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Thread: Death of the warhammer-soul

  1. #1

    Death of the warhammer-soul

    Yes, i think were seeing that now. The game has become more and more toylike all the time. The whole directions seems to be into producing toys instead of a model-wargamer. The fantasy and spirit of warhammer, what i would call its soul, was colourfull and inspiring. It went through everything that had to do with the game.
    Drawings, story, sculpture etc. Now the drawings are of low quality. 7th ed VC book is a great example of this. Proberbly cheaper to hire drawers of lesser skill.
    Sculpting is now being done in CAD!! This reduces the artistic effect on the modells and robs the game of alot of its soul.

    GW has just become and example of a new toy-factory that tried to press costs in order to make short term profits.

  2. #2
    Chapter Master IJW's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Welcome to 4th edition Warhammer.

    Not sure what CAD has to do with anything, though.

  3. #3
    Librarian RealMikeBob's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Haven't they been doing CAD for years?

    And the latest vampire book has some great artwork. But for some reason they picked that cover

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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I agree with a lot of the OP, but I disagree with the idea that a sculpture in CAD has less soul than one sculpted traditionally. I have many figures, GW and not, that were designed in CAD, and just about all are techically more sophisticated than traditional sculpts, but also simply better artistically.

    The 'soul' of a sculpt comes not from the technique, but from the sculptor. If GW sculpts lack soul in your opinion, look to the creators - the technique can only express the sculptor's will, and has no inherent value, good or bad.
    Last edited by Spectrar Ghost; 12-02-2012 at 19:43. Reason: technique, not medium
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    Positive Percy Felwether's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Nah. You're wrong.

    The models are better than they've ever been, particularly within the fantasy range. Just look at the entire new Skaven range and models such as the Vampire Counts Terrorgheist, as well as the new characters like Krell and Isabella. They're some of the highest quality miniatures I've ever seen.

    The artwork is just as good as its ever been. The GW art team has been made up of the same people for a long LONG time (the only new artist being Kevin Chin(?) who is AWESOME), they've just made a few dodgy decisions with their cover art recently. In fact, I'd wager that the new direction they've taken with their colourful covers is a towards a more old school style. But weren't things better back then?
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  6. #6

    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I agree with the premise that WHFB is on a decline artistically. In fact I think this could easily be said about most of the offerings from larger 'games' manufacturers. Some of the problem is with the overuse of CAD, and the fact that the CAD drafts-people, are just that, they are draftsmen. They are not artistic sculptors (thus the lack of 'soul'). The primary goal of the CADers is to design a model that can be manufactured in a rigid mold for plastic injection (or via a 3d printer to make the master). The models lack undercuts, depth in the detail, and the human touch. The majority of the 'art' is just becoming a process (no matter how technically sophisticated) of 'cut and paste' on a computer also.

    As with the majority of the changes in both game play and models (negative in my opinion) to the wargaming hobby, most of (de)evolution are due to the demands of economics and the majority of the hobbyists preferences.

    I cringe when I am confronted with a plastic and/or CAD generated model, the heyday of gaming for me was the mid '80's to late 90's, thankfully Ebay has more than enough product to keep me happy.
    Last edited by Westside; 12-02-2012 at 20:41. Reason: clarified date

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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    As to CAD, seeing some of the sculptors at a UK games day some years back working on something or another, I really is better then traditional sculpting and focuses more on the artistic talents of the makers, rather then their sculpting skills.
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    Chapter Master IJW's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    As far as I'm aware, there are no CAD sculptors at GW who didn't start off as physical sculptors first.

  9. #9

    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    It was my understanding that perhaps only a couple of the GW CAD designers were experienced traditional sculptors. GW had an article about their sculptors on their site, who knows where it is now.

    However, that is not the only (primary) issue with CAD/CAM sculpts. The lack of undercuts with metal molds used for plastic injection make what may be called a 'soulless/flat' sculpt to people who are used to hand sculpts cast in rubber molds.

    Business is democracy in action, and I am certain CAD will predominate in the end of ends as the majority seem to like the results.

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    Commander Spectrar Ghost's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I was going to write a fuller post than this, but it started to read even more like an academic paper than the last one.

    Long story short, the medium in which something is to be cast constrains the artistic vision in predictable ways - lack of undercuts on plastic models being a good example of this. The proliferation of the plastic medium was made easier by the technique of CAD, because the computer can identify undercuts automatically. However this is a problem with plastic, not with CAD. Many of the models I have seen done with CAD are in the medium of metal, and they have just as much character and soul as hand sculpted metal models.
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  11. #11
    Chapter Master IJW's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Bear in mind that (if memory serves) Jes Goodwin is head of plastics these days and he's got a good few decades of experience as a physical sculptor.

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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I'm actually in awe every time they release something new. Some people might like old 'characterful' tin mini's they scoop off E-bay, I like the extravagant, detailed 6" high plastic multipart kits.

    As for artwork, I like most of the stuff they produced the past years. The artwork predominant in the 7th edition VC book and 7th edition Daemon book is John blanche's IIRC, and there was an article about it once, saying his work is mostly intended as sketches to be used for design, so I was a bit puzzled when it suddenly appeared everywhere, making it feel as though those books were rushed out before everybody else could make more art for the bestiary.
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I think it is less that the newer models have less "soul / personality" and more that multi-part plastics have none. Individual miniature sculpts old and new have a flow and story to them that many of the multi part plastics - such as the empire greatswords and chaos marauders just do not possess. Either because they are totally monopose with a few different head/leg swaps (great swords) or just poorly sculpted parts (marauders). The fewer parts a model has, the more "life" they seem to possess.
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  14. #14

    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I tend to think that there is a decline in soul and artistry in the warhammer game. I don't know exactly where it comes from, but it's a general feeling. Some of the new plastic monters may be one of the cause. Even if they look great and impressive (and new), for example the arachnarok and warsphinx are too "clean" and symetrical in my opinion. The screaming bell and ghorgon are far better in term of asymetry and details. But generally speaking, the big plastic kits look too much like toys than miniatures.
    I've been browsing ebay for the past 3 months to get my hand on oop models (very old savage orcs and black orcs, spider riders and squigs) because they are from the time when I started this hobby and even I didn't like them back then, now they represent the true spirit of warhammer as far as I'm concerned.

    I still own several plastic troops for my army, I'm not saying I'm against plastic.
    To finish I'd say that the fluff also is lacking in depth and originality today. Even when they cut and paste old fluff in the new books, they change it a bit or sum it up and it becomes boring and blank. I think it started with storm of chaos...ho wait, that never happened actually ^^
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    Chapter Master OrlyggJafnakol's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I feel that the lack of artistry is due to a lack of real artists. When I got into the hobby I enjoyed the work of Tony Ackland, Wayne England, David Gallagher, Ian Miller, Pete Knifton, Russell Nicholson and many others. Real artists who seemed to be encouraged to work in their own style when illustrating the warhammer world. I remember the wonderful full colour paintings that adorned products (slaves to darkness, lost and the damned, bloodbowl, adpetus titanicus etc) there was even a painting of dark angels marines inspired by scarface! The art these days is rather dull. Churned out like its a job rather than a passion. Perhaps artistry isn't the right word at all. Perhaps its passion. Everyone seemed so much more passionate about producing quality product circa 85-92. Now it seems a little too much like 'another day at the office!'

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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Quote Originally Posted by ivrg View Post
    Yes, i think were seeing that now. The game has become more and more toylike all the time. The whole directions seems to be into producing toys instead of a model-wargamer.
    GW has just become and example of a new toy-factory that tried to press costs in order to make short term profits.
    Oh Ivrg.

    I don't think it's just that GW's becoming more toylike. It's also that our little boy is becoming all grown up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jo-Jo View Post
    I(t) really is better then traditional sculpting and focuses more on the artistic talents of the makers, rather then their sculpting skills.
    Ummm...

  17. #17

    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    I agree with the background to a certain extent.
    But I think that a lot of the new sculpts have a lot of "soul" to them. The new Krell is a great figure and ten times better than the last version of him. Isabella is another figure that is a lot better and has a "flow" to her. The Terrorghiest and Ghoul King are both fantastic plastic figures that certainly are not flat. Plastic kits in recent years seem to have dealt with the undercut issue and have become 3D figures with movement and flow.

    Each to their own, I look at my old Krell with fondness and think of all the games I have used him in......but that does not make him a better sculpt with more "soul" than the new Krell. At least in my opinion :-)

  18. #18
    Chapter Master The bearded one's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Quote Originally Posted by shelfunit. View Post
    I think it is less that the newer models have less "soul / personality" and more that multi-part plastics have none. Individual miniature sculpts old and new have a flow and story to them that many of the multi part plastics - such as the empire greatswords and chaos marauders just do not possess. Either because they are totally monopose with a few different head/leg swaps (great swords) or just poorly sculpted parts (marauders). The fewer parts a model has, the more "life" they seem to possess.
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  19. #19

    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    Quote Originally Posted by ivrg View Post
    Yes, i think were seeing that now. The game has become more and more toylike all the time. The whole directions seems to be into producing toys instead of a model-wargamer. The fantasy and spirit of warhammer, what i would call its soul, was colourfull and inspiring. It went through everything that had to do with the game.
    Drawings, story, sculpture etc. Now the drawings are of low quality. 7th ed VC book is a great example of this. Proberbly cheaper to hire drawers of lesser skill.
    Sculpting is now being done in CAD!! This reduces the artistic effect on the modells and robs the game of alot of its soul.

    GW has just become and example of a new toy-factory that tried to press costs in order to make short term profits.
    So basicly the company and game has evolved and left you behind and you don't like it. It happens, people change, things change. You either accept it and move on or you go on line and complain about how you don't like and sound like a bitter git.

  20. #20
    Chapter Master de Selby's Avatar
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    Re: Death of the warhammer-soul

    There were bad sculpts made in metal too...

    I think if you compare the best sculpts and art produced today with the best from 10, 20 years ago, the level is as high as it's ever been. The bad ones were bad before and they're bad now. Unless your sole criterion for assessing the quality of a model is the presence of undercuts (which is an advantage that metal/resin casts have over plastic. Plastic has advantages of its own) then the current reliably excellent standard of GW's plastics in particular should be a cause for celebration.

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