking great power fist for no other reason than it looks cool, and when you’re packing a squad like this full of bells and whistles, the additional points involved with power fists… well, you just think ‘Why not?’. And there’s the “SaOlNpS hOaF lHeOgRiUoSn” (read the caps and lower case letters separately) helmet on his base, with its bolt hole. I’m really happy with various parts of this particular mini. The power fist looks good, it’s one of the best bare heads I’ve done, and that’s some of my best ever script work on both the fist and his shoulder. Winner.
And there you have them! All done, and on to the next project. Which will definitely not be another 10 man squad. Not for a while at least. No, I think these guys need a unique and fancy ride… but more on that later.
Was a pleasure working on these, and I hope you like them too. Any comments, or questions, just let me know in the section below. I hope your own hobby efforts are bringing you plenty of satisfaction. Onwards!