Dark Imperium Review
Huge shout out to Triple Helix Wargames if I may, as I ordered Dark Imperium by 2nd class post and it arrived on Saturday (release day)!
Impressive box. I found it quite a challenging build, because every piece has an exact place; you can't mix and match anything and every piece is used.
Speaking as a 4th ed gamer I found the quality to be superb compared to what I am used to. Every part of the sprues was used with no wastage; it felt like they really tried to get as many parts in as possible, rather than the other way around, of limiting themselves. There is so much detail on these models that they could easily pass off as finecast.
I still need to file off flash and mould lines, but here are my models so far.
I used an Imperial Guard head to add a bit of variety. Other than that these are unchanged, though I did make a mistake with the hero, having his one foot hovering in the air. I like this pose though as it looks like he is running into battle.
The hero is made of several pieces to create this bulky but detailed look.
The power fist is from my own bits and highlights my first mistake. It is very easy to make mistakes with this box set because everything has a place. If you cock up one thing it will bite you in the backside further down the line. Here I was left with no arm to fit, so ended up adding my own power fist.
Briefly I'll touch on the marine's backpacks. They're very brittle in this set and it's very easy to break off a vent while trying to cut it from the sprue. There are three sprues which contain backpacks and they all attack the pack in a different place, as if each sprue had a different designer. The best ones have three attachment places: the top two vents and the bottom middle. The others attach them variously bit usually to the bottom vents; even though I used an X acto I found that the vents could snap off while cutting the sprue!
Banner pole is just as bendy as always; should be a separate part. The banner itself though is generic enough to be used for any chapter.
The bolters are much larger than before and therefore look like real weapons now rather than just cartooney tokens. You cannot pose anything in this box set but it is not really an issue, as the poses themselves appear dynamic, unlike previous snap fit kits (this model isn't snap fit, but feels like it).
The one thing you can pose is the heads, but only if you cut off the little square tab at the bottom that fixes them in place. I found this key to making the models look good as some of the heads don't follow the line of the gun otherwise.
Everything has a slightly different connector so you can work out what piece goes where eventually. You have to follow the rule that if it nearly fits, it doesn't fit. You'll know when you have the right arm, the right leg, etc, because it will fit seamlessly and you'll go "OH". If it looks like it fits but a little bit off, it isn't the right part!
As a result of that I was left with:
Three more mistakes
I ended up using some hands I already had to change these ones. Had to file down the bolters to remove the left hand. I gave them grenades to look like they're doing something.
The assault marines
My first ever assault marines so I have nothing to compare them to, but I am hugely impressed by these. They are so bulky and solid, made of various parts. The jump packs feel like real equipment and their boots are specially made. They also all have different poses, going as far as sitting at a different height to look really dynamic.
The final five
Five heavy plasma type weapons.
In all I'm impressed by the quality we are getting here. I would say that the limited part moulds create such good poses that I wouldn't mind a tactical marine box being made of this kind of pre-sculpted marine in fact. I'm not sure how much variety you could get out of two sets though.
They are also not particularly modifiable, as most have the shoulders attached.
The marines which do not will absolutely kill you. Trying to find the right arms for those is a nightmare. I found I had used the wrong arms earlier on (you can probably see in photo 1 that there isn't an exact attachment there). If you do that there's no real going back, so I had to model them differently.
I will eventually be getting some tabbards to add to these marines to Templar them up a bit.
The one picture I took these for didn't come out any good, sorry. It's dark now too so I can't retake it yet. But was trying to show the difference between:
A Primaris Marine, a 4th edition Space Marine, and a 2nd edition starter set snap fit marine:
All in all, I prefer the Primaris marine! I think it is the realistic weapon that does it more than anything.
In the box you get a ruler and some dice, alongside two short army books, an instruction book and of course the full £35 rule book.
If you're splitting them then it's perfect as:
- The army books are separate
- The instruction book tears very easily and cleanly in the middle
- The sprues only contain one army. Four sprues of just Space Marines, and then I didn't look a the filthy demon scum.
- The box even contains a smaller box inside, so you can easily split it into two and hand out the half you don't want.
I gave my Death Guard to a friend in exchange for the Kill Team Space Marines (he collects Tau and bought it for them), of which he's painted one for me, below. Very grateful of him for this and this will be my colour scheme.
With postage this set cost me £75. As I was already buying the rule book, that means I spent £40 on the marines themselves, which I think makes it just about worthwhile (considering I am adding ten marines to this from Kill Team).
I am not sure it is worth at the full RRP however, if you are just collecting one army.