Weekend Update and January White Dwarf

My vacation is over, work has me back, so the overall output was a bit more relaxed compared to the week before. Last year, when the Rohan buildings were released, I was in touch with Games Workshop, so that I could a larger review on the new buildings. Unfortunately the Stronghold sold out unexpectedly quick and it took a bit of time to find an alternative. Long story short, in addition to the single Rohan House and Palisade & Watchtower kit, a batch of houses arrived from Radaddel. Thanks to both of them, now I can get started.

The Lord of the Rings - Rohan Houses

Because that was the reason, I didn't already do the review. I wanted to cover as much of that multi-purpose awesomeness that I think this kit is. And that will probably take the most time to handle the input and agree in my mind, what I am gonna build from the pieces.

But that is not the only thing, that I have to make up my mind about. I got myself the Krupp Protze and Sd.Kfz. 7 along with the Flakvierling. With the Krupp Protze I am pretty sure, what I am going to do - the Sd.Kfz. 69, a tow for a PaK 36 in my spanish civil war nationalist army. But with the Sd.Kfz. 7, it could be regular transport, that would cover the role of a tow for the 88 Flak as well. But there are variants of the Sd.Kfz. 7, like the 7/2 and 7/3 as a self-propelled AA-gun. So I could assemble the kit that it would just tow several guns, or I could build it a flat-bed and put the AA-guns on a mount on that. And on top of that I saw that they even covered an armoured cab for the Sd.Kfz. variants. I guess I'll split the Sd.Kfz. 7 introduction, give you the facts and ask the readers here and in the communities for feedback.

And on top of that, I just learned about the "Diana", a rather rare field conversion, using a captured russian 76,2 mm anti-tank gun on top of the Sd.Kfz. 6. So what's the difference between the 6 and the 7? On the paper one tows 8t and the other 5t, from the design I personally think they look a lot a like. Maybe even enough to convert the Diana from a Sd.Kfz. 7 chassis. If you have info for me on the actuall differences between the two Sd.Kfz., please let me know.

Sd.Kfz. 7 with 8,8 cm Flak Sd.Kfz. 7/2 with Flak 36 Sd.Kfz. 6/3 Diana

Both topics, the LotR kits and Rubicon kits, were already covered in the last weekender of last year. So let's take a look into something January - the new issue of White Dwarf. As usual I have the special cover of the subscribtion issue, with the full sized artwork. It picks up the Skies of Death topic, the already started in the december issue (third picture) and extends the rules for battles in the sky, incl. scenarios, campaign rules and war scrolls. Quite extended coverage on that.

White Dwarf - January 2020 White Dwarf - January 2020 White Dwarf - December 2019

They added quite a bulk pack of new rules for Kill Team, 5 new "orders" of Kill Teams, like Guerillas and Bountyhunters. I think the artwork would be a great inspiration for Inq28 as well. But that's not all, there are 6 additional new scenarios in there as well.

After desert and winter camouflages and bases themes, January covers the urban warfare. Lots of greys and blues. I really like the subtile conversion on the Cadians, and the old school camo they are shown with.

White Dwarf - January 2020 White Dwarf - January 2020 White Dwarf - January 2020

There is a battle report between the Ossiarch Bonereapers and the Ogor Mawtribes. I really like the terrain, as parts of it have been used with the Necropolis display at Warhammer World. I unfortunately have no idea from which kits these parts come from. Some are from the Gothizzar Harvester and Mortek Crawler I think, but the large pieces I am unsure.

White Dwarf - January 2020 Games Workshop - Warhammer World Exhibition Centre Games Workshop - Warhammer World Exhibition Centre

There is a basing tutorial in the issue as well, covering mixed techniques, between simply advanced level painting and converting. Along with a new year, new army overview, introducing multiple new projects among these Red Scorpions by Edd Barfield. It is interesting to see the chapter revamped with these new units and Primaris. The Red Scorpions are around since the first edition, with crazy camouflages and got a huge update by Forge World with the release of the Imperial Armour books, especially the Badab War.

White Dwarf - January 2020 White Dwarf - January 2020

For me an unexpected surprise is this additional coverage on the Rohan buildings. I covered the new village display on my Warhammer World Exhibition Centre tour (second and third picture), and it is crazy to see what you can do when you have enough sprues to toy around. So even more input to process, while deciding which setup I am going to build for the review.

White Dwarf - January 2020 Games Workshop - Warhammer World Exhibition Centre Games Workshop - Warhammer World Exhibition Centre

Of course there's the Beastgrave tactics and new content for Blackstone Fortress (a new four scenario quest) and even a classic Blood Bowl setup, between Skaven and Lizardmen. So, yes, we didn't get "free" goodies as in the last two issues, but still this issue is packed, all across the ranges Games Workshop offer. Solid. I think as long as you're not just looking for advanced and above painting advice and inspiration, the january White Dwarf has you covered.

For the next topic, I have to back up a little and explain the "basics" of trade and distribution for in this case wargaming products. A manufacturer usually offers traders / resellers to buy directly from them. This is often bound to a certain minimum order quantity. Depending on the size of the range and the request for that product, that is a problem for smaller stores and shops. In some cases, due to international trade connection, there is customs, import and such on top. For that reason, there are often wholesalers, that cover distribution for certain areas, inbetween your local store/ favorite online shop and the manufacturer. These wholesalers handle larger orders directly with the manufacturer, get higher margins / discounts and keep a stock for their area / local market.

So for example, you approach your go-to store for wargaming and you have the need for a specific kit, your store could either place an order large enough directly at the manufacturer, or order at one of his wholesalers who carry the item you're looking for (among others). That is one of the reasons, why wholesalers often carry multiple ranges, so your local store can mix their order to reach the minimum order quantity.

If you're were looking for a kit by Rubicon, they maybe had to order another 200 bucks worth of stock (purchase price) to reach this quantity. Sometimes the traders wait until other customers order as well or stock runs out until they do so. So that might take a while and is rather unflexible. So it is often easier for smaller stores / ones with less turnover, to buy from wholesalers, as they can fill up that order with items from other manufacturers, like Army Painter, Mantic and so on, in some cases even non-wargaming items. Earlier this week, Rubicon Models announced the following:

Rubicon Models - Trade Network

In reaction to this North Star already dropped the range on monday. It seems as Rubicon didn't even communicate with the parties that are affected appropiately, as the comments on facebook by current trade partners like May '40 Miniatures show. I often had the problem, that when I wanted to buy multiple kits to save on postage, that A and C were in stock, but B and D not. Then I looked at another store, and they had A and D, but not the other ones. I don't think that this change of distrubition will enhance that situation, as it will slow-down replenishment and make access of the range - especially for smaller shops - more difficult. For example, Warlord Games is available for store owners directly with their trade service or at wholesalers, at the same time. And with some of the quarterly novelty releases being rather special themed or less interesting from a wargamers perspective, I understand the problem of those shops to fill the minimum order amount, especially when you still have other items on stock, that won't sell. And then we didn't even covered Brexit, with the new distribution hub placed in the UK, taking care of Europe and maybe not being part of the market in a couple of month anymore...

Rick & Morty - Bird Culture Meme

I am in touch with multiple store owners in Germany and they had their troubles with the range before this announcement, and I don't see improvement afterwards. A bit sad, as I like some of the items. But hey, it's my money and there are other people glad to exchange that for goods as well.

So to close the weekend-update. I enjoey the Joe Rogan podcast with Bill Maher (#1413) and Robert Downey Jr. (#1411) last night. Rather short episodes to be honest, but hey, after a lot of UFC and people I don't know or topics I don't care about a bit of entertainment again.

I got the recommendation to watch Victoria and it was even on Netflix, so I took that chance. Very interesting approach making a whole movie as a one take. But I won't talk more about it, as it would spoil the movie itself. It is worth watching, even if the first 30 minutes take a bit until they pick up speed. I saw the trailer for 1917, have to see where I can watch that movie in the cinema. With Jojo Rabbit that is a bigger problem, as the movie just isn't running anywhere near me.

That's it from me for today. Have a great sunday!

Posted by Dennis B.

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