I always love this time of year.
The nights draw in, and this results in candles flickering on fireplaces, the roaring glow of the fire itself and the need to draw back the curtains a shut out the long night of winter. With a great deal less time spent outside, the opportunities for miniature projects increase. I am sure that the sight of the enthusiast, bent in concentration over his desk, warmed by the mellow light of the modelling lamp is a familar sight in your home.
It is in mine.
My family and I have lived through about six months of chaos. Building work, extensions, new jobs, young children... the works. Now, things seem to be settling down and getting back to normal. In fact, I am typing this at work, just before I head off to remove my vast lead collection from storage. Initially, I thought it would need to be store for a couple of weeks, but problems just dragged on and on and freeing my collection was right down at the bottom of my wife's priorities! Largely due to the success of the Oldhammer Weekend (my wife could see pictures of what we do, rather than the mess of miniatures that is my usual working space) she has authorised a new miniature painting storage area alongside the Welsh Dresser display I posted up a while back. I have a new desk, mini gaming table set up and she has even warrented a new computer/printer/scanner set-up so I can blog with greater ease then ever before!
At last! I'll update you, loyal followers, of my 'Oldhammer Area' once its set up. You shoudl also see lots of new painted models from me, including the Nightmare Legion, Foundry Bretonnians, the Marauder Giant and Old Spiney himself in the coming weeks!
Before I depart to the secret lead cave and remove the weighty boxes of old school goodness from their dust wreathed sheets, I want to talk about Gary Chalk. Now, if you are not aware of the man, here's a little video from his website that will enlighten you further.
As you will have seen, there are plenty of illustrations here that make you aware of his bright, distinctive style. In fact, his style is so distinctive that he deserves to sit alongside the likes of Ackland, Blanche and Miller for his contribution to early Games Workshop (Livingstone/Jackson and Ansell eras) though, of course, his work is in no way gRiMdArKtm so hasn't a hope in hell of being mentioned or refered to in the mainstream GW hobby these days. One of the images shown on the video is that of a wizard casting a spell. This image is important to the nature of today's post, namely the rather unknown articles published across WD113-114 about magic in Warhammer '80s style.
What follows is a major article (or should that be articles?) that give us the most indepth look at magic in Warhammer Third Edition, with details about Colour Magic, the Colleges, New Spells for games of Third Edition and plenty more. All richly illustrated by Gary Chalk himself. Now, this article has been a bit of a mystery to me for some years. It is just so different to everything else that ever appeared in the magazine, partly due to the art style. Now, we know that there were several projects (most notably Confrontation) that were initially intended to be supplement released, but later saw publication in White Dwarf. Could these pages reflect something to do with magic that never saw the light of day? Or perhaps material that was part of the cancelled 'Realms of Sorcery' project to support Warhammer Third and WFRP in the later '80s? Who knows, but what we get is a wonderful article full of old school wonder. Additionally, its is interesting to note how the background has changed regarding the nature of magic in the Warhammer world and how the colleges have developed. Now, I won't spoil this for readers, I'll just leave you to enjoy the articles, but if you have an opinion about what you have read, please do share it below.