Saturday, April 8, 2023

G is for Games Workshop

Games Workshop is the behemoth of the war gaming and miniature painting industry. Based out of Nottingham, England, it’s best known for Warhammer and all of its spin-offs. 

Starting out as a company that made boards for actual board games, Games Workshop became the UK importer for Dungeons & Dragons when it first appeared in the mid-seventies, and quickly started manufacturing their own roleplaying games and wargames. In addition to tabletop games, over the years they’ve run conventions, published the gaming magazine White Dwarf, operated a line of hobby and gaming stores called (creatively) Games Workshop, and created video games, books, comics and more. In addition to their own games such as Warhammer, they have published licensed games based on other popular properties like Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, HeroQuest, Call of Cthuhlu and many more. They also have their own line of miniature acrylic hobby paints, called Citadel Paints.

They come in these stupid jars, which I assume are used to make you waste more paint than the convenient dropper bottles from The Army Painter and Vallejo. Photo Credit: Amazon

GW has dominated the wargaming industry for decades, with a strong following and very high-quality products. They’ve come under fire recently however, for a number of reasons. First, they’ve changed their copyright and trademark policies, and have made it far more difficult for their large fanbase of content creators to make additional content for their games. Basically, they’ve blocked anyone else from making money on their name, which has led to a number of high-profile gamers, influencers and artists abandoning the game. 

In addition, Games Workshop like many companies has started increasing their prices across the board. They’ve coupled this with also increasing the release frequency of new products. Their previously devoted fanbase, who are usually happy to buy everything they put out, are now suddenly inundated with more plentiful and expensive products than ever before, making it really hard to keep up. Corporate greed at its finest, kids.

Did I mention that in addition to costing a fortune, you have to put GW models together yourself? Warhammer players are hardcore, man. Photo credit: Bell of Lost Souls

Will this short-sighted money grab ultimately hurt GW’s bottom line? So far, they claim their revenue and profits remain strong, but time will tell. Other gaming companies (such as Wizards of the Coast, who make Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering) are going through this exact same situation right now, so it will be interesting how this affects the gaming landscape overall.

Personally, I don't have any skin in the game. I've never painted a Warhammer mini and I own exactly one bottle of Citadel Paint. I've never got into Warhammer because it's SUCH a time- and money-suck (yes, even more than what I do now), despite GW making some of the absolute most incredible models. 

Yes, this is a hand-painted plastic model. No, I will never be able to paint like that, not in a million years. Credit: Bell of Lost Souls

Anyway, that's enough bagging on Games Workshop for today. It's not like a successful, multi-million-dollar, global company deserves a bit of shade, right? 

Bonus G: Greenstuff

A quick one, since we spent so much time on Games Workshop. Greenstuff, more properly called Kneadatite, is a compound used by model makers and miniature painters to fill gaps and make small conversions and sculpting changes to your models. It generally comes in two parts, blue and yellow putty, which turn green and harden when mixed together, hence the name "Greenstuff."

Greenstuff is sold by several companies and is a useful and versatile tool in the mini painters arsenal. I used a bunch of it in my ice dragon model:

The model was way too big for my little 3D printer, so I printed it in pieces and glued it together. The Greenstuff was used to smooth out the seams and gaps between the pieces. Once it was primed and painted, you couldn't even tell it was there. Check out here for the fully painted model.

Hugs & Kisses,


Kristin said...

That detailed model is amazing! I was just thinking how useful a printer would have been to me when I was working with my dollhouses.

Birgit said...

Wow, that is detailed colouring. I know what you mean about irritating bottles that spit more paint out or it goops up etc... interesting about this place that has such a foothold in this industry

C. D. Gallant-King said...

I'm building some dollhouse-style gaming sets right now. I'm looking at dollhouse furniture and can't imagine building that by hand (I'm printing most of it)

PT Dilloway said...

My brother has some of that Warhammer stuff but I've never been into it.

Pradeep Nair said...

Wargames are quite popular.

Joy said...

That's interesting that game companies are changing their business models. It seems like that's happening in a lot of industries, right now.

James Pailly said...

I've long been an admirer of Warhammer from afar. The aesthetic of it seems really cool, and the story sounds interesting, but I'm already tied up in so many interests and hobbies. Can't really afford to add one more.

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