Yes, I hate cats. There's nothing worse than a pet that barfs on your floor, sits on your kitchen counters, and shits in a box that you have to empty daily. Unless it's a pet that decides to dump half of your 40K collection on the floor for fun. Such was the case on Saturday. I was playing on the floor with my son in the nursery when I heard a massive crash from my office. The source? Aforementioned cat tearing three full Battlefoam trays of models off of the shelf they were stored on, and down onto the floor. About a four foot drop.
So, one full tray of bikes, one full tray of Terminators and Assault Marines, and a tray of Dreadnoughts and Landspeeders on the floor. Smashed into pieces.
I resisted the temptation to throw the cat out into traffic, and the pile sat there for a few hours while I waited for the wife to wake up from her post-work sleep.
I eventually sorted through the carnage and the result was:
That's one Terminator loosened from his base, a Terminator Chaplain with his Iron Halo bashed off, a dozen bikers in various states of destruction, two metal Dreads smashed off their bases and feet, a Landspeeder with broken gun rails, a Landspeeder gunner with his gun broken from his hands, and two Assault Marines with jump packs broken off.
Anyone who knows my paint process and speed knows that this pile represents about 6-9 months of work. These days painting all these models would take me over a year. I was seeing red, and was tempted to throw it all in the trash and quit (it had been a very tiring and frustrating holiday week-plus).
Thankfully, when I was able to get the boy to bed later that night and take a deep breath, I looked over all the models under my OttLite with my glasses on. There was a minimum of damaged paint, with only a few smudges or streaks here and there. My multiple coats of Dullcote paid off. Anything that exploded tended to do so at a pinned point (Dread feet, jump packs) or a glueable area. After two full hours of work, I'd reassembled everything. The hardest part was figuring out which backpack went to which Biker. I had to closely inspect the broken joints and match up glue distortion patterns in the plastic. Tedious.
In the end, I was able to recover all of the models. The cat lives, for now.
I'm sure most folks have already seen the leaked photos of the upcoming Dark Angels model kits. If not, search around the 40K blogosphere.
All I can say is "what the fuck?" That's my first impression of what I've seen of the new models. The new Landspeeder is a unanimous failure. Straight out terrible. How does the pilot fly that thing with his gunner blocking 50% of his field of view? And where is the best place to be when firing a huge double plasma cannon turret? Why, with your head right between the plasma coils, of course! I'm not sure who designed this kit, but they need to be fired. Twice.
The new flyer is nice. It's essentially a redesign of the Stormtalon kit that everyone cried about. I never had a major problem with it. The new wings are boss, though.
People are pissing their pants over the new Ravenwing kits. I'll have to get hold of the sprues to decide if there are any good stowage or decorative bitz for my Ultramarines bikers. Folks are up in arms, good or bad, over twin-linked plasma guns on bikes. I run plasma on bikes a lot folks, and twin-linking isn't a huge deal. Fewer overheats, sure, but it's not all-powerful. You don't get extra shots from twin-linking, extra range, or anything of that sort. Marines were already reliable in shooting plasmaguns.
The new Terminator kits are "meh" to me. The posing of the models is purely uninspired. Most are standing there in some awkward "I've got an itch" pose. The dual-claw model is in a Wolverine-esque pose, but his legs lack any motion, so the end result is floppy.
Overall, I'm not impressed with the amount of decoration on the new models. I feel it's overdone. Some decoration is acceptable, especially for veterans and characters. The design team did well with the Blood Angel and Grey Knight kits. Those are detailed without being too busy. These DA kits simply have too much going on. Every possible surface is covered in something. A design philosophy like that essentially shoehorns modellers into one specific style. Yes, you could mix with the basic Marine kits like Space Wolves kits are designed to do, but then you ask "Why does that Terminator have legs encrusted in designs and decoration, but the rest of him is not?"
I have to reserve final judgement for when I see the sprues in person, but right now I'm not impressed.