Why I Hate The New Chimera & Leman Russ Kits

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When the latest Imperial Guard army book was released Games Workshop also reworked the model kits for the Leman Russ Battle Tank and Chimera Infantry Fighting vehicle and thus all of the vehicles based on these. It took me only a few seconds after receiving the kits that I had advanced ordered (2 Leman Russ Demolishers and 2 Hellhounds) to determine that I hated them.

My first instinct upon opening these kits that there had been a mistake and that I was missing about half the parts from each, there did not seem to be enough inside the box to justify the cost. The previous kits had included sprues of optional upgrades such as pintle mounted weapons, fuel drums and external storage, but this was not part of the new kit. To add these parts you must instead order that sprue separately. The new Leman Russ with this sprue became 54% more expensive (was £25, increased to £38)  than the older one, while a new Chimera and accessory sprue became 40% more expensive (up to £28 from £20) than the older kit.

Additionally the older kits use separate sprues of wheels and track links, which with careful assembly left you with both spare wheels and spare track links for use in customising the vehicle, or for converting other kits. Now my supply of these parts is a steadily diminishing resource. It has been suggested to me that aim was to make the kits easier to assemble, but this makes no sense when we look at the new sentinel kit which, by using separate pieces for each leg section is more complicated than the previous version of the sentinel. Incidentally I think that the new sentinel and plastic valkyrie kits are both excellent.

The detail on the new kits is not the same as on the earlier ones, and with both the Leman Russ and Chimera hulls I find that the older ones were preferable. In contrast the new versions look to me like cheap imitations of the older, superior kits.

My biggest complaint is specific to the Leman Russ kit. The older version featured a turret ring that was the same size as those used on Space Marine vehicles and Ork battlewagons, allowing you to create custom vehicles easily by fitting a turret from an entirely different armyís vehicle to any of these chasses. Now converting either Leman Russ chasses or turrets requires far more work.

What I donít get is why Games Workshop didnít just keep the old chasses, but release an extra sprue featuring all of the new options presented in the new army book instead of producing these entirely new kits that I now flat out refuse to buy. Fortunately Iíve been able to find a few of the older kits on eBay, and as far as Iím concerned, the £33 one unassembled old type chimera kit cost me was well worth it.

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