Friday, 25 May 2012

Devlan Mud R.I.P. and Games Workshop – a rant

I had a very good relation with Games Workshop in the past. They had (and still have) a shop in Stockholm, nice crew there and I bought quite a lot of Warhammer and LotR figures, and even some Mordheim figs when they still stocked them. I bought into 40K, liked the space-orks, and converted a lot. Also read White Dwarf (as I had done when the magazine was young, my first issue was number seven or something one-digit) which was nice with god tips on painting and terrain-making.
But… a new version of 40K came, and an even newer version of 40K came, and the orks changed, and some of the vehicles I had were no good anymore. My interest for 40K waned. I still have my finished models, and a lot of un-built figs and vehicles, but I don’t think I will ever have another game of 40K, unless 40K transforms into something really good. (I like WWII, no-one will tell me that my Pz IV is no longer in the German codex!) I might use the models if I just find a descent rules-set to use them with.
White Dwarf became more and more concentrated on their merchandise. When they started to sell their own plastic terrain, then all do-it-yourself articles disappeared. So it was nothing left to read. The last issues of my subscription went mostly un-read.
How about the other figures then? I have a lot of GW figs, but as it is now I won’t buy another. Why? The answer is probably the same you have heard from so many other modellers and bloggers: Finecast. How on earth can you knowingly destroy your brand with shit like that? It is just not possible to comprehend. Why on earth would I pay more for faulty resin than I did for descent metal? I know for certain that it is possible to make excellent resin figures. I’ve bought them from Otherworld, Scibor, Spartan Games and others.
If it was just a short term problem, fixed after a short while, it would have been bad. But this… Oh, I forgot, there is liquid Green Stuff…
How about the way they treat their trade network then?
I buy a lot via internet. Really the only way to find most of the stuff I want, especially here in Sweden where we don’t have trade shows, and very few shops stocking anything interesting. But GW don’t seem to like to like their customers, as they seem despise anyone non-GW stocking their merchandise. Especially if that merchant sells over the net.
What are they thinking of? Don’t they want to sell? Don’t they know that they are not alone out there? Can’t they see all the other actors growing and greeting all the potential GW customers? I just can’t understand the GW business model. (Yeah, margins are better in their own shops…)
Ok, the paints. They are descent, but I do prefer drop-bottles. Anyway, I still have quite a few tins, but they do dry out uncomfortably fast.
But Citadel had one great product for me: Devlan Mud. The wash that changed my, and it seems a lot of other people’s, painting style. It was a product most companies would cherish and treat like a baby, a money-making baby. For me, I bought a tin now and then at the GW-shop, and while I did that I bought a couple of paints too, and even some figures (pre-‘Fine’cast).
Then they pulled all their old paints and washes and introduced a new line. They changed the formulation of their great product, and changed its name. I heard about the new line on a pod-cast, and after a couple of days I realised that a new line could spell trouble for Devlan Mud. As I work a couple of blocks from the GW store I popped by on my way home, and after some looking about, the shop-attendant found me the last two pots of Devlan Mud, and very enthusiastically told me everything about the new range of paints and washes. The new paints and washes that had nearly the same colours as the old, but not…
On my way home I decided to leave GW altogether. That was really it. A cheap ploy to get people to buy into a new range of products. A codex for paints, to be changed at a whim?
At home, fuming, I checked the market for washes. I had used the Army Painter dips, excellent but they are rather smelly. They sell washes with the same tones as their dips now. I had a choice, so I bought all three of the washes, and have started to try them out. There are more manufacturers making washes, I’ll probably check them out too. Congratulations GW, you just lost a long-time customer.
So I have cut my ties with GW. I really hope that they get their management philosophy back together, because then they can continue to evolve together with the rest of the industry. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now under the present management.
Until then I will spend my money with companies that appreciate me as a customer.

While I wrote this I read that GW pulled the plug for Warhammer Historical. It doesn’t really concern me directly, as I don’t play their games. But it irks me that they just drops the line with no chance of stocking up (at least not from GW) and a message that the IP will not be sold/transferred to any other company. Essentially – they don’t give a s**t about their customers. Case closed…


  1. It needed to be said. I can't believe they would bin a product like Devlan Mud, everyone I know uses it. Amazing,

  2. I can understand why they revise their paint line. What I CAN'T understand is why they have to change the colours... I mean, c'mon, call the new devlan mud something else if you want to, but don't change the colour of it!


    I'm still playing Warhammer Fantasy occasionally, and my kids want to play 40k. So for now I'm not completely out of the loop, and of course the kids will be buying premium GW-brand figures. Poor kids.

  3. GW line is that DM is replaced by something simular that paints the same. I hope so as I need a new pot and will pick the new stuff up today. How ever I have heard it's not the same which is a problem for all those unfinished products. I may try the AP wash as I also have the dip but the smell is the issue.

    Good post

  4. The good thing with the new water-based Army Painter washes is that you miss the smell, but you also miss the very strong coat their dips gave. But they are good alternatives to Devlan Mud, so I'm going there when my pots of Devlan Mud is gone.