As we all know, a week without a new Space Marine release is not a week at all. While these sadly aren’t new Primaris Lieutenants, they’re still marine characters, so I’m happy. Games Workshop sent these two over to me to paint up, and they’re stunning models.
Both these characters formerly only existed in Dark Imperium (remember that from four and a half years ago?), leading to them being unavailable outside ebay and conversions. As part of their new release they picked up a few extra options to go with the shiny new sculpts, which Liam talks about in our Vigilus Alone review.
As for the model, I love it. While he has a hero rock, like every recent character, his pose is nice and aggressive. I built mine with the chainsword, which is huge (a good quarter inch longer than one on an intercessor). His right arm is in two parts, with the shoulder and upper arm part of the torso, but his left arm comes completely separate – you could pretty easily drop it onto a different gravis model, or replace it with one from elsewhere. The right arm would be a little harder to transplant, but its probably doable.
My main complaint is with the cape. I prefer to paint capes separate from the model they’re on so I can actually get to the inside, and I just finished up a squad of Sword Brethren to compare with. The sword bros have completely separate capes – they wrap around the shoulders by being made of two parts. This makes them incredibly easy to paint. For comparison, this captain has the portion of the cape that goes over his shoulder cast into the shoulder pad itself. While I can glue the cape to the pad, and keep that bit separate, it does require me to do some masking. Not the end of the world, but coming from a kit that did it perfectly it is disappointing. Fortunately once assembled the seam is pretty well hidden by the backpack.
The helmet also doesn’t fit well. Instructions have you fully assemble the torso before adding the head, but if you do this the helmet barely fits under the cowl. I was able to get it in with A Lot of effort, but there’s no way I could’ve gotten it in without completely destroying the paint job if I had painted it separately, as I usually prefer to do. Fortunately it’s not too blocked off by other parts and I was able to reach everything I wanted while it’s glued in.
If you’re interested in removing the servo skull be prepared with some greenstuff. While it’s not blocking any detail, there is a guide cut into the backpack vent for positioning.
For a kit that I expected to be completely monopose, I was pleasantly surprised to open this up and see two different banners. Unfortunately, that’s about where my happiness with those banners ended. They both use the same left arm (which is a part of the torso), so can’t be easily repurposed onto a second model. They also lock you into weapon options – one banner is held with one arm and leaves the right arm open for a sword (either the included one or any other, the shoulder joint is flat). The second banner is held with both hands, and comes with a bit for a slung bolt rifle. While I understand not letting you build a second ancient out of the kit, I would’ve liked to see a sheathed sword as an option in addition to the slung bolt rifle so there’s a bit of variation available in the kit.
Other than that, this is a nicely detailed kit, distinct from the Dark Imperium ancient, and is pretty easy to subassemble so the banner isn’t hiding access to the rest of the model. I wasn’t a fan of the included power sword, so I pulled one in from the Black Templars upgrade sprue, along with a helmet and shoulder pads. This guy’s a character and I wanted him to be at least close to as blingy as any crusader squad initiate.