imperial knight. This review is going to be done in two parts. The first one will focus on the actual parts on the spru and my initial impression of it prior to building/painting. Part two will of course be the building/painting review.
First of all lets clear the elephant in the room, the $140 price tag. My personal view point on anything in this hobby is how much do I get out of an item for the money invested. Based solely on the price I am going to try and use this guy, as well as future ones I plan on buying, as much as humanly possible. This isn't that big lord of skulls, necron vault, baneblade, titan etc that is going to sit on a shelf for most of the year. I plan on using this guy as an ally whenever possible and, once I have enough, as a full complete army unto themselves. My first plan is to use them with the mechanicum army I'm working on. I have a severe lack of ap2 and these guys perfectly fill that role with that large blast strength 9 ap 2 gun. I look at this unit as a must have for that army to really make up for a lack in the list, at least currently.
As far as the physical contents and the value outside of game mechanics, I feel the price is a little high. I have a necron tesseract vault and at $160 that model has a ton of plastic and parts. When I look at the 3 sprus for the imperial knight for $140, I feel the raw material cost is a bit high. So in other words I feel like you get less plastic for the money than you do on the big escalation/apoc units. So take that for what you will. The model is supposed to be slightly shorter than a wraithknight, but judging from the sprus will be considerably bulkier.
Before I get to the sprus I want to talk about the transfer sheet that comes with it. I've read that there will be a larger sheet available separately with a lot more transfers and markings. I personally love using transfers and I think the one that comes in the box itself is pretty good. In fact I'm looking at it and seeing a lot of other uses for the markings on lots of imperial tanks and vehicles. The mechanicum markings are really awesome for me because I'm not well practiced in free hand. If I were not planning on purchasing additional knights I would probably be hitting the ebay market looking for more of the basic transfer sheets. The transfers themselves from a design standpoint are definitely above past GW standards. The older transfers they have always had that huge blob of excess clear transfer paper. These are almost entirely designed to only extend as far as the design. So now when using them you won't have to worry about how you're going to hide the excess or attempt to cut as close as possible without messing up the transfer. The only exception to this are the numbers on the bottom left of the sheet. They're still that simple block formation that has excess transfer paper on it. While I love this sheet I do plan on buying the additional one that is coming out, but not because I need it, because I want it.
Now for the sprus and parts themselves. This is probably the most impressive plastic kit they've put out from a detail standpoint. The rivets, the intricate designs, electrical wires, piping, purity seals, and railings are really nicely done. The painted ones I've seen in white dwarf really don't do the model enough credit. Just looking at the amount of detail they put into this beast is really amazing. I've done one of the dreamforge leviathan kits, and while its a great kit, from a detail perspective this thing puts it to shame. The underside of the shoulder pads has tiny rivets and details. They could have left that area blank but instead they filled it with some detail to add texture. It gives it that look that makes you think this thing is man made. They obviously thought about the functionality of the various parts on the knight and didn't leave a ton of blank empty space for you to wonder just how this leg really moves. You can see the cogs, wires, and pistons that just help add a bit of realism to the knight.
There are of course some optional accessories such as purity seals. I can see about 10 of them and they are small enough that you could use them on normal infantry sized guys. I also see a couple different markings you can use such as a skull with laurels around it, the aquila, and a very mechanicum looking plastic symbol. There are lots of little plastic hand holds and railings which will add to the functional look of the model when done. It also comes with 4 different face plates for those that don't already know. The base it comes with is unique to the knight, at least as of this moment it is. Its longer and narrower than the normal oval base used for flyers and various monstrous creatures.
In the event you couldn't tell from my writings I really think this has to be in the top 5 of kits that GW has put out. Obviously aesthetics will vary from person to person but this is one fine model kit. A bit pricey sure, but none the less impressive to actually behold. I have a few things to paint and build before I get to this beast, but watch out for part 2 when I go over the instructions and actual building/painting of the knight.