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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review: McFarlane Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine, The Black Legion

And thus, driven from Holy Terra and residing forevermore in the underworld, the Sons of Horus, the treacherous Sixteenth, became the Black Legion. From shame and shadow recast. In black and gold reborn.

The Traitor Legions have not been as well supported in the McFarlane Warhammer 40k series to date, with a handful of Chaos Marines released or in the works. The Black Legion Marine was the first to arrive from the Chaos Legions, released in 2022 as part of the 3rd wave of Warhammer 40k figures. It was a standard release in the dark blue/grey window box with gothic artwork and a yellow card back sitting behind the figure on its inner tray. Like all McFarlaen releases, the Chaos Marine was packed with the circular black stand - bearing a WH40k logo - that is glued to the backing card. While it slots into the figure's feet, it offers little practical use so those wanting to save their boxes for potential future repacking can leave the stand in place.

As the first Marine to utilise armour marked by the Chaos Gods, our Black Legion Marine is essentially a brand new figure - one built using the same principles as the loyalist figures with individual armoured parts connected by articulated components. For the Black Legion both armour and joints are cast in black leaving little differentiation between the two. Colour is added by way of the iconography with sculpted shoulder pads bearing the Black Legion Chapter badge on the right, and a sculpted Chaos Skull symbol on the left. There are similar designs on the wrist bracers with gold trim and spikes and on both shin guards. The base plastic of the armour is also not cast as pristine but instead features pot marks and scratches. The Marine is finished with a gunmetal skull icon on the chest, connected with two ridged pipes, and with a belt and tattered skirt in grey plastic with some similar coloured bandages around the right thigh.

The helmet follows the same colour scheme as the body with a black base with gold trim. A pair of horns jut out at either side and these agave a bone white brushed onto the raised elements, while the lower elements are left in black. Overall the figure's paintwork is basic, but it is neat and tidy, giving collectors a figure perfectly suitable for display but also with the potential for future paint enhancement in keeping with the spirit of the WH40K hobby.

The Marine is finished with the backpack, a solid black piece that slots into a socket on the rear of the figure. Again this is new, and represents the twisting and corrupting of the Loyalist Marines's equipment by the Chaos forces with extended side panels, spikes and armoured trim - although these are not painted in gold as we see with the figure itself despite being differentiated in the sculpt on the backpack.

Our Chaos Marine comes with two weapons, the first of which is a wicked-looking knife that not only fits in the right hand but is also the first weapon that can be holstered within the figure itself thanks to a loop on the belt allowing the knife to be slotted in and left slung. The second weapon is the bolter with a black finish and extended gunmetal bayonet at the front. I had expected the bolter to feature some Chaos symbols and be a bit more decorative compared to other similar weapons in the line, but it is left quite plain. The Chaos Marine only features a gripping hand on the right, with the left an open palm. Like all Marines to date the hand is hard cast and will not budge easily to open up and allow either weapon to be held. You will need a bit of gentle heat to soften the plastic.

Articulation follows the same principles as the Loyalist Marines, but the Chaos Marine body does have an upgrade to the feet with toe articulation provided. That allows 20 points of articulation in total with the usual arm and leg joints, and the innovative shoulder pad ball joint allowing the pads to move in sync with, but independently from the arm. The Chaos Marine can achieve a decent range of poses and stands perfectly well once posed.

The Black Legion Chaos Marine is a fantastic opening for the forces of Chaos and is executed without any significant faults other than the ongoing issue with the hands. The weapon and backpack are perhaps lacking in a bit of paint detail, but articulation is good - and even enhanced from the previous Marine releases. We even get a holster for the knife which is not only practical but also looks great for display. The Black Legion also unlocked doors for future releases with the World Bearer exclusive following soon after and new figures for 2024 including the Khorne Berserker and Iron Warriors figures.

Keep Track of all the Warhammer 40k figures from McFarlane at our comprehensive

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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...




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