Monday, 23 April 2012

Vintage White Dwarf 202. October 1996.

Time for another blast from the past and this one is another classic from the Jake Thornton 'fat dwarf' era. The special thing about this one was it came with either 2 free Skinks or 2  Bretonnians. Man I'd love a Lizardmen army!

News - Plenty going on this month. A few releases for Warhammer Quest, some Lizardmen for fantasy, and some Chaos bits for 40k. It's the other boxes that are really interesting... An advert for a colour component artist. It paid £6000pa but you did get free accommodation and a GW owned house, crazy! They also gave us fore-warning that Epic was going to be leaving the shelves soon. The biggest news though was the release of...

Warhammer - Rick Priestly talks us through the release of the new edition (possibly 5th?). The box has Lizardmen v Bretonnians along with all the usual books, dice and templates but also some lush card scenery. As Rick guides us through all the newness he does a few interesting things. He actually tells us that they're working on an expansion that's coming out soon about magic, and he thanks us, the gamers, for all the feedback and letters that were sent in to inspire the designers. Not sure either of those things would happen nowadays.

The Sorcerer - Andy Chambers dishes the dirt on one of this months Chaos releases, Ahriman. There's background about the Thousand Sons, Tzeentch and all  the rules.

Out of the Darkness - A really interesting article all about how to change your perspective on Warhammer Quest so it doesn't have to always be a dungeon crawl, it could be anything we want it to be. Loads of great ideas and concepts to explore.

Lost in the Warp - A look at Chaos conversions and the introduction of the bits box! There's some really amazing artwork that really captured my attention as a boy. The converted models were quite a mixed bag, most of them in garish colours but a few of them were cool.

Lords of Lustria - Nigel Stillman takes a closer look at the Lizards. He mostly covers the history and some famous locations and then there are stats for Skinks and Saurus Warriors.

'Eavy Metal Masterclass - Mike McVey presents an article all about banners. How to design them, paint them and attach them. Much of this artform has disappeared now with moulded details but it's something I attempted years ago and would like to get around to trying again sometime.

Lionheart - Stillman is wheeled out again to go over the details of Louen Leoncoeur for the Bretonnians. He's a dude on a Hippogriff, nuff said.

Modelling Workshop - A bloke called  Owen shows us his concept for some scenery. It's based on a crashed spaceship so there's debris and wreckage, plenty of Necromunda bulkheads and drinking straws. It actually looks quite impressive.

Frontline News - Army Cards are introduced! I really wish this concept was still around, getting free stuff if you buy enough other stuff.

We Will Rock You - A look at fantasy warmachines, specifically stone throwers. There's plenty of tactics but definitely not enough Dwarf action for my tastes.

A Warrior's Duty - Imperial Guard Catachans and Cadians go up against an amazing all Aspect Warrior Eldar army. I don't know if you can still make that kind of army, I hope that it comes back when the next iteration of the codex is released.

This was quite a nice issue, nothing spectacular happened but everything had that cool feeling about it from the free stuff to the chaos conversions to the home made terrain. It's difficult to judge but it's above average, maybe a 6/10.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

YouTube Tuesday - The Overlords.

The Overlords are a group of gamers from Dagenham here in the UK. They are also a gaming club and the hosts of the great podcast of the same name.

There are quite a few guys involved from Inquisitor Steve and Dagmire through to the international members such as Mark from the US and Sam from the Netherlands. They cover a huge amount of 40k related topics, and don't delve too much into hardcore tournament talk and list building which is great for me. There's plenty of background chat and the jingles are fantastic.

As a sample video here's part one of their christmas special to whet your appetite... enjoy!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Vintage White Dwarf 207. March 1997.

I think my brother had this one when we were younger, or it could just be that he bought a Vyper and they'd just been released. Oh well on with the show...

News - A fair bit of cool kit for 40k this month. As I just mentioned the brand new Eldar Vyper came out along with the Space Marine Attack Bike (which I have never been fond of, it just reminds me of old couples in motorbikes). There's also the lovely looking Greater Daemon of Nurgle and some Nurglings. I've never been drawn to Chaos but something about the pestilent one is drawing me in at the minute.

There's a note about the cost of WD going up to £3.50 but that they're increasing the page count to 144!

For fantasy there's tons of stuff, Bretonnians, Goblins, Orcs, Dwarf Slayers and the Idol of Gork expansion with some tasty looking card buildings (have I mentioned I love card buildings before?!)

Aerial Supremacy - A whole article dedicated to the Vyper. As usual with these old articles it's not part of a major release, just a cool model they wanted to put out. All the rules are included, along with some tactics, designers notes and schemes for different Craftworlds. Because it's one model and not a whole range we get a lot more insight into the model unlike the modern massive releases with little to no content.

Forging Alliances - Tuomas Pirinen talks about allies in Warhammer. Gives some history behind some possible matches and goes into detail about a particular Wood Elf/Bretonnian mash up.

'Eavy Metal - The team showcase some of their work. Stand outs for me are Jonas Ekestam's Eldar Jetbikes which look fantastic even by todays standards.

Dark Conspiracy - Jervis wraps up the mega reader campaign a bit more, adding some story to the proceedings but not a lot else.

...And That'll Be Corkin'! - An amazing four page article all about Matthew Currier and his incredible Necromunda gaming board. It's a huge tower in the shape of a cross with hundreds of layers (well maybe not hundreds) that looks like it would be great fun to play on. I might even have a go at building something like this if my dreams of a Necro campaign ever come together.

To Waagh! Or Not to Waagh! - This is a closer look at the Orc and Goblin releases this month with plenty of photos and an example army list.

Space Marine Attack Bike - This months other 40k release gets its moment in the spotlight with Mark Brendon spilling the beans about its stats etc.

Great Unclean One - This is a fantastic article about my favourite Daemon. There's rules for both fantasy and 40k along with a blurb from Trish Morrison who sculpted it. There's tons of pages from Wayne England's sketch book, and a painting guide from Dave Perry. A top notch read.

Frontline News - They visit Harrogate this month and announce the new Hong Kong store. There's also the expansion of the army collecting cards which were fantastic. Basically giving you free stuff fore making a few purchases for a specific army.

Epic 40,000 - Andy Chambers previews the re-release of Space Marine. This was a huge leap forward from the old game and as such the design team went overboard with new scenery and tables, massively streamlined rules and some beautifully painted armies. There's even a competition to win a 1500 point Imperial army!

'Eavy Metal - Mike McVey chats about his lovely looking Lustrian Diorama. It's full of old school charm with lots of details you only find after looking a couple of times. Luckily these old dioramas are still on display at HQ.

Top Terrain Tips - Loads of scenery tips from readers writing in. Jake picks his favourites and some of them are things I'd never have thought of.

'Eavy Metal - For the third time this month! This one is showcasing the rest of this months new releases so plenty of Bretonnians, a dude called Skaw the Falconer and the Dwarf Slayer Command group.

A Clash of Patrols - A 40k battle report inspired by the two fast attack releases. Eldar v Ultramarines in a high speed flying base fest. One exciting point is that they're using the Imperial Firebase as scenery. Yet more amazing cardboard scenery. I wonder if my brothers old one is still in the loft?

So there we have it. Another great classic issue. It managed to cover 4 different systems. Had 3 major releases for 3 different armies, all with full rules and points. They also managed to squeeze in releases for 2 other forces too. Doing these reviews each week, and especially this weeks, it really drives home just how creative the company used to be. Yes they create wonderful miniatures now, but that's about all they do. Just from this issue you can see the amount of passion and community spirit the WD team are allowed to show us. Maybe all the current ranting is misplaced, I think Andrew and team do a great job, and I feel that they have their hands tied rather tightly by higher management. Maybe if more people took the time to write in then we could see more user created content being introduced. A worthy 9/10 for 207.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

YouTube Tuesday - Ichiban Painting.

I stumbled upon this dude on Twitter a while ago. You can find him at but since this post is about videos and not tweets you can find his youtube channel at and I definitely recommend it.

Basically he lives in Japan and does some awesome painting for clients. A lot of his work can be found on his blog and it really is spectacular. Recently (about a month ago I think) he started posting up videos on youtube. These started off as showcases for some of the work he'd completed and recently he's started to make tutorials about various techniques like digital camo painting and how to paint power weapons.

This is one of my favourite videos so far, how to paint Ultramarines! Please do take the time to check out his other ones too.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Miniature Monday - Grey Knight Paladin with Daemon Hammer

Wassup gang! So it's officially been ages since I actually finished a miniature. This guy has been a long time coming as I think I'd run out of steam. I think he's been worth the wait but would love to hear what your thoughts are. On a side note, he's probably the last model I'll paint in the old GW paint range!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Vintage White Dwarf 206. February 1997.

This is an issue that I remember very well from my early teens. It even make me get a Slann Mage Priest for my non-existent Lizardman army when no-one was playing fantasy! So on with the show...

News - White metal was released. They gave it half a page and didn't herald it as the greatest thing ever. There was no overblown hype, just a simple 'this is what we're doing, we like it and hope you will too'. For 40k they released some Noise Marines and for fantasy there were a huge amount of Lizardmen, the Green knight, movement trays and some Drunken Dwarfs.

Lizardmen - This article fleshes out the new fantasy army that was launched with the 5th ed box set. There's loads of background such as details on spawnings, painting your army, raising regiments, adding age markings, various marks of the gods, artefacts and modelling bases. It goes into loads of depth and you actually learn something rather than a brief interview that just tries to sell you everything.

Small is Beautiful - Adrian Wood talks about playing smaller battles of 40k. In 2nd edition 2k armies were the norm and he casually mentions that they often play 4k matches. He proposes fielding 1000 points or smaller and documents how he settles on 600 for a nice game that allows different units such as psykers and can be played in a lunch break. He references Necromunda as an inspiration and started a small campaign where he uses a Genestealer Cult army! There's even an iconic photo of his converted Chimera.

Here be Dragons - Rick Priestly talks about surprise surprise dragons and how to field them and use template weapons effectively. A short article but interesting none the less.

Epic 40000 - This is a preview of the upcoming re-release of Space Marine. There's a few shots of scenery, models and artwork to whet the appetite.

Battle for Antoch Plains - The Dwarfers talk about how they went about creating their massive display piece for that years Games Day. The construction of the board was huge and the effort of everyone to paint the armies in time was monumental. Not something you see happening nowadays.

Requiem of Pain - You remember those Noise Marines I mentioned in the news section? Well here's the full rules for them, including weapon stats and points costs so you can add them to your Chaos army straight away. Nothing is held back, it's all there to use.

Stillmania - Nigel Stillman talks about his trip to Italy to see how gaming is done over there. This article seems very much like the precursor to Jervis' Standard Bearer without him having sold out. (Alright that might be a bit harsh, sorry!)

The Book of Days - A background article about the different regions of the old Warhammer world, how they came to be, and how their citizens relate (or not!) to each other. There's also a scenario called The Battle of Hel Fenn to recreate a battle between Dwarfs allied with the Empire against the Undead.

Frontline News - All kinds of news about what's happening in the stores. There's battles for the Plains of Antoch, a staff tournament, Black Library on tour, and a caption competition.

Dark Conspiracy II - Jervis gives the down low to the new Warhammer worldwide campaign to see who will reign supreme on the Antoch Plains (a popular theme this issue).

'Eavy Metal - Showcasing the new models, great shots of the Drunken Dwarfs, and the beautifully painted Green Knight. I was lucky enough to see it in 'the flesh' at Warhammer World last year and it's amazing.

To the Death - A battle report between Skaven and Orcs/Goblins. There's a huge amount of writing giving a real blow-by-blow and it's done as if they're chatting like real gamers would.

There we have it, another great blast from the past. It's difficult to give an accurate score because it was a special issue for me but I think a fair score would be 7/10.  Yes it only really covers 2 systems but there's new rules, a new scenario, plenty of background and a lot of food for thought.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Prospero Burns.

This book really wasn't what I was expecting at all. It was a complete surprise throughout and I absolutely love it for that! I'd been expecting the exact story from A Thousand Sons but from the other perspective, with Skarssen Skarssensson and Ohthere Wyrdmake following Magnus around tutting (or growling) until they decided to start the murder-make. What I found instead was a great story about a human going to live with the Rout and at the end the story crosses with the previous book.

The first chapter was a really weird one that nearly put me off the book, I had to force myself to get through it and it took some adjusting to get used to the style and language used. It was more like a prologue about some of the primitive tribes on Fenris and how the were still quite superstitious when our human, Kasper Hawser, had crash landed on the planet. At the end of the chapter he was rescued by an Astartes named Bear and that was the point that the story started for me. I'm glad I kept going.

From there onwards it was a fantastic tale of how the Wolves live, covering their traditions, what they think about other's misconceptions about them, and how they fight. They each interact with Hawser in their own ways as he's essentially their remembrancer, and I'm not sure if this is quite Astartes-worth but I found a lot of the writing to be touching and heartfelt. It's one of the few occasions in this series where I've really identified and understood the characters which I think is why I like this book so much.

Also, because they are 'good guys' there wasn't and didn't need to be a whole lot of story given over to the usual "oh I'm so misunderstood/it wasn't my fault" dialogue. Although speaking of bad guys the Emperor is becoming more of a dick with each novel, not a fan at all.

Dan Abnett has done a stunning job with this one and I'm really looking forward to reading Know No Fear when I get there in a couple of months. In a Warllama first, this gets a 10/10! Even more amazing as I've never thought about Space Wolves as a chapter I'd want to play.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

White Dwarf 388. April 2012.

Rather than the usual pre-amble I'm just going to launch straight into the review this time if that's all right with y'all!

New Releases - It kicks off with 6 pages showing all of the 145 new paints. Now this is a good use of these pages compared to normal. It clearly shows you each of the colours, which category they fall into and is a very handy reference. I'm a huge fan of the new range, and while I am going to struggle getting my head around the renaming I think it was totally the right thing to do. It's a fresh start for an impressive release and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some. The ones that I'm currently interested in are the Jokaero Orange and Ceramite White bases, the Moot Green and Fire Dragon Bright from the layers to see if my Tau colour scheme will still pop as much.I might pick up a texture, dry and glaze pot just to give them a try and experiment but I'm really excited about technical range, especially the Lahmian Medium for fixing transfers which are a massive pain in the arse.

Sticking with the painting tip, there's the new How to guide that comes with a DVD, will definitely take a look at that. They've also redone all the paint starter kits for beginners. There's loads of new transfers for 40k from loads of different chapters which is a nice idea. The rest of this section is taken up with the huge Empire release. While there are some really nice parts to the army I'm not a huge fan. It feels too historical rather than being fantasy. Focusing on the bits I like, the Orrery on top of the Celestial Hurricanum is amazing as is the big lens/death ray thing on top of the Luminark of Hysh. That's about it really I'm afraid.

The Citadel Paint Range - I accidentally covered most of what I wanted to say above! This article has loads of examples of how to use the new paints and glazes, as well as handy tips and comments from the Hobby team. There's a compacted paint guide that's handily sorted into complimentary colours and loads of step-by-steps for painting different models. It's surprisingly in depth and I'll certainly be coming back to re-read it in the future.

Sigmar's Heirs - So it's all about the empire. There's maps, stat lines for some of the units, background and tactics and a huge section about Karl Franz.

Warhammer Civil War - The third and final part of the expansion contains the rules for the Empire, Dwarfs and Skaven. Looking over the Dwarf rules they've put a lot of thought into it, creating some really fun scenarios.

40k Death Worlds - Phil Kelly presents an expansion to the Battle Missions supplement all about fighting battles on inhospitable planets such as Fenris and Catachan. There are three missions each with their own style of deployment, victory conditions and special rules. What's really cool about it though are the Hazard tables that you roll on to determine random events that happen each turn. This reminds me of the terrain and building rules from fantasy.

The Wolf and the Kraken - The battle report that was missing from last month surfaces with Space Wolves against Tyranids. It's only 1k each so there's not a huge amount of choice and each army has only got 1 new release in each. The interesting part was the little box at the end saying that next month they'll be showing us how to create our own ice world terrain.

Harald Deathwolf's Great Company - A short article with some step-by-step guides, a showcase and some general chat about how to start your own great company.

LotR Tale of Four Gamers - This month they expand their armies up to 500 points but there's still no budget and no real insight into what's going on.

Games Day 2012 - Tickets for those of us that are still WD subscribers we get the chance to buy our tickets early on the 7th of this month. I'll be getting mine for two reasons, one is the lovely miniature taken from the cover of 2nd edition 40k. The second is to allow GW the chance to prove they can put on a great event after last years disappointment.

At the back there's a conversion chart telling us what all the old paints are now called. This is another great resource in this time of change. I'm going to be taking it a step further and sticking labels onto my old pots with the new names written on just so that I can get up to speed quicker! Also on the back cover they've given us a preview of what's coming next month which hasn't happened in ages. It's a set of new spells and scenarios for Storm of Magic. I really hope there's some decent 40k content too as 6th has got to be coming out soon.

all in all this was a quite good issue so gets a solid 7/10.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Forge World Open Day 2012 - Part 2: The Warhammer World bit.

This was my second visit to Nottingham to Warhammer World and I think I was even more excited this time. As soon as you pull round the corner you're greeted by huge Astartes statues and buildings with massive aquillas plastered on them, a very impressive sight. Parking was difficult but we found a spot outside the Eurohub and walked the short distance to the entrance. One of the staff handed us the FW programme and we headed up the stairs. The queue for the FW sales stand was coming out of the door so we bypassed that and headed straight towards Bugmans. The FW exhibits were in an area I'd never seen before in the Staff canteen. On the way we spotted a stand selling really old GW stuff like old issues of White Dwarf, the Journal and also boxed expansions like Idol of Gork and stuff. This was really cool however it's nothing that you couldn't find cheaper on ebay. The exception that I spotted was a pristine copy of Battles in the Underhive that I'd just bought for more, oh well.

After checking out the FW goodies we headed back into the main hall to check out some of the gaming tables.
The one that had most of my attention was the Tau themed one. The terrain is fantastic so I made sure I took plenty of reference shots for if I ever get round to building any. It's the same scenery that was featured in the battle report from last weeks vintage WD review.

They also have plenty of display cabinets around the edge of the hall with various armies in.
One really cool part was a Salamanders army. Although I'm not really into them he'd made some nice looking objective markers.

They also had the Dwarf Brewhouse on display from their modelling masterclass. Again I took tons of shots of that to one day create my own. It looks straightforward enough, just need to find the time!

After that we headed into the shop for a quick browse, my mate wanted some thunderwolves and I wanted to see if they had any old stuff hanging around. After narrowly escaping a grilling from the staff we thought it was time to head up to the miniatures hall.

For me the hall is a trip down memory lane. I'm not too bothered with looking at all the current armies as they're fairly standard. What I love seeing is all the old armies and models from when I first played in the nineties. They also still have all the old dioramas that Mike McVey and others had made. It was while I was posting a shot of the Exodite versus a Chaplain onto Instagram that A friend from Twitter, Jamie came over and said hi because he'd just seen it! You can find him here and I recommend that you follow him. We had a chat and went our separate ways heading in different directions around the cabinets.

There was even more cool scenery and I took a big shine to the regiments of night Goblins and the Lizardmen army. Having got into fantasy over the past couple of months I really like how flavourful the armies are and seeing beautifully based units is very inspiring. They also had the Golden Daemon winners in a cabinet. Some of them were amazing but I couldn't really see anything about them that set them apart. It must be so hard judging that competition.

We then decided it was time to get some food in Bugmans. I ordered the Fat Bloke burger. It's a shame that Paul Sawyer's legacy as the awesome WD editor has been reduced to the name of a huge burger but there you go. As we were debating what to purchase from the sales desk (some Grey Knights Land Raider doors by the way) I spotted some guys playing on the city fight board that had been reserved. It was only Ozrax from Twitter! (Follow him here). We had a bit of a chat about our days but he needed to get back to the war so my mates and I headed off to the car for the long journey home.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Warhammer World I would whole-heartedly recommend it. The amount to see and do is great, and even if you're not there for a special event it's worth it just for the atmosphere. I'd love to hear your tales of visiting the HQ. Thanks for reading!

YouTube Tuesday: GW Adverts.

For this weeks trawl through the tube I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the adverts (or commercials for any non-brits!) that GW has made over the years. Most of them seem to revolve around getting kids hooked on the games and more often than not the efforts are hilarious, but then again they are quite dated!

This one was for the GW/Milton Bradley collaboration Space Crusade. I love how they went to so much effort to make the costumes and really try to capture the atmospher of the game.

These two are American ads for individual stores trying to get more foot flow. I'm not sure how many of the kids are genuine gamers or just stooges! Either way A+ for effort.

Finally we come onto one of Games Workshop's own efforts at marketing itself. We get a very 'Cyptek' message with a date of release and a picture of the galaxy. Not particularly enticing as an advert as I'm not sure anyone outside of the hobby would see it, get excited, and immediately try to find their nearest store.

So what does everyone think about how GW markets itself? Is it right to hide away, not promoting through adverts or interviews? Or should they be doing more to tell people about the hobby and keep us updated with new developments? I personally think they should be taking a leaf out of Black Library's book (wow 2 puns in one post, I'm on a roll!) and putting out as much information as they can. Even Forge World and Fantasy Flight have content about what they're up to on their sites and at open days.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Forge World Open Day 2012 - Part 1: The FW bit.

This is my brief overview of me and my mates trip to Nottingham for the annual Forge World Open Day. We went last year so we kind of knew what to expect. We set off around 6:30am and arrived at half ten. As usual the retail queue was huge so we bypassed that and went straight to the display section. I didn't really ask a lot of questions but did a lot of looking and taking photos so here we go!

Chaos Dwarfs have been a dream army of mine for as long as I can remember and these two models are from the army list in Tamurkhan. They are the Skullcracker and Iron Daemon.

I had a leaf through the Throne of Chaos book and it is amazing. The general look and feel is of such quality it was very tempting to buy it there and then. The Chaos Dwarf army is actually quite a small part of it, with the only core unit being the infernal guard, hmmm.

Also on display were loads of monsters from the Monsterous Arcanum book such as a giant squig.

These are the new Tartaros Pattern Terminators which look unbelievable in the flesh. What was a surprise was that they were holding thunder hammers or lightning claws. There's going to be a character and weapon upgrade pack coming out soon.

Next to them were the new Mark IV Assault marines. Not only did the torsos look great but they had single exhaust jump packs like the Blood Angels.

Next to the cabinets were two display boards. The first was from the Imperial Armour 11 Mymeara book and was covered in Imperial Guard and Eldar. The centrepiece in my opinion is the Phantom Titan which towers above everything else. Also the skimmers like the Cobra just look fantastic and make me want an Eldar force!

The other board was of an Ork Settlement for the Raid on Kastorel-Novem. The amount of weathering was astonishing and the look and feel of the scene was spot on.

Then it was on to the main event, the Storm Eagle! This had been leaked on the net a couple of days earlier and the hype was huge. It turned out that only about 25 had been made to sell on the day but they had a few on display.

It's a full kit that incorporates parts of the Storm Raven and turns it into a much bigger gunship although no where near the size of a Thunderhawk. I was quite impressed with it and would've got one if they had any left but was a bit underwhelmed by it to be honest.

There was a large Zone Mortalis board set up which looked very impressive. Plenty of awesome details to see but I can't help thinking it's a bit of a luxury to spend at least ninety quid for a 2'x2' board. That said, there are plans to start bringing out more Realm of Battle board sections with specific races in mind which I really can't wait for.

Also in the pipeline is Imperial Armour 12. I had a flick through the file with some pages from it. Looks like it's going to be Minataurs and Necrons. I'm very excited to see what they do for this, hopefully inventing their own dynasty with loads of flavour.

To finish off here's a shot of the Tigershark they had on display on the painting and modelling table. It looks stunning and I can only hope that mine (when I get one!) will turn out anywhere near as good as this. They had quite a few models out that featured in the new Model Masterclass Volume 2 which looked like a really well thought out book. Just like the Storm Eagle it had sold out fast.

So  there you have it, my round up of the Forge World open day. There's probably not a whole lot of revelations but I really enjoy just looking at all the cool stuff they have on show. My only minor criticism was that not much was painted, but then I'd rather see lots of brand new unpainted stuff than hardly any new things but have them painted. Stay tuned for part two of my report this week which is going to cover the overall visit to Warhammer World.