Thursday, 31 July 2014

Raiders of the Lost Adverts: Warhammer 40,000, Blood Bowl, Fantasy Roleplay and Talisman

I have been chronicling these funny two page adverts for a while now, and I must say that I love them. Not only are they very well put together considering the technology available at the time, they are also jammed packed with the product we love to pour over on eBay, only in these ads all that product is brand new! The first two pages are dedicated to what would later become Epic, but were originally termed Epic Battles, and really, this means Adeptus Titanicus and its cousin, first edition Space Marine. Both sought after boxsets these days. Its great to see this spread of releases. I can remember vividly pouring over the hundreds of models that were used to build the dioramas for these. 

What I find curious about these ads is the fact that they mention White Dwarf magazine. I have often wondered if these ads ran in any other non-GW publications back in the 1980s. They do seem rather indulgent just to run in the house magazine don't you think? Does anyone recall seeing ads of this type in other magazines?

Next up, the advert for second edition Blood Bowl. I just love this game and its miniatures. One far off day I shall collect all of these brilliant miniatures and paint up all the teams. For now, I will make do with pouring over this fantastic selection of models, art and paintwork. 

I enjoyed playing Blood Bowl more than any other game back in the 1980s, but I failed to notice that the 'board' for Dungeon Bowl was made up from artwork used in the Dungeon Floorplans releases. Pete Knifton's artwork is very obvious here, and his work really sets the tone for this game. 

By the later '80s, Flame had been set up to pump out WFRP material and this is one of their ads. Great art in support of this game, don't you think? It makes me wonder why much of the fantasy art you see used in roleplaying games in so sub-par!

Empire in Flames ad next. I bought a copy of this in about 1995 when I was running the Enemy Within. We never got as far as playing it but I later sold my copy of this book for £78. In the age before pdfs, books like these really went for a song. 

And finally, and rather surprisingly, a two page advert for Talisman. A classic game, though I am only famiilar with the Black Industries one that was put out about 6 years ago. It was so good even my wife played it. Even my wife's friends came around and played it. I now have the app for my Kindle and enjoy completing its challenges during my holidays abroad.

This page shows off the lovely, and rather collectible, range of miniatures produced/selected in support of the game. I only own the Inquisitor figure out of this set but have seen lots of lovely painted examples of the set online in recent years. 


Orlygg's Blog Rundown

I remember a time when I could keep track of pretty much everything the Oldhammer Community produced. After all, there were only about five of us! Now I feel it is impossible to really keep up with everything and I really enjoy finding articles published here and there that I missed first time around. I am also well aware that this blog is the most widely read and sometimes my interest in Old School Citadel and Third Edition is mistaken as the attitude of the whole. 

This is very wrong. As the bloggers who consider themselves to be part of our community are a varied bunch with a great number of gaming, collecting and writing interests. I am often asked about why Oldhammer has been so successful and I think the answer is a simple one. The posts published across the whole spectrum of the community share two things: passion and well written articles. Now, what follows is a run down of some of the lesser known blogs in our community that I feel need a little bit of attention from the unwashed masses (that is you lot!) as well as a little comment from me about each site. You will find quality articles and passion for their subject aplenty here.

So make a cup of tea and have a stroll through the blogs I have selected for you. Don't forget to join up and follow these sites if you have a Blogger account!

Ross Leach has been blogging since March and writes about his quest to collect Citadel Chaos Daemons, with a particular focus on his quest to source and paint classic era 'Realm of Chaos' daemons. His collection is quite varied and can leap from decade to decade. His painting is bright and immediate and certainly makes the most of the daemonic models he is working on. Well worth a visit.

Snickit (Erny's brother) is an irregular blogger but focuses entirely on collecting Skaven. He has hordes and hordes of models painted to tabletop standards. If scale is your thing, its a great place to go as he posts up quite chunky units of old and new school ratmen. I always enjoy his musing and wish they were a little more regular. Check it out!

MJDredd is another blogger who writes about a range of miniatures from different eras. Its well worth a look for some of his paint schemes and mini dioramas, as can be seen in the picture above. The blog has been going since 2012 and includes an interesting quest to own all of the 1980s Jes Goodwin chaos champions. Perhaps you can help?

This blog is run by colin.murray and is a really good reflection of his modelling activities. Within the posts you will find articles about Citadel collecting, Big Box games, painting and even battle reports. The miniature content isn't exclusively Citadel either, so you often get to learn about unfamiliar ranges. He has a great painting style and I always enjoy having a cruise through his latest work. Colin's style is colourful and skilful, as the image above will testify, and I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.

Stuart Bannister is a new blogger on the block and is well worth a visit. I only recently caught hold of his work when I stumbled across his Nurgle style Marauder troll and giant slayers (above) and followed him immediately. There is loads of other great stuff on their to discover too, even though the site has only been going to a couple of months. Click the link and enjoy!

Bruno Beveridge's new blog, again another one only a few months old, is worth a visit to gawp over his collection of painted Rogue Trader era Space Dwarfs and Orks. Straight out of the classic Ork books, his painting style is full of chequers, dags and goffs. My personal favourite piece in his collection? The original plastic Ork Battlewagon seen above!

Asslessman needs no introduction, apart from if you have not seen his work before. A very prolific member of the Oldhammer Community on forums and Facebook, but its easy to forget that he runs his own blog too! Plenty to see here if you like chaos renegades or more of the more unusual miniatures Citadel put out during the classic era. There is plenty to read here, so enjoy it!

Jason Fulford is a blogger I have had the pleasure to meet and throw dice around with. His blog is the perfect place to head if you are into early Rogue Trader miniatures as he is attempting to collect and paint all of the models in the RT601 Adventurers release. His painted efforts can be seen above and jolly good they are too!

Ed Gladdis is a familiar name here at Realm of Chaos 80s as I showcased some of his chaos models not so long ago. He has a little blog I have just discovered and there are loads more quality painted figures on show there. My favourite pieces in his collection are the dioramas he has produced, like the Chaos Battering Ram shown above, and I am sure you will appreciate a look at them too!

24_Cigarettes is by his own admission, an irregular blogger. Even so there is some excellent material here, especially if you are interested in collection and painting classic '80s skaven.

And so I must end my round up of my favourite blogs of late. Of course, if you think your blog is worthy of our attention then just drop a link in the comments section below so we can all enjoy your work and collections.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Orlygg Builds a Full Scale Gaming Table Part Two

Day two of my project to build a wargames table from the dross I have found in the garage. Yesterday, I found two old plasterboard pieces and a stack of polystyrene among other things and got as far as finishing the base of the first board. I was using the heat of the sun during the day to fast dry each stage of the board, which really sped things up. I was worried though that the wife might get a bit tetchy if the garden started resembling December with all the polystyrene bubbles, so I moved into the garage. 

Doing it old school, I used an old wallpaper table to balance the boards on and began to build up the second table. This time I caved in to the temptation of keeping things flat and even and added a few in situ banks (they are too small to call them hills) and a depression for the source of a natural spring or underground river. I coated the the first board in the builder's sand before covering it with an additional coat of watered down PVA. Leaving it to dry in the sun ensured that it is now rock hard. 

The second board has been left to dry before plastering tomorrow. I will tidy up the edges and ensure that once side fits smoothly with the other so there are no gaping chasms when the two sections are joined together. I am imagining that this is where the hamlet I intend to include will reside, close to the water source, and I have already got three buildings in various states to add when necessary. In my mind's eye, I would imagine that hamlet to be built up around a coaching inn, so at some point I am going to have to build one. Most of this will be plastered tomorrow. 

I have also done a bit more research into the inspirational table. I have discovered from various channels, that the board in question was built by The Duke, a Bristol based gamer from the 1980s who's tables where superior to anything GW had at the time. He was paid for its use in the WFB3 rulebook so the story goes!

Looking at the surface of the board, I can see that its been painted in a variety of colours and then had flock (again, in differing shades) sprinkled on top. I have lots of static grass so will be using as I am trying not to buy anything really at this stage. 

The creator of this fine table is even credited in the rulebook. I wonder who all the models belonged too? Anyone know?

Having caved in about having a water feature (I found a tube of GW water effects in the garage too) I will also be stealing the idea of adding a road. Here you can see that the road is made up of an unflocked painted surface. And this is something I am keen to emulate when the time comes. 

Plenty of lichen used on this board! I love the stuff, but find that it dries out quite quickly if you don't look after it very well. The key to using it well on a gaming board is, like many other things, all a question of where you position it. I have no plans for a ruined monastery at this stage. 

A hint for the future. Bushed made from wire wool? Rubberised horsehair? Its certainly not the brillo pad specials that I had built before.

Well, with today over, I hope to get a layer of plaster over that second board tomorrow and give it a good coating of sand. Once that is done, I shall move on to basecoating and getting the soil painted up. I don't have much paint about the house, so I might have to have a look about in the kids arts and craft sections at the local shop.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Orlygg Builds A Full Scale Gaming Table Part One

For me, one image and one image only has defined what I want from a gaming table and that image is shown above. It my appear familiar to you dear readers and this is because it was used to illustrate Warhammer Third Edition in the 1987 rulebook. To this day, I have no idea who built this board but to me it sums up everything that I want from a gaming table. 

Number one, its flat. Contours can be added by either carving into the top (like the river section her) or by constructing hills and woods. The buildings, walls, hedges and trees all look scratch built and different  to each other while the fantasy setting is subtle enough to make the scene believable. In short, I am going to build a table inspired by what you see in this picture. I plan to build in four sections, two of which will include the river, but why this sudden need to construct a table when BOYL is only two weeks away. Well, in truth its down to the weather, its nice and warm at the moment which means that modelling projects dry quicker and secondly, the wife has just had me clear out the garage and I have unearthed a horde of material to use. 

Check it out! 

I don't have the space to build all four sections at the same time, after all there are two under 5s running about not to mention a wife to loathes miniatures and mess. So I am opting to work on and complete each section at a time. I am using the piles of polystyrene that I have filled the garage with over the last five years as a base material (proper old school) and have used plaster to clear up and protect the edges. 

Here is a WIP shot of the first board. 

Now, the next step is to construct and decorate the playing surface. I shall leave this board to dryout in the garden and then tomorrow cover all of it with an earthy brown basecoat. I was tempted to cover the surface with sand like I did with my mini board but  am not so sure what was used in the original photograph. It looks like the surface has been flocked rather than painted. 

What do you guys think? And also, anyone got any great tips for me about how to get my playing surface looking as good as possible?


Monday, 28 July 2014

'Eavy Metal Special: White Dwarf 121

It seems that I spoke to soon above the weather today. My wife and I started a big clear up today, mostly of all the kids' clutter that builds up through the year and we have decided to change the playroom into a grown up room. This means we should have a space that is not riddled with Hot Wheels cars, Lego, Disney Princess or the other bric-a-brac that children seem to sweep in with their wake. Perhaps I'll be able to create myself a little miniature painting area in there at some point. The trouble is, its far too hot now for us to want to finish off the rest of the house and the wife has settled herself down on the sofa with the fan blasting out full blast while my two year old has a nap. 

Snatching a few moments away from the big project sees me following up a recent post about 'Eavy Metal with this one. The figures presented in WD 121. There is lots to see so we better press on before I am needed to move some heavy furniture or hoover under a sofa!

More from Phil Lewis, who I interviewed no so long ago, with some more models from his collection at this point in time. We are presented with a nice range of models too, with a couple of Khornate beastmen and a rather striking female barbarian. Two models from the Death on the Reik range have seen the attentions of Phil's brush, with the Wittgenstein monster and Malmir the elf. There is a return visit from some of the members of the famous Chaos All-Stars models along the bottom, a curious Golden Daemon model and a plastic fimir from Heroquest. Rather eclectic really. Standout pieces are the terminators and these are some of the very best painted examples I have every seen of this classic set. The daemonette is worth a  mention too, for not only with Phil really rather good at capturing the pastel menace of these twisted beings, I am pretty sure that this model is now part of Andy Craig's collection. Perhaps I just dreamt it, but I am pretty sure he once shared a photograph of this model stating that Phil gave it to him at once point.  

Here is a rare treat, a set of converted figures from John Blanche himself. The titans all look suitably impressive but it is the two smaller models that really capture the interest of the Citadel historian. For here we have a gang member that was the result of John Blanche's first attempt to scratch build a miniature and as you can imagine, it looks just like one of the characters from his artworks has just stepped into the realm of three dimensions. Finally, that terminator conversion is just brilliant! I really like the bases on these models as they seem a little more raised than simple sand coverings allow and I wonder how they were done. Polyfilla? Milliput? Both these materials were popular back then in WD articles and could have been used to achieve these great effects. I wonder if you build an irregular base up with polyfilla and cover it in fine sand if you will get a similar result. Something for someone to try, perhaps?

With the release of Space Marine there was a need to come up with loads of Epic scale models for the Imperial forces, as well as their erstwhile enemies. The system produced much of the Horus Heresy background is something I would like and collect and game with at some point in the future. I have got all those fantasy armies to paint up first though! A quick glance through this page lets you realised how varied the Epic game was at this time, with all kinds of crazy ideas developed for it. Many of these ideas are now being produced in 28mm scale. 

The final page has the ubiquitous orks. With the first of three books on the subject around the corner it was no surprise that each month had its quota of greenskins to show off. You can see the influence of the 'Red Period' growing once more in their colour schemes. The Space Fleet ships are a rarity in White Dwarf and models from this game, which eventually became Battlefleet Gothic, are interesting. I really don't know much about them and I cannot think of a blogger who collects them either. Something for the future perhaps? A lovely Space Hulk diorama finishes off the page, and I always wondered how they made the backgrounds for these. Bits of olf plastic? Toys? Junk from the bitz box?


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Acceptable in the '80s: Marauder Releases from White Dwarf 120 and 121

With the weather being so hot at the time of writing, I have found it hard to do little but laze about on my holidays and cook tasty meals for my family. Oldhammer related work has ground to a halt. Things seem a little cooler today, so I am back at the desk, though my goal at the moment is review the next releases of Marauder miniatures rather than wield the paint brush. Right then, where are we in this journey through Warhammer Third Edition? These releases featured in White Dwarf 120 and 121 and saw the introduction to something that got many of us fantasy nuts drooling - Marauder regiment and army deals. 

Issue 120 saw the arrival of some more Dark Elves into the range, or more precisely, Witch Elves. I find these models rather chunky and frankly, rather manly. The Bob Naismith Dark Elves are much better in my opinion, and far more lithe. I traded some away a few days ago to Stuart and am now lamenting their loss. Still, their absence from the collection just gives an excuse to buy some more in the future. The paintjobs are little better and have a distinct whiff of the 'Red Period' of painting that followed the 'Classic' Bryan Ansell years. 

Things improve further down the page with a second visit to the incredible Marauder dwarfs. I have written about these before and I have stated that they are probably the greatest dwarfs ever cast. My opinion hasn't changed since my last visit to the models and the standard bearer is a thing of beauty, both for the actual sculpting and its exquisite paint job. In fact, the entire command range are practically perfect and shame the entire modern dwarf line all the way to the headmistress' office. 

Finally, we have the Orc stone thrower. Considering they are not by Kev Adams, these greenskins are really rather good, though shades of the Man Mangler remain. I would be happy to own this model and paint it up for my Goblinoid army, as I expect would many of you. 

It being the very late 1980s at this point, colour photographs in magazines were still expensive and black and white was still used extensively- its funny what you forget, isn't it? Sadly, we have no photographs of the remaining Witch Elves, nor the goblin regiment but what we do have is an intriguing reminder of the Marauder Blade painting competition. Its often forgotten these days and I wonder what happened to all those blades?

And so we are on to White Dwarf 121 and the first army deal from Marauder. I loved these as a youngest for two reasons. One, the painted models. Two, the background context that the army was put in. Many of the models on show here were previously shown only as line drawing and its fantastic to see many of them, even though some of obscured in the second rank. Two models here catch my eye as being worth a mention, namely the Deathcap Hero (in a classic pose for a single cast model) and the brilliant standard bearer. 

And here is the rest of the force. Gorgeous when arrayed together. The perfect mix of riotous colour and conformity which, perhaps rather surprisingly, works as a whole. Of note here are the excellent Marauder shields, which are a mixture of freehand designs and painted cast patterns. The price is enough to make you weep all these years later, £50 for 78 Dark Elves, 4 Warhounds and a FREE Darklord and Deathdealer on Cold Ones. I for one, recall pouring over this article and vainly attempting to construct a plan that would see me having £50 to spend on them. I failed, as I expect did many of you! Still, it just goes to show, GW did once do deals.  

A simple army list has been included at the end of the article along with an intriguing ad for Abandon Art. These days Fantasy and Science Fiction tropes have become rather mainstream, especially in the world of computer games and have in many cases become rather generic. One bald 'Space Marine' looks much like another in games like Mass Effect, Gear of War and so on. Fantasy has had a similar fate, though there have been exceptions, like the startling original world of Morrowind in the Elder Scrolls series. Adverts like this remind us that back in the later '80s Fantasy was much less mainstream as it is now and subsequently was treated a little more seriously. A quick glance at some of the artists involved is impressive and I would certainly love to walk through the gallery to this day! 

The final image shows off the Warhounds in further detail. I haven't got much to say about them really apart from pointing out that the dogs do look a little 'cute'. When compared with the Troll Slayers you can catch another whiff of the 'Red Period' with the dominance of that shade, and its cousins, in the paint schemes. I rather like the Troll Slayers, don't you?

What is interesting is that the Painting Competition I mentioned earlier seems to have been renamed in the past month. Its now the 1990 marauder Blade Painting Competition. It sounds MUCH more impressive doesn't it. I wonder who won it and what the winning entry was? 

Anyone know out there?


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Orlygg's Top Ten Miniatures of all Time!

Now axiom has posted up a fantastic post on his blog, Magpie and Old lead, that goes into detail about his favourite top ten miniatures of all time. No aggressive 'I'm right you're wrong' list this, oh no, just an honest, personal journey through the models that mean the most to him and why. In the comments section, Edward George Gladdis has gone on to state that he hopes that other people jump on this particular goblin pump wagon and join in on this idea. By doing my own list, I hope that many more Oldhammerers in the future join us and list their own favourite models. We have done similar things in the past (the miniatures wishlist comes to mind) but the Community has grown enormously in the last couple of years and I suspect that many new faces would like to share their views on this most personal of endeavours. 

Right, before we continue I suppose I should offer some criteria about how I am going to make my ten choices. Here they are...

1) No numbers - the list will just include my top ten models in no particular order. Trying to organise them in this way would be very difficult.
2) Sets of miniatures/plastic kits can be included- though not a 'single miniature' I feel that choosing from releases such as these is fair, but an avoidance of Big Boxed games is important to avoid comparisons between 'best game' lists. 
3) These are just 'my' personal favourites for lots of reasons - nostalgia, design, pleasure painting them, avarice, covetness etc.

The Great Spined Dragon

I adore this model and I have written about it a great deal. It is an exquisite piece of art let alone miniature sculpting. In my opinion it still remains the best dragon produced by anyone anywhere and I very much doubt that it would ever be surpassed. A timeless creation that seems only moments away from flapping into life, even when just pinned together as bare metal. In case you are not aware, it was sculpted by Nick Bibby who has gone on to become a world class sculptor in bronze. If you are going to own a dragon - make sure its this one! 

The Skeleton Horde

Still the best plastic skeletons ever produced. I love them for their realistic proportions and accessibility. In fact, they were originally released in 1986 and were available for a long time, well into the 1990s. The plastic set that replaced them was inferior in many ways. I love the creepy look the models have and the way the flat round shields inspire freehand designs. Rarely for such a seminal release, the sequel, Skeleton Army, was even better than this as it included rusty pieces of armour, a chariot and skeletal horses. Nothing beast the sight of ranks of these models in a collection or on the battlefield though. They were developed by Bob Naismith who still does a great deal of plastics today. 

 Dragon Ogre

More gigantic sculpting prowess from Nick Bibby. The Realm of Chaos era Dragon Ogre is a nice weighty model that takes a bit of time to assemble so makes you feel that you have accomplished something before you are rattling the spray paint can. For me, this model is the perfect blend of dragon and chaos warrior only on a larger scale than normal. The ogrish face, heavy armour and drooping layers of chainmail produce a monster that reflects many of the most common design elements of 1980s miniature sculpting and imagery. I am lucky enough to own one of these though it resides in storage somewhere and similar to both the skeletons and the spined dragon it was replaced by far inferior models later on. 


Jes Goodwin's ultimate chaos warrior has everything going for it that you would expect of a chaos warrior, only he is sporting two gigantic axes. The pose, the design, the authority of the figure make it the greatest chaos warrior model for me, and one that I own and have painted up. As you can see in this photograph. If you have any interest in chaos warriors you really need to own this model. 

Citadel Giants

These giants are a curious entry on this list. If you had asked me a couple of years ago about these models I would have laughed all the way to the Marauder giant but time has changed my attitude of them to such an extent that I now love them. Especially since Steve Casey gave me a complete example a couple of weeks back, so thanks again Steve! You may be asking why I like these models so much, well the answer is simple - they are just soooo Warhammer Third Edition. The look, the style, the sculpting, the ethos, in fact everything about them just fits in with my preferred edition of the game. They may look as ugly as sin in the photograph above, but with a little skill and painting ability these models can be made to look really impressive. Again, these models are the work of Nick Bibby. 

Chaos Toilet

Its just so silly and so zany that it just works! Aly Morrison's bizarre model dates from a time when anything went with everything else! Any wild idea or concept imaginable was sculpted into existence and were bought up by eager miniature fans who just didn't take themselves too seriously. I have actually witnessed an argument between two gamers over whether or not this model even existed, with one GW fanboy refusing to accept that such a model was once produced by Citadel Miniatures. Was it actually canon? he asked me nervously after I informed them that such a model was made. Sadly, I have yet to lay my hands on one of these though I once used a petrol station lavatory that looked similar on the A34 once.

Reaver Titan 

I have always loved the concept of these giant walking robots ever since an example was printed as the front cover of my first White Dwarf (108 if you are interested) and I once owned two of them. I think its something about the suggested power behind them as well as the graceful design. I cannot recall who first designed them, but looking at the shape of the model above something about them suggests Jes Goodwin. Somewhere in my bedroom cupboard is an old plastic pint glass full of bits to these wonderful models, a sad remnant of my once might Space Marine collection. 

 Giant Spider

Trish Morrison produced quite a few great monsters back in the day and this one is my favourite. Its so well done that the model can make your skin creep, especially when the legs are flexed out in a realistic manner. I own three of these models, though I have yet only painted one example (which you can see above) which is part of a Tzeentch force. A word of warning about these models though, the legs are about as weak as can be and often snap off. 


Kevin Adams did most of these and his zany style and great sense of humour is obvious throughout the range. I own loads and have yet to see a definitive collection of them. These models are great fun and come from a time when horror was made more horrible by including a little dark humour into the mix. Sadly, all the subsequent versions of these models have not had one hundredth the charm of these originals. Much like many of the other miniature types on this list.

Alpine Dwarf

If I ever had to put my finger out and point to my favourite model of all time it would have to be this lovely, lovely example of a fantasy miniature. Still wonderfully original today. I don't think anything else needs to be said really does it?

So then, what is your top ten miniature countdown of all time? I am sure that you will have one, just as I am sure that your lists is likely to be completely different from mine. So I hereby lay down an Oldhammer Gauntlet and challenge you dear readers to do the same. Share with us your favourite models either by blogging your own list or starting a thread on a forum you use, using the comment section below or whatever. I would really like to see other people's lists.

Big thanks to axiom for having this great idea.