Monday 30 April 2012

Nurgle Warband Complete

Painted during some of the most challenging days of my life, my Nurgle warband is finally complete! I have a strange affinity with these models as they have shared the ups and downs with me without fuss or complaint. I also think that the beastmen are some of my best work to date- I hope fellow bloggers agree!

No updates since the 14th of April? I have spent the last couple of weeks working on the final five beastmen and a currently top secret 'other' project that I hope to be able to share with you soon- it needs to be completed first! The 'other' project took up a fair part of my time and I only began work on the beastmen half way through last week. I had some great fun experimenting with the old citadel inks and found that the colour effects they produce (deep and pigment heavy) ares quite different to the subtle shades of modern washes like the late Devlan Mud.

Well here are the beastmen. The first four are all scuplted by Bob Olley and were released around 1990 alongside the second volume of Realm of Chaos. The style is distinctly un-citadel (Bob had his own range called 'Iron Claw') and in the past I have found his models difficult to paint well. I think I did an ok job this time around though!

I think I have alluded to this before, but painting these old metal models is so refreshing and stimulating. After  years of painting up plastic space marines or rank of (fairly) identical ranked models its fantastic to work on miniatures that are all different. I love finding the little details that you only notice when painting has commenced- belts, pouches, talismans etc.

I included a beastman champion to lead the unit. This miniature is one of my favourite Realm of Chaos miniatures- released in 1988 and sculpted by the Goodwin (I think- please correct me if wrong) I am rather pleased with the colour scheme and over all finish of this one!

And to finish this blog, I shall share with you a group shot of the Warband in all its Nurglesque glory!

Until the next time.


Saturday 14 April 2012

Arcane Armorials: 80s Shield Designs by Aly Morrison

No miniatures today but a recent acquisition that I feel you may be interested in. For quite some time I was unaware that these little 80s beauties even existed, despite often seeing them on classic citadel miniatures. I wasn't until I built up my collection of 3rd edition age White Dwarfs that I found out more. Released way back in issue 90 were the Arcane Armorials...

These were early shield transfers designed by Aly Morrison and they provide the collector and enthusiast with a wealth of inspiration when creating retro designs to paint onto shields. The colours are, a little (somewhat understated) garish and very much of their time- in fact they remind me of the cheap fake tattoos that I used to get free in comics as a child but they have a charm and fit in nicely with the miniatures that I collect and paint.

Let us have a closer look...

The front cover is packed with interesting guff about the growth of citadel miniatures in the 1980s as well as some info about how they were produced at that particular time. The plastic shield designs are discussed as are the rare metal varieties but it is what lies within that we will find particularly useful.

Three hundred transfers. Yes, that is correct, three hundred transfers! The majority of which are shield designs though there are ten designs on each of the three sheets suitable for banners. Imagine GW releasing a package like that today eh!?

Sadly, you won't be seeing any of these lovely 80s designs on any of my shields any time soon as this set is mint and is part of my collection. I would like to get hold of any scrappy remains of any Arcane Armorials if any readers have any just lying about! If you got them, please contact me!



I now have a pdf copy of Arcane Armorials (thanks to my new printer/scanner thing). Just email me at if you are interested in using it on your own shields.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Nurgle Warband Approaches Completion

Just another quick update to share with you the completed second minotaur. Painted quite quickly for me yesterday in about 5 hours. A very enjoyable model to work on it was too, especially when considering GW's latest minotaur release... I am not a fan. The bases have also been finished off and help lend a little consistency to the chaos warband. Apologies for no close ups on the new minotaur, the shots I took were up to scratch so I'll have to take a few more at a later date!

I have 5 more beastmen to paint next, all of them Bob Olley sculpts from the Realm of Chaos 1989 release. I think I am going to do something a little more uniform with their colour scheme, so that they look like them have come from the same herd or something.

Until the next time.


Sunday 8 April 2012

The Return of the Nurgle Warband

Just a quick update to show off the completed thugs. The miniatures themselves are pretty much finished though the bases need drybrushing and washing.

Many hands were responsible for the 1980s chaos thug range; Aly and Trish Morrison, Jes Goodwin and the Perrys. The central miniature (skeleton armour) is an unusual case. Its a bit of a jack of all trades, appearing as a chaos warrior in some catalogues, a thug in others (as I will be using it) before eventually retiring as a chaos champion in 1992. A lovely model though and my distinct favourite from this range.

Minotaur next.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Drastic Plastic: Warhammer Fantasy Regiments

I have never painted an orc!

There, I have said it.

It is a fact that has shamed me for some years now. Space marines, eldar, elves, dwarfs, undead, necrons, daemons... but never a greenskin! And this is despite owning a great number of them over the years. In the past, my poor goblinoids were often cast aside, or swapped or stored or just plain forgotten. Well things are about to change because I have finally got my hands on another one of the keystones of 80s gaming.

Citadel's Warhammer Fantasy Regiments!

This box set contained 60 (that is correct, 60!) plastic miniatures. Yes, the sculpts were basic but I have always felt that they had a certain primitive charm. They were simple to put together (had the option of changable heads and weapons), easy to paint but above all they were cheap. All my friends got a box or two and we swapped miniatures to create quite sizeable (to us anyway) armies of quite atrociously painted miniatures. Citadel did command groups (4 mini's; champion, leader, standard bearer and musician) for each of them, so it was quite simple to build up large regiments quickly. Unfortunately, things were a bit one sided- with dwarfs and wood elves on the side of 'good' and dark elves, goblins, orcs and skaven weighing in for 'evil!'

Can you guess what I gave away?


And the goblin archers.

Having received this set in the post I have decided to lay the old shame to rest and slap some paint on a orc. In the interest of nostalgia, I copied the colour scheme off the box and found that I really enjoyed painting the simple, white plastic model.

Here is the result!

So I am going to do a whole regiment of them (well 10!). I have an 80s orc command group in my collection so I intend to paint them up too. In fact, after rummaging through my lead pile I have discovered that I own Ruglud's Orc Archers, 10 wolf riders, 10 plastic goblin archers (from the regiments box set) and two man manglers. Enough for a small 3rd edition army!

However, I need to finish up the Nurgle warband first. I have been working on the remaining thugs (I have abandoned the dreadful model with the chequered shield- its just too crap, even for Nurgle!) and have begun the second minotaur.

Quite a lot on the painting table then you may say? Thank goodness I've got some help!

My two year old son hard at work painting up a Slaaneshi chaos warrior (1985) by the Perrys.

You've got to start them early!

Monday 2 April 2012

A Dark Deranged Structure: Warhammer Townscape

Weeks without posting and two updates in one day! First off, apologies to anyone who asked a question, made a comment or was in conversation with me before my sudden disappearance. With my sudden change in circumstance I have more time to chip away on the lead mountain and build up my painted miniature collection. As you may be aware, I have been slowly painting up warbands for the four ruinous power to play a Realm of Chaos campaign but I also collect 80s citadel/GW products. In a previous life I was an archaeologist and I in many ways collecting old lead, stripping off the ancient paint and repairing and repainting the miniatures is a similar discipline. Perhaps that is why I enjoy collecting bits and pieces of old GW 80s box sets and eventually completing them once again.

One such completion was Warhammer Townscape. Back in the 80s I was bought this set for a birthday or Christmas and absolutely loved it, though I was too young to successfully build some of the buildings. I remember building my friends copies too- particularly the watchtower and stone tower which became focus points for our battles. I must have built about half of them before abandoning GW for beer, boobs and GCSEs. About 12 years ago I found the remaining card sheets and had a wonderful period of unemployment filled building the remaining models.Sadly, I stored these buildings in my father's rancid house and they went mouldy.

Over the last couple of years I have bought copy after copy on eBay in an attempt to complete the publication and I am glad to say that I have finally done so. It is pictured above. Every sheet is mint. I also have build quite a few duplicate sheets and having seen other bloggers still using these classic card buildings I decided to have a go at building a few as miniatures are difficult to paint properly at the moment. The memories came flooding back. I could remember many of the buildings, the little mistakes I made over twenty years ago and had a very pleasureable evening or so putting together several of the kits.

The package got me thinking. Yes they are made of card but for about £10 in 1988 you got 39 buildings. Each building was very different and had a certain charm. You could construct a sizeable village, town or even city. Wow! Today, even with all the skull infested plastic you'd be challenged to construct a hamlet! Anyway, thanks to Gaj over at Warhammer for Adults I have a PDF of the original designs, so if your interested, contact me and you too can build yourself a townscape for your games.

Has it been a month? It feels like a year! Without going into too much detail (this blog is not the place, after all) the past thirty days have been the toughest hours of my life. Thank God for my wife, who got has supported me stoically. Sadly, my once steady hand is now as wobbly as a drunken jelly wibbling home after 15 pints of Carsburg Special Brew. The result of this is that holding a paint brush is a frustrating ( and largely pointless) experience. Splodges, streaks and blots are the order of the day with my miniatures now resembling the mad splashings of a demented 9 year old.

Still, you cannot give up. If you remember, I was working on a Nurgle Warband (as I already own a Slaanesh and Khorne Warband from a Realm of Chaos campaign) and had completed a minotaur, sorcerer and champion. After some practise runs, I set brush to paint and tried to work on a small unit of chaos thugs. Here are the first three...

The first is completed, though I am not that happy with the hair. I experimented with my old 80s citadel inks here after reading an old WD John Blanche article. The richness of the colours is outstanding, certainly when compared with the recent washes - though, of course, they are far harder to use as you need to water them down appropriately. Researching the range, the old Citadel painters did bizarre and crazy things with the colour schemes of these models and I hope to ape these in the future. The middle model (Octo, sculpted by one of the Perrys in 1987) is one of the few original miniatures I was bought by my father in 1988. I must have painted it four or five time and have never been happy with the result. I am still not, but these models represent a difficult period in my life and I am loathe to strip them. I still need to tweak the highlights on the belt and the leggings. The final model, is a 1985 Perry thug from the original release. I really is an ugly, ugly model and was difficult to paint due to damage and loss of detail through casting. I had a go at the chequer style on the shield as an exercise in keeping my hand steady. Obviously, the bases need finishing up and the miniatures need a tidy here or there but I am proud to include these guys in the Nurgle Warband.

I am currently working on two further thugs to complete this small unit. I have also just cleaned up some lovely 1989 Bob Olley Realm of Chaos Beastmen of Nurgle that will be painted up shortly. I also have a second minotaur to complete