Hokay, it's been a long, long while since I've actually put any decent amount of text in here. Been a bit distracted lately, coz I've just gotten my grubby paws on Space Hulk! THE 2009 edition of Space Hulk! Verily, I was pleased:
The original Space Hulk was released 20 years ago and was full of win. It was about 15 years ago that I did first lay eyes upon it and was for the first time exposed to the awesome of the Warhammer 40k universe. The long and short of what Space Hulk is, it's a 2 player game where 1 player takes a squad of marines (the Terminators*) stomping through a mess of narrow corridors infested with hordes of aliens (the Genestealers. Long story.) with sharp, pointy teeth and claws, controlled by the other player. It was, and still is one of Games Workshop's most popular products, having been worthy of 2 computer game adaptions (officially), 2 expansions, and another edition (which I've never seen) before going out of print and circulating around eBay. I played the hell out of this game, and youth's folly did let me overlook the fact that I was mildly bamboozled. How so? Well, back then, the rulebook had this to say about your marines:
But what you actually got was:
Forgive my 15 year old painting fail. I still don't know what the hell possessed me to put gold paint on the base. I've improved since then, 'onest guv, and have since had some of my works displayed in GW Bristol. They might still be there, if, as I suspect, no one could be bothered to put up a new Blackstone Fortress. Anyway, you got 10 of the monstrosities shown above with 1st ed Space Hulk, each being a single lump of plastic to be manhandled into those little round bases. I know not if they improved upon it in the 2nd edition. The 2009 edition is the 3rd and I daresay they've improved their moulding techniques since then. Observe:
Naturally, it simply wouldn't do to leave these works of art languishing in bare plastic! The very thought of actually playing a game of Space Hulk with these unpainted?! Barbaric! Well, the chap in red here is a work in progress. The paint has to be thinned down with water and several coats need to be applied before you can really get to work. I've no intention of cutting corners so I expect it'll be a week or so before my first marine can be said to be finished. But do click on the happy thumbnails here for a good look at the sheer detail they've put into these new models. They're awfully fragile, though. Took me ages to get them out of their sprues, which leads me to a little point about the appeal of Space Hulk and the greater bulk of GW games.
If you're looking for a game where you can just buy it, take it home, then be ready to play after, say 30 minutes of reading the rules and preparing the pieces for the first time, Space Hulk is NOT for you. It took me 1 pair of sidecutters, 2 files, a damn sharp hobby knife, a fair amount of glue and perhaps 3 hours to get everything out and actually ready for a game. That's the easy part. It took another hour to spray on a black undercoat on everything, after which I blew black snot for a couple hours afterwards. Serves me right for not wearing a mask, I suppose. I'm guesstimating it'll be 2 weeks before my first squad of 5 marines (out of 12 marines and 23 genestealers) will be painted to a standard which I would not consider embarassing. Over the course of the next few months, with a brush and a steady hand, the marine player will not be in command of 5 bits of plastic but the Blood Angels of Squad Lorenzo. And the thing is, it doesn't really matter of you've got mad painting skillz or not, it's a labour of love, so in your eyes you've gone way, way beyond just gaming - you've just immersed yourself in the elaborate universe of the 41st millenium. And I can tell you, fail marine up there felt pretty damn awesome back in 1994.
Well, it's now 15 years since fail marine. I haz better skillz, and I intend to use 'em! Pics will follow. Whoopsy! Gotta go, Souseki's trying to eat mah Genestealers...
* No, I don't know if a lawsuit was involved.