I have been lucky enough to have recieved a batch of photographs in the possession of Andy Craig, ex-'Eavy Metal painter from the Golden Age of Games Workshop. These were taken during his trip to the Golden Demon awards in 1988. It must be strange for him to look back on these now, as less than a year later he was working at GW and presiding over the next Games Day as an actual painter.
The photographs are old, in some places out of focus and have suffered through scanning and transfer through the internet, but they present a rare collection of images from a more simple time. When painters were painters and gamers were gamers. These are raw images. They were never taken to be published let alone be let loose across the world some 25 years later, so be kind to them.
|How else should we start but with an out of focus mug shot of Andy? Was it a deliberate early form of the now ubiquitous 'selfie' or an accidental 'wot's wrong wiv dis?' misfire?|
|Loads of dragons await the judges attention. Stacks of boxes lay littered across the back of the room, presumably used to house the entries, with a gusto that would enrage modern health and safety executives.|
|If memory serves these must be the Mythlore LARPers. Remember them? Not sure if the chap of the left is indeed a chap or a chappette I am afraid!|
|This one is quite blurry but you can make out quite a few entries that did not make it into the Fantasy Miniatures book.|
|Dioramas wait to be judged. Hours or work went into these and there are few visual records around for us to study. At least we have shots like this however.|
|Its hard to tell at this angle, but that Rhino may well be Guy Carpenter's model! I am not sure. Punters were certainly allowed near the models - no glass cabinets then!|
|Stacks of stuff. I love the table tennis model on the left! This just goes to show how many entries did not make it into the book.|
|Beautiful dragons... Once the pinnacle of miniature painting and the love of all fantasy types. No longer. Though I think this is due to a lack of good modern dragons to inspire painters.|
|Ivan Bartleet receives his Slayer Sword.|
|I am still saddened that freehand banners went out of fashion. Look at all of these! All lovingly crafted by everyday gamers and all so different to each other.|
|Ivan's Overall Winner model, the war elephant, stands alongside that skull model diorama. See, skulls were popular even then!|
|Love this photograph. The Golden Demon entries stand proudly alongside a used tissue, a packet of crisps and a wayward microphone stand while domineering fire hydrants look on disapprovingly! Classic!|
|Dave Andrews? Standing guard over some early Rogue Trader models, including first edition Land Raiders.|
|Another Master Painter? These T-Shirts were awarded to the regional winners if I remember correctly.|
|Here's Tim Pollard in his.|
|And Andy Craig in his!|
I have included a link to the original Fantasy Wargames book here. Its really great fun to flick through this and attempt to identify different models in the photographs. It also gives a far better idea to the modern reader how varied and imaginative the models entered in 1988 were.
Do you have any old school photographs of past Games Days, Golden Demons or GW stores in general from the 1980s and early 90s that you would like to share? We really would like to see them as even the most mundane of shots is likely to be of great interest to our community. If you own such pictures, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge thank you to Andy for scanning and posting these images to me. And thanks to Tim Pollard for his great picture too!