Thursday, 28 August 2014

Has the brilliant Aly Morrison left GW for Wargames Foundry?

About twenty minutes ago this rather enigmatic photograph appeared on the Wargames Foundry Facebook page. It reports to show the veteran sculptor who created of a great number of our favourite classic '80s sculpts wearing the Wargames Foundry staff uniform! 

The tag line 'Aly Morrison trying on the Foundry staff uniform for size!' is included with the image to boot!

Take a moment to think about it...

Bryan Ansell, Kev Adams and Aly Morrison all working with the Wargames Foundry's resources? That would be interesting wouldn't it?

Or it could just be an amusing photograph taken during Cliff Ansell's recent birthday celebrations and anniversary of the Wargames Foundry? Hence the cluttered tables and bric-a-brac of celebration. 

Time will tell...

But its fun to speculate! 


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Painting BOYLdrik the Oldhammer Goblin

One of the highlights of the Oldhammer Weekend this year was the Oldhammer goblin, or BOYLdrik as he is now kind of officially known, made for us by the one and only Kev Adams. I haven't seen too many of these painted yet but I thought I would spend a bit of time this afternoon painting him up. He isn't slottabased by the way and has a solid base, similar to other Foundry castings and has the word 'Oldhammer' on the side of the base like miniatures of yesteryear. 

I decided to cover this with greenstuff and then base with sand. I also tried out a new basing technique that I am trying for my undead army, something to suggest that the soil is poor and many of the plants have died. For the actual painting I had no real rhyme or reason and just went wild on him. I added yellow ink to the basecolour for his skin and ended up with nice retro vibrant green flesh. Some people have asked about the model's scale and that on Foundry goblins in other ranges, so I have shown BOYLdrik alongside a classic 1980s gobbo for company. Not much in it really, when you discount the enormous hat! 

All in all, a great fun model to paint in a single sitting, which is what you would expect from the Goblinmaster!

If you were at BOYL this year I have a question for you. 

How did you paint yours?


What's Your Ultimate Oldhammer Moment?

The internet seems to be awash with various people, some of whom display remarkable stupidity, drenching themselves with icy water for charity, or just because everyone else is doing so. Its a curious part of social media. Oldhammer has not been immune to these odd little trends either, with the recent 'Top 10 Favourite Miniatures' posts spreading across the community and making quite excellent reading for us all. 

With Rick Priestley and John Stallard
So I was hoping to start another one for us in the blogging community, only this time we will be considering our own personal 'ultimate Oldhammer moment', whatever that may be. 

Of course, these moments will be as varied and personal to each blogger as the 'Top 10' lists were. But I suspect that the stories that make up these moments will be well worth sharing. The only trouble is actually choosing your greatest moment out of everything your Oldhammer experience has thrown 
Meeting Bryan for the first time! 
at you. After all, was your Ultimate Moment chasing down that rare model you have been after all these years, acquiring that essential publication, beating a painting challenge or just getting a big game in? Due to the difficulty of picking just one moment, let's say you are allowed a couple of 'Runner up' options, too!

Now this post hasn't come without thought, and I have spent a couple of days pondering over all of the wonderful things that Oldhammer has done for me over the last couple of years. Its rather hard
With Tony Hough and Kev Goblinmaster Adams.
when you have to choose just three but I think I have succeeded. Meeting plenty of old school legends is definitely up there (as these pictures will show) so I would happily place those experiences as one of my 'runner ups'. 

The other 'runner up' is less tangible and has no photographic evidence to show off. Its when this blog became a search term on the internet! It meant that people were actively Googling this blog because they were eager to read my rambles about Old School British Fantasy gaming!

Quite, why is still a bit of a mystery?

For me, the greatest moment I have had so far as part of the Oldhammer Community is actually something I that I have not mentioned much, as it wasn't really anything to do with me, though I took part. It was the game that Warlord Paul put on for Steve 'Citadel Collector' Casey, Nik Dixon, Thantsants and myself at Slayer Gaming in June.

That game became known as the Battle of the Burning Tower and can be read in full here on Warlord Paul's personal blog, the Black Hole!

Why did I choose this rather obscure event as my all time greatest Oldhammer moment then? Especially after many other glories (winning that limited edition wizard for instance!) and surprises? Well, to me the answer was simple... That rather small key game had everything I have ever wanted from a wargaming experience. Let me elaborate further on what I actually mean...

Firstly, everyone who attended the game had brought with them their miniatures, all lovingly collected and painted over quite a long period of time, with specific models painted up just for the purpose of that game. Some of the models on show were really well thought out (Steve Casey's Klint Westwood and Clyde were brilliant, and ultimately needs to be replicated in my own collection) and despite the varying styles, all looked superb on the table.

Chaos run in fear of the undead while the Deathfist advances. The Citadel Collector aka Steve Casey looks on, lovin' it!
Secondly, the game was beautifully run by Paul. Now, I suspect that a great number of you who read this blog have probably never played a properly crafted GM scenario. In these situations there are no 'line them up and knock them down' approaches and you really don't know what is going to happen. Buildings cease to be just blocks of scenery and become rather exciting prospects. What do they contain? A friend or foe? How can they be best used? Under Paul's guidance, the game was developed and ended with a nice set piece battle - which is the spectacle that so many of use crave.

Thirdly, we made up rules and narrative as we went along. By questioning Paul, we were able to establish that the tower may contain flammable materials (on a roll of 6, which of course we got) but only after a fireball spell was cast. The result? A massive explosion which killed the guards but miraclously left Klint and Clyde alive but rather singed! There was no need to flick argumentatively through the rulebook and waste playing (or chatting) time rules lawyering. Paul was in charge and has probably the greatest working knowledge of Third Edition anyway. The result of this was that the game ran so, so smoothly and the hours melted by rather alarmingly!

We roleplayed conversations between the major and minor characters, which added another dimension to the proceedings.
Additionally, we were in a non-Oldhammer environment. remember, when you are gaming at the Foundry or around a fellow Oldhammerer's pad you are playing to the converted. They know what to expect, but to the eyes of gamers brought up on and totally over exposed to the horror of twenty-first century CAD designs our legions of beautifully painted old school models (nearly all of which were individual models and not plastic clones) are truly a thing to see! It was a proud moment for us all to chat to other gamers about our collections and accomplishments as a community.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, was the camaraderie between us all. As gamers, we all clicked and there was no silly one-up-mans-ship going on, just a shared appreciation of the scenario and game. And that is the most important thing about what we do in my opinion. I am sure many of you will be familiar with the antithesis of this and may well have come off badly to unsportly opponents in the past - Kroot conga line anyone?

Well that is all from me. But I hereby lay done a challenge to all of you who have a blog. Take the time to consider your greatest Oldhammer moments and share them with the community. If you have a blog, post about it, if you don't have a blog then share your moments in the comments sections below.


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A Sort of Anniversary Inspires a Miniature Sort Out!

I have just had it pointed out to me that I missed an important anniversary (no, not the wedding!) and ought to make mention of it. Three years and five days ago I started my Warseer project log entitled 'Orlygg's Retro 'Realm of Chaos' Project Log. 

This was in the days before Oldhammer. 

Of course, this was some months before Zhu Bajiee's seminal post that gave the community a name (and a neat image to act as a badge), though Oldhammer Founding Fathers, such as Thantsants, Erny and Garth James, were blogging in semi-isolation. It was finding these three blogs on a wet February Sunday afternoon that brought about a massive change in my wargaming hobby, for here were some guys (albeit just three) who were interested, nay passionate, about the very same period I have been trying to recreate for some years. 

The trouble was, blogging looked a bit complicated. You had to sign up for things, and move pictures around and post links and all these other things I had no idea how to do. So I used what I knew about... Warseer! Eventually, I out grew the thread I was using and drew up the courage to start Blogger. 

I have never looked back! 

So considering that today was another one of those cold, wet miserable days (only in August) I decided to celebrate this anniversary by (finally) sorting out all of the painted models I have painted in the last three years and 5 days. And then I arranged them on my Welsh Dresser for display. After counting them all I have discovered that I have painted 230 old school Citadel/Ral Partha/Marauder miniatures in that time, not including the commissions I have done for other people. 

My now famous (and award-winning!) Realm of Chaos inspired Slaanesh and Khorne armies take up the entire top shelf and make up some 110 models in total. 

The bottom shelf contains everything else in my collection, including some pieces that are rarely seen online, such as my embryonic undead force here.

I also have a handful of painted skaven, Skrag the Slaugheter and some Nurgle beastmen, minotaurs and characters. 

Chaos daemons don't get many mentions on this blog, though I have painted some over the last three years!

Another embryonic army, Orcs and Goblins. I have recently come into possession of some big units of goblinoids that might have to see the attentions of my paintbrush over the winter months. 

Foundry Bretonnians, the Adventurer's Cart and all of the models I have collected and painted for my Warhammer Bestiary project - I suppose I should get back to that too! 

My spined dragon perches on the end of the shelf (don't worry, he is stuck on with blu-tak) and hides the Coatl I painted quite some time ago now!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you readers who make this blog the success it is. Thanks for all your emails ( I really should start publishing them in my own 'letters page'), presents through the post or in person ( I am still so greatful to the fellow Oldhammerer who just gave me a Ambull model!), page views (over three quarter of a million now, and nearly 50,000 in the month of August too!) and all of you other bloggers who's work and writings keep me entertained everyday. 

And guess what... You can do it too!

This is a leadpile - I know you have one, even if you deny it to yourself!

This is a draw full of painting equipment. I know you have one of these too, no matter how small! 

And here is the link to get your blog started!

What are you waiting for?


Monday, 25 August 2014

Beware the The Midlands Troll!

Last week I had the pleasure of painting up the pre-slotta Werebear model from Ral Partha and some eagle-eyed readers on the Facebook group noticed that the model bore a slight resemblance to the Mighty Avenger, Bryan Ansell himself. Steve Casey was quick to point out that there was indeed a Bryan Ansell model out there that shared a striking resemblance to the Werebear, and here it is... The famous (or should that be infamous?) Midland Troll!

I had such a good time painting up the previous model that I decided to spend some time this Bank Holiday Monday painting the other one, only with the green tunic replaced with a mighty Foundry T-Shirt! 

Yellow is a very difficult colour to paint I have found and this was the first time I ever worked with it over such a large area but I feel that I have handled the tone reasonably well. Its simple a Sunburst Yellow basecoat worked up with Foundry's Boneyard Light in the same fashion as the Werebear. I was also keen to work on my skin painting once more, this time trying to nod towards Mike McVey rather than Kevin Dallimore. 

The two models hare exactly the same base, and I managed to get a 'Chico style' (ie blurry) picture of the bottom of the base before I stuck it down. I plan to add a few more items of detail to the bases of these two models until I would consider them finished. I sculpted some mushrooms earlier on today and I shall be painting them up and adding them to the bases - perhaps with a little static grass too - in the near future. 

I hope you enjoy my painting efforts!


Old Eldar Concepts

I found these rather yucky scans of Jes Goodwin's Eldar concepts online. and I thought they might be worth a share. They first appeared in White Dwarf somewhere in the 120s if memory serves and were a rather apt discovery after the minor discussion we had with Bryan's undeveloped plans to do 'ork style' book projects for all of the major races in Rogue Trader. Perhaps these pictures were to be part of that project or perhaps they are just mere concepts. Though the adjective 'mere' is not really appropriate when talking about Jes Goodwin's work is it?

As I have already said, the quality of the images is not great but we can certainly see enough to instantly recognise many of the Eldar themes that are style used today, some twenty-five years later. I have always been enormously impressed in the amount of work that just goes into a concept and its background.

One difference that strikes me here are the way the unmasked faces are treated. To my knowledge, there was little use of tribal tattoos or markings in later editions, but the Eldar on some of these pages have remarkable '80s style hairdos and eye shadow... Or is that just me?

Looking at all these drawings make me wonder where they original inspiration for the Eldar came from, beyond the fact that they are really just 'elves in space'. Ultimately, the Eldar remain the most unique and original design produced for Warhammer 40,000.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Preslotta Ral Partha Werebear

Just a quick post to share the model I painted up last night. A bit of a departure for me as it isn't Citadel, but Ral Partha and is apparently a model of a werebear- whatever a werebear might be- from 1983. Cast in England. I intend to use it as an ogre or small giant, most likely in a barbarian force. After painting chaos for some long and thinking about units and so forth I fancied doing something totally different. I picked this model up online a while back for pence really, and always loved the face so thought it worthy of some time. 

I wanted to play about with two things with this paintjob. Firstly, I wanted to develop my flesh painting skills and adopt a new colour palette, so instead of darkening the basecolour of flesh with red ink, I used an orange instead and I am really rather pleased with the results, especially on the face. Speaking of the face, isn't it wonderfully sculpted and full of character, something (to be anyway) that digital sculpting just cannot achieve. Secondly, I want to work on detailing faces properly and really took the time to blend the hairline into the face, something quite simple to do with a larger model.

The base is a bit bare for a model of this size so I intend to add some mushrooms and rocks with putty at a later date.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results, especially considering that I only spent about three hours on him.

What do you dear readers think of him?