Sunday, 30 October 2016

Hobby Diary 31/10/16


Well what a week. First and foremost I have completed my first monthly Horus Heresy unit, a squad of five Ashen Circle. These were the test for painting the remaining fifteen and I am rather pleased with the results. The unit is painted the same very dark grey as my Zardu Layak. I chose this as I thought it represented their function rather well, blackened ashen armour indicative of the flames they use to burn the false ideals of their enemies. The pistols and shoulder pads remain the red I use for my regular Word Bearers to tie the two schemes together.

Overall I have three colour schemes for my army. The first being the standard red. The second is this dark grey and the third being the same as the regular marines but using greys to highlight the red which I will use on my possessed units.I have models painted in all three now so have tested them all and am content.

Also this week was Allen and I receiving our Dropfleet Commander pledges. We are going to start by painting up 500pt fleets for small skirmish games to get used to the rules but having read the rulebook already that won't be too hard. They are fairly intuitive. Although I have a fleet for each faction I have chosen to start with the Scourge as they are the simplest to paint. I plan on airbrushing the ships dark metal with a lighter metal on the tips of the hull and fins then several coats of various washes in striped patterns over the hull, finishing by picking out the details with a brush.

I have forgone buying Prospero this month as I have already chosen my Horus Heresy project for November, the Sicaran tank. This has been cleaned and tidied and I hope to have put it together by the end of the week so I can make a start next week. As I will be getting the airbrush out I expect to paint some Scourge ships at the same time. Painted or not I hope we can get a game in some time in November to get a handle on the game proper.

It is now announced that my employer has acquired Wild West Exodus so I will be adding some Warrior Nation models to this month's schedule. I am not expecting to get much done but I have purchased the paints I need to paint realistic Native American skin tones so plan to do at least a test model. I found this guide which was really helpful and I recommend it if you want to paint something other than standard flesh and it can be found here. My Squat plans may be the victim of this decision though but I've not forgotten about them.

Looking further ahead it is now rumoured that Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons marine sprues will be released towards the end of this month, if true I will be picking up one of each though I do not expect that they will be included in my December list as I am already eyeing up my Calth Contemptor for the Horus Heresy portion of my projects. After that I need to add some more infantry and I already have plenty to choose from. In the meantime here is an image of all the units I have painted thus far, Allen has a ways to go if he wants to keep up!


It's been an interesting week, for starters my Dropfleet Commander KS turned up, well, half of it. I tried to resist i really did, but the models are just too damn nice. Just a couple of frigates I told myself, as I dove into a box jam packed full of sprues. just one or two.

Just one of each class, ok a squadron of each, now a cruiser, no, all the cruisers! '(after all i need to review it all, right?) before I knew it had assembled all of my UCM ships over the course of a couple of evenings, I consoled myself with the fact that it was too dark to undercoat anything so I couldn't make a start on my Horus Heresy choice for the month anyway. Besides, they're so much fun to put together! I even made a few extra bits out of spares to represent convoys, tanker, corvettes and the like.

Thankfully i managed to restrain myself from making a start on the PHR. As it was any thoughts of continuing the busts this week was, well, a bust. I will get those finished though.

So as the weekday evenings passed and my fleet grew I cast my thoughts to the Heresy entry I would do. As I had left it so ridiculously late and I had a busy weekend ahead I figured the best option was a single character, in this case the Praetor from Betrayal at Calth. It wasn't just laziness that informed this decision, I still wasn't sure how I was going to paint the 13th legion, and I figured the Praetor would make a good test model, with a spare available should it go horribly wrong.

So the plan was, up first thing Saturday to get him undercoated and then crack on....

Then at around 08:30 The Burning of Prospero turned up.


Normally my preorders arrive on the Tuesday. I'm not complaining that I got it earlier no siree, but there went my morning... still I managed to resist putting it all together, instead poring over the contents and taking a few pictures for the inevitable review (coming soon). So there went the morning, i was out in the afternoon, DJing in the eve. Saturday was now officially a bust. Two days till deadline and only undercoat to show for it, bugger.

Sunday i got up early. With Dr Strange at 11 and family engagements for the afternoon i was working on a ridiculously truncated time scale. Nonetheless i managed to get some base colours down.


You see, I started with the blue and wanted to go for a nice deep basecoat. I was one of the first to paint Ultramarines darker than the usual colour scheme WAY back in the day (over 15 years ago) and also painted Ulthwe Eldar black and bone when GWs scheme was still black and yellow (in fact i used to suspect GW had me under surveillance as they also nicked my Tyranid colour scheme for hive fleet Behemoth. Anyway I digress.

I started ­­with Vallejo Imperial Blue, nice and dark and deep, and shite at coverage. It might be down to a dodgy priming job but it was horrible. It was really shiny too, the actual finish of the paint was terrible. I had shaken the bottle well, this aint my first rodeo you know. But right now things were not going well, the basecoat looked awful. Not what i needed, i get easily discouraged these days.
Still, I was honour bound to do my best to get this Horus Heresy challenge completed. and this was just one model! I had NINETY (thanks to the Heresy boxed games) tactical marines to paint yet.

 I reached for UItramarine Blue, again Vallejo. It was an airbrush paint but in all honesty a gentler touch was called for here anyway. I tried an nice thin brushed coat to blend into the imperial Blue.
No chance, it's just too different, it's a totally different paint. It was chalk and cheese, night and day. I'll not lie,  this model was going very badly. It was looking like i'd need the spare.

So Imperial Blue was too weak, poor coverage, sickly finish and just not looking good on its own. Ultramarine Blue, even as a airbrush paint was too contrasting, to inflexible and stark. hmmm, i could see a parallel here...

But what if I MIXED them? The perfect blend of Imperial and Ultramarine? Well, i'm happy to say that this improved things massively, giving me a nice base, especially after a coat of Gulliman Blue wash had been thrown over it, suddenly it didn't feel like I was wasting my time and I rapidly moved onto adding Vallejo Tinny Tin to the model, looking to get as much done as I could. I ended with this. (I forgot i had some gold paint and convinced myself i'd need to head to Wayland after Dr Strange).

 That evening after another typically great Marvel installment I managed to lay down some more colours and shading and chose a purple paint  for the cloak reasoning that red would be a bit too standard and pandering to the triarch of primary colours too much. Purple was nice and ostentatious  and well, IMPERIAL (though i was actually using Naggaroth Night - Imperial Purple was the highlight) Purple is also obviously the Emperors children main colour so i'd have to use it sparingly, after all the purity of my warriors cannot be held to any doubt.

It was all starting to come together now, the gold had been laid down though my famously abrasive fingers ensured that a few touch ups were required. I'd grabbed a few gold paints but was finding that Blighted Gold and Brass balls were working best (both P3 colours) they are a bit watery but they work just fine for the most part provided you are not using them for the basecolour. Still that was it for now, id have to finish it on deadline day.

So it was I returned from work and settled into the final session. There wasn't a massive amount to do, mostly highlighting and finishing touches and the chainblade and combi-bolter. I finished at 23:14, pretty much on the wire. I do need to dig out some transfers to apply but i have the really nice Forgeworld ones somewhere and would rather use those. The Astrogranite debris base needs a shade but thats about it, It's been matt varnished and for better or worse its done.

And that's the first month of the hobby challenge done. It's been a real treat to get back into it properly, I've neglected by hobby far too much lately, though much of it has been unavoidable. This month i've assembled lots of Genestealer Cultists,  a UCM fleet for Dropfleet Commander, got back into painting with the Relic Busts (which I WILL finish) and completed my entry for the Heresy challenge just in time.

So what next? Well, PHR Fleet to be assembled, Genestealer Cult to be completed (assembly only - i'm not insane) I would like to get my UCM fleet painted though, that shouldn't take too long. And for the Heresy? Well I kind of fancy doing a Contemptor actually. After that a squad, I promise. Afterall i'm sure i'll put tother the Prospero box this month and i'll have a LOT of marines to paint then. Time to dig out the airbrush....

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Conclave Review: Warhammer 40k Comic - Will of Iron

It's a long time since Warhammer Monthly, GW's main foray into the world of comics. WHM was, over the course of its 83 issue run (86 in America for some reason) responsible for the introduction of several memorable characters and series. Ephrael Stern, Inquisitor Defay, The Redeemer, Princeps Hekate, Hellbrandt Grimm, Ulli and Marquand, Darkblade, the list goes on and on. Launched back in the early days of Black Library towards the end of the last millennium, it ran for a good few years before the plug was pulled, sadly leaving many characters fates untold (I still bemoan the fact we never got Inquisitor III)

Then a few years back Boom Studios released a series of 40k and Warhammer titles, whereas WHM had been black and white (bar a special issue) these were full colour and rather than an ongoing series they were miniseries, self contained and more or less unrelated to each other. The artwork varied as different artists Lent their talents to different titles but as a rule it was dark and gritty though not entirely without moments of light entertainment, The series where a guardsman gets covered in green goo and  is mistaken by an Ork Warlord for  a 'lucky grot' is particularly worth a read.

Now it is Titan's turn to have a go, with a seemingly 40k only effort. Again it seems to be miniseries based rather than ongoing, a decision I heartily endorse. The first title is Will of Iron, a preview issue was included free in October's White Dwarf.  The art was nice but very starkly coloured and the story seemed standard fare.

Well I have my hands on the first proper issue now and can review it properly so let's have a look.
The first thing that might strike you is that the book is still very colourful, this was something that i picked up on from the preview and it appears that it is destined to continue here. The style is extremely saturated which renders the look of the comic very cartoony. Grimdark it aint. The art is perfectly serviceable though and the layout of the panels is good and propels the narrative where needed.

However, this is one of those works where it is very obvious that the artist has just used models as reference, all the character models are the same as the miniatures, no artistic license has been utilised at all. Previous titles always had a little more creativity that made the title stand out as a work of art akin to something you might find in a mainstream GW book. Here it adds to the sterility of the atmosphere I would have liked to have seen a little more creativity rather than just carbon copies of existing miniatures on paper.

Another thing that betrays that the artist is possibly not a aficionado of the 40k universe and is instead a pen for hire is the mistakes that have been made in the art. The most striking of which is that the Inquisitor in the story travels in a Space Marine Battlebarge whilst the Astartes appear to be onboard a normal imperial cruiser. A glaring error and one which goes some way to kill the immersion in the book. A look at the preview for the next issue reveals more of the same where a Heresy Flashback seems to show modern Godwyn pattern bolters being used. It's little annoyances like this that make you wish the artist had done their homework a little more thoroughly, rather than just using reference material and transferring it to the page. Despite all this though the art is of a decent quality and there are highlights throughout the issue,

The story, such as it is at the moment, appears to be based around the Dark Angels wanting to get to a planet to cover up some evidence of their closely protected secrets and the Inquisitor determined to prevent the same and expose the Dark Angels. Whilst it has potential it's nothing particularly groundbreaking and very much has an air of familiarity around it. Fingers crossed as the story develops it will throw a few twists our way.

So overall Will of Iron is a decent effort. It's really a bit early to say how it's going to go and what will happen but certainly ill stick around for at least the end of this 4 issue arc. If it were an ongoing series i'd have to reconsider as I'm not entirely sure the title warrants a long term commitment based upon what i have seen so far, of course it is entirely possible that once this 4 issue miniseries is over the next could be starkly different. If that should be the case rest assured it will be reviewed here.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Hobby Diary 23/10/2016


So this week I aimed to continue what I had begun (i'm sick of having half painted models) before moving onto something else. In this case its three busts from Relic,the Fantasy Flight Board Game. I finished the Callidus first, there wasn't much to do the kit on the back needed a quick bit of painting on the displays and the Coal Black needed toning down a bit which was achieved with some Chaos Black and Lahmian Medium.

A gloss varnish was absolutely essential next. This was a gaming piece and would be handled a lot. I discovered Vallejo varnishes a while ago and haven't looked back since. After the gloss had dried i used matt, the synth skin was looking a bit shiny for my liking. The Matt still has a lustre to it, but its not as shiny as the gloss. I did go back over the eye lenses with gloss, that looks nice. Shiny.

So Callidus done, it was back to the Ratling. First things first, I know what I said last week but I wanted to bring the face out a little, so I added some Cadian Flesh to the mix, another bit of ruddy glaze on the features and another highlight and i'm calling it done.

Next was a bit of camo on the vest, I already had a dark olive colour so some Coat D'Arms Dark Leather brown and P3 Ordic Olive finished the scheme, Nowhere as near as nice as I would have liked but good enough, an ink wash would hide a multitude of sins. The sleeves were recoated and highlighted, the pouches and bags were painted brown with a highlight-cum-weathering of that same brown and Cadian Flesh.

At this stage it's not far off done but I wanted to move onto the Ultramarine. Due to the large size of this and buoyed by my success with the leather look on the Ratling's pouches i decided to push my luck and experiment somewhat with texture on the Ultramarine. I laid a few washes of Gulliman Blue over the Prussian Blue armour and some Mephiston Red Mixed with Vallejo Scaly Green on the helmet. I then started building the blue back up with Prussian blue but used a stippling effect to try to get some texture into the armour, Tinny Tin and Brassy Brass were used on the shoulder pad edges.
The next couple of days I really wasn't up to painting, got home very late and settled for assembly in front of the telly.

I had ordered some stuff from Triple Helix and although I was missing an upgrade sprue from the Armoured Claw box I started assembling some Cadian neophyte hybrids. I then lost a kneeling set of legs so jumped onto Bitz Box to grab a spare and a few bits that would enable me to build a few of the other heavy weapons in the box, I was very impressed as I ordered on a Thursday evening and had them by Saturday.

Taking off the Imperial eagles was easy enough with a knife and the Citadel Mould line Remover tool, although outrageously expensive does its job superbly. I'm glad I forked out for it. I'm working on a colour scheme in my head for them, something pretty drab to contrast with the brighter proper hybrids i think, maybe a grey urban camo

Speaking of proper hybrids  my hobby week in general took a big swing towards the assembly way of things as I got stuck into my mass of Genestealer Cult sprues. As I assembled them I was impressed all over again with the quality of the Overkill models which is easily the equal of the miniatures in the separate kits. In particular I was impressed by the Aberrants which have actually been designed to fit no matter which arms you use with which body. Given that there are only two designs of Aberrant and they are not easily convertible this allows me a tiny bit more variety in my unit.

Elsewhere I used the Acolyte box to build all the heavy weapons options. Oddly the body sections of the acolytes have to be matched up, perhaps to allow for the right number of arms on either side. The Demolition Charges in particular look great as does the Rocksaw. I was left with a large number of bits left over on the sprue and decided to use some Metamorph bits on the overkill models. A bit of cutting here and there and I had a unit in no time. And I still have bits left over to use, this is good as as great as the Overkill models are, multiple sets will have quite a few of the same models knocking about,.

Actually a quick word about the myriad of bits on the Cult sprues, we all know that GW prices have gone up and squads are much more expensive than they used to be but one look at the Neophyte sprue compared to the Cadian one kind of illustrated why. Take a look at the Cadian sprue, produced quite some time ago now,

and compare it with the cultist one.

Quite a difference, I cant wait for GW to revisit some of these older kits.

So yes, mostly getting the cult together this week. Still, I have at least enough for a Killteam game and a few more evenings assembly should see a decent sized force, especially when I get the tanks built.

Prospero is also on the horizon and though you can rest assured that the Conclave will be reviewing that in due course, I am more excited about getting my mitts on some MkIII armour, I popped in to Wayland Southend to grab some nice deep Vallejo blues and will be cracking on with the XIII legion very soon. With my new airbrush booth now all I need to do is decide how im going to do them! I think in order to honour (Courage and Honour always) our commitment to do something for our Heresy armies each month i'm going to grab a character from the Calth box set and try to use that to get my scheme
sorted. I have spares should it all go horribly wrong.

Now, where is that Airbrush?


Given the buzz around the Horus Heresy with the Burning of Prospero set coming out this week all my hobby time these past seven days has been devoted to my first five Ashen Circle marines and I am 85% done. I have some detail work to do on the various pieces of parchment attached to their plate and some tidying to do but after that I just need to highlight the armour and I am done.

I've not been able to spend as much time on each model as I did with Zardu Layak but that's fine, if I want to get things painted they cannot all be to that level. I'm happy with how they have turned out though I need to dig out one of my regular Word Bearers that is completed as I think the silver trim was a lot darker than it has turned out on these. There isn't much to go over if that is the case so shouldn't prevent me from completing these before next week.

Even though I shall be drowning in more plastic Heresy miniatures by the end of the week I have already decided that my next Heresy model to finish will be my Sicaran. I want to paint something red and this will be good practise with my airbrush. It was a close run thing choosing though, I have also been looking at the colours of Legio Mortis and their knightly allies.

I have been tempted by including a unit of Thousand Sons to accompany Ahriman as he isn't good for much else than representing himself. Despite them also being red I would paint them in the style that Forge World adopted by painting them metal then airbrushing them clear red with metal to highlight. Other than that the rest of the models will be folded into my Word Bearers which bumps up my force considerably. Those Sisters of Silence and Custodes will be enjoyable to paint as I do like painting gold.

As well as this I want to crack on with some Scourge ships as both Allen and I will be receiving our Dropfleet Commander pledges on Tuesday. Quite a few people in the office have already started building their fleets from our retail stock so it will be good to start catching up. Having a battleship for every faction I already outgun everyone else.

I notice that Allen has been putting a lot of Genetealer cultists together which leads me to want to put together an obscure army of my own so will be digging out some Squats. I will most likely proxy them but will need to give some thought to what codex to use.

So below is how November is looking painting wise.


Word Bearers Sicaran
Emperor's Children Marine
Queen Khalida


Scourge ships

I stuck Khalida in there as I had been planning to paint her since before we moved as I really want to make progress on an 8th edition army. Maybe next month I will assemble a unit to be painted a rank at a time? Overall it is a lot to be getting on with but all three of my definite choices are single models so here's hoping. 


Conclave of Har Book Review: Roboute Gulliman - Lord of Ultramar

Of all the Horus Heresy novels, one of the most reviled seems to be Damnation of Pythos. David Annandale's Horus Heresy debut is widely regarded to be one of the poorer books in the series and I don't think it features in too many readers top ten lists. Myself, I felt rather more charitably toward it. Though i would by no means call it a classic I felt that the author explored some fascinating elements of the Imperial Truth and some parts of the book were very good indeed. To check out that review click here.

So when i saw that he had penned the first entry in the new Primarchs series i didn't really feel strongly about it either way, I certainly wasn't dissuaded from picking up Roboute Gulliman Lord of Ultramar whilst killing a bit of time in my local Games Workshop.

The book is in the same mould as the recent Beast Arises series, a hardback reduced length novel, more than the novellas they have previously been releasing but far less than a full title. In fact at 180 pages its pretty much half length. The standard is nice though and you do feel that it is a high quality product. The spine design is excellent and paper quality is much above the recent 40k Legends series, even if the cover art seems a bit off. Still, they'll look good on the shelf.

A quick glance though the pages showed 9 chapters in total so I wasn't expecting an epic by any means, but i was looking forward to a Primarch heavy narrative that would fill in a few of the gaps presented by the Heresy, there was a lot of potential here that i was hoping would be explored.

The story deals with the eradication of an Ork infestation on a former imperial world. Thus it becomes immediately clear that this is a pre Heresy tale. Indeed it would appear that the Great Crusade is not all that old as frequent references to Gulliman's days (although sadly no more than references) of rule and triumph over depot kings in Macragge are made. However, Gulliman is already wary of lessons learned from those days, he knows that the Astartes are created for war and has already taken steps to remould his legion and eliminate the more aggressive elements from his Legion.  To preserve rather than destroy to save rather than obliterate.

To this end the 'destroyers' (featured in the Horus Heresy rulebooks but nowhere else as of yet as far as I know) have been assigned a new chapter master from outside their own ranks in order to provide a calming influence and act as a catalyst for change. Something not best received by the Destroyers.
In addition Gulliman is also preparing contingencies for 'the unthinkable' a universe in which he is not present to command his sons. The Ultramarines Primarch is portrayed as constantly calculating, constantly strategising and playing the long game. Theoretical and Practical, Theoretical and Practical, over and over. The cast of the XIII legion here is much the same as Dan Abnett's. Careful and considered. Well, except for the Destroyers.

Now from all this you might think that the first few chapters of the book are insanely boring and I must confess they are somewhat bereft of action. Instead introspection and politics are presented as the narrative sets the scene and does the bulk of the heavy lifting before things kick off. Annandale does a lot of good work embellishing the minutiae and character of the chapter and their Gene Father.

And once the Ultramarines make planetfall it is more or less action from there on out. As if to make up for the slow start, the pace rarely slows again. Gulliman gets to let loose and the battle scenes are well written even if it is little more than wading through an endless tide of Orks over and over again. The Orks lack any character at all, they are cannon fodder, nothing more.

however, things start to become overly familiar as the Ultramarines find a pyramid and venture underground to face more Orks wall to wall and then end up being trapped and needing.... well you can guess the rest.

I hate to say it but all Annadale has done here is rewritten (by and large) the Damnation of Pythos. Marines make planetfall, are attacked by overwhelming forces, which they repel. Find structure, venture underneath, lots of heroic sacrifice, more foes underground and also the answer to an enigma that has been developing over the course of the story.... its just the same set up.

It's annoying, just like Damnation of Pythos there is potential here that is absolutely choked by poor story construction and a stumbling narrative. The action is passable and I don't really object to Gulliman's portrayal or even the way the Orks are presented. Though numerous Greenskins twice the size of a Primarch seems a touch OTT.

I LIKED the way that Gulliman is trying to preserve that which he reconquers, and mould his legion into more than just a force of destruction.  He still fights supremely when called for and it is a more rounded portrayal of a Primarch than many we have had.

I LIKED some of the action and the look into the Destroyers and the way they feel about their treatment at the hands of their father as they are chastised purely for their nature and the fact that they are Terran born and hold different traditions and ideals to Gulliman's lofty empire of Ultramar.

But this is like a director making the same movie twice in a row (like many have). I'm sure there were so many better ways that the above could have been incorporated into a narrative than the very dull plot that we are presented with, had we been given something fresh and new then perhaps the reader fatigue that I experienced would not have presented itself.

I'm not saying that this is a terrible unreadable book, there are some bits that are really worthwhile. But i cannot recommend it as a whole. Its like a horribly dry cake with juicy raisins in it. Given the truncated length and the fact that this is a series about THE PRIMARCHS it is very disappointing.

Put it this way, the short excerpt of Chris Wraight's upcoming Leman Russ Primarch book displayed more craft and skill and guile than the entire of this book. I think it will be a far superior title, but in all honesty the bar that has been set here is not hard to beat.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

White Dwarf Review: Issue 2

So the new White Dwarf then, not bad is it? I mean it's not perfect and it's by no means as good as the 'Fat Bloke' days (though I am forced to admit that my nostalgia tinted glasses mean that little ever could be) but as a magazine worth reading, yeah, not bad. Lets take a look at issue 2 shall we?
This is the second time i have had to write this review thanks to the previous version not saving on my notebook. Grrr. Still, that isn't the only reason for this review being a bit briefer than issue 1's. I'm not going to be reviewing every issue, well at least i'm not planning to, but I am interested in charting the first few issues to see what kind of improvements are rendered in it's early stages. So think of this as more of a brief overview rather than a detailed breakdown. That was done with issue 1 and is HERE should you so wish.

So, onwards! Once again the cover is artwork, though we know that this is not always going to be the case. Here it's the Genestealer Cult codex cover which makes for a rather impressive magazine frontage.
Inside it is revealed that Jes Bickham was only a launch editor and that the White Dwarf is under new stewardship, this may well turn out to be a positive move as fresh hands and eyes will prove more conducive to change in the magazine as at the moment it has Jes' undeniable mark upon it. Jes is off to the studio so all the best with that.

Planet Warhammer once again deals with the new releases and other goings on. I do feel that upcoming events could be included here which would preclude the need to devote a double page advert to them later in the magazine.
The new releases are of course the Genestealer Cult, a widely positively received range. It all looks pretty good though I must say i'm not a fan of the Metamorphs which kind of look like Tyranid hybrid kitbashes, still they are very nasty in the game, i'd be surprised if at least one unit didn't sneak into my army. 

I picked up Gulliman, review coming soon-ish

Elsewhere the description for the dice is different and indeed vastly superior to the actual product. WD is made well in advance and I guess the manufacturing changed after a print deadline. A shame. There are also Silver Tower cards and the Arcane Heroes set, a box which delivers appreciable savings over the individual clampacks. It must be noted that not all the releases in the weeks covered are featured with the recent battlemats nowhere to be seen. The new textured paints make it in though, apparently they will be featured more next month.
The releases do not quite stretch to the end of the month either. For example we have no idea what is up for pre release this week from the White Dwarf, this allows GW to sneak in big releases to the end of the month which will be covered in the next months issue. Devious.
I'm doing this from memory but next is the letters, including a familiar name. Hi Ross! Still other than that its the same, still not Grombrindal answering. Shame.

Next up is a piece about the new Warhammer Comic from Titan, Will of Iron. A preview copy of the comic is included free with the mag. It's alright, I certainly wasn't blown away. I felt that it wasn't a patch on my 83 or so issues of Warhammer Monthly nor the Boom Studios titles which were recently rereleased. The artwork is competent enough but very starkly coloured, over saturated and cartoony. Still the article itself is good giving a hefty insight on the construction of the comic and if anything being more interesting that the preview comic itself. I've got my local friendly comic shop putting Will of Iron aside for me so I daresay a proper review will pop up once i've read a few issues.
Hall of fame is Smaug. Cant really argue, it's one hell of a model. however, i'm sure that like Nagash, it has been featured before. The article is quite cool though, with some interesting tidbits about the model that I previously hadn't known.
Army of the month is another 12 pages of someone's army, Space Wolves this time. It is a nice army to be fair. 
The Jes Goodwin article is next. Its a hefty chat with the miniature maestro at ten pages but if i'm being honest I was a little disappointed. I felt that the topics covered fell someway short of what I had hoped and the whole thing is FAR less interesting than you would think. Still, i was surprised to learn he was born in Hockley, Essex. Maybe he pops into Wayland Games from time to time when he revisits his old stomping grounds.
Temporal Distort looks at one of the issues from the 'LOTR days' where half the mag was dedicated to the Tolkien game. Again, its alright, basic and superficial, i'd like to see this section given a little more love. Hopefully it goes back a lot further too.

Armies on Parade presents more readers models and again they are all rather good, it's inspiring stuff, particularly the Mechanicum force but i can think of other things i'd rather read.
The Ultimate Guide is Genestealer Cults naturally. It's a pretty good article, though it is somewhat distancing itself from the classic fluff from the 90s. Still, there are some good bits in here and the designers notes are also worth a look. I do rather hope that this section doesn't just focus on the new release for that month though, that would get a little dull and mean there were things that would never get featured.

Battle report is next. Its Deathwatch vs the Cult, In a sneaky move by GW. The preview for this months issue had Deathwatch fighting 'The Alien Menace'  with pictures of them and tyranids, good bait and switch GW. Fine devious work. It's a good report, you can tell what happened and get an idea of the tactics though they are not really explored in any depth. I did bemoan the lack of points but if you open the fold out section you will find them there, though only the army totals are featured.

erm... Illuminations? I think that was next. It's all AOS stuff, heroes and monsters and although I may not like what GW has done with the universe and the aesthetics of much of the range, the artwork is undeniably stunning, great images. I'd still like to see Artist featured ones though like the old Des Hanley one I found in an old issue the other day.
Golden Demon is stuff that I have seen before. Nice models and inspiring enough but not really doing all that much for me. Bit of a waste. I read it all online ages ago.
Ok, i'll admit i'm just putting these in as I remember them and ill rearrange them later when i get home. Paint Splatter returns to show us which Citadel colours to use this month. But WAIT.. is that...?

YES! the return of the Eavy Metal Masterclass. This is an in depth tutorial on faces, and whilst it might not be quite as good as its primogenitor which I still have in folders and refer to regularly, its so far above and beyond Paint Splatter that its a major plus point in my book. I hope this is a regular feature.

Tale of Four Gamers continues, the participants have all increased their armies but there appears to be no consistency in the reinforcements. This really kills it a bit for me and though the models are well painted (particularly the Nurgle force) and its interesting to watch the armies expand, there is little investment to be had and i'm finding this edition to be a pale shadow of it's predecessors. The lack of a budget removes a level of immersion, I mean even when they were using monetary values we ALL knew they were just getting the stuff from the warehouse but it made it seem like they were collecting the armies like we were, I just don't get that here. Hopefully as they start playing a few more games it will become more interesting.
Sprues and Glue shows how to kitbash Guard and Cult models, Its a good article, I think i'll grab me a Cadian HQ box. 

Blanchistsu has reverted to people imitating the style of John Blanche, to be fair they are quite nice as always, but this feature in particular runs the danger of becoming somewhat derivative.  I hope they find a way of jazzing it up whilst still keeping it Grimdark.
Parade ground features a Stormcast Eternal army, meh, don't really care. Its just another reasonably well painted army. Id feel the same if it were a 40k force, just for the record. This isn't my AOS prejudice rearing it's head here.  

Readers Models, well i shouldn't need to say anything here tbh.
The usual, in the bunker and such sees us out. This time its all models from the Arcane Heroes set.

So in summary little has changed, we can see the formula that the mag is going to follow and barring some drastic changes next month, which does have a big release admittedly, I think my opinion will not change all that much.
And that opinion is that the new WD is a perfectly serviceable hobby magazine totally in line with the current GW. It's not perfect though and this is why i think that.
Far too much space is devoted to other hobbyists models. I see models the equal of this every day on various Facebook groups and pictures of stunningly painted miniatures are not exactly hard to come by. Therefore I slightly resent paying for a magazine which is over a quarter filled with other peoples models. Army of the Month, Armies on Parade, Golden Demon, Readers Models AND Parade Ground is just overkill and using  40 pages that could far better be utilised with other features.
I think this is a side effect of the magazine absorbing Warhammer Visions. Time will tell if this split identity issue will be resolved when Visions relaunches. Personally I have a limit of how much of other hobbyists models I want to see. Imagine Empire if half of it was Youtube videos.
The adverts are also becoming a touch more noticeable. Though they are not particularly intrusive nor numerous,nonetheless a good few pages are lost, 14 in fact. These adverts I guess are a necessary evil after the tidying up of the hawking in the new releases section but one cannot feel that things like event adverts would be much better served in an appropriate section rather than a double page spread in the mag.
The writing overall isn't too bad but I would like to see more depth, its all a little superficial and friendly. Though I do enjoy reading the mag I cannot say it takes long and its normally finished in a hour or less. And that's with a reduced AOS presence, an Age of Sigmar focused issue would potentially represent much less value to me.
Still, i'll carry on the sub for at least a while, though it is far more expensive than it used to be, in the hope that White Dwarf will become something I just cannot resist. I do have a few ideas of what could be included to make this more likely.
Index Astartes: This was the benchmark in articles in the old White Dwarf, so popular that it was released in collected volumes that now fetch staggering prices on Ebay.  Indeed, I kept them from the White Dwarfs and have them in ring binders. Originally focusing on the Founding legions it was then expanded to include other chapters and more esoteric elements of marine background. It was then expanded further with Index Xenos and Malleus. They were great reads and with the wealth of additional material presented by the Horus Heresy series and other publications they are surely ripe for an update.
Heroes and Villains: Much like Index Astartes this was a fluff series that focused on characters from the various universes. It wasn't just lore, there were also strategies and rules presented. In fact it must be said that after last months glut of rule updates this issue is rather bereft with only an additional mission that was fought as the battle report.
Codicium Imperialis: This was a great series that focused on great events and battles of the 41st Millennium, More fluff basically, that's what I want!
Also maybe something on scenery building, not just using GW stuff but maybe something akin to the Forgeworld Masterclass books which i found immeasurably useful.
Other than that it would be nice to see a little more love toward the older stuff, it's all very new and shiny at the moment with little attention paid to anything from GWs past. Even the  Jes Goodwin interview was guilty of this.
Still it's early days so far and with the new editor I am hopeful that the magazine will continue to change, we'll find out in Novembers issue...
When Prospero Burns.....

Hobby diary 16/10/16


I’ve been hobbying quite a bit lately. Now I am fully settled in my new house the airbrush is permanently set up in the Lee room. All I can use it for right now is base coating but I have a few things I want to try in the future. Clear coating metals, gradients, shading. I have projects lined up aplenty.

Since unpacking everything I have successfully completed a couple of single miniatures. The first was the Deathwatch Watchmaster. As far as 40K goes I have never been much of a loyalist, preferring to side with Chaos or the Xeno but there is an allure to having a small elite force of Space Marines that do not require many units to ally with my Dark Angels or Space Wolves (didn’t I just say I don’t much go for the Imperium?).

The Watchmaster is a lovely model. The sculpting is superb and the pose stoic. I used a base from Secret Weapon to mount him on, a 32mm Ruined Temple base. This design looks good without being covered in too much detail. I wanted the model to be the focus for the eye. I painted it with a base of charadon granite dry brushed with shadow grey then over that a drybrush of Incubi Darkness and a final highlight drybrush of Sybarite Green. The recessed patterns were painted gold. This looks like an alien temple with colours that complement the predominantly black miniature.

My Watchmaster is a Space Wolf Grey Hunter. He has had his time as an impetuous Blood Claw and is on his way to becoming a Long Fang. He still has the passion of the hunt but is considered in his approach, best utilising the varied skills of his brothers to eliminate the Xenos.

The second model I completed was Watch Captain Artemis from Death Masque. He was painted similarly to my Watchmaster and I have been keeping a log of my paints (a new thing for me) so I can paint the rest of the Deathwatch models I have the same when I come back to them. The next model I will be painting is the Corvus Blackstar, a beautifully sleek craft which being mostly black should not take too long to paint once I begin.

The third miniature I have painted was a Tomb Kings Liche Priest. When I got wind that the Tomb Kings were being discontinued I immediately bought up what I could find. This was the Tomb Priest, a couple of Sphinxes and a couple of boxes of Sepulchral Stalkers. The Liche Priest is painted similarly to the units I have already painted for my Tomb Kings force except for the skin as none of my models currently have any. Rather than do it pale as the official miniature is painted I went for a darker tone similar to how real mummies look. I’m quite pleased with the result. I need to put together a 1,000-point force to guide what I paint next after Queen Khalida but the only units I do not have are a Bone Giant and most of the special characters.

These are just the tip of the lead pile though. I still have 30 Deathwing Terminators part painted on my table. I am half way through a random Emperor’s Children model and though I am still awaiting my Dropfleet Commander pledge to arrive Hawk gave me some miniatures to keep me busy. On top of that Allen wants us to paint a unit of our Horus Heresy armies a month.

We are halfway through the month at the time of writing but rather than pick an easy choice like a single character I have gone for five of the Ashen Circle. These guys are one of the Word Bearers’ unique units. They are jump pack infantry whose purpose is to eradicate enemy culture, learning and faith. On the battlefield, they would hunt down those that inspired hope and courage in the enemy force and burn them to ashes then after the battle do the same to the libraries and heretical churches of the foe. Now turned to Chaos they do the same with the heroes and truth of the Imperium.
The official models are painted in the slate grey of the old Word Bearer’s livery but my force has turned from the Emperor’s light already so they will have their post Istvaan livery. Rather than paint them red I will be painting them the same deep grey I painted Zardu Layak with the cthonian runes etched onto their armour glowing with internal heat. Each model is armed with a hand flamer and an axe rake. The hand flamers may only be strength 3 but that is a lot of templates. I have 20 of these models to paint in all so my full squads will be doing a lot of damage.

The Axe rake used by the Ashen Circle is a weapon not used by any other unit. It is a tool as much as a weapon being used to latch onto and haul down graven idols. In game, it is a +1 AP6 hand weapon that causes enemy units falling back to do so at -1”. Upgrade wise there isn’t much to change on the regular squad load out. I switched out one of the hand flamers for an inferno pistol for that extra punch and the axe rake on the champion for a power axe which I have represented with a mutation from the Chaos Space Marine Possessed sprue to show the Iconoclast is favoured.
As of the time of writing these models have received their base coat and I will be making a proper start on the detail at the next sitting. Having a think about next month I am tempted to name one of the units in Fall of Prospero as my choice but as I was looking for my Ashen circle earlier I came across my Sicaran and Deredeo Dreadnought so who knows.


Like Lee i have also moved home, albeit much more recently. The last thing I painted before I moved was this Necron Tomb Spider:

As you can see i'm going for a swampcron force and have a lot of ideas for the army. I have been using the Forgeworld Masterclass books and their wealth of information including using oil paints and floor polish to gain an aged and decrepit look. The model itself was sprayed with Halfords silver paint. Halfords do a very wide  range of shades and i'm not entirely sure i picked the right one but ill improvise. The whole model was then given a wash of a mix of black and burnt umber oil paints, liberally diluted with white spirit. Make sure that the area is suitably ventilated! the fumes are intense! The advantage of using oil paint is that you can manipulate the wash for a lot longer and a lot more easily while it dries. The disadvantage is that it takes ages to dry and reeks while it does so.

A quick drybrush of Boltgun Metal (yes i mostly still use old Citadel colours) and then another more carefully applied thicker burnt umber wash and it was done. Well the metal bits were. I had decided in advance i wanted a glossy dark green marble effect for the carapace to counteract the murky metal. This was achieved by using Vallejo Scaly Green mixed with a bit of black and then effectively producing a marble pattern adding VERY old Jade Green on top. After i was happy with the marble effect (more or less) i then used consecutive glazes of scaly green mixed with floor polish. This gives a lovely smooth glossy effect.

The swamp stuff itself was actually something of a challenge. i ended up using a mix of normal and static flock mixed with a lot of PVA glue and then gloss varnish once dried. I'm still not totally happy but it will do for now. Bigger models will use Spaghum moss that i use for my animals enclosures. Still, it's hard to say when ill get back to the swampcrons....

As GW have gone release crazy! Since i painted this Tomb Spider they have released Death Masque. (always fancied Harlequins so nabbed two boxes of that) and the Genestealer Cult which i had to have as well! I'm now drowning in armies, still mostly on sprue and with The Burning Of Prospero on the horizon this isn't going to change anytime soon as the XIII legion will soon be receiving all sorts of reinforcements!

So I have arranged with Lee that we will have to crack on with our Heresy armies and paint at least one thing a month. Problem is i haven't got anywhere near deciding on a colour scheme and i'm using the airbush, no way i'm manually painting all that. My painting desk is in the same room as my vast collection of exotic pets so i picked up a ventilated airbrush booth from Ebay and you can look forwards to seeing much more soon with any luck. Once i finally work out how i'm going to paint them. I have some catching up to do as Lee has already completed a few of his treacherous whoreson Word Bearers.

So as I have just moved and the vast majority of my stuff is still inaccessible or still on sprue i grabbed what was to hand to ease myself back into painting. In this case it was the busts from the Fantasy Flight game Relic. I only managed a couple of painting sessions this week, hope to improve on that in coming weeks.

First up was the Callidus, This was simplicity itself. Spray black (Halfords again) then highlight the black with P3 Coal Black, a black wash to tie it in a bit and repeat. The hair was Mephiston Red mixed with Scaly Green (I no longer darken bright colours with black) and then successive coats adding more Mephiston Red. The eyes were very thin layers of Scaly Green building up towards the bottom of the lens

I then turned my attention to the Ultramarine. I'd tried zenithal highlighting but it turns out that is difficult with spray cans. Ill revisit the technique with my airbrush. A simple coat of Vallejo Prussian Blue did the armour colour but then I noticed something interesting. The game has him as a Captain but he has the tactical symbol on his shoulder pad. Sod it, im doing him as a sergeant and red helm it shall be. I put him to one side for now though.

Picked up the ratling sniper instead. This is a nice model. Sadly i didn't make a note of what colours I used for all the model and I used too many to remember them all. I have recently downloaded an app that will help me with this, i'll be reviewing that separately at some point. You can likely work it out from the pics. I did use a tan brown rather than a flesh colour for the face though, I wanted it to look a bit more abhuman like, I used a wash of red around the nose and eyes to keep a little warmth in there though. He's almost finished and has actually turned out alright. I look forward to getting them all done. However, i have to accept the reality that i have actual ARMIES to assemble and paint so I think i'll have to treat myself to painting one of these busts inbetween units or something. The main thing was to get painting again and that mission has been accomplished. I'm looking forwards to getting a lot more done.

See you next week!