Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Golden Age Of 40k

It was Neil101's comment "The golden age of 40k " in okkiW's previous entry that made me ponder the current status of our beloved hobby. We truely are living glamorous times at the moment, that's for sure. I'm not just talking about the level of painting and the quality of GW's current line of minis, which both are at their best I think. That's just the frontline.

There has been a lot happening on the (less) quiet homefront, the 40k blogsphere, things that have made the past couple of years - especially the couple of last months - gleam like no other. The bloggers around the world are writing about the way they practice their hobbies and displaying their masterpieces for the rest of us to study, like always, but the soup is thickening.

Not only that, but we are networking, uniting, and pushing the creativity even further with the collaborations and joint-operations such as Yggrasilium Pilgrimage and the INQvitational. These kind of happenings are just what the scene needs to grow deeper and juicier! These are the spinners that only the most visionary masters are able to put in the motion.

I guess that the INQ28 and =I=Munda movements have had a lot to do with the success of the current era too. The INQ28 movement in particularly has taken some serious wind under its sails, thanks to the active and passionate community that has been producing some grandeur visual and verbal arts around it.

Here's but a few of the blogs that I think have had a lot to do with the current status of the scene. The  blogs are more or less attached to the gray spectre of the Warhammer 40.000 and Inquisition, telling their own tales of the hobby, polishing the era with their wonderful deeds and creations...

INQ28 by Molotov
The first spark and the spirit keeper. Molotov is the ambassador of the INQ28, that goes without saying. The blog is the first thing that made me interested of INQ28 scene and the Inquisitor game and gave me the first spark for Spiky Rat Pack's Punk Moth operation.

Opus Maius by Neil101
The master of Mechanicum. Neil's incredible talent of building scenery and making it feel like alive is fantastic. The way the gothic walls, rusty pipes and war torn ground turn in to the worlds of death and despair is palpable in Neil's projects.

MiniaTextures by JRN
The slayer of daemons. The flawless execution, that is the signature of Mr. Nielsen's style. JRN's linear perfection has been guiding me in many of my projects, giving me the spirit to push my limits even further. It sure is great to follow the ponderings of person with such merits.

Eternal Hunt by KrautScientist
KrautScientist's twisted experiments and wonderful kit-bashing has had a huge impact on my visions. His intuitive working method is pleasure to follow, every bit of background he writes with the passion most of us can only dream of.

Legion of Plastic by Migsula
Father of the fire, source of the endless inspiration. Migsula keeps on surprising me whenever he unfolds another spread open and reveals his next grande project. I've once had a chance to study Mig's minis at close range and was in an instant blown away by their imaginative narrativity and fine implementation. It is my obsession to study Mig's minis and learn the way he's doing his magic.

The Tears of Isstvan by Fulgrim
Seer of the horrific beauty, painter of curious visions. Fulgrim is frighteningly close to the truth of what the dark and cold 40k universe feels like. Whenever I feel like I've lost the touch of creativity, dwelved too far away from the spirit and need to have something to help me get dragged back to the sorrowly world of 40k, I schlep to Isstvan and get my dose of inspiration from the wise words of Fulgrim.

Last but not least is PDH who writes P&M blogs at the DakkaDakka community.
There are those who kit-bash and then there's PDH. Peter has found the very essence of the kit-bashing, creating amazing shapes of personalities, character after character, finely finishing every one of them with great amount of detail. There's no gang even close to those that PDH has put together, such is the marvel in them.

The artists of these fine sites have given us plenty of accomplishments to wonder and admire, yet we too seldom write or talk about their achievements. This is me raising my hat to you sirs, saying thank you for being around and sharing your wonderful thoughts with the rest of the community. Without you guys Spiky Rat Pack's grand operation Punk Moth wouldn't exist. It would be just another small dying sun in some dark corner of mind, withering away from the lack of attention.

Rats live on no evil star.

Then there are the Demigods. They are wandering in the mids of us ordinary mortals, raising our spirits to the levels that we could only dream of. A bit corny way to put it, but that's the way I'm able turn my thoughts in the words.

Art by John Blanche (a page from Emperor's Will by Black Library).

John Blanche himself has been pushing our spirits to the outer limits with his presence. We are lucky to have such an inspiring star as guidance, showing us the path to the glorious depths of the dark future. His fierce art and enthusiasm towards the hobby is a constant source of inspiration for us. I guess we can never thank him enough for the work he is doing, can we?

But I'm a dog, what does that make of me?

Summa summarum, I have a feeling that we truely are living the golden age of 40k, right here, right now. It's like a handful of hobbyists have found the furthest and darkest corner of the galaxy, the one that pulses the real essence of the grim and dark Universe of Warhammer 40.000. We are shaping it to something wondrous. It's a bit lone in there, but I'm glad that we've got the Internet, the place where we can share our thoughts and get connected with the like-minded people.

God damn mad dog.


  1. Ize, I am humbled beyond words.

  2. I totally agree. This is the golden age of our hobby. I'm willing to call the Yggrasilium Pilgrimage games a few weeks ago the 'greatest games ever played' and the miniatures that are being released are simply stunning. The best part is that I feel that things are only going to get better.

  3. You are not wrong, not by a long stretch. Bravo to those who inspire us beyond what our miniscule minds can spit out otherwise.

  4. I couldn't agree more, both with your assessment of the situation and your choice of blogs, although I feel honoured that you should consider my own meagre efforts to be in the same league as the spectacular stuff those other guys - or indeed yourself and okkiW - come up with!

    It goes without saying that your blog here is right up there with the best of them, and the only reason why I don't comment as often as I'd like to is that it's actually rather hard to keep up with the pace at which you guys keep churning out fantastic models ;-)

    Modelling creativity does indeed seem to be at an all-time high atm, and the fact that JB's Inquisitor models were quite prominently featured in the last two issues of WD give rise to the hope that GW is once again prepared to embrace that sort of creativity, at least to some degree!

    These are indeed great times for hobbyists! And the INQ28 and Inquisimunda crowds are the place to be ;-)

  5. Kind words Ize .. I feel honoured to be hobbying amongst the fellows at this time .It does feel like a golden age doesn't it ,It feels like everyone is pushing themselves including GW and Forgeworld do the best they can.. and its working ! i just cant keep up with all the great stuff constantly flowing out of GWHQ.. it feels like everyone is pulling together .. and its brilliant as a consumer of 40k WFB mythos. who knows where it will stop.. Of course the spikey boys are at the vanguard of this movement..

    For me its not just the stuff we make its the thoughts we have that are equally important . one of the reason i love the Istvaan blog and mythology created by the community.. The fact that aspects of the community are bonding to create things bigger than any one person could is just great .. and shows what a healthy dose of respect and competition can do .. of course none of this would be happening without the encouragement of each other so kudos buddy on another inspiring post .

    Are we not drawn onward to new era ?

    @Drone "greatest games ever played" ? well except eye spy with a navigator in the warp ;-)

  6. It's a real special time all right. Groups of people are combining converting, painting, storytelling and gaming in ways that inspire the man who created the imagery in the first place.

    I'm just so happy to see all the great stuff going on. It's my muse. :)

    Guys, is there a way to subscribe to your blog with email? There's a blogger gadget for that. I have it activated in my blog. Would be great I I could get all of your updates to my inbox!

  7. Ize - Good sir what an enjoyable post and thank you for the inclusion.

    Since venturing onto the internet with my models a few years ago I found a group of individuals separated by seas and in some cases thousands of miles, but I happily consider these “Internet” friends and acquaintances my gaming group. I have not played games with the vast majority of you but from looking at your models and hearing about the way you play and your philosophies I have found my spiritual gaming group – my Golden Age. I have also found the inspiration and motivation to push myself and carry on. If only you all lived round the corner!
    Saying that Inquisitor Benadice did get to fight alongside Marius Cassar yesterday. While Benadice was stabbing a Word Bearer in the face Cassar was shooting it in the back. It was such a pleasure to be able to do that since I’d never imagined that it would happen.

    With your mention of collaboration and networking etc I feel you missed the starting point - The Jade Vessel. I idolise this blog where Migsula, Northen and Hammer joined forces and created a perfect blog (JRN even sent a model across borders to take part in the finale). It combined the aspiration of Inquisitor with the simplicity of Necromunda and most importantly beautifully converted models that were individuals not just the masses. We got brief glimpses of their personalities from background stories. I wish I’d found it earlier. This blog showed me that there are other people out there who model/paint and game in a similar way to how I wanted to. From this starting point I joined the internet - tried writing fiction for my models rather than just thinking about it, now Neil and the Yggdrassillium have even inspired me to write poetry.

    This Golden Age of 40k is fortunately in its infancy and others will come along and wow everyone contributing now...thank God.

    As for the Demigod His fierce art and enthusiasm towards the hobby is a constant source of endless/timeless inspiration for us all and I know that we are giving him something back which is so rewarding.

    BTW I feel that the Old World is being left out (but all us old chaps know it’s in the centre of the Eye of Terror or is it the Maelstrom?) at some point we should all venture into the Old World too...maybe 2014!

    Drone – Maybe a great game on the greatest board ever! Fugrim and Neil did such justice to the write up. IMO the games were really secondary to the friendships built around the Mystery Shippe.

    Okki and Ize sorry about the waffle it was what came to me after reading the post....maybe I should get my own blog ;-)


  8. My thoughts about this golden age we are having right now, are identical to yours rat bro! The next step for us, would be to try to meet all of you in person some day;)

    (& Peter - We should definitely venture the Olde World too - Mordheim would come to mind as natural place to start the journey. Would be interesting to see how far this group of super talented people could go there + We should try to get John inspired about it also;)

  9. Thanks for kickstarting a great series of comments with your post (maybe I should thank Neil too)!

    Spiky Rat should be on the list too. I for one (like many others) have enjoyed the wonderful stuff you have been sharing as of late.

    A venture into the Old World would be mighty fine. I would love to see all you talented gits on the list do a special contribution or more. One thing I have always found fascinating is when miniatures from 40K or Old World Fantasy are indifferent to each other - in relation to their ambience that is. The Old World is dark, gothic and weatherbeaten too!

    Thanks guys.

  10. Thank you guys for participating in the discussion!

    @KrautScientist: The new Blanchitsu is a real treat! I sure hope that it will be making a regular appearance in the future too, like it looks like so far...

    @Neil: Right you are. It is the team spirit that keeps us pushing forward, making us to do our best in what we do, to show that we're worthy of the company. It is just a shame that there's not that many of our kinds around. But thanks to the Internet we're able to find hobbyists with the same kind of spirit to share our jargon with.

    @Migsula: I just added that small gadget to the column on the right side. That should help you track our posts by email :)

    @Peter: Ah, The Jade Vessel. Totally forgot that one, thanks for the addition. I was still searching for my path during it took place, missed it and only found out about it a year or so ago. It sure was some spectacular scenario and pleasure to read about.

  11. Jade Vessel really was something of an Epiphany of WH 40 000 core imagery, the borderlands and the greys. The way it took off was spectacular. We kind of showed an example and people took it and made it theirs.

    Looking back it's fun to have coined the term Imunda and to have great Imunda blogs and activities recorded online where the creators have never heard of Jade Vessel.

    One of the best things about Imunda is that it enabled a gaming and story telling platform that was current to people who used to only model.

  12. Nice one Migs coming back to the hobby late in life I missed the original imunda wave and the jade vessel . all though I have heard much about it .. especially from PDH ;-) it seems to me all we ever want to do is make something that works for us and then do the best we can with it. for me my Original Golden age was when I was twelve .. just trying to recapture the spirit of my youth .. when gaming was about fun and imagination more than skill and competition.. I doubt anything I do these days will compare to those halcyon memories.
    although having said that I do really enjoy telling a story ..the fact we can game within the stories is a bonus. I am hoping all this will push me forward to actually complete the comic i stated two years ago on dakka at some point.. Its

    A nagging desire to rebuild an inquisitorial tower that was thrown away in the midst of an argument was the incentive for me to get back on the hobbyhorse .
    the catalyst was seeing the adpatus mechanicus armies on warseer .. The damned artificer mechanicus blog blew me away..

  13. Ize, I must say a big thank you. I got to use Cassar on Saturday, a beauty of a model I am a little disappointed I didnt get chance to take photo's of my Inquisitor Cordatus along side him!

    I look through that list of names above and see those that have inspired my modelling or in Mol's case, forced it to evolve. It's a positive arms race!

    The Inquivitational group is a fantastic, I am a little disappointed I didn't get chance to sit and talk to people a little more.


  14. I have always made my models so that they can be used for gaming, making their bases simple and avoiding too complex things. The thing is, where I live, playing a game of 40k/WFB is too much tactic/stats oriented. These gamers don't give a rat's shit about how their forces look&feel like as long as they can make the most cheesiest and most effective groups to win with. That's the furthest corner of the hobby for me I'm affraid...

    That's one of the reasons why we started to plan the Punk Moth project. We wanted to make a zone where we'd feel comfortable, create a scenario that had strong charismatic characters and deep narrative that would be evolving within the game, while the main point would be staying in having a good time while playing a game or two.

    I'm pretty sure these articles were also the criterions in The Jade Vessel, Yggrasiliom Pilgrimage and INQvitational.

    @Dan: Glad to hear that you had a good time while playing the role of Cassar. It was great that he was able to play a small role in the such epic happening, so I should be thanking you!

    1. "I'm pretty sure these articles were also the criterions in The Jade Vessel, Yggrasiliom Pilgrimage and INQvitational."

      Correct, although Northen and I are different in the sense that we don't mind tournaments and competitive play. Just the rules of engagement to be clear in the start.

      We both have a bunch of top three tournament finishes, and between him, Hammer and myself quite a host of best painted army trophies. Hammer on the other hand has a fair collection of fantasy battle stuff, traditionally given for worst game play in the tournament circuit ;)

  15. Many thanks for the mention - my blog has been anther quiet of late (although I have started to post again) so I'm not that sure I'm worthy of the praise!

    Still, I endeavour to continue to develop our little international gaming circle, and am pondering an "International INQvitational"...

  16. As I already also mentioned on Migsula's blog, I have a feeling that we're currently dealing with a new generation of hobbyists.

    I remember in the early 2000s when you had that whole "French wave" of painters and modellers. These were also the guys who were building true scale Terminators before that whole trend of true scale Marines. They were even still dealing with the 2nd edition era plastic Terminator kit rather than the modern one.

    While they did great painting and modelling, there was always something missing: the narrative.

    This is what I see now with the whole =I= Munda movement. The main idea behind these miniatures is their story, the narrative. This narrative is supported by awesome painting and modelling, but what it is that makes these models so great is that each and every one of them has a story. The story makes it complete.

    1. So very true, MalikaChevack! The narrative, wether it was a short story about the character or an attractive and adoptable figure with a clever catch (or in best case, the both!), makes the final conversion and paintjob much deeper. It's one way to enrichen the hobby too.