Games Workshop and Social Media

Last December it was a landmark birthday for my wife. So in the hope of easing the pain I booked a secret family break to stay in an old hunting lodge – that looked very much like a castle from the old world – near Carlisle. On the way we decided to stop off at Kendal and have a look around and like most people who paint plastic miniatures we (myself, wifey and the tiny man) ended up in Kendal’s Games Workshop store.

I have to admit that ending up in the store didn’t happen totally by mistake as I really wanted to meet the man who was behind the stores Twitter and Instagram account. GW at the moment are in the middle of a social media awakening with the creation of Warhammer TV, the community site and the use of platforms like Instagram. Even the staff at Warhammer world have their own personal Twitter accounts and are engaging with the community. If I’m honest this level of engagement is excellent and as a member of the community the impression I get is that GW it’s filled with passionate people that love their job and their hobby.

However, there is a problem and that’s the social media engagement from the local stores which, if I’m honest, is pretty poor. It feels like the memo was only received by the staff at Warhammer World that they can use a social media platform, other than Facebook, to promote the hobby, their store and engage with the wider community.

This has led to a situation where the local stores are languishing in the chaos realms of Facebook only using Twitter to push their Facebook posts to, which isn’t engagement, it’s just annoying. Now this may be just me being over sensitive to the issue as I don’t use Facebook but as the hobby is very visual I don’t understand why Twitter and Instagram aren’t used as both platforms have a massive community that would willingly engage. I can understand the argument that a lot of GW stores struggle for time but engaging with a new generation on the platforms that they use would surely be more beneficial in the long term for both the store and the hobby as whole.

Social media certainly brought me back into the hobby, after a long hiatus I discovered the #warmongers community along with some stunning model pictures which meant I popped into a GW store and picked up a few paints and a model, several years later I’m still painting and buying! I probably never would have gotten back into the hobby without the online community and I certainly wouldn’t have improved as a painter without ther guidance. So if social media can bring back an old warhorse like me then I’m sure it can entice a new generation that are on several social media platforms into this creative and fun hobby.

In closing and getting back to my visit to GW Kendal I met Adam the store manager and I have to say he gets it. He engages directly with the community through, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, he posts pictures of the models the guys who visit his store paint, he retweets tweets from other community members – many I assume who have never been to his store – and he engages and responds to comments, in short he promotes the hobby and his store. Because of his presence and use of Twitter and Instagram I visited his store as I was passing through the town, purchased a copy of White Dwarf and we had a chat. I will never be a regular visitor to Kendal but I can guarantee that the next time I’m there I’ll pop in, say ‘hello’ and buy something.

So GW stores I don’t expect the level of engagement that is coming from Warhammer World but it would be nice if the hobby at the local store level was engaging with the online community. It can be done as Adam at GW Kendal has shown, treat him as your primarch and mould your chapters in his image.

I’d be interested to hear what the community thinks. Are there any GW Stores that use a few social media platforms to promote their store and hobby. If there is please mention them in the comments below.

05 – Terminator Captain

I have to admit I approached this model with a little trepidation as the captain wasn’t wearing his helmet, which meant i’d have to paint some flesh. I’ve always shied away painting flesh as there tends to be no middle ground in that it either looks good or crap.

So with this in mind I cracked open the various flesh shades contained in the Scale 75 Scalecolour range, Pink Flesh, Basic Flesh, Golden Skin, Light Skin, Pale Skin, along with Citadel’s Lahmian Medium and Reikland Fleshshade.

CkHTUedWYAIA9X6.jpg

I started with a base layer covering of thinned Pink Flesh. It took a few coats to get the colour uniform.After that it was just a case of building the highlights up but instead of thinning the paint with thinner I used the Lahmian Medium as I’ve found this is great for blending. After I’d added the first highlight of Basic Flesh I used a thinned wash of Reikland Earthshade just to pull the blends together. I then highlighted further with Golden Skin, Light Skin and a final highlight on Pale Skin. In between these layers I added every increasing thinned layers of Reikland where needed.

CkIG0qyXAAAab-6.jpg

After the flesh was painted I thought I’d try my hand at adding some details. Firstly with a really light purple mixed with a little Pale Flesh I started to pick out the veins in the head. It took my ages to do this but sadly I couldn’t get the camera to to pick them out.

After this I started on the facial and head stubble. This was done by mixing a light grey with some pale skin and applying it to the correct areas. Applying several coats made the hair look thicker. Once the hair was dry I applied a super thin wash of pale skin mixed with Lahmian to pull the colours together.

ClAxX-sXIAAjCmA.jpg

The only other thing of real note that I did differently on this model was to add some Emperor’s Children transfers to the cape as I wanted the cape to show the prestige of the Captain. The transfers were added using Micro Set and Micro Sol which is a must purchase if you’re adding transfers (I have a blog on Micro Sol and Micro Set in the pipeline). Once the transfer where set I added a layer of anti-shine, see here.

Cl_G3sFWEAYPuMo.jpg

Cl_G2cHXIAEpxz3.jpg

I’ll add some piccies later once I’ve finished the base!

paintRack – the Greatest Painting App around

Capture.PNG

Like most hobbyist I’ve amassed a small* collection of paints in every hue imaginable in order to paint my battle hardened plastic warriors.

*read large collection, however, if anyone asks I will never have enough paints.

I own paints designed to be used with a brush, with an airbrush, to be dry brushed on, and to be washed on and they’re all from several different paint manufacturers; Citadel, P3, Vallejo, Scale75 and Army Painter (this doesn’t even cover the oil paints and pigments).

What I’ve found, however, is that I get colour blind with all the choice so I end up painting with my favorite paints at the moment, which is currently Scale75, and ignore the rest.This both limits my pallet and is a waste of the paint I own but haven’t considered as it wasn’t immediately at hand.

So the other night on twitter I asked the question to the #warmongers community

I recieve two responses to this question with both recommending paintRack

After downloading paintRack by @courageousocto and using it for a few days I can honestly say it’s excellent. The app allows you list paints from the Citadel, P3, Reaper, Vallejo, Warpaints, Tamiya, Scale75, Coat d’Arms, Citadel Classic, Minitaire, Watercolours, Humbrol, Andrea Colour, Ammo and Secret Weapon. You can add the paints by a simple click or just scan the barcode.

They’re two features however, that really make this app stand out for me. The first, is the library feature that lets you organise your paints, irrespective of brand, in colour order. I’ve found this really useful when picking out shades of paint for new schemes. The second features I really like is the ‘sets’ feature that allows you to store the colours you’ve used for specific models and their different elements, there’s even an area to add your mixing ratio notes. This for me is a great as I normally write my colour scheme down and then I lose the book a few days later.

So if you want an app that will list, organise, create sets, have a wish list and colour tools for your paints then this app is definitely worth looking at. I believe there’s a trial version but I immediately forked out for the full version at £2.79 after using it for a few minutes as I was really impressed. If you’re still not convinced then you can watch the promo video below.

 

And the link to the app on the Android Play store is here. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is available for the i-People.

Anti-Shine

During the continuing course of painting my Emperor’s Children I’ve started to use a lot more transfers. In the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with transfers. On one hand they add a level of crisp detail that I don’t have the ability to match with a brush but on the other hand they always have a slight shine to them making them look as false as politician who is asked to carry out a normal activity in front of the press (for examples see the pictorial evidence below).


To try and remove the shine of the transfer I thought I’d try the Anti-Shine Matt Varnish by Army Painter. To apply the varnish I brushed it on like I would with paint. I applied a few layers over the transfer and the shine, at least to my eyes, was reduced. The Anti-Shine doesn’t seem to have affected the colour of the paint either which would have been a massive disappointment if it had.


In short along with the micro-set and micro-sol the Army Painter Anti-Shine will become a mainstay in my transfer arsenal. Buy some and use it for all your anti-shine needs.

04 – Forever Autumn – Building a Base

DSC_0616-01 [127126]

Basing models is something I tend to rush. For me it’s normally the last step in the process and comes after I’ve completed the model which means I’m thinking about the next model and not the one I need to finish. With this in mind I decided that for my Emperor’s Children I’d make the bases in conjunction with the models.

The next decision was what type of base would match my pre-heresy Emperor’s Children, industrial, lava, snow, swamp or grass? In the end I went for a tiled derelict temple. I looked at resin bases but decided against this as I enjoy having a little money in my wallet. This led me to start trawling YouTube for do-it yourself basing videos. After watching a lot of dross I came across this video and decided that the method of creating a tiled floor looked easy, effective and a hell of a lot cheaper than resin bases.

The first step was to mark up 1cm x 1xcm squares on an old Warhammer box. After spending what seemed like an eternity cutting up a warsphinx box I eventually had enough tiles to begin gluing them to the base. For the tactical marine bases I decided to keep things simple so the tiles were glued directly to the base. For the larger terminator bases I added the hero of basing material cork. The cork added a physical depth and also distinguished the more costly models.

IMG_3819

I then glued the tiles to the top of the cork in a fairly even tile pattern. Once the glue was dry I used a craft knife to trim the overhanging tiles. I then removed and lifted some of the tiles to add to the sense of age, decay and abandonment to the base. Once this was done I added some grit to the base area of the cork and random piles on the tiles to further add to the abandoned feel. The base was then primed black.

IMG_3820

The next decision was around the colour scheme for the tiles. Originally I was thinking of making a dark green and black harlequin pattern but decided against this I thought it would probably end up being too dark. I then started to think about the overall theme of my Emperor’s Children, they’re still a loyalist legion but standing on the cusp of their fall into chaos. This led to me becoming a little poetic and thinking of my Emperor’s Children as being in the autumnal season of their service to the Emperor. To reflect this I thought I’d go with autumnal colours on the tiles so a deep red and yellow. To further reflect this I wanted to add some autumnal flocking to the base.

I then started to paint the full base using Scale 75 Walnut. The cork area was then dry brush highlighted with Scale 75 Tenere Yellow. For the tiles I went with Scale 75 Deep Red lightly mixed with the walnut and Scale 75 Tenere Yellow mixed with walnut and painted in an alternate pattern. These colours looked the most autumnal to me. After this a light drybrush of Scale 75 Rainy Grey over the tiles to pick out the tile edges.

The last element was to add some autumnal colour flocking to give the impression of fallen leaves.

I think the base complements the model nicely, what are your thoughts?

 

03 – Gold, Gold, You’re Indestructible 

Last night I decided to start work on the Cataphractii Terminator sgt. Ideally, I wanted to tackle the armour highlights and low lights, unfortunately, I’m still waiting on a few purple paints to arrive which led me start on the golds.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I wanted the golds to be rich and deep, the warm look you get from pure gold. The one thing I didn’t want is for the gold to overpower the model as I want it to fit in with all the elements of the model, plus it’s a grimdark future so we don’t want things too shiny.

With this in mind I started basing the area I wanted with Scale 75 Viking Gold. As with all Scale 75 paint the Viking gold has great coverage and it’s colour is deeper than the more yellow hued golds.


To add more depth to the gold I thinned down Life Colour Black and applied it to the gold areas. More coats were applied to the recess and areas that would be in shadow. I could have used GW Nulin Oil for this but I’ve found that it dries with a slight shine which isn’t the look I wanted for the shadows.

Once everything was dry I picked out edges and details with GW Retributor Armour.


So that’s about that, does the gold compliments the purple? Again all thoughts and feedback are welcome.

02 – The First Foundation Paint

The first five of my Emperor’s Children have now been built, primed, undercoated and highlighted. So I have five very mean looking cataphractii terminators who are sporting a fine set of lighting claws each, the captain and the apothecary. I have to say they are all very cool models that look amazing.

I started by priming the models black and then pre-highlighting with a light grey using an airbrush.

image.jpg

After this it was a matter of choosing the right purple to use as my layer and first foundation . In the end I went for Scale 75 Violet for the darker areas with Army Painters Alien Purple as the highlight but colours were applied using an airbrush. These two colours will hopefully give me a nice base to either bring lighter for the extreme highlights or darken for the shadows. Due to the details involved with this next stage I’ll abandon the airbrush and pick up the trusty brush. For the highlights I’m thinking GW Emperor’s Children Pink or P3 Carnal Pink but I’ll probably end blending the two. For the low lights I’m thinking that P3’s Beaten Purple will be a good choice.

So that’s everything I’ve done so far, what do you think?

imageimageimage