+ inload: Truescale and Primaris marines +

+ Dark Imperium +

+ The new boxed set of Warhammer 40,000 has arrived, and last night I finally got a chance to start playing around with the models. My first impressions are very positive. Both factions – Death Guard and Space Marines – benefit a great deal from the improvements in manufacture Games Workshop have made, with improved proportions and clean detailing. +

+ The elephant in the room is the increase in size. I've long been a fan of larger marines than standard (it stems from being a guard player – I always wanted enemy marines to tower over my guys), and the new models are great. +

+ I couldn't resist a little kitbashing and minor conversion work (reshaping the ankles to look more like classic marines, removing chest eagles and using older backpacks and heads), but the models built out of the box would be lovely. There are a few problems – mouldlines were more obvious than in Battle for Prospeo, and the small number of parts is a double-edged sword. While it makes assembly quick and easy, a few parts suffer from some softened detail: A couple of the shoulder pad rims and inside lower legs are distorted. However, these are minor faults in an excellent package, and nowhere near as pronounced as the similar problems with the Space Hulk models (which I count amongst my all-time favourite set). +

+ Aside from that, my only slight problem with the new marines is the poses. Most are good; a mix of dynamic and static, but a couple of them are really strangely over-extended and unbalanced-feeling. I initially assumed I'd trimmed the feet incorrectly, or hadn't glued them flat, but it does appear to be an issue with the sculpt. Oddly, if you hold them up to eye level, they look good; it's only when you see them from above that they start to look uncomfortable. It may be a deliberate aesthetic choice, but I wonder if it's something to do with the digital sculpting? +

+ Practical +

+ Hobby time has been sparse recently – I've been snowed under and what little time I had for myself has been spent on a commission (an Iron Warriors kill team) that I hope to show you once it's arrived with the buyer. Dark Imperium has proven an invigorating dose of stimms for my enthusiasm, and I'd recommend the set. The production values are great, and the new rulebook is lovely. +

+ So, what will I be doing with the Primaris marines? As you can see above, I've been building the Intercessors (the standard, bolt rifle-armed marines) with minor conversions, removing the Mark X stuff and incorporating some older mark details, such as helmets and backpacks. My plan for these is to use the Blood Angels army that popped up in White Dwarf issue 138 as the inspiration. This was one of the very first White Dwarf magazines I read, and the army's got nostalgic value for me. +

+ In addition, I like the parallels between the model transitions. That army was built with a combination of the older Mark VI marines and the (then-) newer Mark VII armour. The last time GW did a wholesale update of the Space Marine range's visuals was much more low-key! +

+ I'm not going to be obsessive about the army composition. There'll doubtless be a few nods to old models (I'm particularly keen to have a go at updating the proto-Tycho Blood Angels Captain) and the paint scheme, but the force will be a more general homage to the Blood Angels of the time – so tying in bits from the tail end of Rogue Trader through 2nd edition; particularly the artwork. +

+ To get an idea of the look I'm going for, it'll be based on similar principles to Brother Catabin, who may well join the force as a Lieutenant, Squad Leader or similar minor character:

+ So, that's the Intercessors; what about the rest? The Death Guard will be – unsurpisingly – Death Guard; I'm going to use the Horus Heresy scheme and muddy it up a bit. The remaining Primaris marines will become a Chapter of my own devising; and they'll stay as the new Mark X marines. +

+ Comparisons are odious +

+ ... but oh so fun! I set up one of my truescale marines against the new Primaris marines: 

+ As you can see, they're very similar in height, which is great – I feel pleased that my existing armies are going to look just right alongside other people's now. In fact, the only real differences in the silhouette come from the breadth of the chest and arms, and the size of the pauldrons. +

+ Two banner bearers – although the new models are slightly different, I think that the proportions are similar enough that they'll look good at table distance. +


  1. Nice to see the comparisons. :) I *think* I can remember the Blood Angels force from WD 138, but couldn't turn up anything on Google. Do you have any reference images to refresh our memory? :)

    I've always felt that the Blood Angels on the cover of the old 'White Dwarf Compilation' book would be an excellent basis for a retro Blood Angels force. :)

  2. Thanks for the comparison, I think you have ensured that I will be buying a few of the figures at least, since they fit my notations of "true scale" so nicely.

    And retro Blood angels sounds lovely, particularly if they are to the standard of Brother Catabin. Have you seen the retro-marines done recently by Tears of Envy? Might be worth taking a look, although they are standard marines in build, the aesthetic seems similar to what you are describing.

  3. Knocked out of the park with the Blood Angel. Well done.
    Glad to see your guys up against the primaris. You basically have a full force of them prebuilt.

  4. Thanks for the comparison and for allowing to stay in the hobby vicariously lol


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