Wow that is a box of plastic crack! It looks even more rammed than Betrayal at Calth (BaC), although I'm sure they are about the same and it's just my imagination.
I'm loving the variety in helmet design but am surprised at the lack of torso plate variation, it's the opposite of the resin kit, but I guess that gives you a reason to still buy the resin kit and have double the combinations.
The crispness of the plastics matches that of the resin kits in my opinion, where as the Mk4 in BaC was a little bit off around the knees, these seem to equal the Mk3 resins. I think we all wondered if Mk3 was even possible in plastic due to the variety of textures but by breaking the leg and back pack components down, the designers have managed to get it spot on.
The weapons options are almost as good as BaC. All the most popular are there, bar the missile launcher from BaC, but then there is still reason enough to buy the resin upgrade kits. It's a smart move.
My most favourite inclusion is the thunder hammer. I'll be adding some of those to my terminators I think.
I was dubious about tartaros terminators. I had some of the resin ones when they first came out and wasn't keen. But these in the box, they are a long way away from those early resins, in terms of detail.
I was looking to swap these, but I ended up keeping them. I've built them up as heavy weapons support for my Cataphractii. Doesn't sound logical until you start playing Zone Mortalis and the Cataphractii show their worth as corridor blockers.
There's a lot of options, and creating the sprue so that the power fists can be either power fists or lightening claws was another smart move by the Designers.
the best comparison for these is the Space Marine Scout set. There's a lot of miniatures on not a lot of sprues. The Sisters themselves are lithe and delicate, akin to elder almost. I'm looking forward to putting these together and including them in my force as a small specialist ally contingent, as per the fluff.
This sprue is ram-packed full of detail. Again, I'm looking forward to including them as a small force. I'll be building them with guardian spears, as per the fluff. Essentially, the Sisters and Custodes in my force will be as per the fluff and built as per the artwork in Visions of Heresy.
The characters are fantastic, highly detailed.
Fell Hand will be the first of this set to be built and painted, I can tell you that now :-). The miniature itself blends the dark 30k imagery that FW have spent so long building up along with the 40k Space Wolves aesthetic which already exists without being too cartoonish (which I personally hate... those Wulfern are the epitome of all I hate about the way 40k has gone with the modelling). I especially love the right shoulder pad, very in keeping with Visions of Heresy (possibly the only reason I'm considering buying the Wulfern kit... anyone got any spare they fancy trading?).
the Space Wolves legion symbol is a great tie back to the early 1990's chapter icon.
The books, cards and instructions all seem to be printed and detailed equally as well as BaC. The quality is extremely high.
The decal sheet looks great, lots of choice, adding yet more options to Space Wolves heraldry when you're painting them up.
the building instructions look very detailed and easy to follow, which will be needed to build the Sisters and Custodes as they are new to the range.
The background book is, similar to that in BaC, in the same style as the Forge World big black books. I'm really excited to sit down with a cup of tea and finally read some of the Heresy fluff for the Space Wolves, as I have been all the other legions that have been included in the black books to date.
I plan on playing a couple of games in the near future so will post up a review of that separately. The rules do look easily laid out like BaC though so I'm expecting a similar level of complexity.
the addition of D8, D10 and D12 does suggest a bit of spice to the mix though, so I'll keep you posted!
All in all this is a fantastic set. There's a good chance I'd buy another one of these, because its packed with miniatures in my favourite armour mark and then I would have full 10-man/lady squads of the sisters and custodies forces (I'm guessing 5-man squads aren't going to cut it when gaming).
I picked mine up from Warhammer World, because a) I'm lazy, b) I'm impatient, c) the Horus Heresy campaign weekend was on so I wanted a nosy and d) I was picking up my pre-ordered Leman Russ, but £95 is quite a price and there's plenty of places selling it cheaper, so that's where I think I'd pick my next box up from. Companies such as Alchemist Workshops are selling it at 20% off. At £76 a box, it sounds like an even better deal! Especially if you're splitting it with a friend, thirty-odd pounds would essentially get you twice as much as you get in a standard Space Marine tactical squad box for not much more.
What do you guys intend on doing with your set? Have you played the game yet? Let us know in the comments below.
theerrantwolf.blogspot.co.uk - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k