Today, in its newsletter, Forgeworld (FW) announced the release a fully-working and usable 40k sized Tau Manta. The model is 25 inches long with a wingspan of 34 inches. It is the largest Games Workshop (GW) model ever produced! It weighs roughly 28 lbs without the included Tau “army” loaded.
The kit includes:
- 1 Gigantic Tau Manta Model (w/ fully-detailed and usable interior of 2 decks)
- 48 Resin Seated Fire Warriors
- 1 Resin Seated Ethereal
- 6 Gun Drones
- 2 Hammerheads
- 2 Devilfish
- 8 Battlesuits
What’s the cost? Direct from FW it will cost 895 GBP, which translates into roughly $1,704.25 (see XE.com for an exact conversion). On top of that you have to pay 12% shipping and handling that brings the total to $1,908.73. YIKES!
Is it Worth the Funds? The model, no doubt, is impressive. It is also overwhelming. Looking at the photos you can’t help but experience a dwarfing feeling. It’s just so HUGE. But, look at what you’re getting. You get 49 models you can’t use (48 Fire Warriors + 1 Ethereal) because they’re sitting down models and they go inside the Manta. That means if you actually want to use them in a 40k game you need to buy some boxes and blisters of stuff.
According to GW’s Online Store 1 Ethereal Blister = $12. 4 Fire Warriors Boxes = 48 models @ $35 ea = $140. Total additional spendings = $152 on top of almost $2,000. WOWZER! I suspect that anyone who can even afford the model, it is very pricey, will have a Tau army already. So, they needn’t worry about those extra purchases. At the same time, the included Tau “army” isn’t much of a bonus. If you don’t have a Tau army you don’t get an actual “army” by purchasing this.
So, I Get an entire Army Too? Let’s examine this a little closer. You get 2 HQ, 4 Troops, 1 Fast Attack, 2 Elites, 2 Heavy Support and a couple Transports too. Looking at number of models that is an army’s worth of models. But, is it a good army? It is lacking a lot and needs a lot of tweaking. FW also doesn’t say what bitz and etc are included. This also takes away a lot of control that you, the gamer, have in creating your aramy. I strongly suspect that those who purchase this end up doing a lot more tweaking, than usual, to finalize their army as they envisioned it.
Bottom Line It is a nice model with a lot in it. It’ll look great when painted and will make you the “cool” kid at your FLGS. But, the exorbitant price will scare away customers and push it out of reach for most. If spending $2,000 dollars won’t dent your wallet then pick it up. Be prepared to sell off the Tau “army” it comes with though. Bartertown anyone?
Buy the Tau Manta @ Forgeworld.co.uk
Tau Empire Online Store @ Games Workshop