Star Seeker (jurann) wrote,
Star Seeker

Adventures in Warhammer

     So my roommate has been wanting to get back into painting miniatures again for a while, it used to be her hobby before making fursuits replaced it about ten years ago. And I've always been fascinated and curious about Warhammer. In years previous though, the barrier to entry for me had been price. Well, I make oodles now, so I figured I don't have an excuse anymore.

     So I started with buying the core rulebooks for Fantasy and 40K along with three armies books from each. For Fantasy I decided to go with Skaven as my main choice, Beastmen as my second choice, and Lizardmen for my third choice. For 40K I decided on Orks as my main, Space Wolves for my second and Tau for my third. So far I've completely read the Fantasy rulebook, skimmed the 40K rulebook, completely read the Skaven armies book, and am now reading the Beastmen armies book. In addition, we've picked up a few books on how to paint the miniatures, including a Skaven clan uniform and colors sourcebook. So, that's the books, which are just the tip of the iceberg that is Warhammer...

     Because a major part of the "hobby" (as Games Workshop calls it) is collecting, cleaning, assembling, painting and detailing the models you use to play the game. So I've bought countless boxes of tiny little pieces referred to by GW and gamers as "bits", which are attached to injection-mold cast "sprues". After hours of clipping "bits" off of "sprues" and then using a razor blade to trim away "flash" and seams from the parts, you then glue them together in a vast variety of personal fashions to form "units" that will be fielded on the battleground. But that's JUST the start! Because now you've got to make sure you get a nice even coating of primer all over every model, and then the painting begins... Fortunately though that's the fun and easy part, believe it or not. Honestly one of the most fun parts for me is the final detailing, a process GW refers to as "faces and bases" where you polish-up the face of your models and the base that they stand on by adding bits of grass or rocks or debris or skulls or skeletons - countless types of terrain and interesting ground you can place them on for atmosphere and immersion. Having hundreds of models to have to do this with, meaning thousands of "bits" is very daunting indeed...

     And you do it all, because it's what's demanded when you want to finally PLAY the game! You create an army made up of several dozen to hundreds of the models in formations called units, and then take turns at killing the shit out of each other by throwing unbelievable amounts of 6-sided dice that take quite a while to learn what they're for and what they do and how to resolve everything - lotsa math! So far I played one introductory game of 40K at a GW store and got my ass handed to me, then played a full-on game of Fantasy using my own Skaven units that I assembled myself and did reasonably well though for the most part the other guy was just telling me what to do and I wasn't really learning HOW to play the game... Which makes me wonder if I could have done better, had I known what I was actually doing. But we started nearly 2 hours late, so didn't get to finish the game before the store closed. It seemed like a close battle though after the 3 turns we did get to play.

     All in all, I really do like the game. The lore is fantastic, it's a very well-crafted and interesting world full of mystery and intrigue and opportunities for battle and adventure. The models that Citadel makes are amazingly detailed and refined and they really love to engage hobbyists and help them do a great job on assembling and painting their models. I would love to have more locals that play and have them over to play at home though, I'm not a fan of hanging out in tight, hot, public shops trying to play games in the din and discomfort of their shop atmosphere... But we'll see where it goes. =)

(P.S. Don't even ask me how much I've spent on this already... Seriously, don't... lol)
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I don't even want to play the game.

I just want the models. o.o

They seem like they'd be fun to paint up, and since they're so tiny the work is most likely less than my usual model kits. Maybe. :P Those details will probably make it difficult, but it's nothing I can't handle.

I just don't know what sets are cheap/affordable for me. I like lizardmen, so I guess I should just do research on those guys. (And most likely any other furry sorts of awesome critters.)

Since I'm not army building I assume I can just buy a few and be happy. I hope. o.o
Well, they usually come in large packs of models, like 10-20 per box. Because they are mostly meant for building coherent army units, so they don't sell many individual models except for "Characters" which are Lords and Heroes - but those cost more because of the detail, increased size, and importance of the model. Individual Character models vary from $15 to $66 each (usually $66 is a MAJOR hero/lord on a large mount) and single units of models range from $25 to $50 with the average unit being about $35 in cost.

In Warhammer Fantasy the furry-ish armies are Skaven (ratmen), Beastmen (satyrs, minotaurs, centaurs) and Lizardmen (name says it all). In Warhammer 40K the furry-ish guys would be... Well, none. =/ But the Space Wolves have a strong wolf lore among them and wear furs of bears, wolves and other critters and ride wolf mounts. The Tau also have some animal-type beasts and units mixed in amongst their battle armor units. And the Orks from Fantasy also ride boars.
Ah well, the armys wouldn't hurt if I had to buy a whole unit. :P Would still be good painting times.

And I assume the bigger dragon sorts are the more expensive kits? x.x I guess I'll browse around on ebay, but I don't plan on buying anything/anyone too soon,
Yeah, what few dragons there are usually cost between $50 and $100. The Chimera's pretty darn cool too. Check out for the full product line. eBay is a great place to find older models and bits and pieces of stuff, but they tend to not have much in the way of current stuff or complete pieces. =/
Yeah, I saw a bunch of incomplete looking stuff.

Also I was wondering, how do you paint/glue the metal kits? That's always kinda confused me. x.x
Super glue. And if that's not enough, then you use a process called "pinning" where you drill a super tiny, deep hole into each piece and then use a metal rod and super glue to hold and "pin" the pieces together more firmly. For some larger pieces to join you may have to use 2-3 pins. And then you fill gaps with "green stuff", which is a 2-part molding epoxy that can be shaped and carved while stile curing and then once dry.
I do pinning for resin kits. :P I didn't know you could do it on metal kits. o.o
I didn't know you could do it for resin, lol. =D I didn't figure you'd NEED to for resin since it's super light-weight. Though there's different types of resin, the resin GW uses in their new Finecast line is super light, and nicely porous so it soaks up superglue and creates a super-strong, super-fast bond. Downside about their new Finecast resin models is that they are full of bubbles and have a lot of flash in strange places that's just GOBBED on horribly. I've had unrecoverable issues with every Finecast model I've bought now. =P Which is about 10 of them.
Really matters on the resin kit, some kits are HUGE. I do it just to make sure things line up right, and to get it all together easier after painting. Do small hand drills work for the metal kits?

Urg, you make "Finecast" sound like Thai recast resin... I'd rather not work with it. o.O
Well, the detail is beautiful and the material is a breeze to work with - it's just that the number of defects is outrageous right now. Rumor is that 75% of their casts are being sent back as bad, so they are working hard to improve the quality right now.

As for drilling and pinning metal, yes it works with small hand drills, that's exactly what you use. You're supposed to do the drilling and pinning before you prime (and paint) the models though, at least for GW stuff.
Well yeah, though I admit I skip the priming step for my kits... Possibly a bad habit?

Pinning for me is almost like making the resin kit into a snap together kit.... (Except I have a tendency to wear out the holes from too much test fitting... derp.)

I need to finish a resin kit and possibly take progress shots this time... Been slackin. >.
Oh, and as for painting, there are primers that work for both metal and plastic/resin and then there are also specific primers for different materials. If you use the official GW primers (Skull White and Chaos Black) then they work for all three.