Saturday, 16 November 2019

Review: White Dwarf November 2019

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

The latest issue of White Dwarf is out and, as usual, it's packed full of content for most of GW's games, as well as a bunch of freebies so, let's take a look...

The big feature, and focus of the cover, is the Index Imperialis entry for the Inquisition. This features a full background, rules, abilities, stratagems, datacards, relics, points with the other entries, this is essentially a mini-codex with everything you need to field an army of the Inquisition. They also tie in with this month's big release, the much-awaited regeneration if the Sisters of Battle. One would almost believe it had been planned like that...The army list is backed up by a marvellous selection of Inquisitor models, converted and painted by members of the studio. It's this sort of content that I love- the sort of thing that the magazine is perfect for. There's even an Inquisitor-themed short story by Jordan Green. That's not all the content for 40k, though. There's a look at some of the pivotal moments of the Indominatus Crusade and a really interesting and useful guide to painting and modelling desert and ash waste-themed miniatures and terrain. Finally, Kill Team gets a look in, with rules for using the Ambull as a random monster in your games.
Ogors are the primary focus in the Age of Sigmar section, getting rules and scenarios for creating a campaign, known as a Mawpath. This is backed up by a short story featuring these fearsome monsters, by Nick Horth. A Tale of Four Warlords marches on, with a look at what the erstwhile generals have been up to lately and the AoS section is rounded out with a detailed look at the latest in the line of Warhammer Underworlds games, Beastgrave. This section includes a battle report, a new scenario, and an overview of the two warbands included in the core set, Skaeth's Wild Hunt and Grashrak's Despoilers. Sadly there isn't any individual pictures of the miniatures featured, which is disappointing.
Blackstone Fortress receives some new rules, in the shape of the Aeldari Harlequin Solitaire as a playable character. 
Middle Earth SBG has a look at the Hero of Esgaroth, Bard the Bowman, looking into the history of the character, and his uses in the game. 
To finish off the magazine, there's an superb interview with one of Black Library's top authors, Dan Abnett, who talks about Commissar Gaunt, on the 20th anniversary of the first of the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, First & Only. 
Rounding out the issue is a look at Andy Hoare's stunning Emperor's Children army for Horus Heresy, with some beautiful pictures of his collection, and some painting tips.
All in all, it's as packed an issue as it always is, with plenty of content for pretty much every flavour of GW gamer, and a load of extra content on top of all the gaming-related stuff.nOh, and there's those free gifts: new cards for Blood Bowl, Aeronautica Imperialis, Adeptus Titanicus and Warhammer Underworlds and an A4 art print. Apparently there's more free stuff to come next month too...fingers crossed for a free Sister of Battle...The next month box promises Ghosts and Flesh Tearers, so the expectation is for an army list for the Blood Angels successors, and something Nighthaunt-related (if the back cover is any hint) unless it's referring to Gaunt's Ghosts, of course...

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 10 November 2019

An apology and a wee bit of self-promotion

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

I need to make a bit of an apology for the lack of regular posts recently. I'm still very much finding my feet with this blogging malarky, seeing what works, seeing how much I can do, etc. and this experimental process has been affected by Real World Stuff more than I'd like. This RWS has also seriously affected my painting output of late, reducing it to almost nothing, a situation which causes me great distress. I have a huge backlog of commission work (some going back more than a year) and I'm doing my best to try to work my way through that backlog. I'm truly lucky and very grateful to have been blessed with some very, very patient customers.

With all that in mind, I'm going to try and make sure I add one new post per week, focussing on reviews of products I buy and my own projects, as I can write those posts without impinging on the time I'm trying to devote to clearing my commissions backlog.

I'm also going to try to do more with my Sublime Brushwork Facebook page, where I post galleries of my work (that badly need updating...) and where I've been posting news items. I'm going to be shifting those news items to my new Facebook news page, Subby: News Views Reviews and its associated Twitter feed, as I want the Sublime Brushwork page to be more focussed on my own work. The Subby page is still very new, and I'll try and get a logo done for it as soon as I can. Both the Facebook page and the Twitter feed have the username @SubbyNVR

I have a few fan pages that I run on Facebook too:

'eavy Metal is for all aspects of the miniature painting hobby and is a place to show your painted miniatures and to share tips, tutorials, etc.

Space Marine Heroes and Warhammer 40,000 Conquest Fans and Trading Group is a small but growing community set up for those who want to swap and share thier miniatures from the partwork and the blind box collections.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team is a page for fans of the 40k skirmish game, and is a place to discuss games, painting and army lists, etc. Similarly, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warcry is the page for the recently-released AoS skirmish game.

Warhammer: The Age of Sigmar is the page for all things AoS-related. Got an army you want to show off, or a gaming group you want to give a shout out to? This is the place to do it.

Age of Sigmar: Mortal Realms is going to be focussed on the new partwork, due to be launched UK-wide around Christmas or the new year.

Finally, Die Rolling has it's own Facebook page, where I'll be posting all the news and announcements about our live transmissions and public appearances and any other shenanigans from our mad little D&D group.

All my fan pages are open and friendly places and new members are always welcome so, if any of them are of interest to you, please head on over and spread the word!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Review: Dark Millennium Playing Cards

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

Games Workshop have re-released the Dark Millennium playing card set. This set was on a limited release previously and has now been made available again, but for how long they will be available is anybody's guess.
The card set (not to be confused with the old CCG of the same name) is a set of 52 cards, plus a pair of jokers, in four suits, are of standard bridge size, and come in a card box.
So far, so normal.

What makes these cards stand out is that each one features a unique piece of John Blanche 40k art, spread over the suits Imperium, Chaos, Adeptus Mechanicus and Xenos. The artwork is in Blanche's loose, line and wash concept sketch style and each piece was painted exclusively for this set.
Obviously, the desirability of this set depends entirely on what you feel about John Blanche's art, particularly this style, and there's no doubt his work is very divisive. Some love it, others not so much but, whatever your personal tastes regarding his art style, there's no denying the influence his work has had. Simply put, his work has defined the GW style for more than thirty years, and no-one has had more creative input in the look and feel of GW's products in that time. Personally, I'm a big fan of his work (my signed copy of Ratspike is still amongst my most treasured possessions...) I admit I prefer his fully-painted work, but this style appeals in a different way, showing individual inhabitants of the grimdark 40k universe. As pieces of art they are a worthwhile collection in their own right but they also serve a greater purpose as inspiration for miniature conversions, or even to inspire other artists to create their own characters.
Also, you can play card games with them.
I really like this set. I like the design, I like the artwork and I like the way that each suite has it's own typeface for the numbers.
There are some that may balk at paying £10 for a set of playing cards (after all, they are just standard playing cards, when it all comes down to it) and I have to admit it would have been nice if they'd taken the time to present a few 40k-style rules, even if they were for traditional card games, presented in a 40k fashion but, as a collectible, I don't think the price is over the top. This is a quality set of cards, on good stock and I recommend them to collectors and fans of John Blanche's art. Fingers crossed for a set of Imperial Tarot to follow along soon!

The Dark Millennium Playing Cards are available here, but I recommend you don't wait too long...

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Painting Guide: Cadian Infantry Trooper

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

The other day, after a session of Die Rolling, Ollie (Nolus in the campaign) announced his interest in getting into Warhammer 40,000. I agreed that would be a thoroughly excellent idea. Two days later, he messaged me to say he'd bought a squad of Cadians and a Chimera. Not wasting any time, then...
I thought it would, therefore, be the perfect time to do up a quick painting guide, to help my friend get his models ready for playing...
This one's for you, Ollie!


I've mostly stuck with the colours used in the Citadel Paint App, except I've used Wraithbone instead of Grey Seer for the primary basecoat as I think it'll be a better match for the predominantly sand and green colour scheme, and I've used Militarum Green, rather than Creed Camo, on the armour.
So, the colours you will need are:

Wraithbone Spray
Grey Seer
Contrast Medium
Aggaros Dunes
Militarum Green
Apothecary White
Basilicanum Grey
Black Templar
Guilliman Flesh
Gore-Grunta Fur
Abaddon Black

1. After priming the whole minature with Wraithbone Spray, all the fatigues were painted with a single coat of Aggaros Dunes. If you spill over to other areas, don't worry too much. Large spills can be lifted out by using a dry brush, smaller ones can be painted over later. The important thing is to make sure you get a good, even coverage over the whole area, with no missing spots as, with Contrast paints, it's really difficult to go back and get any bits you've missed, once they're dry.

2. The next stage is to paint all the armour areas with Militarum Green. I'd suggest adding a little bit of Contrast medium (maybe 5:1 paint:medium) to the paint here, as the darker Contrast Paints can be a little too opaque sometimes. You will need to be a little more careful that you don't get any paint on the bits you've already painted, as it'll be a right pain to correct any mistakes after. If you do need to correct any mistakes, re-apply the Wraithbone base using the Base Paint before re-applying the Aggaros Dunes.

3. Now you're going to want to put a coat of Grey Seer on all the bits that are going to be black, grey or white. This will give a better base for the following colours to work over. Paint a coat of Apothecary White over the insignia, Basilicanum Grey over the metal areas and Black Templar (again, you may want to add a touch of Contrast Medium to the paint) over the boots and belt. Metal areas are then given a coat of Leadbelcher.

4. To do the face and hands, you may need to re-establish the undercoat of Wraithbone using the Base paint. Once that has dried, paint over it with a coat of Guilliman Flesh, a coat of Gore Grunta Fur on his hair, and you're done.

5. Finally, to finish off, I've painted the base on this one with Astrogranite and edged it with Abaddon Black. I recommend giving the finished miniature a coat (or two) of varnish to protect the paintwork, as contrast paints rub off easily.

And there you have it. Just an hour, including assembly time, and he's done, ready to be used on the battlefield. It won't win any Golden Demons, but it's perfectly good to play games with. Only another 399 to do and you have the entirety of what remains of the Cadian Army ready to go...*

I have more painting guides planned and, if you have any other miniatures you'd like me to do a similar guide for (or more detailed guides), please let me know.
Thanks for reading!

*Sorry, couldn't help myself...

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Review: White Dwarf October 2019

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

It's been just over a week since the latest issue of White Dwarf so I thought it was about time I gave it a look-see...

This month's issue is certainly packed full of content, with something for most of GW's games inside. The main focus of the age of Sigmar section is a look at The Host of Syll'Esske, giving us a close look at the history of this strange pairing of daemon and mortal in the service of Slaanesh, with background, warscrolls, a detailed painting guide and a short story by Jordan Green. There's also an excellent painting and modelling guide to the Realm of Heavens, Azyr. Finally, Phil Kelly looks at some of the more obscure facts from the Mortal Realms, while Jervis Johnson takes a look at the luck of the gamer.
In the 40k section, there's a detailed look at the Sisters of Silence, with some background, an army list, a painting guide and a short story by Andy Clark. A Tale of Four Warlords continues with some great updates this month, including a superb display piece by James Karch.
Kill Team gets a significant update to its Adeptus Astartes list, adding all the new Vanguard units to the game, as well as a look at converting models for your squads.
There's a look at the two new forces for Beastgrave, Skaeth's Wild Hunt and Grashrak's Despoilers, as well as an overview of how they play in the latest update of Warhammer Underworlds.
There's new rules for Blackstone Fortress, along with missions, for using Skarburn Zapdakka, an Ork Flash Git.
Aeronautica Imperialis gets a battle report and a new campaign, following the exploits of Judgement Squadron, including an army list and missions.
Necromunda also gets a new campaign of linked missions, this time focussed on an attack on the lawmen of the Underhive, in Assault on Precinct-Fortress 17.
Beyond the new rules and gaming backround, there's a fantastic look at the last few entries into the Golden Demon Winners Challenge, including Angelo Di Chello's winning entry. Finally, there's a wonderful little short horror story by David Annandale, with 6 different endings, decided by the roll of a die.

Like I say, it's a packed issue, and a really good one. there's tons of stuff here, for lots of different games. Even if you're more into the painting and modelling side of the hobby, there's plenty for you here. The magazine is a good, solid read and excellent value for money. White Dwarf is in the middle of a purple patch at the moment, providing an excellent overview of the Games Workshop range, and appealing as more than just a supplement for the games. Long may it continue.
The current issue is available here, and I can't recommend it enough.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Review: Miniature Wargames November 2019

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

The latest issue of Miniature Wargames is a cracker, packed with content for a wide variety of games, with a hint of Hallowe'en about some of the offerings.

Kicking off the articles on a historical front, Command Decision sees an outing at the heart of the Aztec Empire, circa 1520. There's an overview of the new cannonade-era ship battle game, Cruel Seas, from Warlord Games. Historical games aren't usually my bag but the miniatures for this game are just so good, I might just be swayed...There's also a multiplayer American Civil War scenario and a report from the Colours 2019 show. Finally for historical fans, there's a very interesting scenario using the Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team rules to play skirmish battles on the WWII Western Front.
On the Hallowe'en theme, there is a look at the new supplement for Frostgrave, Perilous Dark, with a special scenario to go with it, The Slippery Slope. There's a free cut-out and assemble card mausoleum, which can be built in either mediterranean or gothic style. There's a short story, Night of the Scarecrows, which forms the basis for a miniatures scenario, based on the Perilous Tales ruleset. There's also a guide to painting up some miniatures that can be used in the scenario.
To finish it all off, there's news, reviews, a guide to making our own gaming mats, a look at the Tabletop Gaming Live Show, and an interview with the leading light of Mantic Games, Ronnie Renton.
It's a packed issue, without a doubt, with a great spread of articles for all colours of gamers, articles that make interesting reading, even if they aren't necessarily your usual area of interest. I have to say, the WWII adaption of Kill Team looks great fun.
So, this issue comes in highly recommended, and it's available in both print or digital editions here.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

The GW Week: Psychic Awakenings and the Walking* Dead

Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone!

The news from Nottingham this week kicked off with the first full look at the pre-orders that are coming at the end of the week, the much-anticipated first release for The Psychic Awakening, Blood of the Phoenix. I'll take a closer look at the miniatures in the set later but first I wanted to consider what the campaign, as a whole, may bring. It's obvious that the focus of the initial arc is the Aeldari and their dark kin, the Drukhari and, in particular the battle between Drahar and Jain Zar, with the release of this box and the supporting book, Phoenix Rises. It's equally obvious, however, that this is just the start of the Psychic Awakening, as we are promised more books and that the story is going to touch and affect the whole 40k universe. So what else are we going to see released in the upcoming months, alongside these promised other books? Let the speculation commence...

One thing that is likely is that the Sisters of Battle will be involved in some way, what with the imminent release of their new codex and boxed army set. I'm intrigued by this army set. It's an interesting and unusual way of launching an army, and I wonder if this is the template for future releases. Anyhow, thanks to a couple of leaks, GW have finally released the box contents and shown us the last couple of models from the set, the Arco-Flagellants and the Repentia Superior.

With all the excitement over 40k, it's nice to see some AoS previews getting snuck in, too. The latest look at the upcoming Ossiarch Bonereapers reveals a mounted general kit that can be built as either the generic Liege-Kavalos or the character Patru Zandtos. I have to admit I was, at first, unconvinced by the aesthetic of the Ossiarch miniatures, especially the standard troops, but they are growing on me with each new release.

Another piece of Aos news that completely out of the blue was this chap, Dacian Anvil, the Knight-Questor. GW are not saying what this miniature is being released as at the moment. Is he a standalone character? Part of a new two-faction campaign box? My money is on him being a special limited release, only available at conventions or store anniversaries or somesuch.**

And so, on to this week's pre-orders.
With the focus being on the Blood of the Phoenix boxed set, there's not much else on the miniatures front this week, so here's a look at the two new units from that set, the Howling Banshees and the Incubi. Both are superb units and here's hoping they (and the two new characters in the set) get a separate release soon. I have to say, though, that the price of this set is a surprise to me. I'm not usually one to complain about GW's prices but this set is significantly more expensive than previous two-faction sets, even though it's still considerably cheaper than buying all the included miniatures separately, and I wonder if this is priced too high. It probably won't affect sales one iota, as people are going to clamouring for those new models but the price of this set is not going to sit well with many. Maybe if the set had bee all-new miniatures, it would have justified the price but, with most of the miniatures contained within being old sculpts, it's hard to justify the jump in price from similar previous sets.

For those whose interests lie with the Lord of the Rings, Forge World has two new sets of Halflings for the Scouring of the Shire, Folco Boffin and Farmer Cotton, and Ted Sandyman and Lotho Sackville-Baggins, another set of characterful releases that make me wish the LotR games hadn't passed me by altogether.

And that's it for this week.
Thanks for reading!

*Well, riding dead. I'm sure they walk sometimes...
**And, of course, on Ebay at hugely inflated prices...