Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Of Carts, Horses and Such

So much hullabaloo has been made about this recent announcement from Maelstorm Games about an alleged change in GW retailer policy. So we’re all on the same page here’s there statement:

Games Workshop's new Terms and Conditions
Firstly, Games Workshop's new Terms and Conditions, which come into force on the 31st of May 2011. These, among other things, restrict the sale of language products - i.e., rulebooks and codices that are not in English - and, most crucially of all, restrict the sale of all of their products to the European Union, although there are a couple of countries (such as Norway and Switzerland) that are geographically within Europe but not in the EU that we can still sell to.

The full list of countries that we can sell GW products to is as follows:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Obviously this means that all of our faithful Games Workshop customers from the Anglosphere - Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States - as well as those from Brazil, Chile, Peru, Russia, Japan and South Korea (apologies for those countries I have missed out) will now miss out on our superb service and cheap prices, but I'm afraid the terms and conditions of our contract with Games Workshop mean that we have to say goodbye.

Not surprisingly the internet has gone a bit nuts over this. You can check out the various rants/reactions here, here, here, and here.

My take? Let’s all calm the fuck down.

First and foremost, the information is being reported second-hand and we have no idea how broad the ban is (i.e. does it apply to UK retailers only), or if Maelstrom’s reporting of the change is even true or simply an instance of one retailer lashing out against what they perceive is a slight against their interests.

Before we go around yelling that the sky is falling we need to establish the facts, and as I see it that has not been done with any degree of certainty. Is the rumor plausible? Of course, that’s why its getting traction. But we need confirmation from multiple independent sources or (better yet) a statement from GW before we make melodramatic pronouncements or threats.

I too have frustrations with the way GW has been running things and agree with many of the side points made in the articles and forums linked to above. I will not by a single WFB miniature as their new rules add nothing but cost to the game. I’ve also known several former GW employees – both at the hourly and management level – and can tell you from their experiences that the company is not nice to the people who serve in the trenches for it. Their disregard for their older fans is especially galling. But none of these – or any other legitimate complaint – makes this recent speculation automatically true by default.

If it turns out true, fine: we’ll write letters, call service reps and think about taking a month or two off buying just to protest a unfair policy. I’ll right there with you. But acting out before all the information is in makes us look like baboons.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Noise Marine Recipe Y’all!

I was recently asked by a reader to post a tutorial on how I painted my Noise Marines. Unfortunately, I’m still far too locked in the throes of “New Xbox Fever” (well “new” to me anyway) in order to break out the paints and do a proper how-to, but I’ll try the next best thing: a Iron Minstrel Recipe.


I’ve stuck primarily with space wolves bits and chaos parts for the vast majority of my figures, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

For the sonic blasters, I took leftover gun decorations from the chaos rhino kit, and connected them to a chopped off bolter via some old spear bits I had from WFB. For added effect, I added some green stuff snakes as ‘wires’ to add to the ‘electrical effect’ of the models. The end result may not be as authentic as the actual sonic blasters, but it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Bases were done with fine gravel and lots of chopped of bits from the bits box.

In order to tie the models together, I added some green stuffed ‘screaming speakers’ to at least one shoulder pad per model, as well as to a few on the ankle pieces. My goth metal dudes also got some long hair added, which is surprisingly easy to sculpt as long as you have a decent sculpting tool and some water.


My goal was to have models that read good from about 2 feet away while still being quick to paint. Also, I wanted to avoid the “Rainbow Brite” Slaanesh effect of using too vivid of a palette. Yeah I know, electric neon is more aligned with the fluff, but mute is what I like.

I started by undercoating the whole thing with spray chaos black primer. I then went over this with watered-down chaos black to pickup anything the primer may have missed.

Armour: For the lavender parts, began with a coat of hormagaunt purple (HP). For characters, this usually got shaded with a wash of heavily watered HP with a touch of black mixed in. Next, I added a little Dheneb Stone (DS) and some “Carnal Pink” (made by P3) to the mix. This lightened the purple nicely without making it too bright. From there, I usually added more Carnal Pink and some skull white for a final highlight.

For the black parts of the armour, I added some fortress grey to the black to make a dark charcoal color, and went over the raised parts of the black armor with this.

For the metal, everything got painted boltgun metal, followed by a watery chaos black wash, followed by a thin wash of a 50/50 mixture of HP and warlock purple. This takes a bit of experimenting to get right, but gives the armour a unique, subtle purple tinge. The metal edges were then highlighted with small touches of white.

For the flesh, I stared with HP basecoat and then added white and DS in increasing amounts until the final highlight, which was almost white.

For the bases, I used this guy’s tutorial as a starting point, but took a few short cuts. I added DS to chaos black to make a nice dirty grey and painted the whole base with this. Once this was totally dry, I gave the raised parts a drybrush of DS. Then I finished with a watery mixture of small part red & graveyard earth & warlock purple. This took some practice, but eventually I ended up with a dirty purplish brown that complemented the model, IMO, pretty well.

So that’s the quick and dirty, for what it s worth I hope it helps. My vehicles were basically painted with the same basic color palette which once you’ve painted a few guys should be easy enough to figure out.

Thanks for asking Chayson123!