Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Madness Within: Little Known Gems of the Oldhammer World

There was a time when GW was not an overly serious corporate entity obsessed with itself and its own created worlds, endlessly regurgitating the same ideas with frighteningly increasing sized price tags. If you are un-sure what I mean, check out this link to a Viz comic I discovered some months ago that helps put you in the picture... here

As I was saying, before the GW of recent times, Citadel produced a wide range of humorous, wacky and downright weird miniatures for no other reason than they thought they were funny. Some were released on general sale, others were limited editions while others were never released officially. During my research into the different ranges produced by Citadel during the 80s and early 90s, I have come across a lot of these amusing models and thought I might share my favourites with you lot. 

Some you may well know well, even own, but I am sure there must be one or two models on this list that you have not seen before and they will (hopefully) raise, at least, an ironic smile. 

Here we go then, Orlygg's TOP TEN wacky little known gems of the Oldhammer World (and few beyond!) 


Second Version 
A simple idea, eh? Those simple ideas are often the best and I find this model (in both its versions) quite funny. I am not sure why, but I have always imagined Dwarfs to be the fantasy equivalent of those fellow Englishmen who live in the North. Complete with violent tendencies to defend any remark concerning lack of height. I prefer the second sculpt; the addition of the boots and the more genial representation of the dwarf make this so. 
   This model turns up quite frequently on eBay and I have put a few whistful bids down on them over the years. The second version is the more frequent, so much so the sculpt is not really considered that rare. However, the snotling sawmaster (sculpted by Kevin Adams) is often missing from these lots. So if you see the pair of them together you might do well to put a modest bid down. 


Have you ever gazed dreamily over the comely visage of Bryan Ansell in Warhammer Armies? Do you ever wish that you could one day sport such a magnificent 1980s hair and moustache combination? Are all of your T-Shirts missing their sleeves? If the answer is 'yes' to any of these questions then this may be the miniature for you! Here we have the Mighty Avenging Bryan Ansell kitted up via The Realm of Chaos and ready to deal some damage - in his role of General Manager of Games Workshop!
   I've never seen this online. I imagine it must sell quite often without the owner or buyer really knowing what the model is supposed to represent - perhaps they just assume its a good looking Chaos Warrior with a leaning towards 80s fashions? I'd love one of these.


Making his second appearence on this list (right after his first appearence actually) is Bryan Ansell once more! This time in the guise of a Midland Troll. If former employees during this period (especially those working in retail) can be believed, then this is possibly how the great man dressed to run his business and no doubt used his club appropriately to quieten unruly motorbike riding employees. Curiously, this sculpt has Wereansell engraved on the base - so perhaps a transformation was indeed used to ' encourage ' the troops?
     Can you imagine GW making fun of its employees in this way, or even making little kitch models like this. A Kirby Terminator anyone? No, it wouldn't work now, would it?


Aly Morrison is said to be responsible for this amusing take on a wizard. Here the magic user is not only armed with his magical powers by also a SMG that would make Andy McNab proud. A fun model. I wonder if it was in any way inspired by the excellent animated film WIZARDS by Ralph Bakshi (check it out
here)? This was a limited release that turns up quite regularly on eBay.


Another Aly Morrison sculpt here. This time a dwarf who has obviously had too many Bugman's XXXXXX ales down the boozer or, perhaps, indulged in a heavily spiced goblin curry! I love this model, and like the wizard with a machine gun, the joke is apparent from the first glance. I would dearly love to paint this model up so that the book resembles the front cover of Warhammer Third Edition.
    Toilet humour was obviously 'in' at Citadel during the 1980s and this is the first of three (count 'em) scatalogical entries on this list. This model had quite a long run and turns up regularly on eBay.


Trish Morrison's contribution to the toilet related miniature is presented here in all its glory. A group of dwarfs relieve themselves in a grotty, ill-maintained WC but are interrupted by a Chaos Dwarf wielding a strange and unusual 'tool'. The purpose of this tool is not explained. It could be a rather perverse measuring device or even a method of 'chopping off' the poor dwarf's man bits? Who knows? I may even be reading in things that need not be there. Perhaps he is a local plumber residing in the Realm of Chaos who has popped around to change the urinal cakes?


Sadly, never released, but they do turn up occasionally - which makes me wonder just how many of these managed to escape from the Citadel Miniatures factory. Very funny! Never has a dwarven beard ever been so vital to a gag.



Now these models are not meant to be humorous, but are on this countdown as a 'what if'. What was the purpose behind these sculpts? A Star Wars fan with access to sculptors and casting equipment? Mock ups for a proposed range? A miniatures game with Lucasfilm that fell through? The last possibility must raise a few questions, surely? What could have mid to late 80s GW (at the height of their creative powers) done with a Star Wars miniatures game? These were never released and are subsequently extremely rare.


At first glance you may well think - hey why is THAT model on the list? I've got that one in my collection already and there is nothing unusual about it either. Then you look at the headress of the helmet and notice an inverted penis like object being inserted into goodness knows where. A blunt allusion to Slannesh perhaps? I saw this unreleased model on eBay earlier on this year, I even put £50 quid down on it too. In the end, it sold for £69 pounds (the influence of Slannesh dictating the price, perhaps?). I put this on the list for its subtle shock value. Imagine the uproar today in the pages of the daily mail if such a model was produced?


The final model in my top 10 is this, the Chaos Toilet. A hideous representation of something we all dread to face... No, not a daemonic beast, but a poorly maintained lavatory. The poor soul who had settled down on the ceramic seat has been dragged down below the waterline. Strangely, this toilet seems to have had a second occupant, who is being clutched by a long, green daemonic hand. Hilarious. Its on eBay at the time of writing for £50.

Well, that is my little list for you. My favourite wacky wonders from Citadel's past! Have you any favourites that I have not included here? Any weird and wonderful sculpts that you find particularly amusing on dark and lonely nights?

If you do... please share...



  1. The stormtrooper - Lucasfilm approached GW with the proposal that they make a Star Wars miniatures line. Bryan advised Lucasfilm that they wouldn't really like GW's chunky style but they did a test sculpt for them anyway. The miniatures line never came to be...

  2. The chaos toilet is similar to the lav at my old job...

    Interesting article, thanks. Seasons greetings to you and your readers!

  3. Seriously wacky models, I don't think any serious miniatures company would produce models like those today. Products of their time I suspect. There may be small independent outfits that might make such models, but I think most gamers and painters these days expect figures of a much higher standard. So I think the days of crazy, random figures such as those are, sadly, behind us.

  4. The snotling sawmasters feature as special units in my snotling army... sadly the price of the actual sawmaster models mean that this genuine snotty sabateur does not feature in the army in person. Have you any pictures of the Jolly Japes in your list? Always a fave.

    1. Hi,

      Nice list, my favourite also chaos toilet, i manage to get one. It really is a john blanche inspired character, dunyou think ?

    2. Jolly Japes is a new one on me, I shall have to investigate a little to find out more about him! As for the Chaos toilet, I just saw one on eBay for £50. I have no idea what inspired the model, I have certainly never seen I John Blanche painting of anything lavatory related, though!

  5. Great list, Orlygg! I'd heard of some of those figures, but some were new to me, like the Chaos Toilet.

    There are several GW skeleton miniatures that amuse me: the one carrying a bag full of bones, the bomb-wielding anarchist, and, of course, the Rambones figure. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, your list inspired me to upload up my own photos of these skellies in this blog post.

  6. As I recall, the implement held by the armoured figure in the "Up the Wall Crew" is a can opener. Apparently he had no zip in his codpiece!

    1. A can opener! Oh, I can see it now! Thanks for that little bit of clearing up!

  7. I know I'm a bit late - but this is a great list! I have quite a few of the chaos toilet - are they really going for 50 quid? Thats crazy. One of the American distributors had them and i got a full sleeve of them, round about the time I bought some sleeves of chaos warriors. To be honest, almost all of the blisters have broken down due to age, but I do have the metal. And I think one is still in its blister.

  8. The aardvarks where pretty fun too