Saturday 30 June 2012

The Great Skullchucker Appeal: Solved!

The citadel Skullchucker!

I have wanted one of these for years and finally managed to get hold of one on eBay to much rejoicing. Sadly, when I opened the package this morning one of the pieces is missing. It appears to be the back section of the catapult. I've checked Solegends and other sites but cannot find a clear enough image of the missing piece.

I hope to be able to build the missing part from green stuff (though sculpting is far from my forte) but obviously need a very clear image with a ruler alongside so I can build an accurate copy. I was hoping that some kind blogger would be able to do this service for me so I can get to work on this piece.

If you can help, please email me at

Of course, if you have a spare missing piece just lying around and feel generous enough to post it to me I would be extremely grateful - afterall, it worked for Gaj with his Lichemaster collection.

Thanks in advance.


Wolf Riders: Yet More Progress!

I've been beavering away while my wife natters on the phone to her mother and watches 'Edward Scissorhands' and have found my output to be particularly prolific tonight. Two more wolf rider goblins completed and mounted. I've also tidied up the bases and given them a white drybrush to bring out the stones. 

The model on the left is not actually a wolf rider model but another goblin on foot. I want to have five goblins armed with hand weapons and five armed with bows. Does he match or do his short legs give him away?

The rear shot showing off that shield I painted up from the arcane armorial print out.

I've been experimenting with different coloured bases of late; in the past I stuck to white or black but I have been using a lot of brown for goblinoids and seem to be getting good results.

As you can see I just have the single goblin to complete now. A characterful little speargob isn't he? I'm going to see if I can get the base colours on and the washes before I have to 'go to bed'. 


Wolf Riders: Progress at Last!

Well its been some time since I posted any actual painted miniatures; I've been too busy writing (which is easier to do than dragging out the painting kit) to work on my beloved lead. Today that changed, new baby is due next Friday and things are calming down in the house. 

Nursery almost finished (thanks to my Mother-in-Law), pram almost built (more parts than a Stompa!), washing done and wife's hospital bag almost complete = more time for me to paint! I have a few work in progress shots to share, nothing finished, but who cares, eh?

Two almost finished wolf riders. Bases need a little more work as do the goblin themselves but I'm almost there with these two. Full of goblinoid character, aren't they?

I have got all the wolves finished through extensive washing and drybrushing. I've knacked out a couple of brushes getting these finished. I love these models; the wolves are wonderful sinister yet realistic. 

Better get back to those brushes...


A Dark Deranged Structure: Modelling Guides

There is something very special about terrain.

Not the resin lumps you can by from trade fairs or the skull festooned 'kits' that are produced by GW these days that turn every battlefield into a generic waste ground.

I am talking about the home made stuff like this!

Home made, 'one of a kind' pieces that have been worked on just as much as the models set to game across it. Now as some of you may be aware, in the past I was the world's worst shield freehand painter! I have since overcome that little hurdle.

The next great leap from Orlyggkind is terrain.

I am crap at it!

Oh sure, I can cut out some buildings from Warhammer Townscape and plonk them down on a board and them scatter some flock or rubber lichen around but its not purpose built terrain full of character, is it?

As a young gamer, I dreamt of a gorgeous table (I am sure that we all do) spread out with detailed hedgerows, quaint buildings, rivers and woodlands. I don't know why, but I always imagined some kind of castle or fort at one end and ditches somewhere else.

Well 25 years later; its still a dream.

Whilst searching online I came across a publication that is not quite in our period but is packed full of modelling goodness. You may be aware of 'How to Make Wargames Terrain' by Nigel Stillman but I certainly wasn't.

Its packed full of excellent ideas to get anyone started building terrain cheaply and easily. No large plastic kits here; just toilet rolls, brillo pads and lots and lots of sand. Reading this has got me inspired to build 'something' from scratch this summer (hot weather is much easier on the drying of glue, I find!). I think I might begin with the generic fantasy/medieval house based on some of the buildings for Warhammer Townscape before moving on to some fences, hedgerows and the like.

Now as I was browsing through the pages I recalled the many guides that were publish during our era (1985-92) by modellers such as Tony Cottrell, Dave Andrews and Phil Lewis in White Dwarf. Flicking through my archive I uncovered a large number of them and intend to scan them up when I next have some lengthy free time and post them on Scribd for your use too.

Meanwhile, I found this rather grotty 'Coaching Inn' modelling guide online which I shall share with you until I get my act in gear.

Coaching Inn Photocopy

Oh, and here's a copy of Stillman's 'How to Make Wargames' Terrain too!

Wargames Terrain

If you have any tips or advice on building terrain please let me know. I'd be fascinated to hear.


Thursday 28 June 2012

Warhammer's Comic Legacy: Thrudd and Gobbledigook

Thrud the Barbarian; the first of the White Dwarf comic characters. Popular ever since his first appearance and still going strong. You can order issues direct from Critchlow's website. 

Today I wish to discuss the comic strips that used to appear in White Dwarf. They were wonderfully subversive and amusing yet I have very little memory of them from the 80s. Perhaps that is because my first 'proper issue' was WD108 and the magazine had turned into a rules/new miniatures/citadel news beast by them. I do recall the second of the comic characters, Gobbledigook though, and remember being rather puzzled by what, if anything, was actually going on in the strips. 

Gobbledigook was created by GW artist BiL Sedgwick. I'm not sure what he is supposed to be. A snotling presumably. 

So let us go on a little journey through the realms of comic art. I know, I know... It doesn't actually have much to do with 3rd Edition Warhammer but its zany, non-conformist attitude is well in line with the spirit of the age, don't you think?


Critchlow was 18 when he created the character of Thrud, inspired, partly, by Robert E Howard's Conan the Barbarian and Arnold 'I'll Be Back's' Schwarzenegger's interpretation of the loin clothed hero. He was studying at Art College and saw an advert in WD for a cartoonist; he sent in an example of his work and was hired. Between issue 45 and 105, Thrud's antics amused readers of the magazine and won 'most popular feature' three times with GW releasing a 'Graffik Novel' in '87. Later on in the run, Thrud would regularly cross genres to become involved in different GW related settings; from Dark Future, to Warhammer and Rogue Trader among others. Eventually, Critchlow and GW parted company and he moved on to work for 2000AD. 

Here Thrud ruins his own birthday party in humorous fashion- well he does have a pin head you know (possible chaos mutation?) 

Carl Critchlow often appeared as a character in the stories. This strip seems to allude to Chainsaw Warrior; another 80s GW game.

By the mid 80s GW had published a very popular Judge Dredd roleplaying game, as well as a line of miniatures. Here, good old Thrud becomes involved in Mega City One.


Whether he was a snotling or a goblin, Gobbledigook frequently got himself in trouble, and like Thrud, explored elements of the Warhammer (and related GW games) mythos in amusing and unexpected ways. Like all good comic characters, he had a side-kick; a small, spider like creature called Niblitz.

Here he causes havoc amongst the across the full range of games; Warhammer, Bloodbowl and Dark Future all in a single strip!
Not quite sure what is going on here. I think that may be the point.

This one is making fun of the new 'Troll' games released in the late 80s.

Here Gobbledigook ends up coming a cropper after messing with some hobgoblins. Nasty!

My personal favourite; Gobbledigook meets a nurgling! Very funny!

A finally, the little goblin/snotling visits the GW design studio.

Miniatures were (and still are) produced to celebrate our hero. Thrud even appeared in one of the battle scenes in the 3rd Edition rulebook. You can still buy Thrud miniatures from Heresy apparently, though I haven't checked that they are still available. Anyone know?

Gobbledigook takes the centre stage here... What a lovely little model (and Niblitz too!) Better get trawling eBay to see if I can find him...

Well, I hoped you enjoyed this little trip into the past. I have posted some Rogue Trader related strips on my new Rogue Trader blog if your interested in checking them out.


Monday 25 June 2012

New Blog! Rogue Trader = Rogue Father?

As I mentioned recently, I have caved in to the pressure and started collecting Rogue Trader miniatures. My interest was rekindled as I was researching for some of my more recent posts through my extensive White Dwarf archive (its much better owning the magazines themselves rather than the pdfs, and I really do recommend collecting the issues 90-153 if your interested in the period) and after a few whimsical purchases at Salute's bring and buy and, of course, eBay.

I don't own much at the moment but that will undoubtably change in the future. I have enough to get started. I doubt that I will focus entirely on Rogue Trader itself; so that means exploring the 'spin offs' of Adeptus Mechanicus and Space Marine but those explorations are a long, long way into the future.

As a retro site, I intend to stick to the original zany approach to the game before things got way to 'GrimDark' for my taste. One of the things that attracted me back to the game where all the amusing jokes and puns that litter the background. I hope to explore these in more detail in time of course.

Recently, I have spent a great deal of time writing articles for this blog and I must say that I have really enjoyed it. As some of you may be aware, my second child will be born soon and I fear I may have to 'do a Gaj' and cut down on the time I devote to research, painting and blogging. This is a two edge blade though, as though I doubt I'll have time to post each day I'll certainly be able to get a bit more painting in while the wife feeds. Not that I've actually done much; the Wolf Riders still sit unfinished and I'm going to set myself a challenge- namely, get them finished soon! Hopefully, I won't become, as the title to this post suggests, a 'Rogue Father' and get endless earbashings from the wife with my 'little men hobby'!

Naturally, I am itching to get going with Rogue Trader. I played, and painted, a lot of 40k over the years, but with yet another edition of the game released (how many editions do we actually need?) and a wealth of official paint schemes, fluff and what not I found the game rather restrictive. I'd much rather paint and game in a crazy, colourful universe a la 1987 than 2012. Thus, I'm going to paint up a metal space marine and an ork. No chapters, no clans, just my imagination and, hope a wondrous sense of creative freedom (with a retro slant admittedly).

Enough of the waffle, here's the link to my new blog if you're interested in coming along on the journey, or even contributing to it if you are a Rogue Trader fan and have photos, memories or comments to make about the game or era; my blogger email being

Orlygg's warhammer40000roguetrader blog

See you there!


Saturday 23 June 2012

Living in a Box: Big Box Games 1988-92

Don't you just love the big box game feeling?

I last truly felt it a few years ago with the 21st century version of Space Hulk. It arrived in an impressive cardboard box. It had a hefty weight. The shrink wrap resisted my fingers ever so slightly. Once peeled off, I experienced that wonderful moment when you first lift the lid...

Whuff! Is the sound as the air escapes and there... there are the glorious contents all ready to be examined. I wonder what that is for, you think? Oh, I remember seeing that in the advert, you say to yourself. Spreading the contents out on the carpet, you organise everything (though you are careful not to open any of the little plastic bags) into little piles before you reach for the manual...

Then there is the new big box smell...


So what ever happened to the big box game? Sure, we had 3rd Edition Space Hulk and I dread to mention, Dreadfleet (which I own, haven't even got around to cutting the miniatures off the sprues) in the last 10 years or so but apart from that, nothing.

The most successful big box game of modern times. Dan and I have played this a lot over the last couple of years. A masterpiece of gaming!

Both Dan and I bought this set too but have, as yet, not got around to even playing it. 

Inquisitor was a good attempt back in '99. But that didn't come in a box. And I have always felt that I was a shame that the game didn't take off. All the parts were there; metal models, narrative games, plenty of complex rules... perhaps that was the problem. What, I cannot do a tournament with this ruleset? I cannot abuse the rules and locate loopholes to win because winning is the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN GAMING LOL!!!!

I remember the days when GW released new games regularly; not rehashes or new editions. New games. In a box.

They were the days eh?

Classic Big Box Game Count Down

1) Adeptus Titanicus

This is THE GAME for us collectors. I've seen a copy go for £125 on eBay recently and I am desperately in need of a copy but it will have to wait for a year or two due to new child commitments. I have never actually seen a copy or even played this game and THAT needs to change. So I cannot really comment on how it plays. I always loved pouring over the images in WD back in the day and always loved Titans as a concept. It was the polystyrene buildings that came with the set that I really wanted to paint up and handle- I'm a strange one really. Any readers know any more about this game?

2) Dark Future

Another game on the countdown I have never seen or played. At the time, I was a fantasy head and Mad Max gaming was far from my interest zone. Today, the concept of collecting those tiny figures and converting up die cast cars is very appealing. Still, it will have to wait until after the 'Grand Plan' is complete before I begin work. Still, I'd definately purchase a copy if I could. As with Adeptus, any readers out there own this game or have played it to pass comment?

3) Space Hulk (1st Edition)

Ahh! The first game on my list that I actually played, though sadly I didn't actually own it. My friend Russell Parsons was a fanatical player of this game and I recall many a happy summer afternoon back in '89 playing this in his kitchen. The blips! The blips! What a fantastic game concept. Richard Halliwell's masterpiece! This is low down on my collection priority list, as I have the 3rd Edition copy of it.

4) Space Marine (1st Edition)

Now I owned a copy of this game. I remember reading about it in WD and being amazed at the amount of miniatures you got with the game, especially considering the price! Little did I realise that the models would be tiny, tiny, tiny... Still, that didn't prevent me from really enjoying this game. I bought up many of the additional forces boxes and really abused them with poor painting. Sadly, its all gone now. I sold my remnants on eBay some years ago. Not that I regret it, for one day I shall buy a nice decent copy and relive those epic battles (hopefully with Adeptus Titanicus alongside) of the Horus Heresy before it was ret-conned to death.

5) Advanced Heroquest

My Step Brother Richard got this for Christmas in about 1991. We played it all holidays and I was very envious of him. I loved the henchmen rules and the campaign system. Though my favourite feature was the way the GM placed each section of corridor as you explored the dungeons. Like Heroquest, this provided almost infinite opportunities for gaming. The downside was the lack of enemy types. The skaven made perfect enemies but things were not a varied as Heroquest. Still, with a healthy collection of Citadel lead, this game will be fantastic to play again.

6) Advanced Space Crusade

I got this game for Christmas 1990. I remember my Dad trying to hide it in the loft and having to wait until the 25th to get my hands on it. It was very different. The brightly colour gaming boards, the Space Marine scouts and of course, the Tyranids with their dreadful weapons. I'd love a new copy of this to paint the models up nice a brightly, a la Mike McVey. I recall many a frantic game of this in my old bedroom and plenty of solo play action too. Much like Space Marine, I totally wrecked the set and still find pieces of the miniatures lying around in dusty old boxes in the garage.

7) Mighty Empires

I know very little about this big box game. I understand that it was kind of an expansion to 3rd edition in the way of campaign management but was a stand alone game too. It used the same models as the popular Dragon Masters game by Ian Livingstone. Boradgamegeek describes it as follows;
"Mighty Empires is both a strategic layer to the Warhammer Fantasy Battle system and a boardgame in its own right. It allows players of the miniature game to manage a kingdom, explore the world, and attempt to conquer other kingdoms, but it also can be played standalone as a fantasy wargame. The game board is constructed with hexagonal tiles to create a unique land with mountains, hills, river valleys, lowlands, and coastal areas. The game comes with some nifty bits representing armies, castles, cities and villages."
Certainly sounds interesting. Anyone played this one and can comment further?

8) Blood Bowl (2nd edition)

Now this is a game and its the only one on my list that I have a mint copy of. I loved Blood Bowl back then. I had a school friend, Matthew Pitman, who bought this and collected a great deal of the metal figures. I recall his spare room being a shrine to the game and can remember playing dungeon bowl there. One day I shall collect all of the metals released for this, including the 1st edition ones. I loved the humorous nature of the game (anyone remember popped khorne?) and all the additional rules; chain saws, refs, cheerleaders... The list goes on. A true classic.

So there we have it! Have I missed any games? What strikes me the most is all this creativity was unleashed on the world over about 4 and half years. Its was an incredible achievement by a company at the height of its creative powers. Sure, some others came later; Gorkamorka and Man O'War but both of these were under development around the same time as these and are mentioned here and there in early 90s WDs but they were Kirby's babies rather than Ansell's so don't really belong on this list. Necromunda too, owe its heritage to Confrontation too, an early form of the skirmish game set in the Rogue Trader universe and published in WD.

I was incredible to experience it at the time and I guess that is why people like me keep coming back to these games and the miniatures that were released alongside.

As this is a retro blog, this post demands your memories too. How many of these games did you play back in the day? Do you still own them? Are they still played amongst your gaming group?



Friday 22 June 2012

The Grand Plan: Ode to Heroquest

Oh Heroquest!

What a fantastic product you were!

 I used to have a rather battered copy but I lost it when changing schools, it had been an idea of mine to do a 'Heroquest' club for 9-10 year olds but my then head didn't have the vision. I imagined that I'd be planting the seeds of future gamers and keep the wargaming hobby secure into the next generation.

As I type this, I am a mere two weeks away from meeting my second child. She is to be born via C-Section due to the complications my wife has been suffering since February. This got me thinking about Heroquest once more.

You see, Heroquest was a classic game! A true gateway to Warhammer Third Edition. What made it so special is that it stood on its own. The campaign was interesting, the rules were simple yet addictive and you got everything in the box you needed to play. With a little effort you could easily invent your own dungeons (and indeed I did, to challenge my sister) and the expansions added a little more flavour to the game.

Many people have said 'why doesn't GW re-do Heroquest?' but my understanding of the situation is that the rights of the game remain with MB games (or whoever owns them) as it was designed by one of their employees. All that GW contributed was the background, the artwork and the miniatures. So sadly, we are unlikely to ever seen a re-release of Heroquest.

Still, there are plenty of copies about out there. I sold bucketloads.

How many hours did I spend pushing these figures around the table? I still think they are fantastic sculpts for early plastic miniatures.

So what makes me think of Heorquest at a time like this? Well, it all comes down to my 'Grand Plan' of having an army for each of the 3rd edition races in 5 years time. Why 5 years? Well, my son will be 7 and I feel that is old enough to play 3rd Edition with me.

A game in action. I remember the thrill of opening the doors and entering rooms. What would be in there? Hopefully not the gargoyle!

But what about before? Surely a gateway game such as Heroquest is going to be essential in 'turning my children on' to wargaming in general. After all, my sister really enjoyed the game so my not my daughter too?

With this in mind, I need to add a complete set in very good condition to my list of wants. For a decent price of course! Then I have to paint up all the miniatures (and the furniture) in bright, late 80s McVey style!

Anyone else play this game back in the late 80s/early 90s?

Does anyone else own a nice painted copy they could share some pictures with us?

Before I leave you, I'll share you this video for Youtube. You may well have seen it before but I'd not watched it for twenty plus years so I felt that readers of this blog may well enjoy it too. I found two versions of the clip.

Version 1

Version 2



Bloody Great Horns On: Warhammer Rocks!

Advert for Kerrang magazine in WD125- very unusual considering GW had dropped external advertising some years previously.

Strange as it may seem now but GW once had very strong interest in music; if you call heavy metal music that is! They even had their own record label; Warhammer Records, and this post hopes to explore this rather peculiar little slice of retro history in a little way. Really, this post is about the bands who were linked to Warhammer or Games Workshop in some way and there may well be others that my research has missed.

Advert on the back page of WD94- Warhammer 3rd Edition Release notes and a heavy metal flexi-disc? What's going on..?

As far as I can tell, our story begins in 1987 with the band Sabbat.

Issue 95 of White Dwarf was a very special publication; it not only contains the release information for our beloved Warhammer 3rd Edition but it also has a free flexi disc of a Warhammer inspired song, 'Blood for the Blood God'.

Here is a period picture of our heroes, Sabbat.

Instead of me waffling on at this point, I'll quote the article from the magazine in full.

"Be honest, you were wondering what we were doing putting a Flexi Disc into this month's White Dwarf. 
Is it music to roleplay by? Something for the GM to listen to while the party argues about how many 
days rations to buy? Or are we previewing the soundtrack to Thrud - the movie?
Well… nearly. Avis Blanche sacrifices her eardrums in a gallant attempt to discover The Truth.
What's the connection between Sabbat and White Dwarf? Who are they, and how did they manage 
to talk White Dwarf into carrying a flexi disc of their music? Well, call 'em sharp-eyed but the Games Workshop staff who have been dragging themselves along to Games Day and various Dragonmeets 
for the last few years finally caught on that there were a lot of gamers turning up wearing the same 
T-shirts. They found out that Saxon wasn't the name of a roleplay supplement for RuneQuest, and 
that Def Leppard weren't in the Monster Manual, and they discovered that a lot of roleplayers were
 into more than one kind of 'Eavy Metal. And that was when Da Boss started kicking around with 
the idea of giving away a flexi disc with WD. But which band should they choose?

The origins of the link between Sabbat and GW go back several years. Martin Walkyier (vocals) and
Fraser ('Scit') Craske (bass) were both at Redhill School in Nottingham, where they used to play D&D
 under the guidance of Andy Caley ('He knew everything about it'). Scit was Jethro of the Tull and
Martin played a multitude of Elves - he had a habit of getting killed. Sometime during 1983, they
formed a band called Hydra, with a guitarist and a variety of drummers… They were influenced
by 'all the usual bands' - Rainbow, Saxon, Motörhead, and later, Venom and Mercyful Fate, a
copy of whose album Martin had obtained from a friend who had a more conservative taste.
Eventually and inevitably, the band took precedence over games, but they kept up the interest in
gaming, knowing that the imagery of roleplaying was something they could develop through their
John Blanche heard the band on the Friday Rock show and was subsequently introduced to Scit at a 
Slayer gig. So, when the flexi-idea came up, John put two and two together and put the idea to the 
band. They were equally keen to record a track for WD. It was eventually decided to use Kev Bower 
(ex-Hell) as the producer, and Yew Tree Farm as the studio. The name Blood for the Blood God was 
taken from the battle cry of Chaos Warriors of the god Khorne. An impending recording session 
with a German company called Noise, meant there was very little time available, but the band 
themselves believe they produce their best work under pressure. And three days later, the deed was 

Some history. Scit had been playing the bass since he was thirteen. Martin had originally 
experimented with sax and guitar (not together!) but eventually progressed to vocals. He discovered 
his voice when he was playing around with a microphone one day. 'It just came out' - whatever that 
means! If you've listened to the Flexi, or have heard the group live, you'll know that Martin's vocals 
are strikingly different. The diminutive front man's eerie tones conjure dark and foreboding images 
of a nightmare fantasy.
Meanwhile, out in the wilds of Derbyshire, far from the gaze of man or beast, Andy Sneap was 

spending most of his time strumming away on his guitar. His influences were Quo ('when I was twelve') 
he stresses, Accept and, of course, Mercyful Fate. A major influence was another local band, called 
Hell, now sadly disbanded. Andy had lessons in rock guitar from Hell's lead man, Dave, for about
 two years.
Finally, Simon Negus, the drummer. Simon was bashing away on his mother's tupperware from 
early age, and progressed to a drum kit at the age of twelve, 'when a two piece jazz kit cost
 twenty-five quid'. He played in a Long Eaton band, Striptease and was then influenced by 'soft rock' 
like the stuff spewed out by Journey.

Frazer and Martin met Andy at a Hell gig and, eventually, Andy joined the group, replacing the 
guitarist. Simon joined shortly afterwards, and the Sabbat line-up of today came into being.
Sabbat was officially born in June '85, the name being changed from Hydra at that time. It was 
decided to scrap most of the previous material, so they spent most of the rest of the year writing 
and rehearsing. They felt that many bands were too hasty to get out and play, without having enough 
to offer, so they were determined to plan ahead. Since then, they have achieved a great deal - and 
all the signs suggest that they'll go on to greater things.

At this point, it's essential to mention their live show, something for which they have acquired quite
a reputation. If you've seen it, then you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't, be
assured, it's a spectacle. As most of the numbers 'tell a tale', avoiding the clichéd death/blood/death
lyrics that most black/thrash metal bands get sucked into, the performance move along accordingly,
building up to a dramatic climax. Various effects may include the ubiquitous smoke, pyrotechnics
and props (swords and axes), and the costumes carry a gothic Witchfinder General feel to them

Various stage devices have been used; the Exploding Shield ('We didn't dare use it'), The Funeral
Pyre ('Needed to be bigger'), and all manner of explosions, one of which scorched the drum riser.
However, none of this is meant to detract from the main event, the band's playing, which stands
very firmly on its own.
Generally, Andy writes the music, getting the basic idea across to Scit and Simon, who help develop 
it, whilst Martin writes and performs the vocals to fit. Sometimes, he has the vocals already. 'Ideas
 just pop into my head.' Martin reads a lot - favourites are Tolkien and Donaldson - and can reel 
complex lyrics virtually off the cuff. He keeps all the band's lyrics in his head, no mean feat if you
 read Blood for the Blood God, and then realise that at any given point there are about fifteen songs 
in the bands repertoire.
Current musical influences include King Diamond, Overkill, Metal Church, Celtic Frost and early 
Venom. Sabbat are not keen to be labelled, but if pushed, the term Black Rock could be used.
Their first gig was on the 20th December 1985 at a Nottingham college, followed by gigs as such 
diverse places as Remand Centre 3 ('They loved us'), pubs, clubs and leisure centres. Most recent performances have been at Trent Polytechnic, and at a charity gig in Nottingham Market Square 
(outdoors, with suitably overcast, stormy weather) to raise money for cancer research. They had 
their London debut at Dingwalls, subsequently receiving rave reviews in Kerrang! who described
 them as '…the heaviest band in Britain'.

In May '86, the band put together a tape under the title, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten. The tape 
was sent to various record companies, including Noise, a German based label. Noise were interested 
but hesitant about signing up an unknown quantity. Music for Nations thought their songs 'a bit long'.
 But a tape was also sent to Tommy Vance on BBC Radio One's Friday Rock Show, to see if he would
 review it in his Metal Hammer column. The next thing they heard was a phone call inviting them 
down to record a session for the program in London. Apart from the van breaking down and leaving 
them stranded in the Big Smoke, this went down well.
The band sent a copy of the session back to Noise, who were impressed enough to ring them up and 
offer and immediate contract (March '87). This was signed in August this year, as they had to wait 
until Andy reached the age of eighteen. By the time you read this, Sabbat will have been to Berlin to 
record their first album at the Horus Studios with producer Roy Rowland.
Though some people have taken offence at their stage exploits, the band are quite firm about their 
image. 'Look what Alice Cooper gets away with. We're not going to change our image for anyone. 
Not even the Americans!"

Taken from issue 95 of White Dwarf Magazine

I have managed to track down a copy of the song on Youtube. Here it is for your retro listening amusement. It's a bit noisy to start with, but I assume that is just the needle being set up on the record player. He certainly has an 'interesting' voice don't you think? I have included a copy of the lyrics in the above article if you are interested.

Eventually, Sabbat managed to record their first album and John Blanche adapted one of his paintings (Horned is the Hunter) to grace the front cover. The album, A History of Time to Come, was released in September 1988 and was, as far as I can tell, well received by thrash heads everywhere. They released a second album, Dreamweaver, a few years later before breaking up in the early 90s. However, this is not the end of their story; for the band reunited in 2006 and have played a great many festivals since then- I wonder if they still do 'Blood for the Blood God?'

Front cover, featuring the artwork of John Blanche, to Sabbat's first album, A History of Time to Come.

THEN CAME BOLT THROWER! Named after the iconic weapon of the Elves, these Nottingham thrashers turned up on the scene. Like Sabbat, they were inspired by the games Warhammer and Rogue Trader but took things a step further and recorded an entire album (not just a single song like Sabbat) inspired by GW's game worlds. The album was entitled 'Realm of Chaos' and can be considered the soundtrack to the Realm of Chaos books, especially Slaves to Darkness that was released around the same time. The album, and the band, were advertised in White Dwarf for some time but, sadly, no major articles were written.

Bolt Thrower are still going and are a very well respected Thrash Metal band. 

Iconic Cover to the Classic Album

I own this album, having tracked it down on eBay. It has the original artwork by GW. A more recent release (for example, the one available on iTunes) has different, non-GW artwork included. Presented for you below is my personal favourite track for the album- World Eater! Brutal, grinding metal which conjures up images of twisted, evil World Eaters striding through broken cities! You Have Been Warned!

Batfish made several appearances in WD around this time. Their history has little to do with Warhammer or Rogue Trader, as they were just a band around at that time but the members had a real interest in GW games.

Here's a quick bio on the band quoted from Wikipedia.

The Batfish Boys (later simply called Batfish) were a gothic rock/garage rock/rockabilly band from York and LeedsEngland, active between 1984 and 1990, releasing three albums.
The band was formed by former March Violet Simon Detroit (b. Simon Denbigh)(vocals), and ex-Skeletal Family drummer Martin Pink, along with Johey Elliott (guitar), and T.G. Ashton (bass).[1] Their goth-rock tendencies soon gave way to a more Stooges-influenced garage rock sound, with "Swamp Liquor" their first release on their own Batfish Inc. label in 1985, followed soon after by debut albumThe Gods Hate Kansas,[1] prompting comparisons to the likes of The Cramps and The Gun Club.[2] In 1986, Zero Rek (Martin Herbert) was added on guitar, the band's second album, Head, also appearing that year, now with psychedelic blues overtones.[2] With the band's sound getting progressively heavier, and with a new rhythm section, they were signed by Motörhead's label GWR in 1987, shortening their name to Batfish, the first release on the label being 1988's "Purple Dust" single.[1] 1989 saw the release of the band's third album, Batfish Brew, followed by a 12-inch picture-disc single, a mash-up cover of Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" and "Purple Haze". The band split shortly afterwards. Simon Denbigh was declared Cult Hero No 36 by Classic Rock Magazine in 2010.

 Here the lead singer, Simon Detroit, enjoys a game of Dark Future. I am loving those diecast models. What a great blog Dark Future would make eh? Anyone writing one?

Get those toes tapping to this choice cut from the Batfish Boys. Certainly some interesting tunesmithing but Jimi and Freddie did it better, though.

But that wasn't the end of Simon Detroit! Or shall we call him by his proper name, Simon Denbigh. He formed a new band under the watchful glare of a new record label, Warhammer Records. Quite who ran this label I have not been able to fathom but as Bryan Ansell began to end his time with GW he encouraged his employees to branch out further from games. After all, the books had been successful, so why not music?

D Rok would be the band (apparently named after the asteroid weapons of the orks) and they would release one album, Oblivion. I don't own this CD, though I have looked on eBay many times. It is not as easy to come by as Realm of Chaos but after a little searching that tracks can be found on Youtube and other sites online. 

There is a slight addition to the story of DRok. That is a little connection with British Supergroup Queen. Apparently, Brian (I haven't changed my hairstyle in 40 years) May's children were well into GW games in the early 90s. They even visited the studio! Look below...

Well he was so impressed by the boys from D Rok that he offered his services to them as a guitarist. He appears on the track below, entitled 'Get outta my Way' as well as another track which I couldn't find in time called 'Red Planet Blues'. According to the sites I visited, Noise Marines was another popular track from the album so I have included that too. 

Get outta my way

noise marines
Players of the 90s version of Space Hulk on the PC, Amiga and Atari may well recall the first track there. 'Get Out of My Way' was included on the game's soundtrack.

All bands have to tour, and it was true of D Rok as well. Here is a flyer published in WD in 1992 advertising the tour for the album. Quite a lengthy string of dates there! Any readers of this blog go? In time, the band supported other groups on their tours, such as UFO. However, they weren't the only band that Warhammer Records signed!
You can smell the leather just by looking at the picture can't you? Obviously avid followers of Slannesh this time!

Wraith remain the most enigmatic of the 'Warhammer' bands insofar as there is very little information available about them. I found a website or two that suggest that the band have recently reformed but nothing substantial. 

Sadly, with the departure of Bryan Ansell and the formation of GWplc the crazy, quirky business ideas like books and music were quietly retired. Tom Kirby took over the company, floated it on the stock market and aggressively targeted 12 year olds rather than the leather wearing biker/roleplayer of the 80s. The books resurfaced in the late 90s, and has proved successful if largely hack written and depthless. So I'll leave you with a track from Wraith, its called 'Danger Calling' and its an appropriate end to this post as I can hear the dangerous tread of my wife upon the stairs even as I type. 

danger calling

So then! Any further information? Images? Tunes? Memories of Warhammer Records? If so, share with us your knowledge in the comments section below.

All together now...

Blood for the Blood God
Chaos Claims Thee!


Tuesday 19 June 2012

Good Old Viz Sums It Up!

I found this floating around the internet and thought I'd share it with readers of this blog. You may well have seen it before but its well worth a second read and a moment of consideration.

For those readers who have not heard of Viz Magazine I'll explain it thus; its a satirical publication that uses the style of comics such as the Beano and newspapers such as The Sun to poke fun at anything and everything.

They have a famous brace of well known characters and occasionally do a one off strip based on a wide range of things.

Here is one of those...

They sum it up beautifully, don't they?


Fantasy Miniatures: 1989 Golden Demon Extravaganza

Welcome to the second volume of Fantasy miniatures; this time documenting the Gold Demon Awards of 1989. The event took place on Saturday 27th May and was held at the Assembly Rooms, Derby as part of Games Day 1989.

The book contains the best entries of the competition (the third held by GW) as well as the usual work from various studio painters.

Let's have a quick look through the contents shall we...

Introduction by Andy Jones p2-3: This interesting mini article gives an overview to the day. Compare it to last year's attempt and compare!

Studio Staff p4-9: Lots of miniatures by the usual 80s crowd as well as a few choice pieces by Gw's 80s artists Paul Bonner and Dave Andrews. The release of Rogue Trader and Slaves to Darkness is obvious here, with a lot of early RT and Chaos models on show.

Ivan Bartlett p10-11: 1988's winner is analysed along with some other pieces.

The Golden Demon Awards 1989 p12-13: Short article about the competition.

Miniatures Gallery p14-38.

Enjoy the retro action.

Its difficult to choose a favourite this time; so I'll select one from Warhammer and one from Rogue Trader.

Warhammer is best summed up for me on p34 by Dominic Colbeck with his surfing snotling.

Rogue Trader has to be the Techmarine by Ivan Brooke on page 15.

Both very amusing mini dioramas.