Hey, here's a first! An article in my series about the history of Warhammer Third Edition when we have the actual issue available online to read through. I found this copy on Scribd, and thanks must go to Ryan for publishing this on the site. Well, issue 103 continued the Dark Future theme of imposing vehicle hurtling down a post-apocalyptic highway, only this time the painting was by Jim Burns. The issue continued the tradition of printing extracts from Realm of Chaos (extracts that I have not included in this history, as there are largely identical to those published later in Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned), more detail for Bloodbowl and Dark Future and a wealth of other stuff. Feel free to have a browse through the issue before reading my commentary about the Warhammer releases.
One of the Warhammer highlights of the issue is this advert for the forthcoming Warhammer Armies (see my next post for my retro-review of this controversial book) that uses Chris Collingwood's classic cover painting as its basis. The advert contains a little detail about what to expect in the new supplement; namely new rules for daemonic summoning, new creatures and war machines a plenty. As a little related taster, one of the Warhammer releases that month were the Chaos Dwarf War Machines - the Tenderiser and the Whirlwind.
As is typical during this period of White Dwarf, the article about the war machines begins with a little piece of narrative fluff related the the models. Sadly, this piece of throwaway fiction if far superior to the writing published in today's WD, or indeed many of the Black Library 'novels'. But as Rick Priestley has told us here at Realm of Chaos 80s, the studio staff were a fairly literate bunch back in the day and amusing little background pieces like this were knocked out with regular aplomb. As you'd expect, the tone of the piece is more light-hearted and self aware than the po-faced GrImDaRkTM of more recent times.
Kev Walker provides a rather evocative, if simplistic, illustration of the Tenderiser in action which helps the viewer imagine just what one of these war machines would do to a packed rank or two of chaos thugs. Underneath, we have a detailed diagram of the different pieces to the war machines, just in case, I suppose, you had difficulty putting them together.
The article goes on to provide full rules and a Warhammer Armies list box detailing all you need to know to field these bizarre machines. And, as far as I know, this issue is the only place that these rules were ever published. Now I won't critique the rules here, I leave that to you. Read them, indulge them (maybe even try them out if you own the models - which I don't sadly, but I would very much like too, so if you have any rolling around I love to hear from you) but don't expect balance or fairness with what is published here. In the '80s, that was up to you and your opponent and it wasn't necessary to attempt to hardwire it into rules mechanic.
Above we have the colour examples of the Tenderiser and the Whirlwind. I love these paint jobs! The green and orange faces really give the models a daemonic edge. And even today, with all the range and versatility of wargames figures, especially those in the fantasy genre, I have yet to see something this bizarre. After all, these machines are handcarts loaded up with whips, chains and massive hammers pushed along by a cross between a dwarf and a bull. Still, you could be looking at a fair price to pay for these classic models. I've seen individuals go for £30 on a good day (if you are a seller) and less than a tenner if its a bad day (again, if you are a seller) so they are obviously 'miniature marmite' to some people.
Tacked on the end, we have nine 'proper' orcs sculpted by the Goblin Master himself, Kevin Adams. These ones were designed to fit the then new plastic crossbows (and they are a bugger to find on eBay now) rather than being part of the model. Perhaps a forerunner to what came later, true multi-part metal/plastic figures, for Kevin Adams' early '90s RT orks were the first in a long line of miniatures with plastic arms and weapons. I haven't seen many of these models on-line these days, nor do they turn up much on painted forums or blogs, or at least not seen by me, so I cannot state how rare these greenskins are today.