Hello everybody! This is the Big Mek here, and I wanted to let you all know that I truly am a sad, sad man. I am so sad because I desperately miss White Dwarf Digital. Now, I did also thoroughly enjoy Warhammer Visions in the digital version, however, White Dwarf digital over time became the pinnacle of digital periodical technology and truly a hobbyist’s tool for the ages. When Games Workshop, without any pomp or circumstance announced via a short bit of text in the app that the White Dwarf digital product was being discontinued, I felt as if a beloved pet had fallen ill.
One of the technological advantages that came in later versions of White Dwarf Digital was the zooming ability for all images in the magazine. This option was fairly useless on an iPhone, however, it really shined on an iPad where I could blow up pictures to see the smallest details and then dissect a project created by the master builders on the Games Workshop or Forge World build teams and see how I might be able to recreate it (or particular components at least) for myself. In this forthcoming series of articles, I will show the shortcomings of the print version of White Dwarf. However, as the Big Mek is an Ork who likes to provide solutions, I won’t simply complain about the shortcomings, instead, I will correct them and provide expanded images and even “Archive Dives” into my extensive collection of the print versions of White Dwarf magazine.
In the first print-only 2018 edition of White Dwarf (July 2018), there was an interesting Temporal Distort section starting on page 24. In the article, there was a Battleground recap on a warzone/research station the Games Workshop team (starring the incomparable Chris Peach) built on a planet called Damnos. It was beautiful and incorporated the old Manufactorum kits, as well as the new (at the time) Wall of Martyr sets. However, in this print-only version, the image was only about the size of a postage stamp. I could tell just by looking at this postage stamp that this battlefield was an absolutely gorgeous custom piece that really required my exploration, possible recreation, or at least a reasonable facsimile. Luckily, I own every issue of all of the appropriately nicknamed “Fat Dwarf” issues, so I went ahead and did my own “Temporal Distort” on the original issue (White Dwarf September 2013 if you were curious) and fully examined the White Dwarf article in question.
For starters, I’m going to focus on the Imperial side of this Battleground. The Necron side of this table is just a Realm of Battle board with Necron script underneath the frozen surface of the planet. It’s attractive, but as my current terrain project is based on Armageddon, I am really only interested in the Imperial side of this board.
There is a raised walkway that surrounds the Imperial fortress and outbuildings. This is attractive, however, it is made with many of the support struts from the Skyshield Landing Pad. This kit is fairly expensive, out of print, and there’s no way to buy just the struts. So your only real solutions are grey hat like Bitz sites (good luck), or black hat like recasting or ordering from Chinese or Russian recasters. None of these are excellent solutions, so your only real options are to improvise the support structure of the walkway (I have a very rough, vaguely gothic WIP bridge support concept image HERE), or simply not make a walkway at all, which is what I am doing.
The next interesting piece is an indirect part of the walkway, a connected watch post tower. This watchtower is composed of two levels of 1×1 Manufactorum walls in a square, capped by a ring of railings and topped by some really cool barricades (or ‘crenellations’ as they are referred to in the article). The text says that these barricades are made from the Aegis Defence Line, but this is actually an error. If you look at the placement of the Aquila in relation to the embrasure (the hole they shoot out of, thanks to Wikipedia for making me look smarter than I really am!) you’ll find the tower battlements are actually the top of the Imperial Bastion kit. I currently have three painted Imperial Bastions from a terrain build I did with a group five years ago, and I believe I am going to tear these apart soon to facilitate this new project, so look for a new watch tower in the near future.
The next cool element is the Adeptus Mechanicum pumping stations. There are four simple buildings made from 1×1 Manufactorum walls, which are only one story tall as opposed to the two-story versions that the watchtower has. From the roofs of the buildings come curved pipe fittings and straight pipes (which come in the Manufactorum kit) and also from the sides of the specific wall pieces that have the sculpted pipe fittings. There are a few extra pumping station buildings with extensive battle damage. This is a really cool looking bit of terrain, and if I can increase the space between the buildings, it will also make an excellent piece of Kill Team terrain as well. This piece will definitely make the cut and be a part of my Armageddon table terrain set.
The next interesting terrain piece looks like a simply elevated gun emplacement created from the Imperial Bastion kit, with the middle (heavy bolter) section removed. However, in another image later in the article, we see that this is actually only half of a gun emplacement, with some serious battle damage in the rear. This piece was actually hacked in half with a hobby (razor) saw. The removed section was dissected and strewn about the terrain piece, along with part of a Citadel Moonscape crater. I will probably attempt to recreate this piece, with some slight modification, namely a slightly larger emplacement deck, as the current piece doesn’t look like it would currently support a model on a 60mm base (or any of my Mek Gunz!).
Up next is the platter that the main course (the main fortress) will be served on. This massive circled Wall of Martyrs collection had been added to about a half dozen Citadel Moonscape craters to represent the damage received during the original Damnos War. This particular ring of Wall of Martyrs looks to contain four Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defense Lines (I currently own three), three Imperial Defense Emplacements (I own two) and one Imperial Bunker (which I oddly own two of, go me!). Some of my existing Wall of Martyrs kits are already painted at least to a tabletop standard and converted to look like they have been looted by Orks. Once I do that for all of the other kits, this will be a fantastic terrain set for my Armageddon table(s?).
I hope you aren’t full of all of the wonderful appetizers you’ve just eaten, because here comes the main course. This truly massive construction contains what appears to be two and a half Imperial Bastion kits, the Shrine of the Aquila, the Skyshield Landing Pad, and 3-4 Imperial Manufactorum kits. A standard height but massively oversized Imperial Bastion is topped by the deck of the Skyshield (the struts were used on the walkway mentioned earlier in this article). On the deck is a Manufactorum building, 3 sections by 4 sections at the base, and three stories high. The building is crowned by a beautiful radar array, hereinafter referred to as “the dessert” and described in the next paragraph.
The radar array, excuse me, the dessert, is not my favorite piece on this table at all, but it is so characterful, and if you’ll forgive the sacrilege, so darned fluffy, you can’t help love it. Chris Peach sums it up best in the article with this sentence…
“It’s half practical mechanical function, and half bombastic Imperial display”
The array is the huge Imperial Eagle from the Shrine of the Aquila scenery kit. This piece is cool enough, I may have to go and buy one just to recreate it. It’s mounted on the turret from the Fortress of Redemption, which is a far too expensive kit to buy to recreate this, so I’ll have to improvise. Some communications bits from the Imperial Bastion (which also contains a similar “Icarus” turret which may serve as a suitable substitute for the larger Fortress of Redemption turret) rounds out this flamboyant piece of Imperial communications equipment. I love it, it’s just so fluffy!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article/deep dive into a Temporal Distort article from White Dwarf. I hope you like the larger pictures and can use them for inspiration for your next terrain project for Warhammer 40,000 or Kill Team. I’d like to also take a moment to thank Games Workshop for 30+ years of consistently incredible content. I do genuinely miss the digital periodicals, as I am an old man and like to read in bed. It’s much less disturbing to my wife to read on an iPad in the dark, as opposed to a magazine with a lamp on, carrying a massive magnifying glass and spectacles that give the Hubble Telescope lens envy.
Chuck Williams aka ‘The Big Mek’