Signal Transmogrified


Classic MKVI space marine. Looks like Jes Goodwin drew him? I love the balance and confidence in his pose.


Hello friends,

It’s been a little over four years since there’s been a Warp Signal post.

A lot has happened in that time for me, in terms of the hobby, my own personal creativity, the online gaming community, and how I relate to all of those.

I started another blog. I wrote on and off for the House of Paincakes blog network, and was deeply involved in that community before it proceeded to implode in a fairly dramatic fashion. I stopped playing Games Workshop’s mainstream games, and even went for a year or so without painting a miniature. I had a go at historical gaming (SAGA), cyberpunk skirmish gaming (Infinity), and I began (and still am) DMing a Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition campaign. I left my budding academic career, stopped writing fiction utterly, and returned to my first love: drawing and painting. I’m still doing a lot of that now, and I don’t think I’m ever going to stop. It’s good for me.

So… a lot has changed hasn’t it? The last time I posted here was at (perhaps) the peak of the wargaming blogosphere. We were legion, and the conversation was abundant and almost primeval in its creativity and intensity. Now we are few.

Well, there are still a lot of blogs –  but the light of conversation has dimmed a bit. And now there are not just blogs. There are facebook pages, and instagram accounts: thriving communities that are tied to the rest of our online personae as we inexorably come under the umbrella of the All Powerful Social Intermediaries. Anonymity seems a bit quaint and old-fashioned these days. When I started Warp Signal, I took the comparatively rare step (at the time) of using a variation of my real name. I thought it would keep me grounded. It did not; and one look at facebook will show you that what you call yourself makes little difference to how you behave. So I was wrong about that.

The reason I’m posting here again, now, is because I’m at peace with all of this. I’m feeling inspired by the universe of Warhammer 40,000 again, and I’m making models again and painting them, and planning games. Even playing them a little bit.

In keeping with this new era, the new Warp Signal is primarily an instagram account. Hence the title of this post. It is @warpsignal.

I might post blogs every now and again when I feel like writing something, but mainly I’m doing this because I’m tired of writing. I spend most of my precious personal time making art, and painting models, which are of course the same thing only in different worlds. I’d like to show my models to the world and commune with like-minded people, but I don’t want to sprinkle models all over my instagram art account, as I have been. I want a dedicated account for my Warhammer-related art and miniatures hobby, because now it truly is a hobby. It’s no longer my escape or my main creative outlet. It’s something I do to refresh myself during other artistic projects.

I hope you’ll join me on this new venture. When I left Warp Signal years ago, I asked all of you to keep me on your rolls in case I ever came back. I guess now we’ll see if anyone did. And who amongst you is still out there.

Jimmy (James) S.


13 responses to “Signal Transmogrified

  • Bkackmane91

    Hey, good to see you’re back. I know I’ve popped in from time to time to see if you’d put up anything new as you’re posts were always an interesting read. I think the new 40k is inspiring quite a few people. I know I haven’t played a game since the early days of 7th edition. I carried on painting but the game just became to bloated for me but since 8th dropped I’ve been actively looking for places to play in my area.

  • Blackmane91

    Sorry for the double post but realised I mis-spelled my user name. Stupid small smart phone keyboard haha.

    • Jimmy S

      Hi Blackmane, nice to see you again too. Feels good to be back.

      I know what you mean about 7th. Too crazy for me. If nothing else, I feel the very fact that they did a complete reset and actually followed through with the Index books so everything was on the same foot at the start is amazing.

      I’m really keen to play 8th but all my local mates are into the Heresy, which is staying 7th! I’ll have to buttonhole them one by one and lure them into a secret 8th game or two 😀

  • Thor

    Good to see a post on here.

    The community isn’t what it once was. Sadly, I feel that social media has really watered down what was once a very active and thriving community full of amazing people. There’s still some of that to be found, but it’s in pockets now instead of being the general landscape. Times change, but not always for the better.

    Anyway, good to see you interested in 40K again. GW as a company has come a long way, and obviously 40K is a far different animal than it was before; and for the better in my opinion. So far people are poking holes in 8th, as they are prone to do, but GW has been actively fixing the issues as they arise – which I don’t have to tell you is nothing short of a miracle.

    • Jimmy S

      Hi Thor. It’s good to be back.

      Yes, the community is not the same. I see newer blogs with great content that would have had quite a following five years ago, languishing with no comments on every post. Even places like 3++ and BoLS are not what they once were in terms of engagement. It’s hard to say what caused it, probably a bunch of stuff, but I think you’re right – social media is the main thing. Obviously I’m not helping things by moving my photos to instagram! But to be honest I don’t think the genie can be put back in the bottle, and sites need identities across multiple platforms to thrive these days. You know that of course being an IT guy.

      I’ve been reading BoLS, (even the comments on the days I’ve had a good breakfast!) so I know about the Stormraven thing. I agree it’s amazing that GW is trying to tighten up in response to this bullshit. I wonder if it’s possible to make a watertight game that also accurately reflects the background? It might not be. But they’re the biggest and richest fish in the pond so if they have a mind to do it, they’ve probably got a better chance of doing so than anyone right?

      • Thor

        You visit BoLS? Man, that place has become a dumpster fire. That’s one site I can’t stand. Too many ads, authors who write click-bait, and a community that hates the very site they are commenting on (IE: trolls).

        I used to frequent 3++, but Kirby got disillusioned with 40K at one point, started playing Warmahordes, and I stopped going.

        Honestly, I just follow folks like us. The little guys who just love playing the game and talking about it. The big sites, those that remain, aren’t serving what I’m after.

        I agree that writing true to fluff, and having a fun and balance game is just not ever going to happen. That’s where the various RPGs for 40K come in, but as a tabletop game it just can’t work. I feel they can get close to the mark though, and I feel they are on that path already.

        • Jimmy S

          Yeah I think they’re on the right track for sure. I kind of suspect that the reason there’ll never be a tight 40k that reflects the fluff is because the fluff is bonkers! The way the factions are portrayed logistically just wouldn’t be effective… it’s realistic that someone would see their enemy was a bunch of infantry platoons, and then bomb them to hell with a squad of stormravens. That’s just what any competent commander would do if they had the resources available. If you want to see te factions fighting each other in their iconic forms (waves of tyranids versus small knots of marines, etc), then you’re going to have to concede some power. But of course players like you and I know this already and we’re fine with it. It’s all about the immersion, man.

          BoLS used to be the go-to site for getting a feel for what the community at large thought. Not that I was ever a huge BoLS fan, but now it just seems like a wierd shadow of it’s former self, choked with ads. I never visit it on my phone, that’s a crash waiting to happen 😀

      • Thor

        Oh, and this is what I enjoy the most with the small community that remains – the great conversations between folks, which is something those bigger sites rarely ever had.

        • Jimmy S

          True that. I vaguely recall having some good conversations on BoLS with people waaaaay back, but then those people (and me) splintered off and made our own blogs!

  • Kieran

    Good to see you back, it was your blog that prompted me to start mine. We were all feeling disillusioned with 40k, but have ramped up into doing plenty of historicals. The new 40k feels like a little fresher and they’ve done pretty much what I suggested in my ‘GW’s death by its own fluff’ post, not that that had anything to do with it. All in all good to see you back and look forward to seeing what you do.

    • Jimmy S

      Kieran! Good to see you too. I need to check your blog and see what you’ve been up to.

      I too sometimes get the eerie feeling that things I write affect Games Workshop. There are a couple of things I’ve wished for or predictions I’ve made over the years that have later proved so accurate it really feels like they read it and did it! Maybe we’re on the same wavelength as they are, which I suppose is not unlikely. We all learned this hobby from them (well I did at least).

      What historical eras are you playing?

  • Jimmy S

    Wow, I need to go into settings and work out how to nest the comments. Back in a minute…

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