Warhammer 40,000: Eldar Wraithknight review

Eldar Wraithknights are huge ghost warriors many times larger than even a Wraithlord – a Wraithknight is swift and dextrous even given it’s great size.

The Eldar Wraithknight boxed set contains 114 components and an Eldar Transfer Sheet, enough to build a single 9″ high Wraithknight model.

The Wraithknight comes with two heavy wraith cannons but can be equipped with other weapon options including a suncannon, ghostglaive or scattershield.

Additionally the kit comes with a number of shoulder mounted support weapons including: starcannons, shuriken cannons and scatter lasers.

Eldar Wraithknight Sprue 1
Eldar Wraithknight Sprue 1
Eldar Wraithknight Sprue 2
Eldar Wraithknight Sprue 2
Eldar Wraithknight Sprue 3
Eldar Wraithknight Sprue 3
Eldar Wraithknight Complete
Eldar Wraithknight Complete

One of the first things I noticed whilst putting this kit together was the fact that the legs are not terribly poseable. This is a major disappointment as the model begs to be posed leaping across the battlefield as only an eldar construct of this size could.

This is somewhat countered by the fact that there are two pairs of arms included in the kit allowing for a degree of posability and the option to attach different weapons to different sets of arms and then magnetising to get greater flexibility from the kit through primary weapon swaps.

One of the nicest features of this kit is the fact that the secondary (shoulder mounted) weapons are entirely swappable without the need to magnetise – they are simply plug and play…

The Wraithknight was an easy build despite it’s apparent intricacy and nothing more than the occasional glance at the instructions was required. Once complete the Wraithknight makes for an impressive and elegant addition to any Eldar army.

Taking a step back for a moment there is also another key difference to the Eldar Wraithknight boxed set – the box itself. It is of a new corrugated design and does not come sealed in cellophane. This is likely to be more robust, meaning your miniatures will arrive in tip-top condition, but is possibly less useful for storage (if you use miniatures boxes for model storage) than the old lidded design.

Eldar Wraithknight Box Painting Guide
Eldar Wraithknight Box Painting Guide

One other new feature of the new Eldar release is a more comprehensive painting guide on the box. Previous versions listed a handful of colours that you might choose to paint your model. You would need very large hands to hold the nine paints listed on the back of the Wraithknight box.

Lastly, value for money, at £70 RRP the Wraithknight is a little on the expensive side, even for a model of it’s size – a Baneblade is far bulkier and is the same price.

Summary

The Eldar Wraithknight boxed set contains 114 components and can be equiped with either heavy wraith cannons, a suncannon, ghostglaive or scattershield. Additionally the kit comes with a number of shoulder mounted support weapons including starcannons and shuriken.

The Wraithknight was an easy build despite it’s apparent intricacy and nothing more than the occasional glance at the instructions was required. Once complete the Wraithknight makes for an impressive and elegant addition to any Eldar army.

However, at £70 RRP the Wraithknight is a little on the expensive side, even for a model of it’s size – a Baneblade is far more substantial and is the same price.

Overall score: 8/10

Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels Death Company Review: 8 out of 10

Warhammer High Elves Flamespyre Phoenix review

The Phoenixes of Ulthuan are attuned to fire magic and can harness it at will. As a Flamespyre Phoenix grows older, its body cools and begins to draw heat from its surroundings. Eventually it’s plumage becomes covered in frost and ice as it becomes a Frostheart Phoenix.

The High Elves Flamespyre Phoenix / Frostheart Phoenix is a multi-part plastic kit with enough parts to build a single model, either a Flamespyre Phoenix or Frostheart Phoenix, and both of these models can be built mounted or unmounted.

The Flamespyre Phoenix kit is quite simple, it contains a total of just 44 parts – The Phoenix itself can be built with just 14 parts.

High Elves Flamespyre Phoenix / Frostheart Phoenix sprue 2
Flamespyre Phoenix sprue 1
High Elves Flamespyre Phoenix / Frostheart Phoenix sprue 2
Flamespyre Phoenix sprue 2

The Phoenix is as easy to build as it is simple and most hobbyists won’t find a need to refer to the instructions at any point during the build.

High Elves Flamespyre Phoenix / Frostheart Phoenix
High Elves Flamespyre Phoenix model

One point of note is the fact that the kit can built with or without a rider, leaving you the option to build the rider on foot if you wish, plus some magnetising would allow you to swap the mounted rider with the back feathers / flames if you wanted to. The two head variants could also be magnetised meaning you can switch to the new character Caradryan and back. Sadly however, due to the large number of unique components, it is not feasible to build both a Flamespyre Phoenix and Frostheart Phoenix from the same kit.

One final comment on the model build would be that the base and model should ideally not be glued together simply for the purpose of transporting the model. When fully assembled and attached to the base the model becomes too big to fit in any conventional carrying case so keep in mind how you intend to carry your new Phoenix to its next battle.

The kit is highly detailed but should be simple to paint using a few basic techniques – base coating, followed by some dry brushing (the feathers lend themselves nicely to this technique) and then a layer of wash over the top should produce a great looking result.

Once complete, the Flamespyre / Frostheart Phoenix makes for an impressive sight in any High Elves army and is a great new addition to the Glittering Host’s roster.

As with any model it’s the rules that can make or break a model and the Pheonixes don’t disappoint. The Flamespyre & Frostheart Phoenix are Rare choices in a High Elves army, with the Frostheart costing slightly more points than the Flamespyre. Glancing over the two entries you can immediately see that the iced version has a slightly increased stat line over its fiery sibling, whilst the Flamespyre has a unique ability, Phoenix Reborn. Upon death it can do what a Pheonix does best; rise from the ashes to live again! You can find out the full rules in the new High Elves army book.

Lastly, value for money, at £35 RRP the Flamespyre / Frostheart Phoenix represents reasonable value for money and is comparable in price to similar Games Workshop kits of a similar price.

Summary

The Flamespyre Phoenix kit is simple to build, containing a total of just 44 parts – The Phoenix itself can be built with just 14 parts.

The Phoenix is as easy to build as it is simple and most hobbyists will find that they do not need to refer to the instructions at any point during the build.

The kit is highly detailed but should be simple to paint using a few basic techniques to achieve great results and once complete the Flamespyre / Frostheart Phoenix makes for an impressive addition to a High Elves army.

Overall score: 8/10

Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels Death Company Review: 8 out of 10

Tau Empire XV88 Broadside Battlesuit review

The XV88 Broadside Battlesuit which is, by default, equipped with a twin-linked heavy rail rifle is the tank hunter of the Tau Hunter Cadres.

Looking at the box, the new Broadside is much more dynamic looking model than it predecessor!

This multi-part plastic kit contains 91 components and a Tau transfer sheet with which to make a Broadside Battlesuit and two Drones. The kit comes with a Shield Drone and Missile Drone.

Broadside Battlesuit Sprue 1
Broadside Sprue 1
Broadside Battlesuit Sprue 2
Broadside Sprue 2

Taking a look at the sprues I was struck by the level of detail on this kit, especially with the leg architecture, the rear cooling unit and ‘particle accelerator’, which all look great.

Completed Broadside Battlesuit
Completed Broadside Battlesuit

On construction, the Broadside kit is easy to build, the various parts generally fit together snugly and require minimal pressure to hold together. There are a couple of build issues with this model, however. There are a large number of small plates and pieces that seem unnecessary in places – such as the heavy rail rifle being in 9 pieces, this could have been less. Also, the model lacks posability – the positioning of the legs is fixed, which makes the high-yield missile-pod equipped version look strangely posed. This is a shame as Crisis Battlesuits are fantastic for conversions.

One piece of advice with regard to putting the Broadside together – if building a heavy rail rifle equipped suit, the arms should be dry-fitted and then glued to the body before attaching the heavy rail rifle. If this is not done, the heavy rail rifle overbalances the model and the arms droop as the glue dries. Finally, a very, very minor gripe – Parts 25 & 26 are labelled the wrong way round in the manual, these parts are the two fore-arms used on the heavy rail rifle build. This is a small error and is easy to notice.

Broadside Size Comparison
Broadside Size Comparison

There are a good number of options featured in this kit. Of note are the 3 different heads, one traditional battlesuit head, a more ‘techy’ style head and a curved one (featured). Also, as with most recent Games Workshop kits, all weapon & support system options from the codex are present on the sprue, including the 2 drones.

Once built this kit looks amazing – the heavy rail rifle version being one of the coolest looking models from any army in the Warhammer 40,000 range. An unfortunate side-effect of this high level of awesomeness is that the new Broadside makes the standard XV8 battlesuit model look very dated. I was really hoping the VX8 would get a re-sculpt with the release of the new codex, switching to under-slung weapons would have been a big plus on the XV8.

Although this is not a gaming review – I feel a quick note on the Broadside in the game is required. Tau veterans will have noticed that I have talked about a heavy rail rifle rather than a rail gun in this review, I’m sorry to say that the Broadside no longer totes a rail gun, rather a slightly lower strength (strength 8) heavy rail rifle. On the flip side it is now only about two thirds the points cost that it used to be.

Finally on to value for money, at £30 RRP – this is an expensive kit, several pounds more than the kit that it replaces. That said, you do get a lot more for your money in terms of model size and options.

Summary

All in all this is a very good kit. It looks great, is enjoyable to build and includes a good number of options.

However, a certain amount of conversion work is required to make a squad of 3 suits look suitably diverse.

Overall score: 9/10

9-10

Warhammer 40,000 Ork Killa Kans review

Ork Killa Kans are the cartier replica smaller brethren of the Ork Deff Dread but instead of an Ork pilot they are controlled by their smaller Gretchin cousins.

They are a heavy support choice in a Warhammer 40,000 Ork army and can be fielded in squadrons of 1-3 Kans.

First impressions

When the new Ork Killa Kan boxed set arrived at Big Orbit Games we were immediately impressed, the new plastic miniatures are a vast improvement on the old metal models and it was clear that it was possible to produce a host of very different looking Kans for your Ork army, click sprue thumbnails for larger image.

 

The pro’s

Well, on getting stuck in to the kit our first impressions seem to have been correct. The new models are extremely characterful and are much more believable than the previous Killa Kan model which, I for one, couldn’t actually imagine was capable of walking.

However, the new Killa Kans models not only look great but it is clear that a large amount of thought has gone into making the kit hugely interchangeable. Essentially it appears that feet, legs, body, arms, claws, weapons, engine, shoulders, front panel/spikes & accessories are all interchangeable meaning the amount of variety that can be built into your Kans is virtually limitless, in our opinion by far the most flexible kit made by Games Workshop to date.

The new boxed set features a total of 4 different weapons for you to kit out your Kans with, these are a scorcha, a rokkit launcha, a big shoota & a grotzooka. This is two more than the old kit which just featured just a scorcha & rokkit launcha.

Finally the Killa Kan kit was surprisingly easy to work with, even though the the models are highly detailed and very modular in nature our first Kan was built in no time at all (see photo).

The con’s

For all that we love these new models there are some negatives and they generally revolve around the weapons that form part of the kit.

Firstly there is no kustom mega-blasta, this is now the only weapon available for a Killa Kan that doesn’t form part of the kit. Personally I would always choose a Rokkit Launcha for my Killa Kans rather than a Kustom Mega-Blasta but it seems an odd omission.

Secondly, for me the biggest issue with the kit, is the fact that it contains 3 Killa Kan models but only one of each weapon, this means that if buying a single box all your Kans will be armed differently, bar conversions. Killa Kans come in squadrons of up to 3 models, in Warhammer 40,000 vehicles that are part of the same squadron must all fire at the same target. So it is generally best to equip all models in a squadron for the same purpose, broadly this would be either anti-personal (with a scorcha, big shoota or grotzooka) or anti-tank (with a rokkit launcha), this isn’t possible with the 3 Kan boxed set.

It would possibly be unreasonable to expect 3 of each weapon in the kit but  this is the only solution I can think of. Maybe if the weapons were made a little less elaborate and instead of being integrated into the weapon arm they were instead mounted on separate multi-purpose weapon arms the extra plastic required to do this could have been kept to a minimum, however this may have negatively affected the appearance of the model. As it is I guess the best we can hope for is that a Killa Kan weapons sprue will be released by Games Workshop at some point in the future. Otherwise to field a squadron of 3 similarly armed Killa Kans is going to cost £81 (RRP)…

The final gripe is that the Kans come in boxes of three, this seems to be a bit of a trend with Games Workshop kits porting from metal to plastic at the moment (this previously happened with the Tyranid Ravener) and it’s annoying that you can’t buy just one of these models any more.

Summary

The new Killa Kan models are some of the finest looking bits of plastic that Games Workshop have ever produced.

The only thing that stops this kit getting a 10 out of 10 are the issues with actually integrating them into your Ork army due to the issue with the weapons that are found in the kit, meaning we can only give this new kit an…

Overall score: 8/10