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Source: Important Announcement (GW Coverage) – Beasts of War.

In June of this year, GW published a new set of trade terms that their trade customers must adhere too, in these terms was a clause that effectively meant that, Wayland Games would have been punished for any advance reporting of any GW release by Beasts of War Ltd (Article 9.4) despite Wayland Games not providing any such information to Beasts of War, and despite both companies being separate.

As a result we feel there is no option but to abide by terms set out by GW.

I’m as much a GW fanboy as the next guy, and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt in many of the questionable moves they’ve made over the last couple of years, despite how they treat the wider community.

But this is really a dick move as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll hopefully manage to post a more in depth entry about this later, but I’m super busy with work at the moment, so for now I just wanted to get this out there.

In the meantime, if you want to support Beasts of War, please consider buying a Backstage Pass.

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Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably know I was a Games Day 2013 in Birmingham, yesterday. There’s a photo gallery coming later with the many pictures I took through the day, but I’m still waiting on those to transfer off my iPad and upload to the server. In this post I’ll give a a bit of an overview of the day, and recount my experiences.

I’ll mention up front that this was my first Games Day in a long time. The last time I attended, I was still young enough to enter the Young Bloods painting competition, so it’s been 18-19 years at least!

This entry is very long, so it’s behind a “Read More” link. Photos will be in a separate gallery post. Continue Reading…

2013-09-01 14.07.56

This weekend was the official announcement of the 6th edition update to Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000; White Dwarf was released yesterday, to show off all the new stuff hitting the shelves next week. Pre-orders also went up on the Games Workshop site, and internet retailers across the web (although the popularity and anticipation of the release meant I couldn’t get onto the GW website until 9pm!). This is a big release: Space Marines are the most iconic of Games Workshop’s lines, and by far their biggest selling. The Codex is larger than any they’ve done before, and we got a heap of miniature releases. It’s mostly these releases I’ll be giving my thoughts on, but I might drop one or two others in there!

It gets quite long, so I’ve taken the unusual step of putting it all behind a “read more” link

Continue Reading…

It’s taken around 15 years or so, but thanks to Forge World, there’s finally a Space Marine bike miniature that I like! Continue Reading…

I’ve got a bit bored with the endless amount of Marines I’ve been painting recently, so for something completely different I’ve started a Tau cadre. This is the first Fire Warrior squad ready to be primed and basecoated.

 

Flesh Tearers

I didn’t manage to post to the blog nearly as much as I wanted to in January, but if you were following along on Twitter, you will have seen plenty of work-in-progress shots. Many of these have been added to the gallery at the bottom of this post. Sadly, I didn’t have time to get “proper” photos of the completed squad before delivering them to my local Games Workshop store for display/entry into the contest.

So, where did I get to?

I finished my goal of completing an Assault Squad. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, to some, it’s quite good for me… especially as January turned out to be a lot busier than I expected! It was also my first time using my airbrush for a whole squad, and also my first time using many new tools and techniques. To say I learned a lot on this squad would be a big understatement!

So what did I learn?

Number 1, was my original choice of base colour for the red wasn’t quite as effective as I’d hoped, and that my pre-shading skills suck. I’d planned to use Vallejo Model Air: Hull Red as the main colour, using some pre-shading with the same colour to provide a deeper colour in the shadows and some white highlights over the grey primer to provide natural highlights to the red. It didn’t work… the shadows got lost when the next layer went on, and once the paint “cured” it went more towards a brown than I was looking for. In the end I sprayed a thin layer of VMA: Fire Red over everything, which brought it closer to what I want. In future I will pre-shade with Hull Red, then base coat with Fire Red.

Secondly, MicroSol and MicroSet make decals not suck!

  1. Prepare your surface with gloss varnish
  2. apply some MicroSet to the target area
  3. apply the decal in the normal manner, carefully dabbing away excess water
  4. apply a little more MicroSet
  5. carefully dab down the decal with a cotton bud, to shape it to the surface, and remove excess liquid
  6. allow to dry, then apply MicroSol over the decal – do not touch after this, for 24h!
  7. (optional) seal with your varnish of choice

I used this process on my squad’s pauldrons, and it turned out looking like the decal was printed directly on the surface.

Anything else?

I tried oil washes for the first time. while they’re pretty good at “lining” details on a model, they can make a hell of a mess if not careful when preparing/cleaning up after you paint session. The ability to erase mistakes using a cotton bud and thinner is really nice.

Cork is awesome as a basing material.

Pigment powders are pretty hard to get right. At first, I mixed some with isopropanol, and applied to the model like paint. It didn’t turn out correct, so I used a cotton bud to apply some powder directly. That looked awesome, but when I applied a final coat of matte varnish, to seal/protect the model, all of the pigment virtually disappeared – even the sealed on stuff.

What’s Next?

February should be interesting… It’s a shorter month, but I have a week off for my birthday, and will (hopefully) be less busy. As a pie-in-the-sky, I’m going to try for an Assault Squad, and 2 Land Speeders. It probably won’t happen, but it’ll be fun to try!

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So I’ve got my inspiration, and I’ve got my list – time to get cracking on these Flesh Tearers then!

There’s going to be a lot of kit-bashing going on, to give me a unique, visually interesting army, so I pick up some Death Company, and 2 Assault Squad boxes to begin with. I’ll also raid my bitz-box for more parts. This brings me over the £50 budget we’re supposed to have, but somehow I don’t think the store will mind someone spending extra…

After diving into my bitz-box I have the following pile of sprues stacked on my desk:

SPRUES!

That’s for one Assault Squad…

I decided I’d make the Melta Assault Squad first, as I found a Combi-Melta for the Sanguinary Priest. I started with the priest, building him from a set of Death Company legs, and salvaged parts from the Command Squad kit, Sanguinary Guard, and Grey Knight Terminators.

Sanguinary Priest Parts

I wanted the squad to look like they were charging into the thick of it, so nearly every model is posed to look like he’s running forward. The exceptions are the two Meltagunners, who are laying down supporting fire.

Flesh Tearers Batch 1

I’ve liberally sprinkled Death Company parts throughout – legs and arms mainly.

Flesh Tearers Batch 2

As everything is going to be at least base-coated using my airbrush, I’ve kept the heads, jump packs, and shoulder pads off of the miniatures for now (truth be told, at this point I haven’t assembled the jump packs).

Here’s the main parts ready for priming:

IMG_0120

 

If you have an iPad, and have browsed Games Workshop’s digital product line in the iBookstore, then you may have read (or be aware of) the A Call to Arms series. If not, the quick summary is: each month we follow the progress of four gamers as they collect and paint an entirely new Warhammer 40000 army. They each have a fixed monthly budget which they use to expand their forces.

Personally, I’ve always found this sort of article fascinating. I love getting insight into how others go about their hobby – the mental process behind how they choose, model, paint, and game with their collections. I also love seeing “real” armies – not the bog-standard GW Studio armies on display in the Codexes and White Dwarf battle reports. A look at other hobbyist’s collections are always my favourite articles in White Dwarf, and the reason I read many hobbyist forums and blogs.

Call to Arms - Flesh Tearers

One of the Armies we follow in GW’s A Call to Arms book is Stefano Carlini’s Flesh Tearers.

So what has this got to do with me? For one, I think it’s an inspirational and fun way to approach a new army. Secondly, my Local, Friendly, GW Store is running their own version of Call to Arms to kick off the New Year.

Each month until April, participants aim to paint up around £50 worth of miniatures for their new army (any GW game system). Every month the entries will be judged by the store manager, and there will be a prize for the overall winner. The competitive element is a great motivator, and the whole thing should be  sociable and well-spirited. No doubt there will be plenty of games as our armies grow in size, so it will be win-win for me – I’ll get my new army started, and I’ll get to play more games than I’ve managed so far!

I’ve already planned out my army. More details will be posted in the blog over the next few days, so keep an eye out! I’m always looking for feedback, so once I’ve posted the details feel free to give your opinion!

What do you think? Would you take part in a similar challenge? Are you already? Leave a comment below!

This is part 2 in a look at the changes to our hobby I have witnessed since my return at the start of the year. You can find part one, which looks at the changes in game-play here: On Returning to Warhammer 40000 – The Game. This part is a bit more ranty.

By far the biggest change I’ve noticed is in the general attitude and culture surrounding the game. In many senses it feels less like a hobby, and more like a competition. There seems to be a “win at all costs” mentality in a large section of the gaming community. I don’t want to sound like someone espousing about the “good old days”, but I find, particularly amongst the younger players things are a lot less friendly than they used to be.

Everywhere I look I see people asking for advice on building lists to beat their local “meta” (WTF?) – what happened to playing the game for the enjoyment of playing the game? I get that winning is fun, but it’s not everything in Warhammer 40000. Our game is as much about telling stories as it is about playing to win. It’s why I’m so glad to see the focus on “Telling a Narrative” in the new rulebook.

By all means, play to win, but if your opponent hasn’t still enjoyed him/herself while losing, then you’ve both failed in my opinion.

TrollFace

Trolls. Don’t feed them.

Another cultural change I’m not so keen on is the rumour-mill on the Internet, and the general sense of… entitlement that the more vocal side of the community displays. So you don’t like a miniature? That doesn’t necessitate a profanity-riddled screed about how the model sucks, GW sucks, you’re never going to spend another penny on their products again, an you could have done so much better while blindfolded and with both arms cut off… and so on, and so on. Put your toys back in the pram. Don’t buy the miniature – or, if for some reason you are “forced” to – convert it; change it to suit your tastes. Just stop complaining about it. Likewise, when a rumour turns out to be off the mark, don’t get all tetchy. It was just a rumour, after all!

Relatedly, your army (or an opposing army) is not “broken”. It may need a rules update as we’re in a new rule set, but that doesn’t mean it’s unbeatable, or can’t be won with. Every codex has its faults, for sure, but nothing that can stop you enjoying the game if you don’t let it. View any such “brokeness” as challenges to be met, and a test of your skill as a player. If you can overcome a “broken” army then you can take comfort in knowing you are better than any of the faceless complainers out there.

I dislike “mathhammer” as a way of proving something is awesome or that something sucks. If you’re spending your hobby time working out a stream of maths over the chance or likelihood something will win you your next game, then it’s not a hobby any more. Take what you’re drawn to (my armies mainly consist of what I want to paint), and just play it. Leave the maths for professional poker players!

Right, now I’ve got that out of my system, it’s not all bad, I must say. The hobby is bigger than ever. I can get tips and feedback from like minded people all across the world. I have access to a whole raft of information which just wasn’t available before.

The things I’ve noted a dislike for above are merely the dark side of the passion 40K inspires in its fans. It’s the same passion which drives us to spend hard-earned money and countless hours slaving over our miniatures and army lists. Properly channelled, that passion is what leads to amazingly painted armies and miniatures, brilliantly fun games and camaigns, and what ultimately brings players like myself back to the game after so much time away… and that is no bad thing.