Sunday, October 19, 2008

Space Hulk Genestealers

Although my main W40k interest certainly lies in the various forces of chaos, I remember fondly the days of Space Hulk. My wife and I played a few games of Space Hulk a couple of months ago (which I lost pitifully, for the record), at which point I dusted off the old genestealer models and re-evaluated them.
The old genestealer model is pictured here side by side with the newer version; both unpainted. Ignoring the different plastic technologies, it is readily clear that the newer version is much more dynamic and can be posed in a varitey of ways. The sculpts are also subtly different: the new version's exoskeleton appears stronger with fewer weak-spots compared to the older counterpart that (for example) has exposed flesh in the centre of the back.

The new model's rending claws are also better looking, but the more human, rear pair of hands are broadly similar. I might go as far as to say that the older genestealer's human-like hands are preferable given their dynamic look; the newer one can appear like it is about to slip on a pair of mitten gloves before venturing out in to the dank, chilly service tunnels of the Space Hulk.

The odd older model genestealer can provide variety within a brood of genestealers on the tabletop, but I don't think it looks as good as mixing in a Rogue Trader era plaguebearer with modern counterparts: older genestealers simply look out of place and ... less evolved. Moreover, I think making any biomorphs look consistent between the older and newer models would be very tough to do. But how about an entire brood of older models?

Pictured here are two broods, a ten strong brood in classic Space Hulk colours (Hive Fleet Behemoth vanguards?) and a five strong brood (non-viable in the current codex since they're below the minimum brood size) in green exoskeletons and purple flesh. These models are over 15 years old now and my painting style has evolved a long way since they were painted. A painting scheme will not be provided for them because of that reason, but perhaps their look might inspire a new paint scheme?
Looking back, they are certainly dated and not as well painted as my newer miniatures, but I wouldn't be too ashamed to field them on a tabletop despite the uniformity of their pose (apart from one model which used a hybrid's arm set, if you look closely).

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