Sunday, 23 February 2014

White Dwarf Weekly Issue 4 Review.

As I mentioned at the end of my last WDW review this issue was going to be a bad boy, featuring the new Imperial Knights. These were leaked early, and the hype and excitement has been huge. Let's see if the official release can carry on the enthusiasm...

New Releases - Well guess what, it's dominated by the Imperial Knight! There's some seriously impressive shots of the huge kit, and a little blurb about the two variants, the Knight Paladin and the Knight Errant, and also the various Knight Houses they come from. The close up details look amazing, and I can imagine it'll be a fun kit to paint and try out some different techniques on.
There's also a detailed look at the two transfer sheets, which have some really nice designs on them. The smaller one comes included in the box and looks to be plenty sufficient, although the scope of the large A4 one is staggering, and could always be used on other kits too, like full version titans.

There's a couple of Codex style books out this month too. The hardback Codex Supplement Sentinels of Terra, detailing the Imperial Fists 3rd Company, and the digital release of the Legion of the Damned Codex. It's similar to the recent Inquisition codex in that you can ally them with any Imperial army, but other than that there's not a whole lot of detail about the contents.

Imperial Knights - Jervis takes a break from his column to introduce us to the history of the Knights, both in the lore and in the history of GW, starting with Adeptus Titanicus and Epic. Jes Goodwin then chips in with a piece about designing the models, from his original work 20 years ago leading to the new kit.

Paint Splatter - A really interesting look at the different parts of the model and how to paint it in House Terryn and House Raven colours. There's some definite ideas I'll be taking on board when I get round to owning and painting one. Next week there's apparently going to be a guide to painting Freeblade Knights.

Sprues and Glue - This looks like an invaluable guide to building the Knights so that they can be easily painted. I've recently taken a swing from painting each part individually before assembly to just gluing everything together straight away, but I think I'll be trying the sub-assembly routine shown here next.

The Rules - As well as the usual stat lines for the Paladin and Errant and each of their weapons, there's a little side note as to how it can be included in your army as an allied detachment. I'm not sure if it would be particularly fair if your opponent wasn't prepared for it since it packs a D strength weapon and essentially has 2 structure points. Other than that though it looks quite reasonable for the points. Adam Troke chips in with some genuinely useful tips towards tactics too.

This Week - It seems like a bit of a recap this time round, with snippets of information about designing knights, the Imperial Fists and LotD. At the back there's an advert for Warhammer Visions issue 2, and it looks quite cool. Plenty of Dwarfs, a Tau Kitbash and some Dark Eldar.

Like I think I said in my conclusion last week I'm really enjoying the WDW. It's compact, but because the word count has significantly increased it actually feels like there's so much more content. And after three weeks of fantasy (as much as I love the Dwarfs) it's great to see some 40k again. A very consistent 8/10 this week.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

WIP Wednesday - 2nd Assault marine built! (C.A.B.U!)

Hey guys, this is a glimpse at the latest addition to my Ultramarines assault squad. There's a few bits I'm not too sure about, like the shield on his shoulder looks a bit big, but thought it fit with the lore I've come up with for him so far.

What I'm thinking at the moment is that Brother Trajan comes from a world of Ultramar with a long history of jousting, hence the insane chain-halberd and the shield, reminiscent of the knights from his history.

Not quite the huge amount of progress I'd hoped for, but as they say, slow and steady wins the race!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Termagant test paint scheme for Charging Carnifex

The other week now my friend put up a blog post about his proposed paint scheme for his Tyranids. You can find it here. I thought it looked really cool, and the sources that inspired him were great. So I thought, why don't I have a go at doing a variation on his scheme just for fun. It actually turned out alright for just a quick attempt, and here's the step by step as to how I did it.

Stage 1 - Basecoat and wash.

Stage 2 - A couple of drybrush layers.

Stage 3 - All over glaze and basecoat the gun.

Stage 4 - Wash, then a couple of highlights.

Stage 5 - Undercoat and basecoat the Chitin.

Stage 6 - Wash and add pattern.

Stage 7 - Light spot markings edged with darker red.

Stage 8 - Same again on the gun.

 Stage 9 - Paint tongue red. Hooves/claws done by basecoating Ushabti bone, sepia wash all over, then highlight with screaming skull.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

White Dwarf Weekly Issue 3 Review.

Issue 3 has finally arrived, and it seems that I'm getting adjusted to the new release schedule, popping into GW Cardiff before work on a Saturday. I resisted picking up any of the new releases as I know what's coming in a couple of weeks, although I really should get the Dwarf book at some point soon!

The front cover shows off yet more new Dwarf units, and also boasts a few WD classics like the battle rep and a Hall of fame article. Let's see if they match the old ones...

New Releases - We get another £30 dual kit of Ironbreakers and Irondrakes. They both look suitably awesome, especially the latter which is something totally new just like last week's Gyrobomber. They are armed with Drakeguns and one of them can take a mean sounding Trollhammer Torpedo. I do think that they're slightly overpriced for just 10 models, they'll get really expensive very quickly.

There's also a new box set called the Battleline. It doesn't have much of the new stuff in it. Some Warriors, Thunderers, new Longbeards / Hammerers, two cannons or organ guns and the new Runelord. Seems like good value but I haven't actually done the maths yet. Even better value if it's available from places like Firestorm Games.

Jeremy Vetock - A light-hearted look at not being a sore loser in what is essentially a game of random dice rolls. I think Vetock is my favourite of the 'journalists' they rotate each week. He has a good way with words, and never seems to have a board members hand up his arse.

Horned Rat Rising - It's battle report time, and there's actual words unlike the Warhammer Visions version. It's a classic between the Dwarfs and Skaven, with a unique scenario. There's no points values with the army lists, and no maps, but I enjoyed the style it was written in, it seemed almost like a rep you'd find in someones blog.

The Throng of Zhufbar - Chris Peach, one of the studio painters talks about how they went about designing the scheme for the army used in the battle report. It's interesting to hear the thought that goes into something like this, as it turns out that it's not just an arbitrary choice. The only downside is that there's no actual paint splatter guide.

Hall of Fame - Darren Latham chooses Jes' Ragnar Blackmane. It's an awesome model and a great classic, unlike some other recent choices that weren't classic at all.

Paint Splatter - Oops I spoke too soon, here's a guide to the new Iron units. As always there's nothing ground breaking, but they'll be a handy reference if I ever put down my hobby knife and pick up a brush again! There's a sneaky hint at next week's guide too - Big guns and chainswords, more on that at the end.

Sprues and Glue - I'm loving this series of articles, just like the painting ones it's not for everyone, but it's just good to see genuine help offered to us hobbyists with useful hints and tips.

The Rules - This week we get the rules for Irondrakes and a little bit of commentary from a couple of guys. Just like last week I can't really comment on their effectiveness yet due to my lack of fantasy experience.

Designers Notes - We're getting so many of these articles, almost two sides for each release and they seem to be genuine discussions about the models rather than another way to sell them.

This week in - The random fun stuff at the back. There's a Forge World warrior priest as the model of the week, which got me thinking again how it's a shame there's not more FW in here, hopefully it's something they'll take on board soon.

Well that's the end of this week's 32 pages. It's been another good one packed with what seems like more features than the last one. It's getting better and I think it deserves an 8/10. Now onto the huge news of what's coming in next weeks issue. There's been rumours of GW making Imperial Knights for a while now and the other day photos were leaked of the two models. They look stunning, although as always some of the angles chosen aren't great. They're a modern spin on the old epic knights, and seem to be an add-on to all Imperial forces. I can't wait till next week's mag and then the actual release the week after. so here's the photos and rules, enjoy!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

White Dwarf Weekly Issue 2 Review.

Another week and another brand new issue of WD. As expected it continues with the Dwarf release and follows the layout of the previous one quite closely. Let's take a look inside...

We start off with  the new releases as always, and a seriously exciting bit of kit, the new Gyrocopter, which can also build the rad looking Gyrobomber. It's a definite improvement on the previous model, I had it in finecast and it was a pain to build. Goodness knows what the really old metal one would've been like.

After that big box there's then a couple more clam packs for character models. The first is the new Runelord. It's a kit that can make two different models. Both carry hammers, and one carries a tome while the other holds a pair of tongs and a rune. There's no scenic base with them, probably because of the number of options.
The other character is Grimm Burloksson, a Master Engineer. I can't make up my mind whether I love him or hate him. He's got some great details but feels a bit too steampunk and not enough medieval for my liking. I think that's partly down to the garish colour scheme though.

The big news is that the Army Book of the Dwarfs is coming out, was there any doubt? It'll be amazing to finally have a full colour hardback book. There's very little in the way of handy page previews, but that's probably because of the rules coming out in each WDW.

Then there's the usual digital releases, along with a Warhammer Battlefields supplement for iPad called the Underway. It's a series of games set underground, with a few new rules thrown in. Whether it's any different to the ones in the other recent Fantasy supplement only time (and money) will tell.

Jervis Johnson gets replaced this month by none other than the Phil Kelly! He talks a little about his armies, and thought processes when collecting and painting, but it's mostly about Tyranids.

Carved From Stone is a piece by Jeremy Vetock about the history of the Dwarfs. He's clearly a big fan, and I'm glad to note that he was lead writer on the new book.

Paint Splatter covers...Dwarfs, what a surprise! There are tips about the details of the Gyrobomber, and a neat follow on article from last week's glue one. This time it's all about sub assemblies and how to think before assembling kits. Not ground breaking but a good reminder nonetheless.

We're treated to not just only set of rules this week but two. The full rules for Grimm Burloksson and the Gyrobomber. Since I've only played fantasy I'll leave it up to other reviewers to say if they're any good or not. This is followed up by some designers notes. I'm really glad this is becoming a regular feature as it's something that was solely missed for a long time. In the photos there's an interesting unit in the background wielding what look like dragon cannons, maybe they'll be out next week?

As we nearly reach the end we get the quick bits of information. Stuff about the Dwarf artwork, a sweet looking Imperial Fist contemptor from a reader, and the jokey stuff like Ask Grombrindal.

And that's it. There's no Forge World stuff in here which is a shame since they release a newsletter every week too, but I quite enjoy this format. Yeah it's essentialy trying to sell the new releases but it does it with designer notes, rules and painting guides, not just ramming it down our throats. I also really like the hints about next week's issue, from the units in the backgrounds of photos, to the box-outs actally telling us! There's going to be a hobby article about ranking up units during assembly, and paint splatter will cover Flame Guns and Gromil. I think this issue deserves a 7/10 just for continuing the good work from the first.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below, cheers.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Warhammer Visions Issue 1 Review.

So you should all know about the format of this new monthly publication from GW. I won't repeat the stats and size and stuff like that, what I'm interested in is the content and if it has any worth. This might take a while as it's quite a thick magazine and has 28 sections listed in the contents, however it could be really short if there's no content! Lets find out...

Latest Releases - There are a huge amount of photos of last month's Tyranid releases, from the Hive Guard to the Harpy. Many of these were actually used in last month's White Dwarf, which makes the section feel a bit cheap, but it's made up for by the inclusion of loads of close-up shots of details. One thing I have to say though is that they seem to just use the studio/eavy metal models. Perhaps if they're going to recap the releases from the previous month they could use one or two shots of the studio model, then use alternate paint schemes for the close-ups and dioramas. Would go a long way to adding interest and fun to the section.
There's also a few pages dedicated to the Hobbit miniatures which I was really surprised to see. I wasn't sure that they'd be able to include them in a magazine called Warhammer, but there you go.

Forge World - Showing us some of the latest Horus Heresy releases such as the Fire Raptor and the Whirlwind Scorpius, there's some cool paint schemes like the Alpha Legion and Night Lords. I hope that this section gets expanded in the future, and hopefully we'll see more display shots like their Istvaan board.

Army of the Month - Since the main focus is 40k, the army is Vampire Counts for fantasy. There's so many cool details in this army, I'm glad that they gave so many pages to show photos of it, but I really missed the interview with the creator. The use of the Garden of Morr on the movement trays was genius.

Parade Ground - A look at some of the Golden Demon entries from Games Day Memphis. This article really suits the format, and really sticks to the brief of beautiful models, painted with skill, photographed in high quality. Way more exciting than the studio models. I was really surprised at just how many of the entries were from FW, it was very nearly all of them!

Ahriman Must Die! - A rather grand title for what should've been a battle report. What we're given are a couple of pages showing us the armies (Chaos Marines v Grey Knights and Eldar) but not actually telling us the army lists. This is followed by series of lovely photos, from which we are meant to discern how the battle was going. I don't get this at all. 40k is now all about 'forging the narrative' and yes a picture can say a thousand words, but in this case I've got no idea what's going on, why the GK have teamed up with the Eldar, what the fuck is going on in terms of what happens when, and then suddenly it's all over and there's a winner. I really think this should be in the weekly WD, and have this section as the gallery, leaving more space for maps in the actual report.

Kit Bash - I rather enjoyed this. How to pimp your Ork ride. Yeah it could've included sprue pictures of where the bits came from, but for what it is, which to me is inspiration and food for thought I can't fault it. Could come in handy when I finally get round to sorting out my Formula Waaagh! team.

Blanchitsu - The Inquisitorial warbands return yet again along with the Nurgle Lord! There's not a lot I can say that I haven't before, except that it was far too short. Maybe he could branch out occasionally into kill teams or something like that?

The Hive Fleet - Another look at Tyranids, this time it's the whole range not just the latest releases.Lots of cool photos, but mostly from the same hive fleet. There are a couple of really interesting shots though. John Beech's hive fleet Titan looks rad in brown and purple.

Paint Splatter - Packed with plenty of interesting alternative colour schemes for Tyranids it's an inspiring but basic article. It follows the standard format that's been in place since the new paint line came out. See my review of WDW 1 for my exact thoughts.

Store Finder - Why?

Parting Shot - A rather random appearance from the High Elves. Looks great but what's it all about!

Well there you have it. They've managed to pack a lot of things into this issue, to varying degrees of success and merit. Some sections suit the format perfectly such as Kit Bash and Blanchitsu, others feel very out of place like the battle reports. Whilst reading it I kept having to remind myself that it's not meant to be White Dwarf, despite sharing some article titles. Once you get out of this mindset and accept it for what it is it's a fun magazine that could go really far. Based on the content alone I'd say it's a 6/10. A slightly above average start, with plenty of space for tweaks and improvements. However, if include the fact that it's ruined my run of monthly WD issues, and costs a fair amount that could drop by a point or two. It's not the total pile of shit the interwebz makes it out to be but it's far from perfect at the moment. I'm going to ride it out and see how it hopefully evolves as they get into their stride, and next month should be packed with Dwarfs!

Please feel free to let me know what you thought of it, cheers.

Monday, 3 February 2014

White Dwarf Weekly Issue 1 Review.

Doubtless you've all seen plenty of opinions on the two new publications from Games Workshop. I'm sure I'll be voicing a few of my own over the course of these two posts, along with many many questions. I won't really touch on the format, and number of pages except to say I  really don't understand this change in schedule. It'll fuck up my lovely display of White Dwarfs, and because of the lack of a spine I won't be able to easily access the right issue quickly if I ever feel the need to revisit them. I think the only reason for this change would be that GW were always going to change up their release schedule for the models, and so needed Jes and the gang to fall in line. I'm really excited to see if we do get a genuine release every weekend of the month.

The previous version, only going for about a year, was a solid publication. It could've gone a lot further in terms of depth, but was a fun read once a month, and I always looked forward to it landing on my door mat. With that said, let's delve in and see if I'll be as excited to pop down to GW Cardiff every saturday before work to pick up this...

The cover looks the same, and turning over the front page we're greeted with the usual Opening salvo and contents page. A quick once over and it looks like a lot of the old articles have made the transition. The price guide shares the contents page, and all the new releases are available to buy next Saturday when you get the next issue.

Dwarfs are finally getting some love, and might help rekindle my vague interest in fantasy battle. There's only three new releases and no Army Book. The first is the dual kit of Hammerers and Longbeards. The models look fantastic in terms of detail, they're covered in plenty of ornamentation, but they seem to all be in the same pose with the hammer raised over the right shoulder. Maybe it's because I'm not used to having to rank my 40k guys up but shouldly the could've thrown in the odd lefty?
The Longbeards also look like very repetitive poses, but at least you get a variety of hand weapons to choose from.

Belegar Ironhammer is a brand new character release, and he looks fantastic. He looks proper impressive, and his oath stone adds some much needed height to the army.
The final dwarf of the week is a brand new Dragon slayer. This chaps beard and mohawk look very ginger and impressive but there's omething about him that doesn't sit quite right with me. I can't tell if it's the pose, or the stupid paint job that makes him look like he's wearing pijamas, I'll reserve proper judgement for when I see some alternative schemes online.

Black Library get to show off their latest wares as usual, and it's the Horus Heresy novel Scars which is the lead title. It was released as a serial only a month or so ago, and I really wish BL would give the info on when they're going to bring out regular versions ahead of time. If I'd spent that money on the ibooks and then saw this I'd be really fucked off.

I'm glad to see Jervis Johnson is still allowed into the WD to have his say on things. He sometimes loses his way, but recently has been on top form, with his thoughts on GM games, his random tables last month, and now a whole mini game to decide who goes first. Seems fun, and good to see some creative thinking going on.

The next section is from Adam Troke and it's a look at last month's Tyranid release. It's nothing too spectacular, and in places gets a bit too gushing, but it's an interesting read and great to see more than just a few sentences per page. A few other studio faces chip in, and it's almost a solid 4 sides of writing, winner!

Paint Splatter returns next and it's a look at Dwarfs. Yes the stages are basic but I don't see the problem in that. If you're a beginner then they're easy to follow to get adequate results. If you're an experienced painter you either don't need the guides, or should be clever enough to fill in the gaps.
Attached to this there's a handy section with about hobby tips in, about using plastic cement. Again it's not for everyone, but it's a definite attempt to introduce some hobby into the magazine, something everyone has been crying out for. I'm hoping that they run with this idea.

The Rules! Holy shit they've actually gone and printed rules for the new Dwarf Lord in the mag. They haven't done this as far as I can remember since the Daemons update, and it's a breath of fresh air. I don't know if this is the only place his rules will be, or if it's a preview for the army book, and it doesn't really matter. If I wanted to I could play a game of fantasy tomorrow and use him without having to fork out the 30 quid on the book.

Designers Notes. Yet more writing in large quantity. They focus on just the dual kit, and cover two pages, which is amazing considering a whole army would previously get about the same amount. There's also a tasty preview of what's coming next week tucked at the bottom of the page - Engineering madness apparently.

The Week in WD (formerly month) was one of my favourite sections alongside the army of the month. Yet again they've kept the size and quantity of the photos to a minimum, and added a fair amount of info. There's more notes on the Dwarf Lord, a reader's model of the week, and plenty of tongue in cheek cut-outs. It seems like they're trying to inject the mag with some character and humour again finally.

And so we reach the back page. Yes it's short but it's actually rather sweet too. It seems like they've packed as many words into 32 pages as they did in the whole 150 of last month's issue, and there's real promise here that it'll be a solid weekly purchase. I hope that they rotate the articles to switch it up and stop it from stagnating, and I hope they take on reader feedback, and can sift through the hatred it seems to have received. To be honest I was dreading what I'd find but I'm pleasantly surprised. I think as far as 'first' issues go it's a good one, maybe a 7/10, above average.

Up next, probably tomorrow night I'll be taking a close look at Warhammer Visions. From a brief flick through I'm not sure it'll come out as well. Stay tuned to find out. Cheers!

C.A.B.Ultramarine. Part Four. Assault squad progress.

Since it's miniature monday I thought I'd better throw together a quick post. Inbetween working on my latest Heresy stuff I've found a little bit of time to chip away at my kit-bashed assault squads. There hasn't been huge progress but here's where I'm up to so far with them.

I finally got the polyfiller and cork out and had a go at making some bases. I'm relatively happy with them, and think they'll improve with some paint, and some battlefield debris scattered over them.

The next bit I've worked on is the first member of the squad. I introduce to you Brother Helixus. I'm still working on his background but at the moment he's a relatively new recruit to the chapter. His weaponry is therefore fairly unembellished, however he has earned a few honours whilst on campaign, and has developed a fondness for his jump pack.

I'm hoping that next time in this series I'll have a lot more progress to show. I've almost finished building the Proteus and Cerberus tanks, so can give the 40k a bit more time. Cheers all!