Model Review: Cadian Castellan, Attilan Rough Riders, Commissar, and Cadian Upgrade Sprue

Today marks the pre-order of the many highly anticipated new Astra Militarum kits. We’ve already talked at length about the rules for these in previous articles, but if you wanted to know more about the models and how to paint the new models for our favorite space army duders, we’ve got you covered in today’s article.

Before we get started we’d like to thank Games Workshop for sending us a free preview copy of the kits for review purposes.

Cadian Castellan

Scott: The Cadian Castellan is standard for a modern Games Workshop character. It’s a single sprue with about 30 bits on it. It has options to build all the loadouts presented in the Codex. Anything else can absolutely be used to spruce up your other officers or characters if you want a little bit of model diversity amongst officers.

I don’t have any pictures of mine, but I didn’t recall any issues with the build. Jack has head swapped his with one of the heads from the Cadian Upgrade to fit in with his previously featured Harakoni Warhawk-themed Kasrkin.

Attilan Rough Riders

Scott: Horsies. The Rough Riders were a very pleasant surprise for me. I wasn’t too sold on the models seeing the preview pictures, but seeing them in my own color scheme has definitely turned me onto them.  The scaling is really great on these and they feel like they have weight and size to match their close combat profiles. There are an absolute ton of details on these models, which initially felt a little rough seeing as five of these guys are only going to run you around 100 points, but I figure I’ll be taking 2 squads of 5 horses in about every list I run, so they’ll definitely be seeing the table a lot.

The horses are all mono-pose, as you would expect… otherwise, I had no issues with assembly here. The head swap was easy to execute, and I’m sure you could swap weapon army fairly easily if you were so inclined. The head swap has done a lot to make them feel more cohesive with the rest of my regiment. I’m really eager to get these guys finished up and saddled up next to Lord Solar.


Scott: Honestly, this is the first kit out of the new line that I am a little bit disappointed in. The new Commissar feels like a sidegrade from the older Officio Prefectus Commissar blister released circa 2017. My main critique of this kit is that it is completely mono-pose, with the power sword and chainsword being the only swappable bits. This means that if you ever intend on running more than one of them, you’re going to have to get creative with some conversions or kitbashes.

For most Guard players, if you’re looking to include a single commissar, I think it’s worth picking up one of these kits. If you’re ever planning on running more than one, you may want to consider using some leftover bits from the Cadian Castellan, and some bits from the Cadian Command Squad to kitbash a second one.

Cadian Upgrade Sprue

Scott: The Cadian Upgrade Sprue was one of those kits I wasn’t excited about until I got to building my other kits and found just how many bits are in it. As you’ve previously seen, both Jack and I have deployed some respirator helmet head swaps for models in this preview batch. I’m guessing those will be some of the most popular bits in this kit aside from the Armored Division Officer. Other notable bits here are the set of patrol cap-equipped heads, and arm swaps to inject some variety into your Shock Troopers.

I’ve built the Armored Division Officer, who will be mounted in a Rogal Dorn Battle Tank, representing a Vaunted Praetorian upgrade. I’m sure this will be a very common use for him.

If you’re a Cadian fan, you’re probably going to want one of these boxes to source head swaps for your Rough Riders and get some model diversity in your hordes of troopers. If you’re not a Cadian fan, there’s probably nothing in here for you, but I’m really hoping this kit is an indicator that we might get upgrade sprues for other regiments in the future!

You can pick all these kits up from GW or your LGS of choice – or if you’re in the UK or EU and want to support Goonhammer, consider using our affiliate link with Element Games.