Chaos Space Marine Helbrute – A Review

warhammer-40000-logoSo, the new Helbrute kit is out and what a magnificent little menagerie of plastic it is!

First up the standard box art shots is very much what we’ve come to expect of Games Workshop boxes these days: a nicely painted model on the front (in the new Crimson Slaughter paint scheme, that Games Workshop are pushing like crazy for Chaos Space Marines at the moment, due to the rather tasty codex supplement that was also released, alongside the Helbrute kit) and pics of more assembly options and some paint scheme details on the back.

Helbrute box front   Helbrute box rear

The kit itself is really rather nice. Bountiful weapons and other options fill the sprues and, as you’d expect from Games Workshop plastic kits, the level of detail is fantastic. Just check out the number of different head options on there!

Helbrute sprue 1

Helbrute sprue 2

Helbrute sprue 3

I hadn’t had cause to assemble any of the more recent kits until the Helbrute came out and I was pleased to see that the ‘layering’ of detail that you get from a proper multi-part plastic kit comes through very well indeed.  After having seen the Imperial Knight kit up close and personal, and the level of detail it contained my expectations were high and the Helbrute kit does not disappoint. It certainly makes the Eldar Jetbike and Vyper kits that were the last Games Workshop plastics I’d put together to shame; they really do show their age when put up against something like the Helbrute. One example of the ‘layering’ I mentioned can be seen in the leg assembly, in the first picture you see the leg prior to one of its armour plates being affixed – you can see the muscle/sinew wrapped around the pistons and skeleton that form the Helbrute’s frame and the horn jutting out. Once the armour-plate is affixed you can see that Games Workshop prepared not just a missing chunk of armour for the horn to pierce through, but a proper hole and that even when the armour is in place that the muscular detailing is still visible behind it. 

Helbrute legs assembled   Helbrute legs pre-assembly

This may present issues when considering at what point to carry out priming and painting – there’s a point at which sub-assembly painting becomes ‘component’ painting and even I am not quite that obsessive about covering every detail!

Maybe I’m just playing catch-up with recent Games Workshop plastics here, but the assembly itself is a breeze in comparison to some of the models. Pieces fit together in an almost ‘snap-fit’ fashion, joining surfaces are well delineated and it’s always obvious whether you’ve married up the right pieces or not. The slight drawback to this is that the level of pose-ability the model has takes a little bit of a hit, but Games Workshop make up for this by providing ‘high’ and ‘low’ arm positions for weapon options and, to be honest, the confidence boost that a less than expert modeller will get from the accuracy of part placement in a kit like this is worth that small drop in customisation. If I was to change the ‘default’ posing of this model I’d be whipping out the green stuff (not a euphemism, I promise) [I’d be worried if it was and tell you to go see a Doctor if its green – Ed.] and making the most of the bio-mechanical style the model has. I love the detail down the back of the model as well – the fact that the exo-spine that runs down its back is a separate piece gives the model real depth and gives the painter so many options for describing the relationship between the hard ceramite and metallic components and the flesh that has inhabited it and over-grown it through millennia in the warp wastes.

The kit definitely permits magnetisation of weapon options on both arms. You can build left or right arm power fist variants and the right arm ranged weapon attachment allows (with a little magnet activity) for easy to swap options. The left arm power scourge vs power fist would be trickier to achieve as a magnet swap, but a bit of persuasion should see it being possible. There are a tonne of weapon options available to the Helbrute owner: missile launcher, reaper autocannon, twin-linked lascannon, plasma cannon (nicely styled along the lines of other daemon-engines), multi-melta, and heavy bolter. The power fist arms (you can do left and/or right) can be kitted out with heavy flamer or twin-linked bolter and the left arm can have the power scourge. Finally, and as you can see on the sprue pictures above, there are 6 head options with three different ‘surrounds’. All in all no reason why you should have to play cookie-cutter Helbrutes in your army even if using similar weapon options.

If it’s not already clear, I really like this kit. I’ll certainly be adding at least one more, and when the data slate for Helbrutes comes out on the 22nd (if any of the rumours regarding the formations they give a Chaos Space Marine player are accurate) I may be adding in significantly more than that!

The Chaos Space Marine Helbrute is available from Firestorm Games priced £29.70.

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