It has been a hectic couple of months! The Avellorn Campaign finally came to a conclusion; many games have been played, my Tyranids found a new home in le bon petit France, and I've amassed another couple armies, in addition to moving!
The dust has finally settled though, and I thought I would kick-off the return to the world with a breakdown of the new plastic Daemon Prince! We just got our black box and I couldn't wait to get my clippers on this guy; there's been a lot of buildup to this model and I wanted to see it for myself.
For those out there who don't remember, this old boy was pictured, completely finished, in the Warriors of Chaos army book for WHFB forever ago and subsequently failed to materialize. I was worried he would drop into legend like the plastic Harlequins of lore, and I made a point to ask my GW contact every once in a while if he had seen the model come into the warehouse, and it was always a resigned "no".
Then, all of a sudden, blammo, here he his, along with friends, and the much-anticipated Daemons second wave hit the shores.
I'll cut right to the chase on this one: he's a cakewalk. I wasn't timing it, but it couldn't have been more than ten minutes from uncut frames to ready for action. Here's the man himself in all his glory:
He's got front-and-back upper torso pieces that fit together seamlessly. In what is a recurring theme for most of him, you get a choice of a 40k-ish Chaos Marine-style front or a generic chaos star piece for WHFB. The back is the same, regardless. I've got a burgeoning World Eaters army gestating in the closet, so I opted for a 40k model. But let's get serious: are you really going to build him for WHFB? Of course not. Plus, the generic chest piece reminds me too much of my old 'battle-damage' He-Man model where if you tapped his chest it would rotate and get progressively jacked-up looking.
You have no options for legs and feet, and make sure you dry-fit the feet to the legs before you glue them; I burned through so fast I'm not sure if they're interchangeable. The leg-to-lower torso join is a little weird; the comfy old ball-and-socket joints we're all used to aren't here. Instead there's a very... I guess organic is the best word... join area formed by the intersection of the front and back torso pieces and the legs. The tail is the only thing that might be considered 'optional' of the main body construction, but I'd say you'll probably want it on there for extra stability. When you build one you'll see what I mean. The main body assembly also has zero poseability unless you are prepared to hunker down with some yellow and blue.
I went with the F-U axe for his main weapon, and I'm not kidding about the F-U part:
I couldn't resist a little converting, especially since there's no options for posing or customizing the model other than which bitz you choose to put on him. All I did was break out a wedge micro-file and notch the edge of his axe, then serrate the edges of the notches; the intent was to make it look more Khornate. His other arm is 40k-style, obviously inspired by the (now) old metal Daemon Prince. The pose is pretty neat, if a little staid, kinda the "come get some!" stance, beckoning a foe with weapon at the ready. I went with wings, of course, and the longhorn-style head that has a little top vent denoting that it is the 40k option. I chose the chain tabard with all the meathooks hanging down. No real reason there, other than trrying to stick with the more mechanical look of a 40k model.
Here's all the other options you get:
You've got two other heads, both generic (and that you've probably seen in GW pics): the downward horns and the tall horns. Both of them are too toothy for me. Honestly I'm not happy with any of the heads, and when I build another one I'll probably be finding something different. I've seen people use the Ogre Irongut head with the helmet and chainmail-covered face on the old DP, and I'm not above copying good ideas and passing them off as my own unless pressed. There's a couple of uninspired sword arms and a generic 40k arm for the right side, and only one other generic arm for the left side. The other tabard is the organic choice, and you've got both Chaos Marine backpack vents and generic trophy racks to swap out for wings, a single shoulderpad option with a big separate spike (I used the obviously CSM-style pads, and didn't realize I only had one other option until I was done!), and a weird half chaos star thing that I couldn't find a spot for. Finally, there were two armor plates marked L and R, which at first I thought were shoulderpad options, but then I remembered the one in the WoC book had leg armor, so I just glued them on his legs. I guess they could be shoulderpads too, though, or left off completely. Though he does have Brock Lesnar-style chickenlegs without them.
Here's some size comparisons. First, vs. a Sanguinary Guard:
Then a Dread:
Finally, a Hive Tyrant (actually, a Swarmlord, but I'm missing a metal Bonesword arm! Of course, right? I'm missing the arm that I can actually get without having to cast pieces in resin!):
Final Grade: B-minus. Frankly, I think he's a C model, but I can see potential, and he has some positive elements, so I bumped him up.
Pros: Plastic means we've finally got a Daemon Prince with logistically attainable conversion potential. Options mean you've got material to work with when you do convert him, and you can mix-and-match parts. Proportions are mostly ok; he definitely doesn't have 'Minotaur-Muscle' syndrome (MMS), or cankles, so that's a good thing. Extended middle fingers everywhere means you no longer have to tell your opponent to F off to his face, now your DP can do it!
Cons: One-pose joins mean there's going to be a lot of similarly-stanced DPs running around. He really is like a metal model cast in plastic, the way the pieces fit together. Very unlike the recent, highly poseable plastic models GW has been serving up. Lack of variety in options mean there's going to be a lot of axe- and sword-wielding DPs running around, beckoning their foes. Seams are, despite being very good-fitting, are very prevalent when you look at the model. The biggest con is the disappointing detail in the sculpts. The vents and hoses on the 40k-style bits seem very poorly rendered and almost flat. The weapons are clunky and kinda boring, and overall he seems a bit... dense.
Ok, I lied. he's a C model. But people are going to make A+ conversions out of him.
Given the amazing plastics we've been seeing from GW lately, I'm definitely underwhelmed by this boy, but hope is not lost. Really, there's no fatal flaws in the mini; he goes together well, is sturdy, and has a good pose. So even if you build him straight like I did, the only thing between this model and impressive tabletop destructions of the children of the false Emperor is a good coat of paint.
That's all for tonight, I hope this has been helpful. This weekend I'll try to get at the Bloodcrushers and Mounted Daemonettes we got along with big poppa here and give the lowdown on them.