After the Great Devourer narrowly won the Battle for Oghram, Tyranid collectors can now look forward to a new Codex and a new wave of miniatures. In part 1 of our reviews, we take a closer look at the Norn Emissary / Assimilator, the Biovore / Pyrovore, as well as the new Hormagaunts and Genestealers.
The new Tyranid models will be available for preorder starting Saturday, September 2, 2023, and go on sale one week after.
In this post, we’ll cover the Norn Emissary / Norn Assimilator, the new Biovore / Pyrovore, the new Hormagaunts, and new Genestealers. Part two, covering the new Lictor, Neurolictor, and Death Leaper, will follow in a few days, so make sure to check back.
Norn Emissary / Norn Assimilator review
The Norn Emissary is a dual build kit and can also be assembled as a Norn Assimilator. The model comes on a 100mm round base and three medium sprues. That’s not a lot of plastic, and I was surprised that the model is not as colossal than Games Workshop’s marketing would have you believe. A Tyrannofex or Tervigon definitely brings more weight to the table.
With the scenic base and the large chimneys, the Norn organism is only slightly taller than an Aeldari Wraithlord, which is about 11.5 cm with base.
The Norn Emissary / Assimilator with its scenic base and large spore chimneys is about 14 cm tall, which is about the size of a Trygon / Mawloc. For this, I find the price of £70 / 90 € / $115 quite steep.
The model has a ball joint at the hip. You can assemble the model with one of the two stock poses, or remove the small positioning nubs and position the hip more freely. Otherwise, the arms, heads, and legs are all locked in fixed positions for either variant, and apart from the choice between Norn Emissary or Norn Assimilator, there are no additional bitz or building options.
Biovore / Pyrovore review
The various iterations of the Biovore (and the Pyrovore as well) have always struggled to wow Tyranids collectors, as none of the models was truly beloved. For the new plastic version, the design has been reimagined from scratch. Instead of a living artillery piece with prominent front limbs and an orkish grin, the new Biovore now leans more towards a crab or spider-like appearance. The gun on its back is now modular, allowing the kit to also represent a Pyrovore.
The Biovore/Pyrovore stands on a 80mm base and is spread across three small sprues. Additionally, three Spore Mines on 25mm bases are included. There are a couple of extra parts for the legs, and four pieces of base decoration (of which you need two per model), so you can vary the position of the legs slightly. Apart from the legs and two guns, the model doesn’t offer alternative assembly options or bits, and only one head.
The new Hormagaunt box contains 10 models, standing on 28mm bases like the new Termagants, along with a base with Rippers on a 40mm base. There are two medium-sized sprues included. The models are amazing, all designed in highly dynamic poses, with proportions and body structure resembling the new Termagants. They are pretty much the size of the former plastic Hormagaunt models, if not slightly leaner.
The talon arms are designed to fit a specific body sculpt each, but if you cut away the pegs, you should be able to position them more freely, as the shoulders are almost ball joint shaped. 14 heads are included in the kit, so four extra head sculpts. Not too bad by today’s standards.
The new Genestealers also come in a pack of 10 models, spread across three medium-sized sprues (no Ripper swarm though). The base size has increased to 32mm, and overall, the models have grown slightly taller. Unlike the two Genestealers from Deathwatch: Overkill, which seemed to be more inspired by the 2nd Edition models, the design of the new Genestealers is a continuation of the previous iterations, with an overall improvement of sculpting quality and level of detail.
Similar to the Hormagaunts, all 10 models feature fantastic dynamic poses. The arms are meant to fit a specific body each, but removing the pegs should allow more positioning options. There are 14 regular Genestealer heads, as well as 10 Yrmgarl heads (the ones with the tentacle mouths). Otherwise, there are no customization options. Compared to the previous box, you’ll have to forgo the scything talons arm as well as the two small spawn nests.
Almost all models from the new Tyranids wave are positioned at the higher end of Games Workshop’s typical price range compared to other models of similar size. The Norn Emissary and the Biovore stand out as the most negative examples to me. Additionally, the price of the Hormagaunts seems inconsistent when compared to the standalone box of the new Termagants, which even includes an extra sprue of special weapons and is still slightly cheaper.
Fortunately, in the Tyranid range, there are still some older, well-aged models like the Tyrannofex / Tervigon that offer more value for money. Or you can find the new models at our 🇬🇧/🇪🇺 partner stores Wayland Games, Element Games, and Firestorm Games, at 🇩🇪 Taschengelddieb and PK-Pro, and at 🇺🇸 Noble Knight Games with a welcome discount of up to 20% over RRP. Using our links supports Tale of Painters at no additional cost to you, so thank you very much for using them!
Part two of the review of the new Tyranids model wave will follow in a few days, covering the Lictor, Neurolictor, and Deathleaper, so stay tuned.
I hope you found this review helpful, feel free to leave a reaction or comment below, or post your questions here or discuss on our Discord channel.