Goals - April Pt2

This month hasn't quite panned out like I hoped. While there has been a little bit of painting there is still not a single model I called finished. Hopefully without a holiday stealing a week of painting time next month will see better results.

I think it's genuinely a lack of time to blame this month, rather than a pathological fear of posting about success. Between preparing for the holiday and being away there's also been more other stuff than usual breaking my hobby concentration and stealing time. I'll try and set myself a way of dealing with that in tomorrow's post.

Meanwhile I've got a lot of catching up to do going forward so expect quite a few posts over the next week as I generally get caught up on what's been going on. There's 100+ blog posts to look at on my Google Reader, and pages of content on various news sites that I missed. I'll try and post a proper piece daily, but expect a bit of piece meal "Hey, look at this" in there as well.

Sunday Photo Page 29.04.2012

Well, I'm back. Normal service will resume tomorrow, as will replying to comments.

In the mean time, something to think about. Do we really make terrain big enough or grand enough for our games?

A Parent's Guide: Shopping Online

This is going to be very UK centric, so I apologise to anyone reading this overseas.

Herein follows a list of stores both physical and online where discount is applied on Games Workshop products and there is also a range of other items avaliable.

Valiant Wargames

Dark Sphere

Firestorm Games

Total Wargamer

And there you have it. I'll be updating things as I can to keep things current I hope I've been of help.

A Parent's Guide: One For The Kids

Hi.

So starting out in things. Well done. What I present below is advice you may or may not take, as the mood takes you, but I suggest at least giving it a read.

It's a long while since I started out, and I've picked up a fair bit of experience on the way. The below is my attempt to prevent you making my mistakes.

What To Do First

So just starting out, I suspect you know a bit more about the game than I did. As much as I dislike it the Games Workshop website is the best place to start.

Your first choice should be which system to play, a decision that may have already been
made for you by the prevailing game at your local club. It's best you know now that there are more games out there than those produced by GW. Have a poke around on here to find some.

The second decision is what army to choose. This is always a hard choice, but don't let it be made for you. Read what you can online about the force you're thinking of before you buy a codex or army book. They cost too much these days to be picked up on a whim.

At some points you'll begin to discover what sort of hobbyist you are, be it a pianter, player, or collector. Each type gets a different thing from the hobby, and will need to follow their own whims to satisfy this niche.

First Miniatures

Try and get the cheapest possibly unit for your army, and the tools, glues, and paints you need to get them started.

I'd suggest picking a definite colour scheme before you get the paints. I'd also suggest not trying to paint your first models to Golden Demon standards. Go for an undercoat and base to start with, and add a wash at a later stage. This will hopefully keep the cost of your first batch of paints down,leaving cash for more models.

I'd suggest finding time to sit down with one of the staff in store and getting a lesson in the basics of painting from them. There's a lot of very simple things to pick up that'll make a big difference to how well you paint. Don't buy the "How To Paint Citadel Miniatures" book, it's not what it says it is.

You Buy It, You Paint It

As hard as it may be, try and get into the habit of focusing on one thing at a time, and only buy a new model or unit once the previous purchase is finished. If you're following the above then this should be fairly quick with just the basecoats. Once you've expanded you army you can go back with new paints and add more detail to your models. This should mean your army will look more uniform as your skills with a brush improve, rather than the most recent model always looking the best and standing out. It'll also mean you'll end up with a fully painted army rather than a collection of half done units.

Know When To Buy

GW does not generally publicise what will be released beyond a very short time in advance. This means that unless you pay attention to rumours online it possible to end up buying something only to have to replace it soon after with the new version. At present the best example of this is the 40k starter set and rules that are soon to be replaced. I'll try and keep the guide section of the site as up to date with this sort of information as possibly to avoid early mistakes.

Shiny Things

I've always found if difficult to concentrate on one force, and tend to jump from one thing to another. I'd suggest instead trying to get your first army finished, without falling into the trap of wanting the most recent shiny model to hit the web, or that's in White Dwarf.

There's probably more I could tell you, but that's enough for now I think. Feel free to leave a comment if you've got any questions. Happy painting, and may your dice always roll 6's.

A Parent's Guide: Lord Of The Rings Statergy Battle Game


The Lord of The Rings games is a bit of a special case as it splits into two sub systems. There is the Strategy Battle Game, and there is the War Of The Ring.

The Hobbit is also looming, short and rotund as it is, on the horizon. GW has once again picked up the rights to produce a game based on the book/film, so that may well bring changes to the range.

The Strategy Battle Game 

As with the other systems the Strategy Battle Game is designed to be started in one of two ways, either with the acquistion of the boxed game; The Mines Of Moria at £51.25, or by buying the Rulebook (The One Rulebook to Rule Them All) at £35. I'd push for getting the boxed set myself as it provides a reduced copy of the rules, but more importantly the models for the Fellowship are obtained at a greatly reduced cost to buying them separately. Also, it has a cave troll. Although doing this may mean buying the hardback rules at some point down the line.

Sourcebooks

The Sourcebooks serve much the same funtion as their Fantasy and 40K equivalents, providing specific rules for differet armies. The main difference is in that they cover more than one force, with each title being an umbrella heading.

War Of The Ring

The  War Of The Ring provides a different set of rules for players to use considerably larger forces of ranked troopers on the tabletop as opposed to the skirmish game style of the Strategy Battle Game.

Where To Start

Personally I'd start with building a force to work within the SBG rules. Jumping right into the War Of The Ring seems to be putting the cart before horse somewhat

A Parent's Guide: Warhammer Fantasy

The monday post covered the very rough outline things. This post is a far more narrowed down discussion about getting into Warhammer Fantasy.


The Island Of Blood

Games Workshop have a habit of giving their starter sets florid names. In the case of the Fantasy the set goes under the moniker "The Island Of Blood". While an impressive set it is only really of use for players that are going to collect High Elves or Skaven. I'd steer clear of it otherwise. Or possibly go halves.

Rulebooks

I recommend searching eBay or other online stores for variations on the following keywords warhammer, rule, book, a5, island of blood, 8th ed. See what you can find. It's certainly the cheaper way of getting hold of the rulebook than buying in store or through picking up the starter set.

Hardbacks
Since the release of the current 8th edition of the game any new Army Book has been released
in hardback, as aposed to the previous soft back format. This provides an easy rule of thumb for where things are in GW's production cycle.

These new books include; Orcs and Goblins, Tomb Kings, Ogre Kingdoms, Vampire Counts and Empire.

It's worth noting that the Empire release came with very little warning, and bets are off as to what will be next.

Armies
Warhammer armies are far more distinct than those in 40K, and I recommend looking on the GW website for further information, as anything I put here will just be rewording what is already out there essentially.

The only points of confusion to note are the aforementioned issues with Orcs, and that there are three varieties of elves, High Elves, Dark Elves and Wood Elves.

A Parent's Guide: Warhammer 40,000

STOP 

For now my advice is don't.

Really. You'll be wasting money.

At some point in the summer of this year  Warhammer 40,000 will be released as a new (6th) edition with new rules and accompanying starter set and other parts. This means any rules bought now will need to be replaced, something GW probably doesn't let you get away with at the returns desk. Nor will they warn you of this in stores either.

A new edition tends to invalidate very little of the larger game or armies, so there isn't a need to panic if you've only just started out. 

This means it's sensible not to buy- Rulebooks, The Assault On Black Reach set, Templates and counters, Planetary Empires, or any book not labelled as a Codex.

I'd also avoid buying the Dark Angel or Chaos Codices, as these are also rumoured to be replaced soon.

I'll update this post as soon as possible with details of the new edition once it's released. 

Still Viable

There's nothing to stop you buying units for a starting army though. So then, in no particulair order.

Armies
There's a large range of forces present in 40K, and some, at first glance, have very little to differentiate between them. Below I've tried to explain the differences as sensibly as possible.

Space Marines


The principle armies found on the table top are the Space Marines. Split into groups known as Chapters each has their own history and colour scheme. There a a number of notable examples that bear specific mention. Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Black Templars, Grey Knights, and Space Wolves are each very distinct and knowing which someone collects is important from a buyers perspective.

Orks
I've already made the point about Orks being a race that crosses games systems. Orks with a K fight in the far future.

Eldar/Dark Eldar

An elfin race that is nearing the end of their time the Eldar fall into two camps, Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar. These are two distinct types and shouldn't be mistaken for each other.

Tau

The oldest of all the races currently on sale Tau are due for a revamp any time, and should possibly avoided until then.

Necrons
Think the Terminator in space. The latest army to be redone there are still some units and vehicles to be released

Chaos Space Marines and Daemons
Rumoured to soon be redone Chaos is another force to avoid for the moment.

Imperial Guard

Imperial Guard are the vast armies of the human Imperium. Their armies tend to consits of either vast swathes of infantry or imposing walls of tanks.

Tyranids

One of the more recently released armies the Tyranids are the quentisensial space alien. With their final release wave given them access to all their units ad a varied stlye of play, from horde of tiny creatures to mosterous creatures they are unique.

Sister's Of Battle

SoB are a bit of a special case, as their rules have been published in White Dwarf and the models are at the moment, only avaliale in metal. If you have a hankering for them I'd wait until they recieve a proper and full overhaul.

A Parent's Guide to Games Workshop -Getting Started

So, your child wants to get into collecting, painting, and gaming with toy soldiers. Well, you've come to a better place than the Games Workshop website.

Recently I was in a Games Workshop store, and a mother came in, wanting to buy a birthday present for her son that would get him started in one of the games systems. After a bit of chasing down about which system there was the shock of the initial cost of a starter set, and then the additional material necessary to actually make use of it.

Below I'm going to try and explain what the hobby is, what the systems are, and probably most importantly a different way to get started than by being railroaded into blowing £70+ by store staff.

Over the next week I'll be putting up a post a day for each of the three systems, and something different for the end of the week. Once that's done I'll be collating these posts and keeping them updated, as Games Workshop change their product lines.

While I am going to go on at some length here, to cover a host of general points, the specific posts should be shorter. This is designed as a guide for someone buying for someone else, not a guide to starting the hobby, there's a difference as there's a lot of detail I'm skimming over as superflous when taking a hands off approach Consider this a fairly well honed piece of need to know.

I'll try to answer any questions put to me in the comments as well as I can, without running into gaming language. I'll likely be unable to answer the week these go up, but otherwise I'll try and reply within a day.

Sunday Lead In Post - A Parent's Guide

Ha. Not photos.

I'm hopefully off seeing the sights somewhere away from the computer for a week right now. If Blogger doesn't go wrong on me, like it did last time I scheduled it to post while I was away, the next week will be a parent's guide to Games Workshop. It'll be fairly light on actual hobby and be focusing mainly on how to avoid spending the food budget on toy soldiers. I've spun things out to last until at least next Monday with normal service being resumed then, if not before.

It only seems fair to give a warning as it's a fair departure from what's normally on here.

From The Æther - 21.04.2012

This post is going to be a bit of a lame duck I'm afraid. Written on Thursday night, and once again culling links from my blog feed. Hopefully nothing too momentous will happen before this goes out.

Dark Templar Cryx Starter Set unboxing.

3++ has a very useful article about the Battle Force sets

14th Legion continues work on the Minotaurs chapter.

Frontline Gamer talks about the Games Industry and reviews some Heavy Gear Blitz models, amongst many other things.

Empire Witch Hunter - Model Review

I was going to pick up Arjac Rockfist for this review but he's £15 so that idea went out the window. I'll pick him up at some point, but I'll be doing it when I can get a discount.

The figure that really jumped out at me from the new Empire range was the Witch Hunter.


Here he is out of the blister. Sadly the box hasn't lied about him being Finecast. I looked through carefully in store and this was the best of the selection.


I was going to start by cataloguing air holes but first, but what the hell is with the two lumps on his collar. From the picture above it seems they are the connectors to the sword, but they are in an awkward place. The rear is mostly free of problems, with one bubble on the edge of  the coat fold, and one small one on the hat brim.
The view from underneath reveals a number of issues. The feet and the turn downs on the boots have a number of bubbles that have taken out details. The poor old chap's got a hole in his crotch. Most annoying of all is the damage to the pistol that's affected the butt of the weapon, taken out a chunk of four fingers, and affected the end of the barrel as well. While none of this is terribly obvious when the model is stood upright it's still not something that will be solved with liquid greenstuff. The rest of the detail on the model has been mercifully undamaged as far as I can tell.


The Witch Hunter comes with the option of either a zweihander, umm bendy...


Or a sword and pistol, that has an air bubble right in the centre.


I had hoped that Finecast would have improved somewhat since it was first released, but apparently I'm mistaken. The model is a gorgeous and characterful sculpt, filled with crisp detail. It's just a shame some of it has been destroyed by the problems inherent in the casting process GW is using. I really do with GW had stuck with metal until the issues, which they must have been aware of, got sorted out.The model is salvageable as the detail lost with be mostly hidden from view due to the lucky positioning, but I think I was fortunate not to have lost some of the fancier and more visible areas as well that my GS bodge jobs can't deal with.

I wonder what it's like for a sculptor knowing that the model they've worked on is unlikely to reach the customer with imperfections marring their work.

I urge anyone picking up Finecast models to check carefully before buying. At least the new packaging gives a picture on the front for reference as to what the model should look like.

Salute 2012


Sadly I'm going to be out of the country this weekend, which means missing Salute 2012.

The American's have AdeptiCon the UK have Salute. I'd love to be able to say I'm missing Salute to go to AdeptiCon, but sadly no.

Me not being there means your just going to have to go in my stead. Tickets are £11 on the door at the London Excel centre.

The most varied event of it's type in the UK, GW tends to drown in out with their Game Day press, but I think it looks even more impressive (Games Day 2011 did not do it for me over much) due to the sheer range of things on offer.

Details can be found here

The 100 item long list of games on the day is here. It's impressive. There's a similarly long list of traders that'll be in attendance here.

So head down, and see what else there is out there, beyond the shores of GW, PP and other publishers. Go have a debauched day of model soldiers.

The Games Workshop Website - Review

The Games Workshop website has seen more than a few changes over the years.

Remember when it used to look like this?


 Or this?

 Or this?

 And now it's this abomination


(Thanks to the Wayback Machine for services to the Internet in preserving things like this).

Anyway to get to the point. The GW website is not exactly fit for purpose.


Keeping A Record

You can't trust your eyes, and you certainly can't trust your memory. You can probably trust your own handwriting though - this isn't Memento, there's no need to go as far a tattooing notes onto yourself, mostly. And photos probably won't help.


Well, can you remember what colours you used to paint that army you started two years ago? Sure it looks like you used Bleached Bone on those skeletons, but what was the base coat? What about the shades? Still got the White Dwarf you used for hints? Why didn't you write it down? Why didn't you label that mix pot with the proportions used?

Monday Catch Up

By rights this should go in a "From The Æther" post, but that would make a very long post for next Saturday, and leave me out of date. Much of this comes via the amazing Tabletop Gaming News

Zombicide

Proving there's no such thing as coincidence, after last Saturday's mention of cloud funding games, CoolMiniOrNot have posted an intro video for Zombicide, which has done fantastically well on Kickstarter. They're smashed the target, but there are still benefits to funding the venture. Be aware that postage outside of the USA is an extra $25 though, which is a bit of a bastard.


Mantic On The Airwaves



Mantic are putting out a Podcast.Not sure much needs to be said here. Mantic are impressing me just by how far they're come in such short a time. They're lining up to be giant killers.

Advanced Deployment - Sci-Fi Skirmish Tokens


The products description suggests what game the INFINITE selection of tokens could be used for. 

Sunday Photo Page 15.04.2012

Gone writing.

What with the reviewing and other things there's not been a lot of time for actual progress on models etc. Expect things to change next week though.

From The Æther - Blog and Blood Bowl

This morning I had over 100+ unread articles sitting in my Google Reader in tray. A fairly fast skim over them means I have some assorted blog posts to bring you.

Laubershimer talks about returning to an old colour scheme.

Frontliner Gamer on crowd funding.

Dwartist's Painting Blog continues to show some great models.


Blood Bowl

Over at The Man Cave there's an A-Z of Blood Bowl going on. 
In my brief time with the glorious game my Amazon team did surprisingly well. Of all the games GW has produced its possibly Blood Bowl that has had the most fan support and dedicated players, outside the big games. Because of this there are quite a number of firms producing miniatures for "Fantasy Football" games.

This link is out of synch will what's below, but deserves a mention ahead of everything else. FF Fields do pitches that look brilliant. They come as either rolled mats or as pieces that link together. There's even an option to customise the centre logo amongst other things.



Willy Miniatures has a damned impressive range.



Black Scorpion

Gaspez Arts

Greebo has an impressively varied  Fantasy Football range.

Goblin Forge

Impact! Miniatures has a wide selection of models, for a myriad of things as well as "fantasy football"

Heresy has their Deathball line.


Neomics

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but it is really worth digging into the catalogue of these suppliers yourself as the range miniatures offered is incredibly varied.

I wonder if GW's new texture paint will make it easier to do a Blood Bowl base with white lines on...

Tokens and Holo Board Review - Micro Art Studio

Right then, enough of the paints and Games Workshop (for today at least). At the end of last week I got a little parcel from Poland from Micro Art Studio, containing tokens and Holo Ads for Infinity.

Tokens

I picked up the  Camo counters. A set of six counters, one "Burnt" and five numbered Themo Optic Camo tokens.


And here's the backing on the tokens, which is described as white foil. The marks are as provided and I don't fancy deliberately scratching them to find out how sturdy they are. 

Here's one token with a marine to give an idea of scale...
 
 ...and here for thickness.

 The tokens are nicely made, and should last few a fair bit of gaming. I'm not sure they are worth the price tag - nearly €5 seems a bit steep, but it depends if you want to put time or money into making or buying counters I suppose. The game certainly requires them.

Holo Ads.

The bodywork of the stands come  as a single sheet of laser cut HDF. The pieces are still held fairly securely at two points, so you'll need a sharp and very thin knife to remove them without damage. The layout is impressive, and everything is packed in well. Below is one corner of the sheet.


Transfers - While Stocks Last


When I heralded the transfers as a good move by GW I didn't expect that they'd be only a limited release. This feels like a really stupid move, flying in the face of their army painting push.

Go to the 40K advance order page for details. Note that the warning of a limited release is only on the front page though.

How To Paint Citadel Miniatures - DVD Review

So then to continue on from the book review of yesterday.

I scribbled notes as I was watching so the following may be a bit stream of conciousness. Sorry in advance to those of you who dislike short paragraphs. Here goes... Think of this as watch with Screwed Up Dice. 

The pictures are pulled from the GW website. There isn't a video wherein the DVD content is obviously displayed although it does show up in snippets. Of all the things GW could do a trailer for a DVD seems the most obvious. Ah well. I probably should be glad they've thrown no more false marketing at this.

The first thing to note is the lack of subtitles. There are voice over is in various different languages, but if you're deaf you're out of luck.

One nice addition is the inclusion of some Black Library audio book samples. While shockingly short (about 8 mins of stuff all in all) it's a nice taste of a range people don't get a chance to sample beyond digging around the Black Library website.

I had hoped after the disappointment that was the book the DVD would cover a considerably wider and deeper view of painting.  No such luck.

The DVD follows the same contents/format of the book, going through assembling models, the paint range, and gives a brief overview of two of the army projects Tyranids and Space Marines. It occurs to be at this point there is no mention of varnishing models to protect against damage. I suppose it is less relevant for plastic models, but it would have been nice to see it mentioned.

Once past the menus it's pretty much straight into the main feature (with a run time of 1:31), with only a very brief intro.

Here's what's said...

"Hello my name is Adam Troke. I'm the author and narrator of the How to Paint Citadel Miniatures DVD and book respectively."

How To Paint Citadel Miantures - Book Review

I've decided to split this review into two halves. While the book and DVD compliment each other this review will 1) compliment neither very much and 2) be more readable in two distinct halves.

So then, the book.
Let's start with the title.

"How To Paint Citadel Miniatures."

If you read my post yesterday, you'll know the kind of thing I expected. Any technical teaching aspect I imagined was very much not lived up to.

The title has some of the right words, and not even in the right order. "A Guide to Citadel Miniature Paints and Tools" may have been better.

The book functions mainly as a guide to the new paints range. Something that was covered well enough in this month's White Dwarf for below 1/6 of the cost.

A quick dig at the marketing is needed too.  From the product page on the website "All in all, this is one book that every hobbyist should own, whether you're new to painting Citadel miniatures, or a painting guru." No, it really isn't. If it lived up to the title it would have been. Anyone new will learn no more than they could sitting down with someone in store for an hour. A painting guru will learn no more than they could sitting by themselves for an hour (not even near the paints).

I'm coming out of the gates very negative here, so a pause to evaluate the positive before I continue to break the book down and go section by section. The book contains eight army projects, that detail from construction to finished models how painter X went about painting army Y. There is a good level of painting on display mainly, and a lot of colour combinations from the new range to be pulled from this section. In addition... no, that's it. I'll come back to this section later as it's where the value of the book is. Not £30 worth of value though.

I'll come to the book as an object at the end, because I like what has been done in the main, but it's not really any reason to buy it.

Let's look at the authors and there roles within GW, as this seems a sensible place to start with a painting guide.

Simon Adams - 'Eavy Metal
Steve Bowerman- ?
Christian Byrne - Book Design
Dave Cross- Research and Development Manager (see here)
Chad Mierzwa - Hobby Team
Chris Peach - Hobby Team
Duncan Rhodes - Hobby Team
Adam Torke - Game Development
Rob White - ?
Roger Yates - ?

Sorry to anyone with a question mark by your name. Blame GW for not having you listed in the Design Studio credits.

And sorry to anyone who though a book about painting might include more contributions for the 'Eavy Metal team. No such luck. Is the level of painting the team consistently produce beyond what you'd want of a table top army, yes. Would you imagine some skills would be transferable. You've got to assume so.It's no slur on the Hobby Team to say that the consistently pushed PR line is that the 'Eavy Metal team are some of the best painters around. True or not (I'm in the true camp), their apparent absence is sorely felt. Certainly the impression would be similar to a book written about how to paint to Golden Demon standard by someone  who came fourth. Good, but not good enough.

Maybe I'm just victim of my own expectation. 

Let's take a look at the content then.

The book weight in at 138 pages, which is a nice sized book. Thing break down as follows

Section 1: Techniques - 52 pages
Introduction - 9 pages. Covers guide to the books style and tips on tools and brush care.
Preparing - 4 pages. Preparing plastic and finecast models
Basecoating - 6 pages.
Washing - 3 pages
Drybrushing - 4 pages
Spotting the theme related to the paint types yet?
Layering - 6 pages
Glazing - 3 pages
Basing - 3 pages. Texture paints and grass tufts
Other Techniques - 6 pages. Transfers, Rust and Verdigris, Chipping and Weathering, Iconic COlour Schemes, Combining Techniques
Batch Painting - 3 pages

Section 2: Army Projects - 86 pages

Tyranids - 6 pages
Orcs & Goblins -8 pages
Haradrim - 8 pages
The Empire - 8 pages
Space Marines - 8 pages
Tomb Kings -8 pages
Gondor - 8 pages
Dark Eldar - 10 pages

Colour Guide - 2 pages

Before I launch into each section, just look at that page division. For a "How To Paint..." book that only 38% of the content is technique is not encouraging.

Painting as Science.

Tomorrow I'll be reviewing the "How To Paint Citadel Miniatures" book, followed by the DVD. In order to understand my stance on that it's time to discuss how I view painting. Sorry for the forthcoming waffle and pretension. I'm not a brilliant painter. There are pictures on the blog that attest to that (maybe it'll all change when I finish a model). I do, however, know what I'm talking about below.

A well finished model is a work of art. Painting in itself, not so much. 

Painting  of miniatures, is, at it's very bases level, the placement of a paint onto a surface with a tool, of one form or other, to achieve, or eventually achieve a desired effect.The repetition of the same effect, or alteration of its application then tends to be desirable.

So pulling that further into bits there are things we need to know. And just as important there are reasons that need to be known. Yes, reasons can be fathomed out, but that might not lead to the right answer.

Trial and error seem a very long way round to go with painting. Don't think so? Have a look at how many questions get asked about it on forums and how many sites put up tutorials.

Review - Citadel Paints

So, then, the biggy. Now that the full range is out, what are they like?

As seen yesterday I only have a fraction of the paints in the range, but I'll give my opinions as best I can, and see how the new range stacks up to the old.

For those in need of a second opinion Tale Of Painters has a  review up, with inter range comparison, notes on the manufacturing history.

Pots


 Here's the new pot design, with the a tab at the real to make the lid stay open and the remains of the seal visible. It does make opening the pots for the first time hard, but should preserve the quality better in store. I did see a few pots with the whole lid section not quiet seated right, so watch out for that. The lids of the glazes and the shades are black, unlike those shown in White Dwarf. Also there are pots with the old lid on still in the system, so be prepared that not all the lids will stay open happily.

I like the new design. My limited experience of dropper bottles hasn't enamoured me to them, so I'm glad there wasn't a radical shift. No doubt time and use will show up any issues with the new design.

In Store

The new range takes up surprisingly little space give that it is so much larger than the old range in terms of pot numbers. It's worth noting that some colours get more than one row on the new stand, which provides an interesting indication about what colours GW thinks will be most used.

The colours are set out by type, which doesn't make for the most intuitive picking of colours from a given colour section. Painting red means jumping between all the sections for example, rather than having things laid out by a progression of use.

Colour

In store each row of paints had its own little label and colour swatch. There was very clear disparity between the colour in the pot and many of these, so I really would suggest picking colours once you've seen the pots in real life, rather than rely on any listings of the range.

I've not had chance to test any colour against its predecessor, but there will be inevitable differences in the range. Quiet how noticeable these are it'll be interesting to see.

Bases

The new bases are an improvement on the old foundations as they integrate into the range better. Their previous iteration left a pastel like finish in daylight (this doesn't show on photos, but go take a miniature with some on to a window and you'll see what I mean). The new range doesn't suffer from this, which means it could be used as an exposed layer rather than being covered as previously required.

The paints are thinner than the old foundations, and hopefully won't suffer from the separation that plagued their predecessors.

The coverage remains good. The jump pack below has only two layers on. I'd want three for total coverage, but that's not bad from black to a fairly strong red.


I've not used Ceramite White over pure black yet, but it is doing a very nice job on the armour plates of my Infinity models, again in very few layers.

Shades

Beyond the extended range of colours there is little difference between the old washes and new shades. The shades do not perhaps run as well as the old washes, which means the area painted will take on more of the shade colour than previously.

Layers

The layers are thinner than the colours they replace, but that's no bad thing. It's the range that's of note, which is even more impressive in the flesh. That mixing is no longer needed as a standard approach to army painting is good, although I think I'll still be tweaking things a little.

Dry Compound

It's a shame that these provide the main source of top highlights for the range as they lack flexibility. While a true paint could be used for anything, these  compounds are only good for dry brushing due to their consistency.

It's a long time since I've drybrushed anything, and it's I'm not sure these new paints change my opinion of the finish it gives. I think I'll still be taking the long road of layering my skeletons.

Glazes

The terminator below is painted with the old Thrakka Green wash on the left leg, and the Waywatcher Green glazed on the right. While not immediately obvious there is a difference to how the colours sit on the model. I can see some applications for the glazes, but I'm unsure they'll become a staple of my painting style.


Textures

The texture paints didn't impress me in my initial appraisal of the range, but a second go round with them has improved things. Below is a base just after painting, and I'm pleased with both the coverage and the potential to work effects straight into the surface. The sand used is smaller than that normally used for basing, so two layers might be needed to match previously done models, but this method should cut down massively on the final few stages of painting a model. There's also potential for weathering and the like.


Metalics

The metallics seem to integrate into the range well and range of colours is good. The new formulation gives  a smoother finish to the surface, and the consistency seems much improved. Of all the paints I've had over the years it is the metallics that have caused the most trouble by separating out either simply in the pot or when thinning. This looks to be the end of those problems.


Conclusion

Overall I'm impressed with the new range. It must be pointed out I'm viewing this in isolation, having not got much or any experiences with other ranges. Compared to what it replaces though the range is a step up. The bases are much improved, and the range of colours is impressive. It'll be interesting to see what happens at Golden Demon and the like, but I certainly think they'll be more painted armies on the tabletop now that painting has been speeded up.

Expect more on the paint range over the next few weeks and months as I work to get models table ready. 

I'll be reviewing the How To Paint Citadel Miniatures book and DVD set later in the week, so stay tuned. For those of you that are curious/tempted, I wouldn't be rushing out to buy it.

Sunday Photo Page 08.04.2012

We'll I've picked up a very slim selection of the new paints...

...and have begun experimenting with them. I'll be talking about them more later in the week, but so far I'm impressed.

I've been pressing on painting some Infinity miniatures, as shown, in tiny fashion bellow. Hopefully the new base white paint will speed up painting the armour sections.


Still on the Infinity front, my order for Micro Art Studio has arrived, which means I'll be reviewing their holoboards and tokens latter in the week as well. 



I realise that's slim pivkings, but I'll make up for it in the week, and I'd rather not give the game away just yet.


From The Aether

Hopefully by the time this goes up I'll have got my hands on the new paints and possibly the painting guide. Expect more on this tomorrow.

Want a bit of listening while trying your new paints? Try the sadly now very quiet Radio Free Ariadna podcast.

And for a bit of model making, here's the creation of Soda Pop miniatures One Shot. From concept art to building the model to the finished piece. It's impressive.


Back to Infinity there are some good painting and conversion threads to be pulled from the forums.

There are all sorts of good ideas to be taken from here

A gorgeous Yu Jing force here

A nice alternative scheme for Haqqislam here

Very nicely painted PanO troops with a grey colour scheme and some very nice OSL work here.

Review - Labyrinth Of Sorrows

As the title gives away, this post is the first review I'll be doing of GW's tie-in publishing, which in this case means an audio book. 

Labyrinth Of Shadows
By George Mann 
And here's the vocal and writing talents involved.

The mortuary world of Kasharat is without strategic value. Fallen to the Death Guard, and veiled under a sickly green miasma that marks it as given over wholly to Nurgle, the forces of the Imperium, already pressed in the sector, can not spare a force to liberate the world.

These larger strategic concerns are of no obstacle to the Brazen Minotaurs, who are determined to liberate a vital weapon from the hands of the enemy. A small force of the Space Marines descends into the bowls of the ancient catacombs to force there way through the enemy lines and retrieve this potentially war winning objective.

The Brazen Minotaurs find unlooked for aid in the shadows, from the forces of the Raven Guard, who have beaten them to tomb, and are leaving a trail of the dead  in their wake as they infiltrate the tunnel complex with the stealth their legion is famed for.

The production quality and voice acting are good. I'm not sure about the Minotarus' accents, but that might just be me. Certainly it's nice to have a number of actors rather than a single narrator doing too much. The sound FX are evocative and lend weight to the action. The only gripe I have is that movement and footfalls lack the solidity you'd imagine from power armour. Fair enough for the Raven Guard, ghosting through the tunnels, but the Brazen Minotaurs don't sound as thunderously stompy as expected given their demeanour.

Both chapters get well used, in a manner that suits their individual characters and proves a nice change of pace from the more usual pitched battle sort of scenarios usually presented. The way the plot hinged is a little tiresome, given the build up I'm still unsure about the payoff. Apart from this the story moves along well, with the connection between the two Marine Chapters being revealed with pleasing artfulness. The setting is well described as is the enemy and the increasingly corrupting influence of Nurgle.  At which point it's time to say that Nurgle's influence seem to show up worryingly often in audio dramas, or at least those I've heard, with quiet a few zombies turning up.

The price points of audio dramas is always a sticking point for me, but this one felt worth it. Give it a listen, and enjoy.

Matchy Matchy


Saturday needs to bring some resolutions.

Let me elaborate. 

I've sat down with Games Workshop's paint conversion chart (here) and used the poster that came with White Dwarf to see how the new and old range fits together. Sadly this was a pen and paper exercise as I can't find a list of the new paints on the GW site at the moment. This in and of itself is disappointing.

There are a few interesting things to take away from this.

First amongst these is that the equivalents don't stay within the old brackets. There are foundation paint alternatives that are layers, and old standard paints that are bases.This may mean a bit of alteration to peoples colour schemes and methods.

Second is that a few colours from the old range are equivalent to the same colour under the new system. These are; Regal Blue and Necron Abyss; Orkhide Shade and Dark Angels Green; Calthan Brown and Bestial Brown; Shadow Grey and Fenris Grey; Snakebite Leather and Tausept Ochre. It is the last of these that seems especially a long way off the mark.

 Lastly there is no white primer equivalent to the black Imperial Primer. This would appear to indicate a market preference for black undercoats, which seems to match with what I know of the painting community.

What is highlighted, is how much the new range does fill in colour transitions. While this is shown after a fashion in the painting guides here (which seem to be pushing drybrushing, and washes, too much to my mind), it's easier to see on the colour chart, and hopefully obvious on whatever new paint stand GW have for the range.

The disparities between the colours will only really come out on Saturday when it is possible to see all the paints in the flesh and without the colour altering effects of print or monitor. Hopefully the colour matches will be more accurate than they appear on paper, or there are going to be more than a few armies that'll have an obvious and sudden alteration to their colour scheme.And there's always the issue of if a paint dries the same colour as it is in the pot. Fingers crossed they'll still be some old paints left around to provide some direct comparisons.


I've been through my paints collection and aside from scaring myself with the amount of paint I actually have I've begun to narrow down my potential purchases from the new range. I'm still winnowing these down, but I'll be talking methodology tomorrow.