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Warhammer: We Need More ‘Diorama Units’ For Armies

4 Minute Read
Jul 5 2024
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Games Workshop has some amazing miniatures for various units in Warhammer. So how about more units that are dioramas at the same time?

When I was checking out the fantastic ‘Eavy Metal Dioramas today and it got me thinking. Games Works has a few kits that are already dioramas…why don’t we see more of those across more armies?

Diorama Units In Warhammer

The Triumph of Saint Katherine

We’ve gotten a few over the years for different armies. The Triumph of Saint Katherine comes to mind. And there are a few others that I think fit the bill, too. And I’m not just talking about 40k either.

Katakros, Mortach of the Necropolis

Some of these dioramas are characters — and that makes sense. You want your big character to be a presence on the tabletop. What better way that a cool diorama with them and their helpers/attendants around.


Pontifex Zenestra, Matriarch of the Great Wheel

But not all of them are characters or even on large bases. They just have a really cool scene going on. Games Workshop really leans into this with big artillery pieces in particular.

Field Ordnance Battery

Sometimes the crews are super characterful. Or maybe GW just included a bunch of cool extras you can add to the base.



Ironweld Great Cannon

But sometimes the artillery piece itself just has a TON of stuff going on — or can even move!

Mortek Crawler

And then, on super rare occations we get something really cool. Like the Primarchs from the Horus Heresy Character Series. Not only do they often have scenic bases but occasionally GW will design two together in an epic scene.


Magnus the Red vs Leman Russ

Sure, in the Magnus vs Russ case, you needed to order the special base when it was available. That’s kind of my point though — I want more stuff like that and more of the types of kits that make awesome display pieces, too.

Blurring The Line

I was also thinking about the kits that have really cool scenic bases but “only” have one person on them. Do those count? The Harbinger of Decay is a great example. Plus there are many more big kits that are basically dioramas themselves.



You could even make the case for individual miniatures themselves are dioramas but personally I consider them dioramas if there’s a “scene” being depicted. So I tend to lean more into the fancy bases or kits with multiple individuals on them as a “scene.”

An “Actual” Diorama

via Warhammer Community

For example, this is very clearly a diorama as it’s depicting a Cadian Squad disembarking from a Chimera. It’s clearly meant to be a display piece. None of the models can be removed from the piece or on individual bases.

But imagine if this was (somehow) a playable unit in 40k. I know that’s a little crazy to think about considering there’s an entire unit in there, a character, and even a vehicle. So yeah… it’s not really built for a game in terms of use on the tabletop. However the unit with the character really isn’t that much different than Saint Katherine above when you think about it.

In fact, most of the infantry units in Legions Imperialis could be considered as very tiny dioramas themselves. I think they really blur the line though. So, as a concept, this has been done in Warhammer Games for a very long time. I mean Warhammer Fantasy Battles with the rank and files units is another example.


Do you consider rank and file units dioramas? Personally, I don’t think I do. But I think if they were on a movement tray that had some cool modeling work done I could definitely be persuaded.

At the end of the day I think I’d just like to see GW make more kits that are like Saint Katherine or Katakros. I want to see units/character that are themselves simultaneously dioramas and playable units. I think these kits present a really cool crossroads for hobbyists and players. These “diorama units” just add a lot of character to the tabletop and ultimately I just want more of that in my Warhammer.



Do you like these “diorama units” in your Warhammer or would you just like to keep your units as individual miniatures?

Author: Adam Harrison
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