I've always really liked the various flavors of Space Marine. The aesthetic is pretty great, the rules have been increasingly solid and the latest codices have been absolutely fantastic at creating 3 distinct forces. Plus, who wouldn't want to push some armored bad-asses around the table? Losers, that's who.
Despite all that, I've never really pulled the trigger on getting myself a marine army - though there have been at least 3 major attempts over the years. But more than any other army, the collected space marine chapters are the most frequent subject when I get into listmania mode. There's just so much damn flexibility with the three books. Even more once it dawns on you that custom chapters can stand in for ANY of the 5 flavors. Its kinda crazy.
Luckily for us, we have options. The two most popular are buying a pair of arms from Forgeworld or converting up some arms from the Aegis Defense line. Both options have their pros and cons, but what frequently comes up is cost. There's a general feeling that the plastic Aegis kit is cheaper than the import-only resin arms, but are they? And if they are, by how much? I sure as hell don't know.
So that's where I'm at - which of the two 'good' TLAC options is cheapest for me. Knowing full well that I'd probably get the Forgeworld options no matter what, it's always nice to know exactly how much of an opportunity cost I'm paying.
For my purposes, we'll ignore the cost of a dreadnought body since, no matter what, you'll need to buy arms in addition to having a chassis to put them on.
Next, its time to price out the Forgeworld stuff as its cost is fixed (at least in pounds). They can only be had from one source at list price - all other retailers add a markup and ebay is just plain to fickle to rely on.
Each arm costs £7 plus shipping. Shipping is ALWAYS calculated as 15% of the total order cost. There's also the little mater of the foreign transaction fee - about 3% for me. This brings us up to a cost of £16.52 (I'm sure my notation is wrong). Assuming a rough exchange rate of $1.6 to the pound, our arms will cost us close to $26.
Not bad so far, BUT the Forgeworld option already costs more than the list price of the Aegis set - $22.50.
Ordering from an online retailer with the standard 20% off looks sweet on the surface, but the shipping charges kill it - even a the Warstore, shipping costs $6 no matter how much you order. One Aegis costs $24. Thankfully, things get much better when you buy in bulk. Three kits (shipped) will run about $20 each (which is about as good as it gets on ebay).
So, realistically, the Forgeworld arms cost 6 bucks more per dreadnought than the Aegis-conversion option.
Pro: Cheaper, comes with 'free' terrain, unique conversion possibility
Cons: Does not completely match Marine aesthetic, larger time investment, potential for conversion mishap
Pros: ready out of the box, built to match other dreadnought weapons, Forgeworld 'bling' factor
Cons: expensive, sloooow delivery time, potential resin casting defects
Since I hate converting things and I'm persnickety about the way things look, I'll fall back on being able to solve problems by spending money and pony up the 6 bucks to get exactly what I want.
Now, because this post is insufferably boring:
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