Plastic Horus Heresy: Deal or No Deal?


Plastic Horus Heresy minis are here. Here’s why they a both an AWESOME and a TERRIBLE deal from GW.

I have to admit I never really thought this day would come.  I still remember cobbling together my first “heresy era” Death Guard army, over ten years back. Back then us Heresy hobbyists were fairly rare and we knew all the tricks.  We would trade out heresy era chestplates and that coveted single studded pauldron from the Tactical squad with friends who didn’t care or were building traditional armies.  We would scour the entire GW range for hidden gems like the Mk IV helmets that could found in the Black Templar range.

Then Forge World blew the doors off the hobby when they started to introduce early Mk. armors with the Badab War campaign.  Fast forward to now and at long last the dreamed off plastic kits specifically designed for Horus Heresy gaming are sitting on store shelves across the world.  It’s an amazing thing to see.

Value Proposition?

But as with all things GW, you know they are going make you pay for that 30K goodness.  I wanted to do a quick breakdown of the new kits and compare them to their 40th Millennium brethren to see just how much of a premium GW is charging for the new line and if it’s worth it:



Space Marine Heroes $50



Space Marine Heroes $50

You get three 40K heroes for the price of 2 from the new Heresy Heroes set.  Quite a hefty price increase for 2 mono-pose heroes on a single small sprue.  The Mk.IV Commander is nice to have, but the real guy you want in this Heresy box is that Cataphractii Commander. In any case, you will probably be doing weapon swapouts on both new guys (unless you like chaplains).


Space Marine Tactical Squad $40



Mark IV Space Marines $50

Ahh, the classic Tactical box.  I can only imagine how many of these GW has sold over the years.  To be honest, at $50 for the new Mk.IV Tactical squad – I can’t complain.  The new kit is dripping with cool details, and heresy weapons from the missile launcher to the  bolters – and that’s before we get to the awesome heads, chestplates and shoulderpads.  I think the new Mk.IV is the best deal of the new kits.


Terminator Squad $50



Cataphractii Terminators $65

I can’t remember I saw some of these guys on the tabletop last.  With so many ways to kill standard termys, and nobody shaking in thier boots at the firepower the squad kicks out – it’s hard to compare them to the new Cataphractii.  Still the new kit coming in at $65 is a bit high. But with the Heresy style points combined with the combi and full lighting claw options – it’s tough to say an ill word.


Space Marine Dreadnought $46.25



Contemptor Dreadnought $60

Ok, here’s where are are going to have some words Nottingham.  I know the Contemptor is an amazing design.  But the current Space Marine dread is MUCH cheaper and a fully posable kit.  There were rumors swirling around earlier this year that GW was working a fully posable plastic Contemptor and I am very sad to see the model offered is the pretty static one on this single sprue.  At $60 I think the plastic Contemptor is too aggressively priced for what you get in the box. That pose is going to get old real fast if you field more than one.


Deal or No Deal?

It’s a tough one, but on balance I have to say “NO DEAL*”  While the bread and butter MkIV Tactical squad is tolerable – the other 3 all have something major going against them.

The Heroes are 2 for the price of 3 standard marines

The Cataphractii are fairly steep for 5 guys who probably share some of the same issues as standard Terminators

The Contemptor is the worst of the bunch at a very high price for a model with limited hobby options.

So if you must go a la carte – stick to the Mk.IVs and maybe a box of Cataphractii if you really need them.


You noticed the asterisk didn’t you?

That said – the most important thing for anyone who is drawn to the Horus Heresy is this.  Just pick a legion and jump in with both feet.  Don’t dabble around the edges with a pricy box of minis here or one there.  Once you decide to take the plunge, don’t look an any of these kits – go pro and just snag one or two copies of Betrayal at Calth which GW is coincidentally pushing hard again this week.


Betrayal at Calth $150

The cost of buying the IDENTICAL plastic Horus Heresy minis contained in Betrayal at Calth a la carte as individual boxed sets is $325. Yes you read that right, you can pick up 1 or two copies of Betrayal at Calth and get your heresy army started off right for more than 50% off the individual squad prices.  And at that price – EVERYTHING IS FORGIVEN GW – making the minis comes out at well below the price point of their 40K brethren.

~What are you waiting for gamers – the Heresy awaits!


  • Alexander Slizewski

    Yea they are expensive, and even overpriced by GW standards, but that’s no surprise; GW knows that the community loves Horus Heresy, and they’re doing their best to cash in on this massive cow. With the current 40k meta being a storm of imbalanced crap, and the HH board game being better then decent to play, they will still sell fairly well.

    Either that, or people will just move to the “somewhat cheaper” Age of Sigmar.

    • ZeeLobby

      But with the BaC box set its almost like GW thinks their fans are idiots with these prices…

      • euansmith

        GW to 30k Player

        • AreyouaNazi? Isthatyourelf?

          For an Australian, what this means realistically is that retail, it’s cheaper to buy an actual resin Contemptor from Forge World, with the good weapons, easy to magnetise, easy to pose and doesn’t look like junk. We can buy an FW army for cheaper than GW, so they will sell no Contemptor ‘Rigor Mortis’ kits here.

  • Rainthezangoose

    My personal opinion is that GW can f**k themselves forget power creep, these guys have creeping overpriced greed. Watching them creep into their own grave. Its like back in the day, why was LOTR so popular, it was cheap and easy to get into, why did hobbit flop. cause it was overpriced and ugly finecrap on mass.

    • ZeeLobby

      Haha. Here here!

    • AreyouaNazi? Isthatyourelf?

      Hhaha they did the hunter Orks on warts and sold them next to orcs on warts from LOTR at half the price… Guess which one moved first XD

      • Rainthezangoose

        Exactly, and its a shame too, if they had stuck to what worked with LOTR, made them cheap because well they are smaller scale and they would have sold alot better, if the orks hunters on Wargs where the same price the old ones would have never been sold, there is some good stuff in the range. but it boils down to the fact, you look in the first senero pdf on their website and its smaug attacking lake town. Smaug alone will cost nearly £300, and the lake town models cost £5 EACH?! that a hole British pound per point!!

  • Michael Linke

    “At $60 I think the plastic Contemptor is too aggressively priced for what you get in the box.”

    “Aggressively priced” means cheap, not expensive.

    • el_tigre

      Not the way GW does it.

  • nurglitch

    I’m surprised that these aren’t priced lower than their 40k equivalents. Tacticals and Dreadnought have fewer options, while the Terminators are worse than the Indomitas and have fewer options. I would have loved a clean, loyalist Reaper Autocannons.

    • ZeeLobby

      If priced lower it would have been an awesome release. Even at equal it would have been OK. I’m beginning to think the words “cheaper”, “sale”, and “lower” must be outlawed at GW HQ.

      • Shiwan8

        I think it’s just the target audience. 30k is not cheap. It’s actually a lot more expensive over longer periods of time than 40k. Now the people at GW HQ think that we are going to buy single boxes instead of the game that is over 50% cheaper. Just because if we had the money to start the game before the Calth box then we must be willing to pay more than what we have to to expand our armies.

        What will happen in reality is that the Calth box will be bought over and over again to get what basics we need and the rest will go to Ebay from where others will buy the things we did not need or want to have from us. OR they sack the Calth box and we will continue to spend our money on FW because of the cost is close enough and the quality is better to be honest.

        • AreyouaNazi? Isthatyourelf?

          But, like I said above, if the legit resin is cheaper than the plastic, why would I go to GW at all? As an Australian, we prefer to not shop GW, and I know a lot of people who buy black market GW minis… But care enough to buy legit FW, just out of spite for GW trying to $crew the cash cow. They saw heresy selling and are trying to make the quick buck, by upping the prices here in Australia by 25%

          • Shiwan8

            That’s GW being GW.

        • Barty

          It’s like 1/3 mark-up or worse to go from the plastics to the FW resins. Like a base Tactical Squad (Just 10 marines and bolters) is £60 in resin for example.

          The pricing of these is a little less insane when you think it’s meant to be a “bargain” version of the FW resins. It’s not good pricing for us as consumers, but I get why they are priced the way they are when you think that this is a 30k line.

          • Shiwan8

            And this is why we have piracy in the hobby.

      • nurglitch

        That’s just it, recent products such as BaC are cheaper, due to lower aggregate price, and constitute stealth sales. From where I’m standing it seemed like a great way around the previous CEO’s commitment to premium pricing because they were new and ‘new’ products. I’m not sure why they’re being released at such a mark up, although they may sell the odd box and drive BaC sales.

        • ZeeLobby

          Part of me thinks they’re just can cannibalizing unsold BaC boxes and are assuming that people weren’t buying BaC cause they only wanted one of the units. I don’t know, just seems very odd. I don’t see why anyone would buy these, besides like a spurious sale, when any one of these BaC pieces can be found for cheaper on eBay.

  • AreyouaNazi? Isthatyourelf?

    Well consider yourself lucky, you pay $60 for the Contemptor in the USA, we pay $75 of yours here in Australia. 25% mark up because reasons.

    • Shiwan8


      • AreyouaNazi? Isthatyourelf?

        I sold two of these on eBay. But what this means realistically is that retail, it’s cheaper to buy an actual resin Contemptor from Forge World, with the good weapons, easy to magnetise, easy to pose and doesn’t look like junk.

        • Shiwan8

          Works every time.

      • jeff white


    • byndgrv

      1 Australian Dollar equals 0.76 US Dollar

      Couldn’t possibly be this.

      • Aezeal


      • Rahl

        GW doesn’t price solely based on currency conversion.

        • Gunsheeplol

          Indeed. If it did then Australia/New Zealand wouldn’t be paying an extra 30-40% markup

      • AreyouaNazi? Isthatyourelf?

        That’s exactly how it works. In the pic, it’s $100au, which is $76us. So we pay $15usd more.

      • NagaBaboon

        If that was all it was then $60 US dollar contemptor should be roughly $80 Aus dollars, not $100. Math.

    • Iconoc1ast

      Is there no way you can order from an independant stockist?
      Here in the uk i never buy direct from gw. Im not sure if you have the option in aus though.

  • euansmith

    Plastic Horus Heresy? Art rockers? Yoko’s new band?

  • Thatroubleshootah

    I bought two of the Betray at Calth sets. as soon as I saw these boxes I bought a third. Now I have all I need for 30k and F gw in the A. I bought all three boxes on ebay for an avg. of $100 us shipped. Again, F GW. GW’s thinking is, “It seems we still have a popular game. Lets release models for it and price them super high. When Calth is sold out the rubes will have no choice but to buy them.”

    • euansmith

      Of course, it might be that GW are hoping to shift more copies of B&C.

      • Thatroubleshootah

        This is, I believe, an unintended consequence. I think many calth sets will move soon, and in the months to come gw execs will puzzle over whoever are these new smaller boxes not moving much.

    • crcovar

      When you buy on eBay GW still gets their money, and based on that discount , roughly 75% of what you paid went back to them. The only people you really stuck it to would be the owners and employees of your LGS, whose overhead makes it impossible to offer similar discounts.

      • Thatroubleshootah

        Gw already got their money from whoever bought the sets in the first place. From me they got nothing. They can only sell a thing once. They sold it to the online store. They probably made around eighty bucks from the online retailer. The online retailer made about twenty bucks from me. End of transaction. I buy stuff from my flgs. Paint, non gw models occasionally, water, brushes, glue etc. They make money off of my presence in their store. I tend not to buy to many large purchases in my flgs, but I buy many small ones.

        My main point is that many are now stocking up on calth and won’t buy these new boxes.

      • Thatroubleshootah

        Also I buy quite a few used models from my flgs. I benefit, the flgs benefits gw does not.

  • Kharn121

    The Terms and Tacoma squad is close to the 40k stuff, contemptor dread and heros are WAY over priced. $60 for a static pose dread and $50 for a pair of static pose champions is a bit insane. Then again that seems to be their model now as all the single pose heros are $30

  • amaximus167

    The pricing to me is a little steep, the only thing really worth getting upset about though is that mono-pose Contemptor for $60 USD. That is pretty much a rip off for what is in the kit.

    I could justify some Maximus and Cataphractii though for how much I could do with the kits. I would certainly grumble a little, but I could be sold on them.

  • MightyOrang

    Agree — and the real missed opportunity here was the MK2 / 3 boxed set that we all want but they didn’t produce.

    Get BAC – and get it from an online retailer – turn $150 into $130 – and then buy two.

    For the contemptors just buy from FW.

  • DJ860

    I wonder if there was some agreement with FW to price this high to maintain some of the value of purchasing from FW. I mean, if GW start releasing a tonne of heresy era kits at 40k price points, surely that’s going to cannibalise FW sales. Keep the price up, people will think twice and that protects FW.

    • Thatroubleshootah

      This makes the most sense now that I think about it.

  • Ty Hayden

    Its sort of funny, this article was basically the exact same thing we where all talking about in the comments sections when they shared the rumored prices…