Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mengel Miniatures: 2016 in Review

2016 has come and gone and what a wonderful year it was for our hobby. So many great products came out and we got fantastic changes to the community like Warhammer TV and the Warhammer Community site. On Mengel Miniatures it was a pretty big year as well, so let's take a look back!

This past year was the second year of Mengel Miniatures being a full on hobby site. It was in 2014 that I started posting stuff up here three times a week, every week for you to read, and I haven't let up since then. It seems like you guys like reading what I have to say well enough, so I am eternally thankful for that. Without you readers coming here every week to check out what I have to say or show off this site wouldn't exist. To celebrate the past year here are the top 10 articles from 2016 chosen by you! These were chosen by how many views each one got, so once again, thank you so much for making this all possible.

10. What Constitutes a "Filth" List in Age of Sigmar

We have all heard people talk about "Filth" lists and how unfun they are. Generally people are talking about armies that are so tooled up that they are nearly impossible to beat and are usually owned by "power gamers". What actually makes something a filth list though?

I was listening to the most recent episode of Tales of Sigmar the other week, and it got me thinking about filth lists. They brought up a few examples, two of which were the Skyre list for Skaven, and the Kunnin Rukk list for Bonesplitterz. I definitely think both of those armies are super tough and really hard to beat unless you have the perfect counter for it. Do I think those are "filth" lists though? No, I don't.


9. Vanguard Sized Armies in Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar is great in the way that it lets you start out small and build your force up as you go. Every size of the game is fun to play and feels like a complete game in a way that 8th Edition or even 40k doesn't. This makes it super easy to spontaneously start a new army without any pressure of having to drop a lot of money at once, which is exactly what I did.

Back in 8th Edition Warhammer the standard game size was 2,000 points, and at the lowest people usually played 1,500 points. Lower then that and it didn't really feel like a complete game due to the mechanics and size of the units. 40k somewhat suffers from the same problem, which is why they came out with Kill Team. In Age of Sigmar that issue is really non-existent. From the get go it was advertised on how you and your friend could both just buy one box of models and play a game with them right there and then.


8. The Truth About Hobby Shortcuts

Everyone is always looking for the next big trick that will take their hobby/painting quality to the next level with minimal effort, myself included. I have recently embarked on a quest to find the best ways to get good looking models with the minimal amount of time put in, but there's more to it than just finding the next great shortcut.

I started my hobby way back in the murky mists of time known as 2000/2001. Back then we had half the amount of paints, no foundation/base paints, and no shades. If you wanted to paint an army yellow you had to be prepared to spend the better part of the next decade working on the project due to how long it took. Reds and yellows were extremely thin and took a ton of skill to master. Shades didn't exist yet and the best thing you had were the inks, which had their uses, but were a little too strong and shiny for providing the shadows on your models.


7. REVIEW: Stormhost Silver, Gem Paints, and Artificer Brushes

I was truly, unreasonably excited when I saw that GW was coming out with a new bright silver paint with Stormhost Silver. They hit it out of the park with Retributor and Liberator Gold, so I eagerly went and picked up the new silver alongside one of the new Gem paints and one of their Artificer Brushes.


6. Age of Sigmar One Year Out

A little over a year ago Warhammer Age of Sigmar was released upon the world. There was a lot of turmoil within the community when the game first launched, and since then we have had a ton of releases and some pretty big shake ups to the game. So how does Age of Sigmar look one year out?

First I am going to take a quick look back at the game's release last July. In the lead up to the release date there were a ton of rumors swirling around, many of which turned out to be true, and many that weren't. I honestly did not think they were going to make the switch from square to rounds, and was quite surprised when I saw the first images of the new models. My gut reaction was a bit of shock, but I liked the look of the starter set. Over here in America the weekend the free rules were released was the 4th of July holiday weekend. I was at a family gathering and was feverishly downloading all of the PDFs over in a corner and pouring over the Tomb Kings warscrolls. It was a bit surprising, but I had faith in GW to know what they were doing. That issue of White Dwarf weekly with the free Liberator was awesome, and I promptly painted up mine and was instantly hooked on the Stormcast.


5. TUTORIAL: Blood Bowl Marauders Team

Today I have a step by step tutorial on how to paint your Human team from Blood Bowl as the Marauders as well as a gallery of my finished team including a 360º video. Unsure on how to paint up your own team, then take a look!

I saw this color scheme on the Blood Bowl Facebook awhile back and instantly liked it. It seemed simple, yet had areas of complexity that would make the finished model look more polished, mostly the stripes on the pants. With no official guide out on how to paint the Marauders I had to come up with my own. Usually I just paint one text model for these tutorials, but I decided to paint all 12 members of the Human team at the same time to make sure I got them done and didn't get distracted by another project. After a week and a half they were done! Here's a step by step guide on how to paint your own Marauders team.


4. REVIEW: New Games Workshop Texture Paints

When I saw the new texture paints from Games Workshop I was instantly intrigued by their new thicker variations of each color, as well as the change to microbeads. The thicker Agrellan and Martian crackle paints looked the coolest to me, so I picked up one of those and the Stirland Battlemire for an upcoming project to test them out and compare them to their older counterparts.

I already had Armageddon Dust and Agrellan Earth from previous purchases, but I honestly haven't used them much. I bought Armageddon Dust when it first came out mostly out of curiosity and did the same with Agrellan Earth. I have used them on the random mini here or there, but for the most part I have stuck to gluing sand to the bases. Part of this is because all of the armies I had going on at the time were already being based that way, the other part is because I just find sand easier to work with. I knew I wanted to use the Stirland Battlemire for an upcoming mini-project though, so this seemed like a good time to test out some of this.


3. REVIEW: Blood Bowl

I was lucky enough to get an early copy of the newest version of Blood Bowl from GW and I eagerly cracked it open. In today's review I go over the actual contents of the box including the pitch, the minis, and the rulebook.

I know it may seem silly to review the packaging, but for a game like Blood Bowl I think it's worthwhile. Since you will most likely be storing your pitch, cards, and tokens at the very least in this box and toting it around with you, it's important that it's of good quality, and always a plus if it looks nice too. Luckily the box on this is definitely sturdy enough to survive frequent use and the artwork on it is pretty awesome looking. While the cover image looks very similar to previous pieces of artwork for the video game, it utilizes the new gear and uniforms for the teams. I'm pretty sure this is by Karl Kopinski as well, who is an amazing artists and I don't think I have seen him do a single bad piece of artwork.


2. REVIEW: Sylvaneth Battletome

I was lucky enough to get an advanced review copy of the new Sylvaneth Battletome from GW and man oh man is this book good. They took a faction that was originally just a small part of a larger army and did a fantastic job at expanding it into a full fledged army, and in my opinion, one of the most interesting and visually appealing factions in the game.

The cover on this is really cool and again I will have to say I think this may be my new favorite. They keep outdoing themselves with each new cover design for the newer Battletomes. Most people have already seen this image from when it was on display at Warhammer Fest and then all over the internet, but no one knew this was going to be the cover art. The book itself is a nice sturdy hardcover and comes in at 144 pages, easily one of the thicker ones so far.


And the number one most read article from 2016 is...

1. REVIEW: Warhammer Quest - Silver Tower

I was lucky enough to get an advance review copy of the new Warhammer Quest game from Games Workshop this past week. I've only had it for a few days so I haven't had time to paint anything or get a game in yet, but I have been able to pour through everything that came in the box, and man is there a lot!

Like I already said, I haven't gotten a game in yet, so I will have a separate review for the gameplay just like I did with the Betrayal at Calth box. This review is just focusing on the contents of the box and all of the rule books I have been able to read.


So, like I said, that was a pretty big year for GW, the community, and Mengel Miniatures as well! It seems like you definitely like my reviews, so expect those to keep on coming for 2017, but surprisingly, it seems like you also like when I ramble on about different thoughts I have about the hobby. Almost the entire bottom half of this top 10 are articles where I talk about various aspects of the hobby, so I will be sure to keep those up as well!

In 2017 you can expect even more step by step tutorials, guest articles from prominent members of the community, interviews, reviews, editorials, painting galleries, and of course the Unofficial Tomb Kings Battletome will be released this Spring!

I expect 2017 to be an even bigger year for our hobby then 2016 was and I fully intend to match it in quality here at Mengel Miniatures. Thank you for helping make 2016 as great as it was here on the site and I look forward to the next year!

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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