Here it is at last, after an agonizing 2 weeks of waiting... (drum roll please)Blackstone Fortress!! The initial, quick, perusal of the box is actually rather intimidating. It is packed full of hobby goodness. Most of which is for the game itself, and all the things needed to play it. All the books, counters, and dice*. Someday... I'll probably play a game or 2 with 40kDave. But today is not that day.
I'm mostly(read all) in it for the haul of Chaos miniatures in that box, and all the possibilities that come with it.
On a 32mm, not bad, only feels slightly cramped.
I mean, just scale wise Mallex is a beast. Absolutely huge, and feels like a Chaos Lord should. Big, imposing, and ready to eviscerate with no notice. Given that, a 40mm base does seem a little large. Just a little. A tad, if you will. He is just Primaris sized, but would still feel ok on a 32mm base I think. Now, stylistically... whats up with all those tubes on Mallex?! For an Iron Warrior Chaos Lord I could really see that as an aesthetic the design team would want to pursue. It could be seen as just this side of Fleshmetal without going full on Oblit. In that context all those tubes make sense, as well as the Thunder Hammer. All in on that Iron Warrior vibe with maybe a Mark of Nurgle, or Slaanesh for the hentai factor. It just seems odd for a Black Legion Chaos Lord to be... well, to be that model. All the tubes on the body? Ok. All in the arms, that also go into the weapons? Not so much. I don't want to talk about the backpack. At all. Face is great. Top knot is top notch. 😀 He's rocking the "lord cape". As I stated earlier, he feels like a Chaos Lord should.
But, I already started converting mine. Mallex is on a simple sprue. He's not broken up too much to not be able to do some things with. That said, the easiest thing to do is arm swaps. You will need to trim, and clean up, that shoulder guard rim on the left side. Once you do that you have some options. Glue your load out on, and be done with it. Oh, and a normal CSM backpack. Prime that sucker and get busy!
Just tacked in place for now.
Pack some green stuff(GS) in that shoulder cavity on the left, let it cure, build up both side just a touch with GS for a better mounting point for Raptor arms, finish out that fur on the right a bit, and then prep both sides for magnets. That way he can be whatever you need. If you're really careful cutting that trim off for his Thunder Hammer arm, you could glue on to the Thunder Hammer arm and then magnetite that load out as well to take advantage of the Data Sheet. 🙌
Same goes for his Legionnaire bodyguards, they have some options. Bigger, imposing marines, but not too mutated. A nice stop design-wise before going full on Chosen-banding everywhere and/or Lord-tubes. They have a normal-ish gorget area for their chest armor. So... incoming head swaps!
Now for the rest of the minis... wow. The Rogue Psykers, Traitor Guard(TG), and Beastmen** are fantastic. Although I will admit that 7 is an odd unit size for the TG. I mean now I have another 2 Malefic Lords, another Cultist/Militia squad(-6), and Beastmen(-6). Ideally*** I'd like to get a few more TG and Beastmen to make 20 and 10 strong squads, respectively. That's not including potential Champion models either.
Now given all this love for Chaos that GW has given us... I do have a few things I don't like about these minis. I already touched on the problems with Mallex. The other part is scale for the human sized models. They're just too damn big.
So as you can see from left to right... Cultist, converted Scion for an Enforcer, Traitor Guard, Beastman, and Rogue Psyker. That Traitor Guardsman would be taller than the Scion if he was standing straighter. That Beastman should be on a 32mm base... and also move 7", but whatever! The Rogue Psyker is only on a 32mm for stability. When putting marines on 32mm bases first came out, it was a great idea. Now that Primaris are here, and the bulging of CSMs are happening, some of the human models are being made bigger. Design wise, I think that's a mistake. Yes, it allows for more detail. Although for Traitor Guardsmen, how much detail do they exactly need? When we size up Mallex to humans, here is what we get...
I'm sorry but in my head that Cultist feels like the right size, the size we always read about for the groveling mortals serving their transhuman masters. That size frame works. The TG is just too tall. Given that, they may find a place as a Disciple Squad in my Renegades & Heretics army. They might just end up as another Cultist squad. I definitely need to clip some of those spikes off, since a few of them just seem stuck on because Chaos is supposed to be spiky or something.
Anyway, I do like these models a lot and it makes me excited for whats coming down the pipe for Slaanesh Demons and CSMs in the near future.
How about you guys? Any thoughts about where the Design Team is heading for 40k, or the setting in general?
*... AND that stupid envelope, which I haven't opened... yet... but, oh did I think about it!!
** Why the hell are Beastmen not M7?! They have animal legs for gods sakes, they should be little faster than a human, but not faster than a Possessed with their move of 8.
*** I really don't want to get another box, I will just have to wait a bit. So it's eBay, unless of course GW releases everything separate later.