We received the new GCPS release and couldn't resist throwing together the Mule Transport and Hornet Dropship kits. I must admit, I am a Guard collector, so I will be looking at them from that angle, and comparisons will be drawn between these and the Games Workshop vehicles. Although at the moment the GCPS line would be a great one to get started with in Warpath/Deadzone while still being cool for Guard counts as.
It wouldn't be a comparison without a price point so the Mule retails at £17.99 ($24.99 US) and the Hornet at £24.99 ($39.99 US).
As with most Mantic models the Mule comes bagged in a box, all parts pre-cut from their sprues and without instructions.
The only intricate part of the model is the front suspension, each side comprising of the suspension arms and strut assembly that attach to the main body and the front grill.
The Mule was a quick and satisfying kit to build, no problems were encountered during assembly, even without glue the model felt solid enough to use as is. The finished vehicle will fit in quite nicely with both Mantic's Warpath and Warhammer 40K. It is large enough to fit in with the models, while being small enough to transport. As the model is mostly snap fit the wheels and pintle mount could be removed to allow for easy transportation.
It is quite well detailed, although the details are soft, i.e. not as sharp or crisp as you would find on say the Taurox. It is also quite a bit smaller than the Taurox but at £15 retail makes it quite a steal.
TAD-65 "Hornet" Dropship
The second of the vehicle released for the GCPS, the Hornet is the GCPS troop dropship of choice, in its other build option is what I presume to be the gunship variant.
Like the Mule, the Hornet comes pre-cut from the sprues and without instructions. The parts were not bagged, but there are enough of them to almost fill the box. The Hornet also comes with a clear plastic, snap together flight stand.
Option wise you can build the kit as a troop transport with a large boxed compartment (kind of reminds me of the dropships from Starship Troopers) or as a gunship without the compartment but with what I believe to be landing skids. These parts are quite solidly attached without glue, so you can change them out if you wanted a different variant.
You have three weapon options, a rotary three barrelled Autocannon, Laser Cannon or dual missile launcher. There are also two twin linked LR-45 rifles that attach to pintles inside the troop compartment.
The troop compartments doors open each side allowing your troopers to disembark. The only other moving parts are the main rotors in the wings which can tilt.
Hornet pictures below, Bob once again turned up as a scale reference:
Much like the Mule, the Hornet was easy to build, was sufficiently detailed and will fulfil its table top role quite well. The softer detail issue from the Mule wasn't as noticeable with the Hornet. Some things did disappoint, underneath the wings were not very detailed, instead you have a series of braces which help give the wing its shape. There are also some quite noticeable ejection marks to the rear of the wing. Similarly, there is no detail underneath the troop compartment.
At retail price, the Hornet is not a bad proposition. Games Workshops Valkyrie is a prettier model but is substantially more expensive. In fact, you can almost buy two of them compared to one Valkyrie (£49.98 vs £41)
Hopefully you will find the above useful when deciding on whether these models fit with your armies or collections.