Warhammer 40k – Reviewing the latest Space Marine kits

(Company Heroes, Intercessors with Jump Pack and Captain with Jump Pack)

With the release of the new Space Marine Codex, we have had the first wave of new model releases. Alongside the individual release of the Leviathan Box models and Agastus Box set, there are a total of 10 new model kits in the Space Marine Line. I’m going to quickly tackle 3, the Captain with Jump Pack, Jump Pack Intercessors, and Company Heroes.

Captain with Jump Pack, Jump Pack Intercessors and Company Heroes

We’ll start with the Captain, but none of these is especially tricky to build. Around the same complexity as standard Intercessors with some welcome improvements. All of the kits were independantly purchased.

Captain with Jump Pack

The Captain comes with his own small box in a shift away from the plastic containers that individual characters often arrive in. There’s a single sprue with all of your weapon options. There are fewer of these than other captains, but you still have Chainsword, Relic Weapon (Power Sword), Thunder hammer, Power fist, Plasma Pistol, Hand Flamer and Heavy Bolt Pistol.

Captain with Jump Pack sprue

The casting is clean, with very little flash. There are still mould lines, especially on larger surfaces like the greaves (and their back), tops of the backpack. I prefer to remove these with a dedicated tool. The most annoying are on the top of the weapons, and you can’t always remove them completely, but they aren’t obvious when painted.

The legs are really the only tricky part of the model. They aren’t positively located on the model and affect the final posture, dry fit first and you shouldn’t have any real issues. Everything comes together pretty quickly, you assemble to about 50% before you put the model on the base. The arms can be posed to suit your build.

The detail parts frequently have positive locations (flats or marks on the model) to help them stick. Looking carefully and dry fitting can be helpful. The jet pack is very easy to assemble with insets and connections for major pieces. The jet nozzles are marked L and R for left and right. In the end I went with a Power fist and Plasma Pistol for mine, it’s a combo I like but can’t say if it’s the most competitive.

Jump Pack Intercessors

Jump pack intercessors

Two sprues this time with very few options, similar to existing Assault intercessors.

The Sergeant chooses from a hand flamer, heavy bolt, and plasma pistols. He also has the choice of Thunderhammer, power fist, chainsword, or power sword. The remaining troops all only have one option, heavy bolt pistol and chainsword. The castings are clean, very little in the way of mould lines. The sprues are clearly marked, and there are next to no tricky steps in construction.

Intercessor No 2 waiting for fitout

With some care around leg placement, there are no other issues with construction. The kit fits together almost as easily as Lego. Even the quick access pouches on the legs have recesses to ensure solid, correct placement.  Arm placement is still up to the modeller, but the hand/weapon/arm combination is quite rigid for each pose. There is nothing left on the sprue when you are done, but there is also very limited scope for customisation. Each squad is going to be identical.

The model to base connection is fairly small, you’ll need to support the model to form a solid bond. They took about an hour total to assemble including cleaning up mould lines.

Completed squad with Captain

Company Heroes

To the final of the three kits, the Compnay Heroes. This was the kit I was most looking forward to. It has 5 unique models, including a Captain. The unit can only be deployed with a Captain, so you can replace the one in the kit. He has all of the weapon options for a Captain, and the kit includes all of them except the Relic Shield.

Sprue 1 from Company Heroes (Captain and Heavy Bolter parts)

Two sprues again for the whole kit, it’s very compact, and other than the Captain, there is only one build option for each figure. Most of the models have a small plastic “terrain” piece that they mount and connect to the base. Poses are fairly rigid with model bodies for most of the models. That’s good and bad – if you are willing to cut and shape it, it actually makes them easier to modify than separate parts.

The kit includes an Ancient (with Banner), Company Champion, and 2 Company Veterans with Heavy Bolter and Master Crafted Bolter. Each comes together really easily with solid poses, I especially like the Captain with the Power Fist option (not sure why I have modelled him with the empty scabbard, though. The kit takes the positive location of details to the next level. Every model had indents or moulded pins to make sure those detail parts stuck. The only part I questioned was the Ancient’s banner. The moulded detail is crisp but very much styled for a single chapter (the 13th) with numerous laurel wreaths.

Company Veteran, moulded pin for Heavy Bolter spare ammunition

Final Results

Assembling all 10 models probably took 3 hours spread across a couple of evenings, with the models being primed the following day. Mould lines weren’t pronounced, and the detail is crisp. The move to very positively locating and fixing the smaller details is a great improvement. I constantly have issues with small pouches, etc, falling off models during transport and play. As a player, not a collector it’s important to me that the model’s cope well with play.

Completed models with the new codex

List building and use

Intercessors with Jump Packs

The intercessors with Jump Pack join Vanguard Veterans with Jump Packs as the highly mobile strike infantry for Space Marines. Both have Deep Strike, Vanguard have Lethal Hits on the charge, and Intercessors do Mortal Wounds. The Vanguard has both better ranged weapons (Inferno pistols or plasma pistols) vs. 2 Plasma/3 Heavy Bolt Pistols for the Intercessors. The same is true of melee weapons, with the Vanguard in front, but their real strength is the Storm Shield. The Vanguard Veterans can be given a 4+ invulnerable save.

But Intercessors are 20 points cheaper at 85 points. I think the Intercessors with Jump Packs make fantastic backfield scoring units in the same way Raptors/Warp Talons do for Chaos Space Marines. Inceptors may be better at the moment, but if Inceptors go up, expect to see more Intercessors as a cheap scoring unit.

Captain with Jump Pack

More situational than the Intercessors because he is a combat piece that probably doesn’t add a lot to the Intercessors. He’s the Haarken Worldclaimer of the Space Marines. There is a good argument that if you wanted to create a small fast hammer with 10 x Vanguard Vets, though (inferno pistols and some Storm Shields), that he would be a solid addition.

Company Heroes

I’m really excited to get these on a tabletop, although I am not sure why. They don’t have a lot of output, but it’s decent in both shooting and melee. Not exceptionally robust, but while the captain is there, they are -1 to wound. With the banner, they are OC2, and you can include a lieutenant. Named captains can also be included, and Uriel Ventris and Captain Sicarian could make it a bit spicy (6” scout).

A very hard to remove bodyguard unit that is going to have play in the late game? It is very likely useful and probably won’t attract the attention a similarly priced dreadnought would. At 175 points it’s a big investment, but it’s one way to make your home objective secure.

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