Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Christmas Review - Pt1

Earlier in the week I said I'd do an unpacking, an examination and a review of a few of the new Christmas Special Edition releases, in particular; the 'Eavy Metal Edge Paint Set, and the four basing kits (Badlands, Northern Wastes, Death World and Under-Empire). I've had a few days of playing with them now, so I thought now would be a good time to share my thoughts.

I should preface the following entry by reminding you of the following:
  • I am a Games Workshop Hobby Centre Manager, but this does not mean that I personally have to like everything to the same level, unequivocally.
  • Everything I say in this blog is my own opinion and does not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of Games Workshop or Games Workshop Epsom.
Cool, with all that out of the way, lets get started.

The 'Eavy Metal Edge Paint Set

The set itself consists of an 'Eavy Metal Detail Brush, 9 'Edge' paints and a little booklet explaining their uses. The brush itself is a masterwork, designed with the 'Eavy Metal Teams input, it has a fantastic weight to it and is very comfortable to hold. The bristles are Kolinsky Sable hairs too (shaved weasel for those who don't know) which holds a really fine point and allows for very smooth paint flow. If you've never used a Kolinsky Sable hair brush, they're an absolute treat; pricier than the standard brush, sure, but as long as you take care of them they'll last a long time (I'm still using last years 'Eavy Metal paint brushes and until June this year I was using Citadel Masters brushes that were five years old). I'll be utterly frank, a painter can only be as good as his brushes, and this is a fantastic brush.

And there it is in amongst it's brothers from last year!

But what about the paints? There are nine Edge Paints in the set (Lugganath Orange, Krieg Khaki, Baharroth Blue, Gauss Blaster Green, Fulgrim Pink, Flayed One Flesh, Dechala Lilac, Dorn Yellow, Blue Horror) that are designed for extreme edge highlights. Essentially, an easy way to think of their use is for highlighting your highlights; and from this, immediately some people are going to question their point.

Remember, before we continue, that these are paints released under the 'Eavy Metal branding, not under the Citadel Paint System. The Citadel Paint System was designed primarily with army painting in mind; quality finish quickly. These are designed for taking your miniatures to the next level, for figure painting and display work. If you're looking to enter Golden Demon, or another painting competition, that's what these paints are designed for.

I've had a brief play around with the brush and some of the paints, most notably on the Forgefiend shown in my Word Bearers collection (this blog entry). I used Lugganath Orange to highlight the red armour plating; Gauss Blaster Green to highlight the Daemonforge sections; Dorn Yellow to highlight the Ectoplasma Cannons arrays; and Blue Horror to highlight the dead Ultramarine on his base (take that Tom!).

Before and after on the Forgefiend

All in all, the pictures don't do this justice - the difference in effect is astonishing, with the model really springing to life with brighter and crisper colours. The paints flow just like Citadel Layer paints, and with a really good consistency - I didn't actually have to thin any of them for use personally, though the guide booklet gives some fantastic advice in regards to this, and layering and feathering.

All in all, the 'Eavy Metal Edge Paint Set is not for everyone - if you're really only interested in churning out a tabletop standard army, you may not get much use from it - but for figure/competitive painting or really making those characters and centrepieces in your army stand out, I truly cannot recommend them enough.

The Basing Kits

When these were first announced, I was very excited. I love basing models, though sadly these days I don't often get chance to do it properly, the bases being forgotten in the race to get units painted (hence my recent approach of just doing what I want to and taking time rather than 'Batch Paint To Victory'). When I do get chance, I often tend to lavish real attention to the bases; in my opinion it's the bases that really tell the models story. They give it context. All too often, I see armies that are are just based with sand, green paint, or worst of all, not at all. In some cases, the models are beautifully painted, but the lack of basing makes the model look bland, boring and unfinished.

Games Workshop has been producing the Warhammer Basing Kit and Warhammer 40,000 Basing Kit for a while now, and both of these kits have been indispensable over that time. Take a look at some of the models I've featured in this blog, and you'll spot those basing kits at work. I've included a few examples below.

The rock upon which Nazrath stands is a single piece, full-base bit of resin from the Warhammer Basing Kit. It includes the skulls and the texture.

The pile of skulls on Valkia's base are also from the Warhammer Basing Kit, and are incredibly detailed. Many of them have individual teeth. Sadly, I doused the lot of 'em in gore!

The Space Marine Helmet, the large slate rocks and even the main texture itself are all taken from the Warhammer 40,000 Basing Kit, which also includes the etched brass details seen on my other Wyches here...

In each of these examples, the base was carefully considered to tell part of the models story. Nazrath was standing on one of the few dry havens in the swamp that the rest of his models were trudging through. Valkia, consort of Khorne, drifts above the gore-soaked remains of her victims. The Wyches are dancing over the bodies of the fallen amongst the ruins of an Imperial city.

I'll examine the four basing kits in detail next time, as I need to get some good photos and wait for the paint to dry on one of the recent examples!

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