The hype did not disappoint. The new 9th Edition boxed set is freaking fantastic. 100% awesomeness like new models and the rule book. 0% BS like generic dice and old-school red measuring sticks. Even if you have zero intentions (or capability) of selling the “other” army in the box *cough* Necrons *cough*, the set will likely still be an amazing deal that you would have to be a fool to not consider picking up. While none of us likely need more Marines to fill out an army, we can’t help but want these great new sculpts. But just how practical are they from a hobby enthusiast’s perceptive that loves to covert and kit bash?
The good news is that there is plenty of potential for all sorts of fun hobby projects for these new minis. The bad news is that there are several factors that will make conversions and customization more challenging if not impossible.
I am going to focus on the Marines because 99 percent of the folks reading this are (or have at one point been) power army players. Plus, the Necron aesthetic is pretty unique and hard to blend in with other armies or really convert in general…although I have had some success kit bashing some cool inquisitor henchman using Necrons, but that is another story for another day. So, these Marines: All are new models which is great. In general, they are all featuring interesting, dynamic poses which are in vogue right now. Just look at the new Assault Intercessors. They are charging forward with such clear energy that it would make a Space Wolf Chapter Master proud. While these are all mono pose and easy-to build, by looking at the spruce it is clear that you could easily saw off a hand and replace a weapon with something more specialized. And this new troop (they are “troops” right?!) unit seems to be pretty vanilla in terms of the details and accessories sculpted on to the mini. This means you can easily Space-Wolfify them or add a few robotic-teh bits to make them Iron Hands.
All the spruces are packed with bits, but there really are very few bonus bits. Almost every single bit on the sprue will be used if you are following the instructions. So don’t count on this new box adding a pile of bits to your bits collection. This new box and the units in them are designed to be assembled quickly and easily without any room for positioning creativity or variety or load-out options. The new shield boys, melta gun guys, and three of the characters are all clustered together into a massive spruce. They have a lot of awkward placed holes allowing for push-to-fit assembly, but unfortunately this only reinforces how difficult it will be to covert or customize these guys. In general, I would be pissy about this, but the models are just so cool that I can live with just building the models as is. The good news is that many of the cooler bits are unblemished by the push-to-fit holes and are not attached to other parts of the mini. This means if you opt to not build the mini as intended, you can salvage a lot of cool parts for use later.
Another positive, is that GW continues to allow basically eveything they produce to easily swap heads out and this box set is no exception. Head swaps will be super easy with almost every single mini despite the easy-to-build, mono pose design. And one of the few options in this box is that the new Capitan comes not with one, but three head variants!
The bikes sadly DO have the riders partly molded into parts of the bike itself. Most notably so are the legs which are attached to the bike’s exhaust. But in general, a skilled hobbiest should be able to make use of the bikes for other, non “Primarius Outrider” purposes. Ork fans can get a new source of bikes here, and so could Chaos for that matter.
A little unexpected bonus from this box that caught me off guard was how the box includes an awesome decal sheet with icons for multiple power army armies. Not just Ultramarines!!! Decals always come in handy as I have written about previously.
This new box is amazing! It will likely bring you joy both on the table top at tournaments and on the hobby desk at home. While not as customizable as other kits, this box is just too cool to pass up.
***Note, photos from Games Workshop’s Warhammer Community Page and Spikey Bits
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