Friday, 6 September 2013

The Launch of Marauder Miniatures: An Acceptable in the '80s special



With the Oldhammer Weekend a fading, if pleasant memory, its time to set forth once more on the great journey that is Acceptable in the '80s: Realm of Chaos 80s history of Warhammer Third Edition. So where have we found ourselves? 

The answer to that is issue 113 of White Dwarf, pictured above, and an issue made famous by the release of a certain board game called Space Hulk! Anyone heard of it? It has also got within its yellowing pages a number of important articles relating to the history of Warhammer Third Edition. The first of these are the initial releases for Marauder Miniatures, and it is these that we shall be discussing today. 

Interestingly, the story of Marauder doesn't start with these releases. The new brand was launched quite a few months previously in White Dwarf 106 (I think! I don't have much of my collection at the moment, and this date is off the top of my head, so comment if I am wrong and I will change the offending numbers) and was mentioned as part of culture shock. A suitably '80s photograph of Aly and Trish was published along with the artwork for the blister packs.

Check it out below. 


Further detail was given about the new miniatures company later on in the article. Explaining how Aly and Trish had decided the time was right for them to go into business themselves and that exciting new models would be in games shops in the near future. Read on to view what was published at the time. 


Now the birth of Marauder began one of the first, and certainly the most varied, Warhammer related myths that I have uncovered. The truth behind why Marauder was set up at all! There have been all kinds of suggestions and theories bouncing around the internet for many years, with suggestions as strange as 'dramatic fallings out in the studio', tax avoidance schemes, the need to create multiple brands and so on and so forth. I feel rumour just promoted rumour until all kinds of strange stories were being spoken of as fact. I even went as far as starting a discussion on the Oldhammer Community Facebook page to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. Lots of the old myths bounced up once more, but I was great to hear a story or two from Tim Prow and Andy Craig about how the 'Eavy Metal boys would paint up many of the Marauder miniatures as a favour to Aly and Trish!

Whilst chatting to Marcus Ansell at the Oldhammer Weekend, I mentioned the mystery of Marauder to him and asked if he knew anything about the company. He answer was simple. He believed its was all about sculpting style. And he went on to describe how Aly's and Trish's style was rather different to the rest of the Citadel crew so a new brand was suggested and created - remember that there was a precedent here, with Bob Olley's Ironclaw Miniatures!

Enough history for now, let's move on to the models themselves. Now I must be honest. A few years ago, when I started out on the road of Old School Warhammer (those were the days, when you could get a '80s beastman for 50p!) one thing that I was certain about, was that I did not want to collect Marauder. It was all to 'big hands' and 'over sized silly weapons' for me. Too much like the modern game's models and something that I wanted to get away from. 

I was utterly, utterly wrong!

Sure, there are some naff models and some figures that are not to my taste, but going back through the ranges again as part of my researches for this blog, just showed me how wrong I was. Let's have a look at the first set of releases shall we, and you will see what I mean. 


Here we have the first page of Marauder releases from White Dwarf. Just look at those five Imperial Command models. Exquisite! Beautiful clothing which harks back historically to later Renaissance fashions. Then there are all these fighters that go alongside them. Loads and loads of interesting and characterful models that would look superb ranked up (if such a thing is possible) and led by a beautifully painted banner! Sadly, I own none of these human sculpts and my collection is definitely the poorer for it! 

It makes me wonder who has the rights to these models now, and if the moulds still exist!?

The trolls too are varied, though they seem to share enough common characteristics to seem like a genuine humanoid race. I own the troll bottom centre, and you may recognise the model as Throgg in my collection, and if you fought in the RoC Warbands game on the Saturday at the Foundry, you will know that particular troll well, for he smashed his way through the Khorne lines with pleasure throbbing through his tiny... mind, I guess!? Originally, I was unhappy with the Throgg model, having received it by accident from a seller who sent the wrong figure, but I feel totally different about the sculpts now, and I would dearly like to have all the others one day, in a nice big unit!


And so we end the article. But don't worry, I will be back soon with another part in our historical journey very shortly. Before I depart, I would like to open a discussion here on Blogger about Marauder in general. Are you a fan? If so, why? Do you dislike the models and cannot bare to touch them with Nurgle's bargepole? Do you know more than us about the formation of the Marauder Miniatures company itself? 

Whatever the answer, please don't hesitate to comment. 

I look forward to reading your contribution!

Orlygg.

24 comments:

  1. Personally I love Marauder stuff, albeit later minis like the Dark Elves of late 3rd and the scale mail Orcs, but generally I'd not look down my nose at them, they produced my favourite White Lions too from 4th edition!

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    1. The Elves and Goblinoids have grown on me recently, especially after seeing Steve Casey's brilliant photographs of the minis. I haven't looked to buy yet but shall as soon as I get my collection back from storage.

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  2. This is my first post on this fantastic blog ! I do not have any insight to share about the creation of the Marauder. However, I remember being absolutely delighted by the overall quality of their blisters, full of very well cast and useful models. I know the brand often receive negative feedback, but I find their stuff was the perfect compromise between the models of the "golden age" and those from the 90's.

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    1. You mention the negative image. I am beginning to wonder if this began to form later, perhaps in the later nineties, and spread back to the original releases.

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  3. The Marauder ads in WD were the ones that always caught my attention as a young 'un. Because of this they have come to typify GW in the late nineties, at least for me!

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    1. Those ads certainly specialised in full colour amazement. I used to look at the army deals for Marauder and wishing I had the £100 odd quid they cost back then!

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  4. this was the first issue of white dwarf i ever bought as a kid. before id bought any games or miniatures. it was sitting in my local newsagents i picked it up and flicked through its pages and i was like...ooh wooooww!!
    hehe many moons later and many thousands of pounds later i still have that very issue sitting in a box upstairs. albeit in not very good condition. regardless. a nice flash back every time i see that issue and the image from the front cover

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    1. Agreed, this is a classic issue of White Dwarf. Certainly in the top 10 greatest ever issues for me. Though my mother chucked my collection out in the mid 90s and I had to rebuild it through eBay. No ancient copies left for me ):

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  5. Ah Marauder... They sure did some rather clunky designs but who cares about that when faced with the sheer awesomeness that is their chaos dwarfs: http://www.solegends.com/marauder/mm90cdwf.htm

    Trish just recently moved over to Forgeworld which I think suits her better. I really liked her early 90s monsters but the new plastic ones are just horrible sculpts - all wrinkly skin, banana teeth and wonky anatomy.

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  6. It's true that Marauder monsters have been a bit hit and miss over the years but I like a lot of the man-sized and ogre-sized sculpts. Incidentally, Trish and Aly split up at some point and Trish now sculpts under the name Trish Carden.

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  7. Being a wood elf fan I will ways love the Marauder treeman (the one with it's arms at right angles). This, for me at least, is one of the most iconic GW minis of my collection. Loves it!

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  8. Marauder along with Ironclaw are the Marmite of the Oldhammer gaming/collecting world, But I'm a big fan of the Chaos Dwarfs and Orcs, The Undead have some classics too (Pirate Skeleton anyone?) The Dragon Ogre make me cry though.

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  9. Great article. I have always loved Marauder, it anticipated the GW threads of the following years (Empire, Chaos Warriors), while the quality varies sometimes. Said that, I have a request for Orlygg (great blogger!) Do you have an adv or a White Dwarf issue with the Marauder 'lost' Chaos Warriors? Marauder produced 7 different Chaos Warriors, 3 well known (MM91/MM92 on horse), but the others are rarer to find today, and I have found the images of two of them only on 2004 GW Catalogue. Any information on them is really appreciated!!

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  10. I like the Marauder skeletons. I have several in my collection that I need to get painted and based.

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  11. Patricia 'Trish' Morrisson should never have left The Sisters of Mercy, they went right downhill after she left.[j/k]





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    1. Ha ha! That was a different Patricia!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Morrison

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  12. Most Marauder figures are great, though some like the Dark Elves are a bit awful with that silly-big hair. I'm not (and never have) seen a really significant difference in "sculpting style" though - which you might say about Bob Olley. Those trolls fit in perfectly with the other trolls of the day. Jes' work was more distinctive from the rest of Citadel at the time than the Morrisons' work. There's clearly a bit more to the story.

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    1. Perhaps we will one day find out more.

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  13. I think most of you know where I fall on the Marauder issue...I'm pretty much a fan boy. While I have great affection for the Norse and Imperial dwarfs from citadel....it is the pike dwarfs and MM15 that will always define what a dwarf rmy should be in my mind. While my love for marauder focused on the dwarfs back in the day my tastes have expanded to include the orcs and goblins and of course the MM90 Chaos Dwarfs. While I've avoided falling for the Skelies and the Elfs are generally uninspireing for me pretty much all the rest is fanastic.

    ...the puff and slash ogres are other stand outs in my mind!

    ...of and that human command you posted...the guy with the great sword is one of the coolest figures ever!

    ...and their chaos figures are nothing to scoff at either...

    ...and the Arauder dragon is nice too...even if a bit small.

    ...I guess I'll stop there....sorry I get very excited.

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  14. Most of the Marauder range was pretty good, but I just cannot shake the image of the high elf sorceress on unicorn - surely a thing of grace and beauty?

    ...if grace and beauty involve the captain of the rugby team riding a demon possessed horse on steroids!

    Terrifying!

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  15. Early in my career as a lead addict--I must have been around 13, I bought out a local comic shop of old lead stock and there were several dozen blisters of Marauder figures at least. Halflings, orcs, dwarfs including modular landsknechts, the ogre captain, chaos thugs, chaos dwarfs, chaos warrior on griffon, the human landsknechts... looking back it was a more substantial portion of the catalog than I realized. I always had mixed feelings about them and liked the orcs, halfings, ogres and humans better than the dwarfs for some reason, though it's the dwarfs that are the most sought after now.

    Some of the marauder figures did go a little too far with the bobble-head proportions and I think the confrontation figures pushed me over the limit of what I could tolerate. I've always thought those had such fantastic [Blanche] concepts but would have been so much better with proportions in line with the other Citadel figures of the time. In fact, and don't lynch me, but I've converted a few of those to make them look like I wanted them to.

    At some point I tried to pair down the collection and sold off a lot of my original Marauder haul... only to wind up with more than I ever would have imagined after running out of other things to collect on ebay. In particular there are only a few of the orcs I still need, I collect the skeletons, chaos dwarfs and humans, I've got most or all of the trolls, and I have a bunch of the dark elves, which may have to form an entirely separate warband as the Citadel ones due to their much greater bulk and height.

    All in all I think Marauder figures are wonderful though I still think they'd have been even better had they reigned in the proportions just a bit.

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  16. "...tax avoidance schemes" had me cracking up. That's my theory as well.

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