How to Paint Tactical Space Marines – It’s Free!

Citadel Painting Guide
Citadel Painting Guide
Update: The promotion is over. How to Paint Tactical Marines is now a £2.99 iBook.

A favourite past-time on the internet is slamming Games Workshop for high prices.

Curiously enough, Games Workshop seems to have missed the opportunity to counter that perception, even when they do actually hand out free stuff.

You heard it correctly. Free stuff. Or maybe it is just a mistake?

Either way, Games Workshop’s latest iPainting-Guide for the new Warhammer 40K Tactical Space Marines - How to Paint Citadel Miniatures: Tactical Marines – is absolutely free.




You will still need an iPad or iPhone of course.

Advertised at 72 pages, it’s not just a 3-page gimmick either.

If you’ve ever wanted to give these things a try, this is your chance!




I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at
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  • Bobthemim

    So it’s not free.

    You still need to fork over a couple of hundred to get a “free” guide because i iPhone wasnt an option when i got a free upgrade on my phone.

    If they wanted to release it for free, they have an entire website where they could post a PDF accessible to all

    • Zweischneid

      Well, you couldn’t access a website for “free” either by your definition. You’d still need a computer, an internet-connection, etc.. .

      So yes, you need a device to access it (just like you need some device to access a pdf on

      And you’re “free” upgrade to your phone wasn’t free either, because you likely need to have paid for some contract first.

      • Bobthemim

        Yes but a computer you can access at a library and use thier printers to use the info at home.

        You could also walk into a gw and use their terminals or use their store copy.

        You could ask to use your schools.. or government.or many other sources.

        Yet to do the same with an IoS device.. I don;t see public access iphone/pads lying around.

        Cheapest I could find that can run ibooks ver 3, which is the bare minimum needed for this “free” product is £160

        Cheapest pdf supported smartphone i found is £38

        and as I said… Libraries and other sources are sometimes free or at least £5 at most

        • Zweischneid

          Well, even your library isn’t free. You pay for it with taxes. And you might need to take the bus to get there, which also costs money. Even more so if you’d need to invest in your own transport like a bicycle or car. Etc…. .

          If you spin it this way, nothing is truly ever 100% free.

          GW put this up from the price of 0, so by common use of language it is free, “more free” actually than you’re library’s internet, which you pay indirectly through taxes, as well as needing some form of access to get there in the first place.

          GW’s iBook needs an iPhone / iPad to read, and there are good reasons to not like Apple devices, but this “it’s not free if I need an iPad but it is free if I can access it through some other device” isn’t one of them. It’s just anti-apple-bias cloaked in horrible logic.

          • Bobthemim

            So having a beef with GW /only/ releasing it on iOS, using your logic, equals anti-apple.

            My point is it is much easier to access it if it was PDF on their website, than it is to get an iOS 5.1+ device..

            Yes they put it up tax-free on iBooks but the money they are getting from Apple and the linked advertisement it garners of their “free” product doesnt excuse the fact that they chose the route of lining their pockets.

            If they wanted to release it free, they have an alternative that they have been using for years, their PDF service.

            This is a short step from FAQ’s or Erratas being released free on iBooks.

          • Zweischneid

            If you’re point is that is easier to access a pdf on their website than an iOS app, I agree.

            If you want to point out the GW releasing only (or mainly these days) stuff for iOS, not other systems, is rather one-sided, I agree.

            But you didn’t argue either.

            You said that this painting guide is not free (because it would need an iDevice) while a pdf on their website would be free (even though it still requires some kind of device).

            That just doesn’t work. If needing a device to access X is “not free” to you, than neither is free. If we neglect the device and look at the price-tag attached to the painting guide itself, both would be free.

            Nothing more, nothing less.

          • Bobthemim


            on that basis both would be correct, it indeed is both free and not-free.

            except on the not free bit, its cheaper to get a one off pdf, than a one off iOS

          • Reece Morris Jones

            So really, your problem is ‘I don’t have an apple device’ or else you have a bias against them?

            Because free is still free. Even if GW are making the silly decision of only making it available on some formats (for now, they have started selling ebooks on other platforms) its still free by definition, in that if you have a way of getting hold of it, you don’t have to pay any money for it.

            What is clear is the GW are favoring apple devices for now, because when they advertise themselves as a manufacturer of premier and high quality miniatures, the market they are aiming for are likely to have Apple devices.

            As for releasing all their rules/guides as DRM free PDFs, I’m sure you aren’t silly enough to assume thats a move a business like GW would do because it would affect their bottom line.

            But hey, GW are ‘teh evils’ right?

          • Bobthemim

            just simply “lol”.

            GW aren’t evil. They are a business. They will get more business with a PDF available to all on their website, than on a device not everyone can afford, and if they could, not everyone is a lover of Apple.

          • Reece Morris Jones

            Yet even a cursory look online can tell you how much PDFs get shared. So its skimming money off GWs bottom line.

            I’m not saying I wouldn’t prefer they send out PDFs, or perhaps some sort of deal where you get an electronic copy free if you purchase a physical copy of the book. But GW are still a little behind the times and based on their current marketing model, selling PDFs would make no sense to them.

          • Bobthemim

            how can you skim off the bottom line if its free?

          • Reece Morris Jones

            I’m talking in broad terms there rather than specifics. I apologise for not stating so.

          • Bobthemim

            an alternative then.

            Why didnt they go to Audible to host their rules/guides.

            It is accessible to more people, isnt DRM-free and can be used on apple w/o too much hassle. (read: “there’s an app for that”)

          • Reece Morris Jones

            because Audiable don’t have the market presence Apple do. Plus, most of GWs board are old men, so probably don’t know about Audiable, but do know about Apple.

          • Reece Morris Jones

            Not to come off as too smug, but its on multiple platforms now, not just I devices


          • Zweischneid

            That is some sort of email link you have there, leading to an outlook log-in

          • Reece Morris Jones

            Apologies! Well, by now if you have signed up to the GW newsletter you should know anyway by now ;)

          • Bobthemim

            you came off hellova smug.. shame what you said was straight up BS.

            The “free painting guide” is only on iBooks.

            whats coming to android.. is the Codex: Space Marines.

            see i subbed to the newsletter too.. but i tend to read them instead of quoting the header.

      • Bobthemim

        To get my phone also was entirely free.. I even saved some money per month on contract.

        To get an iphone would have been £200 for the device and an extra £10 a month.

        I use my mobile just to make calls and sometimes to text.. I can read books on there and pdf’s and listen to iTunes bought music transferred to it..

        But the only thing stopping me using all the new shiny GW stuff.. is the fact I have an android and I didnt want to spend what at this point, would be an extra £400 over what I have paid so far for my phone.

        • Zweischneid

          Well, you didn’t “save” anything on a contract as long as you still paid something. You don’t get a free phone if you don’t have some kind of contract.

          If you’re phone is cheaper than an iPad, that is fine. If you don’t want to buy an iPad, also fine. But you still pay money for your phone, no matter how little, so it falls to the same logic of “it’s not truly free” that you tried to level at the Apple devices.

          Again, GW’s iBook is free. You need some device to access it, just as you need for everything (!) on the internet, even if it’s “free” tax-financed library-based internet-access.

          But the common use of the word, it’s thus free just the same as a pdf on their website would be “free”.

  • Bobthemim

    If anything it seems you have an anti-”anti-apple”-bias.

    I argued that its easier to get something that isn’t apple-based than using apple.

  • Hendybadger

    Just tried and it looks like its iPad only and not iPhone.

  • Tim Whitehead

    Gah! iPad only! I thought GW/BL was making a push into Android ebooks as well. Oh well maybe at a latter date.

    • Bobthemim

      its only free for the month of Sept.. on iBooks

      it will be on eBooks im betting in Oct at £6-£10

      • Tim Whitehead

        Would have been nice to have my day in the sun and get it for my Nexus 7 tablet. I doubt I would pay £6-£10 for something that was given away for free already.

        • Bobthemim

          like i said it is only free to promote the SM launch.. in Oct it will be back to full price.. which is £6-£10 for something this size for GeeDub.

          • Tim Whitehead

            That I get (bought my physical copy of the Codex today) but still doesn’t stop the disappointment at a rare GW freebie is in a format that I do not have access to.

          • Bobthemim

            trust me im not defending them

            I think it is appalling that to get a free item i have to get something that can run iBooks ver 3 and above..

            Mainly an iPhone 4s or iPad as a starting bid..

            apparently I am the leader of the “android underground” for having sour thoughts on things being hyper exclusive to Apple

          • Zweischneid

            So you would rather GW doesn’t give away freebies?

          • Bobthemim

            I would rather it be on droid for free..

            but if it meant that i cant.. then no.. freebies on one platform isnt fun..

            Thing is i;d still argue the point that its elitist even if i had an iOS device..

            As i have plenty of friends that dont that would like a good painting guide,

  • Kim Sandberg

    I have just tried it for myself and i think its very good, atleast very very good for a freebe!

    Games Workshop states on there Newly opend facebook acc; Games Workshop Digital Editions that they use alot of interactive features that is currently only avaleble with Ipad. That being said they also states that they should will have news for other platform for the painting guides…

  • bambam

    Its free and still the complaints role in. Ive never seen a bunch of people harder to please than wargamers.

    • Bobthemim

      its free for a select few who have an iPad..

      for the ones with a kindle variant or other tablets.. it wont be free..

      hence my tirade of getting a “free” painting guide costing £160

      • bambam

        Select few who have the iPad? Whats their market share in the tablet market, something like 60% right? Not exactly a select few then

        • Bobthemim

          60% of THE WORLD

          people who paint 40k =/= The World

          • Zweischneid

            That is true.

            People who paint 40K are predominantly young, white, male, live in the western world, more often in urban areas than the countryside, and trend towards the “geeky” end of the populace.

            I’d recon the probability of them having an iPad would be significantly larger than the general population.

          • Bobthemim

            Their parents would get them a cheaper tablet if under 18.

            if student age they wouldnt bother.

            and 21+ would get an ipad if they could afford it..

          • Zweischneid

            I doubt that.

            I have two girls in Primary School, and the tablets the Primary School uses are of course iPads. Public School. For that reason alone, all small children grow up knowing iPads first and foremost, especially the children whose parents (like me) don’t buy them iPads right away (out of principle or out of financial reasons).

            And frankly, all the class-mates of my girls that do have tablets of their own (we’re talking ages 4 to 7 here) have iPads (and I don’t live in some posh suburb). Apple products like the iPad mini have also pushed prices down.

            I admire your tenacity to defend the Android Underground, but your own effort to paint iPad users as some kind of pampered elite fools seems to be blinding your own perception of the world.

          • Bobthemim

            The “Underground” exists because android users get shafted everytime something new comes out.. it is on a iDevice 6-12months before the droid and other competitors, and often Free products are no longer free when its on other competitors.

            There are still products that GW promised would be on Android that exist on iOS, that havent seen the light of day.

          • Zweischneid


            But that is hardly GWs fault. They are simply facing the reality that a) iOS is far more widespread and b) Android is a horrible piece of crap to develop anything for.

            I am sorry. But it is simply the better system winning.

            I can sit all day long complaining that I don’t get on Laserdisk what other people by on CD, that I don’t get on MiniDisk what people get as MP3, that I can’t buy everything on HD DvD while Blue Ray get’s the full release of everything.

            It’s the nature of the beast that some technologies will win and some will not. Google has lots of winners, but Android ain’t one of them.

          • NagaBaboon

            No one is stopping android competing for exclusive content and earlier releases. Apple are very good at business and it’s these sorts of offers as well as the reliability of the products that attarcts people to them, they’re not screwing anyone, if android aren’t offering as good a service they’re the ones screwing you.

  • Vince

    Epic Fail! You have to use itunes to download it. I don’t see why, with an entire website available to them, they couldn’t just make a pdf. I remember the days when they use to have thousands of these guides online for free: 20 pics of a different chaos warrior, how to paint skeletons, elves, undead etc…. sigh

    • bambam

      Because its an interactive book and obviously its the format that they are moving towards. Its actually pretty cool, have you bothered to look at it?

      • .

        So you have to install a crappy software, poorly developed for pc, just to check it out..?

    • NagaBaboon

      I think it’s the itunes book of the week or something, it’s not always gonna be free if thats the case

  • DT

    I have an IPAD and I can’t download the free book because my IPAD does not have all the possible updates installed, updates that I don’t want, so no free book for me as per Apple who has to have everything their way

  • gmesterdk

    And gw said its also free for android but where is that download???
    Gw is not what it used to be :’(:’(:’(:’(:’(

    • Zweischneid

      Where did GW say there’ll be a free version for android?

      I don’t think they even do these for android, free or not. The android system doesn’t handle all the interactivity nearly as well as iOS.