This is just a quick review of the new Warhammer 40k Space Marine Tactical Squad box circa 2013.
Now in general I am guilty of purchasing miniatures (Games Workshop, Mercs, Privateer Press, Flames of War, etc) and just stacking boxes with the intent of eventually building and painting them with the end goal of hitting up local stores for regular play like I did in 2007 with my High Elves. I am slowly assembling my 3rd company of Imperial Fist army from the Warhammer 40K Space Marine line of minis (hoping to one day field 100+ marines in an apocalypse game) and as of now I am prepping the kits for airbrushing as the season moves into fall/winter.
Today I wanted to focus on the recent update to the Space Marine tactical squad box. Now in general Games Workshop (GW) product is a little on the high side for cost, but I augment that by hitting up the local gaming stores (LGS) where kits are discounted. I bring up cost as the new box did see a slight increase in price $37 -> $40 which is not really that bad compared to other kits that have been recently released (*cough* Dire Avengers doubling *cough*). What this extra $3 gets you is all new sprues that are more densly packed with goodies such as a full set of MK IV armour, which until now was more or less ForgeWorld only, the new Graviton weapons, and a redesigned combi-bolter (below). The one issue I did find, but failed to photo, was that the missile launcher that came with the kit had a giant sink mark at the attachment paint of the arm to the torso so be advised that you may have to putty it.
The big change to the new kit over the old is the way that the bolter (the gun) is added to the kit. In the past the bolter would be modeled as a full gun and you would have to cut off the grip and trigger guard to place it on the model (below right side). The new method has seen GW mold the hand onto the grip thus making it easier to attach the weapon (below left side) at the wrist.
The last couple of pictures are showing marines made with the discontinued kit and marines made with the new 2013 kit to highlight how the weapons attach.
Overall I am pleased with what GW has done with this kit and for once managed to minimize cost increase. As always you do end up with a lot of extra weapons and addon that you can trade with friends or use in conversions down the line. With the exception of the missile launcher sink mark this was a very good kit. Although I do have a few things to add to the squad (back packs, pauldrons, purity seals) I feel safe in assuming that those items have not changed in design or attachment so that is beneficial.
-MK IV Power Armour
-Missile launcher sink mark
-Price increase no matter how small