I'm running a little late with this. I'm not far behind that the Limited Edition Codex has sold out though. The Chaos one went very quickly. I wonder if that's an indicator of a high price point, popularity or overprinting.
There have been three videos released accompanying the Advanced Order announcement and I'll slot them in where appropriate.GW have released bundle sets, but seeing as they're only for the advance order and offer no saving I'll leave them unmentioned.
Anyone wanting my opinion on the kits read on, anyone wanting to view them without my contribution then the order page awaits. Anyone not bothered, don't click the read more.
The video gives a preview of the character models, and in the second half, the Codex is shown.
Codex: Dark Angels Limited Edition - £55
It will no doubt be a very nice product.
"It contains black edging, a black bookmark, a cloth-finish underneath the dust-jacket on which "Never Forget" and "Never Forgive" is inscribed. The jacket itself contains the full artwork on the front, while on the back it has a matt-finish on which names of the Fallen are written - with certain names marked as captured..."Codex: Dark Angels - £30
Belial - £15
I'm not a fan of this model. The pose is too static, with no sense of purpose to the arms, and the legs too close together. The detailing doesn't make him stand out from the Deathwing Knights, the lack of detail on the back of the cloak is disappointing, and why is the chapter symbol on his belt out of line? I do like his sword tip though.
Asmodai - £11
It's still not a patch on the old artwork for him though.
Dark Angels Standard Bearer - £15
For the price, and the hassle of being direct order only, this model should be much better. The pose is the same as we've been seeing for years with standard bearers, with the chainsword held across the body doing little to alter that. The other arm is worse though, looking like a throwback to the 2nd ed Space Marines. The banner looks a disappointing compared to those we've seen in recent plastic sets.
Sammael - £30
A Finecast re release, I can't imagine the material is suited to such a big model. It still looks damned good though. Interestingly White Dwarf has him listed as "Sammael (Corvus)" which suggests there may be a second version along at some point.
That's the Codex and Characters dealt with, onto the Deathwing
Deathwing Command Squad/Deathwing Knights - £35
Grey Knights and Wolf Guard kits with the plethora of options they contain (having 153 and 100 pieces respectively) come in at that price point.
The kit contains 102 parts, and it looks like a great kit, both for a DA player, and for what it adds to the bitz box. The Command Squad load out gives some nice pieces, from the halberd, to the underslung Heavy Plasma Cannon, and the more subtle Apothecary parts. The jury is still out on the studded codpiece though. The detail of the standard is cast on, and looks a lot better than the Finecast Battle Standard model.
The Commander's pose is almost identical to the Dark Vengeance Chaos Lord, but I like the echoing.
I think the best inclusion in the set is the Watcher, as it's great to see one on the tabletop away from Azrael.
I can't wait to see what the community do with the kits. Even just mixing parts within the two halves of the set together promises some good results, let along when other kits enter the equation. I suspect they be more than a few Word Bearer players picking up a set of these.
And now, the Ravenwing, with the lion's share of the kits.
Dark Talon/Nephilim Jetfigher - £45
Pilot shenanigans aside, I really like the look of this kit, and it's the only Space Marine flyer that doesn't look like it'd drop right out of the air. I suspect we'll be seeing this kit rather a lot be it standing in for other Marine flyers, looted by Orks, or corrupted by Chaos. The wing details are part of the casting, as is a fair bit of Dark Angel and Ravenwing iconography, which is going to be a bit of work, but it'd be worth it. At the moment (i.e. just looking at the sprues and finished models) it's hard to tell if you could make one model do duty as both types of fighter with magnets, but as the community keep proving, anything is possible.
Land Speeder Vengeance/Ravenwing Darkshroud £40.
I can see the pulpit being used, as in and of itself it's a really cool feature, but not stuck on the front of this model.
Ravenwing Command Squad/Ravenwing Black Knights - £30
And there we have it. The strength of this release is definitely in the plastic kits. The Landspeeder variant is horrible, but apart from that it's an incredibly tough call between the sets. Personally it's the Ravenwing Command Squad that really does it for me, but I think top release of the month has to go to the Deathwing Command set, purely based on how useful the parts will be.