Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Go fund a worthy cause

Tim Pollard, former member of GW's Design Studio, currently Nottingham's official Robin Hood, and all-round smashing person, is getting married. Tim is marrying Dr. Sally Chappell, Lecturer in Human Molecular Genetics at the University of Nottingham, and - appropriately - Nottingham's official Maid Marian.

Sally has incurable breast cancer. Despite this, Sally continues her work at Nottingham and raises both funds and awareness of breast cancer issues, in the midst of having to face the grueling challenges of chemotherapy.

Tim's daughter Candy has started a gofundme campaign to raise donations towards converting a garage into a usable sewing/play room for Sally and her 2 and half year old daughter (Candy's sister), Scarlett.

The target is £5000, and the campaign is already halfway to being achieved. Tim and Sally have contributed so much to their community, and deserve something in return. If you can donate something - no matter what the amount - then I know they would be eternally grateful.

The link for donations is https://www.gofundme.com/salandscarlett

Go fund them!

(You can find details of some of Tim's GW collection here, and read an interview with Tim over on the Realm of Chaos 80s blog here).

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Fantastic Oldhammer style t-shirts from Warmonger Miniatures

Maria Ansell of Warmonger Miniatures has commissioned their first t-shirt, and it's of a cracking Oldhammer style:

The Orc Desperado t-shirt features an illustration by Paul Philburn, artist and nephew of the late Wayne England:

Wayne was a massive influence on me... my artwork and love of gaming in all aspects of building and terrain loonacy which I've passed onto my lads...the circle is complete
(Paul Philburn)

You can pre-order the t-shirts now (Warmonger Miniatures), and they will be available to ship the first week of August or can be collected at the Oldhammer event which takes place at Foundry on 4th, 5th and 6th of August.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

TFOG June: the last Slann

Ahhhh...can you smell that? The sweet smell of a painting challenge completed. Here is my final entry for a Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers:

Here we have 4 bull riders with light armour (140 points) plus a level 10 hero in heavy armour (102 points). By my reckoning that takes my grand total to 1015 points.

Now on to BOYL and the Big Battle!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

TFOG May: Slann mage on litter

Looks like I might be the first of my battle brothers to post in this month's A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers challenge. I couldn't have a Slann force and not take a mage on litter:

This meaty monster weighs in at 199 points: I've made him a level 15 to allow me to bring the grand total of the force to around 1000 points.

All the Slann in my force will be green, but this guy needed to be a bit different so I went for the red.

Here's what the Warhammer Armies book says about Slann wizards and their need to be carried:

Oh, and apparently Slann wizards can employ any type of magic without restriction... :-)

Friday, 22 April 2016

TFOG April: finally some Slann...

As we approach the final stages of the Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers I've finally manages to paint some Slann for my, errr, Slann army...

This month's offering is a small unit of Slann warrior priests, the Brotherhood of the Sacred Heart:

These guys weigh in at 12 points each, so 60 points for a unit of 5. Somewhat under the 100 points per month target, but my remaining units all exceed that so from an average perspective I'll be fine.

Way back at the start of this project I was mulling over some exotic paint schemes for the Slann, based on the wacky colouring of tropical frogs. In the end though I went for keep it simple, and have gone for a fairly "typical" green, with the addition of my blue spot colour on the clothes and feather head-dress (alternating with white). I realised part-way through that I dont think these guys are actually wearing upper-body clothing, but I'd started so I decided to finish with a brown tunic.

For the bloody hearts and blood spatter on the sacrificial blades I tried out the GW technical paint "Blood for the Blood God". I'm pleased with how this has turned out and I think the hearts look particularly realistic.

These guys have some fairly rocking stats:

Two attacks each, plus they are subject to frenzy. Gotta love frenzied troops!

See you next month Slann fans!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Pantheon of Chaos kickstarter

I rarely get swepped away by kickstarters but this one has got me really excited: it's The Pantheon of Chaos by Diego Serrate Pinilla.

As you can see from the image above, the kickstarter was funded in 2 hours, which shows you how popular this has been. There's a pretty simple reason why it's been so popular - it's absolutely crammed with old-skool chaos goodness by sculpters and artists such as Tim Prow, Kev Adams, Drew Williams, Paul Muller and Tony Ackland.

Take a look at just a small selection of the goodness on offer:

I'm really excited about this project, and can't wait to get these figures painted.

There are also some fantastic stretch goals in the pipeline. So do us all a favour and back this one - let's get as many of the stretch goals unlocked as we can!

Head over to The Pantheon of Chaos and pledge today!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

TFOG March: P'ffff't

Last month's entry for a Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers consisted of a small unit of Troglodytes. These stinky dudes needed a leader, so this month I present you with:

P'ffff't - Troglodyte level 5 hero

The particular spelling of his name is very important - he gains an extra "f" for every member of his unit. Currently this stands at four, so he has four "fs". This is an ancient tradition among Troglodytes, although much beyond four it becomes a bit superfluous, given the extreme stupidity of Troglodytes.

This guy weighs in at 86 points. Not quite the 100 for the month, but I over-compensated for that last month by having a 176 point, four Troglodyte unit. Here he is in a nice group shot chilling with his homies:

So now I have to face up to reality. There is nowhere left to turn. Next month, the Slann are coming...

Why not check out the losers my buddies' efforts this month:

Paul: http://warlordpauluk.blogspot.co.uk/
Chico: http://oldhammeronabudget.blogspot.co.uk/
James: http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Another sculpt: Swae-zee, Chaos Champion of Slaanesh

Back at the end of December I shared an image of my first sculpt, and now I've returned to the greenstuff for another bash at this highly enjoyable pursuit. I present to you Swae-zee, Chaos Champion of Slaanesh:

Now, you may well be thinking "WTF" at this point, so I think a little context is in order, together with a few notes as to how I tackled this sculpt.

My first sculpt was a fairly heavily armoured chaos warrior, so I thought on this occasion it would be worth trying to sculpt something with a bit more flesh on view so that I could practice musculature. My first thought was to sculpt a barbarian, but I kept being drawn back to chaos. I looked through various illustration in the old Citadel books and catalogues and happened upon this one in the first Citadel Compendium (circa 1983):

A wonderful cyclopean chaos mutant, I suspect from the talented Mr. Akland.

My first job was to create a simple armature, and I used some very useful Youtube tutorials for this. I then started work on the torso, and it quickly became apparent that this guy was going to be a bit more "ripped" (is that the correct term?) than the one in illustration. This was partly due to the way I sculpt, which is to correct odd looking bits of sculpt as I go along, adding layers of greenstuff. No problem I told myself.

Next I added the arms and upper tentacles. At this point the intention was to keep just one pair of tentacles.

Then came the head, minus the hair. At this stage I took a step back and wondered if hair would work so well. I think part of the reason that the straggly hair works well in the illustration is that the creature's body is quite withered itself. How would straggly hair work with a ripped body? I decided to take the plunge...

I think its fair to say that the addition of the hair totally transformed the figure. Whether that be for good or ill, I'll let you judge! But I was quite pleased with how the hair ended up, even if it was not the effect I was aiming for initially.

Next came the legs. By the time I got to the hands I had pretty much had enough, and I wasn't in the mood for attempting to sculpt hands. So I took the decision to sculpt two more tentacles. Due to their rather unfortunate positioning I found that no matter where I placed the tentacles the eventual pose appeared rather...shall we say "suggestive"...so what you see is the most "innocent" pose I could achieve.

He has to be a Slaanesh champion of course (a Level 25 Hero), and here are his stats and chaos attributes:

Overall I'm pleased with this figure, even given the places that need improvement and its slightly odd appearance. I think I managed to get the size and proportions of the figure almost right, as this comparison pic shows:


Thursday, 25 February 2016

TFOG February entry - Troglodytes

My every-growing Slann army continues to grow without any Slann. This month I've painted a unit of Troglodytes for A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers:

These are Trish Carden sculpts from the 1980s.

As per my lizardmen last month, I've given these "counts as double handed weapons" for those things they are carrying, which comes out at 44 points per figure, so 176 points in total this month.

Troglodytes cause fear but suffer from stupidity. On the plus side they are immune to fear and panic. Amusingly they also "cause nausea" which mean they smell so badly that anyone in combat with them suffers a -1 to hit! So hopefully all told they should cause some fun on the battlefield.

I've gone for a bish-bosh approach again with painting these...there are possibly even some parts I've left unpainted.

Basing-wise, I've tried recessed bases on these (40mm) and I think they've turned out OK. Minimum effort for mediocre results is my maxim for this force. I haven't painted the rim of the bases because yet again I'm being indecisive about the base colour. In my defense I'm just about out of the old Calthan Brown, so I may have to repaint all the bases with some different shade of brown.

So, we are about halfway through this challenge now and I keep putting off painting some Slann. I've got a Troglodyte hero lines up for next month, but from April it will be Slann all the way.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

TFOG January 2016: Lizardmen

My entry for this month's A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers challenge is a small unit of Lizardmen:

The Warhammer Armies book gives these as 20 points each. I've given them "counts as double handed weapons" for their long axes at an additional 4 points per model, so that's a points total of 96 this month. Lizardmen have a toughness of 4 and 2 wounds each so not too bad. How they actually fare on the day is a different matter of course.

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking that I've fielded four identical figures, but they are actually variants of the old Citadel AD&D range. In fact, technically they are AD&D Troglodytes, but I'm fielding them as Lizardmen. This range was noted for producing a number of variants for most of its figure lines, but in a number of cases you would have to look closely to see where the actual variation lies. The full variant set for the Lizardmen can be found at The Stuff of Legends (images provided by Richard Scott of Otherworld).

The paint jobs are very basic, and were quick to achieve using mainly dry-brushing; the scaly skin on this figures makes dry-brushing a doddle.

Also, I've finally decided on a basing design. I've decided to base all the figures in this army (with the possible exception of the spider) on round bases with a simply sand and tufts decoration.

Friday, 8 January 2016

My first painted miniature of 2016

...is a Space Marine. Bit of a departure for me, since most of the stuff I've painted so far has been fantasy rather scifi. I've never painted a Space Marine before, but I have boxes and boxes of them, and they kept looking at me. I'd also been investigating the latest Games Workshop paint ranges and I noticed there were some recommendations for painting an Ultramarine, so I thought I'd give it a go.

Here he is:

The figure in question is what has been labelled a "Transition Marine". They are composed of a bunch of armour mark variants and were sculpted in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

I decided on the following colour scheme for the armour, following GW's recommendation: Macragge Blue base, Altdorf Guard Blue layer, Calgar Blue layer and edge highlight, with a very slight edge highlight of some GW grey that I forget (I think it was Astronomican Grey?). I glazed with a few layers of Guilliman Blue. I used this neat, but a chap working at GW Nottingham suggested I should mix it 1:1 with Lahmian Medium, and about 7 parts of water. Or was it 4 parts? I forget. Anyway, I'll give that a bash next time.

I went for a very retro look on the chainsword. All in all I'm pleased with how he's turned out, and I thimk I'll be painted more of these intergalactic peace-keepers...(!)

Blood Angel next!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Aly Morrison's Marauder Miniatures sketchbook

Happy New Year Oldhammer devotees! I've got a cracking first post of the New Year for you. Last Saturday I attended Games Workshop's 40th birthday bash at their HQ in Nottingham, partly in the hope of seeing some old miniatures on display. In truth there wasn't much to be seen, but I did hit upon an absolute nugget of gold that made the trip more than worth the effort. Aly Morrison was manning one of the display tables and he had brought along his old miniatures sketchbook from his days at Marauder Miniatures!

It was great to chat with Aly, and he was more than happy to share his memories about his early years at GW/Marauder. His sketchbook was absolutely fascinating, and Aly very kindly gave his permission for me to photograph it and share the images with my fellow Oldhammerers. I was so excited I decided to photograph every page! There's somewhere in the region of 73 pages here, so you may well want to grab a cuppa and a biscuit and settle down to enjoy the view...These pages are roughly in the order in which they appear in the sketchbook, but some of them will be out of order because I've grouped some similar pages together.

I've always been a big fan of Aly's figures, but one thing I have to confess is that I had no idea how good an illustrator he is. In addition to his scrapbook he also brought along some very early illustrations he did at GW. Jon Boyce has already published some of these on the Oldhammer Facebook group, and I'll upload some more in a future blogpost; in my opinion they really are the epitome of Oldhammer.

Another characteristic of Aly's that is evident in many of the illustrations is his sense of humour. It's well worth taking a closer look at some of his notes to see what I mean!

Finally, before I let you loose on the images, I wanted to point out that I have included links to various Marauder Miniatures pages on the Stuff of Legends website throughout my accompanying notes. I have done this simply because the similarity between Aly's concept sketches and the finished product is quite uncanny, which I think is testimony to his ability as a sculptor.

If you want to see any of the images in closer detail, simply right click on a an image and choose open in another tab.


First up are some MM20 Orcs. A number of these weren't illustrated in the catalogue pages but can be seen in a mail order flyer from the time:

Here we have an idea (presumably abandoned?) for lobotomised dwarf slaves? Also, what I assume is a concept for a Dark Elf (I'm guessing that's what "Dick EFL" means?!) x-bow. As far as I know Marauder didn't produce one of these. Sadly I've only been able to look through these pages in a any detail since Saturday, and I didn't get a chance to speak with Aly about these points on the day.

Some very nice concepts for the Marauder logo, which didn't get used (to my knowledge): the eventual logo can be seen further down the pages. Also check out the tagline at the bottom of this page:

Next we have some MM10 Dwarfs and some more MM20 Orcs, plus a couple of concepts for some "conquistodwarfs" which sadly didn't make it through to production:

There's an interesting dwarf here in more contemporary gear, some sort of 20th Century adventurer type?:

Next we have a MM30 Goblin plus an iconic Marauder Dwarf Wizard:

Some more goblins, which I don't think made production:

A "gobo wheel of DEAF" which very sadly didn't make production!:

Some more goblins...with accompanying war cry:

Moving on to undead, with notes on how they should be armed/armoured, plus one of the iconic Marauder skeleton sculpts, the Undead Hero:

Next we seem to have some concept sketches for Gnomes. Marauder never produced Gnome figures, but judging from these sketches Aly certainly would have done the race justice had they done so:

Interestingly several of the figures above (one of which also appears below in a  more "advanced" sketch) seems to have evolved into a Dwarf command group that did make it into production (see the bottom of this page).

Dwarf Officer plus Goblin command:

I love the detailed notes on the Dwarf Organ Gun crew on this next page. I'm not sure what the figure is bottom right:

Some more detailed notes on a MM60 Empire fighter, including a decision to change a pointing hand (posed as if blessing?) to a defiant closed fist (the eventual miniature did indeed have a closed fist):

Above and below, some of Marauder's wonderful designs for MM70 Dark Elves:

An orc of some description?:

The Dwarf Siege Gun. Sadly the finished product did not end up with that mouthpiece at the end of the barrel:

I'm not familiar with the orc above, but it would have made for a great miniature.

Here we have the iconic Marauder logo:

Also the iconic Marauder skeleton, which received a shield rather than a dagger in its left hand in the finished miniature:

Some ideas for shield designs:

An illustration pasted into the scrapbook for inspiration, which eventually became the Dwarf Siege Gun:

...followed by illustrations of its crew:

Some more inspiration for a swivel gun, together with some sketches for its crew, which Marauder went on to produce:

Note also the flame cannon sketch above. Marauder did not produce one of these, but Alan Perry sculpted one for GW that looked very much like this sketch.

Some more MM70 Dark Elves:

Some preliminary sketches for Wood, Sea and High Elves, with some notes to indicate that Aly was unsure of what helmet designs to use at this point:

Some sketches for what became the MM61 Fighter Command, plus a note of a "LANSKNECT (sic) OGRE": Marauder went on to produce these, and take a look at the sketches further along of the Ogre Hero.

Some concepts for Dwarf Assault Grenadiers, plus the tantalising note "do a chaos dwarf machine", which sadly Marauder never did:

Rough sketch for the Dwarf Organ Gun:

More concepts:

Initial ideas for the Dwarf Regiment:

Some ideas that eventually became the MM66 Mounted Reiksguard Knights:

Some more Orcs, this time they became the MB2 Orc Regiment:

A couple of interesting bits on the next page. First a sketch for a renegade that looks very much - but not exactly - like the top left one on this page. This catalogue page credits the miniatures to Michael Perry and Kev Adams, so it's not clear if the concept below is uncredited to Aly, or if it's actually a different sculpt.

Also check out the dwarf tea party! Sadly, once again, it was never produced.

Initial sketches for a chaos dwarf (lots more of these to come below) and a chaos warrior (which did not become a miniature):

Some more orcs and dwarfs:

An orc (?) mortar that never saw production:

Next is an early sketch for a Dwarf Mounted Officer. Marauder did go on to sculpt a mounted dwarf which was never officially released. This could be an earlier concept sketch because a later sketch (see below) looks much more like the finished figure.

Also note above "Wayne as a Dwarf general". Which Wayne is unclear - Wayne England perhaps? I love the "box of stick on beards"! The note on the right of the page above leads on to the next section...

I personally find the next section fascinating because it documents the creation of the Marauder MM90 Chaos Dwarfs, which are essentially "mini-me" versions of some of the Citadel Chaos Warriors available at the time. From memory, a number of these pages were scattered throughout the sketchbook, but I've brought them together for the sake of an easier read.

The first page is an amalgamation of Chaos Warrior images that Aly has cut out and stuck in his sketchbook. He seems to have marked the ones that he would use for Chaos Dwarfs. Presumably the unmarked ones were initially considered as candidates but then dropped.

And here are some, but not all, of the MM90 Chaos Dwarfs:

Above: note how the weapon of No. 1 got inverted in the sketches and in the finished miniature.

Below: lots of humour in this one...The Chaos Dwarf Sorceror (No. 8 below) looks more like his Chaos Sorceror donor in this image, but was eventually modified in the final miniature. Aly notes "do 10 to 15 similar" for these figures - the MM90 range eventually totaled 24. Also note the list of "beastmen range" - Marauder didn't produce the "dog", "lizard" and "plague" types (as far as I know).

Below: yet more humour...Aly tells me he greatly values humour in his ideas!

Below: more notes for a chaos dwarf war machine. Could that image on the lower right be a preliminary idea for such a machine?

On to some more Dark Elf and Orc ideas:

 Next are some ideas for Emire fighters with separate weapons. Aly seems to be pitching this to someone - to Bryan Ansell perhaps? GW did go on to produce such figures, which it appears were sculpted by the Perry twins. Aly and Colin Dixon also sculpted Dwarfs in this manner, so I guess his pitch must have been successful!

More of the same, but with plastic flags included:

Some more teasing us with Chaos Dwarf machinery - some sort of gattling-gun type of weapon?!:

Next are some concepts for Chaos Warriors that sadly did not make production:

I don't know what the numbers denote, and I don't know who wrote the "better animation" comments - Aly, or Bryan perhaps?

Above: "Dwarfs on Pigs"!

Next is another concept for a mounted dwarf, plus concepts for a dwarf steam engine/steam boat:

Above: Nordic crew would have been great! Plus a chaos version...?

Some Minotaurs next, with only the first page seeming to be the source for production figures:

Below: is it just me or does the bottom text read "viking minotaur"? Also, dwarf Space Marine!

Some more Minotaur ideas, leading on to..

..the iconic MS4 Ogre Hero (which seemed to have started life as a mercenary):

 Some more Dwarfs, plus more Chaos figures that didn't see production (other than an initial idea for the MB10 Chaos Thugs):

Finally the sketch that became the unreleased Dwarf Cavalryman - because as Aly was told, Dwarfs don't get to be cavalry!