Tyranid Aegis Defense Line – Not Just for Imperials Anymore!

This summer, I read through an article on Dwez’s blog about options for a Tyranid Defense Line.  He had some fantastic ideas for hand-crafted versions, but I lack the patience to do that sort of thing.  Instead, I went for the slightly more expensive route and just purchased a casted version from the “First Contact Terrain” line by Dark Arts Miniatures (though, at the time of writing this, the link to their store is no longer working for some reason…?).

I didn’t intend to do a review of the models themselves, but I’m sure some people are interested in my experience, so I’ll go ahead.  I’ll add the disclaimer that I’m not sure I have enough input at this time to do a truly fair review, but here goes.

The models themselves are certainly appropriately sized (see the various photos throughout this post for size comparisons to termagants and to the actual GW “Aegis Defense Line” models).  For those that are very particular about sizing, the Dark Arts models are technically 1/4″ shorter (in length).  Each major length of wall is virtually identical in both length and height to the GW equivalent (though you’ll find that the GW one has a raised wall on either side, and the Dark Arts model has just a single one in the middle (hidden by the post).  I didn’t get any photos of them, but the smaller end-caps are fairly comparable to the smaller GW wall pieces as well.

After I’d placed the order, I never received a notice that the package shipped, and when I wrote to inquire as to the status, I received no response.  However, the package did arrive relatively quickly (considering the distance involved), and I had my models in less than two weeks.

On the plus side, they threw in two egg-sacs, which I have no intention of actually using (they’re fine casts, but they look a little too much like something out of the movie “Alien” for my likes).  It was nice that they gave me a little extra, seeing as I paid a hefty chunk of change.

The models also have relatively good detail on them, and they had very little flash or other casting defects.  What little flash there was, was very organic in nature, and I opted (in most instances) to keep it on the models in order to give them a little more diversity (in total there are three different wall sections: two undamaged, and a damaged section).  They’re a perfect fit with the chitin/bone look, and should blend in perfectly with the rest of Hive Fleet Proteus.  I’m not super thrilled with the little chitinous plates that dot the front of each of the spires though.  Perhaps I’m just being overly critical…

On the down side, two of the models had been damaged in shipment (a consequence of international travel, I’m sure), but they broke cleanly and were quite easy to pin/glue back together–and I honestly can’t tell the difference now that they’re painted (without having to even do any putty work).   It was relatively minor clean-up, so I didn’t bother to contact them about it.

What I did have an issue with is that the order wasn’t complete.  I had purchased two smaller sets (to include 4 walls and 4 corner sections, each), but received only 7 total walls and corner sections.  That’s when I wrote the following email to Dark Arts:

Hello,

I’m writing in regards to this order {#2741}.  First of all, I want to thank you for the prompt shipment, and the overall quality of the models.  They’re perfect to use as an Aegis defense line for my Tyranid army, and I love that.  However, I did have some issues with them.

Firstly, several of the pieces broke during shipment (namely two).  Due to the distance they traveled, and the fact that they broke cleanly, this is acceptable to me.  I was able to pin them and glue them back together with very little noticable defect.  The real problem I’m having is that I’m missing two pieces from the order.  I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m missing one of the large (undamaged) wall sections, and one of the corner pieces.  At first I was fine with missing a long piece–as I really don’t need all 8, but then I noticed the corner was missing as well.

I’d like to see how we can rectify this situation.

Thanks in advance for your help.

-Rob

I wrote that a week ago and, as of now, I still haven’t received a response.  To add a little more concern to the equation, their online store appears to be non-functional as well.  Right now, I’m going to withhold my judgement on the overall product, due to the fact that I feel it would be wrong to rate them based upon their customer service just yet.

The product itself, is a great stand-in though.  For anyone looking for good looking substitutes for an Aegis Defense Line, this would work out nicely.  The price is a little high, but the amount of effort is relatively low.  I’m not going to recommend you go out and purchase these at this time though, as I have questions about the quality control and the customer service departments over at Dark Arts.

With any luck though, I’ll be able to recommend them soon…

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4 comments on “Tyranid Aegis Defense Line – Not Just for Imperials Anymore!

    • Oddly enough, I was pondering that same thought last night (not of Zombie Quad guns, mind you, but of Chaos defense lines). Somehow I appear to have three sets of Aegis lines (I remember buying one or two for the guns back in the day, but the other one? I think it came with a boxed set from GW: Strongpoint defense or something?

      Either way, it seemed like a lot of fortifications for my Ultramarines, and wondered if I shouldn’t paint up a set for Chaos–but then I’d have to deface / remove all of those aquillas…

  1. Interesting. I bought a bunch of stuff from them over the years. I had one order not arrive for 3+weeks and he gave me a credit. I let him know it did come of course like 4 days later and I didn’t need the credit. He said “Keep it for the headache”. After that he added an insured type postage for international tracking. I know their Lava bases are very popular and I’ve also seen their infested type bases.
    Hopefully they are just working on store website stuffs.

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