Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nu Blood Angels Part 3: Looking At Me Looking At You

5th edition has really shaped up to be a good time to play 40k.  The rules are tighter, the models better and GW seems to know where it's going as a company for the first time.  GW has really stepped up their game. In particular, I have been thoroughly impressed in terms of their model releases.  Ever since the marine codex, GW has really swung into high gear.

They creating some amazing new kits that have really pushed the envelope pretty hard in terms of design and quality. They're also making a conscious decision to 86 old metal shit whenever they can.  Which is fucking great, I have to say.  Not much is worse than having to spend scads of money on the same 3 metal troopers over and over again or having to deal with the horror that is the assembly of the metal/plastic hybrid vehicles.  The plastic kits also tend to come with actual extra parts, so its good for the bits box too. 

Complain all you want about them not releasing whatever hot toy you wanted, but the fact that they're actually committed to improving the product range is a nice change. [golf clap]

The Re-releases:
AKA: the stuff that was too bad to continue producing so we were forced to redo it to make sure people actually buy it.  This category usually consists of metal/platic hybrids that are hard to assemble with any efficacy, single models that remind everyone how lame GW's sculpting in the early to mid 90's could be and various other kits that look increasingly less like GW's current (and solid) design language.  This category of new stuff tends to be the better of the two halves overall due to a favorable comparisons with old stuff and the fact that its usually core selections.

Lemartes, Guardian of the Lost:  New Lemartes is is way better than the last incarnation. Just look at the old one. I have always hated this model.  I vaguely remember seeing this guy when I was a lad and thinking how garbage it was.  The doofy wand, the awful skull head (whose side are you on, buddy?) and the super-sized crux terminatus - just terrible. He looks kinda like a Scooby Doo villain.

New Lemartes is a stone-cold pimp, though. The model is everything the old one was not - tough, mean, beefy and something you'd actually want to spend money on.  Its almost like Larmetes spontaneously started existing and then came back in time to personally threaten the sculptor to make sure he looked boss.  Well done.

Death Company:  Another great kit.  Unlike Lemartes, the old Death Guard were pretty decent.  However, they were still metal - static, boring in large numbers, heavy and expensive.  Don't get me wrong, I prefer metal for painting (when thinking strictly about painting).  However, when it comes to actually wanting to field an army, plastic just can't be beat.  Plastic is easier to transport, easier to modify, cheaper and often comes with something metal models rarely get - options.  The options being the real strength of this kit. The models themselves look great but, after all,  they're just space marines.  Its all the Blood Angels themed parts, the jump packs and the special weapons that make this kit so good.  My only complaint is that some of the helmets look really, really, really dumb.

Baal Predator:  I love this model more than I could love a human baby.  For serious.  While Seth got me thinking about Blood Angels, this kit actually got me to spend money. For many, it may just be another tank, but for me - an avid tread head - its a real treat*.  First up, this kit is a much needed replacement to the dodgy metal and plastic hybrid.  In the past, GW's choice had been to make new vehicle kits by adding metal bits packs to a standard set of frames.  I don't know if this was a cost saving measure or not (plastic sprue molds are expensive to make), but it sucked total dick.  And not in the good way - like when two consenting adults enjoy each other's company as part of a healthy and loving relationship.  No.  The bits-pack method is a lot more rapey, coerced and awkward.

Right, so the Baal is a pretty cool kit - lots of parts to make it look different than the original predator, a ton of optional parts and a wonderful ease of construction**.  I even think its possible to magnetize the turret weapon if you work at it.  My only complaint is how dated the Baal makes the regular predator look.

-----[Foot Notes]--------------------------------------------
*Feel free to read this part of the article aloud in your best Jeremy Clarkson voice.
**first hand knowledge since I own one and have worked on it a bit,


  1. Had I been drinking when I read your opinion on metal/plastic hybrids, I would've needed a new keyboard, monitor, and glass of water.

    That aside, though, I ahve to agree with you that GW is doing a solid job of throwing out nice-looking models. The BA updates are a huge improvement.

    I can hardly wait 'til they get around to updating the Eldar, or the other metal-heavy ranges. I mean, I went out and picked up some of the old-school Land Speeders purely for sake of style, but still, metal-heavy is just bleh for customization and pinning.

  2. Dammit Lauby, I lol'd

    New BA stuff look boss, for the most part.

    I'm gonna pick up a pair of Baals when I get the chance, just to hold them and enjoy their feel in my hands. It's a great time to get lots of Baals at once.

    Raptor, have you seen the new Nightspinner and Prism pics that are floating around? Prism looks weird, but the spinner is neat. And it's all plastic.

  3. ZOMG! the new Eldar stuff is pretty great. I'm gonna have to buy three more prism kits just to avoid having to do anything with the metal monstrosities I have now. Thank Jebus I can still build the old ones as Falcons.

  4. I have a single finished prism, and two half done, that I have to now finish despite a new model coming out. FML.

    Anyway, Lauby, does the Baal come with the Autocannon?

  5. Sadly, no. The Baal has a whole new frame that replaces the regular predator frame.

    Which is kind of a bummer conversion wise since the new Baal parts are slightly better than the regular predator. Especially true for the sponsons. The baal ones are set up more like the sponsons on the newer Land Raider Crusader kit.

  6. Sigh. Bits sites it is then - I'm not spending £55 on a pair of Pred boxes just to use flashy new front plates and superior sponsons in order to make ONE sexy Predator. :(


    Imenitch: Russian for 'about to occur' - as in 'the missile launch is imenitch'