I picked up my Collectors Edition of the new 40k rulebook yesterday and when I opened it up I knew it deserved it’s own post. The quality of this book was far and above anything I imagined it would be. I tried my best to capture the quality of the leather and paper inside, but photos do not do this thing justice. If you can, hunt down someone that has a copy and see it for yourself. It’s a really quality product.
First thing was I saw was the really nice box the whole thing game in. Right off the bat I had a feeling this was going to be better than expected. I remember when I purchased the 4th edition Collectors copy of the rules and was really disappointed. That edition shipped with a very poor leather case and came only wrapped in plastic. By the time it was in my hands the outside of the book was all dinged and scraped and I almost returned it. This 6th edition book however came in a custom cardboard box providing a lot more protection than a little plastic wrap.
The leather covering was also way nicer than expected. Based off previous experience I expected a very poor, thin faux-leather wrap. But upon opening the box I was surprised at the leather’s thickness and texture. I’m not 100% convinced it’s actual real leather, but even if it is not then it’s damn close!
Next, opening up the ‘wardrobe-front’ of the slip case you can see some very nicely printed portraits of some Space Marine hero. I was not expecting much here and originally thought it was just a cheap add on, but the quality of the materials and printing really make it work. Each portrait has this fresco-like texture to the printing surface that really make the paintings pop.
It took me a second to figure out, but the top of the case has a small opening that allows you to easily slide out this monster of a book. I did not realize at first that all the panels on the box are magnetically sealed, allowing the panels to actually stay closed when you close them. This is a really nice addition.
Now for the book itself, first thing I thought when sliding the book out was just how big this thing is. I looked at a normal copy of the rulebook earlier this weekend and copy is easily twice the size (after talking with a friend who has a normal copy, I can confirm the Collectors edition is twice as thick.) The book itself isn’t as impressive looking once out of the case, but it’s still pretty cool looking. My first impression was that it looks like something out of the late eighties or early nineties, I think the printing on the spine is what gives me that impression the most.
Just inside the front cover they make it very clear what number out of 4000 you received, a nice little touch. Flipping through the book itself you really can feel the quality of the paper they used. The pages are so thick and heavy it’s almost approaching card stock. Each page has this really nice thick texture to it which makes it feel very durable and easy to read. (side note, I love the little Imperial quotations they put on some pages. A nice throwback to earlier printings of the rulebooks)
A side effect of this awesome paper stock is that the texture and matte finish isn’t the best for printing large, full colour peices of art. At first I was really impressed with the paper, but the matte finish really takes that full ‘pop’ effect away from the full page pieces. This may just come down to personal preference, but in the end it really only is a minor issue.
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. I was a little worried with the $150 (Cdn) price tag, but after actually seeing the product I can say this was well worth the investment. The only down side is that this book is so big, so nice, and so expensive that I am definitely going to need to buy a normal version as well to use as reference. There is no way I’m going to risk damaging this awesome book!