Friday, 19 February 2010

White Dwarf 362 February 2010

I had recently commented on this issue of White Dwarf, stating that I was disappointed with the content. I felt a fuller, more detailed review was warranted.

White Dwarf issue WD362 February 2010 - £4.40

I first saw the magazine at a local WHSmiths (book, magazine and stationers in the UK) and having had a quick browse, decided that there was little of interest for me in this edition and replaced it on the shelf with no regrets.

Later in the month I was given this magazine as a present. I can now review the magazine and contents in greater detail.

There is no surprise, given the cover illustration that the majority of the content will be focused on the newly released Warhammer Beastmen army and miniatures, however there are also articles on Warhammer 40,000, Lord of the Rings and a 16 page review of the 2010 Golden Demon winners.

138 full colour and very well produced pages with at least a quarter - possibly a third showcasing new Games Workshop miniatures and products.

Beastmen articles, game reports
Over 40 pages of painted illustrations and game reports concentrating on this new Army/Army Book. In the main the illustrations are up to the very high standards expected of Games Workshop but I am very disappointed with two of the new Beastmen ranges, namely the new plastic Beastmen Minotaurs, which I find very poorly sculpted, almost toy like, they remind me of the sort of poorly sculpted miniatures you can sometimes find in McDonald's Happy meals, the sculpting of the musculature and skin leaves me 'cold' and I find myself having to dismiss these models as some of the worst that GW have even produced. Sadly, there is a second Beastman miniature featured in the magazine that I find even less well sculpted and painted than the Beastmen Minotaurs - The Beastmen Razorgor, which can best be described as a flayed cartoon like boar (think Lion king Pumbaa with exposed muscles and the odd spike). I know that this particular miniature was sculpted by Aly Morrison but falls well short of GW's best work. Yet another poor figure.

Given the above - I would still recommend the Beastmen Gor Herd, the Beastmen Ungor Herd and the Beastmen Bestigor Herd plastic box sets - these look like traditional beastmen or as I know them Broo!

Warhammer 40,000
A couple of illustrations of new Damned Legionnaires which look OK, nothing special just OK. Other pages devoted to 40K include one feature report for PlanetStrike and 6 pages of painting and information on the new Tyranid Trygon miniature and how to intergrate it into existing Tyranid swarms. I have never been a huge fan of the Tyranid miniatures - a sort of 'one trick pony', in that they are all variations of the monster from Alien, stretched and mutated to different uses to fit an existing game system. The miniatures are very well sculpted and in most cases, well painted, they are just not 'my cup of tea!'

Lord of the Rings
14 pages of LotR miniatures and game reports. I like the LotR figure style and the game mechanic, however I am not sure that the releasing of additional miniatures and the odd game report (although very well written) will keep this franchise alive and kicking for much longer, although I said that two years ago!

The new miniatures are once again beautifully sculpted and painted, while the new plastic Fell Beast or Winged Nazgul is a fantastic piece. At £35.00 for a single plastic model, quite a beast!

Heavy Metal
14 pages devoted to painting miniatures. For me this is the 'eye-candy' that I purchase White Dwarf for. You are never disappointed with the quality of the 'in-house' painters who beautifully illustrate the painting techniques with loads of well produced photos - very well done. I realise just how difficult it is to firstly paint to this very high standard and secondly illustrate the steps so clearly.

Golden Demon 2010
I'll start by stating that not in a million years do I think I could challenge for such honours as a Slayer Sword or Golden Demon, however the 16 page feature article is no where near as WOW as previous Golden Demon photo articles that I have seen in past WD magazines, this may be the lack of space or the way the article is laid out, but a section that should easily be the main feature actually reads and appears as a little dull.

So, overall, what do I think of my magazine present? Well I am pleased that I have this issue, I have enjoyed reading (and re-reading) some of the articles and have changed my mind - from the initial browse in WHSmiths. Would I now pay good money to purchase this magazine myself? Maybe, I know that this is not a definative answer, but I am still not sure about this particular issue and will have to recommend it only to die-hard WD readers, and maybe not to (like me) WD browsers.

Just 5 out of 10 (OK maybe 6).



Steve said...

Agree about the minotaurs and "zombie Pumba", absolutely shocking! Are the minotaurs supposed to be wearing Norra Batty's stockings or what?

WD does go in peaks and troughs depending on the editor. Paul Sawyer and Guy Haley did good jobs making sure it had readable content. The current WD is definitely back in the trough!

Phil B said...

I remember the original White Dwarfs that covered D&D, Runequest, Traveller, etc. and was always a cracking read (as soon as it was out I'd go down to the local games store to buy).

Then it became the house mag for GW and (for me) simply became an advertising sheet for whichever range they were bringing out at the time - and I stopped buying it.

My son has bought the odd copy but unless you are a rabid GW wargamer, there's precious in it that has a wider wargaming context.

Rob Alderman said...

Have to agree with yours and Steve's statments!
I only buy WD if I feel there is something worth my time in it.

Chris V said...

@Steve - "Nora Batty's stockings"?! That's awesome! :-)