Recently we have seen three limited edition models from Forge World appear. The first went on sale at Warhammer Fest, the second has been announced as a limited edition model available in store only and the third will be available at the next Forge World Open Day.
I'm sure everyone has seen them, but if not here they are again:
Above - Warhammer Fest Show Only
Left - Store Only Figure.
Right - Open Day Show Only
You might notice they have something in common, three Marines in Terminator Armour, aimed, but not exclusively so, at Legion forces.
These guys follow the last two Show Only figures which were...
Two Space Marine Characters, aimed, but not exclusively so, at Legion forces.
You know, they aren't bad models. The latest three don't float my boat I admit, but they would all nicely fit into someone's army or display cabinet. I have both of the previous two models with the intention of using them as I like both.
|Reaver Princep -|
Painted by Sheep
In the main they were all something you wouldn't see normally, characters you don't see on the battlefield but they are all there in the background, Some of course would fit straight into an army (either 40k or Fantasy), but the ones I liked the most were the ones that weren't.
Starting with Games Day exclusives which then became Show Only Event Models, we have had (in no particular order)...
|Ork Pilot - Also Painted by Sheep|
Death Korps Death Rider Commissar,
Death Korps Quartermaster,
Reaver Titan Princeps,
Titan Princeps Majoris,
Ork Runt Bot,
Minotaurs Marine with Heavy Bolter (Badab War Character),
Chaos Dwarf Hellsmith,
Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer,
Empire Warrior Priest,
Oh and the multi part Epic Grey Knight...
(Check out Limited Edition Warhammer for pics and dates of the above)
All of those were pre-2015.
Up until that point we had a mix of races, game systems and sizes. We had just two Space Marines in the first 10 years of Forge World Games Day/Show Only models.
However since then we have had (or are having) five Marines all aimed primarily with Horus Heresy Legion forces in mind, though of course you can get away with them in a 40k Marine army. Of these the last three are in Terminator armour and clocking in at £25 each (I'm basing that on the only one as yet available). For reference I think I paid £15-18 for the larger Ogryn Berserker.
Some models tied into releases, e.g. the two pilots with the release of Aeronautica Imperialis, the two Princeps tied into the Titan releases or the Davinite Priest with the start of the HH project. Meanwhile others seemed to just be cool models with no real reason to be released other than they were cool. Once we got into the multi models per year we tended to have a mixture, e.g. a 40k model and a Fantasy model.
So what is the point I am getting at?
Basically where has the variety gone? The wow factor and surprise. No longer does it seem that the sculptors are letting their imagination go aiming at producing something novel and cool, it's more 'what Marine can I do that isn't exactly the same as something else we already have'.
They could release anything as a Show Only and it will be in demand. The Horus Heresy is doing phenomenally well and certainly doesn't need extra Marines to help boost it's profile.
So why the Marine train of late? The Horus Heresy, the Grimdark of 40k and the Age of Sigmar setting (worlds? Realms?) have a huge depth which can be mined for characters that can be brought to life as a Show Only. Like many we have already had they don't need to be gaming pieces, we have entire ranges up for sale on the Forge World site that fulfils that role.
For example from the universes of 30k or 40k we could have...
Non-Astartes agent of the Sigilite,
Agent of the Warmaster (e.g. an Assassin like that in Nemesis),
A Vanenum or Vanus Temple Assassin,
An Agent of the XXth Legion,
Imperial Navy Ships Captain,
Imperial Army/Guard Beastman (flash from the past there),
Astropath Choir Member,
(how about Lord Helmawr when the Necromunda reboot happens?),
Eldar Corsair Prince,
Goffik Rok Band (not much chance I know...)
Ork Boarboy (ditto),
I'm sure anyone reading this could add at least one more to that list. Being as my knowledge of Age of Sigmar is nonexistent I didn't try and think of anything.
That was a long post. Longer than needed, in fact this entire post could have remained unwritten but I was bored and decided to run with it anyway. Congratulations if you made it to the end.