Sunday, April 26, 2015

Unboxing: Adeptus Mechanicus Sicarians

Hail Mars!
Games Workshop have certainly hit the Adeptus Mechanicus release in stride, with one exciting release after the next. After the excellent Ranger/Vanguard box, one of the strongest releases GW has had in recent memory, I felt we would be lucky to get something even half as inspired.  Amazingly, the third kit they released for the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Sicarians Infiltrators/Ruststalkers may outshine even the Rangers. Venturing away from the more subdued Ranger design, they created a group of esoteric, inhuman assassins, perfect for the cold data-fueled logic that commands the Skatarii on the field. I got my hands on a box of the new unit and wanted to let you know what I think!


A more bizarre set of assassins 40k has never seen.

The Sicarians diverge slightly from the characteristic tech priest look of the Skitarii in favor of a much creepier and lithe appearance. Like the Skitarii Rangers and Vanguard, the Sicarians have their lower legs replaced with bionics. The Sicarians, however, have substantially longer and more slender bionics, with their legs having an additional backwards joint. Although not immediately apparent from the original pictures, the Sicarians are quite large. Their thin skeletal limbs are misleading and they fit very comfortably on 40mm bases. When compared side-by-side to the Rangers/Vanguard, they are quite a bit heftier, and if fully erect, they would be about twice their height. This height is used very effectively in the models, giving each a very dynamic pose that contains a lot of depth, allowing them to fully encompass the space they occupy.

You can always count on Goodwin to come up with some fantastic concepts.

Depending on which unit you assemble, you select from two equally sinister heads. The close combat oriented Ruststalkers have unsettling full-face gasmasks, complete with delicate bionic optics.  The Infiltrators go in a completely different direction, favoring dome-like inhuman ones, mirroring some old Jes Goodwin concept art (as well as holding a striking resemblance to the Imperial Viper probe droid from Star Wars).  The kit also gives you two different weapon options for each unit.  The Ruststalkers have short and thin transonic razors, alongside a viciously taloned hand called a chordclaw. They can forgo the claw and switch to a pair of longer transonic blades, with retain the sleek double-edged katana look. The Infiltrators provide more of a ranged element, but also have two close combat weapon options, from a simple power sword with a section of cog serrations, to a massive electric prod called a taser goad.  They also have two submachine gun options with I will talk about in a bit more depth below.  

Like the Rangers/Vanguard,  the Sicarians lack most of the traditional firearms seen on other Imperial models (no las weapons or bolters here). Instead, the Infiltrators can be equipped with their own unique firearms, the Flachette Blaster and the Stubcarbine. Visually, the Flachette Blaster takes many cues from modern submachine guns like the uzi and the Mac-10, displaying the characteristic extended magazine in the machine pistol’s grip. The Stubcarbine on the other hand looks like a cross between an IWI Galil and a Thompson. While I really like the look of both weapons, they display some questionable design elements that make me wonder how they would actually function. Both appear to have two ammunition feeds, one from a sickle magazine and another from a drum magazine positioned in front of the trigger guard.  You might argue that that drum is not the ammunition source, based on other Skitarii weapons, but for the Flachette Blaster at least, it appears to have an ejection port directly above it.  This would be alright, but what about the sickle magazine that clearly holds ammunition?  There is no way the shells could be ejected from where the port is.  These curiosities got me to thinking about how I might be able to convert the weapons to make they more reasonable, but still retain their basic design, because despite the issues, they are probably my favorite weapons GW has designed in years.  Afterall, it is rare for GW to make a relatively small weapon, and just about as rare to have one with a neat looking magazine (so apt are they to make lasers and plasma guns, ignoring the more conventional firearm using bullets).

I think the few simple changes made to this pistol make it look a lot cooler and more menacing. 

I focused my efforts at converting one of the Flachette Blasters, trying to make it more like the machine pistols it took so many visual cues from. The first order of business was to cut away the drum, which proved a slow process.  I carefully trimmed it away with an x-acto blade, making sure not to damage any other detail on the pistol. I left just enough plastic to serve as a trigger guard.  Next, using a new x-acto blade, I shaved the ejection port off the gun, and repositioned it above the magazine well on the pistol grip.  I used Tamiya Extra Thin Cement to attach the shred of plastic, allowing me to reposition it as it dried (the piece was so small that it was difficult to place perfectly).  With the ejection port in place, the only thing left to do was tidy everything up with greenstuff, including modifying the top of the weapon to appear a little boxier like a Mac-10 (and less like an Eldar weapon). Ultimately, I feel the weapon looks a lot more coherent, and Imperial with the modifications.

For as thin and spindly as the Sicarians are, they have very inhuman poses, ones that fill the 40mm bases better then most models that come with them. 

The only other real modification I made (on the first of the Infiltrators that I have assembled) was to remove all of the cables dangling from his powerpack. To me they look like they were simply tacked on to the models to provide extra detail since they don’t look to have any obvious functions (they don’t appear to be mechadendrite or other miniature servo arms). In their place I am considering attaching some new cables that actually snake into the Infiltrator’s back.

I am planning to add some manner of cables to the Infiltrator's backpack, snaking into his torso.

One detail that I really like about the kit is the inclusion of 10 pouches (two for each model) to strap to the legs of the models. The pouches are really nicely detailed and would work perfectly on other models (as a place to store extra ammunition and magazines for pistols). Surprisingly the legs of the Sicarians actually have little slots modeled onto them locking the pouches into place, making it much easier to attach them than the standard GW pouches (which you often don’t fit on models’ waists as easy as you would like…).

My eclectic bunch of Mechanium characters assemble! 

I still have a lot more Infiltrators to go before I can hope to field an Adeptus Mechanicus strike force, but I am happy with my progress. Now that one is largely finished and I know how to go about making all of the modifications, the rest of his squad should go a little quicker. During the assembly process I could not help but think of a whole myriad of conversion possibilities for Inq28.  Chief amongst them is to use one as a foundation to convert a Mechanicum assassin to accompany Inquisitor Lucanus Moln├ír into battle. So needless to say, there exciting times are ahead!

- Eric Wier

15 comments:

  1. Very insightful review, I think I would agree with most of the points.

    I always find it interesting to read what other people think of kits (or background or artwork or rules), because everyone is paying attention to different details. With you, it's clearly the ranged weapons :D
    This is interesting, because I almost didn't consider them at all, while you go to lengths to subtly modify them so that they better suit your personal tastes. I must confess I am not that concerned with rifles and pistols... must have been converting Daemons for too long, I guess.

    So, as I said, interesting angle for me.

    I also love the Jes Goodwin robot, obviously.

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    1. I am glad you found the post informative! It is neat how everyone in the hobby does have their own focuses and priories; it allows for such a large breadth of conversions and ideas.

      I tend to focus a lot on their weapons. GW has a tendency to make theirs overly large and unrealistic, which I primarily dislike because it draws attention away from the actual characters themselves, which I find inherently more interesting.

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  2. Another great unboxing mate. That dose by side shot with the Ranger/Vanguard really does show you the size difference. I hadn't been able to figure out why they were charging more money for these when you only got 5 to a box compared to 10 in the other set. That size difference goes some way to explain it.

    I love that you have kept to your style and converted the weapons to suit. Shaving off ejection ports that small boggles the mind but you make it look like a cake walk.

    Have you turned your mind to colours yet?

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    1. Yeah, I was a bit unsure about the cost at first too, but when actually putting one together, I understood their logic a bit better.

      I admit, I was not sure how well moving the ejection port would go, it was pretty small. After all was said and done, I am amazed I did not lose it, as it was smaller then most of the plastic shavings from trimming the models!

      As for the paint scheme, I am not entirely sure yet, although Martian Red is pretty great; I like how well red can be transitioned and shaded. Although something a bit different might be in order, considering I plan to ally them with my Deathwing.

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  3. Thanks very much for the review – I always appreciate and enjoy your insights into new kits. Any particular favourite bits or nasty niggles about the sprues?

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    1. I am happy you enjoyed the review, there where so many cool aspects of the kit to talk about! There really were not any difficult parts to assemble, or work with thankfully, other then the fact that you need to ensure you are attaching the correct legs to the correct body, otherwise a lot of green stuff work would be in order.

      As for cool bits, I really think the pouches that I mentioned in the post are excellent, and will be far better for other models then the huge Space Marine ones. The Infiltrator princeps has this cool little data slate on a mechanical limb that I could see being used for some cool conversions. Also, the separate sickle magazines that come for the stubcarbines will be excellent for assault rifle conversions. They are small enough that they should not look too ridiculous on other models.

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  4. Great unboxing. Also love the little subtle changes you've done. I quite like these models, as they seem to be utilizing the space on the base. Many of the poses we get (new eldar hq or last archon for example) are really static on their bases. Then we get models like this, or the absolutely amazing solitaire (if you haven't seen it in person, it's incredible). which really give you a sense of movement.

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    1. Thanks! I too really like the Sicarians, and like you have been a little surprised at GW's shifting between incredibly dynamic (Harlequins, Sicarians) to remarkably static (DE archon). The Solitaire is quite a model, one that I have had the pleasure of seeing in person :)

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  5. Those blasters are great, even if you only use them for bitz sources for the magazine. Your conversion of course elevates them into usable machine pistols. (moving the ejection port is bonkers given the size, but works out so well!)

    What about the stubcarbine? any plans for that?

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    1. I am really pleased how the pistols turned out, moving the ejection port was a bit of a pain; I was constantly worried I would lose it.

      The stubcarbines look pretty great too. I might try to convert one to look more like a Thompson submachine gun. I could probably use the sickle magazines that come with the kit, but a straight magazine might look cooler. Your suggestion of using the magazines one the radium carbines sounds like a good idea too, something I might need to start playing around with!

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  6. I wonder what combining the magazine from the blaster with the radium carbine would look like? A little bit of shaving and you might have a nice looking assault rifle...

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  7. Nice review. I like what you did with the machine pistols. The weapons alone (and their conversion possibilities) are going to be enough to make this a very popular kit for a long long time.

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    1. I certainly agree! I am pretty happy we have some new weapons to work with, other then the ubiquitous bolter and lasgun. These have many more visual elements to more conventional firearms, which will be nice for all manner of Inq28 conversions.

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  8. I am pretty excited about these models..the dome heads are lovely.. i never thought these models were going to see the light of day after forgeworld released the similar thallax models.. nice to see GW can still pleasantly surprise me .. even after all these years..

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    1. Yeah, I agree, it is wonderful that such evocative models came from GW. And they did not just take the excellent FW designs and make plastics, but rather designed new, equally exciting models. I feel GW has been doing a good job of releasing excellent models over the years, while the artwork they put in their books has been slipping dramatically. Perhaps it is because they still have the visionary Jes Goodwin there designing the concepts, or at least influencing them.

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