Warhammer 40k’s recently released Leagues of Votann *cough* Squats *cough* and upcoming Imperial Guard Rough Riders have their origin all the way back in Rogue Trader, the 1st edition of 40k from 1987. It’s thrilling to see what contemporary sculpting techniques can do for units dreamt up back in the heavy metal madness of the early Games Workshop design studio.
GW is always raiding bits of unexplored lore or discarded concepts for new model ideas – and we reckon there are a whole lot more that deserve a look-in, too.
Here are the classic Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader-era units we most want to see with new plastic kits and rules in 2023:
- Eldar Bright Stallion Wraithknight
- MkV ‘Heresy’ Armour Assault Marines
Possession by chaos daemons and summary execution aren’t the only perils facing the Imperium of Man‘s psykers. Floating, eye-topped, tentacular orb-things, Enslavers travel through space by hijacking the bodies of psykers and turning them into living warp gates. Once they arrive on a planet they psychically enslave its population and create more and more gates, overwhelming it utterly.
Though they have only ever appeared in flavour text, never yet on the tabletop, Enslavers are still part of the setting – and major players in the prehistory of Warhammer 40k’s Necrons, Eldar, and Orks. As the late stages of the War in Heaven between the C’tan and Old Ones broke down the walls of reality, a plague of Enslavers raced through real-space, devouring billions.
Since the fall of Cadia, psychic energy has flooded into the galaxy, and the Imperium has seen an unprecedented rise in the numbers of psykers – a perfect excuse for GW to unleash these fleshy hitchhikers upon the galaxy once again.
Eldar Bright Stallion Wraithknight
The Eldar Wraithknight is a 50-foot-tall bipedal robot piloted by the soul of a dead Eldar warrior. The model combines elegance, sophistication, and a brutal battery of high-tech weapons. But it pales in comparison to the Bright Stallion Wraithknight – which is exactly the same thing, except it’s also a centaur.
GW never made a Bright Stallion model, but a huge resin kit was produced under licence by the American firm Armorcast. Only a handful of them ever left the mould, making the Bright Stallion a true collectible – albeit only for the small niche of oddballs who, like us, desperately want a Wraithknight that is also partly a horse.
MkV ‘Heresy’ Armour Assault Marines
Do Space Marines have enough models? Yes. Do they have the right models in true plastic form? Well…
The release of Warhammer The Horus Heresy 2.0 in June 2022 brought new kits for space marines in mkVI ‘Corvus’ power armour, adding to the mkIII ‘Iron’, mkIV ‘Maximus’, mkVII ‘Aquila’ and mkVIII ‘Errant’ armour already available for firstborn marines. That is, admittedly, a lot of different kinds of power armour.
But MkV ‘Heresy’ armour is a true beauty. The design – with bundles of power cabling, a scowling helmet, and heavy-metal studs on everything – has equally good lore; it’s the best armour that the Legions could scrape together after breakdowns in supply lines during the Horus Heresy made it impossible to maintain their stocks of high-tech MkIV armour.
Plastic assault marine squads must surely be coming in the new Heresy range as it expands – and they’d be the perfect place to deploy this iconic mark of power armour.