Saturday, April 11, 2009

WIP: Assault Terminators

The more and more I tinker around with "completing" my Dark Angels army, the more I discover how much I really like Space Marines. Like it or not, they are the epitome of the 40k universe. A while back I thought I would just add a squad or two to my preexisting army and bring them up to a thousand points and then move on and concentrate on finishing up my Tau army (or even start a new Chaos Cultists army). Well, I seem to keep adding to my marines; scouts, a Dreadnought, Vanguard, Sternguard, command squad...the list goes on. Well, add one more, and that's some Assault Terminators.

If you recall my other Terminator squad you might have noticed that their composition was a tad off with that oddball Lightning Claw trooper in there. To balance everything out, I decided to make an assault squad of 'termies', use my oddball claw trooper as part of the new one, and with the new plastic box, make a new Storm Bolter trooper to go along with the old squad. Kind of a switcharoo if you will. To really add to the already impressiveness of these models I also used all the bare marine heads I had laying around instead of the more iconic Terminator helmets. There's a couple of scout heads thrown in for good measure as well.

I've heard complaints ad nauseum about GW, and first among them is the whole "fifty bucks for ten PLASTIC terminators is nuts!" diatribe. Frankly, sometimes people are just looking for something to complain about. Gaming is a hobby, it's a luxury. Be thankful you don't play golf where you pay hundreds of bucks for a single club, or bass fishing, where a boat costs more than a new car. Fifty bucks for a squad of Terminators? Sure.

I have nothing but good, no make that great things to say about these plastic Terminators. I was miffed about the plastic scouts, pleased about the plastic tactical squad, but these plastic Terminators are just plain awesome. The box comes with loads of extra bits to add or leave off, plus since it's plastic you can add bits from anything you've got in your box easily. Being plastic also means you can get to carving easy-cheesy with your knife.

Above I've modeled the squad leader. I've given him tons of character and equipped him with the great combo of Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield. These new termies (mind you, I keep saying "new" but I know they've been out for a while) come with these cool extra cod piece bits too, making these guys really look like they have mighty 2+ saves. One of the five Storm Shields in the box was a larger, tower-style size, so I equipped him with that. For even more character, I threw in the bare head that comes in the box.

Again, with a metal fig, there's no way I would've hacksawed off the helmet and then pin and epoxied it to the fig's waist in the back. With plastic, no problem. I've yet to add the outer shoulder pads, and although the box came with plenty, I've also got the leftovers from the boxes of DA veterans which came with Dark Angel specific Terminator shoulder plates.

Here's three of my new assault troopers, sans heads and shoulder plates. The makeup of the overall squad will be the four troopers equipped with Lightning Claws, led by a squad leader wielding the Thunder Hammer. Even modeled in just a basic stance, these figs have tons of dynamics.

Speaking of dynamics. Here's a new Storm Bolter trooper next to a vintage one. The old figs held their own for a while, but now seem wholly static and diminutive. I had to hack up a spare Lightning Claw for the new guy to try and make it a standard Power Fist, I also used a scout head here as well.

Another side-by-side. Here's the new Lightning Claw versus the old. Lots of extras and the options made available thanks to plastic, not to mention being able to pose at will make for some cool looking troops. Not only that, but no two Terminator squads will look exactly the same, even if they're equipped with the same options.

Speaking of plastics. I implore everyone out there to DRILL YOUR BOLTERS! I used to be in the realm of "Well they only do that in White Dwarf...", but it is so easy to do, and looks a thousand times better when you do just do it! Seriously though, buy a pin vice, the one I bought at the hardware store came with the drill bits (which store in the handle) and was less than eight bucks. I've messed a couple of barrels up here and there, just go slow and take your time and they'll really look top notch.

Nugget break!


  1. That 18-20 year old cardboard box seems to be in pretty great condition.

    I do like what you did with all helmet free termis there.

    GW SUX....

    Sorry, just had to throw that in. Now that we are old (yes, old) and established, $50 bucks isn't that big a deal anymore. Hell, I have 5 bills each month, including a $950 mortgage, that dwarf that.

    But for young kids, that can really keep them out of the hobby. GW isn't marketing to the golf crowd, they are marketing to the geek crowd, a mix of well-to-do grownup tech-geeks and young, broke 18-25 year olds. The latter have the challenge of paying for the minis.

  3. I had some Imperial Guard and Fantasy Empire heads I was going to use as well, but they were way too small looking once in there. The box itself has been my faithful Space Marine bits box for a long, long time.

    @Oz: Nice! I don't know which demographic drives GW's revenue most, but I've got to imagine it's us, the adults (old , indeed!) who have the disposable income that's not tied up in more "grownup" hobbies already. For the really young kids it's Mom and Dad, and for the young adults living on their own for the first time, well they're broke but still manage to find the cash to score a 40k fix somehow.

  4. Was nice saying a lil side by sold of the new termies vs the old - in your head the difference may only be small, but seeing them like that you can see the difference - id much rather pay $50 for the new termies than the old

  5. You're absolutely right Albrek. Since these guys have been sitting in the queue with the others, the difference is huge.

  6. Oddly enough, I don't think it's ever occurred to me to put a helmet on the waistband when the guy's going sans helmet.

    I like that little touch.

    and I agree with you; the plastic termies are just plain beautiful. The options and the like make sure you're not stuck with a bunch of the same schmucks.

    Looking forward to some painted pics.

  7. The problem is that I like building the troops so much more than painting them, haha!