Saturday, 28 July 2012

Another Logo for Oldhammer by Brian Russell

Brian Russell has emailed me a design inspired by the spirit of Oldhammer. Rather amusing in its concept is it not? He has been generous enough to offer the design out freely for anyone to use on their blogs and websites.

Thanks Brian!

Friday, 27 July 2012

An Oldhammer World?

Inspired by the suggestions that other members of the Oldhammer community have made regarding homebrew rules, I thought it would be a great suggestion to add a fantasy background to B.L.O.O.D, something fairly compatible with Warhammer Third Edition.

Looking around for inspiration, my mind was instantly filled with images of Middle Earth and the Warhammer World itself. Obviously, certain races would be required to fit out purposes in this world or background too. Elves (good and bad), humans, dwarfs (good and bad), halflings, goblins, orcs, ratmen, demons and undead will all need their place. But there is simply no point in copying these worlds. We need something of our own! An Oldhammer World!

Years ago I was an archaeologist and did some work about Doggerland and I felt that this ancient landmass was the perfect starting point for the Oldhammer world's shape.

With this basic shape in mind I whipped up a simple map that could be the basis for our background.

I haven't developed the idea very much, so please forgive the simplicity but two forces were my chief concern when drawing the map; the elves and 'chaos'. I have a few ideas for the full background and these key races are vital to it. Another important factor in a battle game is the armies access to each other and an inland sea would provide opportunity for any race to launch an amphibious assault on any other!


I'll have a go at writing up a historical narrative for our world. Good ideas are welcome!


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Dark Deranged Structure: A first wargames table?

The weather is hot.

The sun beats down like a daemonic oven onto the patio around the back of my home. If you leave a miniature out there, freshly undercoated, its takes just over a minute for the paint to dry. Quite unlike the depressing and tedious autumnal crawl as you wait for the latest wash to dry because the wife will not let you use her hairdryer.

I have always said to myself 'when the time comes to build a wargames table it would be prudent to do so on a blazing hot day. For this will ensure that the bloody paint and glue dries up in good time and the damn thing gets finished.' Having seen those guilty lodgers lurking away in many a gamers' rooms, attics or garages (by this I mean the unfinished gaming board) I have always shied away from producing one of my own, especially as the wife is rather strict on 'clutter' around the house.

Of course I have my tiny board, as seen on my battle reports. This was originally constructed by me in an afternoon a few summers ago for small skirmish games. Its seen a lot of action with the Realm of Chaos campaign I have been involved in but as my numbers of painted miniatures increases the size of this board is woefully small. We can do little now but line up our troops and march in a straight line at each other. Not very tactical, I am sure that you'll agree.

So with my copy of 'How to Build Wargames Terrain' on my kindle I have been busy researching the possibilities of updating my gaming surface. At first I thought 'why not just buy a grass mat?' These mainstays of boyhood gaming have their place but I feel that a proper table or board are far more permanent feel and have a 'I'm here to stay' attitude about them.

Of course, being a gamer I dream about having a table like this...

Or even this...

But such things are pipe dreams at the moment, best left for my 40s rather than my 30s; when the children are all grown and the wife has run out of 'jobs' for me to do whenever the prospect of some 'free time' arises.

What is certain is that I DON'T want something like this...

I mean, paint the board brown and splodge on some PVA and scatter static grass around in unnatural and thoroughly unconvincing manner.

No thanks!

I mean it looks like Father Nurgle had a really bad curry one Friday night and pebble dashed the road!

I am certain of a few points though;

1) I want it to be cheap but not cheap looking.

2) The overall finish should match my old school bases for a bit of coherency.

3) It must be sturdy enough to be stored out of the way of the wife's accusing eye but no so heavy that the thing give me a double hernia every time I shift it!

4) I am not fussed about scenery, I'm old school so have envisaged a fairly flat surface. Hills, woods and buildings can be added later.

So then. Have YOU built a games table? What problems did you come across to forewarn me? What advice can you give good old Orlygg about this, his latest undertaking?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Citadel Collector Website: Brilliant GW Golden Age Miniatures Gallery

Have you checked out yet?

Its a website (yes, I real one) concerning the collecting of beautiful Citadel Miniatures. Steve is the proprietor of this wondrous slice of 80s GW beauty and added several galleries of John Blanche's pioneering work (with promises of more to come!) as well as miniatures from the collection of the Mighty Bryan Ansell too!

He recently took a trip to a GW open day and took some snaps of the glorious old school goodness on display. I've unashameably stolen the snaps and posted them here!

Look at these gorgeous lumps of lead! In the top row I can spot some Lords of Battle, second and third row includes that skeleton lifting his own skull, Chaos Sorcerers and Familiars. Look at those minotaurs and elementals on the bottom shelf!

Some Dark Future vehicles from the late '80s. This Big Box Game really intrigues me... I have to keep stopping myself picking up a copy on eBay.

Close up of those fantastic undead models from the classic diorama. There are plenty of other images on his site, including some classic 40k.

So check out Steve's webpage and offer him your support

Citadel Miniatures: How much is too much?

My post about the Citadel Giant got me thinking about my own collection, rather than the wishlist collection I carry around in my head and unconsciously build each night trawling the depths of eBay.

How much is too much?

How much are these lumps of lead actually worth? Sadly, there is no David Dickinson of wargaming to step in and advise us, only inflated 'Buy it Now' prices and bidding wars on eBay. I think about Gaj's remarkable journey trying to collect together all the miniatures from the Lichemaster; he's now down to a single figure; the notoriously expensive Lichemaster himself.

But why is he so expensive?

I can understand the giant being pricey, there were after all only 1000 of the things casts. But that can be said of other miniatures out there - Kinky Chaosette, Slaanesh beastman with penis head... to name but a few. So why are certain things in the Citadel collecting world so expensive? And out of all the miniatures, books and other paraphernalia I have amassed in my collection which ones cost me the dearest? And how does the amount I paid compare to the prices other collectors paid?

A lot of questions...


The single highest item I ever paid out for that was related to Citadel or Games Workshop was The Lost and the Damned. This classic, and essential, publication set me back a whopping £57 a few years ago. 


At the time, I thought this was a real deal, as I had seen copies go for over £100 in the past. Occasionally, I still do, despite the fact that it is now available as a pdf online. The spread of pdfs has reduced the price of many of these rare publications. I sold my copy of Empire in Flames for £75 back in 2004 (at the time, it was the most expensive book selling online) but I've never seen it reach quite that much since, thankfully! I guess I was there at the right time for Empire and The Lost...


This was the Arcane Armorials transfers I scanned some while ago and put online (you can find a copy here). The were posted on eBay with a 'Buy it Now' of £29.99. I just had to have them! Sure, I'd seen small, tattered remnants up for sale but never whole sheets, let alone whole sheets with the packaging. I dropped the £30 there and then.


I believe so, simply because I have never seen another, and I often look for them. 


Not my paint job!

A Nurgle Champion. At the time of purchasing I had just seen one sell for £35 online. It was one of the few champions I did not have and I was desperate to complete the set. Checking out the listing, its had a couple of bidders and things were ate about £5 when, rather cavalierly, I dropped £25 down on the bidding. Bizarrely, the miniature remained at something like £7.84 up until the final 10 seconds. Some sniper took me out by slapping down £35 in the final seconds. Bastard! I thought at the time. A week or so went buy and I received an email from the seller saying aforementioned sniper has disappeared and debunked on payment. I was offered the miniature for £7.84 as a 'Buy it Now'. I didn't wait to ask the wife, I can tell you!



I guess 'how much is too much' depends on the spender. If you're willing, and have the capital, to spend over the odds for things then I guess you can. I prefer to spend less and get a good bargain (as I think the rest of you collectors do, too) especially if you think 'yes, I've got that cheap'. Nothing like feeling a little satisfied with yourself, after all, it makes the painting all the more sweeter!

So, out of interest... What was the single most item you bought relating the GW hobby and was the price you paid worth it?


The Citadel Giant: Worth the Price Tag?

The Citadel Giant. A 'miniature' that often sits near the top of the Citadel collecting wishlist, though to be honest I hadn't actually seen a good quality picture of one, apart from the add below and a random head on King's Minis.

Well one has turned up on eBay and I'm interested in what it will go for. Sadly, the seller has set a Buy It Now for £850 rather than going for it on an auction. It makes me wonder if the model is actually worth that amount of money?

How much would you drop cash wise for a rare beast like this, eh?

Here's the link!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Oldhammer T-Shirt + Another Idiot = An idiot in an Oldhammer T-Shirt?

Here's my attempt at jumping on Erny's Bandwagon with some 'amusing' shots of me proudly wearing my new Oldhammer T-Shirt.

Ripping open the celephane reminded me of far off days when I attended music gigs and bought dubious T-Shirts by 90s bands such as The Wildhearts, 3 Colours Red and Sepultura.

The smell was the same!

I resisted the urge to tear off the sleeves, wear a leather jacket and grow a handlebar moustache....


Friday, 20 July 2012

The Golden Gobbos: Official Artwork Is Here!

Headnhalf has completed the Old and New School art work for the Golden Gobbos.

Check out his fantastical work...

New School
Old School

If you haven't entered the competition yet, then why not? Just email me at and I'll register you.

Talking about competitions! 

Our Golden Gobbo needs a name. 

If Warhammer had Harry the Hammer, what will Oldhammer have?

Any ideas what we can call him


Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Legends of Old Lead: Pete Taylor

There are many myths about the Golden Age of Citadel Miniatures but few true legends. 

Pete Taylor is one such legend!

The guy was a machine of miniatures. To this day I am amazed by his output back in the 1980s and early 90s, truly massive armies, epic conversions (when converting was really, really tough) and wild, wild paint (not pant) schemes. He was rewarded with frequent inclusions in White Dwarf and  immortal appearances in Warhammer Armies and The Lost and the Damned.

Let's hand it over to the man himself to explain what started him off on such an epic journey. 

"As far as I can remember I started collecting fantasy miniatures at age 13 although a small group of us were playing Dungeons and Dragons before this.
2nd edition WFB had just been released, although through a friend I also had access to 1st edition and the Forces of Fantasy supplement so it is reasonable to say I have been in the hobby for most of its existence.
Like many I first came to fantasy via Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings so my first impulse on starting to play WFB was to collect Orcs. In second edition you could take Chaos warriors as leaders of units for any chaotic or evil race (and neutral I think) which allowed a kind of warband feel to the army, I liked this and in my minds eye I always imagine all my chaos and evil armies to be part of one huge chaos horde and one day I would love to play the game with everything I have all at once!"

Play a game with everything at once Pete? That would truly be a 'great and noble undertaking' to misquote Eisenhower. 
"Over the years rules have changed and armies have become less diverse which has led to my collecting forces of various sizes for most "bad-guy" armies.
As the years have progressed I have played less and less but have continued to have bouts of collecting and painting.
I went to the last ever Citadel open day at the old factory and was greatly influenced by a huge display put on by "The Players Guild" which featured a besieged castle surrounded by a horde of evil creatures, to this day I much prefer the sight of huge units and large monsters to small tournament armies with ridiculous amounts of special rules and magic items."

Some important key words here; 'less diverse' and 'small tournament armies'. The very things that are the very antithesis to Oldhammer. Its sad to hear that the giants of the hobby are being cast aside by the tournament heavy nonsense of recent times.

Pete is my number one inspiration when it come to painting and gaming. Firstly, he loved Realm of Chaos in all its 80s glory, he paints prolifically, enjoys huge units and uses colour in an intriguing way. Secondly, his collection is MASSIVE. And that collection is largely PAINTED. Something I'd like to be able to say one day.

Below is a fantastic gallery of a tiny part of Pete's collection, culled from various websites from around the internet. I also have a massive collection of his White Dwarf stuff which I'll post some time in the future. 

Original Fleshounds make up this terrifying unit. 

Juggernauts of Khorne with Bloodletter riders. Really nicely done. I'm looking forward to painting my my Khornate Daemonic legion when the Orcs and Undead are complete. 

Keen eyed longbeards will recognise this as a conversion based on one of the old Fighting Fantasy plastic kits released in the mid 80s. 

This collection makes my pathetic efforts look, well... pathetic really. This horde (there is no other word, is there?) is just Pete's undead army. 

I am going to have to attempt to do a banner in that style at some point! Looks fantastic; I wonder where the chaos warrior found the time to paint to?

Characterful orcs lead these chariots.

Frost Giants! Proper old school Citadel here!

Converted Bloodthirster as Keeper of Secrets. I love the colour of the flesh on this piece.

The famous chaos spawn conversion (built from a Fimir body) that appeared in WD and LatD.

A dwarf knight? A GSOH is essential in Oldhammer. 

Again, a lovely skin tone on this Fimir warrior. I am going to have to copy it myself.

That lovely skin tone used on a standard Keeper of Secrets. 

Plaguebearer. Classic!

Pete's version of the iconic Warhammer ogre by Jes Goodwin. 

Crazy Nurgle Conversion!

Check out more of the master's work here and here.

Be inspired!


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

No Grand Plan: One Year's Progress

So its been one year since I abandoned my hobby.

Fed up with price increases, endless new editions, far too frequent use of adjectives such as 'cool' and 'awesome' to describe things, terrible White Dwarfs, I left the hobby.

Packed up the paint brushes. Put away the pants. Retired the files and blades.

But how I missed it!

So I decided to 'go retro' and collect, paint and game with classic Citadel Miniatures and original Citadel paints.

I thought that I'd be, largely, on my own - but Oldhammer has developed, and painters, collectors and gamers with similar interests to me exist the world over.

It is certainly an exciting time.

The purpose of this post is twofold; one, to unashamedly blow my own trumpet and, two to, inspire me to get on with my plan (pulling the finger out) to have these armies completed in five years time. What you are about to see consists my entire output over that last twelve months. I must admit, there have been times when no paint has touched lead for some weeks but I am still amazed at what can be achieved over relatively a short space of time by a working father of two, as well as playing the Witcher 2 and Skyrim in my free time!

Warhammer Armies style posing by yours truly. Next year, I'll be able to wear my Oldhammer T-Shirt!

Orcs, goblin wulfboyz, bloodletters and skeletons 

More of my skeletons, a hidden fleshound, a chaos sorcerer, minotaurs, beastmen and champions of Nurgle. 

Beastmen and thugs of Slaanesh with a hidden champion of Tzeentch- can you spot him?

Skaven, a troll, a champion of Slaanesh, some obscured chaos hounds and beasts of Khorne. 

A grand total of 81 painted and based Citadel Miniatures. Too be honest, this is more than I have probably ever painted in the last 20 years! There is still so much to be done; my chariot need completing, a Tzeentch Warband as well as continuing to produce units for the Undead and Orc and Goblin armies. Additionally, I am trying to devise a scenario to play that will get 99% of these miniatures onto a wargames table. Any suggestions to help with this particular endeavour would be appreciated!

I better order some more brushes!


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Arcane Armorials: 80s shield designs the hard way

Over the last few months I have had a number of enquiries about the 'citadelesque' style of hand painted shields that I have been working on. I am often asked 'how do you do them?' or 'can you do a quick guide?' 

Well, this afternoon sees me with little do do but paint and I fancied working on my shield painting, so I have whipped up this quick tutorial to producing the classic 'citadel face' that John Blanche liked to plaster across every surface back in the day.  


To start with you need your shields. I prefer the large, circular ones though any shape shield will do. I always keep the shield on the sprue, this makes them far easier to work, and if they are loose I tend to blue tack them onto a fizzy drink lid. Undercoating is best done with a couple of layers of very thin white paint. 

Choose your base colour. Again, like the white undercoat, do a couple of thin layers of your chosen shade to create a good coverage. Leave them out to dry completely until moving on to the next stage. 

I like to use '80s inks, I prepare a wash in a darker shade of the base colour and wash this over the entire shield, with a deeper shade in the recess. This wash needs to be left to be totally dry before moving on. 

At this point, you need to decide if you are going to mount the shields on a figure using a boss or plan to attach them flush. Here I have used a tiny blob of greenstuff to fill in the centre of the shields. Don't worry if you scratch off a bit of the paint at this stage.

Tidy up the shields by using your original base colour. Leave the edge shaded with the ink wash. Use a nice dark black to paint the outside of the shield. 

While the base colour is still wet, carefully blend in the original shading wash once more. Ensure that a nice dark shade is in the recess around the rim. You might want to use a watery black ink for this. 

Using slightly watered black ink, create the initial facial shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth. Don't worry too much about being precise at this stage, these are just guidelines.

Return to the base colour once more and begin to work up the detail. This needs to be pretty precise, though you may want to leave a little dark shading around the nose and eyes. Tidy up the mouth area here and it will pay dividends in the future.

Add the second stage of highlights by adding white to the base colours. This is the point you can start to build up the expression on the face. Creases on the forehead are good ideas as are lines around the nose and mouth. 

Add further detail on top on that layer using a lighter shade (just add white) and, again, build up more detail. Highlight the lines on the face, nose and around the eyes and mouth. 

The final highlight (again just add white to the mix) should include the final details around the nose, mouth and eyes. Highlight any wrinkles or creases here. Wait for this layer to be totally dry before proceeding. 

Add some ink glazes. I used purple/blue mix on the left hand side and yellow on the right. You may want to experiment with this stage as the ink can create some startling effects. This will need to be totally dry before you move on!

Start adding the details. Use white to add the eye balls and teeth. Eyelids and lips are also added here. Try and use contrasting colours at this point. Make sure that your white paint is watered down so that it flows accurately from your brush. 

Use black ink to add definition and detail. Highlight the eyes with a third colour and use white to create points of reflective light. Define the teeth carefully and add the pupils, eyebrows and nostrils. 

Continue to add details using black and other coloured inks until you feel the design is complete. Don't overdo detail, less is definately more here. I leave the rim of the shields unhighlighted black (as was the case in the 80s) but you can also paint the studs a nice metallic colour. I have reduced the size of the image here to reflect the size that the shields would be on the figure.


You can draw inspiration from many places. Historical picture books have lots of interesting faces to copy, particularly gargoyles from medieval manuscripts and cathedrals.Of course, the master of the shield design was the original 'Eavy metal painter; Colin Dixon. Here are a collection of his designs from my Warseer Project Log.

Have fun painting those shields. The sky is the limit with these.