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Warhammer 40K RETRO: Boxes And Boxes Of Rogue Trader

4 Minute Read
Nov 1 2020

Today we turn the clock back over three decades to some of the Grimdark’s original boxed sets.

Let’s go way back to 1987 and take a stroll through some of the early boxed sets from the dawn of Warhammer 40,000. This won’t be an exhaustive tour, and some of these boxes are extremely difficult to find good images of. Still, it is always a wonderful thing to look back on the origins of many of your current armies. Some of us old-timers may even have some of these minis rocking on the tabletop – still dishing out the pain after 30 years of service to the Emperor!

Imperial Space Marines

The Original RTB01 box featured 30 of the first plastic Corvus Mk.VI marines. Absolute classics!

Space Ork Raiders

16 metal Orks made up Thrugg Bullneck’s original box of Orks for the Grimdark. Many many Orks would follow in Thrugg’s shadow.



The first Eldar boxed set was oddly 18 Harlequins, making up a complete Troupe – dancing across the tabletop to dispatch anyone in their path. Some of these models are still awaiting a return in the current 40K edition. I want my High Avatar back as an HQ choice GW!


The first Terminator boxed set gave us so many foundational termy organizations. From the default squad layout, to the special weapons and Captain & Librarian upgrades. It all came from this box of (tiny) heroes. Who remembers triple-jam exploding assault cannons?

Land Raiders

Yes, the original Land Raiders came two per box. I love that classic styling. Don’t fiddle with the sponson las-cannons too much…*SNAP* Also note the front AND back facing heavy bolter options.


Space Dwarfs

Say it loud, say it proud – SQUATS! 36 tough little dudes with caps, las-guns and heavy bolters. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!


The Original Rhino came 3 per box. No one could quite figure out exactly how 10 marines fit inside one, but the RTB01s were shorter back then 🙂

Imperial Guard

A counterpart to the Squat box, this box gave you 36 models with lasguns and las-cannon. Meet the original IG!


One of the earliest and idiosyncratic boxed sets of 40k. The Devastators box came with three small weapons for various armies, a Tarantula (Imperial Army), Land Speeder (Marines) and Mole Mortar (Squats). LOVE that 80s artwork!


Ahh, the original dome turreted Predator in plastic. It had a coffee-straw autocannon and the sponson weapons would snap off if you looked at them wrong – but it was the first of it’s breed.


~Ok, who owned any of these and do ANY of you still bring them to the tabletop?

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