Solar Auxilia Veletaris: The Goonhammer Review

Since the Auxilia box launched a couple of months ago, the designers working on Horus Heresy kits have been knocking it out of the park with high quality Solar Auxilia in plastic. This week we’re having a look at the Veletaris, the elite backbone and close range threat to accompany your hordes of riflemen.

Before kicking off, let’s thank Games Workshop for the kit. Thanks GW!

Veletaris Storm Section

It’s no surprise what you get in this box – a ten-soldier Storm Section armed with Volkites or Big Axes and a whole lot of extras. Continuing on from the format set by the rifle section, you get one sprue of five soldiers with the full range of command bits (heads, weapons, pistols) repeated twice in the box. I like this approach, keeps things nice and simple and deluges you in pistols you’ll probably have little to no use for. You can make five basic Veletaris out of the sprue, or add in a Vexilla, Vox Interlock and Commander model. The Commander can be armed with a huge range of options, but you’re probably going to keep them with the volkite unless you’re going all axes all the time. If you do, there’s a good selection of close combat weapons – a powerfist and two swords which fit a number of different sword options the unit can take and a cracking axe. These are largely different poses from the Rifle section, so with a bit of a hand swap you’re opening up a lot of options for your Solar Aux leaders. It’s a good sprue and, once again, if you’re going to go full Solar Aux you’re going to see a lot of it.

Solar Auxilia, Credit: Lenoon

The axes and volkites come on their own sprue, leaving bodies, legs and armour on the “core” Veletaris sprue. I mention this because it would be very easy – I’d say inevitable if the words “plastic despoilers” weren’t running through my mind right now – to imagine another Veletaris box coming out shortly with the same core sprue and a Heavy Flamer/Rotor Cannon sprue accompanying it.

Solar Auxilia, Credit: Lenoon

What you get is very nice – the models go together well; there’s the usual standard of GW infantry casting and detail. If there’s a ‘but’ here it’s that the models are more of a pain in the arse to build than I would like to see on even elite infantry at this size – 13-15 components per infantry soldier, depending on your options. Some of the fiddliest bits of the rifle section are now modelled directly on (the pouches and grenades) and other bits are inevitable (the now traditional multi-part volkite), but components like the shoulder mounted light are just fiddly and annoying. Your mileage will vary on this, but multiplied over a box, or several units, the time you take to prep, clean and build these is just over my tolerance for 9 point infantry.

Solar Auxilia, Credit: Lenoon

Aside from the officer hands and some occasional armour gribblies, it isn’t just a slight change to the previous plastic kit, but a completely new design. They’ll still work for kitbashing, but the much heavier armour and weapons has meant substantial changes and additions to the models. This is good – and expected – as the resin Veletaris were different to the original rifle models, but its nice to see and it’s clear no corners are going to be cut with the Solar Auxilia range.

Solar Auxilia, Credit: Lenoon

They’re reassuringly chunky in a way that really sells their reinforced void armour, especially when compared to their rifle section comrades. They have far more heft and bulk though are still pretty puny compared to a space marine, as they should be! I don’t think it’s a kit that is going to break any massive design or technological boundaries and that’s fine, a solid kit and one that many players will need to pick up at least two of. It’d be nice if you could just buy a twenty soldier kit, or one with axes, volkites, rotors and flamers in, but you can’t so no worries.

I painted these to go along with my rifle section, but the baby blue that I think really worked there just doesn’t work half as well with this amount of armour. A total rethink is on the way.

Taking “fire axe” literally. Solar Auxilia, Credit: Lenoon

Overall it’s another solid Solar Aux kit. The number of parts per model is pretty ridiculous, but it does mean that they look really good, with lots of nice detail and different textures to paint. I was turned off them a bit though as a result and I feel they’re a bit too detailed for what is essentially a horde unit, even if they’re the Elite of the Solar Auxilia.  Plans for a 40 strong Veletaris Tercio will probably be shelved so I can move on to quicker projects.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Solar Aux models to show off? or leave a comment below. 

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