Monday, April 11, 2011
[The Rogue Trader] Grey Knight Models - First Impressions
I'd preordered a dreadknight and a strike squad from the FLGS. A good thing as they had already sold out. I'd preordered the dreadknight because I really liked the model. I'm glad that was my justification as they don't seem to be making it into too many army lists. The strike squad I'd ordered as they form the basis of so many GK units and I wanted to see what the kit was like.
I assembled the strike squad first, and in a pretty basic configuration. Psycannon as they seem the must have of the GK units, a daemon hammer for the justicar and left the rest as basic sword and stormbolter marines. Definitely some good stuff in this box. Loads of extras, enough that I'm going to try and put together an interceptor squad out of the left over bits and a regular SM combat squad. There are still two swords (although one is missing arms - they also go to the daemon hammer) as well as 3 halberds, 3 pairs of falchions, an incinerator, psycannon, psilencer and assorted other bits. That's a whole lot of left over plastic after I have a squad assembled and somewhat justifies the cost. I say somewhat as yes you can argue you get a lot of plastic, but by boxing everything in to one kit they are charging you for a lot of bits you'll be unlikely to use. I'd rather see the combat/tactical/assault/devastator/sternguard/vanguard box options the regular marines get. I'm guessing my opinion is different from the GW accountants though who are no doubt happy to be making us buy a larger % of unneeded plastic in one box. And yeah I'll buy more once taxes come in. I’ll also post about how successful my cheapknights interceptor squad is.
The sprues themselves are well laid out. Everything numbered so you know which arms go with which weapons. Additionally the level of detail on some of the parts is fantastic. I think GW must have borrowed a fab plant from Intel as some of the details are so fine and intricate they can’t be that far behind processor manufacturing. That does mean you need to be really careful popping this stuff of the sprues though. Apparently GKs love to accessorize and it is all easily bent and snapped off. I’ll normally only partially assemble to make painting easier, but I wanted to see what these guys were like together. The answer is great. As much as I can whine about costs, this is another top notch GW product. Lots of options, very well crafted, and look fantastic once assembled.
On to the other kit, the Dreadknight. I have mixed feelings about this one, particularly as I like to convert/magnetize vehicles. It’s huge, never going to get a cover save, and looks great. Same as the Strike Squad, the level of detail and construction is really top notch. They have put detail in places they really didn’t need to, tiny little bits that you’ll mostly never see, and it pays off as this thing is really damn cool. The bad side though, it’s got pretty much one pose. Secondly, multiple attachment points and limited parts for the range weapons will make it really hard to magnetize. The easiest option for the range weapons would be to pick one body and magnetize the barrels on it. Sure that means you may end up with a heavy incinerator with a belt feed but otherwise it looks like more work than its worth. While you could easily magnetize the gun to the arm, the gun also has a cable that loops round to the other side of the elbow, and then the should piston that comes down attaches to the gun not the arm when a gun is in use. Three attachment points, 2 very small. The flip side is the close combat weapons which you can easily swap out without even needing magnets. Very odd that they gift you on one and limit you on the other. The main body can twist a limited amount, enough for a decent change. The arms, as they start, can be positioned to lift up and down. It wouldn’t be a big deal to give them front back motion as well. The legs though, are another thing. They have multiple connection points and multiple pieces. You’d need to reposition the teminator’s legs, and make a curved cut through thick plastic above the dreadknight knee to even start reposing. I understand why it would have been hard to make easier. There is so much detail in these compared to the gods of possibility the IG sentinel legs that giving anything like that range would be near impossible.
One last quibble on the GK stuff. What happened to High Gothic? My older knights have the text on them, but it is little more than rows of runes and letters. Fits well with the GK fluff of High Gothic on scrolls and emblems. Now though, it’s all in English. You look at them and they have words like Death, Incinerate and Nemesis on them. It has gone from anti-daemon runes to some grimdark version of love hearts valentine candy. I’m now looking for a psycannon that says Kick@ss on the side.