Lets face facts nothing screams COOL! like a miniature that is totally unique. Thankfully GW has made achieving a unique character or unit a lot easier in the last few years thanks to improved plastic castings and sprues. Just look at the options you get in some of their plastic kits, the Blood Angels Death Company for example gives you enough extra bits to give a few squads a distinctive Blood Angels appearance. The new Dark Eldar kits are awesome and these multi purpose kits are now becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Blood Angels Death Company
Thing is though for some people this is just not enough, so GW came up with ForgeWorld. A small scale operation producing resin kits that gave modellers even more pieces to play with. What started off as a fairly small range of Imperial tank mods has expanded to give the 40k player (and the FB player too) a great range of stand alone models, modification parts, transfers, terrain and more.
Leman Russ Destroyer by ForgeWorld
ForgeWorlds success is due in no small part to their using resin as a modelling substance as oppose to the poly plastics of the main GW range. What this allows ForgeWorld to do is do smaller scale castings with great detail at a reasonably low cost.
Great news but... if ForgeWorld can do it on a small scale then surely other miniature model manufacturers can too.
Now lets get one thing straight, there can be only one GW and their IP is heavily protected. Even thinking about making a model that looks a little bit like a Space Marine can get a sculptor into all sorts of tricky legal problems. So if someone wanted to make pieces compatible with the 40k range they have to be fairly clever about how they market and sell these pieces.
Thankfully for the 40k modder looking for some new parts such sneaky companies exist. Over the next few days I will post up some of my favourite pieces I have found that appear to be compatible with the 28mm scale of 40k miniatures.
See you soon for some exiting 3rd party 40k compatible parts