Review: White Dwarf, Issue #50 (Warhammer: The End Times/Warhammer 40,000)

White Dwarf #50
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $3.99
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 1/10/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (or your local Games Workshop Store)

Wow! A milestone issue for the new version of White Dwarf. What better way to ring in it than with a ton of articles on Warhammer: The End Times. This marks the second week of the Skaven release and as you’ll see in this issue there are a lot of amazing new releases. Heck, I picked up three things myself! This is another fantastic issue and as you’ll see, it is well worth the cover price and then some. Man, what a change in quality from just a year ago. It’s hard to believe it’s the same magazine. Anyway, let’s show you what White Dwarf #50 has to offer.

First up is the “Opening Salvo,” which warns that this entire issue is Skaven related. So if you’re a Hobbit or 40K player, there might not be anything of interest to you here. After that we get into the sales pitched. First we have a long in-depth look at the new Thanquol and Boneripper model. I have to admit, I don’t play Skaven but I do like this a lot. Thanquol is one of my favorite Warhammer characters to read about and this article was terrific. There is little to no selling of the piece. It’s just a lot of pictures and backstory about this popular tandem. After that is a look at the limited hardcover slipcase edition of The End Times: Thanquol. I was lucky enough to purchase this before the great Games Workshop server crash on Friday. This set is even bigger than Khaine and it looks like both books will be filled with OMG and “Holy SHIT!” moments galore. Of course this being the Skaven taking center stage, the stories should be as funny as they are grimdark. Hey, at least my Lizardmen will show up in some fashion FINALLY. There’s also a look at the Limited Edition version of The End Times: Thanquol which is indeed a pure sell piece, unlike the previous two items. Of course, the regular hardcover is a limited edition as well so the naming conventions are pretty bad. Plus, who is going to pay twice as much for a few prints and a map over the normal hardcover. Not me, that’s for sure!

The last few sales articles include a look at the iPad version of The End Times: Thanquol, which would sell a lot better if it was available for more than iOS. The Black Library snuck out an ebook version of Thanquol for $39.99 though, but you’ve never seen it mentioned in White Dwarf or on GW’s main page for some strange reason. After that it’s the other two things I ordered this week – a set of ten warpstone (translucent green) dice with a tin to hold them in and The Rise of the Horned Rat. The dice are gorgeous and I have very few d6s so I picked them up. The Rise of the Horned Rat is a novel in the same vein as The Return of Nagash and The Curse of Khaine – both of which were absolutely terrific pieces of fiction (a Warhammer rarity!) so I grabbed the ebook version of this to read (and possibly review). This novel tells to tale of two mighty battles pitting the Skaven (primarily Queek Headtaker) facing the Dwarves of King Beldor and the Orks of Skarsnik. The fate of Karak Eight Peaks and Karaz-a-Karak hang in the balance. Next Saturday the 17th should be a terrific day for Warhammer Fantasy fans. This is the first time in a long time I’ve purchased more than a book on a launch day and only then because of the crazy limited print run GW puts out. As great as the new release articles for, the section does end with a hard sale of Skaven miniatures, primarily the Battalion and Island of Blood. Everything was so good up until this piece, which was the old version of White Dwarf being nothing more than blatant commercials for GW products. Ah well, that’s bound to happen from time to time. This is White Dwarf after all. At least the majority of new release articles were filled with substance rather than sales pitches.

The bulk of the magazine is “The Chronicle of the End Times.” This massive time lineputs all the events of the four End Times books and the ebook Sigmar’s Blood and put them in chronological order for the first time ever. This timeline alone is worth the cover price of the magazine. There’s also some notable spoilers for each book – especially Thanquol, which isn’t even out yet, so read with caution. Still, it’s a fantastic piece and one any Warhammer Fantasy player will want to own. As fantastic as it is, the timeline takes up a whopping 43% of the magazine, so if you’re not a Fantasy player, you can probably skip this issue of White Dwarf.

“Sprues and Glues” is the next article in this issue and while not as long as the timeline piece (This one is only 10% of the magazine), it’s an extremely helpful and well-written piece newcomers to Warhammer (or any 28mm modeling game really) will want to read several times over. This article gives fantastic advice regarding building large models into several sub-assembly pieces instead of as one full figure straightaway. The reason for this is that building the model into several pieces first makes it easier to paint areas that would be otherwise unreachable when fully assembled. This is probably common sense to some of us but again, for newcomers this article is a must read/own. You’ll get advice on putting together Boneripper, how to paint Thanquol, how to not overglue your minis (a problem for me when I first started out), undercoating tips and how to paint the inside of miniatures like vehicles. I loved that latter part, even though I don’t have any vehicles to paint because at some point, I might. I have some scenery to paint which these tips can easily be applied too though! After the painting bit, you’re given advice on why you might want to cut lugs (small plastic tabs) off of some mini’s leg joints and some great advice about working with resin such as washing the kits beforehand. I haven’t picked up any resin kits. All of my pieces have been metal, plastic, Bones or ugh…Finecast but this is helpful if I ever pull the trigger on getting that Dread Saurian for my Lizardmen. Finally, the article end with some more great advice – this time on pinning large models. I’ve never had to do this so far, but I have a giant dracolich from Reaper I will probably need to pin so this was wonderful reading. I’m not sure if I’d be any good at pinning though. The pictures and advice are extremely helpful though, so this is yet another article well worth the cover price of the issue.

“Paint Splatter” this week focuses on the painting of Thanquol and Boneripper. Are you really surprised by that? No less than sixteen different aspects of the model are highlighted in this piece, complete with pictures and advice on how to do the paint job shown. That’s pretty cool. Again, if you are planning to buy the new Thanquol and Boneripper model, this article is one you’re going to want to read. After that comes “The Rules” where we are given the full stats and mechanics for the new Thanquol and Boneripper model. It clocks in at only 650 pieces, so it’s a lot cheaper than Nagash, Glottkin or Malekith – that’s for sure. You also have two ways to build the rat ogre. You can have warpfire projectors which will make Boneripper a long distance death dealer…but also potentially dangerous to your own team. You can also decide to outfit him with warpfire braziers, making the rat ogre a close combat beast and more like to take out other large End Times models. Right now, I’m probably leaning towards the braziers as the way I’d build Boneripper, but I’ll have to see/read about how each version works in actual games. I’ll tell you as a Tomb Kings, Lizardmen and Bretonnia player I haven’t had to buy any new End Times models. I picked up some Spirit Hosts and am tempted to get Nagash and Arkhan, but I don’t NEED them. Who knows, maybe before this is done I’ll have something new for one of my armies…but probably not.

The magazine ends with the usual “This Week in White Dwarf,” and it’s actually informative and substantial instead of throw away fluff. I think that makes two weeks in a row. Not bad! In this section you’ll find more fluff around Thanquol and Boneripper, a history of the previous Boneripper Rat Ogres and a lot at the twenty-one rats that come on the sprues for the new figure. You can do whatever with them – place them around Boneripper or spread them out to your other Skaven figures. Personally, I’d take some bits from my Tomb kings like extra head or limbs and make a scenic base with the rats. As if they had been feasting on some man-things yummy corpse. Bite-bite yum-die! After that it’s the usual bit/model/troop of the week along with a bad “Ask Grombrindal” article. Still, this was a better “This Week in White Dwarf” than most.

So all in all, White Dwarf, Issue #50 was terrific. It was exactly what I wanted in a Warhammer Magazine – less sales crap and more substance. There were far less articles in this issue than usual, but they were all long and in-depth looks at some aspect of the hobby, which is what I strongly prefer. So the quality of the pieces in this issue, made WD #50 one of my favorite issues ever and possibly the best since the switchover in format. If you’re a Warhammer Fantasy fan at all, you’re going to want to buy this issue immediately, be it physically or digitally as the content is top-notch and you will certainly get your money’s worth. 2015 is shaping up to be another great year for Fantasy fans and I have a feeling this week’s purchases will be worth reading, playing…and maybe even reviewing.


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