Sunday, 28 February 2016

Townsfolk for 'In Defence of Far Corfe'

We sold our house on Monday and have spent this last week frantically looking for somewhere to live. After many years of conventional living, my wife and I are looking to purchase one of Essex's many historic buildings for some real 'Olde School' style living. Despite racing through the area all weekend looking at properties, and receiving a visit from the entity known only as 'Mother', I managed to get two townsfolk miniatures completed on Sunday. 

And here they are! 

On the left we have a Citadel model depicting a Noble Woman while the right is from the later Marauder range, only this time it is a Noble Man! 

The lady is one of the 'Wanda' style models out there, the other two being Wanda 1 and Wanda 2. She is not as well sculpted at the gentleman, and I found her face a bit of a pig's ear to finish but she looks lovely now. 

These two models are part of my In Defence of Far Corfe scenario that we are playing out this coming weekend at the Wargames Foundry and I shall be covering them in detail in a coming post about the game. They will act as the 'goodie' commanders during the game and will have appropriate special rules, as did many of the characters in the scenarios of old. 

I now just have to finish off the Far Corfe Homeguard and the villain of the piece, Keef Bullockchopper half-orc, half-troll ALL bastard! 


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Pantheon of Chaos: Greater Daemon of Malal Head Update!

Those of you following the Pantheon of Chaos project closely will know about the recent green based on the classic Tony Ackland illustration of a Malal daemon. If you want to know more about the daemonic pantheon that inspired these models - look at my original article here.

As promised by Diego a few days back, this model will come with the alternative head shown here. Comparing the two, I much prefer this version. Those eyes look suitably soulless for my liking. 

More news as I get it!


Orclord's Beautifully Painted Citadel Giant

There are so many later references to this model on later giants, particularly the use of shields as clothing/armour parts. Is he holding the poor knight on the boxart by any chance?
Hello again, retro-Citadel fans - and how is this for a weekend treat? That's right, it is the famous Citadel giant fully painted and part of the enormous collection of one very well known collector, Orclord. Now, much of his collection has been thankfully photographed and is available for viewing on the sodemons website, and if you have never visited then this is a very good time to do so! 

Richard (Orclord's real name) shared this image, and several others on social media recently and I felt that enthusiasts of '80s lead who don't use the Facebook platform would probably want to see these. So we really need to thank the not at all green Orclord for getting this enigmatic model painted and photographed in such detail. 

But what do we know about the Citadel Giant? Well, for a long old time it was a bit of a myth. The first time I recall hearing about it was in White Dwarf about eight years ago. It was mentioned in one of their 'articles' and I am paraphrasing here but the comment went along the lines that the model was so old no images of it could be found by the White Dwarf team. Nothing at all. They didn't even have a model in their collection!

Fast forwards into the early period of the Oldhammer Scene and a collector called Skarsnik shared images of not one Citadel Giant, but two! Then the famous Harry, of Warseer fame, offered to paint on the said models just for the thrill of handing such a rare figure. At the first ever Oldhammer Weekend, that painted model was on display - though it lacked the multiple heads and hands. It was an incredible moment to come face to face with such a mythical model from Citadel's past too. 

Several years later, Marcus Ansell showed me the Citadel Giant that is part of Bryan's collection. This one is currently missing one of it's arms, sadly. 

But I have never seen a complete Citadel Giant set fully painted until now. Hence my excitement! 

I am fairly sure that the model on the right is the same piece as can be now seen in Bryan's collection. Only here, he has both arms intact! This was the first sight of the Giant as far as I can tell, and comes from White Dwarf 37.
In case you didn't know, the Citadel Giant was sculpted by Alan Perry in late '82 and was released in January 1983. He even signed the inside of the torso! The model was produced at a time when Citadel were really pushing the boundaries of what metal casting could achieve, what with the Chicken Dragon before it. Priced at £29.99 (that is well over £100 in today's money) this was a pricy kit, even compared to some of  GW's modern stuff. Considering that it was made of metal, the box must have weighed in at a hefty weight too!

Hey look, '80s cellotape. Why does it go yellow?
And here is an example of said box. I love the illustration on the front, which can also be found in the Warhammer Fantasy battle third edition rulebook, as I love the puzzled shock of the heroic knight dropping his dagger in surprise!

This illustration shows off the multi-part options of the original model, and illustrates the pieces that Orclord's model does not yet show. It is probably worth pointing out here that these new photographs were shared with a note that they were still work in progress, so I hope we shall see the remaining bits and pieces added later! 

And with that, I shall leave you with the remaining photographs of the Citadel Giant. He may not be so mysterious as he once was, but he remains a stunning achievement of early Citadel's ambition!

Rambo head?
Subotai head?
Oliver Reed head?
Duncan Goodhew head?

Friday, 19 February 2016

The Crude, the Mad and the Rusty: Mini Gaming Table

Greeting all! What do you think of this? I built it yesterday afternoon out of a few scraps I could find lying around the house. It is a scale scenic playing board based on the battlemat published as part of the Crude, Mad and Rusty scenario I have been working on. 

As you know, I have just completed the selection of models that form the pieces in the game and felt like experimenting with the old ruleset to tweak things here and there. It gave me great pleasure to see Mr. Graeme Davis, one of the original authors, contributing to that particular blog post with some background detail about the development of the scenario - it is really quite interesting so pop back over to my miniatures post to check that out of you have not already do so. 

Now many of you will remember that I a fan of putting together cheap and lightweight gaming tables. I have posted about this before. Have a look at these articles if you are interested in my previous endeavours. Last summer, I produced a 'theme' board based on the first scenario for McDeath, Winswood Harbour. I thought that it would be fun to attempt another 'theme' board, this time for the Mad, the Crude and the Rusty - after all, the battlemat in White Dwarf 89 was shocking to say the least!

Let me explain how I built the mini-table you can see at the top of the post. 

My first step was to cut out some foamboard to represent the brown areas from the original battlemat. Now, despite reading through the scenario several times I just couldn't work out what these areas were supposed to represent - so I went for slightly higher ground. I made sure that I used diagonal cuts with the blade to create a sloping edge to each piece of foamboard before sticking them on in roughly the correct places with Copydex. For the base I used a thick piece of plasticard, which by an incredible coincidence was exactly the right size for the battleboard and required no trimming at all!

You can see here that I used the original magazine to work out the dimensions of the foamboard cuttings. 

Copydex doesn't take long to dry, which is what makes it ideal for building scenery and fantastic for cardstock houses like you find in Warhammer Townscape. If you have never used this glue for model making I really do recommend buying a bottle and trying the stuff out. It is excellent stuff and quite reasonably priced too - I think I paid £4.50 for my large tub. 

Using PVA, I just painted on adhesive in rough strokes around the edges of the foamboard pieces and across the base of the plasticard. I rarely cover the whole surface of a gaming board with sand and prefer just to cover the areas I am going to keep 'exposed' so to speak. I dried this with the wife's hairdryer on the lowest speed setting. Shhh! Don't tell her! 

I used a black acrylic to basecoat the whole board and while it was drying I cut out a second piece of foamboard to act as base for the mini-table. I left about one inch around all of the edges. Placing this aside, I began dry brushing the board with my darkest brown shade and worked up in stages until this looked like this! 

Drybrushing complete, I slapped on the PVA once more, this time concentrating the adhesive over the flat untextured areas of the mini-board. I made sure that the glue was spread out in a fairly natural way, as nothing breaks that sense of immersion with a gaming board than poorly applied flock or static grass. 

With the grass stuck on, I again recruited the services of my wife's hairdryer to slowly dry the glue that held the static grass. Nothing beats leaving this to settle naturally, but I was working on a strict timetable of a couple of hours - I don't think you can tell can you?

The final stage saw me sticking the board onto the base and painting the foamboard black to create a defined edge. I also added some different shades of static grass in patches around the board, to help break things up a little. Gale Force 9 do some excellent seasonal tufts of scrub, and I opted to add a little selection of the autumnal stuff here and there to further break up the edges of the gaming board. You can see that I printed out the original title graphic too! 

Highlighting the larger stones in white was the final touch. Oh, apart from adding a miniature or two!

Now to think about testing out how the scenario works and implementing any changes that spring to mind.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Is this the 'End Times' of Warhammer 40,000?

Can you think of a subtext to this famous painting?
My wife wants to move. That old chestnut of a 'lack of space' has reared it's head once more and she is busy on Rightmove searching for our next property. Now the purchasing of houses is something I have little to do with, beyond sharing my opinion with my spouse about the properties she selects. Also, I am a firm believer in the maxim: ' a happy wife equals a happy life' and strive to adhere to this philosophy as much as I can. 

One symptom of her new desire is the besuited estate agent, all big tie and shiny shoes, and organising the time to meet with them. Sadly for her, the arrival yesterday morning of one polite gentleman from a local agency clashed with another family engagement - an engagement that no amount of wrangling would free herself with. 

So, being the roguish dare-devil that I am, yours truly stepped in at the last moment and offered to remain in the house and meet with the gentleman in question. Of course, the prospect of getting some unexpected painting time into the bargain did not cross my mind once. 


Punctuality being king in this kind of work, I heard a knock at the door at precisely quarter past nine. Greeting me at the doorstep was a very smart and friendly man, a handful of years older than myself, smiling pleasantly, and after a few moments of explanation on my part on the absence of my wife, I invited him in. Being clearly a more experienced estate agent he cut straight to business, asking me a series of questions about the house and impressing me with his knowledge of the area. He was just about to launch into an informative spiel about interest rates when, all of a sudden and quite out of character, he stopped dead. 


His eyes left me and focused in wonder at something on the other side of the room. 

"Is that a Great Spined Dragon from Games Workshop?" he asked, in wonder, all thought of house sales temporary forgotten. I told him that it was and over the next twenty minutes or so guided him through my collection of old school painted Citadel, my gaming tables and Oldhammer paraphernalia. To say that he was astonished that even one man would still be interested in 1980s Warhammer, let alone an international community, would be an understatement. 

These unlikely meetings between enthusiasts, even those as lapsed as he, are vital for our hobby. Nay, essential. For without them, wargaming would wither on the vine and decay rapidly. For our experiences are, by and large, social and supportive and without the encouragement and support of our fellows, and the chance to meet up with such like minded souls, what would be the point of all of those toy soldiers and the hours we invest into their creation?

Let us return to the image I began this blog post with. I cannot recall who painted it, but it was produced during the early days of Warhammer 40,000 and represents the main 'human' forces of the Imperium at that time; Imperial Guard, Space Marine and Squat. If you look closer, and are familiar with Rogue Trader iconography, you will notice that the majority of the figures in the painting wear the emblems of the medical corps. This is an image of a last stand, and despite imminent destruction, humanity stands united in all its forms against an unseen foe. Sprawled backwards across the earth lies an ork, giving some indication of who these soldiers are fighting, and the immolated carcass of another marine gives a stark, brutal prophecy of the fate for those still fighting. 

Stirring stuff indeed. 

I see a subtext in that image. I see the community I used to know, way back in the 1980s, and the one we have worked so hard to build today. A community made of quite different people (represented by the difference 'races' of the Imperium) who by working together and pooling their differences, create a whole far stronger than the sum of its parts. Everybody is on the same page as they say, and are unified in their enjoyment of fantasy wargaming. As it has to be if our hobby is to survive. 

The estate agent has just popped in to drop off some paperwork for my wife. He laughed as I told him he'd missed her once again. Unsurprisingly, the subject of Citadel miniatures was soon brought up, though not by me, and our friendly local estate agent went on about his adventures on eBay and Facebook last night. With passion, he explained to me of his interest in the Fiend Factory range and how he is considering collecting all of the models he had as a youth, his eyes beaming with the delight of the hunt and of a beloved hobby restored. 

Earlier on in the week, I was in London. I had an hour or so of free time, so popped into a Local Friendly Gaming Store I had discovered on my phone as I am always interested in the wider wargaming world, and attend Salute every year without fail. I was quite surprised what I saw. Two groups of gamers on opposite sides of the venue doing two very different things. 

The first group epitomised everything I despise about wargaming. Two charmless individuals were lining up rank upon rank of black undercoated chunky plastic 40k kits, some larger than my daughter's dolls, and fussing over the meta. As I browsed the racking, I eavesdropped on their argument. It appeared that one of them took offence to the other gamer's inclusion of a specific unit and it's armament. Apparently, it wasn't legal! This resulted in some quite fierce words and much scrummaging through rulebooks and computer print outs. 

On the other side of the room a bunch of kids were playing something on a smaller table. Shrieks of joy and friendly banter filled the space around them. Walking over, I saw a varied collection of brightly painted models and it was clear that each youth had brought in their own collection, for there was an obvious style to the little groups of models. I realised quite quickly that this must be a game of Age of Sigmar in action and that the young gamers had adapted the rules as they are to suit their own needs.

The younger players we suddenly distracted by one of the most extraordinary things I have ever seen in wargaming. One of the older players, who ready should have known better with children around, swore very explicitly and actually threw one of his complicated looking 40k kits onto the floor of the gaming shop, smashing the the model to pieces! Even his dulled eyed opponent had enough wit to look up in surprise from his glossy codex. The furious player then stalked out of the shop, abandoning his collection of toot and disappeared up the street, striking out at lamp posts and recycling bins all the way. An anxious manager peered perplexedly from the doorway, probably wondering what all the fuss was about before retreating with a shrug back behind his counter. his reaction made me wonder if this was a common occurrence.

What happened to Warhammer 40,000? The game I remember playing was new, exciting and vibrant. The enthusiasm I felt was mirrored by gamers all over the country, in independent stores and of course in White Dwarf. Even in the early days of the internet there was a joy about the game. An excitement and it was fascinating to watch all of the characters at GW develop the game during the Silver Age of Pawl Sawyer as editor of White Dwarf. We all seemed to be on the same page. Now, it is hard to find anything but hatred for the game, or in-fighting. Scroll through any of the many online forums concentrating on the game and you'll see page after page of bitter resentment at GW for 'nerfing' the game and pointless bickering between supposed players of the system!

Was it always like this? Were the gaming groups I knew as a youth, and the ones I know now, in the minority?

In my opinion, Warhammer 40,000 has been destroyed by its players. It seems to me that by far the largest majority of them demand that GW does absolutely everything for them, and then complain if any changes (to rules, background or the miniature ranges) go against their individual needs and desires. Hey, whatever happened to free thinking?

No wonder I am hearing whispers of 40k receiving its own 'End Times' event and the launch of a very different edition of the game. Games Workshop would be doing the right thing if they just dumped the entire backstory and did an 'Age of Sigmar' version of Warhammer 40,000. The future of the game does not belong to the bitter rules lawyers and their black primed hordes of plastic toys, but to the passionate and eager youth and their fantasy 'space marines'. Clubbing together a few sets of Age of Sigmar and battling it out with your mates on a Saturday afternoon is as close as you can get to the much discussed 'Oldhammer Spirit' and totally at odds to the 'win at all costs' mentality of so many 40k players that I meet.

Space Marine models are the biggest sellers that GW have for good reason, they are what the younger generation of gamers enjoy playing with. So if Fenris is set to be bombed by the Dark Angels and a new civil war between the Space Marine chapters is set to explode, then fair play to GW if they inspire more younger gamers to take up the hobby and enjoy rolling dice with their friends, then a very well done should go to them! That is, and was, what fantasy wargaming should be all about.

To conclude, let us return once more to the piece of art I used to open this blog post. The humans we see huddled together, defiant against death and eternal in their support of each other despite the differences in their nature. They represent us! The community spirited gamers, no matter their age, ruleset or miniature preference. As a gamer and collector, all I want to see is the same passion I hold dear for this hobby in others - what they are actually playing is irrelevant. But we are few. Surrounding the heroes in the painting above are the dark and unknown 'foe', bent on the Imperium's utter destruction. And surrounding us, through no fault of our own, are the dark, faceless forces of '40k playerz', our own inexorable foe, who hold only one commandment dear:

In the grim darkness of the far future...
There is only winning!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Crude, the Mad and the Rusty Ride Again!

From left to right: The Tinman, Oxy O'Cetylene, Gore, Blood, Spikes Harvey Wotan and Skrag the Slaughter.
I have been busy over the last day or so completing this group of models. Well, I say completing -three of these were already painted before I started and have only seen mild touch ups (steady Chico!) while the remaining three have been painted from scratch. Can you work out which ones?

Skrag the Slaughterer is the oldest painted model here having been completed by me way back in 2012. He has been rebased for this little collection and his armour has seen a tiny sort out here and there too. Oxy and the Tinman were completed quite recently and you might well have read the post I did about them a few months back. The two chaos goblins, Blood and Gore, were finished off today, along with the wonderfully named Spikes Harvey Wotan.

I think I explained then that Oxy and the Tinman, though an '80s Limited Edition blister pack, were also connected with a little known Warhammer scenario published in White Dwarf '88: The Crude, The Mad and the Rusty. 

Like a career criminal (which he may well be, incidentally) Skrag the Slaughterer has a fair bit of previous, as can be seen in the advert atop. Here he is advertising his wares in White Dwarf 79 alongside the scrabble friendly Lovecraftian, Hrothyogg. Interestingly, this advertisement is one of the few published references to our old friend Malal and here the renegade god lures Skrag towards a lump of starmetal and encourages his to persuade some dwarfs to forge it into a giant axe. Great fun! 

I often wonder if the success of these models lead to Jes Goodwin's incredible range of ogres a little later on, as it seems odd to have an entire range produced and then do a colour ad for just two of them! 

Anyway, back to the plot. White Dwarf 83 boasted a 'Free Pull-Out Battlegame' on it's front cover and the prospect of fighting a Fantasy Battle straight out of the magazine probably sounded very exciting for a large number of readers. However, delving into the pages of White Dwarf that month would lead to a strange disappointment, for this was not a battlegame of massed ranks, brutal charges and the ebb and flow of combat - no - it was a few paper cut outs being manipulated around perhaps the worst full colour poster ever printed anywhere in the 1980s. Jump the bottom of this article if you do not believe me!!
It is a well known fact that you cannot polish a turd. And some have accused the Crude, the Mad and the Rusty of being an absolute clunker of a poo sticking to the toilet bowl of wargaming life. They have lain it upon the altar of poor gaming releases (probably alongside Gary Morley's Nagash) and wished it to the pits of non-existence forever. 

I don't agree with them. For there is material enough over the supplement's few pages to polish up a gem of a scenario - if you are prepared to do a little work. 

Reading the story helps understand the scenario a little better. After wandering the wastes and being seduced (if that is the right verb for a huge, sweating ogre) by Malal, Skrag locates the starmetal and forces a bunch of dwarfs to craft the ore into his gigantic axe, and make him a huge suit of armour to boot. In thanks for all of their hard work, Skrag promptly slaughters (yes, that is why he is called that) the lot of them and consecrates his new found weapon in their blood. Charming chap! 

Unfortunately for Skrag, he leaves a single witness. A solitary Khornate chaos dwarf by the name of Spikes Harvey Wotan (whether this character is inspired by the chap who appears in Judge Dredd's Cursed Earth series, which included Ronald McDonald executing customers for spillages, has yet to be decided) who, rather understandably, swears an oath to track down and kill Skrag in vengeance. During his travels, Spikes meets another crazed dwarf, Oxy O'cetylene, and persuades him to construct a deadly tinman to take on the Slaugheter one on one and picks up two Khorne worshipping chaos goblins named Blood and Gore along the way. 

So far so good really. It is wacky, zany stuff just like Warhammer should be. Once you start looking at the rules it all starts to fall to pieces, a bit like if the scenario was written on the back of a fag packet after a particularly boozy lunch one Friday afternoon. Things start well, with a D6 roll to determine Skrag's initial wounds, halving the result and adding 2. This makes sense in several ways, firstly to add a random factor to help vary the way the game is played (it is obviously trying to be one of those quick scenarios you might play through more than once) and secondly to represent the damage done to Skrag during his dwarf rumble earlier on.

However, once the rules for the Tinman are introduced things start to unravel quickly. The table describing what happens to the machine once the fuel runs out is great fun, and introduces a little more random fun to the proceedings. It states that the player needs to decide how much fuel to give the Tinman at the start of the game, up to six units with each unit providing enough energy for one turn, but no reason for this choice is given, nor does it seem to make a difference how many units you choose to use! In that case, every player will always choose 6 units as it is the maximum available and gives you the best chance of killing Skrag. Surely, there should be a penalty for adding more fuel to create a little tactical thought before hand?

So there is work to be done there!

The second issue that raises it's head is the total lack of Oxy in the game. Why include him in the backstory and provide a miniature for him and not include him somehow? This looks to me to be a terrible oversight and one that needs to be corrected. 

Casting your eye over the malfunction rules helps restore faith in the scenario. Again, they are zany, fun and suitably random as all '80s roll charts have to be. I also like the character trait of Wotan's, though it isn't very Khornate at all, of using your underlings to soften up Skrag so you can move in for the kill! In fact, that is the ONLY way of winning the game if you are the chaos dwarf player. You have to time your attacks perfectly and kill Skrag yourself if you wish to emerge from the battlefield victorious. Anyone else doing so will put the game into a draw. For Skrag to win, he just has to survive and kill anything that is foolish enough to come at him.

Simple stuff. 

Also, nearly every character is subject to frenzy! Ahhh! 

As I said earlier, the 'battlegame' came with a pull-out battlemap and it is certainly 'interesting' on the eyes looking at it now. 

Still, having now collected all of the figures in this small scenario set and got them painted, this scenario offers something quite intriguing to the Oldhammer player. Could the rules be tweaked to produce a more workable game AND somehow include a way of including Oxy O'Cetylene? I like to think so, and it is something I intend of thrash out in the coming weeks. So, hopefully you will see a battle report based on this game coming your way soon. 

Does anyone have any advice or ideas to help me on my quest? Or even better, have your actually played this scenario before and can offer some tips on play before I start?

I am ever hopeful.


Sunday, 14 February 2016

A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers: Plague Skeletons

It is Sunday as I write this. Tomorrow brings the first day of half-term and the joyous realisation that I do not have to go to school for another whole week! I have a serious amount of painting to try and get in over the next week as a number of projects draw to a close and others spring up anew from the depths of my lead pile. 

As you will no doubt be aware, Paul, Steve, Ringo and I are all attempting one of those monthly 'Tale of Four Gamers' things, in the hope of joining up at the next BOYL and doing battle with the forces we raise. You will probably recall my post last month about my recently completed plague skeletons. Well, it has taken me ages to get the remaining troops finished and fit for the table, but with all the natural light flooding into my conservatory today, I managed to get them completed.

Looking at the three models above, I can see how very different they have come out. I painted the converted standard bearer first, using a broken figure as a basis, cutting off the staff and replacing the missing hand. Adding the banner pole was quite simple; I used a pin-vice to drill through the raised hand and just pushed some fairly sturdy wire through the hole. 

The heavily armoured chap on the right followed. A sense of deja vu came over me as I worked on this one, as this dolly saw a lot of action across the 1980s and numerous model variants exist. In the past I have struggled to get a decent finish on the chaos versions, so stuck to a very simple drybrush and highlight method on the armour, which covers most of the figure. The haft of the axe needed to contrast with all the nearby metals, so I chose an earthy brown to pick that out. using my smallest brush, I highlighted a grain effect like I usually do. The skull and hair where done as normal, using the excellent Foundry triads for both. 

The final model was the central one. This one is also a variant, though perhaps a more famous one. He is, of course, another version of Mordini from the Nightmare Legion. Considering he is supposed to be in a Nurgle army he has come out a little, well, purple. My reasoning is thus; he was a Slanneshi or Tzeentch Chaos champion who was killed by the Plague Lord's forces and resurrected as an undead champion - in thrall to a hated master. I am sure Nurgle would find such a situation most amusing. 

Here is the completed unit for my Nurgle force. As I said before, I wanted to make each skeleton different but not feel the need to make them look like a Nurgle unit. These are the raised dead that have fought against my army, not followers of the Father of Flies. I had fun with the different shield designs and with the paper banner. Keeping things a bit generic helps me in other ways, as adding some of my other painted skeletons (completed way back when in the early days of this blog) creates a ten figure unit for my undead force. 

Take a look! 

What do you think of my skeletons?


More Excellence from Pantheon of Chaos

You wouldn't fancy meeting these two lads down a dark alley? Though, I am certain the chap on the left buys his ale at our local supermarket. As promised, here is my second post about the goings on over at the Pantheon of Chaos. Diego sent me a load of WIP shots the other day and I am more than a little excited to share them. Time draws near (fingers crossed) to the Kickstarter too, and you can be sure that I shall help spend the news of it's launch when time. 

Perhaps you are wondering what the rest of this mutated masterpiece looks like. Well, scroll down to find out...

Sculpted by Diego, this two headed thug reminds me of the famous Realm of Chaos era beastman of similar design. Though the resolution of the photograph is not great, you can see that there is plenty of textural detail on the model, as well as a tiny nod to Nurgle on the mace head. The brace of daggers on the front of the chest are also a nice touch. 

Alessio has been working on this armoured chaos hobgoblin recently. Though I am not a fan of the impossibly sized morning star, the baroque chaos armour really floats my boat, so to speak. I love painting the details on the little faces GW's '80s designers adorned on some many a chaos warrior, and it is pleasing to see the trend continue in the 21st. 

A mighty nose on him as well! 

Speaking of hobgoblins, I think I reported before that Kev Adams has produced a single model for the project, with hopes that he can contribute more in the future. Again, there are the faces, not only one the 'two heads' but all over the armour too.

Diego gave me a little bit of background about this model, and a few of the others. 

DS: It represents a chaos hobgoblin champion ready to command the hobgoblins regiment. However, the figure turned out so well that we will write a special character profile for him, probably. The best thing about Kev is that after 30 years the style still there, frozen in time, so it's perfect for a "oldhammer" style project like this.

And having had the pleasure of watching Kev at work, I heartily agree. 

DS: This is a Chaos Champion of Fire and was sculpted by Christian (our beastmen guy) and one of the things I like the most about it is the Bob Olley style in the complex armour detail and overall pose. Let me explain a bit aabout the "fire" term. In Pantheon of Chaos the dark gods will be trying to return to the mortal plain by filtering through the very basic elemental forces which affect the natural order of things, like fire and water or even Life & Dead or emotions like Hate or Anger.

DS: This demon was sculpted by me. Following the explanation about the elemental forces and emotions, as you can see this big boy has no eyes. It's called a "war demon" because it can be summoned or just appear in places where a huge slaughter has happened, or is going to happen shortly. The growing concentration of rage and hate of the oppossing forces is what feeds them and serve as a guide for them. They can "smell" these feelings and hunt following that track. The more destruction on the battlefield the more powerful they get.

It seems the more we see of this project, the more exciting things become. Look out for more updates here in the future.


Saturday, 13 February 2016

A Warhammer Bestiary: Minotaur

Minotaurs are some of my favourite models to use in Warhammer Third Edition. I love the rules that accompany them and I love many of the Citadel ranges available - bar the truly hideous 21st century plastic ones.

Here are my favourite of favourites...

Now these models date from the mid to late 1980s are were sculpted by a number of different GW personalities of that time. Their hybrid creation isn't what interests me though, it is the curious fact that this range of minotaurs are designed to sit on a 25mm square base. They are slightly smaller than the more well known minotaur lords put out around the same time, and have these amusing detachable heads. With ten bodies and nine heads 'out there' they are really quite easy to use to create interesting variants too. 

As you can see in the photograph I headed this blogpost with, I have just completed work on yet another of these models. There wasn't much light today (I prefer to work in pure natural light) but I manged to grab and hour or two to complete him this morning. Despite doing his best to destroy the lampshade behind him, he is standing proud and ready to pound his enemies into a soggy mess. And what a pounding a minotaur can give in Warhammer Third Edition. Let's have a look at their rules...

Blood-greed is one of my preferred rules. I love fielding minotaurs and then rolling to see if they become so infatuated with flesh, that they begin to rip apart the corpses of the dead rather than fighting. Foolish is the foe who disturbs them too, as a frenzied minotaur is even more deadly in combat. 

Mind you, the dice gods have never really looked on my with kindness when I am put in this situation, or in the heat of battle, I forget about the rule entirely. 

Still, they are some of my favourite models in the ranges. 


Malignancy of Malal: Fancy fielding a Greater Daemon?

It has been something I have been badgering several people for over the last couple of years, but at last someone has delivered! A full scale Greater Daemon of Malal based on the original concept drawings discovered in Tony Ackland's collection. Pantheon of Chaos have come up trumps again, with Diego Serrate sending me a wealth of material late last night for fans of the project to gawp over. 

The Greater Daemon was sculpted by a relatively new addition to the Pantheon, Boris Szuster, and you can see that he has done a great job. The model certainly looks imposing!

Diego went on to stress that the green you see here is a mix between the two drawings we have seen before; the original '80s Ackland original, and the second digital concept Tony produced for the aborted Antiquis Malleum project. Both images have been attached here for your reference. Diego told me that he hopes to produce this model with a choice of heads, and include the a design based on the '80s version too. 

No doubt many of you will be contemplating scale. So here is a handy photograph of the new Greater Daemon alongside a plastic Chaos Warrior. By the looks of things, the 'Malal' Greater Daemon is slightly larger than the old '80s metal Daemons and would most likely struggle to fit on a monster base. Not that that matters, of course, unless you are a total scale purist!

Looking at the green from a different angle highlights the beautiful reptilian detail that Szuster has achieved. The hands really strike me as particularly well executed, even unpainted I get a sense of impossibly ancient skin and wrinkled flesh. The face is appropriately baleful too, and the detail on the horns help drawing attention to those blank, soulless eyes. 

Finally, I am sure there are those of you out there wondering about casting. Well, here is a handy shot of the all of the model's pieces broken down. If this is cast in metal (which is the Pantheon's plan) the Greater Daemon will be a weighty beast indeed and will feel very, very satisfying in the hand. 

If you couldn't guess, I am extremely excited by this model and cannot wait to get to work on my own copy! I have several other exciting pieces to share too, and I will be revealing more of Diego's secrets in another post soon. 

If you are new to the Pantheon of Chaos, just follow the link below to find out more. It is a closed Facebook group so you will need to apply to join to uncover the wild and wonderful creations within! 


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Wayne England

I have some sad news to report. Wayne England died suddenly this morning. I am sure all of you will agree that his contribution to the worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 (and beyond) was considerable. Thinking back on a lifetime of enthusiasm over his work, the front cover of White Dwarf 110 springs to my mind instantly. An inspiring and iconic image that launched a thousand marine armies in the 1980s. 

But then, Wayne England was an inspiring and iconic figure in the gaming industry. He will live on through his astonishing body of work. 

Thoughts go to his family at this time. 


Sunday, 7 February 2016

Things that go bump in the night!

I hate it when a paintbrush goes. You know what I mean, don't you? One minute you are painting away, master of the paint's destiny and the next... Splodge! The point of your brush just doesn't want to co-operate and ends up splitting in two! 


Then comes that period of scrabbling around for a new brush to work with. Getting used to it's quirks and idiosyncrasies can take time and for a while at least, you lament the old one's loss.

That is where I am at the moment. Perhaps I should say, I am between brushes? 

I find speed painting great fun and often urge all and sundry to have a go themselves. Set yourself a time limit and just paint. It is liberating. 

These two nasties were born out of the need to change brushes. I knew I'd only get two or three models out of my current one, so snatched from the leadpile two simple figures that could be completed in a few hours. The first is the Old Hag from one of the villagers/townsfolk releases put out in the '80s while the other is the classic reaching Citadel mummy. 

The light was as dim today as you would expect in England during February but I managed to capture these nonetheless. 

More soon.