|From left to right: Klaasje Akhmatova Bibliognost of the Church of the Red Athenæum, MKVI Space Marine, Primaris Space Marine (modified to remove some of the more glaring Primaris details).|
After the advent of Primaris Space Marines, we assumed Games Workshop would never make another traditional Space Marine model. To our surprise, Games Workshop used the rerelease of a new edition of the Horus Heresy to redesign a traditional Space Marine in the wake of years of Primaris releases. We were fortunate to be able to get a set of ten of the new Space Marines, and after assembling one, and converting a smaller bolter for them, wanted to tell you our thoughts about the models.
When Primaris Space Marines were first released, Games Workshop used it as an opportunity to improve the anatomy of Space Marines, most notably by giving them a more substantial torso, while also making them taller. These improvements made the models larger than most human-scaled GW models, despite the scale creep over the years. With the new MKVI marines, we were unsure how GW would follow the Primaris lead. Thankfully, they did give the MKVI marines more of a torso, but interestingly decided to keep the models similar in size to the older Space Marine models. This keeps the models distinctly smaller than their Primaris brethren. At first glance they look larger than human-scaled models, like the plastic Death Korp, but that is only because they are bulkier. Ultimately, the MKVI power armor looks like it was made to fit regular humans, rather than genetically enhanced super humans. While this is disappointing, I am happy that GW at least did not maintain the ridiculous anatomy of the older plastic Space Marines.
|In addition to the smaller converted bolter, I seated the head slightly higher and made sure it tapered outwards (rather than the inwards taper from the ball and socket joint).|
In addition to giving the models more of a torso, they made a few other improvements. Most notably, they gave the models more sensibly sculpted butts, something that has been lacking in Space Marine models for as long as they have existed. The leg armor has larger cutouts, coupled with more rubberized ribbing material. Together, these improvements make it look like a person could actually fit in the armor and move their legs. They also added some of the flexible webbing to the arms, beneath the shoulderpads. It should be noted, that despite the anatomical improvements, the models would benefit from having longer necks. Many of GW models suffer from this, something that I partially attribute to the ball and socket style attachment point used.
|The studded shoulderpads are assembled in two halves. While this makes the studs look better, without unsightly undercuts, they are a pain to assemble.|
|The MKVI models do not come with many accessories. One of the pouches used was taken from the Death Korp Imperial Guard. They do have holstered bolt pistols, however due to their huge size they need to be cut down to fit naturally on the models.|
Unfortunately, the MKVI Space Marines only have five poses, despite needing 20 per Legion Tactical squad for the Horus Heresy. Of these poses, three of them have really broad stances that are not very useful and look very unnatural. Although these poses are more plausible than the traditional Space Marine squatting pose that they emulate. The last two are better in that they are standing taller and look like they are walking/striding.
One additional thing that was surprising about the kit was the lack of accessories. The only real accessories to add to your squad are found on a separate upgrade sprue. The upgrade sprue adds holsters and a collection of grossly oversized grenades. If you want to add equipment pouches to the waists of the marines you will need to find them from other kits.
|From left to right: Forge World MKIII Space Marine, MKVI Space Marine, Primaris Space Marine (modified to remove some of the more glaring Primaris details).|
|From left to right: Death Korp of Krieg, Sister of Battle, MKVI Space Marine, Primaris Space Marine (modified to remove some of the more glaring Primaris details).|
Ultimately, the new plastic MKVI Space Marines are a welcome addition to Games Workshop’s line of Space Marine models. It is refreshing to see new Space Marine models that are not just more Primaris marines, and that Games Workshop still has intentions of making regular Space Marine models. Compared to the regular tactical squad that has been incrementally improved since its introduction during the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40k, these are a dramatic leap forward in quality. It is only a shame there are so few poses included in the kit. If you are a fan of Space Marines and have been building them for years, you should really get a few of these new MKVI Space Marines and see how they compare to the ones you have been building all of these years. I think you will be impressed.
- Adam Wier