Friday, September 28, 2012

White Dwarf Review, Oct 2012 and Digital

I started collecting White Dwarf back on issue 300, and wow, what an issue to start with! For the following three years, I looked forward to getting my monthly dose of GW hobby crack in magazine form. Then...then something changed. It was like finding out you're allergic to your favorite food...I looked at the magazine with a longing, wanting to like it, but I just couldn't stomach looking at it any more. It had changed and not for the better.

Well, it looks like White Dwarf is turning over a new leaf in design and philosophy, so I decided to give it another shot...lets take a look and see if I can stomach it now.

First lets talk about one of the reasons I took the plunge and got a new subscription in the first place, and the newest and most prominent feature of the magazine, it's digital option. Now, I'm not going to get into the debate between Apple and Android, nor do I want the comments to devolve into that debate either please. I have an iPad, I got the subscription. With a total of 16 issues for a 1 year subscription, making the issues a little over 4 bucks each, and worth the investment monetarily.

All that said, the digital offering is quite nice. It offers some nice interactive elements, including zoom features and 360 degree imagery, among others. It's easy to navigate, and considering I don't have to haul around anything but my iPad, I'm a happy camper. Now if they would just release the digital copy of the 6th edition rule book, I'd be even happier.

Kit Bash is one of the new monthly articles and features exactly that, kit bashes and conversions. I'm happy to see this as originally one of the biggest draws for me to the magazine was its hobby focus. It had lost this as a central focus and that was why I stopped collecting it once before. Now having heard that it was supposed to be refocusing on the hobby aspects of our pastime, I was curious to see how good they did. Kit Bash is a good effort towards this end. Now, while I'm not an Ork player, I could still appreciate the conversions offered in this article. My only disappointment is that they didn't go into detail on how to accomplish those conversions. Of course, that also goes along with the fact that I know an extensive conversion article can be rather lengthy, and isn't always what needs to be published, sometimes just talking about the conversion and showing images can get the point across. I look forward to next month's Kit Bash.

Paint Splatter is their new monthly painting article. Now, most of you have read my opinion on the last painting article I reviewed from White Dwarf. For those of you who haven't, a good synopsis would be that I considered it one of the worst painting tutorials I'd ever read. So how does this one measure up? Unfortunately only marginally better than the last one I critiqued. They make mention of a disclaimer to the effect of, "If you want to know more on how we do this, buy our How To Paint book...". Now, an educated painter can decipher the techniques easily enough with what little information they do give, but that's still a poor excuse of a painting tutorial. I miss the old Eavy Metal tutorials here there were multiple page spreads devoted on how to paint one figure, or one unit. Still, there were a good variety of figures and factions represented, and inspiration could still be gleaned from the presence of them and the article. Here's to hoping they up their game in this monthly feature as its one that is sorely needed.

The Design Studio is actually one of my favorite offerings of the new iteration of White Dwarf. See, I'm an illustrator and a conceptual artist as well, and I love the behind-the-scenes look at development like this. The article is well written and nicely detailed. This month obviously features the new bevy of Chaos models and the design behind them. Wile Chaos isn't exactly my thing, I can still enjoy and appreciate the story, imagery and thought process behind them.

Now obviously I didn't cover the whole magazine, but what's the verdict? Well, I wouldn't pay 9 bucks an issue for it, but at 4 each for a 16 issue subscription, I think it's worth it. My suggestion if you can't get your hands on the digital subscription would be to ask for the local store copy to thumb through before you buy it, see if you like it first...

...or just watch for my monthly review as I'll be doing one for at least the next 16 months! What do you think of the new offering from White Dwarf?

- Tim



  1. It's a far cry better than it was but they have room to improve for sure. More detailed hobby and paint content is still what I long for. I'll keep with it for a bit though as it shows some promise...

  2. I really liked the painting section, but only the step by step parts, not the BUY OUR BOOK ON BASIC PAINTING page.

  3. That's not what's important. I thought units not in combat were supposed to be an inch apart. It's awesome to see the guys in White Dwarf cheating.

  4. Got a quick Flick over the weekend while handing a bunch of space puppies their asses. I can easily see the price rise justification and i liked the paint splatter and kitbash stuff, tbh i don't think they should be going into detail for each model/kitbash as idea's are what the game is all about. Even if you try to copy them usually yours are just a bit different and that is a good thing, I would hate to think there are hundreds of armies all painted the way GW says so.

    Think i will buy a few before subscribing and see if the quality improves even more after some feedback.

  5. The art and photos were fantastic but it felt like a geeks' Cosmo mag, the first and last 50 pages were advetisments to buy GW stuff.