Sunday, 31 August 2014

On the Boil: Emails, Gifts and Great Links

The summer is nearly over and the stark reality of having to return to work looms large. Actually, I have already been into school to work with my colleagues on our classroom as well as sorting out a few details with the other teacher, Catherine, who I share a Year 2 class with. I also teach a day in Year 5 and a day in Year 6, and I was pleased to be reminded that most of these children will be away on the School Journey for the first week or so at school, leaving the remaining children with a project to complete. The school has chosen Australia as a topic and after the Site Manager scavenged some 44 high quality tiles from the skip I decided on teaching the children to create aboriginal style artworks on them. 

What that and a two week mini project with the Year 2s about the dinosaurs I can imagine myself being pretty busy in the coming weeks. You may have noticed a sharp increase in the amounts of posts I am putting out (but perhaps not in actual quality (: ) as the holidays provide plenty of time. Sadly, things will slown down from here but I will try and blog at least a couple of times a week. 

Something else that I often cannot find time to do, largely because I check them just before big, is respond to the many emails that I receive from you readers. I read them all, but sometimes struggle to respond to you all, so I have decided to do an irregular posting of the best of my emails in an attempt to answer you personally, and to share many of the stories that can past on to me. 

I also hope to use the opportunity to share the other bits and bobs of Realm of Chaos 80s news too, that would be otherwise too small to share in a post of their own. 

Long term students of White Dwarf may also recognise the title of this post and I hope it amuses you!

Right, to the emails first!

Dear Orlygg - 

Just a little while ago, I read on Realms of Chaos 80s that you would consider reviewing new Oldhammer blogs. I'd be very happy if you'd take a look at my new site -- it is:

Any feedback that you have would be much appreciated - I'm pretty new to the miniature blogging business and am still figuring a lot of things out (hence the recent posts on miniature photography). I'm just about to start a series about my Oldhammer orc army.

Incidentally, I wanted to thank your for your site. It's a real service to the hobby. It's especially true for all the interviews you've done with the greats from Citadel's past. It's a true oral history of the hobby. As someone who lives outside of Britain and doesn't get a chance to meet any of these guys at conventions, it's a real pleasure to get these insights and memories.


Thank you Matthew for those kind words of support and I am glad you enjoyed the interviews I have done. I am just in the process of completing a new one with Oldhammer favourite, Tony Yates, who has a collection of models to rival Bryan's, with many of them originals that he has made himself. So look out for that in the coming days! I would also love to interview Bob Naismith and Nigel Stillman, so if anyone knows of their contact details please do send them on to me! 

Reading through your blog it seems to me that you don't really need any help at all. You have a great mix of factual posts and painted material. And that painted material is excellent, and your minor conversions really bring the word of Third Edition to life! I also enjoyed reading the theory behind your approach to painting and its clear that you put a great deal more effort into 'thinking' about the miniatures you paint than I do! 

I am sure that the two teaser pictures I have posted up as headers to this letters will draw plenty of new followers towards your blog. All that is left to be said is 'keep up the good work' and I look forwards to reading your next installments. 

Hi there,

Its a lovely wet bank holiday here in London, and I thought I would send an email to thank you for all the hard work that has clearly been put into your fantastic website - what a great source of information and nostalgia! The interviews with the old GW guys are great.

I got into 40k (mainly painting the miniatures) as an 11 year old in about 1994 (eg the period where everything seemed constantly in transition with all the mixed metal/plastic figures, and barely any variation in poses). An older cousin gave me his copy of Rogue Trader - as well as a few WD's from about 1991 which I have kept ever since, was at the time blown away by it. Despite seeming a world away in style by that time it was of course far more "grown up" and sci fi. Reading it kind of made the current stuff feel instantly far too serious yet also rather childish and I lost interest completely after a couple years. 

I picked up the book again about a year back and thought it would be a lot of fun to start a little collection again only this time with all the models that back in the day were already discontinued. Your site, and a lot of the sites linked from it have been invaluable in inspiring getting back into painting, It had not occurred to me that there would be such a wealth of interest in the old school stuff out there.  

Have built up a decent amount of old school marines, love the original dreadnought model. Perhaps they can be played somewhere one day If I can get my head round the rules again!  Painted them in a (I think?) suitably old fashioned comic bookish style :) Used a mix of the old hexagonal pot citadel found in the loft, as well as some new Coat d'Arms paints which I did not know were available until I read your blog. 
Again, thank you for all the effort put into the site - it is excellent.

All the best


Owen, I think your story is a similar one to many. A brief, candlelight bright period of youthful interest followed by a shift of interests to beers and girls. Once sanity returns, the old interests come creeping back and suddenly you are spending hundreds of pounds a month on eBay on little lead men. You are also right about many people not knowing about the interest in old school Citadel stuff, in fact all of us can probably remember asking the question 'am I the only one left who likes this stuff?'. Having had a hand in the building of the Oldhammer Community I often wonder what it must feel like to spend years in the wilderness collecting and enjoying old school Citadel stuff, only to discover Oldhammer for the first time. Hopefully, the feeling is akin to walking into the fantasy shops of yore back in the 1980s! 

I am also glad you have found out about the Coat d'Arms range from Black Hat miniatures. I use these paints quite often and always spend some time at Salute chasing up the colours I need. I can also recommend the Foundry paint system too, so if your are after a new colour I would suggest trying out their range too! 

Hello Orlygg,

I hope you don’t mind me using your ‘Do you recognize this clock’ mail to contact you. First off thanks for your website and all the obvious love and hard work poured into it. I love reading up on all the old memories and even bought a new Man Mangler to replace the one I sold off years ago, just might turn into another ‘Olderhammer’ person (as soon as I find the time). Also a million thanks for the post showing the original miniatures in Bryan Ansell’s house. That post was just – for lack of a better description – an epic walk through nostalgia.

Anyway, the reason I contact you is your post on the Eldar concept artwork. Your scans are rather bad and I have the issue on the shelf (WD124/April 1990). Since these drawings managed to inspire a lifelong Eldar obsession in me, I thought it might be nice to get you some better scans. Attached are small versions of the scans, you can get a zip-file with the large versions from my Dropbox here: I hope you enjoy this and once again thanks for your website (and sorry for potentially abusing the mail-address mentioned on it).

Best regards,

Merijn Gelens

Thank you so much for the much better scans of these lovely pages. I have shared them here so fans can have a better look and I will change the images on my post shortly. I am glad that you enjoyed the trip through Stoke Hall, and I can tell you that there was an deep sense of awe in all of the Oldhammerers who got the chance to do so. I can say, that the photographs you saw are only the tip of the iceburg when it comes to Bryan's collection. Some of the key pieces have been catalogued by Steve Casey over on Eldritch Epistles and his site is well worth a visit if you haven't already. I am sure there will be plenty more of this collection to admire in the coming years. 


Just wanted to drop you a message of congrats on your blog anniversary.  I started collecting in about 1986, and although I see myself as a reasonably accomplished painter (not quite at your levels, but not terrible either), and also am an awful self-motivator.  Many ideas running through my head for my several thousand models, but never getting around to any of them.

Then, I stumbled onto the Oldhammer Forum, and soon after, your blog.  Since then, I've cataloged my 3rd Edition Chaos stuff (for insurance purposes), and cleaned up/based about 30 of them, ready for priming.  Momentum is building.  The sheer number of models you've painted in 3 years is fantastic and I've realized that I only need to finish a model a week to get a good start on a solid army.

On the topic of Chaos, do you have any specific blog pages you could point me to that would have better pictures of a couple of the models that you show on your shelf?  Namely your Skrag, and the Nurgle Champ called Voight.  I am looking to paint my warriors in plain silver armor, with some chequerboard patterns, and only the Champs being in God colors.  If you have any other models done this way, I would be interested in them also.



Okay Colin, I have selected four models from my collection that seem to fit your criteria, including Skrag and Voight. Its very tempting to just paint a model silver, wash over with black and then drybrush over the top with a lighter silver, but then I haven't really got a good result out of this method. I tend to darken my base down with black and coat the entire model with this, and then highlight the armour up again in much the same way as I do with other colours of armour. I always save by sharpest silver for painting the extreme edges of the armour plate.

I have also experimented with glaze washes over the top of painted armour. Blue and green inks if suitably watered down can result in some great finishes - in fact now that I am thinking about it, Skrag was completed with a blue glaze.

Have a look at this photo for some inspiration!

Right, next up are some new miniatures for my collection. As you will know, I have but a ban on eBaying until I have painted loads more of my miniatures. Trades are fine, though I shall allow buying essential things like shields, paints and brushes and things like that online. Well over the last couple of weeks I have picked up some interesting pieces.

First of all I would like to thank the fine gentleman who gifted me the model Ambull you can see in the photograph below. We have met at both of the Oldhammer Weekends and enjoyed a great chat but I cannot remember his name at all! If you are the pleasant chap who donated this fine miniature please get in touch so I can thank you properly!

Secondly, I am just in the process of completing a trade with Simon Jones from the Facebook Group. My Chaos Dwarf crossbow unit will be receiving some re-enforcements now, hopefully in time for the Halloween game, with four new models to join the unit. A fifth is undercoated and ready for painting. And finally, I picked up these lovely metal shields for £1.50 elsewhere and the seller was kind enough to include some plastic Marauder shields for free! You have gotta love those old Citadel metal shields!

Finally, I have just received these characterful banners in the post from Spain of all places! They are great fun and would certainly suit a Nurgle champion or Daemonic power and make up part of my 'painted by other people' section of my painted miniature collection. These were painted by Luife Lopez and are the first part of  a little parcel he sent me. Hopefully, the miniatures will arrive in the near future too!

Talking about Spain, I have had a request from Carlos Pantojo Martinez to suggest you all visit his blog, OldhammerSpain in the near future. Its Spanish language but very easy to translate using the Google tool to do so. 

Expect some excellently painted miniatures with an emphasis on classic Realm of Chaos era models, as well as some classic dwarfs! 


Thank you to all of you who have contacted me over the years and I apologise for the tardiness of my replies sometimes. Hopefully, this new 'One the Boil' idea will encourage me to respond a little faster and share your stories too! So if you haven't a blog, don't care to comment but what to share your story, your photographs or some one trinket (no Ray-Bans please) that you think your fellow readers may enjoy. Then drop me a line to the usual place -



  1. I enjoyed the theme of this post. Thanks for sharing. I will have some ebay victories to share soon.

  2. Thanks for the head nod, Orlygg! Very much appreciated!