White Dwarf

White Dwarf issue 110 with a classic Wayne England cover

As many may know, I have been in the wargaming hobby since the turn of the 90’s so have collected or at least read White Dwarf for many, many years.

I loved the White Dwarf of the 90’s, it offered great content, full-colour images of painted models and lots of additional rules, scenarios and add-ons to keep the games you played, fun and interesting. There was also a raw edge to the magazine as if the people writing it were also, gamers and painters, one of us if you like.

Now, I am not sure what happened but somewhere along the line WD lost its way and became very much just a brochure, simply advertising the new releases and giving overviews of ‘what to buy next’, filling the pages with less and less engaging articles or add-ons. There were still battle reports but they were generally involving the new release armies and just an extension of the adverts, in my opinion, White Dwarf had gone stale.

On 1 February 2014, White Dwarf moved to a weekly release. The final monthly issue of White Dwarf was issue #409 released in January. Warhammer Visions, a new monthly title produced by the same team was launched at the same time, in a format favouring the imagery over the text and at this point, I was completely turned off.

Recently, the end of 2016 to be more specific White Dwarf received another ‘new direction’ and went back to the classic monthly format.

Below is Games Workshops official promotion.

“It’s Back! White Dwarf is returning as a monthly magazine and it’s bigger and better than ever before!

From September, White Dwarf will be back as a glossy 156-page, A4 magazine with all the news, features and pictorials you know and love – and a whole chunk of new stuff you never imagined. News! Golden Demon! Battle Reports! Painting Masterclasses! Designers Notes! Exclusive games and rulesets! And of course, gorgeous photographs of the best fantasy miniatures in the world.

The first issue is out on Friday 2nd September and comes with our most amazing cover mount ever – a special gift to you to celebrate the glorious return of monthly White Dwarf.

Subscribe before 14 August and get an exclusive pre-launch price – and subscribers get their copies mailed early.”

White Dwarf issue September 2016 with free Slaughterpriest miniature

So what to do? I decided to pick up the new release and in all honesty, it is great, not only was there a free Slaughterpriest miniature worth £18 but the magazine heralded in the return of the format that in my opinion is the best.

The new White Dwarf boasts ‘The Ultimate Warhammer Magazine’, but is it not the only Warhammer magazine? …I see what you did there!

White Dwarf issue February 2017

But cheese aside, I sit here reading February 2017’s issue which is what gave me the inspiration to write the blog article and I feel myself being pulled into the awesome hobby that Games Workshop offers, very reminiscent of the feeling I had when I read it back in the 90’s.

I have actually just subscribed, sadly there is no free miniature now but you do get 12 issues for the price of 10 and you get the option to subscribe quarterly for £15.

I am not going to do an issue review, there are plenty of those around the web but I will pick out a couple of the best bits from this month’s issue.

  • Illuminations
    I love the artwork that Games Workshop produce, the background and fluff are really enhanced with beautiful artwork.

    Imperial Truth by Neil Roberts as featured in February 2017 White Dwarf Illuminations
  • Readers’ Models
    I love to see top quality photography of amazingly painted miniatures, it really inspires me to pick up the brush and get painting.

Well, I look forward to next month’s issue and if you haven’t read the new format of White Dwarf, I highly recommend that you do.

Roboute Guilliman

Roboute Guilliman Primarch of the Ultramarines (note, the sword, hath no flames)

Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines is coming to the Grim Dark and the regular wash of images have been leaked all over the many forums and social media outlets, but hot on the heels, to vanquish the pesky internet leaks is the Warhammer Community who have released their own ‘sneak peek’ of the big guy.

“March, For Macragge
So, a Primarch returns, the warriors of Titan join the battle and a lost son of Caliban returns to seek redemption (or possibly destroy everyone – the jury’s still out).
A few pictures of March‘s issue of White Dwarf have been circulating the internet today, but as with all leaks, they were taken during one of Nottingham’s many earthquakes, so the picture resolution is a bit blurry.
So we thought we’d just share the whole article with you!
Here you go folks, an exclusive from the pages of White Dwarf on the final instalment of the Gathering Storm trilogy, a whole month early. Don’t say we never give you anything.

Warhammer Community Article

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Warhammer Community blog post is great, very much so in fact as they have posted the full article from next month’s White Dwarf, which you can’t argue is a sneak peak of grand proportions but my issue is with the actual model himself.

Roboute Guilliman The Avenging Son

Yes, I said it, I don’t like a Games Workshop miniature, may I be stripped of my fanboy status, flogged and paraded through the streets of Lenton.

It’s not all negative, however, so let’s start with the good points – the detail of the sculpt is amazing, it really does live up to the name ‘Master Crafted’ and is befitting of a genetically engineered superhuman, the detailing all meshes well and doesn’t look awkward or overcrowded.

The scenic base is absolutely beautiful, I like that a lot, minus the flaming bloody torches, carried aloft by servo skulls, clearly they thought that the base was intended for Lion El’Jonson.

Guilliman’s backpack contains a life-support system and a reactor to power his suit’s many systems, including the Hand of Dominion.

The small details like the purity seals are well done and give the model a nice flow. The backpack is full of detail too making the armour look more functional and dare I say it ‘realistic’ (forge the narrative Dean, forge the narrative).

Unfortunately, that is about all I can pick out as plus points, so on to my negatives (you might want to go get a coffee at this point as we may be here a while).

The first thing that struck me on seeing the model wasn’t the awkward pose, in fact, it is a very small, well smaller than it should be area, the head, oh my, how small does it look surrounded by the overly large pauldrons, Iron Halo and MASSIVE sword (I will come to the sword later).

The good news is that they have supplied a helmet for the model which they seem to be pushing a little too hard, I have a sneaky feeling that the helmet was added as an after-thought when someone in the studio realised just how small the original head looks when it isn’t on a computer screen and rendered with ‘perspective mode’ switched on.

A long time ago I read a painting tutorial on faces and it made a very good point that when painting a high standard miniature, you need to make sure that the face is really spot on as the face draws the eye first.

Next up is the pose…

I, as some may know am very much into 3D, I sculpt myself and know first hand that one of the hard elements to character design is posing the finished model …why, you ask? Well one of the main reasons is that when you sculpt a model you start off with a symmetrical model or shape and as you start sculpting it speeds the process no end by doing two sides at once, you then add base details and props or as they are called in ZBrush, subtools, your model remains in the symmetrical state until you are happy, then you add details to break up the symmetry where needed and move on to the repositioning and posing, fixing any geometry clashes and of course a tidy and final pass of detail. The repositioning of a model that has been created in a symmetrical stance, especially one with hard surfaces like armour but needs to look like it has a natural organic stance is very hard indeed.

A very basic idea of a symmetrical base sculpt (note the Roboute Guilliman proportioned head).

A traditional sculptor would start with the pose as a wire frame, like its skeleton, building the model up with the pose in place from the very beginning.

The Forge World version of Roboute Guilliman is a beautifully posed model and its proportions are spot on in my opinion.

Forge World version of Roboute Guilliman

Right, on to the MASSIVE sword of flaming flames…

In his other hand, he wields the flaming sword of the Emperor.

Quite simply, the sword is too big, even for a genetically engineered son of a living god I’m struggling with the proportions, this is the Grim Dark, not a Capcom computer game.I really hate it when a sculptor adds details like dripping blood, drool or as in this case, flames. Of course, there may be a none flaming sword of flaming flames in the kit but I doubt it.

The flames, I really hate it when a sculptor adds details like dripping blood, drool or as in this case, flames. Of course, there may be a none flaming sword of flaming flames in the kit but I doubt it.

Yes, I know the sword is called ‘The Flaming Sword of the Emperor’ but come on, surely it isn’t in a constant state of flaming flames of flaminess? and the name is just a metaphor? …no? …really!?

So, with my scathing look at the yet to be released Roboute Guilliman miniature written, there is one question to be answered …will I be buying it?

Of course, I will, I am a plasticrack whore OR maybe I will simply fork out for the far superior Forge World version.

Let’s Play Blood Bowl!!!

 

Well, Blood Bowl fever has well and truly landed in the Geek Room and in my usual fashion, I am on with not just one team but, well, all of them, or so it seems.

I am not going to write a lengthy review about the game or the box-set but I will say that it is very good, the fact that you can click all the models together and get playing practically straight away is simply brilliant especially since the models have not had their details compromised, this is another example of great 3D sculpting.

One of the obvious cosmetic changes to the game is the increase in base size to 32mm, while not a big problem as the game uses squares it does mean that older Blood Bowl teams now look out of place. I have remedied the base size problem by purchasing a load of MDF base extenders from eBay and the seller was very good with a great follow up email and fast delivery.

I bought 250 of them for £8 which included Free Delivery.

eBay Seller (banksjohnedward)

The base extenders fit nice and snug to the 25mm bases, I have filled in the very small gap with Green Stuff but it was probably unnecessary, to be honest, and would probably have been fine.

A giant bag of base extenders. The odd one or two you can see that are rough have been thrown in for free, the eBay seller sent a message to let me know he had put them in as extra and they just needed a sand.
I used PVA to glue the base extenders on, which worked a treat.

I have so far played a good handful of games in a new league with friends and am loving it, really brings back good memories from playing the 2nd edition Blood Bowl way back in the early 90’s and playing in a league really brings your teams to life.

My teams so far are:

  • Human (from the game set)
  • Orc (from the game set)
  • Skaven (new)
  • Chaos Chosen (old edition metal models) – The Blood Bay Packers

I have yet to decide on the team colours for all but the Chaos Chosen who are painted red …obviously 😉

I will post some team pictures as I finish them, in the meantime keep an eye on Instagram for the WIP’s @thepainteddragonpics