Astra Militarum Special Weapons – Modelling – Astra Militarum Getting Started – Part 12
All about Astra Militarum Special Weapons...
I started writing this article in December 2019 – as an Astra Militarum Special Weapons tactics article, which is coming in part two. But it first morphed into this modelling article because of some common queries I get regarding Astra Militarum Special Weapons. This is the 12th article in this Getting Started series, you can start at the first article here.
Never miss an article? Subscribe!
Astra Militarum Special Weapons
Some examples of common queries regarding Astra Militarum Special Weapons…
I just got this new box of guys – but it only has x special weapons. What’s the best way of getting more?
I have one Plasma Gun Guardsman, and don’t want to spent £20 just to get a few more via a Command Box. What can I do?
Which is best the Sniper Rifle or Grenade Launcher?
Are Melta Guns worth the points? Or should I just take Plasma Guns?
You get the idea. There are tactical aspects here and modelling aspects.
I’ll tackle the modelling aspect first in this article because we need models before we get to use tactics. This modelling part is mainly focused on Cadians because they are available and most popular. I’ve got a quick mention of other regiments later on.
Optimising for Special Weapons
The main issue that many people find with Special Weapons is lack of information. This article will help you!
If you have a box of regular Guardsmen then you know what it comes with. If you buy more of them you know exactly what is in that box. You have x number of heads, x number of Lasguns, etc.
But what happens when you don’t know what’s in a box? Say, a Command Squad box? Maybe you had a Command Squad box a year ago but now you’ve forgotten what exactly was in it. You can ask online, ask a friend, find a photo online or come here to this article.
I’m going to cover exactly what is inside the following boxes from the point-of-view of Astra Militarum Special Weapons only;
- Cadian Command Squad Box
- Ten Guardsman Cadian Box
- Astra Militarum Cadian Getting Started Box
- Five Guardsman
And from there we can all make better decisions about what to buy, and not buy, to fill out our squads with Astra Militarum Special Weapons. I’ll include photos for each so you can glean other bits of information too from this article. Not just info about Astra Militarum Special Weapons. If you are interested in the Astra Militarum Start Collecting Box then you should check out part 11 of this guide which goes into more detail.
Cadian Command Squad Box
This will be the go-to box for many people when it comes to obtaining Astra Militarum Special Weapons, it contains one of each type we can use in our Astra Militarum forces. Trying to get a full Command Squad of Melta Guns using Command Squad boxes is going to cost you about £80! With one Melta Gun per box, you will need three of these £20 boxes. Which is insane. More on this later on though…
The Cadian Command Squad box contains;
- A Flamer
- A Plasma Gun
- A Melta Gun
- A Sniper Rifle
- A Grenade Launcher
- A Heavy Flamer
Other items of note are;
- A Bolt Pistol
- A Plasma Pistol
- A Power Sword
- Two Regimental Standards
- A Medic set of arms
- 5 pairs of legs and 7 torsos
- Extra heads
Note the two extra torsos. You get five pairs of legs, but seven torsos – leaving you two spare. If you can get some extra legs from a friend or eBay then you have yourself two extra Guardsmen for very little cost.
Ten Guardsman Cadian Box (& Cadian Start Collecting Box)
The regular Guardsman box and the Astra Militarum Start Collecting Box both contain the same sprues for ten Guardsmen. So both of these boxes contain the same number of special weapons – and it’s not a lot.
These boxes contain;
- A Flamer
- A Grenade Launcher
This is not a lot to go on and they do not contain any of the heavier hitting weapons, like Meltaguns or Plasma Guns. You will need a Command Squad box for those.
Astra Militarum Special Weapons on eBay
You can get Astra Militarum Special Weapons on eBay too. This can be a very good idea if you want to fill out a Command Squad with 4 Plasma Guns but only currently own one.
As mentioned above, the Command Squad box only has one in, so to get the extra three it’s going to cost you another £60! On eBay you can get single Plasma Guns for £1 plus about £2 for postage – this gets you three Plasma Guns for £5 or £1.66 each.
- £3 for the Plasma Guns
- £2 for the postage
That is a lot better than £20 per weapon! OK, you get a lot more for that £20, a whole load of extra Guardsmen and weapons. But if you just want the weapons then eBay is my go-to place. This is especially true if you have the Guardsmen models already and just need the weapons. You can read more about getting models from eBay in my guide.
I did this with this Steel Legion dude below. He did have a Grenade Launcher, which I forcibly cut out and replaced with a Plasma Gun from eBay. Someone once commented that this is the wrong Plasma Gun and its a Space Marine Plasma Gun. But I cannot tell and do not care, once painted up it looked the part. The painted version you have already scrolled past in the main header image of this post ;-)
Games Workshop Meltaguns & Plasma Guns
You can also use the Legion Plasma Guns and Legion Meltaguns from Forgeworld – thanks to Vyla_SC on Reddit for this tip. There is also the Space Marine Plasma Guns on the regular Games Workshop web store – thanks to AGaurdsman for this tip on Twitter.
Five Guardsman Cadian Box
I mentioned these five model boxes briefly in my Astra Militarum Start Collecting Box article, they contain no legs and no torsos and so do not offer us anything when we are trying to build new Guardsmen from existing bits. Or trying to make Special Weapon Guardsmen.
These Guardsmen are mono-pose models and so you cannot easily place Astra Militarum Special Weapons onto the models. You could chop them up and make them fit, but its a lot of effort. They also contain zero Special Weapon bits. So these are a definite no-no when it comes to Special Weapons.
Metal Special Weapons from Games Workshop
You can also get the older metal models for Cadian Melta/Plasma, Cadian Snipers and Catachan Snipers. This are pretty pricey but they are awesome models for sure.
The Meltagun and Plasma Gun set of two are £10 – so £5 each. That is a lot of money for a single Guardsman model, a squad of four is going to get you back £20. You can do this more cheaply using eBay, it just depends how much effort you want to put into the models.
Other Regiments – Astra Militarum Special Weapons
When it comes to other regiments, even Catachans that are plastic, it gets a little harder to get your Special Weapons. This is especially true for the metal models. E.g. Steel Legion (shown above) and Valhallan models.
You either need to find them on eBay or wait for Games Workshop to do a Build to Order promotion. And even then you may need to convert the models to get the weapons you want. The single metal models with Special Weapons can be very expensive.
If you need a supply of special weapons to convert with then the Cadian Command Squad box is your best bet. Or buy what you need from eBay.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for Astra Militarum Special Weapons for regiments that are not Catachan and not Cadian. There are alternative models from third parties which would mean you can get plastic or resin models that are easier to chop and change. But if you want authentic Games Workshop regiments then you’re a little stuck and prepare to wait and get your waller out when that wait is over!
Here are some third-party suppliers that I have used in the past;
Index of Getting Started Articles
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Summary of Astra Militarum Products
- Part 3 – Ways to Play 40K
- Part 4 – Ways to Play Astra Militarum
- Part 5 – Where to Play 40K
- Part 6 – First Purchase
- Part 7 – Playing your First Games
- Part 8 – Improving
- Part 9 – Astra Militarum Tips
- Part 10 – Painting Imperial Guard
- Part 11 – Start Collecting Box Breakdown
- Part 12 – Modelling Astra Militarum Special Weapons