Thursday, April 14, 2016

Privateer Press and Mark III

So things don't happen in a vacuum.

On one hand, Privateer Press announces a policy to handle online discounters to grow the hobby.

On the other, they shortly announce the upcoming release of a new edition of their core game lines, Warmachine and Hordes.

I can imagine someone waiting off on making a purchase after the discounts going away, deciding that they were going to buy X, Y, and Z, and then seeing this and throwing their hands up in the air.

The two are interrelated on all levels. Trying to push through more gamers with the hopes that showing they are 'serious' about stopping online discounting to get more material through the front door of local hobby stores so that 'players' are brought into the game.

There are already a lot of people talking about the new edition.

I'm optimistic because I hope it can fix some of the problems with the game.

1. Focus vs Fury: People can hash this out all day but when you have Fury 5 war beasts and routinely have 4 fury and multiple initial attacks and animus that don't interact like spells do, yeah, it's a problem. The new edition starts off with some interesting ideas in granting all warjacks in a battlegroup an automatic focus and in providing warlocks a free fury for every dead warbeasts in their battlegroup.

2. Huge Models: Some of the huge bases, mainly in the gargantuan and battle engines, get little to no play. They have a fairly high point cost and don't bring a lot to the game. There appears to be something in the air about good things happening to fix that.

3. Unplayed Models: Privateers were an interesting option when they first dropped and some of the solos see a lot of play. The actual jacks though? Outside of say, the Galleon which isn't really a pirate model? Not so much. Now there are some 'jank' list that do have fun with say the Buccaneers but overall? This doesn't count light artillery. I've watched a lot of battle reports. I've played in tournaments. It's very rare to see something that isn't there specifically for a theme list.

4. Premeasuring: So much salt being spilled on this one. You'd think the firstborn of children were being sacrificed. I get why some like it as a 'skill'. It does add a bit of uncertainty. I've benefited from it in the past like having Behemoth charging into my Hyperion and fail the charge. I'm also terrible at measuring things with the old eyeball and while you can get around it by measuring your control area and by looking at the control zones for certain scenarios, I won't miss NOT premeasuring.

5. Theme Forces: Here's a big one. One of the things I like about theme forces are the little bonuses in exchange for the lock. But some of the more... interesting theme forces allow you to have more models than you can normally ever field. This will be a tricky thing for Privateer Press to address. If I want to take a theme force that I've already bought three units, one more then normally allowed, will I ever have use for that third unit? They'll have to tread carefully here.

6. New Battle Boxes: Huge m'eh from me. Not that it's not cool that we have new casters. Not that it's not cool that they are packing it with a ton of stuff. It's just a lot of the actual contents of the battle boxes look exactly like the original ones with a different caster. There's also a lack of mercenaries and minions. I get why on several levels. Not a lot of plastics for the minions although that is changing slowly but surely. Maybe in the far future.

7.Fiction. Ironically enough, this is one of the things I thought was pushing towards a new edition. You can only keep the storyline going so far in one direction before you have to move onto the next thing and usually that indicates some type of new edition. I personally thought we'd get some campaign rules this summer or something along those lines, like Mighty Empires. That campaign play in the No Quarter was interesting but certainly not robust enough to replace an actual summer release. Now they don't have to as it'll be a new edition.

The split between fiction going into the books and not in the core books remains to be determined. The new rule books for example, is probably going to be similar to previous books with enough setting information to get players up to speed.

The "no one safe" thing will also be interesting. I believe Privateer Press will allow people to keep playing all their models, but I'd wager that if Stryker dies in a book in 2017, all "official" tournaments will disallow that figure to match the meta. I could easily be wrong there though.

Me? I regularly play Retribution and Mercenaries with a toe dipped into Khador, Circle, and Minions so I've got my eye on several factions and will be curious to see how it unfolds..

What's everyone else looking forward to?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Privateer Press: New free rider policy

Privateer Press is a miniature company that in addition to its two flagship items, Warmachine and Hordes, also does board games, card games, and hobby supplies. 

I’m one of those weird people who sees events and then poses questions. One of those I posed recently was why isn’t Privateer Press doing Kickstarters? Well, they recently did one.

On the other hand, Privateer Press has also recently decided that they don’t like online discounters. They sent out a public memo if you will detailing that such actions were unwelcome and could harm the industry.

Sounds very much like Games Workshop to a point.

Now I buy things all over the place. I buy them from Games Plus, a FLSG. I buy secondhand from people. I buy from gaming auctions at Games Plus. I buy them online.

Some I’d never buy if it wasn’t deeply discounted.

And on some level, Privateer Press knows this because they deliberately make design choices to encourage the purchase of goods beyond a normal usable level. There are even jokes about “Doom Reaver spam” for example as the amount of models required for a “tier” list goes well beyond what is normally allowed on the table.

I understand why Privateer Press is doing this but I think it’s a mistake. Now they know their own business far more than some fat man on the internet.

On the other hand, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. 

E-Bay and Amazon are a thing. 

Secondary markets are a thing.

Stores that continue to sell at the heavy discount and get the products later? That WILL be a thing.

And one of the online stores that quickly changed policy to adhere to the new maximum discounts? 

They were doing a lot to provide information and expand the hobby to begin with. 

And here’s the thing, remember when I said that Privateer Press recently did a Kickstarter? Yeah… all of that money the Kickstarter raised is essentially coming out of the retailers end of things. It’s huge doublespeak for do as I say, not as I do.

When Lock and Load comes up, there will be early releases. 

Again, what about the retailer? See last comment.

It’s not on the level that online retailers can push through, it’s only for a limited event, but at the same time, it is sales taken directly from retailers.

This doesn’t count exclusive only miniatures that can only be bought from Privateer Press. Currently the number of such figures is small overall but at one point included the pricey “Extreme” sculpts.

I hope that the policy doesn’t bite them in the ass. 

Some people will stop buying expensive items. They may have a threshold tolerance. For example, the new version or resculpt of Behemoth is something like $69.95. If you have a threshold of $50, buying it at the old 30% that was easy to find means you could get it at $48.97, just under your threshold. On the other hand, the new standard means you’re going to be getting hit for $62.96.

It could also cut into ‘jank’ list purchases. Something that you’re not necessarily going to run in a lot of games or indeed, outside of some tier force lists that, again, encourages you to buy excess models.

For example, if you want to run a bunch of battle mages in a Retribution army in a “Charge of the Battle Mages” tier force. Now though, paying close to full price? You might just skip that whole list. 
There will be those who say for the dedicated player that these are minor issues. That if you are playing to win, you will spend that extra money.


I know several people, including myself, which have held off on making any new purchases since that announcement went into place. I have a lot of models to assemble and paint and that’s how I primarily came to the game to begin with. I don’t need to spend a ton of money on say, battle engines that I’m not going to be using a lot of.

What about everyone else? Good idea? Bad idea? 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Steam Roller Results: 11/28/2015

My not quite FLSG +Games Plus had a 35 point Steamroller for Warmachine-Hordes yesterday.

I took one of my amigos up there and for a $10 entry fee, I was in.

I brought two lists:

Fires on High Tier 4
Adeptis Rahn -6
Hyperion 18
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution 3
House Shyeel Artificer 3
House Shyeel Artificer 3
House Shyeel Magister 2
Arcanist 1
Arcanist 1
Stormfall Archers 5
Stormfall Archers 5
Will of the Nine Voices Tier 1
Ravyn, the Eternal Light -6
Phoenix 10
Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios 3
Mage Hunter Assassin 2
Mage Hunter Strike Force 8
Strike Force Commander 2
Souless Escort 1
Mage Hunter Strike Force 8
Strike Force Commander 2
Stormfall Archers 5

Now I can hear the groans at the Ravyn list.

But on the other hand, I'm a terrible player.

On the second other hand, I played only against Horde Players, 2 Troll Bloods and 2 Circle.

First game

Against a beast heavy Doom Shaper. The day previously, on Friday night, I had just played Fires on High at 50 points against Doom Shaper 3 so figured I'd go with Ravyn just for something different.

Problem is even with the dreaded "snipe, feat, go" that Doomshaper is sitting on 17 ARM with the stones. POW 10 vs ARM 17 is not a good thing.

The thing that has been cemented in my head against all trolls at this point? Shoot the stones. That +2 ARM and the no continuous effects? Yeah... I think I might have had a chance here with some better playing but overall I got a firm beat down.

Caster killed by an Earthborn using the POW of my Phoenix, which failed to kill the troll even thought it was in Ravyn's Vortex of Destruction and getting boosted damage rolls.

Second game

Against... trolls. But this list was light on the war beasts and was run by Calandra. She has a great spell, Star-Crossed. If you are within her control area, you gain an extra die on all attack rolls, both melee and ranged. The trick? You drop the highest.

It was a fun list to play against because there were a lot of light war beasts and the Storm Fall Archers, even with their RAT of 5, were able to shoot down a few of the enemy. My Hyperion was not played correctly. I'm used to having to buy three attacks and maybe kill a heavy so when the Hyperion charged into a light and splat it in like two hits so yeah, that three focus went to waste.

I had Rahn on a hill so DEF 16. War Beasts, even lights, that all have ranged attacks and can get Fate Blessed from Calandra don't care about that so in essence, I feed the opposite player my caster, which resulted in a loss.

Third game

A beast heavy game against Circle lead by  Kaya the Wildborne. I picked Ravyn as it was a killbox scenario and I thought I might be able to knock out the support staff early. She was carrying with her two Warpwolf Stalkers and a Feral Warpwolf along with druids. The player was way too cautious thanks to the whole "Snip, Feat, Go" thing. 

The caution also worked against the player in that they allowed me to get Narn and the Mage Hunter Assassin within charge range. The player decided to feat to get rid of Narn after some very bad dice rolls failed to do it the first time.

But the player also killboxed himself.

And he pointed out I could destroy the objective and Ravyn was already in the zone so... a win by scenario!

I try to learn from every game I play so I asked him why he didn't move the warpwolves into play and he was worried they'd get shot off the board.

I'm not saying that's impossible but at POW 10 against ARM 17, that would be a LOT of spiked rolls. That's assuming I hit. So if it was "Snipe, Feat, Go,", which wouldn't be necessary for Snipe as I moved the strike force up far, and assuming every shot hit, I'd be doing 5 points per hit max. A warpwolf stalker has 25 boxes. That would be 5 maximum shots. So with three wolves, that's 15 maximum shots. average dice though is going to be 6.5 or 7 so most of those shots would have plinked off.

Now mind you, if he didn't clear out the strike force, which again with berserk and lightning strike, shouldn't' have been too hard, I could potentially get off a charge and they do have combined melee attack but the POW on their melee weapons is worse, POW 9. 

So personally I think I was lucky to get that win off but I'll take it. On scenario no less.

Fourth game

Three flags on the board... ugh! I played Rahn again this time against Circle lead by Krueger the Stormlord.

I don't want to say I 'gave' this one away too because the other player won. It was a bad miscalculation on my part on how 'safe' my warcaster was behind a wall but Krueger's feat pushed me far enough away from it that he was able to charge a warpwolf into me and even camping three focus it wasn't enough.

Which in this instance was his 'golden' ticket as I had taken out his Megalith, my Hyperion was almost at full health thanks to the two mechanics, and I was sitting on 3 control points about to score again on my turn.

Assuming I didn't clock myself out. Deviations eat up a lot of time folks!

I was a little annoyed at playing all four games against Hordes because I don't feel that outside of maybe Hypnos and E2 that Retribution brings a lot against them. 

I also think that the ability to alpha strike with war beasts can often easily outpace a standard War Jack alpha strike with it's limit of 3 focus AND usually only 2 attacks.

This doesn't count the ability to transfer damage which renders the whole ability to ignore focus armor boosting ability useless.

But the players were all friendly and I had a good time and hope that I provided some entertaining to my fellow gamers.

Now in terms of what else was around? There were sixteen players including me and my buddy and while I'm not going to be able to pinpoint everything, and I should definitely have taken pictures, here's my recollection:

Khador: 2 lists each with the Butcher

Khador: 2 lists, one with EIrusk, the other with Vlad 2

Cryxis: I didn't see the lists in play, but my friend lost against E Denny.

Mercs: Didn't see the warcaster but it was Pirate based with a Galleon on the table.

Troll Bloods: See above

Troll Bloods: See above

Circle: See above

Circle: See above

Minions: Gators! I remember this one because the guy put the warcaster on a surfboard riding a bone swarm. It was highly original and well done.

I don't recall seeing any Menoth or Convergence. I was the only Retribution player. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Shopping and Gaming

I have long collected miniatures. Often for use in role playing games. Many of those figures often belong to specific game lines though.

One of my friends bugged me enoug th actually get me into playing. It wasn't hard as several other friends were actively playing Warmachine and Hordes.

My main faction is the angry elves, the Retribution of Scyrah. I like the different design of the models, the high-tech feel of the elves and in some ways, they do remind me of the Eldar, who I also like.

Mind you, my record in playing them is quite terrible but that's about 90% my fault. I tend to have issues with order of activation and not focusing enough on the inherent synergy in some of the models.

But I am getting better.

As I specifically go out to actually play the game now, I've been shopping from a few stores and thought I'd throw out some quite notes:

Advanced Deployment: They are the makers of all things acrylic for numerous games including War Machine and Hordes. My first order with them was slow and missing some pieces. When I say it was slow, I ordered some different things from about five companies at once and these guys were the second to last to ship out my goods. Mind you, that might not always be true in the future.

They're also not fantastic at communication. They didn't pack some stuff that was supposed to come with the level of order I placed and didn't reply to initial efforts. I made another order, as I was pleased with the quality, and noted that if they didn't including the missing goods, they could cancel this order, and I'd talk to my credit card company about the missing stuff.

Strangely enough that worked and that order came very quickly. So fast that all in all, I've ordered from them three times and for the templates and other stuff that they provide, I'd recommend them.

Discount Games Inc: One of my friends hooked me up to these guys. Usually about 30% off, have a fair selection of goods, including bases from Secret Weapon and CoolMiniOrNot and good turn around time on their orders with free shipping at $50. One nice thing? They also sell stuff from Broken Egg Games  So if you get that free shipping, beats ordering directly from Broken Egg.

The free shipping and discount make them a better buy in many ways that my old stand by for online ordering, which is...

Miniature Market: A very good selection, a lot of different things in the warehouse, and often a lot of sales. Free shipping on orders of $100 or more. Very good customer service and very quick to get back to you.

FRPGames: On the outside of stores I normally shop at because they don't offer free shipping and as a matter of fact, the more you buy the more expensive the shipping gets, I still shop here because they do a lot of sales. Sometimes 50% off, sometimes more. They also carry a ton of stuff.

Noble Knight Games: I've been collecting miniatures so long that some of the sets I have, I had before they were sold in the now standard 10 man units. When I finally got into the gaming aspect of it, some units were very hard to hunt down and I thought it might be possible I'd have to just buy whole new units as the prices of the individual pieces I needed was almost what a full unit with discount cost. These guys have great selection and my experiences with them have been good.

So where does everyone else shop? Have I missed any of the obvious places? Any places people should avoid in general? Have your experiences been different than mine?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hero Forge Custom Miniature Review

Hero Forge Custom Miniature, found here: , is a company that allows you to create a miniature based on a series of selections and have said miniature mailed to you. The scale is approximately 30mm.

The fun part about the website, is that it allows you to customize your character. You can select from a variety of different parts of the character including head, hair, eyes, teeth, body type, clothes, weapons, accessories, and more. This allows for a high level of uniqueness.

There are limitations though. For example, the last time I played with the site, I could not create a character with a sword pointing down to the ground. In this picture, taken from the blog Minismith's Minis for Ebay,, an old Ral Partha miniature, something like Wizard with Runesword, the figure is pretty much exactly what I would like to make but in a more modern scale. Not possible.

As far as I can tell, you cannot have a character that wields a weapon with two hands either. This leads to some odd poses with characters that are yielding say, greatswords.

The current races are also 'mainstream' in that you have the following: human, elf, half elf, dwarf, gnome, halfling, half orc. The good news is that they also have the following: elemental (gensai), half-demon (tielfling/cambion), and robot (warforged). Sadly, no half dragons or half giants. You can cheat on the later thought as you can control the size of the character to a certain extent.

One aspect that is far ahead of most others, is that while fantasy may be the most popular, it does include settings for the following genres: fantasy, western, sci-fi, modern, east Asian. This allows you to cover a wide swath of characters that outside of boutique companies, are rarely covered.

My friend ordered several of these. Some of them directly for character's he's playing in a Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition campaign and others because he thought the ability to mod your figure awesome.

The miniatures were well packed and arrived sound and secure in a box with bubble wrap. Each figure was individual wrapped and no figures suffered damage in the transit.

In terms of the size compared to other companies?

In the first, we have a dwarf from Stonehaven miniatures next to an  elf from Hero Forge.

In the second, we have a crouching human next to a miniature from Wyrd, an old metal Guild Captain.

Here are my observations from painting several of them:

1. Size is fairly close to standard in the industry. As much as there is a standard.

2. Detail is soft. I'd say somewhere around a fair Mage Knight or other prepainted miniature. The more control you have over your brush, the more you'll be able to bring out those details. Some of that detail is so soft though, that you will not be doing things like drybrushing unless you have fantastic control. The same is true for washes. Without deep recesses, the wash has nowhere to go. Note this varies depending on the model. In the below, the tabards don't necessarily have a lot of detail. The cloaks have enough to make it easier with washes, layering or drybrushing.

3. Printing Artifacts: If you were to hold one of the figures and look at it under a strong light, you would see the remanents of how the pieces are created. This looks like waved texture. It's so slight though that it does not show up when brushed. Some may want to file it but that seems a bit extreme.

4. Fragile to a point. I have several miniatures from Gale Force 9 for their Dungeons and Dragons line. Perhaps due to how the dynamic poses are set, I've broken a few of them. I dropped a knight from my friend's order and snapped the blade right off. The good news is that it was a clean break and easy to repair with super glue. Now mind you, that would probably happen with metal as well. Handle with the same care you do resin figures and you should be okay.

5. Paint Adhesion: I tended to use two spray coats of Army Painter. I started with black and then over the knights, plate mail. On the wizard and warrior, I did a zenith primer of white over the black.  Despite that, there were several spots on the miniature that did not take paint easily. Note this was after I washed them in warm soapy water and used a toothbrush to scrub them.

The initial offering is strong. The biggest hurdle for casual users like myself, is price. At $25 a figure, these miniatures are directly competing with top tier brands on a per figure. On something inexpensive like Bones or a set of plastic? If you have a specific figure you want created, such as my friend did with a duelist with two rapiers and a crown, the price is worth it.

Is you just want something to paint? There are a lot of options at that price point.

As Hero Forge expands it's utility, not even necessarily in terms of detail, but in terms of variety, the value will increase. For example, if there comes a point where you can select from twenty different historical styled helmets or different types of clothing representing specific eras, people will pay more for that.

As more options in the positioning of the figures is increased, people may find something that gives them a better match. The ability to have a miniature using a two-handed axe in two hands for example.

The more specific your character need, the more specific the miniature you want, the stronger the appeal of Hero Forge.

Keep an eye out on them. It won't be long before I suspect Hero Forge will make it's money selling you the CAD's for printing at home.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How To Paint Citadel Miniatures

I'm a sucker for painting guides. I figure at the very least, I will have some nice photographs that I can use as inspiration for my own painting, or in the case of miniatures I'm painting just to fill out hordes, a paint by numbers guide so to speak.

Games Workshop, perhaps the largest hobby entity for fantasy and science fiction wargaming, often gets berated for a variety of reasons.

One of those reasons should not be making things too difficult to enter the hobby.

Now too expensive on the other hand...

The How To Pain Citadel Miniatures is a spiral bound book with the ability toe sit the book directly standing so that you can keep the book open directly while painting. This is an innovation that no other painting book has.

The book is loaded with numerous photographs of the different ranges that Games Workshop is known for: Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, and Lord of the Rings.

The art is clear and easy to follow along.

The information is easy to read and easy to follow along.

The book includes a DVD that repeats the information in the book, but with narration and someone actually performing the activity.

The use of this book is clear for individuals who are interested in the Games Workshop version of the hobby.

This isn't to say that someone new to painting miniatures won't learn.

The start of the book starts before even touching a model. This includes having the right tools and a good place to work that is both comfortable and well lit.

In terms of the models, it covers preparing the models. This includes removing product from frames, cleaning them with blades, repair work if necessary with liquid green stuff, as well as assembly with glue. Very simple, standard stuff that is good to have said regardless of who says it.

One of my favorite bits, is using a 'painting stick' with double sided tape used to hold miniatures that are then spray primed. A quick easy way to handle the priming method.

It includes a detailed breakdown of what the different pants, at the time of the writing, are.

Base Paints: High concentration of pigment allows a good base coverage. The base paint provides a foundation for future work. Not that long ago, these would have been part of the Foundation Line, a game line of paint in direct response to the excellent Privateer Press Paints.

Layer: Paint stacked atop the base paints that are meant to bring out the color of a model.

Drybrush: A new paint that I'm not aware of any other company using yet. It is thick paint that is easy to prepare for drybrushing and is easy to use.

Many of the standards for painting miniatures are here. This includes thinning you pant and using multiple thin coats to get a thicker, richer color, then just using one thick layer which may obscure details. These bits are good advice for almost any pant set from any company for any painter.

Shades: The shades are washes that darken the color they are put on. You can achieve some interesting effects by using colors that might not normally go together. One example is Reikland Fleshshade over Steel Legion Drab followed by Tallarn Sand and Karak Stone and Terminous Stone to achieve a Kahaki color.

Glazes: Different than shades, the glazes are thin color that generally have two purposes. One is to cut down 'glare' from highlights taken too far. The  second is to tint the color to whatever you're glazing it to. One of the examples is using the different glazes over silver painted chaos warriors to show their particular devotion to one of the four ruinous powers. For example, green for Nurgle or Red for Khorne.

Texture: Mud in a bottle! You slop this onto the base and it has enough material in it to present some  texture that can be washed and drybrushed for a quick nice looking base without too much work.

After discussing the different types of paint, and how to use them, the book breaks into the basics of painting, layering, drybrushing, washing, and using those techniques together. Since many of the paints are designed specifically to do one of the things, it works well.

To provide further examples, the book includes eight different groups of characters painted using the methods provided: Tyranids, Harad, Space Marines, Gondor, Orcs & Goblins, The Empire, Tomb Kings and Dark Eldar.

This is an excellent visual reference for anyone wondering how to paint one of those particular figures. For example, the Tomb Kings are given a rich coloration in gold and purple. The men on Gondor painted in this example, could be useful for Wood Elf Waywatchers.

The book closes out with a color guide taking different types of colors through the range. Perfect for sticking with an established pattern throughout an army. For example, if you want to do Space Wolves, you follow the guide for the following.

Basecoat: The Fang
Wash: Nuln Oil
Layer: Russ Grey
Layer: Fernisian Grey
Drybrush: Etherium Blue.

In some gases there are up to six steps as the final step is a glaze to mute an edge highlight.

Not covered in this volume, are the technical paints that came out after the book was done, nor the edge highlighting paints, which are based in color, on the drybrush paints, which are meant for a final highlight.

In addition to the book, the DVD covers almost everything the book does. This allows you to follow along in terms of cleaning, assembly, and painting of miniatures. The DVD clocks in at just slightly over 130 minutes.

Let me be clear. After reading the book and watching the  video, you will probably not be winning any Golden Demon awards.

You will know how to assemble miniatures.

You will know how to base coat.

You will know how to layer.

You will know how to base.

You will know what the specific Citadel Paints are and how they work: Wash, Glaze, Drybrush, Texture.

You will have an idea of how to place highlighting specific to the Games Workshop paint range and have a lot of options for how to do that.

While Games Workshop may be hated in many circles, this is a great product for someone fresh to the hobby who wants an all in one introduction.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Figopedia: Light & Colour - Theory and Practice

Figopedia Volume 1: Light & Color – Theory & Practice

Written by Jeremie Bonamant Teboul (JBT)
120 full color pages

One of the nice things about this internet era of things, is that you can get a taste for how something may work. For example, prior to the book launch of Figopedia, there was a Youtube video. It provided a great overview of what was going to happen on Indigogo.
The campaign was well run. The updates were on a regular basis. The stretch goals were modest and met. Part of that included some lady adventurers that would be NSFW cast in resin with very fine detail on them.

The communication after the campaign were well done. The books weren’t shipped out on time. There was some item, I’m not sure if it was stickers or something, but that held things up.

Only briefly.

Biggest problem? The way it was shipped. My book had numerous scuff marks on it and I was fortunate that the miniatures were still in the package because the package was ripped open at the top due to a tear. It was a big envelope basically as opposed to a box. Bad shipping on that. Good news the minis look okay.

The book itself? Gorgeous. People talk about food porn all the time. This is miniature porn. If you like looking at well painting miniatures, this book is right up your alley. The miniatures are identified in both scale and company. For example, there are many from Figione but there are others from companies including Games Workshop. The painting on the cover? That’s a modified Games Workshop Eldar walker.

The book is not a step by step in that the author doesn’t grab one figure, prime it, put a color on, tell you the color, shade it, tell you the color of the shade, and so on.

Rather, he provides ideas on how color works. It’s a bit technical in some areas but the biggest thing I got from me, is to push the paints further then you might normally. He does this by providing information on the different parts of light and color.

For example, how does light fall on the miniature? Is it falling from an angle? Is it all around light? Is it directly overhead? Each way that light is cast provides it’s own highlight and shadows and must be followed throughout the whole miniature as such.

Another aspect cover, is how light hits different shapes. Large flat shapes versus folded cloth for example.

In terms of idea, he hits the following: Hue, lightness and saturation.

He does this by discussing how to make colors ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ and how to harmonize them.

He does this by showing how to take the opposite color to darken a color while retaining a richer color. For example, to get a deep rich red, add green. I’ve seen the advice before but there are more examples here and it’s clearly demonstrated.

One of the nice things, is that while there are is no single walk through, he uses the same model to discuss different aspects several times so you get to see how each of the theories applies to the same figure with vastly different results. Want to see how the figure looks when it’s ‘cool’ or ‘warm’? It’s there. Want to see it when the painter has harmonized it? Done.

In this way, the making the reader think about how the figures are painted, not just the use color a, color b, color c, it is more of a workbook for the reader. It’s more of a “here’s WHY you paint it this way as opposed to just paint it with these colors.” For some people, that’s a good thing. After all, what if he used Citadel paints and all you have are Vallejo’s?

No, instead, it’s take this red, darken it with green, lighten it with yellow, pay attention to where the light is falling, how the light is falling, how much light is falling, and don’t be afraid to have extreme highlights and extreme shadows but only in those spaces where they are needed and no further.

It’s not an inexpensive book. It’s overall value may depend entirely on what you bring to the reading. But even if you just read it for the art and the ideas, you may be motivated by the miniature porn to push your own painting skills a little higher while motivated to do so. For me, it was a worthwhile purchase and I will be supporting any future books done in this manner, although with more feedback to the author to ship in a box or better padding.

Those interest in the book and it’s website can go here.