1. Space Marines.
The fact that the Space Marine army is the most popular is one of the worst
kept secrets of the game. Aside from having one of the strongest lists,
it also features the most amounts of available plastic miniatures. In fact,
once the product support for the new codex is released, it will be possible
to field an army made up entirely of plastic figures. Here is a list of
figures that are plastic, or plastic with metal bits, available for the
All of the kits are fairly easy to assemble,
yet still offer opportunities for posing and converting for the creatively
minded. Add to that all the vehicles and the Dreadnought kit, and you can
see there is a lot to choose from.
Command Squad (new);
Attack Bikes; and
2. Tyranids. The Tyranids
have only four plastic kits: Warriors, Genestealers, Hormagaunts/Termagants/Rippers,
and the Hive Tyrant, the last of which includes metal parts. But by using
the mutable rules in the back of the codex, these models would be enough
to create an entire army. It can be tricky to model some biomorphs or swap
for the correct claws or gun, and the fact that the Termagants and Hormagaunts
share a box is irritating if you want to use only one of those species.
However, when you are done assembling your figures, you are rewarded with
a consistent looking army that, when painted, can look very impressive.
3. Orks. Just because there
haven’t been new miniatures in awhile doesn’t mean this army is at a disadvantage.
The kits—Boyz, Stormboyz, Stikkbommas, and Warbikes—may be used to form
a strong backbone to any Ork army. With a little creativity and the judicious
use of some metal Nobs and special weapons, you can also fashion Trukk
Boyz, Skar Boyz, ‘ard Boyz, Flash Gitz, and Burna Boyz, which covers almost
all of the Troop and Elite choices. The Ork models are blissfully simple
to assemble and the basic Boyz box offers the option for shootas or close
combat weapons, making it one of the more useful “regiment” box kits.
4. Necrons. As long as you
don’t crave variety (a benefit when constructing a Necron army), you can
build a very fine force of nothing but Warriors, Scarabs, Destroyers, and
Heavy Destroyers using the plastic kits available to Necrons. Add a Lord
or Destroyer Lord to your mass of Warriors, and you are ready to hit the
battlefield. Just be warned: the Warrior models can be very fragile and
somewhat tricky in getting the arms to line up. Of course, Necrons may
be the easiest army to paint if all you want to do is prime them black
and drybrush them in a suitable metallic tone.
5. Tau. Another new entrant
into the 40K ranks, the Tau benefit from the fact that all of the Battlesuits
are plastic models. That, in addition to the Fire Warriors and Kroot (if
you choose to include them), can provide a strong basis for an army. I
have not assembled any Battlesuits (Crisis or Broadside), but the Fire
Warriors are pretty straightforward. I recommend watching three hours of
Evangelion before deciding to collect a Tau army, just to
get the idea.
6. Imperial Guard. Until recently,
the Imperial Guard was one of the worst armies to collect: all that were
available were squads of metal miniatures, and you were going to need a
lot of them. The first relief came in the form of the Catachans, which
while not being the best-looking figures, at least offered Guardsmen in
bulk (pun intended).
With the release of the Cadians,
however, GW has finally provided great Guard figures that won’t break the
bank. The best new addition is plastic heavy weapon teams that include
all of the heavy weapon options you can choose. You can take your spare
autocannons or lascannons from the heavy weapon sprues and upgrade your
Sentinels (also a plastic model). You can build an infantry-heavy army,
or add tanks (which are mostly plastic kits) and build a more balanced
7. Chaos. Unlike their Imperial
brethren, Chaos Marines have only two true plastic kits: Chaos Space Marines
and Khorne Berserkers. While you can build a pretty large force just using
these models and the mutations sprue, if you want to include demons, daemons,
or Raptors, you will be going metal. Still, the figures assemble about
the same as Space Marines and look wicked cool.
8. Eldar and Dark Eldar. I
have included the two Eldar armies together, not because of the rumor that
they will be combined in some future codex, but because both armies offer
pretty much the same choices as far as plastics go. Both armies have a
Troop option (Guardians for Eldar, Warriors for Dark Eldar) and Fast Attack
option (Jetbikes). Eldar get Vypers and Shining Spears, Dark Eldar get
Raiders and Ravagers. I’d call it even.
9. Daemonhunters. The Daemonhunter
army has plenty of neat figures and customizable characters, but the only
plastic figures you are going to get are the ones from your allied Space
Marine or Imperial Guard squads.
10. Witch Hunters.
This is even worse than the Daemonhunter army, as you trade the option
for plastic Space Marines for the all-metal option of Sisters of Battle.
While the range of figures is fantastic, it has to be one of the most expensive
armies to collect.