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Editor Eric Sarlin and Photographer Dirty Steve Fuller give you the inside scoop on how and

what to submit to White Dwarf for publication. If you want to get your models, terrain, or gaming ideas into the magazine and your name immortalized in print, then read on.


Examples of articles by freelancers

The White Dwarf staff receives and publishes submissions from readers all the time. In fact, some of our readers have become regular contributors to the magazine. Unfortunately, we are forced to reject the majority of submissions we receive, even though many are interesting and highly creative. To avoid the dreaded rejection letter, take a few minutes to peruse the following pages in which we hope to clear up some confusion and establish a

few guidelines to help you submit materials that are likely to be considered for publication.


Below is a short list of the types of articles were interested in receiving from our readers. Hobby Articles Painting, Terrain, Modeling, and Converting. These types of articles are the bread and butter of White Dwarf magazine, a publication by hobbyists and for hobbyists. Whether youre simply showcasing some of your best creations or writing step-by-step instructions for others to follow, were interested in seeing hobby articles of all kinds. To improve your chances of publication, include clear and concise text and quality digital photographs of your project(s). Note also that if you have converted your model or built custom terrain, we prefer to receive photographs of your project both before it is primed and painted and after all painting is complete.

Good Photographs of Models and Terrain. Not a writer? Thats okay. Were still interested in seeing the models and terrain youve created. Remember that most often, well want to see before and after shots of any terrain projects or converted models. Tactica & General Discussion of Games or Gaming Culture. Though these types of articles are accepted less often than hobby-oriented ones, were still interested in seeing articles about tactics, gaming, gamer culture, clubs, tournament and league rules, and the like. Remember that all articles of this type should be of interest to many gamers and hobbyists. Thus, an article about why your gaming club is wicked groovy that is of interest only to the members of your group will most likely be rejected. However, we would be much more likely to consider an article about how to structure an escalation league much like the one your (wicked groovy) gaming club organized, for instance.



Though White Dwarf frequently publishes articles like the ones listed below, for a variety of reasons, we generally do not accept unsolicited articles of these types. Battle Reports, Army Lists, Scenarios, New Rules (Including Ideas and Rules for New Games). We generate these types of articles in house and do not accept them from readers. Original Sculpts. We dont publish photographs of completely scratchsculpted models (unless, of course, they were sculpted by a member of the GW design team). However, conversions can involve elaborate original sculpting work as long as at least part of a GW model is apparent. Background, History, Fluff Text, and Fiction. The Games Development Studio and the Black Library control this area of Games Workshops intellectual property, and White Dwarf cannot publish reader submissions of these types of articles. The Lord of The Rings Mixed with GWs Other Ranges. Because of our licensing arrangements with Tolkien Enterprises and New Line Cinema, we cannot mix rules, ideas, background, and model parts from The Lord of The Rings game with those from any other GW game or range. Repeats. If youve already seen it in White Dwarf, we wont publish it again. Avoid repeating ground weve already covered. must. Even a fantastic hobby project or model can be rejected if the associated article is poorly written. Later in this article, we include a few writing tips to help you along. Submit Photos. No matter what type of article you submit especially if youre doing a hobby article relating to painting, modeling, converting, or scenery highquality digital photographs submitted with your article improve your chances of acceptance ten-fold. On the next two pages, Dirty Steve presents a few notes and suggestions about how to get good results with your digital camera.
Freelancer Chris Walton produced this Ice Troll for an article in White Dwarf 287. The White Dwarf staff proposed the Ice Troll idea to Chris and other freelancers, and each was given free rein to express his creativity and bring his own unique vision to the project.

The Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marine shown above is just one of many customized models in John Swanns army. John painstakingly embellished the majority of his army by adding tiny LED lights inside the heads of the models. Unique touches like these make for great material for the magazine, and Johns article about this army can be found in White Dwarf 285.


Check with Us First. If you have an idea, feel free to e-mail us at
and explain to us what you have in mind before you start to work. We may be able to make a few suggestions or tweaks to your idea that will improve your articles chances of acceptance and perhaps save you some revision at a later stage. Were always happy to goob out about gaming so e-mail us and have a chat. Dirty Steve checks the mailbox almost daily, and one of our staff members will get back to you promptly. Write Clearly. Needless to say, wellwritten, clear, and concise language is a requirement. We love to receive articles that demonstrate wit and personality, but clear and concise language, particularly in step-by-step instructions, is always a



vertical composition, rather than a horizontal one. Thus, youll need to take your photo with the camera on its side, which isnt possible when you set the camera on a book. A tripod will allow you to move the camera on all three axes, including tilting it 90 for a vertical composition. Backdrop. Use a smooth, nonreflective backdrop when photographing models. Avoid shiny fabrics like satin and seek out a neutral color. A light grey linen pillowcase can be ideal. Note that any color in the background WILL be reflected onto the model. Black backgrounds are terrible. Models on black tend to look like they are being sucked into a void. A blank piece of white paper can work, though its not quite as good as something neutral. Pure white backgrounds can sometimes overwhelm models and cause them to look as though they are surrounded by a glowing aura, particularly if your shutter speed is too long. In a pinch, white or off-white backgrounds are superior to black ones. Neutral grey is always best, however. Lights. Here is one place you can skimp a little. Of course, you can use expensive professional photography lights, but a couple of desk lamps can get you by. Setting up Your Shot. It is best if both lamps use the same type of bulbs as ANY OTHER light sources in the room (overhead lights, track lights, strobe lights, lava lamps, flaming family members, whatever). If the chandelier overhead uses incandescent lights, its best to have incandescent bulbs for your lighting. Otherwise, youll HAVE to have a camera with manual white balance settings. If all of your lights are the same (all halogen, all fluorescent, all lightning bugs, etc.), then all you have to do is set the white balance selection on the camera to that type of light. For instance, if all the lights in the room and in your desk lamps are fluorescent, then set the white balance to fluorescent. What white balancing does, essentially, is compensate for the dominant color of light emitted by your bulbs. Fluorescents cast a blue-green, or cyan, hue on everything. Though models under fluorescent lights dont look cyan-tinted to the naked eye, photos taken in fluorescent lighting look as though they were taken in a hospital. When the white balance is set to fluorescent, however, the camera will automatically add in a little extra red (the visual opposite of cyan on a true color wheel) to compensate for the color of the lighting. When setting up your lights, put one about 8-12" directly above the model. Increase this distance if your models heads seem too bright in your photos. Put the second light on the same level as the model. Point the second light toward the model at a 45 angle from the camera. Thus, the camera will point straight forward, while the side-light will be

Digital Camera. Almost all of the photographs you see in White Dwarf are digital photographs. Use a digital camera, preferably one with a macro function, preset (or manual) white balance, and a way to set the exposure mode to fully manual.

45 to the right (or left, wherever the face of the model is). On the other side, hold a white card or piece of paper at an angle as close as possible to the miniature but out of sight of the camera (see the photograph opposite). The card will bounce some of the light from your bulbs back into some of the shadows and bring out more detail. Set your camera to the manual setting and find the aperture (or f/stop) setting. This will be a number like 6.3 or 5.8 or 4 or something like that. Set the aperture (or f/stop) to the HIGHEST NUMBER POSSIBLE. Anything close to or above 8 is ideal. Next, find your shutter speed setting. It will be a fraction. Fractions like 1/60, 1/15, and 1/125 are common shutter speeds. Set your shutter speed to about 1/4. Your first attempts might look too light or too dark. If so, adjust the shutter speed accordingly. If 1/4 is too light, change it to 1/8. If its too dark, change it to 1/2. Experiment to see what looks best overall. Use your tripod to tilt the camera 90 (unless the model is wider than it is tall, in which case dont tilt it). Zoom all the way in on the model, and then physically move the camera back as far as you need to in order to make the auto-focus work. If the camera is too close, the lens wont be able to focus, and something on the monitor will usually blink to warn you. Once you are just in the right range to focus, go ahead and shoot. Detailed Shots. For shooting super-close details of the model, you need to re-tune the camera a little. Turn on the macro function. On most cameras, a little icon of a flower or face will appear on the cameras monitor. Use the zoom control and zoom the lens all the way out. Then, while looking at the flower icon, zoom the lens in again. You should notice that, somewhere between all out and all in, the flower changes color (usually white to yellow). While the icon is this different color, that is the BEST focal length of the lens for macro photography. Zoom in as MUCH as possible while still keeping the flower yellow (or whatever color it changed to). If you have no color change, just zoom about two-thirds of the way in, which is about the same. Once that is set, dont touch the zoom anymore. Instead, move the camera itself closer or further from the model. If the camera cant auto-focus on the model for some reason, move the camera back a little and try again until it can, just as you would when shooting an entire model.

Tripod. A tripod is an essential piece of equipment. When photographing models, your shutter speeds are going to be astronomically long, and even the heartbeat in your palms can shake the camera enough to ruin a shot. Only hand-hold a camera when the shutter speed is 1/60th of a second or quicker. When photographing miniatures, you will never use a shutter speed that quick. Miniature photography typically uses a shutter speed between 1/8 and 1/2 of a second. All a good tripod has to do is hold the camera perfectly still. It doesnt have to be expensive, just stable. Some miniature photographers (thats photographers of miniature figures, not real little guys with cameras) have suggested the alternative of placing the camera on a book and setting the timer to avoid having to hold the camera or shake it by pressing the shutter release (the button, colloquially). This simple technique can work. However, as most models are taller than they are wide, youll often want a

Formatting Your Image Files. Submit photographic files to us per the following specifications. At least 300 dots per inch (dpi) CMYK (as opposed to RGB) TIFF file format



Below are a few final thoughts and suggestions to consider before submitting to White Dwarf. Legal Stuff and Other Drudgery. Authors and hobbyists should take a moment to read the SUBMISSIONS statement, printed under the masthead on the inside front cover of every White Dwarf magazine before they send any materials to us. Authors submitting materials to us should understand that Games Workshop will edit and may completely rewrite any and all written materials for content, length, grammar, and style as well as consistency with established rules and background, game balance, and fairness of game play.
This photo demonstrates our set up for shooting individual models. Notice that Dirty is using a white bounce card on the left of the model to reflect the light into the more recessed areas. This kind of set up can be reproduced easily with little effort and a limited budget.

The colors are rich, not washed out or overexposed.

will know what you mean by green stuff or Bestial Brown. If, however, youre writing an article geared toward beginners (e.g., how to assemble and paint a plastic regiment boxed set), you will need to take more time and explain terms like drybrushing. Remember also that some members of our audience are as young as 12-years-old, whereas others are well-educated adults. Try to write for both audiences. Dont talk above the heads of the 12-year-olds, but dont insult the intelligence of our adult readers either. Writing Step-by-Steps. When writing step-bystep instructions, use imperative verb forms. Imagine that you are leaning over a fellow hobbyists shoulder and giving him instructions as he works. RIGHT: Prime the model with Chaos Black Spray. WRONG: The model was primed with Chaos Black Spray.

That said, the White Dwarf staff is committed to promoting the efforts of hobbyists and preserving their unique voices and creativity. We will work closely with authors and hobbyists who submit materials to us in order to publish articles that satisfy all parties. But I Dont Have a Camera... If you are an experienced hobbyist and choose not to or cannot create publishable photographs of your models or terrain, dont despair. It is still possible to make arrangements with the White Dwarf staff to have your models photographed in our offices. Contact us at

Everything is in focus from the back to the front of the model. There are no overly harsh shadows.
to tell us about your article idea and to discuss this possibility. Note, however, that we may ask you to drop your models off at our offices or mail them to us. Will I Get Paid? Wellmaaaaaaybe. As a rule, White Dwarf does not pay authors of unsolicited submissions. However, if you impress us by publishing a successful article and corresponding with us in a professional and timely manner, you could join the ranks of our freelance writers, a handful of established writers and hobbyists who complete articles and projects for us from time to time in exchange for cash payment or GW products. While no one, to date, has become rich by working as a White Dwarf freelancer, we do compensate our freelance writers. The best way to become one of our paid freelancers is to submit a strong article and/or photographs to us, revise according to our instructions, meet all deadlines, and respond promptly and politely. Once we establish a good working relationship after an article or two, we may invite you to work for us as a freelancer. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Set pen to paper and paintbrush to pewter and send your submission to us! We look forward to hearing from you. Send all correspondence and submissions to

The set up shown above produced this shot.

WRONG: I primed the model with Chaos Black Spray. Product Names. Games Workshop encourages you to use as many of our hobby products as possible when modeling, converting, and painting. GW prefers to mention its own products by name, e.g., Skull White paint and Chaos Black Spray. You are permitted to use our competitors products, but GW will generally refer to them generically, e.g., dark red paint or modeling putty. GW will make an exception if a particular product is one of a kind (e.g., Aves Apoxie Sculpt Modeling Compound) or if one brand is ideal for a particular application. Note, however, that if too many of our competitors products are used, we may not accept the article for publication. Use Published Articles as Examples. Follow established formats for stat lines, painting workshops, modeling workshops, terrain workshops, and the like.


Computer File Format. Submit all text in a Microsoft Word or RTF document. Active Voice. Write in active voice rather than passive voice. RIGHT: The Dwarf raised his axe. WRONG: The axe was raised by the Dwarf. Economy of Language. Write as simply as possible. Be clear and concise. Audience. Consider audience at all times. Your readers will likely be people very similar to you: gamers and hobbyists. Most Games Workshop publications are written for what GW calls its Core customers. These people will understand basic terms like drybrushing and