Tomorrow is the day: The first issue of the new Warhammer 40k partwork collection will be out in the UK. Check your local newsagents and brace yourself for the crusade that is Warhammer 40.000: Imperium, as we take a detailed look at the contents of issue 1.

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Warhammer 40.000: Imperium is the new partwork title by Hachette Partworks. Over the course of the 80 magazine run, you will amass sizeable armies of Primaris Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, Skitarii, and Necrons, along with terrain and all the paints and brushes you need to paint them.

The collection will start on August 25th, 2021 in the UK, with the US edition following on January 26th, 2022. Issue 1 will be available for two weeks, while the subsequent issues will be released weekly after that. Imperium can be found in well-stocked newsagents or you can subscribe online for extra gifts and optional premium upgrades.

To find out more about Warhammer 40.000: Imperium and the included models, and the potential savings over purchasing the models separately, check out our in-depth review and guide.

Warhammer 40.000: Imperium Issue 1

Today we take a closer look at issue 1 of Warhammer 40.000: Imperium.

Please note: Hachette Partworks have provided us with a subscription to Warhammer 40.000: Imperium. Thoughts and opinions are our own.


As with any partwork title, the first issue is the “loss leader” that is meant to draw you into the collection. The magazine comes with two miniatures, six dice, a range ruler, a small printed battle mat with cut-out tokens, an extra pull-out page, and a large A2 poster featuring the title artwork on one side and the contents of the collection on the other.

The magazine is printed in full colour, has 24 pages, and an open binding. Each issue comes with dedicated background, assembly, painting, and gaming sections. The idea is to pull the magazine apart and collect the pages in binders, sorted by sections. The first issue will introduce the Space Marines and Necrons, explain how to assemble the included models, and give you an overview of the Citadel Colour System. About half of the magazine is dedicated to the gaming aspect of the hobby, as you will be introduced to the basics of the Warhammer 40.000 core rules through a small scenario based on a duel between the models from the magazine.

The models are a Royal Warden for the Necrons and a Primaris “Blade Guard” Lieutenant, originally released in the now sold out Indomitus launch box, and currently only available in the Recruit Warhammer 40.000 starter set. The models are Easy to Build and push-fit, so they don’t require glue. However, a pair of clippers or a sharp hobby knife is needed to remove the models from the sprues.

Over the coming issues, you will receive paints, brushes, and detailed instructions for painting the Primaris Space Marines as blue and gold-clad members of the Ultramarines chapter, while the Necrons will be painted in the regal brass and black of the Szarekhan dynasty. Of course, the sandbox nature of the tabletop hobby allows you to paint and assemble your models any way you like, so immerse yourself in the lore of Warhammer 40.000 and get creative.

Garfy painted his Primaris Lieutenant in the colours of the Dark Angels, a sombre and secretive chapter, reflected by the black green armour and undyed robes. For his Royal Warden, he even invented a Necron dynasty of his own, the Occiputek dynasty, and came up with his own paint scheme from scatch. If you want to learn how Garfy painted his models, check out his tutorial for painting Dark Angels and Necrons of the Occiputek dynasty.

Necron Royal Guard in a dark brass paint scheme
Necron Royal Warden by Stahly

I also took a spin at painting the Royal Warden, the living metal of his body rendered in a corroded dark brown metal of unknown origin, jade green fluids powering the alien barrels of his gun.


£2.99 is a steal for the two character models alone. Similar Primaris Lieutenant models retail at £20 and similar Necron characters at £17.50 to £20, and you get a nice magazine and A2 poster on top of that.

Partwork veterans will notice that issue 1 of Warhammer 40.000 Conquest came with three Primaris Intercessors and a brush and three paints, while the first issue of Mortal Realms had three Easy to Build Sequitors and ten Chainrasps along. Only two models for the first issue of Warhammer 40.000: Imperium might feel like a step back, but you have to consider that we’re talking about two highly-detailed character models here. Imperium is a great way to pick up these models if you have missed out on Indomitus and have no need for the Recruit starter set.

Plus, for people new to the hobby, the prospect of assembling only two models might actually be much less daunting than the 13 models you needed to build to get going with Mortal Realms.

Next issues

Issue 2 will be priced at a moderate £5.99 and comes with 3 Easy to Build Necron Warriors, a pot of Runelord Brass base paint, and a synthetic brush. From issue 3 the price per magazine will increase to £8.99. With issue 3 you will receive 3 Easy to Build Assault Intercessors for the Space Marines, plus Macragge Blue paint. Issue 4 will have 3 Skorpekh Destroyers, a Canoptek Plasmacyte, Leadbelcher paint and a larger paper gaming mat. The exclusive Primaris Captain model will be found in issue 5.

© 2021 Hachette Partworks / Games Workshop Limited 2021

Warhammer 40.000: Imperium is available from well-stocked newsagents in the UK, followed by an US edition in early 2022. You can start your subscription on the official website, and if you’re looking for back issues, have a look at the Hachette Partworks online store, Forbidden Planet, or ebay.