The weird thing about the Dark Imperium boxed set is that I don't like the Intercessor Sergeants. Don't get me wrong, this is the best starter set I've ever owned (who didn't love the purity seal on the miniatures tray inside?). All the models are great but they are more or less mono-pose. Thats not really a criticism. It makes sense to have miniatures which are easy to build in the starter set. If they'd put a Tesseract Vault in there then it might be a stumbling block to the 11 year old just getting into the hobby. Far better to have some toy soldiers which you can throw together in a couple of hours and start playing. It will take years for that 11 year old boy to realise that he should have spent at least a week cleaning up all the mold lines and injection points as well as carefully dry-fitting all the components to prevent misalignment and glue leakage. Thats if he is still playing at all. Most people have casually thrown the box into the back of a cupboard at this point and moved on. Anyway, the point is that I'm turning into a crusty old git who has gotten quite fussy about the hobby. But I still don't like those sergeants. And I've got nothing better to write about so here goes:
The first sergeant is not wearing his helmet. If he was on a humanitarian aid mission for NATO forces, trying to gain the trust of the indigenous population then this would be totally acceptable. Establishing eye contact and showing people that you are human is important in establishing a rapport. However, in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium, he is a genetically engineered freak on a quasi-religious crusade to eradicate the enemies of the Holy Emperor in the most violent manner imaginable. Therefore, he should be wearing his helmet.
Its not that big of an issue really. He might have needed to take it off temporarily to blow his nose. From a hobby perspective it makes the model more interesting. It differentiates him from his squad and he stands out as the leader. It allows you to try out that Cadian Fleshtone which came in the set. So not a huge gripe then.
No, my main issue is that he is pointing at something. For some reason I really don't like models in this pose. It always reminds me of that 40k meme with an Imperial Guard tank commander shouting, 'Drive me closer! I want to hit them with my sword!'. As an 8 foot killing machine I believe he should be pointing with the huge gun he carries, not his finger. It conveys a much more meaningful message.
"Listen up, men! You see that ork over there who's head I just exploded? I wan't you to shoot in that direction. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, if you see me blowing shit up then you should blow it up too. Use your own discretion of course, but it saves time and increases accuracy if I don't have to let go of my weapon. I can't issue orders directly over the headset because I'm not wearing a helmet."
So I've decided to put my own interpretation on it and he is giving the sign of the horns. Not sure why. Maybe he is falling to Chaos. Maybe its a military hand signal. Maybe he is warding off the evil eye or just likes heavy metal.
I also swapped his weapon arm with the other sergeant. This was partly because I didn't like the way the purity seals appear to defy gravity on the original. There is definitely something wrong with that pose. The purity seals are hanging upwards, his arms are all over the place and he looks like he is about to trip up. I wonder if he is some sort of mish-mash from an up-and-coming regular boxed set? It would make sense to have a box of fully pose-able, Primaris tactical marines with weapon options in the future (and helmets for everyone!). Maybe these mono-poses are just the prototypes.
Regardless, I've switched guns of the two sergeants and reposed the arms/stance of the second sergeant to make it look like he is reloading; ramming a fresh magazine home into the bolt rifle. I still think he looks awkward but if you were trying to do something requiring manual dexterity whilst completely sheathed in several inches of ceramite plating, your arms and chest twice their normal circumference, you'd probably look a bit awkward too.
I'm not sure which of these two to paint up for my 1500 point force. I'm already using a Lieutenant in place of the sergeant in the other Intercessor squad so I only need one more.