Archive for 2013

The 2013 Eternal Hunts Awards, pt. 3: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2014 by krautscientist

Awards

While it may already be a little late for the third part of my look back at 2013, bear with me while, having already pointed out my favourite releases as well as the most amazing models and hobbyists of 2013, I wrap this up and tell you about a couple of my personal hobby moments in 2013:

Looking at the bare numbers, 2013 may not have been my most productive year: I only painted around 45 models (compared to 2012’s 90) and converted around 72, further adding to my backlog of unpainted stuff. That said, I feel that at least the first half of 2013 was fairly productive, and some of the 45 models I managed to get finished were complex and/or huge enough to count for several regular models, in any case. At the same time, it’s true that during the second half of the year, hobby time became more sparse as RL issues took over, but I think that every hobbyist is familiar with this: It just happens, from time to time.

Nevertheless, looking back on the stuff I managed to finish, I am reasonably pleased with myself. Let’s take a look, shall we?

 

Khorne’s Eternal Hunt
WE_Army08
Ah, yes, my World Eaters. The one hobby project it always comes back to: Above, you can see the World Eaters’ 4th assault company, more or less as it looks right now: While I only managed to add some 15 models to the collection, the army does look slightly more impressive than its 2012 incarnation. I also tackled some pretty interesting projects, among them a squad of custom Chaos Spawn, some traitorous Space Wolves and my converted Heldrake, the Hellrazor.

And I tried to come up with some additional characters for my army, trying to build suitably World Eater-esque versions of the Dark Apostle and Warpsmith, respectively:

Huntmaster Deracin (13)
As a matter of fact, my heavily converted Warpsmith, Huntmaster Deracin, is clearly one of the 2013 models I am most proud of:

Huntmaster Deracin (11)
Assembling this guy from a huge pile of plastic bitz was just as fiddly as it was ultimately rewarding!

By sheer coincidence, one of Deracin’s own engine of destruction is the other World Eaters model I am most proud of: the Wargrinder:

Wargrinder (26)
Inspired by Chris Harman’s excellent kitbashed Decimator Daemon Engine, the Wargrinder was quite a bit of work, and also basically the first time I tackled a walker conversion of this scope. To be honest, I am immensely pleased with the result, and the model makes for a pretty cool centre piece of my World Eaters! Although some people really didn’t like the head… 😉

Anyway, check out these posts, in case you’re interested to learn more about this big boy.

 

A Legion of one…

And while we’re on the subject of models I am really proud of, let’s not forget my favourite AdMech monstrosity:

Legion (16)
The creature called Legion is one of my most involved conversions so far, and arguably one of the projects that really made me step outside my comfort zone. The model and the history surrounding it also double as one of my personal crowning hobby moments of awesome in 2013: PDH was cool enough to involve me into an international hobby project featuring lots and lots of supremely talented artists producing excellent models for a very special game of…well, Necromunda, I suppose, if you wanted to be technical about it, set aboard the mysterious Arrke. The models were to be given to none other than John Blanche afterwards, and the moment when JB himself sent me a picture of Legion going about his business on the banks of the underground rivers of the Arrke will remain a moment that’ll be hard to surpass!

Legion at home (5)
Fun fact: While I did myself to make Legion (essentially a devolved amalgamation of several Tech Priests and explorators of the Adeptus Mechanicus) as grotesque and disturbing as possible, the more recent AdMech releases by Forgeworld are even more disturbing. Seems I was overtaken. Oh well, I still love this guy!

Legion at home (7)
In fact, I really loved the whole project, and waxing poetical about it comes naturally to me. Instead of indulging my urges, however, let me just point those of you who want to read the whole story here.

 

The wonderful world of INQ28…

…is still going strong, and has been for the whole of 2013! While my own output of INQ28 characters may have been a bit lacking, I did at least manage to build a fairly important NPC for last year’s Inqvitational, one Inquisitor Zuul: a radical Xanthian and enemy to Inquisitor Tybalt:

Inquisitor Zuul (43)
Zuul was built to resemble a particular piece of artwork, which was a novel and interesting challenge. And sending him off to the Inqvitational on his own meant I was once again in the delicious position of receiving pictures of my model doing its thing during a game:

Zuul_Inqvitational (10)
Zuul is now a permanent part of PDH’s collection, and while his prospects may look bleak (being pursued by a fanatic puritan will do that to you), I am looking forward to finding out whether the old rascal still has some surprises up his sleeve…

Learn more about Zuul’s creation and fate here.

In any case, the INQ28 scene with its many talented members remains one of the most inspiring influences in my personal hobby life: From Commissar Molotov’s and PDH’s work on the Inqvitational and Jeff Vader’s constant stream of awesome new minis to the fruitful exchange of background ideas with DexterKong, INQ28 simply rocks — even in those cases where I don’t have anything to show for it…

 

Da Boyz

Another thing I am quite proud of is how I managed to build and paint a complete Orc Team for Blood Bowl in a pretty short amount of time (and mostly from leftovers, no less) — the Orkheim Ultraz:

BB Team with Star (2)
Working on those guys was a wonderful change of pace, and an opportunity to build some rather humorous models for once! And the brilliant recipe for painting Orc skin I discovered on A Gentleman’s Ones really made the painting side of things a lot of fun as well!

If you want to learn more about the Ultraz’ antics, take a look here.

Orkheim Ultraz Teaser_lores

 

The rest…

Of course, there were even more great hobby moments in 2013: Being immortalised as a member of the Night Lords 15th company by Brother Heinrich for example:

Night Lord weapon teams by Brother Heinrich (3)
Or AgnostosTheos building 30k versions of two of my World Eaters characters:

Brother Marax by AgnostosTheos (1)
Brother Khoron by Agnostos Theos (1)
Click here for the whole story.

When it comes to the blogging side of things, WordPress was nice enough to compile a report on 2013 for me, so in case you’re interested, take a look:

Click here to see the complete report.

 

All in all, it has certainly been an eventful hobby year! And with the blogosphere currently abuzz with all kinds of crazy news and developments, it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. So here’s hoping that I’ll be able to keep up and keep going. There’s certainly enough on my plate — now if I only had more time…

In any case, thanks for taking an interest in this blog and my ongoing hobby projects during the last year! Here’s to a new year of hobby-related craziness — in fact, I’ll be seeing you next week with some actual new content! Promise!

Until then, as always, thansk for looking and stay tuned for more!

The 2013 Eternal Hunts Awards, pt. 2: The Hobbyists

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2013 by krautscientist

Awards

Here we are back again with the second part of the 2013 Eternal Hunt Awards. This time, let’s take a look at the hobbyists.

 

Hobby blog of the year

 

1st place: Officio Convertorum

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (6)
Though a fairly recent addition to the blogosphere, Jeff Vader’s Officio Convertorum has nevertheless managed to shoot straight to the top. There’s more than enough reason for that, though, since during his first year of blogging, Jeff has barraged us with a relentless stream of excellent kitbashing, fantastic painting and very interesting background: The guy even managed to create a plausible and interesting fifth Chaos God, for crying out loud!

So a clear winner this year. Check out Jeff’s fantastic blog and prepare to be amazed!

 

2nd place: Gardens of Hecate

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Every once in a while, even in a hobby as multifaceted as ours, we may have the chance of stumbling upon something truly different and original. And the most original blog of 2013, at least in my book, has to be Gardens of Hecate. Strictly speaking, it deals with Malifaux, chronicling Ana Polanscak’s work on a fully customised warband, complete with accompanying scenery, markers, tokens and what have you. While that may seem like a daunting enough job, however, putting things so simply would entirely miss the point of why the blog is so great: Ana not only shows highly inspired kitbashes and conversions, ending up with models that may use GW bitz for ingredients, but end up looking very distinct and original; Gardens of Hecate is also an exploration of medieval imagery with a slightly apocalyptic bend. It’s hard to put into words, although the closest possible description would be that those models look like what Hieronymus Bosch would be up to today, if he were alive and into tabletop gaming.

Trying to describe it doesn’t do it justice, though: You’ll have to take a look for yourself. Like me, you’ll probably come away from it with the impression that this is an extraordinary source of inspiration, and that there’s really nothing quite like it.

 

3rd place: Opus Maius

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (6)
Now you see it, now you don’t: As of this writing, Opus Maius is not accessible. This is due to the fact that Neil101 likes to take the blog offline every now and then, presumably to force himself to do more actual hobby work instead of just blogging about it. Whenever Opus Maius does return, though, fading in and out of realspace like a  Space Hulk, the blog manages to find a very distinct voice and never ceases to inspire: You see, Neil is the genius behind hobby projects like the fabled Arrke game board, and while showcases of his work are certainly one great part of the blog, his writeups of the games taking place in this strange and demented world are just as impressive and inspiring. So keep your eyes peeled for whenever Opus Maius returns from the Empyrean, because you can be sure we’ll be in for a treat!

 

Hobbyist of the year

Like last year, this is a tough call to make. But then, there are those hobbyists who manage to make the hobby into something special not only for themselves, but for others as well. And the three people on my personal awards list this year certainly managed that admirably. Here they are:

 

1st place: PDH
Those who have had any form of contact with Peter know that he’s not only a highly talented converter and painter in his own right, but also a tremendously nice guy. Both should be enough to win him any price, certainly, but he landed at the top of this list for another reason:

in 2013, Peter was the guy to make wonderful things happen: He came up with the utterly brilliant “Secret Yggdrassillium Pilgrimage”, involving hobbyists from several different countries and making the day truly special for his fellow players, among them John Blanche. He helped Commissar Molotov with this year’s Inqvitational and took a big stake in the INQ28 community. He sent me bitz, got me involved in fantastic hobby projects and offered supremely helpful criticism and feeback whenever I asked him. Here’s to you, Peter! A first place well earned!

 

2nd place: Jeff Vader (of Officio Convertorum)
Jeff is certainly winning big in this year’s Eternal Hunts Awards, but to be fair, his contribution to the hobby was simply amazing: His Inquisitorial models sent the INQ28 boards abuzz, his blogs is a daily must-read for me, he invented a new chaos god. And he produced pieces that make me want to push the envelope on my own hobby projects. So thanks, Jeff, for the boundless inspiration you provided in 2013! And I really hate you for being such a fantastic painter, you know?

 

3rd place: Natfka (of Faeit 212)
I suppose you all know Faeit 212 as the go-to site when it comes to tabletop rumours. I also suppose you all go there for your daily hit of rumours and leaks — and if you don’t, well, you definitely should: It’s an enormously helpful and interesting site, but this last year has made me realise it might actually be run by one of the nicest guys imaginable: Even while Blogger took Faeit 212 down due to a copyrights claim on GW’s part, even while having to deal with the fallout from that and trying his best to keep the project alive, Natfka never got angry but always stayed productive, positive and eminently likeable. That mindset also clearly comes across in his posts: Natfka doesn’t like to bicker, he likes to see the positives, the potential. Does that make him a fanboy? No, certainly not. It makes him someone whose site  always like to visit and whose tireless service to the community I find admirable. My hat’s off to you, sir!

 

Best models of the year:

There were so many amazing models this year that pointing out favourites at all seems pretty unfair. Still, some pieces were so astounding and inspiring that I want to share them with you — in no particular order, mind you, because I really couldn’t be expected to choose any one of these over another. So here are my favourite models of 2013:

 

Decimator conversion by Chris Harman

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (8)
While many models I see online make me want to borrow ideas and replicate effects I like, it is not often that a conversion has me run out to grab the models to attempt the same thing near instantly. Chris Harman’s excellent Decimator, kitbashed mainly from a GK Nemesis Dreadknight, was the exception to the rule, though, and possibly the single most inspirational piece I saw this year.

People had attempted making the Dreadknight into a chaos walker before, but Chris’ model was really the first one that really worked for me — which is why I shamelessly pilfered the idea and built my own Wargrinder in a fairly similar pattern: It turns out imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all…

My only gripe with this model is that, unfortunately, so far there are only tantalising glimpses at a partly painted model:

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (9)
But what we can see so far gives rise to the hope that the finished piece will be just as amazing as the conversion. Fantastic job, Chris!

 

Bull God by TJ Atwell

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (10)
TJ Atwell, of Dark Future Games, is certainly no stranger to amazing conversions. And it seems like he’s on a roll with a recent army project of his, the “Army of the Apocalypse”, a combined force of Necrons and Daemons. Sound whacky? Well, trust TJ to prove that the ally rules can be used to come up with fantastic and original army concepts: He’s been cranking out brilliantly disturbing daemon engines like crazy for these last months, one of them cooler than the next!

The one to rule them all, though, is TJ’s fantastic Bull God, to be used as a Daemon Prince, Maulerfiend or Greater Daemon. The whole conversion is so flawless that I wish I had come up with something like that. And the paintjob is equally impressive, combining TJ’s highly effective recipe for distressed flesh with bright yellows and blues (recurring spot colours in this particular army). Simply a marvelous piece!

 

Questing Knight by Jeff Vader

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (11)
It seems like all INQ28 aficionados are drawn towards building true scale marines at one point, and Jeff Vader is no exception. While many of those models don’t end up all that impressive, though, Jeff’s Questing Knight is an astonishing model: Like all of Jeff’s models, this is a delicious kitbash (making exceptionally great use of what may just be the coolest Space Marine head ever), and the lush paintjob shows off some of the hallmarks of Jeff’s work: the gritty realism evident in the paintjob itself, the amazing freehand symbols and patterns and the highly expressive face. Job’s a good ‘un, Jeff!

Take a closer look at the model here.

 

Arco Evisorators by Kari Hernesniemi

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (12)
Kari’s Stryderre was already my personal star of the show at the “Secret Yggdrassillium Pilgrimage”, so I was really happy to see him build yet more of these disturbing, emaciated killers. He has since spun off the concept into a whole warband of so-called Arco Evisorators, and each of the models is a treat! Case in point, it’s certainly an honour to be commissioned by no other than John Blanche himself to build a warband of these brilliantly horrible guys, but in Kari’s case, the honour is well-deserved! Discover all of the models here.

Another glimpse at the Arco Evisorators in action. The sinister lady in the background is a converted Femme Militant model by John Blanche.

Another glimpse at the Arco Evisorators in action. The sinister lady in the background is a converted Femme Militant model by John Blanche.

 

Honorary mention for best effect on a model: Ms. Binky by Rednekkboss

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (14)
One of the most disappointing moments in our hobby is when a finished model (or an effect we were really trying to get right) doesn’t work out. And one of the things that I’ve witnessed going wrong more often than not over the years was people painting huge eyeballs on some of their models. So for all those who have struggled to get it right, prepare to be amazed by Rednekkboss’s model for Ms. Binky, a daemon engine that is equal parts disgusting and adorable. The huge eyeball which makes up the main point of focus for the model could have gone so very horribly wrong. But Rednekkboss really, really nailed it:

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (15)

How can something be so cute and so disgusting at the same time, I ask you?
The astonishing step by step documentation to the effect can be found here.

 

Best armies/warbands of the year

And where there are single models, there are also armies and warbands. Again, I witnessed too many great hobby projects to count this year, but some just take the cake. Let me share my favourites with you:

1st place: Brother Heinrich’s Night Lords

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (18)
I cannot possibly say enough good things about Brother Heinrich’s Night Lords 15th company: It’s a fantastic hobby project, above all else. The fluff accompanying the models is equally impressive. But maybe my favourite thing about the army is how much thought is given to each and every model, making it seem like these guys are really veterans of the Long War. Brother Heinrich’s work has made me think about building Chaos Space Marine armies in a new way while also featuring some of the snazziest conversions around. It’s a beautiful army, and like I told you recently, I myself make an appearance as well 😉

So if you’re one of the few people reading this blog who have not yet checked out Brother Heinrich’s brilliant NL army, do yourself a favour and go take a look.

 

2nd place: migsula’s Legion army

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (19)
A true labour of love, this one: Migs has been hard at work on this army for quite a while now, and it shows: Each model has been expertly customised and converted, the narrative oozes from every pore of this hobby endeavour. Then there’s the fact that the entire army was painted to look like it was operating under a pale moon, which is an astonishing feat in itself. And lastly, you really get three armies for one here: Is it a Grey Knights army? Or an IG army (with some Inquisition sprinkled on top)? Or indeed a Chaos Space Marine army, given the fact that these guys are all Alpha Legion Operatives (and let’s not even get into the AL’s true loyalties…)? As you can see, the narrative comes creeping in, even when you simply want to decide what kind of army this is in the first place. Astounding work, migs!

Discover the army here.

 

3rd place: Dave Taylor’s Adeptus Mechanicus army

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (16)
The Adeptus Mechanicus has always been a fascinating, if disturbing, part of 40k lore for me. And rarely has it been captured so well as in Dave Taylor’s AdMech army. We all know that Dave is an expert at building characterful armies, of course, but even so, this one’s special. Words really don’t do it justice…

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (17)
…so you had best take a look at the project here.

 

Honorary mention: Inquisitor Klein and retinue by Drone 21c

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (20)
INQ28 has become really popular during this last year, and rightly so. And while the increase in interest has also lead to an increase in awesome warbands and retinues, every now and then there’s something even cooler than the rest. Drone 21c’s retinue for Inquisitor Klein is such a case: It may just be the perfect blend of modern painting techniques and retro flourishes from the good old days of Rogue Trader and 2nd edition. The retinue also works as a perfect embodiment of the eclectic styles and cultures prevalent in the 40k universe, evident in the uniforms and outfits alone. Plus those models simply look so lush in that photo that you’d like to eat them! Check them out here.

 

So, with this deluge of fantastic hobby inspiration, I think it’s the perfect moment to wish you all a happy new year! Keep your eyes peeled for the third and final installment of the 2013 Eternal Hunt Awards, where I’ll be speaking about my own hobby year. And, of course, let me hear your feedback in the comments!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The 2013 Eternal Hunts Awards, pt. 1: The Industry

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by krautscientist

Awards

Hey everyone, update time 😉

While the first week of my longer vacation was mainly spent sleeping, eating and playing up all the videogames I didn’t have time for during those last  stressful weeks and months, I do of course hope that you all had a very merry Christmas! Now with the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time again for a retrospective on the releases, hobby developments and outstanding hobby achievements of this past year. So I welcome you to the second annual Eternal Hunt Awards!

Let’s kick it off with a look at the industry. Let me tell you what I did and didn’t like this year, and for what reasons:

Best release of 2013:

1st place: Khorne Lord of Skulls

Apoc Release (2)

Now I do of course realise that this may be a controversial choice, but the longer I thought about it, the clearer it became to me that this model deserves the top spot in my personal list. Is it because I am a huge Khorne fanboy? That’s certainly a part of it, yes. But there’s more: For one, I can still recall the moment I first laid eyes on this model when pictures were leaked over on Dakka. I actually sat there with my mouth open for a while, and that doesn’t happen all that often. I was stunned — and not the bad kind of stunned where you’re just preparing to emit and earth-shattering groan.

While tons and tons of scorn may have been heaped upon this model online, I love it, pure and simple. It embodies the kind of models we dreamed of during our childhood and teenage years, but that could never have been possibly produced. Heck, GW even had to introduce a dedicated scale – Epic 40,000 – to feature battles between models at that scale. And looking back on those models now, we would never have guessed that it would one day be possible to add huge walkers, tanks and all kinds of superheavies to our forces at 28mm. Then Forgeworld came, and provided you were willing (and able) to sell a kidney, you could use Titans and Greater Daemons that really deserved the name. And then, a relatively short time ago, GW proper actually started to produce plastic kits at that scale. And here we are now, with a kind of model we could only imagine in our wildest dreams when we were children, available in glorious plastic. GW have taken my childish dreams and given them form. Is the resulting model realistic? Certainly not. Is it too OTT and corny? Quite possibly. But face it, guys and girls, this hobby of ours is certainly not the most grown up pasttime in the first place.

So while it may be a corny, ridiculous model in certain respects, and while I am not even sure I like the fact that the game has to get bigger all the time to accomodate stuff like this (more on that below), and while I am pretty sure that I’ll never get one for myself, there was one perfect moment in 2013 when my mouth hung agape in amazement at the coolness of a model. And if that model doesn’t deserve the top spot on this list, then nothing does.

Read my detailed opinion of the model here.

2nd place: Dreamforge Games releases

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (3)
Mark Mondragon certainly deserves a place high on his list for his amazing models. Be it the amazing Eisenkern Stormtroopers pictured above or the two variants of huge walker, the Leviathan Crusader and Leviathan Mortis, these models are certainly giving GW a run for their money. The Stormtroopers may be slightly more futuristic than 40k players are used to, but they have that retro, faux-WWI/II aesthetic I enjoyed so much about the old Warzone models, and that alone was reason enough to pick them up. The sprues abound with extra bitz and conversion options, and I am more than a little ashamed to say that I have yet to complete my first test models — it’s certainly not due to any lack of quality!

The walkers are equally impressive, with lots and lots of options for customisation, and they even come in “good” and “evil” flavour, for those of us wanting to induct them into their 40k forces:

Leviathan Crusader by  Dreamforge Games

Leviathan Crusader by Dreamforge Games

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (2)

Leviathan Mortis by Dreamforge Games

Dreamforge Games‘ releases deserve this spot on the list for another reason, though, even if the quality of the models would normally already be enough: These kits were made possible by a Kickstarter that spectacularly exceeded its original goal. It is only the one Kickstarter I have ever backed so far. And my first experience with this medium could not have any better: Mark Mondragon worked tirelessly to let the backers know which decisions had been taken and why and how far the products were along. He posted regular updates and went out of his way to accomodate backers’ wishes, even squeezing some additional bitz onto the sprues when it turned out there was some capacity left. If GW ever want to improve their communications with their customers, they could certainly do worse than take a look at how Mark approached these things.

So head over to Dreamforge Games’ website and check out their models. Chances are, you’ll be amazed — just as I was.

3rd place: Redesigned Dark Elves

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GW’s designers always seem to be at their best when designing spointy, evil, elf people. Another case in point: This year’s complete revamp of the Dark Elves. And they are glorious! The redesign certainly puts them on par with their 40k cousins, the Dark Eldar, and that alone is no mean feat! Will I get a Dark Elf army and return to the Old World? No, certainly not. But just looking at these new kits already provides enough eye candy to tide me over until the next amazing chaos release…

Read my two-part review here and here.

Honorary mention: Betrayer

Betrayer_cover
World Eaters players had precious little to go on when it came to their legion’s background and identity. The Horus Heresy releases from FW and Black Library did alleviate that problem, especially with the excellent short story “After Desh’ea” by Matthew Farrer. But the one book to really flesh out the legion was Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer, and I cannot recomment it highly enough. Read my review here, in case you are interested.

II. Worst release/biggest disappointment of 2013

Well, good news first: As far as I am concerned, when it comes to the models GW have released this year, there really haven’t been all that many slipups from a design perspective. Sure, a couple of models were hit or miss, like some designs for the new WoC models, while others were just downright awkward (yes, I am looking at you, Loremaster of Hoeth). But all in all, not only did GW manage to keep up a relentless pace with their release schedule, the overall quality of the different releases also ranged from solid (High Elves) to mostly really cool (Space Marines) and even to  outstanding (Dark Elves). So instead of focusing on particularly bad models, of which there were precious few, let me instead address my biggest disappointments:

No Inquisitor-based Skirmish game

Well, it was certainly to good to be true: For quite a while there, the forums and rumour sites were awash with whisperings of an Inquisition-themed skirmish game at the 28mm scale. A codified version of INQ28/Inquisimunda, if you will. Unfortunately, nothing came of it. The good new, obviously, is that we still do have INQ28, Inquisimunda and the original 54mm Inquisitor, so the lack of new rules certainly doesn’t hurt all that much. Still, seeing the Inquisition being given the Dark Vengeance or Space Hulk treatment, complete with a unique collection of delicious plastic models would have been totally awesome – oh well, one can always dream…

Inquisition Codex

Instead of a skirmish game, we did get a digital codex to better use and represent the forces of the Inquisition in games of 40k. While the idea itself is great (and hints at the more obscure factions of the Inquisition in the new codex are a nice bit of fanservice), the overall book seems to be a rather slipshod effort, by the look of it. Which could become a problem if this digital release were to be used by GW to gauge the interest in the Inquisition: This codex could have been a great way of getting people who mainly focus on INQ28 these days “reacquainted” with 40k proper. That doesn’t really seem to have worked all that well, though. And if the codex leaves most of the people interested in the Inquisition cold, what hope is there of future Inquisition releases? Seems like a bit of a vicious cycle…

No love for the sisters

The Sisters of Battle, or Adepta Sororitas of late (can anybody explain to me why it’s not “Adeptus Sororitas”, like in the German version btw? Surely the fact that it’s composed of women doesn’t make the order itself feminine…), also got the short stick — again. Sure, waiting for plastic sisters seems a bit of a running gag at this point, but still…

I realise that all three things on this list effectively tie back into the same problem: GW just cannot seem their act together when it comes to the various factions of the Inquisition, their military arms and supporting organisations. Which is really mind-boggling, if you ask me, because they already really nailed it before. Twice.

The various Ordos of the Inquisition as well as the Adepta Sororitas are easily among the 40k universe’s most iconic and recognisable features, yet they somehow seem to mess up whenever they get near one of these factions. It’s just a crying shame…

Honorary mention: Azhog

On second thought, there was one model that really, really disappointed me:

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Azhog was the star of the first Hobbit film for me. His hulking, malicious presence provided an excellent villain, even though he certainly isn’t the most well-rounded of characters. Then GW dropped the ball (or were possibly forced to drop the ball, due to some NDA nonsense) by not releasing an appropriate model for ages. And when the model finally was released, it somehow ended up far less impressive than I would have liked. I couldn’t even tell you precisely what’s wrong with the model, since it seems like a fairly accuate representation of the character design. But it doesn’t feel like that hulking, malicious brute I remember from the film.

III. Still on the fence about…

  • Digital supplements and codex releases: Maybe this is just me. Maybe I just like paper too much. But I have yet to decide what I think about all those digital releases. It’s complicated too: On the one hand, releasing digital supplements seems like an awesome way of not only keeping the codices and rulebooks updated but also of introducing new models and squads. And they even bring back some of that “Chapter Approved” flavour, with alternative army lists and scenarios. I am even okay with the fact that they all cost money — I’d rather pay for something than never get it at all. But like I said, I like books on paper. A lot. And it somehow seems wrong that the (more expensive) book becomes the lesser product. And some of those smaller supplements and background pieces do seem a little…unconventionally priced, if you ask me. All in all, it still seems like a bit of a two-edged sword at this point: If GW manage to use this additional channel of publication to release meaningful content and test the waters for future releases, that’s great. If they just wanted to find a way to introduce micropayments into the world of tabletop wargaming, that sucks. Big time. But like I said, maybe it’s just me…
  • 40k plastic clamshell characters: Last year, one of my favourite releases were GW’s plastic characters for WFB, released in a clamshell. And I wished for GW to introduce similar models for 40k, which they did. One year later, I have to say that I appreciate the effort! And some of those characters, like the Space Marine Librarian, are really awesome. But I don’t see why all of the 40k characters have to be more expensive than their WFB counterparts. Nice try, GW, but not quite there yet… 😉
  • The scale creep: Well, I’ve said it before: The fact that the games (and models) keep getting bigger and bigger all the time seems slightly discouraging to me, because it really runs counter to the idea of customising and individualising each of your models: With infantry squads only cannon fodder and superheavies the true stars of the show, the game somehow becomes less interesting for me. But this is strictly a personal preference, of course…

 

IV. Also pretty cool:

  • The Horus Heresy: I said last year that I am not perfectly sure whether or not to like FW’s focus on the Horus Heresy, and that still holds true — which has nothing to do with the – mostly excellent – models so far, but rather with the fear of a Star Wars-like state of affairs, where every minute of the Heresy will be accounted for at some point. My philosophical musings aside, though, the one thing I love unconditionally about the setting is how it has given rise to a couple of amazing and astonishing hobby projects that take a look at this very different period of Imperial history — just check out projects like Pooms’ Pre Heresy World Eaters , Agnostos Theos’ force from the same Legion or my favourite HH thread at the moment,  and you’ll see that there’s lots and lots of inspiration to be had, even if you have no plans of starting your own HH army.
  • The new White Dwarf: I’m going to go out on a limb here and confess I really like the “new” White Dwarf. By now, the novelty has worn off, and the shape of the mag has congealed into something more solid, and I have to tell you I like what I see. Sure, we can always go back and compare today’s WD with the 90s’ version. But if we judge the mag against itself, I think it’s really a good concept: I like the focus on the staff’s and hobbyists’ armies over ‘Eavy Metal pieces (even if the armies of the editorial staff seem to appear a little too often…). I like the look at kitbashes and conversions and the army showcases. I love Blanchitsu, obviously. Is it still a sales brochure? Undoubtedly. Is it more of a coffee-table book and less of a fanzine? Yes, possibly. But looking at it gives me new ideas and inspirations more often than not, and that is certainly nothing to scoff at.

 

So yeah, all in all, I think we can call this year an overall success. With a constant stream of new releases and some amazing products by different manufacturers, we have lots and lots of new toys to play with. As always, there’s always quite a bit of stuff to bicker about, but I suppose that par for the course at this point 😉

The hobby’s more than just the official releases, though: It’s really about the hobbyists. So in the next installment of the 2013 Eternal Hunt Awards, let’s take a closer look at this year’s oustanding hobby projects and talented artists. Until then, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section!

And, as always, thansk for looking and stay tuned for more!