Sunday, 1 February 2015

Acceptable in the '80s: Wayne England's Dwarf Longbeards


We draw near to the end of my long series of posts chronicling the history of Warhammer Third Edition. Our gaze must now fall upon White Dwarf 135, which was the last issue I bought if memory serves, as I switched back to Zzap!64, and later Amiga Power.

Warhammer coverage had been in decline for some time and this was a trend that wouldn't reverse until the publication of Fourth Edition in issue 150. We also now know that Bryan took nearly the entire painted collection of '80s style miniatures with him when he left and you will notice that older Studio miniatures do not occur very often from this point onwards. Even Marauder, long the 'official' designer of Warhammer miniatures, reduced their output in the magazine to 'army deals' rather than new releases around this time, though regular releases would return.


Still, there was to be a last hurrah for the edition in the coming year. A series of articles that many of us remember fondly and of which are still much discussed. Instead of new models and background, we got to see (for pretty much the first time) the actual armies of GW stalwarts published in the monthly mag. 

The first, and perhaps the most well known, were Wayne England's Longbeards.


What is interesting about this article, is it mentions some of the armies that were kicking around the Studio at the time. We can infer that these are most likely personal forces rather than the official armies we grew used to in later years. Stephen Tappin, the artist whose work we looked at a few posts back, crops up as contributor to the huge dwarf army that was being planned, but to my knowledge, this is the only time we get to actually see any of the miniatures.

The unit looks spectacular, and just goes to show how far some very simple techniques can take someone with artistic flair. The beautifully designed Perry dwarfs help too. When each sculpt is an individual character and not an identikit clone, the resulting unit feels much more like a swirling mass of boozy stunties and looks superb when photographed.

I love the sense of movement on the converted standard bearer too! 


Reading through the text, its evident that Wayne wanted to get a lot of miniatures painted up quickly and wasn't too concerned with winning a Golden Demon. In fact, you get a crash course in how to quickly paint up a great number of models and get them on to the the table, fast. 

If Helen of Troy was the face that launched a thousand ships, I really do wonder if this article launched a large number of dwarf armies. Though they were most likely not as beautiful as Helen, I am sure that in the eyes of their owners, they were every bit as remarkable. 




12 comments:

  1. Coincidentally, this was the first issue of White Dwarf I ever bought.

    And the first WHF models I ever painted? Perry dwarfs. In a blue and white colour scheme, naturally.

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    1. The Perry dwarfs are just exquisite models. There are just so many and so many variations. How did they come up with all the ideas?

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  2. Definitely the cause of my love affair with dwarfs.

    For along time I thought this was the only reference to Wayne's army. But I recently got into elf's and got my hands on the 3 White dwarfs with Mike McVey's wood elf army in (141, 144, 148) and in 144 near the back is the second part of Wayne's army and in 148 you have a great battle report involving Wayne & Mike McVey Vs The Perry twins empire army.

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    1. This is great to know. As I said, this reference was the only one I could find. I better track down those 140s.

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  3. This was the second issue of White Dwarf I bought; the first was the HeroQuest and Space Crusade issue the month before.

    While not featured in any significant way the longbeards do turn up as a unit -- alongside what looks to be the rest of Wayne England's dwarf army -- in "The Battle of Iron Peak" in WD #159.

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    1. Cheers Kelvin - another copy of WD I need to track down!!!

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  4. I remember this article fondly. A battle report with Wayne's Dwarfs vs. Andy Chambers' Skaven would have been something to see.

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  5. Just wanted to say thank you for posting these articles! Very inspiring! I didn't start gaming until around 2000, so it is always interesting to see the older figures. To me these have more character than their newer counterparts, and I try to add them into my own armies whenever possible in both fantasy and 40K.

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  6. I painted a large dwarf army with this same color scheme. I gave it away to my brother when I stopped playing fantasy (I was purely a 40k player for about a decade). He in turn gave it to one of our friends who still has it ( and recently turned down an offer by me to BUY it back - on the bright side, he is willing to play 3rd Edition so when my armies are assembled I'll have another opponent). I think I have pics somewhere... Maybe it's time for another 'Real Oldhammer' article.

    I'll link back to here for context!

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  8. 144... Two more units, a couple of war machines, several characters, and an army list...

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  9. I remember this piece back when this issue was released, I loved the simple paint scheme he used on his dwarf's and how characterful his unit was, it's a shame that these days the Warhammer unit's tend to have very little scope of diversity in the body stances, it gives a very Identikit feel to the units these days.

    That's not to say I don't have some of those newer plastic units or want them, I do own them, but they just don't have the character a unit of different metal figures has.....

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