+ Common Core Concepts +

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

+ inload: Resupply – Munitorum Armoured Containers review +

+ Games Workshop have some new terrain on pre-order: the Munitorum Armoured Containers [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]; or 'crates and barrels' for those of us who have no idea what a 'Munitorum armoured container' is. Through happenstance, I've received a set prior to release (who said following the Warmaster doesn't have its advantages?) and thought I'd post up a review. +

+ The set comes with three identical sprues, each containing parts for three barrels, one large container and four single-piece crates. The parts (predictably) have some 40k-style ornamentation – skull markings, gothic arched vents and similar details. These are relatively subtle, which makes them good generic scenery for a number of games – the skull on the barrels might indicate a toxic substance, for example, and I'm sure I'd like a heads-up on the contents of a box of freeze-dried eagles before I opened it. +

+ The kit also contains a set of instructions for construction – useful, even if the assembly is pretty straightforward. The instructions also contain some rules for using the boxes in 40k, which look simple but fun. +

+ If you're a keen gamer, the rules might add some value for you, but even if you're buying the models simply as scenery (as I am), then they're at least a free added extra. Personally I have a hard enough time remembering what my troops do at the best of times, so am unlikely to use these rules except for skirmish-sized games, where I think they're probably a good way to add some fun additional interest. +

+ It might be worth noting that even if you think the rules are superfluous, I'm glad they're included. The contents of the random table reminded me a little of the scenario seeds given in Rogue Trader – the containers can be full of propaganda or alien beasties – which set my mind turning over scenarios and seeing some (black) humour creep into the game through kits like this is a welcome addition. It helps to add some vital immersion, which vastly improves the game for players like me who want some more ideas for telling stories. +

+ The sprues are cleanly laid out – by the looks of things, mirrored around the centre – and packed full, which is par for the course from GW. The plastic seemed a little darker than usual to me, but not hugely so – perhaps the dye GW use to colour their plastic was higher in proportion than in some other kits I've bought? In any case, this makes no difference to the quality; the detail is as crisp and clear as we've come to expect from the company, and the plastic behaves exactly as for their other miniatures; none of the brittleness or softness of some of their other vac-formed scenery, like the craters released a few years ago. +

+ One particular detail I liked was that the big containers have little access panel controls – these are the small arched bits with wires you can see at the top left and bottom right of the sprue, just inside the big top/bottom panels. +

+ The reverse of the sprue – a shot oddly absent from the GW site. This shows the (nice) internal detail of the big container, and reveals the detailing on the access panels I mentioned above. These have a little keypad and observational skull. Not sure why I like these so much, but they really tickled me, for some reason. +

+ You'll also notice that the single-piece crates do not have bottoms, so while they'll work well for scatter terrain etc, you might want to use some cereal card (or plasticard, if you want something a bit sturdier) to make bottoms for them, so that they can be tipped up etc. without revealing the hollow. +

+ The kits build nicely, fitting together with no bowing or curving, and with little flash. I've chosen to leave off the little eagle heads and stormbolters from the example container above. While I like a little detail, massive guns on crates seemed a bit too toy-like for my taste – and perhaps more importantly, prevent them stacking. As you can see, this leaves a little hole next to each hatch,  which I may (or may not) fill. +

+ While putting the container together, I was seized by the idea of building a massive set of Space Hulk corridors – the internal detailing would make these ideal, as there's just the right amount of space for a 40mm base between each partition-pillar. Sanity – and my wallet – prevailed when I realised how much it would cost to mimic the full Space Hulk board, but perhaps it'd be a good diorama? +

+ For the RRP of £30, I think these are fine, but not outstanding. The cost makes them a little expensive for my taste, but you do get a good quantity of high-quality scatter terrain that I think is far more versatile and good-looking than some of GW's other terrain ventures, such as the Aegis Defence Line. +

+ In comparison with similar scenery material – such as the crates supplied with AT-43 models, I prefer the GW ones; they feel sturdier and have a more interesting aesthetic. The fact the crates aren't square means that you can get a model's base underneath them at ground level, letting your troops hug cover, which will lead to more immersive, good-looking games. +

+ The attention to detail is a typical hallmark of GW, and the finished pieces are sturdy and show good depth of detail that is fitting within GW's aesthetic. Pleasingly, I think GW have struck a good balance between making them obviously 40k without going over the top and spoiling the silhouettes. +

+ Couldn't resist popping up a sneak preview of another Iron Hand, to give you a scale shot. Bear in mind this figure is based on a  Forge World Terminator, which may give you an indication of size. +

+ Alternatives +

+ I suggest looking for crates from Rackham's AT-43, which are a similar size and come assembled and painted. These are unfortunately out-of-production, but can be found in some model shops (often at a good discount) or on eBay and similar. They were bundled with the main kits, which are often lovely models in themselves. The UNA faction walkers in particular would make a great basis for construction-type vehicle conversions, adding to your factory table. +

+ Warmill produce Stackable Intermodal Resource crates [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] – a kit of five lasercut MDF sheets that build some crates that have a more generic sci-fi look. Though they are again priced fairly steeply at £30, you get five large crates, which would be good for building up your board. They lose out to GW's offering only in terms of the extra barrels and small crates, but I think a combination of different types of crates will give a better overall look to your board. +

+ For a budget option, Blotz sell a variety of sci-fi MDF crates in different styles [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], which look very nice. Knight Models do a similar, more modern-day style range of MDF crates and similar boxes. [+noospheric inload embedded+]. Both companies' models are priced more cheaply. 

+ The increased time and effort in building and painting MDF kits compared with hard plastic might be important to you when making a choice – though anyone experienced in modelling will have no problem with any of the options listed here. + 

+ Conclusion +

+ I give GW's Munitorum Armoured Containers kit two mechandendrites up (out of three). It's a good set that's priced fairly sensibly for the amount of material within. I would personally hesitate to buy more at RRP (second-hand ahoy!), but I think the quality somewhat justifies the premium if you want to do any conversion work, or if you can find them with a third-party discount. +

+ They're a fantastic terrain addition choice for any sci-fi, post-apocalyptic or near-future battlefield, and are sufficiently detailed that they'd be great for use in conversion or dioramas. +


  1. Interesting and informative review, thanks Apologist. I found it particularly interesting that the normal 40K stylings are 'toned down'. I wonder if this is so the product will appeal to other wargame markets, or simply to allow crossover with the 'cleaner' Horus Heresy styles?

  2. Thanks for posting this, seems like a nice little kit. Pity that it is not a bit cheaper ($50 here, which makes it $7 more than the UK price)

    Looks like you could take off at least some of the skulls and whatnot with a scalpel if you wanted to get a more "30k" container, which is a good thing too.

  3. Good review mate. Yeah I have to say I like the more diluted 40k aesthetic as it means I can use it with my 30k and Post-Apoc armies more easily!


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