Thursday 7 July 2016

Review: Horus Heresy Masterclass Book Volume 1

Howdy Guys and Girls - today we have a quick overview and review of the Forgeworld HH Masterclass Book for you. Special thanks at Sansa for helping me with the pictures (she also tried to eat the book and failed - so it's pretty sturdy!).

What's in the book?

Let's start what exactly is in this book - and what not. We were originally told this is going to be more of a "painting series for your Legions" - well, it's not. The book itself features three good step by step guides, another guide for Ferrus Manus arms - and besides that, it pretty much just gives you inspiration for your own projects.

That said - we got told that one (or more) propper "how to paint that Legion" books may be in the works for later releases. I really hope they will do that, it would be great to have a basic guide for all the Legions using the FW airbrush paints!

The Painting Articles

The four painting articles themselves are pretty good if you want to paint these specific models, and also give you some good techniques useable for other stuff, especially tank weathering.

The first, and in my oppinion best article is about the red Questoris Knight Styrix - using Forgeworlds "Clear over Metallic" technique, featuring their new airbrush clears. I have used this guide for my Brass Scorpion, and it really works well. Sadly, I would have liked some more background about the pre-shading, maybe a chart which shows other colours and what tones to use for them.

The next two are for tanks - an Imperial Fists Falchion and a blue Solar Auxilia tank. Both are very good, and show some nice weathering techniques. Especially if you don't own the older FW masterclass books, these will be helpfull for your own tanks.

Last but not least - a small step-by-step guide for Ferrus arms - but why stop there? I get that the arms may be something most people are afraid off, but why not also add the really well done armour or his face to the article?

Army galleries

The books also features two armies - a really well done Sons of Horus army, aswell as Salamanders.

I really - really love these Sons of Horus. They were done before the FW airbrush range was finished, and use a mix of different greens. They give you the recipe, but mixing is always a bit of a problem, They also say you can use the FW airbrush greens for your Sons of Horus - but no step-by-step guide. Also, I would have liked a comparison between one of these and a model painted with the new airbrush paints.

Terrain boards

Last but not least - the book contains three of their display boards, including the awesome "Boarding of the Contrador" Zone Mortalis board. While these are really great for getting ideas for your own game boards, they are not all that helpful, especially when they tell you "the design team did these walls and casted them in resin". 

Our opinion on the book

Drake Seta: The techniques within are fantastic. If it was a regular Masterclass book I would be very pleased. I think that as a Horus Heresy Masterclass that they should have covered the painting guides of at least 6 Legions and that they should have used their existing paint range to illustrate them properly. I was disappointed that the Sons of Horus paint guide only mentioned the Forge World paints in an off hand comment at the end of the guide, where instead they should have shown how to use them.

Lady Atia: I'm actually quite split. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, the showcased armies and characters are great and I love the terrain boards, but for 30 pounds it feels a bit weak. If you own the preview two Masterclass books, most if not all techniques were already covered, although it's good to see them used with FW products. Speaking about it - the days of oil washes and Tamiya are gone - you won't find non GW/FW products in the book anymore. If you are new to the Horus Heresy and Forgeworld, this book can give you some good advanced techniques, especially for tank weathering.

Would I buy that book again? 
Yes. It helped me with my Brass Scorpion, that alone made it worth it's money for me.

What would I like to see in the next HH masterclass book?
More guides for the different Legions. Maybe some conversions or kitbashes for HH era stuff. Oil and Enamel paints included - maybe FW could do their own mini ranges for these?

Hope you enjoyed the little review - if you have any questions, just ask them in the comments below. What stuff would you like to have in the next HH masterclass book?

Lady Atia


  1. It helped you with the Brass Scorpion!? What about the Brass Scorpion guide in the one of the first two books lol!

    1. Well, the original guide didn't used clear pre-shading and also Tamiya paints instead :P

      *runs away*

      I'm not insane! :P

  2. I've really appreciated the steps in this book. I too used the guidelines of the styrix for my warhound. Except I used blue. For a first time airbrush user, it was very helpful. The step by steps are very helpful and have good gradient step pictures.
    I too would have liked to see more legion schemes.
    The special parts cast in resinpart was rather disappointing

    1. Yeah, the guides are well made, but we want more :)

      I get that it's easy for FW to do that stuff via CAD3D and cast it, but it's not all that helpful.

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  4. The cat is very helpful to XD

    1. Thanks :)

      Yeah she does a great job helping with reviews and leaks :P

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  6. Yeah, that book is great.
    Sansa too XD.

    1. Yep, it's a good start but I still hope FW will release something "more" next time :)

      And thanks, hehe :)

  7. My point of view: compared to the previous books, this one is a little bit poor.
    I really hope the next Will be better with more specific Legion stuff.
    By the way, thanks for the review :-)

    1. Yeah it feels a bit weak especially as we waited a looooong time for it. I hope the next volume will be alot better, with more HH specific stuff. As basic book it's good - in comparison with the older ones it feels a bit like copy+paste+new paint range, sadly.

  8. Thank you for the review! I wish it had some emp children in it :)

    1. Valar Dohaeris :)

      It has a picture of Fulgrim but sadly no scheme or guide :<

      I would love a step by step masterclass for their studio Eidolon!