Right off the bat, I noticed that they didn’t red light the Dark Angel models in this issue. Thank goodness. I am so happy they photographed them with regular lighting. It really made the Chaos models look awful. The sculpts for these new models are pretty cool, I’m really impressed with the Dark Talon.
The first third of the magazine is still just an advert for their new models, and not much about that has changed. However, there was a bit more detail about the kits themselves- either how you have the option to equip different guns on the fliers, there are extra guns, it includes spare heads, etc. This is very helpful information to have and I’m glad it was included.
Army of the Month was still a great section, this time it featured the Tyranid collection of WD’s editor. The color scheme is striking and I enjoyed reading what he had to say about them.
Jervis Johnson’s short response to a letter was very engaging. A young hobbyist wrote him asking for motivation advice because sometimes seeing the Absolutely Amazing And Gorgeous stuff other people do can be discouraging. As someone still relatively new to the hobby, I can really relate to that feeling. Sometimes you see something so wonderfully executed that you think “well, time to put down my brush”.
But Johnson makes an excellent point- the models in the WD are painted to an “inspirationally high standard” but that (as with all things) as long as you’re practicing, you’ll always be improving. I can attest to the truth in that- take a look at my Daemonette project post. The model I painted in 2011 is, honestly, pretty awful. But the one I just painted shows great improvement. It’s not always easy to see the improvements in the short term – but long term the results are sure there.
The Battle Report, shockingly, pitted Dark Angels against Chaos Space Marines.The report was just as long as previously, which I expected, but this one was much more engaging than the previous one. The same thing can be said for the Blanchitsu- far more interesting this time around.
Parade Ground killed it in this issue- it features Golden Daemon winners from several countries and it was fantastically jaw-dropping. Kit Bash was also much more impressive, featuring a particularly fabulous Mek's workshop piece.
Unsurprisingly, the Paint Splatter section remains somewhat lacking. The exception is the Fortress of Redemption section. The techniques there are both useful and complete, unlike the previous ones. Additionally, I was somewhat disappointed by the Hobbit "poster". While technically fitting the definitely of a poster, it just features shots of the minis and no actual artwork. Not exactly riveting stuff.
Overall, it's definitely grown into itself a bit, and moving in a positive direction. It's better than the first new issue. There's a lot of things it has going for it and I am happy to see it has improved. I still feel that it's too much of a catalog and not enough of a hobby magazine, but they sure are trying to make it more like that. There are things in there to appeal to every aspect of the hobby, which I really appreciate since there's so many parts of the hobby that I enjoy.