HE Phoenix Guard – Not a Big Fan

GW's new Phoenix Guard don't cut it.So I’ve just purchased a unit of HE Phoenix Guard – $50CAD – before taxes – and I’ve assembled the front rank. I don’t like them, and here’s why:

First – Price. $50 for 10 plastic models is ludicrous. There’s no more plastic in here than any other box of GW troops, so that’s not the reason they’re so expensive. The sprue is complicated to be sure, but so what? Making your money back on moulds is not an argument GW, or anyone else, can make anymore. No folks, these guys are $50/ten because they’re High Elf elite troops, and GW is happy to gouge you because you want the functionality of the unit. But seriously, GW, do you think I’m going to buy 2 boxes at over $110 (after taxes) for a unit of 20? Fuck off. I’m going to get one, and fill the rear ranks with spearmen. The irony is, I probably would have bought 2 boxes, eventually, at the $40CAD price point.

Second – Assembly. These models are appallingly awkward to put together. Each guy is a minimum of 7 pieces to put together. 7!!
2 pieces – Torso and cape
1 piece – lower body
1 piece – right arm cape extension (a must for every model)
2 pieces – left and right arms
1 piece – head
The right arm cape extension is a must for every model – not an option. Why? The upper body is made of 2 parts – a cape, which contains the rear torso – and a front torso piece. In order for the right arm to hold anything properly outside the cape, the modellers had to add a right side cape extension to protrude the arm. This is a fussy little piece, and must be matched up exactly with its forearm counterpart – no choices here. Part D upper arm must be used with part D forearm or you’re fucked.

And good luck matching some of the 2 handed halberds together. I’m an experienced plastic modeller, but I can’t make good clean connections with left and right arm alignments on one halberd shaft. Hey GW, if you had control over only using part A1 with part A2, why couldn’t you make these easier? And what’s with the heads? They don’t fit well at all on the necks? Let me guess, you didn’t want people using the extra heads on other models did you?

In short – I’ve really disliked assembling these guys. Hated it actually, considering I paid so much for them.

Third – Helmets. These new Phoenix Guard helmet designs suck. If I was an elite HE trooper, I would never want to be in a Phoenix Guard regiment for this reason alone. Yuck.

So for you folks who’ve read this far, let me summarize the new High Elf Phoenix Guard models in a succinct takeaway excerpt: waaaaay too expensive, awkwardly assembling models that aesthetically suck. Simple. A trio of bad.

I’m already sitting on the fence with your games GW, many more kits like this and I’m going to cut you loose – at these prices I deserve perfection, and probably a reach-around.

Got the last 5 done. They don’t rank up well either. Awesome.

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6 thoughts on “HE Phoenix Guard – Not a Big Fan

  1. Your post caught my eye in google reader and so as to avoid doing real work I thought I’d drop a quick thought as a reponse.

    On your first point I think you’ll struggle to find anyone who disagrees that GW prices are past what is good value. However on your second point while I understand your frustration I’d feel the exact opposite, if the models were single (or very few pieces) I’d be more mortified, more pieces does mean a greater deal of customisation, frankly in my experience single piece plastics suck utterly either in pose, level of detail or both.

    On your third point, I kinda like them, not love them, but there ya go, thats really a point of personal preference, for every person who likes them, someone will dislike them – you can’t please all the people all the time on style.

  2. But Col. (and I should have made it clearer in my post) the parts that go in to making these models only result in a single pose. Parts labeled D only work with other parts labeled D, therefore the only variety you’re going to have is how much you want to turn the head?

  3. I agree with you totally… They have been priced for the points not for the plastic which is the same of many units, I think it all started really when the empire greatswords were released though it probably goes back further.

    As for the HE elites, its the same story with the dragon princes. I think the headgear and barding design is meant to be a nod back to the designs from 1993, but while the ones in 1993 looked ok the new dragon princes look awful, and have been brought in to replace some of the best models GW ever made…. not to mention they no longer sync up with the characters designs

    The only good looking unit i think is the new white lions though I have no desire to buy them and thus won’t find out how easy they are to model with, WLs just dont seem right in a caledor army lol

    • Good catch – I never noticed that – the Dragon Princes models matched the plastic HE noble/prince model they came out with later!

  4. You think they are hard to assemble? Wait until you try to paint them after assembly. I want the inside of the cloaks to be tourquise (signature colour for my HE) but it is very hard to access. For my next 10 I will paint the inside of the cloaks on the sprue, so I don’t lose track of the assembly letter. Then I will mount the legs on the bases and paint them before I assemble the torso and put it on the legs.
    I personally think they look pretty good, although I can’t get mine to rank up well either, especially the command group. I put the legs on at an angle but I may have squared up the torsos too much. Make sure you have the torsos on at a good angle.

  5. True Steve. I never got to the painting stage though! Everything could have been fixed if they were on 25mm bases, but… of course not. I would have no problem with varying bases inside an army.

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