Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Orlygg's Big Ones: Another Monstrous Interlude

My painted Citadel collection. Safe on the mantle but awaiting a display case! Can you help me source a decent case?

My house is in turmoil as I type. The kitchen lies gutted, one of its walls lays as heap of shattered brick and the contents of the wife's cupboards now spill over the dining room table. Other rooms have been cleared for the builders to advance through, and my Old School collection has been moved, by the order of the non-leadhead, to the mantlepiece to protect them for harm. She's obviously been considerably inspired by her renovations and has even gone as far as to tell me that I am having a glass display cabinet to show off my collection of painted models.

Anyone recommend one? If so please drop us a link or suggestion below so and I will be eternally grateful!

Anyway here are a few pictures of what I have been up to recently. I have had a big eBay splurge over the last couple of weeks. This has been largely down to it being the end of the summer term at school and there being an, apparently endless, array of tasks to complete; school reports, Sports' Day, swimming galas, data transfer etc and by the time I return home I am too shattered to pick up a paint brush. Ebay is an easy 'hobby fix' and I have spent far, far to much and have subsequently deleted the apps from my tablets before the non-leadhead (wife) finds out!

Have a quick look at the proceeds from my splurging in the photograph below.
Note the Third Edition pin badge - it'll look good dangling from my Oldhammer T-Shirt!

What we have here (left to right) Marauder Giant, Marauder Lord of Change, Spined Dragon and, of course, the 1984 Thrud. All these models have been cleaned up and based. The giant and the daemon were multipart kits, and considering their age, fitted together really well and only needed the minimum of pining a green stuffing. Thrud is a one piece and just needed basing but the dragon! Once I started cleaning up the model I noticed just how weak the wings were in places and I doubted that they would hold much wait. So I used very thin plasticard to create a supportive membrane of wing and stuck it carefully underneath the parts of the model that needed it. This helped create a platform on which the metal could rest and I covered this plastic with greenstuff, using my fingerprints to add a little texture. While not perfect, this should at least support the wings and stop the model from disintergrating any further.

A rare glimpse of a little known Lord of Change. Scuplted by Aly Morrison on the early 1990s. He did a Bloodthirster too, but I cannot find an image online. Anyone help?

As I type, all of the models have been sprayed white with Army Painter undercoat. The Thrud model, being almost entirely lead, was a bit of a problem to cover. In the end I used bronze flesh mixed with a little PVA to seal the undercoat as the lead content created real problems with the paint adhering. As you can see from the pictures, I had had a little experiment with painting flesh on the giant, but have paused. I have decided to to try and improve my skin painting and shall try out some new techniques on Thrud first before moving on to the giant later on.

Before I go I have a request from a reader. As you may know, I am trying to track down the whereabouts of some of the old school art pieces that were used to illustrate many a '80s roleplaying and wargaming product. The collections of Jon Boyce and Tim Pollard have been fantastic to view and at least we now know where these pieces are now. I was contacted last week from a collector who has bought what he believes to be a John Blanche original painting.

Here is his message to save me paraphrasing.

I stumbled upon your blog the other day and I really enjoyed reading it.  I started playing GW games in the early 90s and it was a trip down memory lane.  I especially liked your interview with Bryan Ansell, it was a very interesting view of the early creative genius at GW.
I read the article "Where are they now? The Art Collection of Tim Pollard" and I really enjoyed seeing the classic John Blanche pieces in his collection.  After reading this article I was hoping to ask you for some help.

Last year I bought what I think is an original Jon Blanche piece of artwork.  It was from an estate sale and the seller was sure it is an old Blanche drawing called "The Green Man".  It was supposedly on the cover of an old scifi novel from many years ago.  I have attached a photograph of the drawing.  On a John Blanche art blog they have it listed as a John Blanche piece as well:
I really love this drawing and I am insanely curious of any information about it.  Was it really on the cover of a scifi novel?  What is the story behind it?  When was it created?  With all of your connections and experience I was wondering if you knew anyone whom might know a little more about this drawing or give me any advice on researching it.

I am a huge John Blanche fan and this drawing means much to me. I would be extremely grateful for any assistance or advice you can provide. 
Philip SchifanoWell, can any Realm of Chaos 80s readers help provide more information about this piece? If so, please leave us a comment below or email me at the usual address,



  1. Hey dude, great post, the only cabinet i can think of is this ikea one not idea as it is glass and i think you have a little one but there are lots of articles on the web for adding extra shelves and plastic riser shelves work well in them too, unfortunately I am not allowed one because my missus is scared of driving down the M6 motorway with so much galls on the back seats :(

  2. Hi!

    Interestingly the mighty LIDL were selling a half decent looking cabinet a while back. It was intended for displaying model cars or some such but if memory serves me came with several more shelves than the ikea one!

    All the best!

  3. There doesn't seem to be any real information on 'The Green Man' online. There are a number of bibliography lists for John's work available but none of them seem to include this piece. John worked for Roger Dean Publishing in the late 70's and early 80's and would have done several book covers along the way so I would guess that's when he created this but beyond that I'm stumped.

    Look at retail glass cabinets from online trade suppliers for absolute best results btw, expect to pay well for them though.

  4. I'd contact Jacob Nielsen through his blog as I know he's in contact with Mr. Blanche about the Inquisitor stuff he (John Blanche) has been writing about in white dwarf lately. I'm sure Mr. Nielsen could contact Mr. Blanche and pass on contract information.

  5. Also, I'm pretty sure Ikea makes a glass display cabinet.

    1. They do, and some of my friends use them for models! I believe they use the "Detolf", but that might not be to your taste...

      The current ones they're doing are these:

      I am seriously considering the low "Klingsbo" so it will also work as a side table for the wife so she stops using my KR travel case as one!

  6. I bought a display cabinet from "sora-shop" ( about a year ago that I'm very happy with. It's not very big but you can easily fit a 100 minis in it as each compartment comes with pedestals. You probably cannot fit giants and dragons but you can also order custom made and calculate the price directly on the website (

    BTW: Nice set of minis you are working on. Thx/Hans

  7. I've only seen a reference to the Marauder Bloodthirster on SOL, and never seen a pic of one or one in the flesh.

    The John Blanche painting was from the days when he was working at the museum service (early 1970s) and the picture would be rapidograph ink drawing with water colour washes - all the drawings John did at the time were pre-freelance or GW.

  8. the way, lovely display of figures James. But I cant believe you have a modern elf wizard in there. I am so, so disappointed in you... ;-)

    1. The elf was a gift from Andy Craig after I interviewed him. She will be displayed along my painted mid 2000 Citadel once the cabinet is bought. Well spotted by the way!

  9. Ikea one is great, I use one myself, thinking aboout getting a second one (too many figs).
    BTW I didn't know that Lord of change was rare, I've seen it go on ebay plenty of times for less than 20$, maybe worth picking up?

    1. To be honest its not rare, and personally I prefer the Citadel versions.

  10. Ikea cabinets are fine as long as you put them together well. The glass isn't usually archival or 'sun proof' so things will degrade in sunlight ( paintjobs will fade) eventually. For long term storage proper display or suitable point of sales cabinets are probably your best bet but they won't be cheap, secondhand is your best bet. Or convert a cupboard if your DIY-fu is worthy :) .

    Good luck ( please put your models in cases as it's making me flinch and they're not even mine).

  11. I would have guessed that the illo was an Ian Miller - but John Blanche did go through an Ian Miller-esque phase so that could be one of his I suppose.