Friday 30 November 2012

Regiments of Renown: A short history and catalogue Part Two

Third Edition Regiments 1986 - 1992


Hello, and welcome back to the second post concerning the Regiments of Renown units released during the lifetime of 80s Warhammer (First, Second and Third Editions). Originally I intended to create a single post that detailed the entire range but as I worked on the research, I realised that I'd have to split it into two posts as the subject matter was extensive - not to mention my tablet groaning under the strain of all that text and images!

So here were are with the second part, and it is my intention to document the second (and far more well known) set of releases that graced the Independent Game Stockists of the late 80s and early 90s.

Thanks are also needed for those readers who have contributed further information about these ranges... You are to numerous to mention, but I intend to edit up these posts in a few days to include all the relevant information out there - so if you have better pics or whatever, please send them in as I hope that these posts become the definite guide for collecting these wonderful ranges.

But I digress... Back on topic then!

RRD1 Bugman's Dwarf Rangers

Mini Review: Here we have the second edition of the regiment and probably everyone's favourite. The appear in the Third Edition rule book so are well known to us all. The sculpts are classic 80s dwarfs and are lovely. I own one or two of the trooper models and had several of the character models back in the day. Lovely, lovely... And as for the brilliant colour scheme... Just perfect Warhammer goodness really. The force does need Bugman's cart to be totally complete mind!

Availability: Certainly numerous but often highly priced by the 'Buy it now' seller well beyond the actual worth of the troops. Considering my experience, I think a fair price for a box set would be around the £40 mark. I've seen sets sell at auction like this several times. I wouldn't pay more.

RRD2 Nightmare Legion

Mini Review: As with many of the other models of this range, some of these sculpts had a previous life as part of a different range, and I know of several varients of the command figures. Even so, this is a classic slice of 80s undead, when they were exactly that, and did not have the limitations of more recent ranges. The sculpting is what you would expect from this period and the skeletons have that spindly grace that I love in the undead. Classics, and utterly so!

Availability: Plenty of these about. Pay no more than £30 boxed, though. I own this set and they are one of the few survivors of what I had back in the day. My father bought this set in Wonderworld in 1988 and I have been planning to paint it since then. One day...

RRD3 Harboth's Orc Archers

Mini Review: I recently acquired these online and I must say they are excellent. Just as you expect from the Goblinmaster, Kevin Adams, these are characterful little models. The command pieces are particularly good, and I view Harboth as one of the best orc sculpts ever produced by GW. If you love orcs, or even have a passing interest, you must own this set.

Availability: I've rarely seen this set sell boxed, but it was fairly straight forwards collecting the models individually. A few pounds per model really. Spend no more than 30-40 pounds in my opinion.

RRD4 Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers

Mini Review: Classic elves in the classic 80s style. Yes they all look like a warped combination of pantomime leads, 80s hair metallers and the cast of Robin of Sherwood, but I guess these were Goodwin's inspiration. A must own.

Availability: In my experience, the most common of the sets. Pay no more than £20. That is how much I paid for the set with the original shields to boot!

RRD5 Ruglud's Armoured Orcs

Mini Review: More classic orcs. What else can be said?

Availability: I've seen these often enough. I was really lucky and got mine for £15 at the Bring and Buy sale at Salute this year but they usually sell around the forty pounds mark.

RRD6 Prince Ulther's Imperial Dwarfs - The Dragon Company

Mini Review: These Dwarfs are typical of the period and exhibit the sense of depth and quality as any of the better 80s dwarfs. The command group is particularly impressive and are probably worth the asking price alone. Lovely, lovely models - just like the rest of the sets from this second set of releases.

Availability: In my experience these are the hardest of the sets to get hold of. Sure, you could pick.up a box for sixty, but part of the fun in collecting is getting stuff cheap, isn't it?

As well as these excellent sets, GW re- released a selection of the earlier sets in clear plastic boxes that hung like a blister pack- and boy did they look good!

Here are the codes and models, see Part One of this post for the details.

RRD7 Chaos Cultists (formerly Red Redemption)
RRD8 Giant Black Orcs (formerly Eeza Ugezod's Mothercrushers)
RRD9 Hobgoblins (formerly Despoiling Hobgoblins of the Dark Lands)
RRD10 Imperial Knights (formerly the Knights of the Cleansing Flame)
RRD11 Dark Elves (formerly Mengil Manhide's Company)
RRD12 Golgfag's Ogres (second version)

And there we are. As before, any better quality information about these would be gratefully received.



Thursday 29 November 2012

Regiments of Renown: A Short History and catalogue Part One: Early years


Last post, I discussed 'The Valley of Death', one of the few 'official' scenarios published for Third Edition. As some have commented, myself included, in order to play this scenario you'd need a bucket load of miniatures (and they would have to be painted too) if you wanted to get the most out of it. This got me thinking about easy ways to collect large bodies of troops quickly and effectively in the 21st century. Ebay is obviously your main route gaining troops, but the random piecemeal fashion in which this process reveals itself is rather demoralising. To solve the problem, my mind quickly flicked towards the famous miniature sets released during the 80s (and rebooted several times since then), the Regiments of Renown. After all, a few of these sets and you have practically an army. Its still possible to get these sets for reasonable value as Citadel must have pumped them out in huge quantities and many of the sculpts were in production for over ten years.

So I set about searching for sets of these models at a reasonable price - trouble was, apart from some of the later editions (like the Nightmare Legion) my knowledge of the ranges was limited, and I found it rather difficult to gather in information I needed to begin collecting these sets as it was spread across the internet in a variety of places. 

So I decided to collate my research into this post in case others were interested in doing the same. I have split the regiments into the two series, if you can call them that. The first series was released over a three year period during the Second Edition period, while the second series was released in stages around the release of Third Edition, the first half of these sets were new sets while the remaining sets were reissues. 

I have gathered together any associated artwork, pictures of the models themselves (useful when cruising eBay in the small hours) and any decent painted examples I could find on the internet. Some regiments are clearly more popular than others, and information can be found in abundance, while others are more rare. I'll give each set a personal review and share with you some painted examples. 

Here we go then..

Second Edition Regiments 1983 - 1986

Originally offered in sets of eight plus a command figure. You had to buy three sets to get all three command figures. I find this a bizarre set up and explains why you often see random collections of troopers and character models available for sale. Of course, it makes wonderful sense if you are the owner of the manufacturing company!

Lets have a look at the sets.

RR1 Bugman's Dwarf Rangers

Mini Review: One of the most famous units in Warhammer in any edition, Bugman's could be sliced in half and you'd be able to read Warhammer through the centre, a bit like a stick of rock. As with all dwarfs from the 80s, these models have that distinct Citadel look that I find so endearing. I'm not an expert in pre-slotta solid bases, but I assume that the detail and finish is just as good as the later 80s models.

Availiability:  I've seen these loads of times of eBay. They seem to go for reasonable amounts too. Certainly a popular option and fiarly straight forward to get your hands on. 

RR2 The Knights of Origo

Mini Review: I like these Teutonic style knights. These kinds of warriors are these days represented by (in my opinion) the fairly generic Bretonnians. Here we have something a little different. I have a strong whiff of pagan green knights and questing heroes about these sculpts. They are very germanic and a little bit threatening. They do not lack character in the command figures, and the champion would make a fantastic general but I feel that the standard trooper looks a little plain. I would have to see the unit ranked and painted to decide if I actually liked them.

Availability: Unknown - I have certainly never seen them online, but I haven't actually looked. I suspect they must turn up with the same regularity as other models from this period, no doubt in clusters of models as they were originally released.

RR3 Grom's Goblin Guard (version 1 and 2)

Mini Review: Good old Grom! There are some really nice sculpts here, and judging by the look of them I'd go as fair as suggesting they may even be early Kevin Adams, though Nick Bibby's style also springs to mind when looking at them. As you would expect from the 80s, these goblins are gangly, sniggering things who'd probably enjoy and little bit of nose picking. Curiously, there are also two sets of these available (by this I mean different sculpts) and in my opinion the second is far superior. I would imagine this is probably the reason why the guard was remodlled.

Availiability: Again, largely unknown, though Grom and his gobbos do seem to tunr up with a certain regularity on certain old school blogs and with two sets produced, many of these figures must still exist, somewhere.

RR4 Mengil Manhide's Company

Mini Review: These are classic sculpts by Bob Naismith, and a set that I own personally - though not all of the character models. What I like most about the set were the fact that dark elf troopers and witch elves both appeared so it was possible (and still is if you can find enough models) to build units of armoured dark elves and witch elves with ease. The character models are also really nice and are a joy to paint. Interestingly, these were released many times - I recall bying a set of them (by this time as a reissue) in a clear plastic box in Wonderworld in Dorset in about 1989. Sadly, I flogged them for pittance on eBay when I was poor, homeless and single. I am glad to say I have managed to get most of these models back but the leader and standard bearer both still elude me.

Availability: Pretty easy to pick up, as I said they were released many times over the period. A must for Dark Elf collectors really.

RR5 Harboth and the Black Mountain Boys

Mini Review: The first appearence of Harboth's troop is, well, rather underwhleming, especially when comparing them with their second edition. Still, they don't lack chram and would easily stick amongst any goblinoid force. Harboth himself has a wonderful 'doorman' charm about him with his crossed arms and rather uncompromising facial expression. Certainly a rare pose from any period. The rest of the models are harder ro rate with the lack of visual evidence but jugding by the finished troopers above they scrub up nicely with a little effort.

Availability: Certainly rarer than the second edition of the unit but still out there. I've had a few bids on the pre-slotta versions of the years but haven't yet been successful. They are certainly a unit I would like in my Grand Plan.

RR6 Mad Mullah Aklan'ds

Mini Review: Is there a Citadel pun in the name? Aklan'ds? Ackland? Good old Tony, GWs first principle artist after THE BLANCHE. These were one of the units I had no knowledge of, and in compiling this post first laid eyes on the models. They are certainly interesting and would be useful in representing Araby in a Old School army or scenario.

Availability: Never, ever seen them online! Anyone know any better?

RR7 The Bowmen of Oreon/Oreon's Wood Elf Archers

Mini Review: Another set with two versions. I really don't like these models - even the characters, but that is just me. I much prefer the models produced for Skarloc later on the the 80s. They are all a bit too much of a Jason Connery rather than a Michael Pread! (Old school 80s link there, did you see that?)

Availability: EVERYWHERE! In my experience, there is a large abundance of these hideous models as no one really wants to buy them and everyone wants to sell... You may think differently, but I really wouldn't want to be going near these bland models, especially with all the Goodwin goodness that 80s elves have elsewhere.

RR8 Golgfag's Ogres

Mini Review: Again two sets - both classics! Nothing else really needs to be said. The second set is more detailed than the first, but with a suppportive paintjob they'd rank up nicely with any other models of the period.

Availability: The second set seems more numerous than the first, as you would expect, but these models seem to be fairly straight forwards, if a little expensive, to acquire.

RR9 Mudat's Mercenary Half Orcs

Mini Review: These half orcs are another regiment that I was unaware of before I started this research project. Not classics by any standard but the way the models learn forwards as one (ensuring a unified rank up) is rather modern, especially when considering recent plastic sets.

Availability: Unknown - anyone what to offer any further infomation about these models?

RR10 Elwing's Elf Cavalry

Mini Review: Another of the units that I was ignorant of before this little endeavour. From what I have seen (posted above) I am really interested in this unit, partly as its elven cavalry and partly as an example of early mounted Citadel figures. The models do look a little primitive, especially when compared to later elven units but they don't lack charm.

Availability: Unknown. There are none on eBay as I prepare this post.

RR11 Karnac's Lizardmen Raiders

Mini Review: Crude and simplistic sculpts they may be, but these early lizardmen would make an interesting painting project. What colour scheme would you use? The modern electric blues or something more traditional?

Availability: Unknown. There are none of ebay and I have never seen a painted example.

RR 12 Flying Gargoyles of Barda
Mini Review: I love these models. Original (even today, though I suppose furies could be compared with them) and suitably wacjy for 80s Warhammer. The scupting is certaibly interesting and they have a look that suggests that the flying bases was a later idea and the models suggest they were designed to be standing upright rather than flying.

Availability: I have seen these several times for sale and they went for a pretty penny too! Certainly one of the more expensive units to collect.

RR13 Lothern Elf Sea Guard

Mini Review: All I can find out about these models is represented by the artword above. I couldn't find any imformation about these models. Can you help? Do you have some images that I could post or a link to this article. After all, how can we collect these egnimatic models without actually knowing what they look like.

Availability: Again, unknown. A search on eBay and the Google resulted in the image above. A 80s Warhammer mystery! Can you help solve it?

RR14 Notlob's Orc Artillery

Mini Review: Love this set! Goblinoid artillery in all its 80s glory. Now, I don't know if the actually ballista was sculpted for this set was originally designed for Notlob, but the sculpt certainly got around. It was later used for all kinds of purposes; released alongside dwarfs and humans as far forward as the early 90s. The ballista is also really useful as it can used in Third edition to add some artillery support to any army with little fuss - all you need to find are a few infantry figures to represent the crew.

Availability: Here, the ballista is fairly easy to source but the crew are far harder. They turn up occasionally but certainly not in major numbers. A more challenging regiment to complete in my opinion.

RR15 Despoiling Hobgoblins of the Dark Lands
Mini Review: Nice sculpts aren't they? Chunky, crouched and mean, these hobogoblins are no way involved in silly big hatted Chaos Dwarfs and a good thing too. I'd be happy to collect, paint and field these at some point in the future. As, I am sure, would many of your readers.

Availability: I've seen these for sales on and off over the years. I'd say they are failry straight forwards to collect.

RR16 Disciples of the Red Redemption

Mini Review: Ahh, the talented hand of Jes Goodwin once again becomes apparent. These models have been released many times over the years (and make excellent chaos cultists) and rightfully so. Love them. Want them? Anyone selling?

Availability: Loads of the them on eBay. Fairly easy to pick up in bulk too. I am sure that plenty of you readers have a few of these models in your lead pile.

RR17 Knights of the Cleansing Flame

Mini Review: Again, these look like Goodwin sculpts, though far rarer than some of the other of his regiments. These I'd never heard of before I started this little project. Not classics by the great man's standards (though the standard bearer is excellent) but they still deserve a place in any human Oldhammer army - don't you agree?

Availability: Again, unknown. Nothing on the 'net at the moment - but considering their pedigree, these models are going to sell and be valued. Anyone got a set painted we could post here?

RR18 Eeza Ugezod's Mother Crushers

Mini review: If you like your models BIG 'N' CHUNKY then go no further. These orcs are big, bad and detailed. They are also not by Kevin Adams, a man who's vesion inspired the later 'look' of a Citadel orc or goblin. These are very different, and that makes them interesting and worthy of collecting. I'd certianly like to add them to my lead pile at some point.

Availability: Again, these are fairly straight forward to get hold of. Prices may vary but you shouldn't have a real problems as long as you are patient.

To be continued - next post we shall explore the second set of releases- the more famous boxed sets of the later 80s.

Until then, enjoy.