Thursday, September 14, 2023
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Today we check out how non-GW miniatures influence Warhammer 40K’s guidelines in a serious approach.

Warhammer 40,000 is with none actual contest the biggest tabletop  miniatures recreation round. It’s an enormous recreation with hundreds of thousands or gamers and much more followers. One of the most effective components of it’s the miniatures. These are assorted and quite a few, with some gorgeous designs. Even higher, and sometimes setting them aside, is that they’ll usually be constructed in quite a lot of methods. This capability to change and mix bits from even a number of kits is a key a part of the interest. Due to its success GW has gotten lots of copy-cats, a few of which make fashions or bits for 40K itself, which is now hurting the sport. Let’s discuss why.

What Are Third Part Models? 

Third celebration fashions, merely put are any mannequin not made by Games Workshop, however utilized in 40K. However these can fall into a number of classes. Some of those fashions are made for different video games, or just show, however a participant may need to use it. For occasion an Imperial Guard participant shopping for a mannequin of an actual World War 2 Sherman tank and changing it to make use of as a Leman Russ. While this occurs, its not usually what we’re discussing with thirds celebration fashions. More generally you get firms or sellers making fashions which can be clearly meant to be  utilized in 40K. You can simply discover issues like a line of fashions known as “Imperial Space Warriors” meant for use as Space Marines. 

Within these firms you even have cut up in how they ship product. Some firms produce a bodily mannequin and ship it to the customer. Others present an information file (an STL file) and its as much as the customer to make use of a 3D printer to make the fashions themselves. Just a few do each. In any of those instances the fashions are thought of third celebration.

Bitz Vs Models

There can also be a line to be outlined between producing particular person bitz and complete fashions. Bitz symbolize part of a mannequin and are sometimes indented for use to reinforce a GW mannequin. These can file a distinct segment the place wanted weapon choice is tough to get (a participant wants an additional meltagun) or the place some form of personalization doesn’t exist (a participant needs a powerfist with the Rainbow Warriors brand on it). Some outfits additionally promote full fashions. These will not be meant to reinforce GW fashions, however to interchange them.

Third Party Models Hurt GW and Game Stores

I’m not going to get into the morality or legality of third celebration fashions right here. However it’s truthful to say the third celebration fashions harm each GW and your common FLGS. For GW, folks shopping for third celebration are merely not shopping for from them. For FLGS its just a little extra difficult. What it boils right down to is that almost all third celebration fashions can’t be provided through an FLGS. Even if an FLGS needed to promote them they’ll’t. Either there’s nothing bodily to promote (an STL)  or the myriad of firms don’t promote by small particular person distributors like an FLGS. In the few instances that an FLGS might even get the product to promote it nearly by no means makes monetary sense. Because third celebration fashions harm GW, the corporate has needed to superb methods to discourage  them, and that’s what is hurting the sport – through the principles.

No Models, No Rules

For years it was quite common to search out 40K unit choices or certainly complete models that had guidelines however no fashions. For occasion there was a protracted time period the place there was no mannequin for the Ork Battlewagon. It was as much as gamers to discover a mannequin they may use. In newer years, GW has moved to make it in order that if there isn’t a mannequin, there might be no guidelines. In massive half this has been to fight third celebration fashions. If GW doesn’t make a mannequin, its assumed another person will. Rather than kitbashing from GW kits, gamers may purchase third celebration. This has even led to them eliminating unit choices that there isn’t explicitly a bit in a set for. Once gamers begin shopping for single third celebration bitz, they may begin shopping for complete fashions.

Guard Got Hurt

You can see how this impacts a military very clearly within the new Astra Militarum guide. Quite a lot of models that don’t have clear fashions are gone. In explicit traditional models resembling Veterans and Conscripts the place faraway from the guide. This is fairly clearly a results of them not having particular fashions, regardless of lengthy simply being conversions of the fundamental Infantry Squad. You’ve additionally obtained lots of models with weapon restrictions that appear odd, till you notice that’s what their field comes with, they usually can’t take the rest.

Given the introduction of three regimental models within the guide, it’s clear that the one purpose we didn’t get extra is right down to a scarcity of present fashions. Steel Legion, Mordians, Tallarn, all might have been within the guide. However the specter of third celebration fashions getting used, quite than conversions, helped to stop these models showing. This form of motion is de facto beginning to harm the sport. It’s not simply within the Imperial Guard guide, you’ll be able to see this philosophy in most of the newer codexes.

Fix It – But How?

40K’s fashions, models and characters have misplaced lots of their customization over the previous few years. I feel its clear that is largely a response to the specter of third celebration fashions and 3d printing. It’s not simply harm firms, however its hurting the sport and its guidelines. It is nevertheless a fancy points and I don’t have any straightforward solutions. Maybe GW will take extra management of the event circuit, and banning non-GW components (or a minimum of full fashions) is a greater deterrent. I don’t know, however I do hope some form of repair is made sooner or later.

Let us know for those who assume third celebration fashions are hurting the sport, down within the feedback! 


Abe is that uncommon factor, an Austin native born and raised right here. Though he retains on shifting round, DC, Japan, ETC., he at all times appears to search out his approach again finally. Abe has many years of expertise with a variety of tabletop and RPG video games, from historicals, to Star Wars to D&D and 40K. He has been contributing to BOLS since nearly the beginning, again when he labored at after which owned an area gaming retailer. He was massive into the aggressive Warhammer event scene however age has mellowed him and he now appreciates an excellent informal match. He at present covers 40K ways and lore, in addition to all issues Star Wars, with occasional dabbling in different subjects. Abe stays in mourning over the lack of WFB to today.



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