Devastators have historically been among the coolest models in power armour since the earliest days of Citadel miniatures. In fact, one of my favorite models which still sees the table when I get out my Void Phantoms space marines is the original plastic RTB-01 space marine with missile launcher; one of the first space marines I ever painted was the V2 space marine with missile launcher that came in that boxed set; and the V3 space marine lascannoneer always finds its way onto my list of favorite models. Devastators and I go way back...and I know I am not alone in my fondness for power armoured superheroes carrying the biggest guns Warhammer 40,000 has to offer.
So when GW offers new Devastator models--I'm interested, and I know I am not alone.
The new all-plastic Space Marine Devastator Squad box set reaches retailer shelves this month, and I do not think anyone will be disappointed. Quite a few people (especially Dark Angels players) may already have seen the new models, as they are components of some DA army boxes which have been released (and almost immediately sold out); feel free to share your opinions, as well.
The first thing which bears positive mention is the price: the existing metal-and-plastic Devastator Squad box set retailed for US$45, with individual Devs in blisters selling for ten bucks; the new all-plastic Devastator Squad box set retails for US$30 (a commendable price point GWUS has been trying to hit with their small squad--5 and 6 figure-type--box sets, even with pewter components). This is a very competitive price.
What is even more impressive, however, is what the hobbyist will find inside: three full sprues, absolutely jammed with parts (GW has begun using a more modern dual-injection process which allows for greater compression of parts on sprues, and it really shows with these). There are sufficient parts to build the traditional Devastator Sgt and four heavy weapons specialists, of course--but the hobbyist can choose from among *eight* complete heavy weapons included in the box (2 each of lascannon, plasma cannon and heavy bolter, plus a multimelta and a missile launcher), and an alternate sixth 'kneeling' set of legs, among other things. Add numerous extra details (four servo skulls, multiple weapons kit-outs for the sergeant, alternate heads, pouches, holsters, purity seals, tabards, etc and the sprues are a treasure trove for the hobbyist looking to customize his space marines, to make them his own.
A particularly cool feature which will distinguish this Dev Sergeant from his predecessors is a complete backpack-mounted sensor array. One can even simulate the traditional Dev Sergeant 'pointing thataway' pose (though you will have to use the included powerfist to do it this time around).
The question 'why bother with going 'all-plastic' when the existing plastic-with-pewter weapons Devs are so well done' can be fairly asked. The above paragraphs provide most of the answer: a significant reduction in retail price and the inclusion of lots of 'space mariney' extras on new sprues are excellent reasons of themselves. GW has gone some further than that, however, by customizing the sculpts even more than the plastic-and-pewter combination miniatures allowed; in addition to the long-asked-for kneeling marine option already mentioned, each heavy weapon variant has its own specialized backpack with brand new details (like the missile launcher marine's backpack-mounted autoloading arm, a tiny but tremendously-cool extra). And of course the advantage plastic has over pewter in ease of converting means I anticipate seeing some vibrant, more action-oriented poses among Devastator models in the future.
If you treasure your existing heavy weapon trooper models (from either iteration, the V2 shoulder-carriers or the V3 low-slung types), the models you can build with the new all-plastic Devastator sprues will provide the kind of variety which will complement your existing models. If you haven't opted to try the potent combination of man-portable heavy weapons and the staying power of supermen in power armour, the new Devastators box set will give you compelling reasons to make this a first time.
This is a terrific box set of models which I expect will make players of space marines (and Inquisitors who like their allies in power armour) very happy.
Let your retailer of choice know you want them ASAP.