Sunday 21 September 2014

'Eavy Metal Special: Francis Ellyard's Terminators from WD 126

These terminators appeared in White Dwarf 126

As many of you know, I seldom post much about Rogue Trader. Not because I have any particular dislike of the game, but because its not really a painting or collecting interest of mine. A couple of years ago (on another blog) I set about writing a history of Rogue Trader, which I hope to finish one day, as I was busy painting up models for RT. 

Models like these make me want to get painting in the 41st millennium once again.

Francis Ellyard is another one of those names who frequent the pages of White Dwarf in the very early 1990s and would continue to grace its pages in the coming issues. Again, much like Dale Hurst, Ivan Bartlett and the mysterious motorcycling Sid, these painters have long disappeared into the ether. But they have left us a wealth of material that is so shockingly different to the 'perceived' prescriptive colour schemes of today that they offer the Old School painter a huge resource of inspiration. And by 'perceived' I am targeting the views of the numerous hardline 40k players that I have met in the flesh and online, and not GW, who I expect would be happy for you to paint them any way you wish.

Judging by the bases, these models were painted for use in Space Hulk and they are full of lots of great ideas. The riotous combination of colours on the Chaos terminators, for example, are the perfect antithesis of 'gRiMdArK'  as is the concept of painting a Grey Knight without actually using any grey!

There is a Mentor Legion feel to many of the models, with the use of green and white dominating, and perhaps the greatest model among this collection has to be the Close Combat Terminator with the Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield. Its stance, with all its suggested power and malice, is exceptional and I feel this feeling of brooding menace is utterly lacking in the modern plastics.

I wonder where these models are now?

So what are your opinions on these terminators? Background mangling travesties or unique interpretations?


  1. I prefer canon colors in Wh40K. With fluff being so estabilished, it deepens my sense of immersion hugely.

    1. As much as I love these guys, I have to agree. The Chaos Terminators and the Ordo Malleus Inquisitor are some of my all time favourites from that era though.

    2. In the days when these models were painted, there were thousands of space marine chapters, creativity was always really encouraged, pretty much everyone I knew designed their own chapter, colours and lore, even the inquisition didn't know how many chapters existed, I think it was a far more interesting time, it was always nice chatting about your army with your opponent, the most prized tournament trophy was for sportsmanship, and then painting, it really was a fantastic time to be into wargaming, I keep hoping the old 40k ethos will return someday.

    3. I had my own colour scheme. it was encouraged at the start. after doing copies of every mini I saw in White Dwarf, I stretched out and made my own. I think the changes in 10th edition make it easier for you to run whatever you want now. It started with 'successor chapters' and now the paintjob on the table doesn't have to match a particular chapter to still get your special rules.

  2. Love them. In fact the only fault I can find with them is the square bases. And that's just personal preference. They remind me why I fell in love with GW in the first place.

  3. The captain in the center of the bottom row is one of my favorite Space Marine models ever to grace a GW publication- I know it showed up again in a rulebook or two after this 'Eavy Metal spread. I tried my heart out to copy that paint scheme to no avail. Thanks for sharing this- I had never heard the name Francis Ellyard. I hope she reads this and gets in touch!

  4. Congratulations for posting this update, it is a great choice as it showcases an often overlooked and excellent set of painted 40k models. I always loved looking at these Terminators since I first saw them in the White Dwarf.

    I agree with you that it is always good to see a lot of creativity with painting, with the non-grey 'Grey Knights', as well as the non-Legion Chaos Terminators. The style of painting always remined my of Fraiser Grey's painting in that it was colourful and bright but not in an over the top way. I always admired the crispness of Francis Ellyard's painting. Did he paint some of the other Chaos miniatures in the 'Lost and the Damned'?

    I always liked the square bases, I think they are on those bases for Space Hulk. There were rules published in the White Dwarf magazine for Chaos Terminators.

  5. It's pages of miniatures like this that really drew me into the hobby and it's still great to see them now.

  6. I love these miniatures. They remind me of when space marines were all individual heroes with their own iconography and variations rather than mass produced cannon fodder in ceramite!!

  7. Francis Ellyard was (is?) from York. She didn't work for GW (afaik) but her work was pretty much a permanent fixture in the York GW shop window (front and center on the carousel)... spent many hours of my teenage years with my face pressed against the glass admiring the quality of her work. Even briefly met her in the shop on a couple of occasions... I've long since left York but the York Wargames Society might be a possible lead if you wanted to contact her (