Amidst all of the excitement over the Space Marine Codex and the new models, I didn't hear much discussion about the new Tactical Marines. I knew that they came with grave weapons and a combi-weapon, as well as a power sword and fist, all of which would be useful, but I expected this to be a simple re-tooling of the old sprue, the same as when they added the plasma gun and meltagun to the Tactical squad.
I picked up a couple of the new boxes to fill out my Devastators, and was quite surprised. Every bit has been resculpted, and the indentations on the armor are much sharper and more pronounced. There are some new armor pieces as well, and more studs on the armor. These are all great for me, as they add to the older look of the armor and will pick up details from washes very well.
Most impressively, they've given the marines a more upright stance. I believe they've lengthened the thighs and the waist section of the torso, making the standard marines much closer to the truescale ones people have been converting. They're not all the way there, but this is probably because they need to blend with the older kits (which they do well).
Older bits have been quite improved as well. The Mk8 chest plate has had the gorget extended, so it will now work with a helmeted head. The knives have been given a try eagle head pommel. The tabards have sculpted details at the top.
The combi-weapon looks very cool, and I hope I can figure out how to magnetize it so I can switch the top weapon. The bolters also have added detail, similar to the Blood Angel and Dark Angel bolters. More skulls are always welcome.
The new Tactical squad set is excellent, an impressive improvement over the old one. Space Marines have never looked so good.