Space Marine Assault Squad and Chapter Upgrade Kits

I think it’s fair to say most Space Marine collectors have been excited by this week’s releases. They mark a couple of important changes for Games Workshop. Before looking at the changes let’s look at the new kits.

Assault Squad

The old Assault Squad kit was showing it’s age when the last Devastator set was released in 2007. The legs on the old kit where very poor sculpts compared to GW modern Space Marines. This new set appears to really up the standard of GW’s Space Marine kits. It uses 2 parts for each set of legs. This results in far more detail on each leg. The other new components are vey similar to the Tactical Squad. However there appears to be far more options for each Space Marine. The new options include Grav Pistol, Lightning Claw, Double Handed Chain Sword and Thunder Hammer along with a great deal more heads to pick from. This set also includes some rubble to help mount the Assault Marines on their 32mm bases. So what has been lost. The old pointed finger power fist is gone. I don’t think that is a great lost. Also the option to make your Assault Marines left handed, again not a great loss. So it there really any significant draw back to this new kit. Well a the price of a Ten Man Assault Squad has gone from £41 to £50. That’s almost a 20% increase. Do the extra options in this kit justify the increase? Well that is for you to decide. At this new price I won’t be rushing out to replace the 20 models in my plastic Battle Company, nor will I be building an Assault Company using this new kit.
Is there any alternative to this kit. Well only one that will save money. Is saving up all your mk5 and perhaps mk6 tactical and Devistator torsos and buying jump packs at £5 a pop direct from GW. That way you can still make an 10 man Assault Squad for £36. The other alternatives that spring to my mind, although not cheaper, is the Vanguard Veteran set. You might want to swap some of the heads for less ornate versions from the Tactical set. Perhaps if you have older Vanguard Veterans you might want to swap the jump packs around as well.

I do intend to pick one of these new sets up, and if the other tens of thousands of  Space Marines collectors do the same, I’m sure the new CEO won’t be too worried. I personally think if this set had been priced at £22.50 I would have already ordered one and would be thinking about a second.

Overall 8/10 great but not great value.

Ultramarine Upgrades

It’s almost unbelievable that GW have never done an upgrade set for their most popular chapter. This kit which is replaes the Finecast, formally metal Ultramarine Shoulder Pads, looks fantastic. I have the miss pleasure of owning one of the old should pad sets. The shoulder pads where tiny compared to the modem plastic shoulder pads, which forced you to buy a set of the equally poor shoulder pads with squad markings. The symbols where also poor and difficult to paint well. So you ended up spending £10 and getting smaller space marines! This new kit is long over due and most welcome. The fact it comes with other components it fantastic. The one downside of the kit is that some of the shoulder pads are a bit too ornate for a Tactical Squads. Forcing you to buy 2 kits if you want to kit out a full squad. I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing though. The extra components in this set are going to come in very handy. As well as Ultrafiltration of Captains and Sargent models. Combined with Mk4 or Mk6 legs they will serve as excellent plastic honour guard. Finally providing a way to add more Honour Guard without buying a £50 set for the sake of 3 models. I just hope the rumoured removal of honour guard form the new codex turns out to be the lump of stinking scat it sounds like. On price I would say this set makes huge sense. Could it be better? Well yes I think another 5 or 10 shoulder pads, a proper ultramarine honour guard helmet and a coupe more standard Ultramarine helmets with a £10-15 price tag would have been better. Once you have a few of these kits buying more is going to feel like a bit of a waste of all the other components you have to throw in the bits box.

Overall 10/10 and long overdue

Space Wolves Upgrades

Next is the elephant in the room. What we have here is a drastic downsize of the previous upgrade sprue for Space Wolves. Gone it the still much needed Melta Gun, never mind a Flamer for you Grey Hunters. Gone are the torsos and host of wolf pelts and knives. The total bit count is down by over 50%. 

The old Space Wolves Upgrade Kit

New Space Wolves upgrad kit (image from Dakka Dakka )

In place of all these goodies there are the Ragnar Shoulder pads. Again the new shoulder pads are a big improvement. Although once you have a couple of these sets the appeal of addition sets is reduced, unlike the old kit. It’s a real shame GW didn’t make a set of 20 shoulder pads and separate upgrade frame. However Space Wolf players already have so many options from other kits. This frame is really just about the shoulder pads. I feel this perhaps wasn’t the best time for GW to put out this kit, but I’m sure there are plenty of collectors who will snap up a few anyway. Price wise I think it’s very reasonable for GW, but not as good value as the Ultramarine set.

Overall 7/10 Good, but not a great replacement.

Blood Angel Upgrades


This kit has a better bit count than the Space Wolves set. But just like Space Wolves kit it wasn’t desperately needed. There is plenty of other similar parts in other Blood Angel sets. If anything it’s adding less value than the Space Wolf set as there are already a lot of Blood Angel icon shoulder pads in the other Blood Angel set, unlike Ragnar’s Great Company. This set has very few bits that are really “new”. We have to assume this has just been released to go with the other new Space Marine kits.

Overall 8/10 great, but too close to other kits.

Dark Angel Upgrade Kit

This kit is as much of a down size as the Space Wolves kit. The shoulder pads are needed, the other bits are great and I’m looking forward to seeing every other Dark Angel Sergeant sporting a feather head piece. But other armies needed one of these set far more.

Overall 8/10 Good, but not a great replacement.

I think this looks to be a very exciting Space Marine release. This change in direction for Games Workshop, from just rehashing old kits is both refreshing and welcome, but replacing more extensive kits with smaller ones is not. I just hope some of the other chapters, Chaos Marines included, get the same amount of attention in the future. If GW want to sell more armies they need to support them.

Space Marine Devastators

Leaked Space Marine Devastator Pictures hit the Web

Devastator Squad

Hot on the heals of the Assault Squad, Pictures of the new Devastator Squads have been leaked on Bolter and Chainsword The new kits looks like a modem take on the old second edition devastators. It also appears to come with 2 extra Grav Canons. The pictures can be found here Devastators.
Assault Squad

Vanguard Veteran

It looks like we are in for a new bunch of Space Marines in next week’s White Dwarf. Leaked images of both Chapter upgrade sets for Ultramarines and Dark Angles have been posted along with a very dark photo of the new Assault Squad. To me the Assault Squad looks very reminiscent of the old Finecast Vanguard squad.

You can view the pictures here Space Marrine Chapter Upgrade kits

It’s interesting to see new Space Marine models so soon after there last release, two years ago. Picture of new kits don’t prove there will be a new codex. Given Games Workshop’s recent codex release rate I’ll be surprised if there isn’t one. This increase is codex frequency is both a blessing and a curse. While it’s good not to see the likes of Grey Knights neglected due to a lack of new models, it makes me reluctant to buy a codex unless it’s recently been published. I bought a Space Marine codex for a friend earlier this year, as he thought the last one was unjustified. I can only imagine how he will react if and when the next one hits. My own personal collection of up to date codex’s is getting smaller and smaller with each publication. I’m now out of date with Grey Knights, Blood Angels, Eldar, Space Wolves and Orks, yet I have purchased 2 codex in recent months. The good thing about this change in GW’s release policy is the rules in White Dwarf have meant that players can still use some of the new units even if they don’t think a codex purchase is justified. A much better alternative than codex piracy.

As for these new kits. I really like what GW have done with these frames. The fincast Chapter Shoulder pads were simply awfully small compared to the plastic ones of most of GW’s Space Marine kits. The new assault squad also looks to be a marked improvement and long overdue. Of course until we see the prices we won’t know if it will sell like hot cakes like, the new Tactical Squad did, or if will just continues to plug the gaps in players collections.

New Space Marine Assault Squad

Now available from Games Workshop, the New Space Marine Assault Squad


Warhammer World Reopens

We made our 1st visit to the new Warhammer World this week.

I didn’t fancy being one of the crowd at the weekend, so held back all of day or two. After reading some of the feedback online about lack of displays in the non exhibit areas and reduced number of playing tables, I was a bit worried the old Warhammer World experience had been lost. I’m happy to say I don’t think that is the case.


First impression are good. The new entrance is modern and spacious. I must say I do think there is a bit too much space. There are a couple of small cabinets with a mix of exclusive merchandise and a couple of small 40k armies, of course one of them is Space Marine, White Scars in fact. The life sized Space Marine who used to reside outside the old White Dwarf bunker, opposite Warhammer World, is now standing guard over the precious pair of cabinets. Where the Life Size Ultramarine has gone I don’t know. When I saw the redevelopment plans I had expected there would be a glass covered display in the lobby, replacing the Forge World display which was in the old front window. So a little disheartened that the extension had just been used to house a couple of cabinets a stair case and some toilets I went upstairs.

Warhammer World Store

Upstairs you find yourself in the Warhammer World Store greeted by the friendly Warhammer World staff. In the shop are all the exclusive teeshirts, mugs, bags and models, along with the standard citadel miniatures, paints and tools. The shocking thing is there is not one display case in the store. It must be the only Games Workshop in the country without one. Of course there are a couple downstairs, but really it’s not a patch on the old store, which had painted Horus Heresy armies Titans and other inspiring objects for the collector to lust over. Well the Warhammer World store is only 1 of the 3 shops in the complex, so hopefully things will improve as we move on. On reflection most of the museums I’ve been to have the shop at the end of the tour. I guess you do need to buy tickets to the exhibit

At this point you have a choice upstairs to the Exhibit, through the gaming hall to the art/print/free exhibit area, or right into the Forge World store. I being a descendent of a canny Scott and not GWs real target market, aka not that rich, I went for the free stuff first.

Free Exhibit

The 1st floor exhibit area consists of mostly prints of GW artworks. Which are displayed on artists stands. I think these were located in bugmans bar before the redevelopment work. It was nice to see these laid out well and some of them where tempting, but I didn’t come to the world’s only Forge World store to buy prints. Over all the area did feel a bit Spartan. I’m sure it will get filled up as time progresses. To my utter surprise, tucked into the back corner of the area, was the old Forge World Horus Heresy display from the old front window. Next to it was the Battle of Cath display from Warahmmer Fest. I can’t say how relieved I was that I could still look at painted models without paying to go in the exhibit. However good the exhibit is, I won’t have time to look around it on every visit.


ForgeWorld Store

So on to the ForgeWorld Store. I must say it has to be the best Forge World store in the World; it’s the only one. The store is organised into Horus Hersey on the right, Imperial Amour on the left, with the counter in the middle dividing the two. The display cabinets have all the available models assembled, with the obvious exception of the chapter upgrades. There is a bit of space probably too much, there could have been more lines stocked fairly easterly. However I’d say the real weakness of the store it the lack of a single painted model on show. They do stock the top 700 Forge World lines. Seven hindered sounds like an awful lot, but it didn’t appear to be much more than the old Warhammer World store held, just better layout and organised. The items I had hoped for like Emperors Children Blade Squads or Ultramarine Landraider doors were not there. I’d left it too late to order them for same day delivery, so I made do with some old mks of power armour. The best thing about the store is the assembled models. I’m used to being forced to look at the website, in order to work out what I want. It’s really refreshing to see it in the cabinet. So overall an improvement, but let down slightly by not stocking about 300 more lines and having no painted display peices.

Black Library Store

The Black Library store is the smallest of the 3. So my expectations where quite low. However it appeared to stock the full Horus Heresy series. I didn’t check them all, but the one I wanted was there. So that’s all that bothered me and I walked out happy. I did also find out from the guy who served me that there are still just as many gaming tables in the main hall. It appears all that had been lost is some corridor space and a couple of large scenic boards.


Bugmans Bar

Bugmans bar is largely unchanged. It’s a bit brighter but at the same time has lost a bit of it’s mystic. The old Ork bust had disappeared and I’m just not sure a dwarf hall would be painted magnolia. However it now has a resident Uruk huk, the only remaining indication of the Lord of the Rings licence. He had been squashed in behind one of the tables rather than made a real feature, but I’m glad someone gave him a home. The food is as yummy as ever.

Exhibit halls

And so we come to the exhibit halls. I’m not saying it’s too expensive, but £7.50 is three issues of White Dwarf, or one of those Visions things, or 2 hours of cinema. At £5 I’d be there every other month. As it is I don’t think a new exhibite is going be enough to get me parting with my cash; once I’m saturated on what they have now anyway. That said I thought it was truly fantastic! I counted at least 11 battle scenes on top of all the Citadel and ForgeWorld models in the display cabinets. I don’t think one visit was enough, I expect I’ll be back in a few weeks to soak it up some more. I’m not a fan of paying to see GW product, however the battle boards are fantastic and well worth the money. Maybe some of the old displays could have been left where Joe public could view them without paying, but that’s not to say I mind paying to see the new ones.

Room for Improvement

Of all these changes i have to wonder about the 1st floor layout. It would have been so much easier to keep the store in it’s old location with a new Forge World and Black library store built outside. This way you would have walked out of the exhibit into the shop hopefully inspired to buy.


The other thing that bothers me is the lack of painted models throughout the ground and 1st floor. Surely it would have been so easy to have put a couple of staff armies on some of the old display boards in the free exhibits area, like fort pain or encase them in the lobby so the display stands could be used upstairs.

No Picture Please

There is now a sign on the way
In saying please don’t take picture for anything other than personal enjoyment and non commercial use. Well I don’t think this blogs is what they had in mind but it’s both non commercial and is done for my personal enjoyment. Gw please contact me if you really do object to free marketing for the new Warhammer World.

Worth It?

In a line. Even with the £7.50 price tag it’s worth a few visits. Hopefully by which time the rest of the facility will have improved and will justify the cost of making the trip.

Warhammer World Eldar pics

Can you believe this army took less than a week to paint? John Bracken a member of the warhammer world staff is the mastermind behind this superbly painted  Iyaden Army. If you want to find out how he has managed to paint these models so quickly and the reason why he has kindly explained how and why in this newsletter

Hopefully with the release of the new Eldar codex being called Craftworld Eldar the Iyaden Craftworld wont be left  to out of place and have their rules included as I have always liked the idea of running a Wraith army and i’m sure that has nothing to do with the Wraith knight being improved recently.(snigger snigger) hopefully they will make a nice support army for My harlequins that I will hopefully be able to show you soon.


Above is a Wraithlord supporting a squad of Wraithguard


IMG_2789.JPGAbove is a Spiritseer leading a squad of Wraith blades and a second Wrathlord.