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Horus Heresy – Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

A completely new release and new design is the Solar Auxilia Infantry from plastic. They are part of the Solar Auxilia Battle Group with a Lasrifle Section (either a single big one of 20, or two of 10 each) and Tactical Command Section covering 5 soldiers.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Tactical Command Section

We covered a bit of introduction on the Solar Auxilia in our article about them in Legions Imperialis. Among the endless regiments and battalions of the Imperial Forces, mostly known as the Imperial Army (that's how the Guard was called during the Horus Heresy), the Solar Auxilia were among the most elite and well-equipped fighting forces of mankind, second only to the Legiones Astartes.

The lore on these is a bit light yet, as even in the first edition of the Horus Heresy, they are covered in only two books and in the new edition they share a complete book with the Sisters of Silence and Adeptus Custodes, without going deeper or providing information on the lore beyond Manachean Commonwealth, with minor side notes on the Cthonian Headhunters and Agathon Cohort.

The benchmark for the Solar Auxilia is quite high, as the current range, prior to the plastic releases, covers huge units of all resin infantry, with very dynamic and characterful poses. And very few doubles, it feels like you get a full set of individuals in each of the units. Therefore, it is going to be interesting, to see how the new sprues compare, as the Solar Auxilia has to make due with the same layout as the new Astartes. A small sprue, with five soldiers each, covering the basic troopers from your Lasrifle Section, without special weapons. Yet, different to the Astartes, the core options for the officers are included in the main sprue and not as a separate sprue, which will provide you with a lot more bits.

Yet, of course there is an upgrade sprue, but fulfilling a different role, as the small upgrade sprue provides you with the option for a Tactical Command - unfortunately not really, because - yes you can build a Legate Marshal from that sprue, but you're not having any weapon options for the companions. This means the upgrade sprue, unless we will see special weapons like with the Astartes, provides you rather with the bits for a Line Command Section.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Battle Group Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Battle Group Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Battle Group

The Infantry kit can either build a Las Rifle Section or by adding the command parts a Tactical Command Section, but only provides you with the bits for the Captain/Marshal/Legate Marshal and Augury Scanner, Command Vox and Cohorts Vexilla for your companions. Please read the instructions carefully, as there are some minor steps that are not that clearly explained and may cause trouble. We will point them out further below.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

We start with building a squad of 5 Auxilia from the Las Rifle Section sprue. The Auxilia stand on 25mm round bases. The upper torsos are the same, combining an upper body, the chest plate and the coil on their shoulder. The Auxilia Sergeant has a different design for the chest plate, as you can see on the far right. Each of the five pair of legs has a different option and the can be swapped freely. I suggest waiting for the position of the arms until adding the upper bodies to the legs.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

Within the sprue you will find options for Krak and Frag Grenades along with Melta bombs, that can be added to the belt, along with further ammunition. As you can see by now, the void armour is slightly armoured with plates over a full suit. It is fully enclosed and designed to be used in space, chemical warfare and other hostile environments. But of course, no match to the power armour of the Legiones Astartes.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

But let us arm our Auxilia soldiers, in four cases this means a Lasrifle (with or without bayonet), and with the Sergeant we have more options, as we can choose between various pistols (Las Pistol, Blast Pistol, Needle Pistol, Plasma Pistol and Hand Flamer) paired with a Power Fist, Power Sword or Charnabal Sword. I went with rule of cool and gave him the combination of plasma pistol and power fist.

One of the problems at this step, not all of the numbers of the rifles match with the numbers on the sprue, and I had to swap around, to make them fit.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

In the next step, we add further details, like the heads, shoulder pads and upgrades for the auxilia vexilla and vox interlock. About the shoulder pads, that is a bit irritating, as each of the soldiers is shown to receive parts 6 and 7, but in the sprue, there is part #6 (left shoulder pad) 5 times and part #7 (right shoulder) only 4 times, but a single shoulder pad with an offset hinge (part #40) that is not used within the instructions. Furthermore, part 40 is according to the instructions part 45 on the sprue. This creates a bit of unnecessary confusion. But it gets worse with the Tactical Command as they use the same range of numbers, partially the same numbers for similar parts and that is not properly distinguished in the instructions.

You have alternate head options for the sergeant and auxilia with vox interlock, but of course you have a few spares, as you can build regular set of five auxilia with las rifles from this sprue.

The vexilla is nice detail, similar to the Astartes variant, worn on the back. I had problems removing them from the sprue without damaging the rays around the sun. And while it is nice that you have two different details, I would have taken an empty one for my own designs. You will have a lot of these, as there are two of them per sprue, which was nice, as I had spares after I damaged the first two.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

Now we will do the same steps again, but add the small upgrade sprue for the Tactical Command Section. We will build another batch of five auxilia, but this time companions and an officer.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

We start once again with the pair of legs and upper bodies. The main difference this time, the upgrade sprue provides you with a sixth full body, with more decoration (thus giving you basically 26 instead of the 25 models listed, so you have a spare soldier, to replace the second Auxilia Sergeant, in case you want to combine two Lasrifle sections of 10 into a big one of 20) and different breast plates, as the companions show their veteran status on their chest along with further equipment for their specific roles.

I gave the Captain/Marshal/Legate model one of the shoulder coils, part #3/4, even though the instructions didn't tell me so, but the product pictures on Warhammer Community showed them, having one.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

We will now build these, pose by pose, beginning with the officer in the Tactical Command Section. He can either be a Captain/Marshal, with the same weapon options as a regular sergeant. Meaning his options are various pistols (Las Pistol, Blast Pistol, Needle Pistol, Plasma Pistol and Hand Flamer) paired with a Power Fist, Power Sword or Charnabal Sword. But if you upgrade him to a Legate Marshal, this extends to an Inferno or Archeotech Pistol or Volkite Serpenta, along with Thunderhammer or Paragon blade for close combat. Please note, the left arm of the Legate Marshal is a different one than the Captain has, with an additional armour plate (as you can see in picture 5).

Most irritating in the instructions at this point is, that they don't point out from which sprue the numbered pieces are. While it is in some cases obvious, for example the bodies, the jump back to the regular sprue without info. And in case of the shoulder pads, the pieces on the regular and upgrade sprue are labelled 7, but the officers have a more decorative shoulder pad with a trim, simply using the same number and hoping for you to notice on the small picture and angled illustration.

Beyond that we have three head options in total for the officer, with a bare head and helmets with a crest either across or along the head.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

We have a single regular companion. He is built just with a las rifle and his only difference to the regular rank & file Auxilia is his chest plate. Rule wise he would have the option to swap his las rifle for a Volkite charger, Power weapon and blast pistol, Charnabal weapon and blast pistol, Boltgun, Magna combi-weapon, Minor combi-weapon, Flamer, Grenade launcher, Plasma gun or a melta gun. None of these options are available from the sprue, you could probably kitbash from the spare bits of the Sergeant the two pistol and close combat weapon variants.

Note, in this case part #7 means from the regular sprue and you take the undecorated shoulder pad.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

The next model is the Auxilia Companion with Augury Scanner. I like how casual the rifle is swung around his left arm. He has a different chest plate with equipment, along with a scanner in his left hand and a different head, with a sight improvement.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

Another upgrade you can choose for the companions is the Command Vox. This means you swap the chest plate and have him screaming with an open helmet into the vox. His rifle is attached to the back of his armour, but the "proper" placement is unsure. Once I looked up the product picture, I saw they left it off entirely, but added the vox upgrade from the regular sprue. This is something that I added to the model as you can see two rows below. Just makes for a better bit in my opinion.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

Last but not least, the companion with the Cohorts vexilla. While the bit is nice looking, it certainly lacks the impressive posture of the old model. As you can see the banner was more impressive and quite a bit larger. Unfortunately, this is a fixed piece. No variants for the top, no empty plates, it is, like it is. Yet, I did a head swap for this model, as I thought that the bare head with the scar, would fit the look of a veteran, having the honour to carry the cohorts vexilla.

He has the option between two swords from the regular sergeant close combat weapons. Please note, that part 7 in his case, comes from the upgrade sprue, as it is more detailed and has a trim. This means, in the double page for this squad, part 7 is used 5 times, and is meant to show 2 different parts, three times from the regular sprue, two times from the upgrade, without a proper information. You have to take a closer look. This is really unnecessary.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Line Command Section

Everyone with a las rifle has the option to upgrade it with a bayonet. They can be worn either on the weapon or on the belt. As this is a bit, that is prone to breaking or getting stuck in a foam tray, I left them off. But in the third picture, you see that I picked up the regular vox interlock bit and added it to the companion. Along with removing the rifle, just like on the product picture. I think it suits him better.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

A quick scale comparison. The human elite is still smaller compared to the Legiones Astartes, without looking to puny. And they mix quite well with their older counter parts from resin. The initial range is incredibly fine detailed and uses all that edge and crispness that resin can provide. This is what I meant, when I said the original models really set a benchmark. It is going to be interesting, to see how the new characters from this range will keep up.

And in the last, third picture a comparison with the classic 90s imperial design, of the Steel Legion and a Van Saar ganger.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

As we did this comparison with the other reviews as well, I didn't want to skip this step and here they are the full-scale Horus Heresy models next to their Legions Imperialis twins. There seems to be quite the time gap between the design of the Legions Imperialis models and the new Solar Auxilia, as the poses of the LI models pick up the "old" design, similar with the Leman Russ, where the LI models don't have the updated mark pattern.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

The last set of pictures shows the models built in this review from different angles.

Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry Horus Heresy - Solar Auxilia Lasrifle Section Infantry

Conclusion

While this wasn't an unpleasant building experience, the whole issue of false numbering with the instructions was displeasing and created unnecessary annoyance. I understand that these models won't do the numbers that the Space Marine will do, and so they go for a compact sprue and try to cover as much as possible with that, but I think it missing something. It not necessarily the options for the companions, but more the variation.

If I take a look on the new Cadians or for example the Death Korp models, that came from Kill Team, or even the Bolt Action Infantry, which is a good comparison as they cover 6 soldiers per sprue. You have special weapons, you have dynamic poses, somebody kneeling and such, and I think this could would have benefited from a bit like this. Or at least make the upgrade sprue twice the size, put in some of the options for the companions like a grenade launcher, plasma gun or a melta gun, maybe somebody taking care of wound, have a pointing finger somewhere, a hand holding a map, just a bit more of character. Along with maybe a different topper or variant for the cohort vexilla, especially maybe doing it like they did it with the shields back in the day. You had an empty shield and glued the icon into it, this saved space and gave you more freedom, from using one of the pre-delivered designs or going for a freehand.

It is going to be interesting to see, what this range will provide down the road. The Veletarii plastic kit of the more elite Auxilia soldiers is a different sprue of 5 soldiers, as they wear heavier armour but seems to only cover one kind of weaponry. So maybe the vicious storm axe will come as a Forge World upgrade. And of course, the flamer section, of which we haven't seen anything either. And last but not least the price. I assume that the squad of 20 will be around 60 EURs, just like the Astartes. But the question is, what kind of command upgrade can we expect there?

Warhammer 40,000 and The Horus Heresy are brands by Games Workshop.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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