Okay let's start with the Primaris Marines because what I really want to discuss are the Death Guard. The Intercessors are basically what Marines should always have been and everything I said waaaaaaaaay back when we were debating what we now know to be a picture of the Primaris Lieutenant with auto bolt rifle was making the rounds still stands: the design adds height and width in all the right places; it adds visual interest to previously very dull flat planes like the legs and arms; and, most vitally, it keeps a lot of the iconic silhouette so it is still clearly a Space Marine. I'm not too sold on the new background that introduces them, I'm of the crowd that would be just as happy if GW had just said “This is a Space Marine now, your old ones are still cool but some day they'll all look like this.”, but its a nice design.
As to the rest of them: the Lieutenants are nice sculpts if a little bland; the Inceptors are a great idea even if their space suit power armour seems a little overdone; the Captain is great and I love the miniature Gauntlet of Ultramar he's armed with; and, I love the idea of a unit armed entirely with plasma weapons though I strongly suspect them of being a glass cannon if Gets Hot remains anything like it is now.
Right, good and righteousness all done, let's talk buboes...
Let's start with Big Daddy Disgusting here. This guy looks huge and his axe is one of the most over the top things I have ever seen this design team put out: its a giant corroded axe with three buzzsaw blades mounted inside it. It slices, it dices, it juliennes! Quite apart from that, there's such a sense of weight to the pose here: the way he holds the axe, the slight lean forward, the Nurgling being squished beneath one boot, it all adds to the impression that this is one slow, heavy guy. Also, he has one of those big nose blade things I so loved with the Blightkings.
And speaking of design cues nicked from the Blightkings, there's this chap and his bell. Apparently the equivalent of the Primaris Ancient standardbearer, this is one guy who really likes his “for whom the bell tolls” imagery. I also like the butcher's apron motif, that's cool.
Finally on the character front is the Malignant Plaguecaster. I'm not as sold on him as the other two Death Guard characters but that could just be a classic case of GW employing the worst angle to showcase a model from. He has a lot going for him but there's something about the head that puts me off. Still, given the way they've painted his staff it looks like they're going back to the very old idea of the Death Guard using a lot of wood in their wargear. No, seriously, the really, really old plastic Plague Marines had wood casings on their bolters. Speaking of...
Oh, look at them! Mutations everywhere, horns and tentacles and pitting on the armour. One of the big improvements this set has over Dark Vengeance is that there are no duplicate models in this unit. The Dark Vengeance Chaos Chosen had two identical Marines with bolters and in a unit that small it really showed. There is such unique character in each and every one of these fellows. My personal favourite is the plasma gunner with his cloak made out of corroded chain. I also like that they're all wearing mutated Mark III Iron armour because it suits them and not just because I really like Iron armour.
Then we get the peons of the army. Now, you know me, I love my Lost And The Damned and any effort to represent something mortal and squishy in 40k Chaos is fine by me. That said, if I had to guess I'd say these were more like mortals possessed by Plaguebearers than simply Nurglesque cultists. They look like they're going to be very fun to paint but also relltively simple, a must with hordes in my view. I mean, once you've got a flesh method that seems like half the model done and then its all detail in a limited palette of metallics and drab cloth.
And finally, the Foetid Bloat-Drone. I've always liked the look of Forge World's own Blight Drone but too many horror stories about building the thing and fixing the thing when it breaks have reached my ears to want one of my own. Now, there's one (or near enough) in lovely, lovely durable plastic.I actually think some improvements have been made over the Forge World version like giving it what look horrifically like a gas mask and working in more explicitly Nurglesque iconography.
Anyway, just a few random thoughts. I'm currently mulling over whether I want the Primaris half. The local store is doing one of those “swap shop” groups so I have a few days to decide whether there's something I want to do with the Primaris Marines or whether I want a double dose of XIV Legion.