Friday, June 22, 2012

"Curse You Games Workshop"!

In these modern times, it's rare that one gets a chance to quote the great American philosopher, Snoopy, but the current situation seems to be appropriate.  Neither my son or I play any GW games, we don't collect their mini's and we rarely use their paints.  I do, however, use their washes and I use them a lot.  The GW washes worked for me and made my mediocre painting acceptable.  I have many a Roman Legionnaire tarted up with "Gryphon Sepia" for that nice in-the-feild rusted armor look.  There are nameless 15mm Flames of War infantry figures that look like I actually did paint all their webbing due to a liberal dousing of "Devlan Mud".  I could go on, but the point is that is all in the past as it seems the wash line has been discontinued.  I shall pause here while you wipe the tears from your eyes...  

Now that you have composed yourself we can continue.

It seems the marketing geniuses over at GW have decided to reconfigure the paint line with new names and product lines and to mask a price increase.  Your not paying more for that bottle of "Bubonic Brown" (which is what I use for the hulls of my 1/1200 British Napoleonic Ships), your paying a fair price for the new and improved premium brand of "Zamesi Desert".  Oh these GW executives must be very smart lads, indeed, because the business world is just chock full of examples where a staple type of consumable product was successfully re-branded.  Lets see... there's um "Pepsi Crystal", well no that didn't really work.  Ummm there's the "Ford Edsel" - no wait that wasn't quite right.  Oh here we go - how about "New Coke"  hold on we don't see too much of that these days.  If one totes up the wins and losses theres typically a 15-20% chance for success from a consumable consumer re-branding launch.  One should be in very desperate straights before making this type of bet.

Why am I babbling on so much about something so trivial?  Is it because as a middle-aged wargamer, I am set in my ways and react to change the same way a creationist reacts when they find out they're a direct descendant of Charles Darwin after a cursory trip to  Are my histrionics due to being too lazy to take the time to figure out that washes have re-labeled as another line (perhaps as glazes)?.  Is my inner angst driven by being a member of a societal sub-group that pursues a fringe activity which might be viewed as silly?  Is it because I'm just a pain-in-the-***?

Of course the answer to all those question is a resounding "YES!" but that's not the point.

What is the point is I'm now faced with a stark choice.  Actually adapt to the new environment or retreat back into my survival Vault (made by Vault-Tec, of course) where I shall spend the days husbanding my dwindling supply of washes until that fateful hour they run out and I am forced to re-emerge into a desolate post-apocolytic world that was driven into chaos by the lack of citadel paints.  I think you know which path I must take.  If you want to join me in the Vault that's fine, but the admission price is two pots of "Devlan Mud" and don't try to substitute the blue or purple washes - who the heck uses those?



John de Terre Neuve said...

I am just as aggravated.


Vladdd309 said...

Frustrating. I've been gradually moving to Vallejo paints recently - cheaper than GW and larger pots. They've just gone up in price too though. Grrrr.

Lee Hadley said...

I'm a Vallejo man myself having moved to them years ago, but I also use a few GW inks and washes such as Devlan Mud. But the prices are becoming far too rich for me and the recent rebranding/reinvention of the paint range has left me utterly confused. Frankly I can't be bothered to investigate the new range. I already feel like an outsider in their stores and don't fancy looking like a complete Noob again after all these years.

Lee Hadley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kris Marquardt said...

Fortunately Vallejo's line of washes is excellent. Unfortunately I have yet to find anyone that is selling them as singles all I can seem to find is the full 8 bottle set and my Burnt Umber wash is already empty.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

I don't use much GW paints, but like you I use the washes and purity seal.

Here is our options as I see it.

1. Try to find out what GW is calling it now and pay the extra cost if it's still being made which I find is likely as it was a top selling item and if anything GW loves profit to exclusion of all else.

2. Try Vallajo wash as it's similar.

3. Army painter has some washes now I've seen.

4. Make our own as a wash, because in effect it's thinned downed paint...but that requires extra valuable painting time....


Phil Broeders said...

I still have some GW paints and washess left but wouldn't consider buying any new stuff from there. Most GW stuff is massively overproced and generally poor quality at that (let me tell you about GW paintbrushes...).

I agree with Lee that when I rarely step into a GW shop I feel out of place. Indeed, talk to the staff about 6mm Napoleonics and they start backing away with a scared look in the eye.

Anyone who charges £8+ for one metal miniature needs to take a long hard look at themselves. They prey on the gullible kids who don't know better and who regularly stuff £100 into the till without blinking. Most 'real' wargamers would suffer panic attacks after paying half that amount for any wargamey stuff.

Der Feldmarschall said...

Hopefully my blog post for today is a bit helpful :)


VolleyFireWargames said...

GW needs to be swallowed up by the God Loki and Thanos into the bottomless pit the belong in - Vallejo Paints and army painter make better products -I am thankful that GW closed the door on historicals so reputable game shops can fill the void they have left. GW is truly a fad that is fading away.

Ian said...

The nearest match to Devlan Mud I have found so far is Vallejo Umber Shade 73203 which is a fair match but not the same. The AP washes are supposd to be exact copies of the Dip for colour but I have not tried them. Maelstom games sell the washes as individuals both in dipper bottles and larger tubs and ship free to the world over x £ (it's £10 in the uk). GW have not got rid of the washes though they are remaned but they are NOT the same. GW are using a different company. Not only have they hiked the price you can bet their new supplier is cheaper for them!!!

The idea that GW is a passing phase is very much mistaken. They are the biggest company in our hobby. I would say they are bigger than everyone else. Sure they rip you off, sure they should blush at the prices the kids (and some adults) are prepared to cough up but they do and GW make good money doing it. For well over 30 years they have done this and whilst Flames of War are taking some of their market it's mostly the ones who were on the cupse of leaving anyway. Yep I dislike GW but they are very good at what they do


Phyllion said...

Long live Devlan Mud!

Beccas said...

Agrax Earthshade is the new name for Devlin Mud. It's exactly the same.

I just discovered the washes from Secret Weapon Miniatures. They are in 20ml vallejo style bottles. Really good stuff and heaps of colours to choose from.

Zardoz said...

This is the most useful review of Vallejo washes that I've been able to find. I've used them all now and they're not as good as GW, but can be made to work.

Right with you on the GW "cult" thing but. Take lots cash from gullible kids is the "business plan". If only their washes weren't so !@#$% good!

jmilesr said...

Wow - that was a spirited response!

I'm going to give the Vallejo and army painter washes a go.

Jason - great post!


Jon said...

I am down to a bottle and a half of Devlan Mud, my go to wash if I am not sure what to use. I built Aqaba for a Larence of Arabia game and used four bottles. What is with GW, do they want to leave money on the table?

Der Feldmarschall said...

Your welcome Miles, feel free to visit again anytime. :)

I'm still slapping myself for wasting my last two bottles of Devlan Mud sprucing up some 15mm buildings to sell on eBay (THEN finding out it's being discontinued), but so far so good with the AP washes.

I'm not a GW lover or hater especially since most of my hobby money goes to the Perry Brothers now days, but I will say that none of the local game shops here would exist or survive without GW products to sell. Just my 2 cents.


jmilesr said...

I'm with you on GW - I think they do provide a benefit to the hobby by recruitment and my son enjoyed their games for a bit.

The pricing strategy of focusing on constantly increasing margin through a combination of price increases and product substitution is perfectly legal while still annoying

In reality shame on me for becoming reliant on one of their hobby products when GW's past practices indicate it will be dropped at some point

At least this thread ave me one good alternatives to try


Squeaks said...

After a little testing I think the Army Painter washes are awfully close to Devlan mud, Gryponne Sepia and Badab Black.. not QUITE as good, but very very close.