Mark III Power Armor – or, getting to know your clippers and glue

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Awhile back, I remember remarking to gaming partner Harry that if GW ever released Mark III power armor in plastic, they would have all my money. Lo and behold, the excellent Burning of Prospero box came out last week, and as would be obvious to anyone who has seen my collection of GW minis, I ensured I got my hands on one as soon as I could.

I’m looking to put paint to plastic sometime this week, but for now, some thoughts regarding the Mark III minis:

  • Overall, I like how the Mark III turned out. As with the Mark IV, they took Forge World’s design and mixed it with GW aesthetics to create a finished mini that blends in better with GW Space Marines, including the GW Mark IV. The armor looks big, beefy, and intimidating, just as Mark III should. Kudos, GW.
  • I’m not a fan of the two piece legs and backpacks. I understand there must be some practical casting-related reason for the split, but it’s a bit of a pain spending the time putting them together, especially when pretty much every other Space Marine kit takes half as long to assemble.
    • The split legs and backpacks also have a further downside in that they take up more room on the three sprues, meaning less weapon options and accessories (there is no missile launcher or flamer, and less accessories overall). Aside from the transverse crest, for example, there’s nothing else to mark the Sergeant as being special, whereas the Mark IV kit had the pteruges, shoulder pads, and a special chest plate for him.
  • The chest plates and shoulder pads are all identical, which is a bit of a let down considering the Mark IV had some variation in both. Understandable given the fact that Mark III generally looks quite spartan in the background imagery, but I don’t think it would’ve hurt to have some iconography here and there, even if it was just on the Sergeant’s chest plate.
  • The sprues continue one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to GW plastic sprues – sometimes the “gate” (where the bit touches the rest of the sprue) is in a hard to reach area. This is most evident on the upper part of the backpack, where it is located between two raised ridges. This means you’ll have to reach in there with a hobby knife or very thin file, whereas if it were simply placed on a flat, straight edge (of which there are plenty), all it would take was a snip and a quick file.

I think perhaps I was a little spoiled by the Mark IV kit, which is probably my favorite Space Marine kit of all time in terms of aesthetics and the amount of bits on the sprue. The Mark III sprue has some small annoyances, but the finished minis look great, and I’m sure they’ll look even better once they have some paint on them.

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