White Dwarf - February 2013 (398)

  
Another month, another White Dwarf to review. This month is notably different with the dropping of The Rivals, to make way for the Golden Demon feature advertised on the cover.

Cover   
I think I preferred it when the cover was artwork, rather than a photo. 
                0

Inside Front Cover         
Credits, contact details, legalise, and mug shots.              
                0
               
Opening Salvo 
There’s a move away from marketing, towards the content of the magazine and an appeal for reader submissions, which is good.   
                1
               
Contents            
I'm not sure why this needs to run to two pages, with such in depth summaries and page shots.              
                1
               
New Releases  
34 pages of new releases, not including however you want to count the gatefold (which do at least give an idea of the huge size of the Slaughterbrute/Vortex Beast kit). I think some of the descriptions run on too long, with characters not really needing two pages each. It does feel out of date already, with the web having revealed these long ago, but then that couldn't have been done without them being in here, so it's swings and roundabouts.     
                23
               
Black Library     
There's a nice break away from the marketing spiel as we get what almost feels like a book review for Gotrek & Felix: Road Of Skulls, and Yarrick: Chains Of Golgotha getting a page a piece, with the other releases spreading out over two pages. It's interesting to get the WD's teams opinion of a book, particularly of Mephistion, as it walks a very circuitous route around a negative opinion.            
                4
               
Forge World Latest        
Forge World really deserves more than the two pages it gets here. It's almost as though GW don't want to promote the Horus Heresy books, having had neither big articles or a battle report (they'd make a hash of it, but it'd be good to see) since the initial release.
                2
               
Digital Products               
A single page to cover an increasing amount of output seems a shame, but then again I'm only going to be interested when this becomes available to iPhone or PC 
                1
               
Licensed Games              
I'd be interested to see GW run one of the 40K set RPGs over a couple of months, just to give people a flavour of the game. Its seems sort of half hearted to only give it a page.          
                1
               
Full Release Listings      
This feels increasingly like an odd throw back to the old days of having a price list in White Dwarf, but no longer serves a function, given how the new releases are organised. I'd far rather have the price of the model on the page I'm looking at.                
                0
               
Games Workshop Online           
Two pages to tell us about the fact GW has a website seems rather redundant. Maybe when they have a big redesign and make it sensibly navigable this would be worthwhile, until then it's a waste of pages.     
                -2
Army Of The Month      
A rather impressive Space Marine army this month from Paul Gayner, that's let down by not having an extra page or two to run on, and hence little text to accompany the pictures.               
                4
               
Jervis Johnson 
Tweak the font size and lose the unnecessary head shot and this would happily fit onto a single page, or give space on a two page spread for an illustrative picture if needed. Jervis talks about the limits placed on the Hobby by others, and how it's best to avoid them. 
                1
               
Battle Report    
Still using the same horrible format, I maintain my dislike of this style of battle report.   
                -16
               
Blanchitsu          
Four glorious pages of INQ28 models, that will be familiar to those of you who keep an eye on Dakka Dakkka. I really hope this is building up to a feature on the game, and the repurposing of old rules.    
                8
               
Citadel Hall Of Fame     
Juan Diaz's Sterguard Veteran gets chosen this month, and although I'm not sure about it myself, reading the studio opinions is always worth while.                
                2
               
Parade Ground
16 pages of Golden Demon winners, takes over the pages this month. It's great to see what can be achieved with plastic, paint and effort.              
                16
               
Kit Bash               
6 pages of conversions, with 5 of them focused on space marines seems to show a little too much bias, it's a good article, but more variety would have been nice.              
                6
               
Battleground    
A bit of a different tack this month, than the previous terrain articles, with a 6 page focus on Armies On Parade boards. It's certainly impressive to see what people have done with GW's plastic terrain kits, be it Imperial buildings or Empire towers.                
                6
               
Paints Splatter 
Things are improving here slightly, with some text accompanying the strings of photos. There are some good things to take away, but still not enough discussion about the techniques.       
                5
               
Jeremy Vetock 
As I siad above in the Jervis piece, some space for photos would be good, and the point is proved in this piece which talks about making hills without showing a single one of them.         
                0
               
What's On and Where To Buy   
This feels like a real waste of 16 pages that'd be better used for something other than a list of global stores. For all that GW are moving forward with digital products, this does seem stuck in the past.  
                -16
               
The Month In...               
I don't think we really need an introductory page to the mini section.    
                -1
               
White Dwarf     
It's interesting to see what the team are getting up to.
                4
               
The Design Studio          
We get a focus on the new Chaos models this month (unsurprisingly) and it's worth a read to get an look at the ideas behind the models, as well as a page on the Army Book, painting the Mutalith, and the artwork in the Army Book. There's also a look at some models from around the studio.   
                6
               
Forge World     
Two pages of teaser for Forge World, take a look at the models for Abaddon and Loken as well as a Necron specific Realm Of Battle tile.    
                2
               
Black Library     
Two pages of in depth interview with David Annandale round out the month.   
                2
               
Parting Shot      
A picture of the Necron Night Scyth.
                0

Hobby Calendar              
This remains a hideous way to display things. The only useful bit of information is that next months White Dwarf is out on the 23rd.             
                0
               
Back Cover         
The Slaughterbrute it all it's glory.            
                1
               
                61
               
A total of 61 for 153 pages is fairly poor. There's a lot of good content, but the fact that it's mainly in the form of pictures from the community doesn't bode well for the magazine, as there's little here the internet couldn't provide. There needs to be more focused placed on the things only the White Dwarf team has access too, making the magazine a companion to the hobby rather than an advert for it. Give part of the book over to concept sketches for the armies, or pictures of one of the pieces of artwork from blank canvas to completion. Expand the inside the studio sections. You'd get a good few months worth of features on going through the design process from sketch to sculpt to casting.  

Comments

  1. It is a little disappointing that so little real attention is given to the design process of the books, models and artwork. As you said, it would be great to use the book to get information that is not easily found online. In one of the first "new" issues they had an interview with Simon Egan about his sculpt of Angron that I thought was great, and wish they would continue things like it.

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    Replies
    1. It seems such an obvious thing to tap into to give the magazine something unique, but that doesn't seem to be what they are going for. Or make far better use of the 'Eavy Metal team and bring back tutorials. Hell, make a painting series starting from the basics, and building up, then collected it as a separate book at some point down the line. Or the same with sculpting. GW has a huge pool of talent to draw upon, and seems to just ignore it.

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