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Warhammer 40k Conquest Partwork Thoughts and Mini Review


#1

So, I subscribed to the Premium version and my first delivery arrived today.

About Me

Of course, if my opinion is to be of any use to you, you need to know where it comes from! I started with 40k with Rogue Trader, and stuck with it until about '98 as a player of the Blood Angels. In about 2005 I started collecting the mini’s again, but this time just to paint and collect Dark Angels, primarily and whatever else interests me - lots of imperial guard tanks.

About 3 years ago I got distracted with Star wars and Star trek model kits and haven’t raised a brush to anything other than those since. Apart from a brief foray into Battlestar Galactica model kits.

Also, I am not affiliated with Games Workshop or Hatchette Partworks.

Warhammer Conquest

It sells itself as the perfect introduction to 40k, and to save you a lot of reading, if you are interested in not just the game but the hobby - painting the models as well, but have no idea where to start, this is it! (( If you just want the game, get this )). It’s a very good introduction to the universe. It is laser focused on the Ultramarines and the Deathguard, but if you don’t know where to start, you can’t go too far wrong choosing one of those two armies.

The poster that was included with the first one would have been really nice, had it not been folded and left a white fold mark right across the middle of the image.

More on the packing later…


Games Workshop

I’m going to focus on the Games Workshop provided material to begin with, and the headline is obviously that for £7.99 (£9.49 for the premium edition) a week, you get mini’s, paints and other hobby materials.

Starting with the magazine. It’s clearly designed for beginners. Most (If not all) of the artwork and mini photographs are recycled, the bulk of the magazine is copy pasted from elsewhere. The material is great, but you are likely to have already read it plenty of times already.

It comes designed to be separated into individual pages and clipped into a folder. The paint guide is well written, very clear and does not show unrealistic results. The game guide is nice as well.



The Paints

Issues one and two come with a total of four paints - I can’t imagine the three in the first edition will ever be repeated, it’s very generous considering that edition costs £1.99 (£3.49 premium).

Citadel paints are very high quality, and rank alongside any of the top brands, differentiated only by the most minor of differences - meaning what you like more is a matter of your preference. I personally prefer Reaper, but I won’t turn my nose up at Citadel.

The Mini’s

It’s surely what we’re all here for, no matter what your experience level, if the mini’s are good, then this is a subscription that could appeal to any experience level of hobbyist (unless you will not let anything that is not resin darken your home).


They are fantastic! The detail is right up there with any of their plastic mini’s, the models are crisp and ooze quality! I was genuinely shocked, I thought for sure they would cut costs here, but they have not.

However…
These models are never going to be modular. If you don’t want Ultramarines ((Correction - there is no Ultramarine specific iconography on the Space Marines)) or Death Guard, then you will need to get busy with the scalpel, because right down to the colour of the plastic, you will have a hard job making these anything but what they are designed to be.


You can buy the sprues separately, they are sold as “Easy to Build: Primaris Space Marine Intercessors” or “Easy To Build: Death Guard Plague Marines” and each cost £10

The bases are terrible. The last time I bought games workshop mini’s they came with really nice, premium feeling bases, but the ones that have arrived, and on checking the website, seem to be standard now across 40k are cheap, thin and fragile. They are like the bases you used to get in the 80’s.

The Hobby Materials

As with the paints, it’s all citadel, it’s good. You can get cheaper, you can get better quality, but citadel corner the market in better than good enough at almost the right price.

The first issue comes with a starter brush, I’m still using my starter brush from the 90’s though it’s relegated to drybrush duties, if you care for them, they will last well enough. They are not as precise as more expensive brands, but those more expensive brushes tend to be a significant step up in cost.

The Game Materials

You get everything you need to start playing by the second edition, some basic rules, a handful of mini’s and a card playmat. I can’t complain, the playmat is fine, it won’t last long in use, but for a beginner, this is perfect!

The dice feel a bit cheap, but they will do the trick.


Hatchette

This is where things take a turn, steeply downhill.

Hatchette is a company who make and distribute partworks, they have done so for decades. They are also the kind of company that like to make it very difficult for you to unsubscribe from. Please understand that in my personal experience I have had problems with them in the past. They have suddenly cancelled partworks, but continued charging me (The Sci Fi Book Collection), they have drastically changed, and lowered the quality of the advertised future editions (Remote control Subaru) and they seem on course to continue being on the wrong side of sketchy. I cannot imagine they will pull too much with Games Workshop, so I would suggest this is a safer partwork than their unlicensed ones.

Firstly, they packaged mine in too small a bag, meaning the corners of the magazine are all damaged and it has been battered in the postal system as it has no protection at all.

A cardboard package instead of plastic would have done the trick, but nope, presumably that is a few pennies to much per unit.

The magazines are not for me, as I said, they are more for a beginner to the hobby, so in my case, they are big elaborate bumpers, but if I did care about them, I would be really annoyed!

Secondly, my modelling kit did not have the snips that are supposed to be a part of the first order. I’ve emailed them. I’ll let you know how that goes, but in my past experience, not well!

Finally, whoever packed my one was moulting, I had several hairs in my package, stuck under the sellotape, gross!


Conclusion

If you’re a beginner to the hobby, and interested in the games and modelling and painting this is perfect, ((If you just want the game, and don’t care about the modelling, buy this for £25)) if you want models and paints, this is good value. Just steer clear of the premium subscription, which I doubt will be worth the money and be aware that you will be dealing with Hatchette!


Miniatures painting - Showing off!
#2

I’ve never been much of a fan of 40K, because I remember Games Workshop as a role-playing company, and I was there for its deliberate shift to selling plastic to kids.

That said I’m impressed with the way they’re trying to make this setting accessible; I’m reminded of their UK Games Expo stand, which included “come and paint a mini, mini and paints and brushes supplied, and take it away with you at the end of the day”. I think in the endless cycle of selling new rules to people who’d bought the old rules they lost sight for a while of the fact that their primary market has always been people who haven’t done this stuff before.

Not that I regard that as particularly admirable.


#3

The teen market is brutal to be in, your audience is experiencing spending power and fandom for the first time in their lives - powered by chemical changes in your body - with varying degrees of reaction to that while still being fundamentally not adults, without the adult coping skills, cynicism and tastes. Your market is constantly growing out of your product, and you constantly have to relaunch your products again and again to bring it to the consciousness and expectations of the new generation.

Look at any teen entertainment industry, it’s the same thing across them all - by adult standards, it’s almost impossible to be ethical - but what’s the alternative? Ignore that adolescents like different things to both children and adults and don’t cater to them? If you remove capitalistic reasoning, that’s pretty bleak.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a defence for GW’s many failings, but it’s worth remembering the context in which they operate, and that if they were so inclined, they could be much, much worse.


#4

Having not looked at GW models for a very long time, it is really interesting to see the model sprues. The level of detail is pretty impressive, but as you note, it comes at the cost of the models now being very hard to convert to anything other than what they are intended to be.


#5

They are able to make mini’s with that much detail and be modular:

But the tradeoff is the difficulty in building the mini’s - these are the way they are to be easy for beginners.


#6

Please keep this up for all the parts Will! (I assume you will massively increase the price of each review after this first one.)


#7

Naturally! I can’t promise I will maintain a subscription to the end, I just fancied painting some space marines again, but I’ll report for as long as I’m getting it.


#8

They have arrived. With a distinct lack of fanfare, delivered in basically a binliner with my address on a label, not even kidding, we’re not talking a nice vacuum packed binliner, just a binliner with about 5 circles of tape in either direction. the sort of binliner that makes your fingers feel all dry, not the thick glossy sort. Anyway, it got here, so… whatever.

First things first, Hatchette have said that my clippers will be sent on - that was a few months ago. I haven’t got the energy or time to chase them considering that I do have a very nice pair of sprue clips, but if you didn’t, you would be having to chase them or go out and buy your own, as it’s impossible to remove the models without damaging them from the sprues otherwise.

The second delivery then - four issues in one go.

Issue three contained three space marine reivers - whatever they are and a second pot of baal green base. It was supposed to be Leadbelcher silver. So already, the value of this issue was wiped out by another mistake by Hatchette. To continue with the series as intended, I would have to go buy the Leadbelcher, putting the true cost of this issue at something akin to £12.

Please bear in mind, any beginner could walk into a games workshop store, buy the three models included in this issue, and the paint for the same price and get hands on help from one of the store workers - and say what you will about games workshop, their stores always make time for customers wanting to learn! The value of this one was precisely zero!

Number 4 comes with six poxwalkers and bugmans glow paint, it’s good at £12 worth of stuff for £8 and the magazine, if you care. Back on track!

Number 5 and 6 however… Oh dear.

Number 5 contains a single mini. Admittedly a character, and admittedly only available in this subscription, but a single mini, no paint not tools, just a mini. They didn’t even bother packing him separately to the magazine, the sprue is so small, just shoved him in the bag - and given Hatchette’s penchant for mistakes (one in three episodes at current count) it’s a good bet plenty of people didn’t get him!

Number 6 - Er… nothing? I’m not sure, the guide in the book shows the three terminators from episode 2 being painted, but I can’t figure out if this was a printing mistake, was I supposed to get three more terminators… I just don’t know! I want to err on the side of caution and say that episode 6 was not supposed to contain any mini’s paints or anything, because otherwise Hatchette are up to three mistakes in 6 editions, and that’s a hefty accusation - a 50% failure rate to level at a company - even the dodgiest of the dodgiest (that aren’t outright scams) would struggle to get there. So for the sake of (for some reason) giving Hatchette the benefit of the doubt, lets say that this is an atrociously priced £8 magazine.


So that was where I got to before I was frankly, just to disheartened to even post the review. Turns out, yep, I was supposed to get three more terminators - so in reality that one costs £18 after you’ve trawled to games workshop to pick up your missing mini’s. Unbelievable.

Anyway, onwards with a month between that disappointment and the first thing I noticed is that it was delivered in a box, hurrah!


You know you’re reviewing a terrible product when you are celebrating that they managed to put it in a box for delivery.

Next up you get a rather swanky folder for all your partworks that have been kicking around for a couple of months getting damaged.


I’ll give Hatchette this, if it appears in marketing material prominently, its of good quality and as pictured. (Assuming it arrives) A bad company they maybe, but they are not a scam - just bloody useless

Then I get the packaging for some glue. No glue, just the unfolded packaging. I did get glue in the first delivery, so maybe this just found it’s way into my box, maybe I was supposed to get more. Who knows, I certainly don’t, because Hachette make it really confusing to know what you’re getting and when.

Number 7 then contains two paints. What’s the bets another sprue is missing?

Number 8 contains another single mini, this one with a special cloak sprue. Oooh, I collected Dark angels because I have a weakness for cloaked space marines, then they started moulding them on with the re-release and I had to start my army all over again! Happy times. This one’s getting painted green and white and going in with them! Who am I kidding, I don’t need smurfs, they are all getting darkangelled!

Oh good. More poxwalkers. Another repeat sprue for chaos (at least I got this repeat)

Ok now we’re talking - that is a blight hauler vehicle.


Ten episodes in and it’s not been all bad. The product (as intended was always going to be a typical partword, but for once it promised actual value, given the price of Games Workshop sprues.

I’ve spent a total of roughly £70 so far, and what I should have received easily costs more than that if bought through Games Workshop. The Librarian can be had for £15 as can the blight-hauler. The other sprues cost £10 a go, except for Captain whathisface who can’t currently be purchased - so a total of £80 of mini’s, £20 of paints, £10 of tools and a mini who would probably cost £10 if available, and a game that would probably be given away free in a white dwarf (£3.50?) and maybe possibly a second load of glue. Not bad.

The reality is though that I paid £70 is for £70 of mini’s, £17.50 worth of paints, £5 worth of tools, the £10 mini if available, and a game given in a £3.50 magazine. Still not terrible, but honestly… Ah, I’m on the fence. For me, I’m not that interested in the chaos mini’s or the game or the magazine or the tools. So I’ve paid personally £70ish for what I could have got for £60. I’m sure I could offload my unwanted stuff on ebay for a tenner.

So what I’ll conclude as of Issue 10 is:

If you are a beginner, it’s good value, but you will have to chase a rubbish company for their mistakes otherwise you will end up getting stuck and it might be worth the extra pounds to go to a store and get into the hobby that way where you will get a person helping you, and more freedom.

If you want just the mini’s - yes, OK, it’s good. So long as you want space marines AND chaos, otherwise you may as well just go to the store and buy it.

I can’t honestly see who else this appeals too, so I’ll leave my conclusion there.

Will I cancel… undecided!


#9

(So have you got your missing bits?)


#10

Nope! I have been chasing up the sprue, because that £10 worth - though so are the clips - but I have clips and I don’t have the sprue, and actually, if I do ebay them, the missing minis will be a problem.

(thanks autocorrect!)


#11

I’ve had fewer issues (one misprinted magazine itself but no problems with the materials).

And yes, you were meant to get that glue packaging. You were also meant to get a piece of paper explaining that they sent you glue in the first issue but didn’t include the packaging. The packaging has the safety information on it, so that was actually illegal. So now they have had to send everyone glue packaging, two months later. Hope you didn’t drink it yet.


#12

More Hatchette nonsense!

I didn’t get my last delivery, well, not until today, when I received the last one and this one in one…

… which just so happens to be the month when I get:

Yeah… You sent me something that you were going to automatically charge me for, with an opt out letter (or something, we’ll get on to that) on the same day as the thing I was supposed to be able to opt out of.

Go F yourselves Hatchette, you clowns!

Especially as I have opened the previous month’s packet to see what convoluted hoops I was supposed to jump though, I’m imagining by letter only, or phone call to some god awful salesman. But nothing. Literally nothing. Even if I had received it on time, I wouldn’t have known.

Anyway, I’m cancelling. I do not reward this behaviour. As for the contents of the stuff, the mini’s are fine, two of the editions contain a crate each, two a brush and a paint each. Your mileage may vary on scenery, I like it! I’ll be following along still, but just buying the mini’s from GW themselves or from ebay if they are exclusive.

I didn’t get around to painting my models over Christmas, I had some personal stuff, so the rest of this thread shall be my painting of the mini’s (Because they will not be good enough for the main thread, that I can guarantee!


I’m going to paint them up as a new Unforgiven chapter. My main army is Dark Angels, and I still love them far more than any other Space Marine chapter.

Dark Angels, and the Unforgiven have a few little unique twists, your average Dark Angel looks like this:

300px-DarkAngel

but, the ones in robes look way better, so about a third of my DA army wear them:

Dark_Angel_Veteran_Squad
Not my paintjob, unfortunately my Dark angels are currently with a friend, and have been for at least a decade…

The other thing is that their 1st Company are called the deathwing, and wear bone white armour, while their second company are called the raven wing and still use their pre-heresy paint scheme and exclusively use vehicles.

200px-DWIA
SX355 200px-DWIA

Which is something I like to replicate in successor chapters. Other than that, they are mostly codex.

Here’s the nice thing about collecting Dark Angels, and having a bunch of chaos units… so long as you don’t want to use them in a game, you are lore wise absolutely free to include chaos in an unforgiven chapter. Well, I’ve got a bunch of Chaos units with no real plan, so my chapter is going to be one of the hunted chapters, where chaos has become so rampant, that they are fielding literal chaos units, but they are so twisted that they think they are still loyal to the Emperor and think the hunters are the traitors.

Most of the DA successor chapters are based around the green/bone white colour scheme of the modern dark angels, or the black of the pre-heresy dark angels, with red being their third colour most of the time.

I’m thinking then of going dark red, with bone white and green touches, with a copper coloured death and raven wing.
Capture
Capture2


#13

Not ideal, but do email them and let them know you want to return it, there’s a freepost address for returns so it’s no big deal.

They’re certainly slow and inefficient as a company, and don’t have the best quality control, but equally never seem to rip anyone off. You can always get a refund if you return the stuff, and it’s always free to return (even if you just decide you don’t want some of your subscription issues).

I had a misprinted magazine and contacted them, took them about a month but they sent out a replacement (the full thing with the mini, even though I only asked for the actual magazine). Likewise when I moved house I emailed them, took about a month but they just changed the address. More incompetent than malicious.


#14

I’ve made a start!

These aren’t mini’s which came with the partwork, these are some I had hanging around so I can test out different techniques and schemes to see which one works the best!

Technique 1 is a black basecoat (above) followed by an angles spray of red, to try to preserve the black in the shadows and only keep the bright red on the highlights:

So far so good. Next up I’ll use my smoothest paints thinned out a touch to build up the block colours, hopefully letting the differences in the base coat leave a nice subtle gradient. My Red reaper masters are empty or gone gloopy, so I’m ordering some more.


#15

Basecoat:

Red - 50% Reaper Deep Red, 50% Reaper Medium Thinner
Black - 50% Citadel Abaddon Black, 50% Reaper Thinner Medium


Inking: (I use Inking to mean I painted it only where I want it to go, to preserve the colour of the basecoat, as opposed to washing where I paint the entire mini and the ink settles in the lower regions)

Reaper Black Ink


Started the blending. I want it to be really subtle, if you can see it, then in my mind it’s overdone. Ignore that I didn’t file down the mini before starting, this is only a test to make sure all the techniques I plan on using will give good results, no point spending time on steps that are only appropriate for the finished minis.

Blending layer 1, 2 & 3: Reaper Splattered Crimson 25%, Reaper Thinner Medium 75%

Blending layers 4, 5 & 6: Reaper Gory Red 25%, Reaper Thinner Medium 75%
2nd Ink Layer: Reaper Brown Ink
Extreme Highlight layer: 50% Reaper Blood Red, 50% Reaper Thinner Medium


Ok, so the next step was supposed to be the Imperial eagle on the chest, the skull on the backpack and the parchment on the purity seal on his left leg, however, I was using a really old paint for the base layer, and it came out lumpy and thick. In damage control mode (this is why I use burner minis!) I went instead for a copper look eagle - copper being an important part of the army theme by washing with Reaper Brown Ink, and it turned out really well, at least on the eagle, the parchment and the skill look rubbish!

Ordering a new set of bone reapers paints before moving onto the next one.