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I nearly entitled this article, ‘the real reason to buy white dwarf’ but I didn’t want to provoke fury, so I went with the much more honest option which is scrapbooking, collecting resources and inspiring yourself. In the last ten years I’ve managed to fill 5 scrapbooks with cuttings which have been 95% taken from the venerable white dwarf. I’d gotten to the point where I had hundreds of the things on a bookshelf, so spent a rainy afternoon flicking and cutting and it has now become my monthly routine. entire bookshelves condensed into a few inches – pure citadel imagery without the advertising and stock shots. To see inside my scrapbooks carry on reading after the jump.

Thanks for clicking. These scrapbooks are dear to my heart. The represent 10 years of hobby evolution and what I considered to be cool at the time. They are a legacy. While I paint and sell miniatures the scrapbooks are the continuity which always remains. They are a constant and evolving resource in a transient and ever faster changing world of miniatures and army development.

All the scrap books have a theme. As most of my work revolves around Marines the FIRST BOOK was purely made up of images of things related to the 3+ superhumans, including the laminated front/rear covers!

I never keep captions or the names of people who have painted the miniatures. To be honest I don’t really care. The whole ‘celebrity’ painter thing we have going on as a sub culture has always baffled me – the concept of alpha nerd seems a little bit daft, particularly outside of the actual gaming sphere. That said I have huge respect for someone with good skills, like whoever painted this smooth apricot star dragon guy. Amazing:

Sometimes I can theme a page around a particular type – like dreads or vehicles. This always helps when I’m looking for an idea either for myself or a commission:

I love anything which isn’t a stock shot. The scrapbooks thrive on original ideas (if such things exist)and reader contributions. The most recent white dwarfs have been great for this.

There was a competition once, I think it was called ‘outriders’ or somesuch. The painting was questionable at times but the ideas were pure gold:

More outriders competition entries:

I love mixing the old with the new. I throw in stuff like the RTB original boxed set shots to remind me where I’ve come from – I like to stay anchored in the original concepts of the 40k universe while creating new stuff:

The SECOND BOOK was created at a similar time to the first but is more oriented to general painting and techniques. This is an area in which White Dwarf is letting itself down hugely in recent days, the tutorials are so very basic I can’t believe they’re of use to any hobbyist, let alone beginners. As such I’ve not collected so much of this stuff as I used to – which makes the clippings in this book even more valuable to me!

Perhaps you can’t read the caption near the bottom, it says, ‘everyone can spare 2 – 3 hours a week to paint miniatures,’ agree or disagree?!

I’ve used  many of these tutorials in projects, as they used to be advanced and in depth. Alas things have changed from how they used to be:

I Thought the sanguinor tutorial was one of WD’s best. An advanced technique, described in depth. It made NNM feel achievable for many people. A huge step forward in the life of many hobbyists. I think the publication of this article was a paradigm shift in the lives of many painters:

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 It built on previous attempts as seen below clipped from earlier WD’s:

The THIRD BOOK was marines mkII as the first book became full. I couldn’t find the same size scrapbooks (much to the dismay of the OCD in me) even amazon let me down. Nevertheless I managed to suck it up and crack on…

Before you ask – the vampire is on the front for a very good reason, despite this being a marine book. I’ve not ever done a Blood Angels army and I’ve always wanted to. When I finally get round to it, they’ll be in the colour scheme of that vampire counts picture – a perfect example of cross world pollinated inspiration. (I just totally made that up – but you heard it on ToP first.)

You’ll recognise many of these pictures perhaps from more recent WD’s, representing the fact that this is a more recent scrap book. Again you’ll see this is a dreadnought themed page:

I’ve enjoyed collecting all the Blanchitsu pictures which are smattered throughout the albums alongside golden daemon winners and other miniatures:

The FOURTH BOOK is my Xenos book. I don’t dabble with non marines much but return to eldar every few years (three projects are on the burner, wraith theme, harlequin theme and wych cult) and anytime I see anything I like it goes straight in. It fills up slower as GW publish far fewer Xenos pics than they do marines – particularly non stock pics, but you didn’t need me to tell you that:

This is one of my favourite ever Eldar armies, taken IIRC from an old rule book:

Most of my Xenos pics are of Eldar with a few orks thrown in:

The seer council below is the kind of picture that makes me stop and really look hard – for me one of the most beautiful group of miniatures I’ve seen in a long time. I’d love to have a coffee with the guy who painted these, lots of respect due:

My FIFTH BOOK is updated even more infrequently than the Xenos and it is dedicated to Fantasy. WFB doesn’t really do it for me, and I’ve tried repeatedly to get into the game by tackling an army. I never get far and end up picking up marines or eldar (or blood bowl) again quickly. That said there is a lot we can learn from the techniques applied regardless of the canvas:

A few handy techniques and nice touches here from the vampire counts release:

 WFB produces lots of very nice duels which are easily transferable across any genre:

The wizards (left page) are an excellent source of inspiration. I wish WD would unleash the Eavy Metal team like this more often, it always produces gold:

A few more recent pics from the WD publication of Golden Daemon pics, from various countries which I thought was a great move on their part:

So there is is. What FINAL THOUGHTS can I leave you with? If you don’t scrap book then perhaps you should. Nothing is more abhorrent to my way of working than GW’s push towards digital releases. In a hobby which thrives on the tactile – I hope we don’t loose the printed page in our hobby. What about you guys, has this article inspired anything in you or do you think it’s a total waste of time? We’re all different and your opinion is more than valid, even on the internets! How do you get inspired?

Regards & respect