Chaos Space Marine Raptors / Warp Talon Review Part 2

 This is going to be a bit picture heavy, so enjoy. The Kit lets you make up one of two squads, Raptors...

 ... or Warp Talons.

Yesterday I covered jump packs, so I'll be passing them over today. Follow the link to see what they look like.

Before we start on the meat of the review I want to look at the heritage of the Raptors. If you want to read up on them, I recommend this Warhammer 40,000 Wiki page.

The image below is taken from White Dwarf 230, showing the original Raptors. With wing like backpacks, and the fantastic Champion model.

These were then replaced by the fantastic models below. The squad provided another great champion model, but it was the style of jump pack and the helms that mark them out. Of all the quirks it's the feet that really make the model. Any one who's read the Soul Hunter books will see why Raptors can skitter across ceiling and have trouble walking upright. The only problem I have with these is the flames holding them up.

We'll come back to the feet later. Onto the modern set. Here's what you get in the box, five bases, two sprues, a transfer sheet that's been around for a very long while, and a truly dire set of instructions.

I'll linger on the instruction for a moment. The sprue has all the parts numbered, and the instructions pretty much ignores this, sticking with only a limited number of parts. While I'm more than happy to ignore the instructions this is going to be a headache for anyone picking this up as a first set. The two different units don't even get fleshed out in full, instead the Raptors get three models, and the Warp Talons only get two demonstrated. There aren't even the old style pictures that showed the potential parts branching off. All in all it's a poor effort.

Onto more positive things. Here's the front and back of the two sprues.

It's worth saying here that some of the attachment points on the sprue are placed in awkward spots for cleaning up, as a knife or file will run up against other detail in the cleaning process. Otherwise my set was very good, with very few mould lines, and crisp details.

Follow the jump for a closer look at the parts, and this link for the jump packs.

Let's start with the legs. Dynamically posed on bits of scenery some people are going to have trouble fitting these with the theme of their armies bases. Thankfully they all look like they'd trim off easily, and with the separate toe sections shouldn't be too difficult to mount onto a base. The armour looks nice and fancy, and is begging to be painted as Night Lords. Not sure I like the speakers on the kneepads, but that's easy fixed with some liquid Green Stuff.

Disappointingly for models that are going to have their soles on show there's no decoration on there.

To accommodate the two different units the legs have no toe sections, and these are instead provided as ten different pairs. The feet are labelled L or R. Note that this refers to the models L and R. It does say on the leg sections but if you've modified those it's going to be a pain. Each set has different claws or decoration, so it's easy to keep them together even when they're off the sprue.

Skip this paragraph to avoid me having a rant, otherwise carry on. Talking about the previous Raptor kit I emphasised my liking of their feet. Sadly the new models return to a more usual look, which I'm not a fan of. Expect a post some point anon about converting the feet into the more claw like appendages of their forebears.  

Sadly there are no extra heads with the set, only the five Warp Talon heads (top line) and the five Raptor heads (bottom line). I've put a Chaos Space Marine and a Imperial Space Marine head at the right of each line to give some idea of size, as the helmets are slightly chunkier, and longer. I like the Raptor heads as they seem to be playing around with the helms of different power armour MKs. I'll likely be tweaking these a bit before I use them as Raptor heads, but even without modification there are some candidates here for secondment into a Noise Marine squad.

The Warp Talons have these wings attached to their jump packs. Personally I'll be leaving these off if I make Warp Talons, but each to their own. The clawed tops may well end up used as feet/talons (see rant above).

The chest plates all feature the traditional cross straps of jump pack equipped marines (unless you're in the Sanguinary Guard) and have some nice little details. Personally I'll be removing the obvious Chaos Undivided markings, but that's a background thing.

As mentioned yesterday, the rear of the torso is unique amid Space Marine models, with a different backpack attachment than usually found there. All five are the same, but that's really a non issue as the jump pack will hide them anyway.

Possibly the most annoying aspect of the kit is that it only includes ten shoulder pads. Even two more would have been nice for a bit of variety. That said what is included is good. The top row shows the fancier ones, with some nice speaker grill style detail (again another good candidate for Noise Marines)

The Warp Talon's lightning claws are some very nice pieces. I'm unsure about some of the poses (see the picture of GW's finished models way up top), but that should be easily dealt with. I like the separate fingers. The claws that have erupted through the back of the fists are my hands down favourite.

The kit has some of the most brutal combat weapons outside the Ork Nobz set, with the chainswords and the power sword looking like lethal bits of equipment. I imagine we're going to see these cropping up across Chaos forces as people fit the bits stores for them. The bolt pistols being unique is good, as is the variation of left and right weapon arm. The plasma pistols are rocking some gorgeous variants as well. The power fist looks the part, but is probably destined for a different squad (as the Champion has to declare/accept challenges, and it seems foolish making him strike last). Unfortanely it's both too small and wrong handed to go on a Terminator. The special weapons all look suitably corrupted, and the inclusion of two sets of arms is welcome.

The kit as a whole seems very good (my issue with the feet aside) and produces a very good looking unit, be they Raptors or Warp Talons (with wings to taste). There's only a few extras to be had, but what there is is high quality. Due to the lack of standard backpacks, the torsos being obscured by straps, the fancy nature of the armour detailing on the legs and their one piece construction, I can't see this unit working well as a basis for standard Chaos Space Marines without a considerable bits box to fill the gaps. That said though the kit does have some parts that'd work well in other units. I've mentioned Noise Marines, but Chosen and probably a Lord or two could use some of the weapons, or the spare toes.

Overall it's a good addition to the Chaos range, as either the intended units or a source for parts. My one nagging issue now is how plain the standard Chaos Space Marine kit looks in comparison. 


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