Welcome back to Realm of Chaos 80s! If you are anything like me, you are probably thoroughly sated by the excess of the Christmas period and ready to settled down once again into something that resembles a routine. I am quite lucky as I still have well over a week off before the return to school and I always use this time to get a good bit of painting done, usually finishing off some of those projects that never quite made it through the rest of the year.
Before I dust off the paint brushes and get started, let's discuss the next installment of Acceptable in the '80s: my history of the Warhammer Third Edition. By now we have reached December 1990 and things are really beginning to change at Games Workshop. Bryan Ansell, for so long the visionary behind the Warhammer Mythos, had been spending more and more time overseas expanding the company in the USA. The sale of the company was only months away. The first signs of the future of Warhammer and 40K can be seen... The beginning of the phasing out of RPGs, streamlining the rulesets and a major shift towards a much younger market.
The Golden Age of Games Workshop was drawing to a close.
Still, Citadel and Marauder still had plenty of gems to share with us as we shall see.
Marauder Mounted Chaos Warriors
Now the first thing you notice about these models is how closely they resemble the 'on-foot' versions we talked about in September. If you are not sure what I mean by this then pop over to this article on the Marauder Chaos Warriors. They are obviously conversions based on the original models, with changes to the weapons (most notably the lance) and legs. I have always found it curious that Marauder didn't put out any more chaos warrior models, especially when you consider how popular the figures are, but there you go.
These models are now highly sought after with the collectors and the horse can often sell for £10 each! Personally, I much prefer the Citadel warriors myself but I can appreciate why these models still prove very popular with people today.
Its the painting that interests me the most though, especially those shields. The tree bough example (bottom left) we have spoken about before on this blog and is one of my favourite freehand shields. Like all great designs for shields and banners, its really quite simple but the orange background creates a great sense of brooding atmosphere. The second freehand design (bottom right) has always reminded me of a Tzeentchian chilli pepper but continues the theme of using a bright background with darker foreground detail.
A very effective combination.
The other two models sport the new plastic Marauder shields and these, though they paint up very well, spell the beginning of what we would come to expect, shields and banners with all the detail provided. The age of the freehand design being actively encouraged by 'Eavy Metal and Games Workshop generally was passing with the shift to a younger market.
Dark Elf Shadow Scouts
Now I must admit to not really having taken notice of this little set of models before writing this article. Looking at the models now, I find that I really, really like them. They share some elements with Bob Naismith's original sculpts but that have a strong nautical flavour that makes them seem all the more piratical.
Again, the paint jobs on these models really bring out the feeling that these menacing chaps are reavers of the sea. Brought up on saltwater and slaughter. They are a worthy contribution to any Dark Elf force in my opinion.