Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Review: How to Paint Citadel Minatures + DVD
I have had access to the older "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures" books through Scribd, which hosts PDF versions of many new and old GW books. Those books were more than adequate at teaching me GW's old styles of painting. This book does much the same for GW's current range. It is definitely aimed at beginner to intermediate painters looking to make effective and striking models. This book is not a Masterclass, nor does it really teach 'eavy Metal techniques. I expect those new masterclasses to be coming out in White Dwarf in due time.
The book features a wealth of information for newer modellers regarding the initial steps of painting and modelling, including the proper method of removing miniatures from plastic sprues, how to clean up your Finecast miniatures (in depth) and how to prime or otherwise prepare your models.
I'm particularly impressed with this next page (below) that shows some of the effects of bad sprays and how to troubleshoot them. Despite getting this book and looking directly at this page, I still managed to go outside when it was too hot, humid, and windy and make some very messy red Space Marines... I'll probably have to strip them and try again.
The book also features all of the new paints for the transition in the way GW paints rust and verdigris. Rust, actually, hasn't changed much for them, but their verdigris effects now look a bit darker, with cooler colors, and the result is a bit less realistic. Still, I'd be lying if I claimed it didn't look good.
There are some really in-depth shots here to make sure you catch every little bit of how common things like faces are done. Faces are probably one of the areas that I need the largest improvement in, and I may invest in the new fleshtones in the Citdel paint line and try out some of these methods. They appear to have an end result greater than my own.
There are two new basing tutorials in here, one of which directly dealing with GW's new tufts that I reviewed a while back. It seems that with the flatter surface of the new texture paints, and a little PVA, these things should look halfway decent and stay down. If I'm going to use PVA, though, why wouldn't I just use regular static grass? The product still doesn't appeal to me (though the new texture paints do immensely, despite the haters online.)
As you can see, aside from GW's new texture paint, their basing really hasn't changed much.
What I'm sure everyone wants to hear about is... THE DVD. The DVD covers, step by step, chapter by chapter, everything that the book covers, only in motion and with commentary. This includes the army projects, although the Tyranid army project has had its DVD chapter cut in an odd place -- you'll always have to hear the introduction about all of the army projects before it starts. This is really just nitpicking though. Being able to see what kind of brushes are being used, how much paint is being loaded on the brush, how roughly or carefully the steps are being applied... it is a tremendous help and I imagine will usher in a new age of "above average" painters.
A lot of people I'm sure are apprehensive about the commentary, which from GW video offerings on YouTube and such, has been terribly dry. Not the case here. The narrator(s) take on a very casual approach, and the result is a stress-free learning experience with a bit of a non-forced chuckle now and then. It's actually refreshing to hear something from GW that isn't downright fanatical about the hobby. There is commentary about parts that may be tedious or boring, reinforcing your patience when the budding painter will need it most.
I'm not sure how often I'll be starting up the DVD again, but I'm sure I will at some point... I guess just not frequently. I honestly couldn't see myself starting up ANY DVD frequently, though, so I guess it's a moot point. Given that GW has taken down all old painting guides from their website, I can see myself using this book quite a bit when tackling new projects. Worthy of purchase? If you're thinking about buying it at this point, and have the cash in hand, I would suggest it. If you're still on the fence at all, don't worry about it. It will eventually get scanned, and many paint guides will inevitably find their way onto the net, even on GW's website. I, however, do not regret my purchase!