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Games Workshop, An Appreciation Thread


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I wouldn't call this a rant as such, more of an eyebrow raise, but as a beginner to GW I'm starting to get a little...let's say troubled, at the costs involved in following their recommended painting guides.


Take this for example, which appeared in my Youtube feed. It's the forthcoming Sons of Behamat Mega Gargant figure, and the video tells you how to paint just the head of one of the variants, and a bit of rusty fence:



As I was watching it, I was slightly taken aback at the long list of paints. And that's not even the main part of the model. 


So I watched another video on how to paint the main figure, and I added it all up.


GW recommend using a total of 40 separate paint colours, and two "mediums". Some are at £2.75 on their website. Some are at £4.75. But the total price comes to £137.40, just for the paints.


Then there are the brushes. The videos pretty much recommend all the brushes in the "Essentials" set, so that's £32.90.


The model itself is £120.


So that's £290.30 in total for this figure!


Now of course they're going to pimp their own products, of course one might already own some of these paints, some brushes, etc, and of course one could mix one's own paint, use different brands, or ignore their paint guide altogether. But something about the way they just knock out these colours as instructions like they cost 10p, sometimes for very minor details (does this really need Abaddon Black and Corvus Black?) - well, it made me raise an eyebrow, as I say. It feels somehow a bit "scammy", despite all the obvious alternatives I just mentioned. I can see a beginner thinking they absolutely need all that stuff, and getting themselves in quite deep, financially!





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Their market for their Uber figures is people who have most of the paints and brushes and not people new to the hobby, so it could be seen as an "upsell".


Make no mistake GW are all about GW and will shill you and bleed you dry, but you have to have a certain mentality to go all in with everything that they say. That's why I make shit up as I go with what I've got generally.

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I think there’s an assumption that your already have a collection of paints. And you can make substitutions. Obviously they’ll try and sell more paints. But those big £100+ models are not aimed at beginners. I painted Mortarion which had a similar sized list of paints in the video but I only bought 1 or 2 to paint him, as by the time I felt brave enough to paint a £90 model I had accumulated most that I needed or something near enough. 

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all GW painting videos are squarely presented to kids. They always have been. that almost condescending tone etc....eugh


Over the past few months i've been preparing to change my entire painting process more away from set colour paints. WHO NEEDS 32 SHADES OF BROWN?!


Ive been watching a few oil paint masters and miniature painting guys to see just how they handle their pallete and colours. I found two worthwhile videos regarding colour mixing. The first guy is an actual master painter. but his use of CMY colours over YRB were mindblowing nad made total sense when you stopped to think about it.

And another good one is Banshee's pallete control for painting skin.

They're both using about 12 colours total.

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8 minutes ago, Pelekophoros said:

Counter-point - battle ready Space Marines with 4/5 pots of paint per chapter:



Speed painting my intercessors for bare minimum effort and I’m using 

spray paint

contrast paints 

space wolf grey 

skeleton horde 


Leather brown



necron compound

screaming skull

russ grey 


so you can do loads with just a few paints. 

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It is certainly possible to see the Warhammer tutorials as an exercise in upselling, but I genuinely don't think that's the point of them. The whole system is designed to be an efficient method for painting armies rather than individual display pieces. They intentionally take paint mixing out of the equation. If you are painting an army, particularly if you add bits to the army over a long period of time, it can be very difficult to replicate a mixed colour. If you know that the colour you need is one particular one straight out of a pot, then it becomes a lot easier to achieve uniformity across an army. 


I have my problems with the GW system (for a start, don't get their brushes. They aren't great, particularly considering the price and the fact that you can get a Windsor and Newton series 7 miniature brush for cheaper) but I do think these videos generally come from a desire to help people with their hobby. They are going to advertise their own products at the same time, of course, but what do you expect? 


I do wish GW could have more advanced guides on their channel as well, to be honest. The Eavy Metal painters are masters, and videos explaining their methods would be fantastic. I saw one of the guys doing a class on glazing at Warhammer Fest, and I'm sure that could be turned into a video series. 

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I have one of those giants incomming, it was a gift. thing is 120quid, yeah its high. But then i also have a Reaver titan here that was about 600 or so (again didnt buy it), and in the scale model world its not unheard of for spending a few hundred on a bespoke resin kit. Gundam can be in the multiple hundreds too. And surely if you're in the UK, you're grabbing a giant from a place that has 20% off anyways like Element Games.


If you think of it in cost value alone it's a hard sell. but theres a few ways to look at it:

as a figure painter you've got to work out how long youe going to be painting it, and then factor that time into whether it was good value for money. I'll probably be spending around 30-40 hours on it and the base. which works out as good value for money

As a wargamer going to do an all giants army, you'd be wanting what? 3 mega gargants, maybe 2 packs of the smaller ones. thats about £400 or so quid that's pretty much what an imperial knight army is for 40k. and the equivalent cost of an ~2000point army for [insert faction here]


So it's not really that expensive in comparision to a LOT of GW stuff, it's just sunk into one large kit. Plus as @Pelekophoros it looks amazing.

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1 hour ago, Davros sock drawer said:

I don’t disagree with any of those points, and yet something still doesn’t sit well with me. Apart from anything else, does a plastic-sprue based model kit, even that impressive giant, warrant a price tag of £120 in the first place? 

How much should anything cost? should a big Lego set cost £150? 

These are premium models I guess, plus there is a need for GW to balance costs in both money and in game points across the range. GW stuff is expensive. But it’s also really good (in my limited experience. )

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I think the quality is great, I really do. I’m totally addicted. But honestly? I think their stuff is overpriced. Especially if you look at the stuff that’s included with a magazine for £7.99 and yet costs £15 or more from GW direct. I personally think £60 or so would be more reasonable for a piece like that Mega Gargant. I don’t really know about army building, as I don’t play the game - it just seems very expensive for what it is compared to say, a Hot Toys 1/6th scale figure.


Of course, I still want one.

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1 hour ago, And said:

Sorry @Pelekophoros but you’d be mad to actually buy stuff from GW when the third party sellers are 20% cheaper. 

 Use my local store for consumables but sets are loads cheaper elsewhere. 


Oh right, but that wasn't the question really.


Value's in the eye of the beholder. One man's £120 plastic toy soldier is another man's food for a week. Same applies at £96.


Wargaming in general is absolutely a frivolous, optional activity. Nobody has a gun to anyone's head on any of this.


That all sounds more defensive than I mean it. These are my personal opinions not those of my employer etc etc. 

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Oh totally. All hobbies are to a greater or lesser degree though.

I actually think As hobbies go it’s not too bad in terms of cost - I might spend a few hundred quid a year on it but it gives me countless hours of fun for that money so I reckon it’s good value. But it is a luxury. 


@Davros sock drawer

can't tell if serious. £96 is still fuckloads for a miniature. You should certainly avoid the forge world website...

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I was being serious - I think sub-£100 is a lot more palatable although as you say it’s still a lot.

And I do agree that the bang for buck in terms of hours spent enjoying it is indeed an inherent part of the value.


I don’t want to give the impression that I’m dead set against GW or their pricing as some sort of hill I’d die on - it was just a discussion point really, based on a sort of mental “sucking air through my teeth” I’d found myself doing, quite reflexively. It is, as you say, a luxury - maybe I’m feeling plastic tat acquisition guilt! :lol:

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