Wednesday 29 August 2012

CLASH OF CHAOS: Slaanesh vs Khorne introduction


The clamour of combat ceased. Mad Froatslica lay in two gory pieces on the marshy ground, scarlet blood oozing rapidly from the ragged stump of what had been the orc leader's neck. His former comrades stood aghast and, if truth be known, thoroughly impressed by the prowess of the gigantic chaos champion.

"I fort dat da big hoomee wood 'ave bin ded slow, like!" One warrior, his yellow moon faced shield resting on the soggy ground, muttered. "But ee moov'd like an angree wasp!"

"Aye," grunted a companion, "oo'd fort dat ol' Froatslica wood cop a chop ta da 'ead like dat... Took it cleen off 'is shoaldas!"

"Eeez a good 'un at fytin' dat chaos boy." Another orc remarked, his broken jaw and cracked teeth curling into a smile. 

"Dis Korny bloke sowndz a rite laff," yet another orc commented, "all dis blood 'n' skullz 'n' fings. Rite up me street, I can tell ya!"

Eagerly, the rest of the troop of orcs nodded, understanding dawning on some of the more slow witted greenskins that this champion would lead them into some great fights.

The champion spat at the remains of the orc general and turned his ugly face to regard the small troop of goblins and orcs. Even the wolves, usually so fierce even around the goblinoids, shied away from his gaze.

"WELL?" Ironcron growled, "DO WE HAVE A DEAL?"

There followed a great deal of bowing, scraping and a positive murmur of assent.

The goblinoids would march for Khorne.

Welcome to the latest battle report here at Realm of Chaos 80s. After just over a year to the day Dan and I started our campaign, we met up at his house to fight would turned out to be the largest and most complex battle we have fought to date. The battle was to be fought between two great rivals, the Doomaxes of Khorne and the Slaanesh's Throng of Exquisite Pleasure. They had met in battle many times before and there were several grudges to be settled among the characters and, undoubtably, new grudges to make.

Slakesin the Fondler wandered blissfully through the writhing bodies. The half hushed whispers of pleasure and the howls of pain a delight for his acute ears. His silk clad feet strode purposely through the tangle of limbs that made up the foul orgy. Here and there, Slakesin could see the deformed shapes of his followers rolling with, biting, penetrating and caressing the rotting forms of Morbius' zombies. The stench of decay and rotting flesh filled his nostrils, the sickening recoil was a fascinating sensation, and one he would have to explore further in the hours to come.

Pungent incense coiled like smokey serpents around the seated figure of the liche. His purple robe, little more than a satin tatter, hung like a funeral shroud from Morbius' skeletal shoulders. The hollow eye sockets regarded the Chaos Champion with contempt.

"Are you ready, Morbius?" Slakesin asked. "Your 'gift' has been delivered by my servants." 

Morbius turned to face the jumble of dragon bones that would, one day, become a skeletal chariot. The ancient liche dreamed of crushing this filthy warrior with it...

"I am ready..." The liche rasped, his voice like dried leaves skittering across gravestone.

As regular readers will know, I have been busy with scenery recently and all the hard work with bottle brushes and brillo pads has really paid off. As I lay out the scenery, including a model house I made about five years ago, I was impressed by the product of all my efforts. Dan was too, after all, we now had a 'real' battlefield with 'real' properly painted armies. This was certainly a long way from our first game with unpainted models...

A bird's eye view of the battlefield at the beginning of the game
 We were using our standard Realm of Chaos army lists but generated new rules for the Orcs and Goblins as well as the Undead. These forces would represent allies of the chaos forces. When playing Realm of Chaos we feel that this helps introduce a little more variation to our games, we get to game with different troop types and have fun with their rules.

View from the Slaaneshi lines. My two beastmen units can be seen on the left hand side while the skeletons lurk on the right. The Bloodthirsty visage of Dan can be seen contemplating his army list in the background.

 In my next post we will explore the army lists for the two forces in more detail as well as discussing the special rules we selected for our game.

Until then, long live Third!


Tuesday 28 August 2012

Modellin' and a Paintin' : Recent Endeavours...

So what has old Orlygg been up to lately then? Well, apart from blogging, I have been slaving away at the painting table trying to get miniatures finished. Time is now a premium, what with two children and a wife, so every available second I can grab I am at my desk painting away...

I have had a few models on my desk for some time and I challenged myself to get the models finished before I moved on to anything else. Lets have a look then...

A Chaos Marauder from 1985. A Perry sculpt I think. I started this model quite some time ago as an exercise in painting black. After a few botched attempts at using grey to fine-line the edges of the armour, I gave up... It was boring to be truthful and I'd have rather worked on other things. I was reading on old 'Eavy Metal article which discussed ho Nick Bibby used a red crayon of all things to highlight the edges of his Dark Angel marines. This got me thinking about using alternative colours to highlight black. As I wanted this particular Marauder to be a Khorne follower I opted for red. I was quite pleased with the outcome really. I matched this shade with a orange hairdo and a nice rusty mace.

Second up, Morbius from the Skeleton War Machines set. I have wanted him for a general in my Undead Army for a while (hopefully mounted on the back of the chariot if I ever get the thing finished) and he'd sat undercoated for months while I wondered about a colour scheme. In the end, in a pique of inspiration, I painted him in just under two hours using a rather faded purple theme. It was one of those paint jobs that go on so easily and everything just worked out perfectly. A joy to paint!

Finally, Skrag the Slaughterer. One of Jes Goodwin's many excellent ogre models. I have seen many classic paint jobs over the years (many of them painted in the old fantasy miniatures books) and have always wanted to have a go myself. This particular model has a little piece of history behind it for me... It was an absolute steal. I bought a bunch of plastic ogre maneaters from 99p (sold them on for £4) and old Skrag was just lying among them..! This was another easy paint job. The armour was just mithril silver with a series of dark blue, black and brown washes, drybrushed over again with chainmail and mithril silver before some silver highlights. I found a particularly nice flesh tone my mixing three colours; red gore, bestial brown and flesh.

I have also had a little go at scenery making. You may remember I posted about making table top scenery some weeks ago and I must admit I have finally pulled my finger out and had a go at making some homemade trees and hedgerows.

Let's have a look...

Not much is left of this fence is there? Though the little clump of hedge might provide a little valuable cover for a character model one day. The base is cut down foam board with a layer of sand. The fence balsa wood and the hedge an old scouring pad with some flock stuck on to the top.

This hedge if just a scouring pad (bought from Tescos for £1) cut into quarters and stuck together. A little PVA glue goes a long way, so I painted it on and them sprinkled flock back over the top. Again, the base is foam board covered with sand.

A large tree... Made out of an old bottle brush (the type you use to wash out baby's bottles), some green stuff and a pile of flock. I even modelled on some roots...

A second, smaller tree... This one was made in exactly the same way, only I spent longer shaping the bristles of the brush into a neater shape. I also used a lighter shade of flock.

Let me show you how I made the trees...

STEP ONE: Get yourself a nice, sturdy base. I use these large square Citadel ones for ease but you could easily use anything that supports the brush adequately. At this point you may want to snip down the bristles and shape the branches with some sharp scissors.

STEP TWO: Knead up some green stuff and twist it firmly around the wire handle of the brush. Make sure that all of the handle is covered by the putty. If you want to add roots this is a good time to model those on too. Wait for the GS to go leather hard (about 30mins of curing) before moving on to the next stage.

STEP THREE: Use a sculpting tool to add bark like detail to the tree trunk. I used quick, hard streaking down through the putty to achieve this. Be careful not to create balls of GS by pushing too hard. At this stage it would be very easy to add little model branches or fungus if you are feeling adventurous.

STEP FOUR: Once the greenstuff has dried. Sand the base but be careful to to obscure the detail.

 STEP FIVE: Undercoat the tree in black and wait for the base to dry. Drybrush over the whole of the brush with a nice dark brown colour. Add depth to the trunk with a few dark brown ink washes. Once these are dry and you are happy with the shading, drybrush over with flesh or bleach bone to highlight the bark.

STEP SIX: Finally, give the brush a good covering with PVA before sprinkling the head over with plenty of flock. I found it useful to fill a tube with flock first and rotate the tree inside it to get a good covering. If you want to add further layers of flock, to add depth or improve the shape, wait for the flock to dry (put your tree in the airing cupboard to speed this process up).

Decorate the base in your usual style and place on the battle field.

Job done!

I got a little carried away with the tree making and my wife ending up telling me off as the process is very messy. What is impressive, however, is the price. These two trees cost me a grand total of £1 to make. The putty, the flock and the bases were all already packed away in large amounts in my cupboard. I am sure that all painters out there have stacks of this stuff lying around so it is possible to build a vast forest for you gaming table for really very little money.


Monday 27 August 2012

Acceptable in the '80s: White Dwarf 95 Miniatures Retro Review

Today, we are delving into the pages of White Dwarf 95 in a little more detail. We have already discussed the Warhammer Launch Article and the Sabbat Flexi Disc in past posts, so we can move on to the miniatures with no further distraction. This issue had an especially high number of colour adverts for Citadel figures, perhaps due to the coverage about the new addition, and included some real classics. What I find particularly interesting about these ads is that they often came with a little background, or a story and often some new rules. You could order the model, or pick it up in a game store, and just play with its straight away, with no need for further purchase. 

Ruglud's Armoured Orcs

I am sure that you agree with me when I say that this unit are an absolute must for any orc and goblin collector or retro gamer. I had been after these boys for quite a long time before I managed to pick them up ( along with a few other bits and bobs) at the Bring and Buy sale at Salute this year for £14. Sure, they were hideously beaten with a range of peculiar paints but nothing that a bit of dettol wouldn't fix. There were no crossbows though, sadly.

So what of the models themselves. You have a set of four character models and a random series of troop models. The troop models all have subtle changes; a head, a weapon, a body etc and these help to create a sense of variation amongst the unit. All these troopers are armed with a halberd/spear and have a stud for a shield. As you can see from the photo, the shields should be big and brightly adorned with Arcane Armorials.

The character models are also nice. The musician (armed with a human bone drum of some sort) is well sculpted and characterful, as are Ruglud and his champion. Special mention should be made of the goblin standard bearer. I love this particular model. He's small, he's sneaky and his got a bizarre suit of armour as a standard. The reason for their heavy armour is nicely explained in the background too.

Dogs of War

There are some quite well known and some not quite so well known models in this set. Observant collectors will recognise the casualty from Dave Andrews diorama I posted some weeks ago and Adolf from the Advanced Heroquest diorama. As with many of the models produced at this time that Dogs of War are varied and packed full of character. There is a nice range of weapons on offer too, from standards like halberds and swords, to pistols and bows.

The painting is suitably bright as you'd expect from 1987, with a smattering of shields decorated with Arcane Armorials. Overall, a lovely group of miniatures that I'd love to own and, eventually, paint up. The range of poses makes many of these models suitable for heroes and leaders for units. I'll have to keep my eyes open for more 'standard' humans in the future.

Chaos Beastmen

Ahhh! Beastmen, when they were truly beasts and not just goat headed bodybuilders. I have quite a few of these in my collection, in fact the majority, with only a few alluding me. What makes this early release of beastmen so special is that many of them are based on creatures subsequently dropped from the sculpting process but appropriate to the mutations available in Realm of Chaos; dog heads, crocodiles, birds and lizards all appear here. Of course, there are some real classics, especially Hesh, who is my favourite beastman sculpt of all time.

Nice varied use of colour too. Lots of ideas for colour schemes here. One thing that really turns me off Warhammer in its current form is the uniformity of chaos - they all look the same! To me, the whole point of chaos is to be mutated and different from the beastman you're standing next too. Well, this set gives you that and plenty more. Another absolute must for the collector, especially those interested in collecting or gaming with Realm of Chaos.

Elven Personalities

These nine mounted models show you just how far GW have moved from the original concept of the elves. Here, the models have shades of Celtic, Native American and Eastern Mysticism running through them and I feel this makes the models appear more exotic and less human. These days, elves are just posh looking armoured blokes with pointy ears. There is still that '80s punk vibe going on with some of the hairdos and colour choices (I for one love the rainbow mohican) and these models are far better painted that those we have seen before, I can sense that hand of one Mike McVey here.

There is a nice mix of wizard, champion and general models here, armed with a nice range of weaponry. Do I have a favourite here? Definitely Ashen Peace Maker because he looks very military looking and would do sterling work leading my wood elves one day!

Better get on eBay then!

Dwarf Flame Cannon, Orc Command Group and Dwarf With Inferiority Complex!

At last! A series of models about which I can say 'I have them!' The dwarf flame cannon was one of the first retro models I picked up a few years ago when I started to feel dis-satisfied by the current ranges. The dwarfs have slipped so far from the original form (which I consider to BE a fantasy dwarf) that the short fellows had disinterested me for years. I know its a word I keep repeating, but its the character of this set that makes it so endearing. The dwarf lighting the cannon hiding his face, the two crewmen crouching down holding their eyes... Lovely, lovely humour that actually tells a little story. Seeing these nicely painted up makes me itch to dig out this little set and give it a good paint job. Additionally, full rules are given as part of the add, meaning you could pick up the blister and get the unit on the table with no further trouble.

Next we have the iconic orc command figures by Kev Adams. As regular readers of this blog will know, I have painted up this set to lead my plastic Warhammer Regiments orcs. There are quite a few variants of this initial set and they are all worth having and are, frankly, a job to paint.

Finally, the dwarf on stilts. Another example of that wacky sense of humour! I've seen this model many time on eBay (and I believe that there are more than one version of it) but have yet to see the wonderfully nasty goblin sawmaster. I'd pay a few bit for him if he came up!

Barbarians and Chaos Hounds

I've always found this set a little 'meh'. There are some really good sculpts here, especially the females but some of the more muscular males leave me unimpressed. I'd pick up one or two of them just to paint up but I'd be unlikely to take my collection much further.

The Chaos Hounds on the other hand are classics and I own many of them. Thankfully, I recently managed to get my hands on the chaos warrior packmaster to help lead them as these models are scarce. The hounds do turn up quite regularly and are worth buying up. Being chaotic, you can have some real fun painting up their coats in all kinds of bizarre colour choices and in gaming terms that are LETHAL. Dan fields these against my Slaaneshi warband and game after game they cause me problems aplenty.

Prince Ulther's Imperial Dwarfs

This set has classic written all over it! Regularly appearing on eBay for very high prices, though the models can be picked up individually if you're willing to do the research. All I can say about this particular Regiment of Renown is that I want them in my future dwarf army. I intend to paint them up in exactly the same colours as shown here. These are one of my favourite dwarf releases of all time!

Why do I like them so much compared to more recent releases? Its the beards. The beards are much more 'dwarf like' with these early sculpts, a cross between an unwashed biker and a viking, and the figures themselves look tougher and more believable. I prefer armour and weapons on 'good' races to be fairly realistic, leaving the more fantastic stuff for chaos.

Another nice touch, as I have said before, of this release is the little background story and full rules giving you some insight before you drop your money on the table.

Phew! That was a lot to talk about. Fantasy releases were certainly the priority in this issue.

So, how many of these do you own and more importantly, how many have you actually painted? Do you dislike any of these models enough to avoid them from all time?


Tuesday 21 August 2012

Acceptable in the '80s: Warhammer Third Edition Launch Article Review

I spent hours as a boy studying this picture. I used to wonder who all the characters
were. The 'Good' races are depicted here in force; dwarf, elf and human... all
victorious and defiant in the face of devilish horror. 

Welcome back to 'Acceptable in the '80s', Orlygg's history of Warhammer Fantasy Third Edition through its articles, products and miniature releases. This endeavour is the sister project of 'Dark Technologies' over of Realm of Chaos's sister site; Warhammer 40,000: A Rogue Trader Blog. Today's post actually begins the era of Third Edition, though the previous posts in the series have discussed Bob 'Iron Claw' Olley's contribution to retro fantasy gaming and the miniature releases advertised in White Dwarf 94.

Before we continue I should really outline what the purpose of 'Acceptable in the '80s' actually is... Well, it is my attempt to tell the story of Third Edition (and any associated, however loosely, games) through the published articles, miniature releases, supplements and other related products. I shall be discussing each in turn and attempting to review them. No real scores need to be attributed to these reviews, as written opinion has far more depth than a mere number, and my views can act as catalyst to other Citadel fans and collectors who 'were there, man!' As I have done with 'Dark Technologies, the first 'proper' article in this series discussing the launch issue of WFB3 and a follow article will discuss in further detail, 'Marginalia', where Richard Halliwell (the main author of Warhammer in its earliest guises, the the WFB was 'mostly' authored by Rick Priestley) discusses the design decisions behind the game.

However, that is all in the future....

The disturbing orange horizon would make a brilliant painted background
fit around a gaming table, wouldn't it! I might have to have a go one day.
The launch begins with a nifty piece of text that oozes the character of Warhammer at this point in its existence... Dark and dangerous with a solid streak of British black humour. Over the next few years, as the background was developed further, the dark and dangerous side of things grew darker still, but the grim sense of humour remained. Thankfully, this was some years before the 'Skullz 'n' Spikez' approach of recent times.

"The goblins had been marching for more than a day. The night had not slowed them, nor had the coming of dawn. They had eaten on the march. Several had slept on the march, their limbs carrying them forward without the need for conscious thought. Even their Skaven allies had been hard pressed to keep up.

The goblins has a purpose. They were going to war and loot.
Especially loot."

Before moving on something must be said of John Sibbick's iconic cover painting. Its incredible isn't it. Now if you can, look at the image with fresh eyes. You're passing through a newsagent, perhaps popping in to buy some confectionery, or indeed a topshelf magazine (depending on your age), and you spot this startling image on the cover of a magazine. You stroll over. Picking up the magazine you peer closer at the picture and are amazed by the vivid, earthy colours and the dark imagination behind the picture's composition. The orange mist across the landscape offers your mind half glimpsed snatches of unseen horrors while the heroic forces of good do their upmost to smite the foul foe. The detail, the storytelling and the sheer technical brilliance of the paint job are striking, even today, and trample artistically over anything produced by GW today. 

So powerful was the image, that 10 years later, it was still used on the cover of the rulebook for 4th edition. Here, it is possible to discuss the development of the image. The central figure, busy crushing the life out of a mutated, two headed goblin, is a clear representation of the cover star of Warhammer second edition, the image originally painted by John Blanche in 1983. I have always felt that the figure represented Sigmar and that the action was the battle at Black Fire Pass. Others have suggested a direct with 'Harry the Hammer' from Warhammer's First Edition. 

One of the great things about this article are the full colour battlescenes such as
the one shown above. Very evocative of the era we love. There a great deal
of classic models in this picture... How many can you spot?
On to the meat of the article. After a continuation of the tale of the goblins, wargames are discussed generally. To paraphrase, wargaming has been popular for a long time and these battles with toy soldiers have usually involved the Napoleonics or The Second World War. Five years previously this had all changed with the release of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. 'With the arrival of these rules, battles between armies of orcs and dwarfs, elves and goblins, humans and, well, everyone else, became the most popular type of table top game.' This most likely do to the explosion of interest in fantasy gaming with the RPG boom of the mid to late '70s, lead unsurprisingly by Dungeons and Dragons. Subsequently, 'armies of fantastic creatures marched and counter-marched across battlefields based purely in the imagination of the players.'

The busy little boffins at GW HQ had been busy with their popular game in the subsequent years as 'this new edition was based on five years of design, development and playtesting experience, which had produced an accessible and exciting set of game rules.' The article goes on to explain that 'Warhammer Fantasy Battle Third Edition uses the same basic sequence of play as earlier versions of the game.' The BIG SELL of 3rd was the inclusion of the 'advanced rules'. These formed the bulk of the new edition and the list of additions was huge; battle chariots and their uses in combat, flying monsters, aerial combat, buildings and so on...

Lovely full colour battle scenes like this really strike home how wonderful retro
battles can be. I also love all the lovely sickly '80s arcane armorial transfers!
Obviously going for 'the complete guide for fantasy gaming', Richard Halliwell went whole hog and included 'extensive guidelines on building armies and scenery for games' as well as 'including a large section on painting a preparing Citadel miniatures as well as details about how to get the most out of buildings and scenery on the tabletop.' There are even two pages devoted to building a wargames table! Additionally, Halliwell goes on to mention the companion volume to Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition; namely Warhammer Armies as containing 'army lists for competitive games', ready to play scenarios, new machinaries of destruction, shield and banner designs and a whole lot more.'

"The ensign was trying to speak. Foulbreath (he would have to change that name when he retired) knelt beside him and gently picked up the dying man. The ensign summoned his strength for one last effort.

'Don't go... any... further... There's two of themmmmm...'

'Warhammer Fantasy Battle always had such characters - the champions, minor heroes and major heroes of earlier editions of the game.' Things were about to change though, with a new system of creating characters; level 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 characters in fact. Now, there was a greater emphasis on the individual hero or army general roaming the battle field and acting heroically... or, indeed, diabolically if you were playing the baddies. This subtle shift included wizards and sorcerers for the first time. Previously, magic users were very much limited to one type of magic; with WFB3 a wizard had access to all the schools of magic based on his level. New spells had been added to the magical arsenal (leg breaking being one of them) as well as comprehensive rules for magic weapons, armour and duels between rival wizards.

The photograph here shows a rear view shot of the thin, elven line. The undead
sure look scary from this angle! And the 'Red Dragon' makes its first appearance too...
Other changes to the rules saw specific type of troops appearing; elite shock troops and missile support, flagellants, scouts, foresters, suicide bombers (now, sadly, not just an aspect of fantasy gaming), falconers and many, many more. For me, its the sheer amount of variables and modifiers that these changes brought in that makes WFB3 so special. There are just so many different things to try out and tinker with. Additionally, we have all the wacky Warhammer humour with Skaven poisoned wind globes and, of course, the crazy goblin fanatics that make the game unique.

In a move towards creating a more 'realistic' fantasy world (if such an oxymoron is possible), new rules were introduced to help gamers deal with baggage trains, camp followers as well as gunpowder weapons. The points costs of many of these powerful weapons was carefully balanced to ensure that creating gun toting units of dwarfs armed with magical blunderbuses was going to be an expensive process. Full rules were also provided IN A SINGLE BOOK so you didn't (and still don't) need any further publication to play WFB3 than the standard rule book. The supplements, Warhammer Armies, Siege, Realm of Chaos 1 and 2, add to the product and bring a great deal of additional ideas to the table top. There was no need to buy an additional 'army book' to get the most out of the game. Nor was there any need to wait for years until your favourite army was updated, you could just do it yourself.

An influential publication released for WFB2 was called Ravening Hordes. Think of the detail and ideas inside this book as WFB2.5. Many of the concepts introduced here would be expanded and adapted to suit WFB3. Halliwell explains one of these concepts in more detail in the article, its manouevres for units, and these rules in particular are one of the most popular retro themes in WFB3. 'The ability to manouevre up to three times per turn is based on the leadership of the unit. Troops can wheel, spread out and turn again - but only if there commander is of sufficient calibre. Well lead units have an added flexibility that is not just reflected in their killing power.

Units can adopt specific formations; the square (good against cavalry charges), wedges, archer wedges, shield walls (which are immovable, in one senses than one), testudos (the 'tortoise' of over lapping shields), and mixed units of different troop types, such as spearmen and missile troops. The advanced rules for movement compliment the advanced combat rules, which allow units to push back the opposition, multiple unit combat, continuous charges and voluntary withdrawls from battle. This overall effect is to add several layers of 'realism' to the rules...'

A further dimension that 3rd Edition brought to the game was the ability to ride monstrous creatures into battle. 'Basically, any large beast can be ridden into battle by smaller, less powerful creatures or troops, causing havoc among the enemy. On the other hand, war beasts can cause havoc to their own side by running amok in the heat of battle. Even if they are killed, creatures such as mammoths can cause problems with their death throes.'

That Red Dragon gets everwhere!
As a young gamer, my favourite section of the rulebook was always the bestiary. I'd spend hour after happy hour reading about the habits of different creatures. This, and Out of The Pit, were my bedtime staples for a long time. The pictures and texts fired my imagination and I still love a good flick through this section today. But to the old school layman, what does this section of the book entail, Halliwell continued, 'intelligent races are covered in depth. The complete Citadel ranges of humans, dwarfs, elves, goblins, skaven, orcs, snotlings and all the others are covered in full detail... But there are other fighting races available. There are complete details of the major type of creatures that can take part in battles. The giant races, including the giants themselves with their many combat options, ogres minotaurs and treemen with their magical abilities are all part of the game. And if they wasn't enough, there are skeletons, zombies, wraiths and other undead; 'ordinary' creatures; and demons and elementals that can be summoned during battles; and of course, dragons...'

Yes, all those creatures in a single book.

The lot!

The article also goes on to describe mutation in the form of chaos attributes. Though massively expanded in Realms of Chaos, the WFB3 rulebook even had a rudimentary section on these attributes and the effect they had on the creatures concerned. Linked to this, were the expanded rules concerning psychology. Animosity and saga animosity were new introductions to the ruleset.


I have always loved that yellow and blue undead banner. I must have ago at
creating my own version one of these days.

To conclude then... Well the article certainly suggests that its a powerhouse of a publication. Looking over the book now its vast, even when compared to the most recent publication of the book. Comparing the two, one thing strikes me... and that thing is, depth. Far more of the WFB3 is taken up by actual rules (in fact, its nearly the whole book) and there are enough of them within its chaotically coloured pages to keep a gamer in ideas for, well, ever. No reams of reams of pretty coloured pictures of miniatures here. One thing that more recent edition does have over its forebear is a decent section on building terrain, but you cannot have everything, right?

Reading through the article certainly got me all fired about about 3rd edition once again.

Hopefully, it will have the same effect on you!

Go on, be inspired!


Saturday 18 August 2012

Arcane Armorials: Painting Skulls... The Old School Way!

Regularly followers of my blog will know about my struggle to paint designs free hand on old '80s Citadel plastic shields. For years, such skill eluded me... But recently, after discovering an ancient guide in an equally ancient White Dwarf I managed to paint a quite convincing Blanche 'Citadelesque' style grinning face and can now pull of variations of these quickly and effectively. The next thing on the list was to be able to paint a convincing skull, especially considering I have been working on some undead miniatures in recent weeks.

Well this blog is going to serve to document this little journey. I've had a few practices and even worked up my first skull onto a shield (though I have tweaked it since by adding more detail) and armed a skelly with it.

First though, I had to do the research and collect together some templates to act as inspiration.

How about these for technical brilliance? The work of Colin Dixon in 1986. What a fantastic range of images to copy and adapt when painting old school shields. I'm no where near this level of painting yet but it is certainly something I aspire to achieve in the future. Below are a few other skulls images culled from the excellent resources found on thecitadelcollector from Bryan Ansell's collection.

Standard Bearer from the Nightmare Legion Regiment of Renown. I'm not sure if that is grey hair or ethereal slime dribbling from the skull's mouth.

A simple conversion here. Note the old tin foil banner (with some damage) but a good use of the skull from Arcane Armorials. I borrowed the single eye idea for one of my skulls.

Three troopers from the Nightmare Legion. Early use of photocopier there! Cut out and stuck on skulls on each of the shields. Simple, but effective. I really, really like this skull design. Fantastic with a taste of horror. 

If you Google skull clip are you get loads of ideas. Most of them are unusable for a 2D painting but there are some real crackers among them. Here are a few I really liked...

Right, let's have a look at what I've managed to produce recently then...

Keen eyed readers may recognise the shield on the right. I've worked it up a bit since you last saw it, with a mystic symbol in the forehead and yellow, staring eyes. The other is more of a flat design, quickly produced with the house of cards symbol on the forehead.

Okay, let's have a look at how you can paint a skull design in a few easy steps...

 First off, prepare your shield. Give it a nice base colour of your choice (here I used Bilious Green) and a darker wash over the top to create a little shading around the rim. 
 Once dry, block out the outline of your skull in a nice dark brown. Don't worry too much about coverage here.
 Using black ink, paint on the details and complete the outline of the skull.
 Highlight up with a lighter brown. Remember to pick out the teeth.
 Do a further highlight with Bleached Bone, remember to keep the paint quite watery and go for a fluid, painterly style in application.
 Final highlight around the edges with white. Again, keep the paint nice and fluid. 
Tidy up the rim, I used stippling to do this, and add the silver rivets. I added a nice red symbol to the forehead too. 

Job done!


Wednesday 15 August 2012

Acceptable in the '80s: White Dwarf 94 Miniature Releases Retro Review and Plague Cart Rules

I really enjoyed the retro review I did regarding the work of Bob Olley and I discovered that there are plenty of Olley fans out there but some agreement that some of his work is a little, what's the word, passable. So I have decided to continue. We are sticking with the same issue as before, White Dwarf 94, and I have reproduced for you all the releases of that month. 

Talisman Dungeon 

First off, a double set; Talisman Dungeon and Mercenaries. Let's start with the models released as part of the Talisman range. I have recently (by which I mean this week) seen a fairly complete set of these models going for about £100 so they are clearly still a popular series of sculpts. Now, those of you who don't know, Talisman was (and still is) a board game in which the players taken of a character type in a quest to gain possession of the Crown of Command. Though the game can be played without metal miniatures, such was Citadel's nature in the 1980s, a set of models was released for the game and the many subsequent expansions. I came late to the party, purchasing the third edition of the game when it was released in 2008, and played many games of it with my wife and it remains to this day the only GW game that she will play. 

The miniatures in the range are varied and well sculpted, I own only one of this series, the red robed inquisitor in the centre of the page, and are full of character. They would make fantastic character models for third edition games as well as interesting painting challenges in their own right. My favourite model? Most definitely the Sprite. I love the tones of green and flesh on this piece and it is certainly a scheme I would like to copy some time in the future. 


The second set are entitled Mercenaries and are again nice a varied. With fourteen models in this set they would make a very characterful unit for third edition. I have a particular fondness for NOB who seems to be positively waddling forwards ready to engage his next opponent. Sadly, I have never seen any of these on eBay nor do I own any of them. I suspect many of these sculpts were added to the later FIGHTERS range but I have no evidence of this at present. There is little fantasy on show here, which suggests the hands of the prolific sculpting force known as the brother's Perry. The obvious nod to medieval dress would have made these models useful for historical forces as well as fantasy ones. 

Nick Bibby's Giants

Ahh! Nick Bibby's giants! I am a big fan of Nine Fingers and have said so publically before. I think that the model has a wonderful dynamism and its body is perfectly positioned. I cannot say the same for the other sculpts in this range. Wither Wattle, who bears a strong resemblance to a young Bob Naismith, is okay and obviously shares much in common with the Nine Fingers sculpt in terms of positioning but I just cannot stand the model of Bottle Snottle! Its the really, really crap hand, massively out of proportion to the rest of his body, that puts me right off. He looks like he has spent a long, long time in prison with a giant stack of 'magazines of gentleman's interest' and little else to pass his time. The fact that his weapon, a rather fetching stone headed club,  seems rather incongruous to the rest of the model cements the fact that this model is always going to be passed over in my collection.

Plague Cart and its rules

The Plague Cart on the other hand is an absolute must for my Undead army. I have slapped a bid down on this beauty more than once only to be pipped at the post. The wheels may be familiar to keen eyed enthusiasts, for they are the very same ones that appear on the skeleton chariot that I have been working on recently. The model has some interesting rules too.

The cart can be used in any game. You roll a 2D6 at the start of each turn; on a 2 or a 12 the chart appears on the middle edge of the left or right table edge (an equal chance of either). It then moves in a straight line across the battlefield at 4" per turn, leaving through the middle of the opposite table edge. The insubstantial cart may pass through obstructions and even units of troops. It causes fear in all living creatures with 6", and terror in any living creatures through which it passes. It is immune to non-magical attacks. As it goes, the spirits rise from the slain, following it wailing and moaning.

The Plague Cart may be summoned by a level 3 Necromantic spell, summon plague cart (cost 12mps) passing across the battlefield. It gains the following powers when it encounters an undead army.

1) Undead creatures with 12" are immune to instability.
2) Any living humanoid slain with 12" rises as a zombie behind the cart with hand weapon and appropriate rules. Each model is marked (perhaps with plasticine) and is under the control of the undead player.

Plague Cart


Spectral Driver


Special Rules: As a normal spectre, the creature is armed with a scythe.

Command Groups

These command groups are ideal for pairing with the rank and file troops of the plastic Warhammer Regiments, a relationship that I have always felt was a deliberate one on the hands of Citadel. I love all the sculpts in this range and own one of two of them. I have the goblin shamen, the elf standard bearer, the skaven champion and elf the musician. I would certainly be interested in obtaining the rest of these models, especially the goblin leader which I feel to be one of the finest gobliniod models Citadel has ever produced. The dark elves are suitably militarilistic and the skaven leader is an absolute classic sculpt of Jes Goodwin that was, until relatively recently, still available to buy from GW.

The paint schemes or these models is also highly inspirational for me. The distinct blue and purple of the dark elves, the bright greens and golden yellows of the elves, the dirty, heavily shaded browns of the skaven and the sickly greens of the goblins are THE colours I like to use in my paint pallete. This is because this page of White Dwarf is one of the best examples of the colour scheme and painting style of three of the most important third edition armies.

The Gob-Lobber and the Gob-Lobber Appeal

Classic '80s Warhammer through and through! The second of the Perry engineered sculpts on today's post. The addition of some gruesome goblin heads turns this from being just another catapult into a wonderfully zany weapon that just begs to be fielded in all dwarf armies. Some of the crew members were recycled for use in other later dwarf war machines, though others were only available with this set - such as the dwarf cook with a pig on a spit (sadly not pictured here) and the pipe smoking commander.

I am lucky enough to have won this particular war machine recently. If I remember correctly for the rather cheap sum of £7. Sadly, I didn't win the crew that went with the machine but they tend to crop up quite often so its only a matter of time until I have my hands on them too. However, I am missing the wheels! I was wondering if any Oldhammerers out there could do me the kindness of lending me a wheel from this model so I can take a cast of it and create some greenstuff copies. If you could, please contact me and I'll be eternally grateful!