Imperium is a weekly hobby magazine from Hachette Partworks. In this 90-week series, our intrepid magazine-receiver will be reviewing each individual issue, its included models, and gaming materials. A Premium subscription was provided to Goonhammer for review purposes.
The more issues of Imperium I read, and the more Primaris art they show, the more I feel some kind of sick nostalgia for 8th edition. That first Dark Imperium box full of Death Guard and the first wave of Primaris Marines is now old enough that I can feel a hint of nostalgia, which is absolutely wild to me. It was like 3 years ago, right? Please refrain from correcting me, I can already feel myself turning to dust.
Before we begin, I’m shocked Rob actually drew a Silver Templars Marine. It made finding art for this section easier than anticipated. These Ultramarines successors get the cover story this week. Funnily enough, much of their background comes from Blade Oath, an Andy Clark novella included in the previous 40k partworks magazine, Conquest. They’ve got a great color scheme and aren’t like those other Ultramarines successors. They’re aloof around allies like the Dark Angels, dedicated to their relics and wargear like the Blood Ravens, and from a feudal world where children fight to the death to become Space Marines like, well, a lot of chapters. They’re sort of a smorgasbord of Marine tropes, and their scheme would be pretty easy for a new painter to try out.
Our next section is dedicated to the Primaris-scaled motor pool of Space Marine tanks, with Repulsors, Impulsors, and Gladiators of all varietals. There’s photos of each of them, some brief rundowns of what they do, and a variety of bright primary colored tanks to gawk at. It does a very good job of making me want all of them.
As with last week’s spotlight on Space Wolf characters, we get a chapter-specific twofer this week, detailing a faction’s greatest heroes. In this case, we focus on the Blood Angels, specifically Commander Dante and Chief Librarian Mephiston. I believe this is all fluff and artwork from before Dante’s Primaris Embiggening, but it rules anyway. The whole reason Dante isn’t depressed about the fact that he’s a thousand year old golden man fighting a losing war is this one recurring vision. In some fated battle, he will have to defend the Emperor with his own two hands, likely in some echo of Sanguinius’ own death defending the Emperor from Horus.
Mephiston is a Space Marine Librarian too angry to die, and has been able to conquer the Black Rage not once, but twice. Much like Chaplain Grimaldus, a building falling on him is central to his character development. When Mephiston (née Calistarius) emerged from the rubble, he had fallen to and then conquered the Black Rage. He immediately ordered Gary Oldman’s vampire armor from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and went on to be the best murder wizard in the entire chapter. He fell to the Black Rage again sometime later, but they decided to make the magic murder man Primaris-sized and he conquered it again. Will he fall a third time? Maybe in 2053 we’ll find out.
The Hobby Materials
This is a paint issue, and boy howdy are the paints included big ones for this series. First is White Scar, a thin and often hard to work with white paint that I’ve begrudgingly used for quite some time. Things have certainly changed for the better since my youth, as the included painting guides now instruct hobbyists to use pure white for highlights exclusively. Aside from the poor coverage of white paints, you generally want to paint in an off-white/light grey, and then highlight it up with a pure white like White Scar. Starting with white is a fool’s errand, as you can’t highlight the brightest possible color. I find Ulthuan Grey and Grey Seer are great bases from which you can highlight up to white, and this magazine helpfully instructs users to do the same.
The second included color is Tesseract Glow, a Technical paint that works similarly to Contrast. With this Mtn Dew-hued paint, readers are instructed to finally paint every Necron eyeball, cable, weapon and whirlygig doodad that has, to this point, been left as Grey Seer. I think this mostly works, even if I think highlighting those areas again with a pure white is a little too stark. There’s even a tutorial for using it to get a blend on Necron Blades, although I don’t think it really works. Smooth blends are heck of hard without a wet palette or airbrush. Now, I have not personally used this paint, but a few listeners from the 40k Badcast community chimed in with their thoughts. Sometimes it helps to surround myself with people smarter than me, but with bad enough taste to still listen to my podcast:
Its a lot of fun to use, if not a little hard to control where the two colours go. Really dependent on having a smooth, bright undercoat, because even a few shades of grey changes how it looks once it dries. – Faarky
My partner used it on her necrons as a first time mini painter and for nail art, and found it easy to work with and gave a nice finish; she especially enjoyed the glowy effect -almightyjimbovril
It’s a lovely paint, but it separates terribly. Agitators are a must, and getting a vortex mixer helps – axolotlquestions
I like it! – crustcakegeoff
The Gaming Materials
This section is a grim reminder of what playing Admech could be like in 9th edition. So rarely have I breathed a genuine sigh of relief at the passing of rules gone by. This section is about Holy Orders, wherein you could pick between Genetors, Magi, Logi, or Artisans Orders for your Techpriests. Each had an ability, and could perform an action to switch to a second ability later in the game. These let them do stuff like pass on exploding 6s to units around them, increase stats, and so on. It’s too much to keep track of, and my eyes glazed over whilst reading through this section. I might have woken up at a bus stop, half naked and dehydrated after my brain decided it would rather shut down than try to parse the actual flowcharts here.
This week’s mission, The Auspex Array, has the Imperial forces on Kjalma’s Skull trying to activate a series of Auspex towers to detect a mysterious Necron energy source – a Dolmen Gate. The Necrons want to strike the Imperials before they can activate these Auspexes and map the Necron catacombs. This plays out in a 75PL game on a regulation size 44″ x 60″ board, with 4 objectives, quartered deployment, and a standard hold 1, hold 2, hold more objective marker mission. A secondary mission involves performing actions on these objectives to rack up more points, but it takes a turn to enact so you’ll have to be careful when and where you commit to it.
Final Verdict 67/90:
The combined value of these two paints is $12.35, somewhat below the cover price of $13.95. I feel like White Scar is a must-have, even if it’s kind of tough to work with sometimes, but Tesseract Glow is so specific to what it does, I can’t imagine most people will end up using it. If you do plan on Glowing some Tesseracts, however, the included guide is very useful. The lore this week is a little on the slight side, but does spotlight some cool characters and an underrepresented chapter in the Silver Templars. The included gaming material is an okay mission and rules that I am so happy to leave in the past. I’d say this one is a bit of a tough recommend, especially compared to some recent issues. If you really want your Tesseracts to Glow though, this issue is gonna be an easy sell.
See you next issue, warhams.
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