I don't think I've seen a review of the plastic Mark 3 marines and how they compare and are compatible with the existing range of Space Marine ranges. I only have numerous Space Wolf and Forge World resin bits to compare against, but here goes.
Firstly, the amount of goodies contained upon the three sprues which make up the Mark 3 marines is fantastic. It knocks out half of the special weapons included in the Forge World upgrade set. That being said, I think there is still a place for the Forge World upgrades because you may want those volkite weapons, alternate power weapons, etc, which just aren't included here.
Similarly, I think there is a place for the Forge World resin Mk3 marines still too. In this box there is a range of helmets and back packs but the torsos are all the same, where as the resin kit, the torsos are all different but the helmets and backpacks are all the same. Plus combining the two would give you 15 different leg options, and in squads of 20, that isn't such a bad thing. I reckon combining 15 of the plastics and 5 of the resins, mixing and matching all the bits, would give you a completely unique squad. I've already got 3 20-man squads in my force so this is great news. I just wish Forge World would release some plastic breacher shields now. Buying 20 of the current resin packs would cost £80, which is almost as much as a whole box of Burning of Prospero!
Below are some comparison shots of various pieces. Overall, the scales are pretty much the same. if there is a difference I can't see it.
Comparing equivalent torsos you can see the plastics are much crisper than the resin.
Comparing back packs, again you can see the plastic is crisper and with more variety. The back packs come with 3 or 4 different designs. In terms of cleaning up, I always think Forge World is easier to clean up but actually now I need to ask, is that worth the trade off for arguably less detail and variety?
The studs on the shoulder pads are bigger on the resin version, but I like both designs
This was interesting, fixing a Space Wolves back to a Mk3 front so that my sergeant could have a wolf pelt. As you can see, these fit together seamlessly. That Wolf bit is from the latest upgrade blister so I imagine that the other Space Marine upgrades fit just as well. Obviously heads and legs and arms all fit fine too. The only one you have to watch is the Space Wolf torso with grenades from the Space Wolf squad box, this doesn't fit easily on to Mk3 legs without some filing down of the ridged detail. I haven't got a photo but just remembered to mention that one.
In terms of size, they're the same once legs are attached to torso.I must also say that I'm loving these 32mm bases. So much more room to play with and less chance of your model toppling over mid-game.
I'm glad they've included thunder hammers in this box. I always avoid using the Forge World resin ones after a couple have bent whilst in my storage case. Now they come in plastic I'm more than happy to use them. In fact, sign me up for one in each hand!!
Here you can see the Forge World Space Wolves shoulder pad and a resin bolt pistol, both looking absolutely fine on the plastic marine.
And here's my completed Veteran Tactical Squad, which I've now realised is completely game-illegal! Hopefully Book 7 will come along and give me rules for Wolf Guard with any weapon they like! :-)
All in all, this is a great plastic set, which as to the range without negating the desire to buy the Forge World resin miniatures too. Great move Games Workshop!
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