Thursday 28 February 2013

Oldhammer Weekender: Realm of Chaos Warbands Mass Battle Explained

It may appear that not a great deal is happening at the moment regarding the proposed Oldhammer Event at the Wargames Foundry in Nottingham late this summer. This is actually quite wrong. In between juggling demanding jobs, wives and kids and other modern hurdles, a few of us are frantically working behind the scenes to make this exciting event a reality.

Gaj and I had a conversation the other night about how best organise the gaming that is going to take place over the two days. We know that place is limited, and what to ensure that people have a change to play Third Edition (or, indeed, any other retro games they wish to play) as well as having the chance to check out models in other enthusiasts collections, have a beer and a bite to eat, trade lead or whatever. 

So, Gaj is going to be setting up shortly a booking system which will allow you to reserve a table for gaming for a particular slot over the two days. Really, this is intended to support the 'Bring and Battle' types that are more than happy to collect their forces, find an opponent and just rock up on the day and get on with it. Additionally, you will have the choice to select to play one of the demonstration/pick up games that we play to have prepared for the day or contribute to the Realm of Chaos 25th Anniversary Clash of the Warbands thingy...

The purpose of this post is to provide a little information about how RoC part of the proceedings will take place. 

It goes without saying that this will be the ruleset we will use as the basis to the RoC game.
RoC: Slaves to Darkness 25th Clash of the Warbands 

I thought long and hard about how best to organise this. I spoke to Gaj, Erny, Thantsants and others about their ideas and discussed things with Dan, who many of you will know I played against during my own recent Realm of Chaos Warbands campaign.

In a nutshell, its a clash between Khorne and Slaanesh. The premise being, that the Chaos Gods themselves have ordered a ritualistic combat to take place and a desired place and at a desired time. The call has gone out across the Chaos Wastes, deep into the forests of the Old World and beyond. Warbands and champions are on the march, heading ever north, drawn by some powerful compulsion to steer their forces to a barren plain beneath the insidious gazes of two of the most powerful Gods of Chaos. 

There a battle must be fought. Fought for the amusement of uncaring Gods. 

They seek to settle an argument.

And it will be settled in the blood of thousands.

Here are the details as they currently stand.

  • The game will be played over a rectangular table set up. This may be many tables pushed together, or more than one table. This largely depends on interest, so we will be able to provide more detail about this in the future.
  • All table edges will be possible entry points to the game, though one will be selected as Khorne only and other as Slannesh only, leaving the player with three possible entry points to enter the conflict. 
  • A player may enter the conflict at any time, or elect to withdraw his warband at anytime, similar to the way that you can drop in and out of online Xbox 360 games as you wish, though withdraws will need to be moved as part of the game turn. This should provide a great deal of flexibility about where you choose to start with your warband, and would represent the champion selecting the best possible position for his forces upon arrival at the battle. You could even play for a while, move out of the action, and return later if you so wished. 
  • Models can be treated as character models (they move independently) or as units. Units can be mixed on racial grounds, so dwarfs, goblins and skaven all in one unit is fine, with the restriction that movement will be calculated by the slowest moving member of the unit and that base sizes need to be consistent with the unit as a whole. 
Reward points will be given to champions for different actions, though these are yet to be fully confirmed, but would look something like this.

Champion killing a follower of enemy god = 1 reward point
Champion killing a champion of enemy god = 5 reward points 
Khorne Champion killing an ally = 3 reward points
Slannesh Champion killing through pleasure (acquiesence spell, chaos weapon etc) = 3 points
and so on. 

This should provide contributors with three things.
1) Rewards that can be spent on developing your champion and warband after the event.
2) A tally of points which allows us to identify the champion of champions (the model with the most points after the game is over) 
3) A tally of points which allows us to identify which side (Chaos God) has won the battle over all.

Its early days, but this is how things stand at the moment.

Any comments, ideas or questions, please don't hesitate to make them below. 


Monday 25 February 2013

Raiders of the Lost Adverts: Chaos Sorcerers and their Famous Familiars

Colour schemes aplenty here. How many have you got?
You've got to love these models, haven't you? Its the final full colour advert that I could find in the ancient magazines I have in my collection. Again, this ad is from 1986, though most of these models were designed and sculpted in 1985.

The chaos sorcerers are a varied bunch, as the catalogue entry below illustrates, with nearly every sculptor working in the studio in the mid 80s contributing a model or two. Subsequently, the sculpts vary in quality and design. Jes Goodwin's hand can be clearly seen here, with many of the more superior models being designed by him, but there are a few gems hidden here and there from other designers. A few years ago, GW released four rather strangely chosen examples for its collector's range.

Solegends has extensive research material about this range. See below.

The Famous Familiars (or Chaos Familiars, as they are also known) were the work of Jes Goodwin alone and must rank up there in the top ten of the releases put out by Citadel in the 1980s. They are so varied, imaginative and fun that even modern GW realised their potential and re-released them in white metal, though sadly not all of them. I have particularly happy memories of Lune, the moonheaded familiar, as my dad painted him for me when I was about 10. 

I am hoping to see one or two of these models among the warbands heading to the Oldhammer Weekender at the Foundry in August.If your up for it and are unsure which models to bid on, then I hope that this article makes good reference.

So then, are you a fan of these old school sorcerers and familiars? How many have you got? Which ones do you still need? I'm missing the tiny versions of Khorne, Tzeentch and Slannesh and daemonet 2


Sunday 24 February 2013

The Crude, the Mad and the Rusty: A Warhammer Adventure

An iconic cover. I am sure that you will agree. Later used for Empire in Flames and lots of other lesser releases.

A lighting quick pit stop for Realm of Chaos 80s today, so I can share with you this little nugget of 2nd Edition goodness from the ancient archives of WD.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Mini Game...

The Crude, The Mad and the Rusty.

Originally published in WD 83. The mini game has a little collection of models produced to go with it. Sure, the majority of them came from other ranges, but there were two (as far as I can tell) models produced for this game that were not included in any other range. These were, the Tinman model and Oxy the Dwarf Mechanic. Skrag the Slaugheter, erstwhile follower of Malal also made an appearance. 
The miniatures that were released to go with the game. And yes, you are reading it correct... Debenhams did used to have a fantasy gaming section... It just goes to show how popular gaming had become by the mid 80s, almost becoming mainstream... Sadly, it was not to last. 

A painted version of Oxy and the Tin Man that I found on Warseer.
Here's the link to the rest of the article... Sorry, but its a up upside down... Whoops!


Acceptable in the 80s: Warhammer, The Mighty Fortress and WDs 100 and 101

After all the interviews and articles concerning Slaves to Darkness and life at GW in the 80s, its exciting to return to the pages of Old School White Dwarf in search of more Warhammer Third Edition material. Today, its the Warhammer content from issues 100 and 101. 

The times are clearly a-changing, a fact not missed in the letter pages of these mighty magazine, with readers commenting that WD has rapidly become a 'house magazine' focusing on GW and Citadel products rather than pure roleplaying. But as we know now, sales of roleplaying games were in serious decline while sales of fantasy, and science fiction, wargames were rapidly on the rise. 

Issue 100 is, largely, a celebration of this past without actually providing much content dealing with traditional roleplaying. However, its does focus on fantasy modelling in a big way, and for the first time, miniatures appear on the front cover. Issue 101 sees the launch of 2nd edition Bloodbowl, with a great deal of pretty pictures and miniatures on show. The changes are increasingly clear by now, with no out of studio material at all, save the soon to be culled classifieds in the back of the magazine. The pattern of Warhammer releases follows its current downwards trend, with only a single advert (the wonderful Elf cavalry below) in 100 but major developments were just around the corner. Issue 101 sees more WFB content and details the iconic release of the Mighty Fortress, Citadel's polystyrene castle and makes reference to the first supplement to WFB3, the complex Warhammer Siege. 

I love the faint allusion to zebra strips on some of the horses, though its left to our imagination of these markings are natural to the breeds of elf horse or have been applied as some kind of warpaint. 
Elven Cavalry 
I much prefer the '80s look of the elves than the overblown po-faced designs of the 21st century. Here we have a series of mounted figures and a few spearmen. The models themselves are well proportioned and varied, with a mix between spear, sword and bow, providing the gamer with an opportunity to field units of each if they so desired. The tall helms and long chainmail coats have a faint middle eastern whiff about them and an effort has been made to sculpt horses that look different than the standard human one. These mounts are smaller and more graceful, much like their riders, though they are limited to two poses. This does effect the overall look of the models when seen together, as the advert above shows, as with skillful painting each horse can be made to look quite different. 

In my book, the Mighty Fortress is one of the greatest '80s releases. 
The Mighty Fortress
I always appreciated the fact that the Mighty Fortress was peddled to us as an accessory for both Warhammer and  Rogue Trader. I loved the idea of Medieval Worlds, where a few aliens could manipulate the masses and take power, only for some off world rivals to arrive and recruit local allies. The mix between RT and WFB rules was always exciting and varied. Best suited for skirmish games, narratives based on this simple premise are brilliant fun and were sadly missing from later editions. 
      So what did you get? A quick glance at the image below can provide more detail than I can express here, but basically, you got four towers, four wall sections and two gateway sections as well as loads of plastic doors, hatches and gateways. I'd always wanted one of these but lacked the funds back in the day, so a decent copy of the castle was one of the first purchases I made after I 'went retro' about two years ago. I remember the enormous package arriving in the back of a Royal Mail van and tearing the brown paper off with great excitement. The castle is very tactile. It feels light but solid and has the polystyrene familiarity that takes you straight back to toys and Christmases of old. Sure, there is better detailing today among plastic and resin castles, but the simple charm of this set compliments '80s models perfectly. The downside is, of course, the fragility of the castle itself. A hefty knock and the straight, even lines are characteristically, for polystyrene, damaged. However, this does make any conversions very simple to achieve.

One of the original adverts for the fortress, showing off the plastic components in a little more detail; ladders, doors, gateways and a flag pole or two. 

Dwarf Gyrocopter 
Zany inventions and crazy ideas were, and are, one of the major attractions for WFB3 era models and rulesets. If someone had a good idea for a model, it was usually made and some rules published alongside the release. The Gyrocopter is a lovely example of this. Sculpted by Mark Copplestone, the model is detailed and fantastic, but shares enough of real design to be believable. Its not a piece I know much about, not having and example in my own collection but I is certainly a model I'd be keen to own at the right price. 

The rules for this model were published in WD101 and are presented to you below along with a bit of background. They were written by Richard Halliwell and illustrated by Pete Knifton. One aspect of the models use in games is the fact that you can use a single model as a mount for a high level character. Fancy putting your dwarf general in one of these? I would if I had one.

So, we have moved from issue 93 to 101 and seen Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles released and seen an abundance of new models, and re-released sculpts appear in the pages of White Dwarf. The game was about to see its first supplement release, Warhammer Siege, which would expand the gameplay of both WFB3 and Rogue Trader, as well as provided a reason for dropping your Mighty Fortress into your games.

We will discuss the book at length in our next discussion of what was 'Acceptable in the '80s.'


Saturday 23 February 2013

Realm of Chaos Black: Painting Tips and Techniques with Andy Craig

Welcome to the first in a series of 'Eavy Metal style articles by miniature painter extraordinaire Andy Craig. Those of you who frequent the Facebook Oldhammer Community may well have already had the opportunity to pick Andy's brains over different aspects of miniature painting. Many of the paints discussed here are available from arts suppliers, such as The Range or Hobbycraft, though we do refer to quite a few old school Citadel Colours, so you may wish to refresh your memory with this article first.

A few posts back I talked about my view of miniature painting and how 'technique can never be a replacement for soul'. As many of you have said, it seems that the 'winning is everything' ethos that prevails among many players of GW games has seeped into the painting scene too. Whatever happened to the sense of adventure and fun that existed during the early years of the Golden Demon competition, eh? Have a look here, here and here if you are unsure what I mean by this.

The theme for this edition of Realm of Chaos Black (get it?) is the colour recipe. Now I am a simplistic out of the pot man, largely because I have never really felt confident enough to go crazy and start mixing up colours, largely due to the fact that my usual result is a rather muddy finish. Well Andy has been really helpful in offering quite a bit of advice in this regard that should interest those of you who wish to improve your painting. So I'll hand over to him...



Red for the Red God!
In my early career, reds were a very difficult colour to get right and I'd avoid using it like the plague. Upon arrival at the 'Eavy Metal studio, I soon found out from the other figure painters that I wasn't alone.
We'll start with the red on the cape in the image below.

First of all make sure your using a good red, e.g. a red that has a very Matt finish - 'cheaper' brands are better for this. I use Anita's acrylic which can be bought in most hobby stores/art suppliers. It really is wonderful stuff, I've used it for years.
For a velvety cloth look, as in the image below, mix red, dark brown and black. Half the amount of black to the red and brown. Thiswill provide you with the base colour. Then start to apply red mixed with small amounts of the base until you are using only red for the first stage of highlights. The red should be pretty prominent by now, so begin to add small amounts of orange to the stand alone red, keep the highlights small to retain the red as larger highlights will just bleach the red. Add a bit of white to the orange and red for the finishing highlights but don't go anywhere near white! I'd say half a tone higher as by this stage the highlights should be very small. 

I hope that this makes sense and you can get good results from the mix.

Bright red.
To achieve a brighter red, I mix any base red with Dealer Rowney 'FW' series acrylic ink, expensive stuff but my God guys this stuff rocks! The reason I add ink to the red is the richness it creates and this technique works the same for any other corresponding colour. So, base colour applied(may take two or three coats to get a flat, even base) just add yellow to the base mix again keeping the highlights small (really important) until you are using yellow, no white.
Weathered red.
Mix red, purple and half the amount of black. The purple will give the red depth. start highlights by adding red to this base mix until you are using using red alone. Highlight using red and orange unitl half the tone of the red, then apply a thin ink wash of dark brown (raw umber is a good choice) red and again half the amount of black just to tone things down.
Blood red. 
This is really simple. Just use black, red and dark blue for your base colour, then half the amount of red to black and blue. Add red to base mix until you using just red to highlight. Once this is dry, use a brighter (not a mix) stock red like if you were using a crimson red to mix the base colour.

Chaos Warrior Bloodbowl Style! Painted by Andy and part of Bryan Ansell's collection.
Yellows and pinks.
Okay, I've lost count of the times that I've been asked 'how do you get such bright yellows and pinks'. It seemed to be a trademark as to how people back in the '80s recognised my work, so here goes....
Use a mid tone yellow, such as the old Sunburst Yellow, and there are a couple of ways you could apply this to your model. 
1, mix yellow paint and orange ink, one quarter ink to paint, apply as your base, then add yellow to this for highlights until you're using only yellow. Add white to yellow again keeping highlights small, (as long as you can see at least three tones...your doing good) until you are using an almost white. 
2. Base coat using just the yellow on its own, again mix yellow and orange ink as before, then apply it as a wash, go for the consistency of milk for your colour wash, you should need only one wash for this. The start your highlights using yellow alone, then add white as desired.
Off yellow.
For a more realistic looking yellow I use Windsor & Newton 'Nut brown', any tone of yellow works for this. apply the same way as above 1 or 2. good idea to experiment with this using different shades of brown, also really good for painting Gold rather than using gold, seen so many painters using this (not my theory, but from what I,ve seen, the same type of thing) to paint gold and it looks awesome. also works well for that battle worn yellow look, just add more brown ink or give a light (watered down) brown wash.
Its been years since I've painted anything pink and the only way I achieved this was using Citadel Titillating Pink. Base coat your model with this pink, then mix the pink and half the amount of a bright red ink. Then mix this down to an ink form before washing over the pink. Highlight with Titillating Pink, then pink and white.
One of the greatest colours (along with Bilious Green) to be found in the original Citadel Paint Sets. Now very hard to get of as the Coat d'Arms version, called Shocking Pink, is a different colour.
Here's an example of Titillating Pink in action. A two-tone Tzeentch horror by Andy. Now in the collection of Bryan Ansell. 
Flesh tones.
One thing I've loved doing above all others, is experimenting with colours, and none is more relevant than different skin tone effects. I've been using this recipe for flesh for most of my career, so I hope it is of some use to you guys.
With so many paint manufacturers out there selling their 5 or 6 step flesh tones, save yourselves some money guys and just buy the darkest tone.....and add white to it..
If you want to create your own, use this as your base colour. Mix red, yellow, white, brown (burnt umber) and Windsor & Newton 'Burnt Sienna' (must be w&n Burnt Sienna for this to work). Mix brown, white in the same amounts, then add red and yellow at half the amount, then Burnt Sienna ink as same amount as yellow and red. experiment with this to obtain different skin tones, add more red for a more tanned look or yellow for a more bronzed look. For me, its been a great foundation skin tone, if I feel the base mix is to dark for a particular figure I just add white. 

It would be great hear how you get along with this.

Another two tone horror, again part of Bryan's collection and painted by Andy.
I loved painting orks when I was working in the studio, so to start I'll explain the green I used for greenskins.
Any mid earth tone green (such as the old Woodland Green) will do as a base. Use sunburst yellow, white and Windsor & Newton 'apple green' ink, mix the green with half amounts of white and yellow, though you may want to add less white if you like the darker tones. Add a quarter of ink to this then use as base coat. Add white and yellow to base colour for highlights, then give a thin wash of apple green ink once highlights are completed.
Weathered greens
These work well for clothing and look great light or dark. Mix dark brown (raw umber) Woodland Green and black. Use the same amounts of brown and green and a quarter black, then use as base coat. Add Woodland Green to the base mix for highlights then add yellow to woodland green for your final highlighting but stop just as you see the yellow starting to show. Make a thin wash from the base mix then apply as a finishing touch.
Bloodbowl Star Player. Painted by Andy. Owned by Bryan. Photographed by Steve Casey !
System 3 Process Cyan by Rowney is the only blue I've used for years and you can achieve some incredible shades just by adding to it. If you want a deep rich shade add a dark purple ink, which seems to work better than just adding paint. Windsor & Newton Ultramarine ink works really well with this blue and gives an incredible mid tone.
I've seen some amazing metal effects on armour over the years, but let's face it, metallic pigment has never really been that good, which is why you see so many painters going for the option of painting the illusion of metal these days. I'll start by taking you through the rusty looking metal on the image below.
For this, you'll need gold, black ink and orange ink. Base coat with gold and make sure it's bone dry or the gold will shift. Mix the same amounts of black and orange ink and half the amount of gold paint. Water this down and apply, but before each application give the mix a good stir. You could even use this mix to target certain areas of metal to give them that starting to rust look. I used this mix many years ago to paint some chaos knights for a friend (around 25 figures) as he wanted them  quickly, so I applied this mix straight onto the bare metal using the same colours, but this time I used enamels thinned with white spirit, they looked great!
Base coat with your gold, again making sure that its dry. Then mix yellow ink, a mid tone brown ink and just drop of gold paint. The gold paint will now take the 'shine' off the ink. Oh, before I forget, anyone that has a problem with ink shine add a Matt medium to the ink before hand, Dealer Rowney do a good one. Highlight with gold paint then add silver for the final highlights.

Back and white.
There are a number of ways to shade, highlight and colour wash with these two colours. There are many shades of black on the market and many tinted whites, again... don't waste your money when you probably have these colours already. Just follow these simple steps if you're having difficulty or just fancy a new method. 
The first, and most simple method to make your blacks look interesting, is use the dark tones of blue, green or red. This will depend on the figure type, so for instance let's say a LOTR wraith, I'd paint a base coat of black, then for the highlights, mix black with a mid tone blue, now, the trick here is to keep your highlights very small, best not tone all the way up to a light blue, just the blue alone should be enough. If there's three quarter's black still showing your on the right track. Emphasise all the high ridge folds on the wraith's cloak remembering to keep the highlights very small. applying a very thin wash of a dark brown ink, as this just gives that extra bit of depth. Experiment with different colours on different models and see what you can achieve.
Again, depending on the figure type, let's say you wanted to paint the hair on a figure white, apply an ink wash of yellow and burnt sienna mix in equal amounts using the same amount of water (use a Pipette) then highlight using white. This makes for a more interesting tone of white.
Sky blue, light tan, and parchment work well also, as with black, make sure the white is dominant. And there is no harm in giving whites a full colour glaze orwash for an off or dirty looking white.


Andy Craig.

A big thanks to Andy for contributing his time to Realm of Chaos 80s once more. And I am please to announce that Mr Craig will be providing plenty more advice in future articles, including more advanced painting techniques and freehand shield and banner painting, so watch this space.

Feel free to comment about the techniques Andy has described, or email us any miniatures you've painted using his techniques. If you have any further questions, Andy can be contacted through me at this blog or directly on Facebook's Oldhammer Community. 

Right, where's my Titillating Pink and those Tzeentch daemons?


Heroquest Heroics and Crazy Oldhammer Bargains

Some people have all the luck. 

Are you one of them?

My old gaming partner, Dan, is one such individual. Last week, he was trying to explain the concept of Oldhammer gaming to a colleague at work and was discussing the growing Old School gaming scene on the internet. They didn't believe that he was involved, so he loaded up some of the posts he's contributed to here at Realm of Chaos 80s in the past. 

One observer commented (and I paraphrase here) that 'I've got a few bits and pieces from years ago in my lost to do with that. I'll bring them in tomorrow if you want them.' 

Of course, Dan had no real idea what these bits and pieces would involve. He suspected a few ghastly plastics from the mid 90s, he nearly collapsed when he opened his haul the following day...

Dan and his Heroquest Haul. The original set (in mint condition), all the UK expansions (also in mint condition), the extremely rare Advanced Heroquest paint set (yes, you guessed it, in mint condition) and a copy of WD 145 (yes, it was in mint condition!)
These brought back a fair few memories, though neither of us played the expansions back in the day. 
All the classic Citadel Miniatures are in mint condition.
That includes the rare Ogres from the expansion. I'd never even seen one of these before. 
The Advanced Heroquest Painting set was also mint, with all the models still on the sprue, the paints still in position, the second edition painting guide and a Heroquest poster. 
In side the box Dan found two mint skeleton horde sprues and their shields, a single sprue from the plastic regiments box  with the shields and a mint sprue of the Advanced Heroquest Hero models. Lovely stuff. 
Obviously, we decided to get some Heroquest games in. Dan decided to be Morcar first and selected a suitable scenario for us to play. 
We added lots of little rules to spice things up as we played, including characters jumping on tables. Here my Elf and Barbarian battle it out with goblins, orcs and a chaos warrior! Smell the 80s! 
I ran the Barrow of  Witch Lord for Dan. 
Dan ran the Bastion of Chaos for me. 
Fantastic production standards throughout the set, the resources and miniatures are better than modern releases.  
Some of the spells that were available. Loving the old school pen and ink illustrations by Gary Chalk. 
I am sure you will agree that Dan has scored quite a deal here. He asked me how much his horde would be worth and I estimated easily £200, if not more. Not that Dan has any serious plans to drop this lot on eBay, being a serious collector of Heroquest related material. He plans to restore and paint his original copy of the game in the future, keeping this set mint, and get his hands on a copy of Advanced Heroquest and do the same. 

His good fortune got me thinking about Oldhammer bargains in general. 

Have you ever scored a fantastic Oldhammer bargain? You know, when quite by accident you get your hands on something really special for next to nothing and either keep it as part of your collection, or sell it on.  I did the same with 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay source books at a Car Boot Sale. I bought the core rule book and 6 other hardbacks, all in very good condition, for £20 before selling them on eBay for £280. 

Quite a profit!

Do you have any memories of Heroquest you'd like to share? Or boasts you'd like to make about rare and classic Oldhammer items that have come your way through luck?

If you do, please comment below because we'd love to hear them!

Orlygg and Dan.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Old School Painting Ethos: The Marvelous Nico

One of the most important functions of any blog, is the promotion of other bloggers work who produce content similar to your own. Doubly so, if the blogger has a very similar sounding blog name to you own. Recently, I have been posting selected early 'Eavy Metal material from the mid '80s as well as a few adverts from the 'Golden Age'. 

Thank you to everyone who shared an opinion on those. 

I stumbled across Nico's blog a fair few months ago, and to be honest I don't check back often enough. I am glad I did today, for the well of quality painting and collecting that confronted me was outstanding. After spending a good thirty minutes or so soaking up the old school charm of his blog, I came to the conclusion that Nico has to be the greatest, if not the greatest, painter in the broader Oldhammer scene.

Don't believe me? Have a look at these...

The Chaos Dwarf Juggernaut is one of my 'dream models'. Frighteningly rare and expensive to get hold of by all accounts. Nico's is the best painted version I have ever seen, or ever will I suspect, and I adore the references to '80s painting, most notably on the shields- with Fraser Grey and John Blanche homages aplenty. 
A full frontal view, with more details from the shields revealed. 
Brilliant tone and execution on that wood, and the grain on those shields look hand painted. Sensational work!
The '80s old school influences don't end with Chaos Dwarfs of old. But orcs too. The execution of the blanche inspired shields is remarkable - don't you think?

Nico doesn't just focus on fantasy, here's an incredible Gargant. Very old school orky don't you feel?
There's plenty more to see over on his blog. If you're not already a follower of Nico's work and you have even a tiny interest in Old School Warhammer or 40k, you would be a complete fool to miss out.


Wednesday 20 February 2013

White Dwarf: Raiders of the Lost Adverts (and other stuff)

"In my day, adverts were adverts..."

"When I was a boy, all these pages were just quality content."

"I used to wake up in the morning and had to play quality boxed games for 10 hours before I got out my paint brushes."

Ah, nostalgia just isn't what it used to be. But yesterday was clearly a nostalgia fest, with Realm of Chaos 80s receiving over two thousand page views (the most its ever had in a single day) and a fair few new followers and contributors to the comments section. 

So thank you all once again. A year and few days ago I would have never imagined that we would have achieved the things we have. From a few passionate individuals, to a real community planning its own Oldhammer Weekender, under the auspices of the Mighty Avenging Bryan Ansell himself. 

I've had some very positive feedback from my recent trawl through the ancient archive of my White Dwarfs. These selections pre-date the main focus of this blog, Third Edition, but are interesting just the same. Many of the figures that we have been looking at were available and used for WFB3 so its nice to see them in a slightly different light.

Today, its adverts.

Here's a quite run down of the better quality adverts I found during my quest into the depths of 80s White Dwarfs. Orcs, Dwarfs, Chaos Warriors and Feudals battle for your attention and command the opening of wallets. Hordes of mulleted miniature enthusiasts, with the arms of their T-shirts undoubtedly torn off, probably beat down the doors of Citadel Miniatures in a frenzy to get hold of some of these beauties.

There is lots of nice painting to be seen too. 

Mostly by Colin Dixon. 

When greenskins were more than chunky, generic brutes.
These dwarfs are so lovely that if you pick them up they leave a little pool of character behind. 
I LOVE THESE! I really do hope that the Ansells still have the moulds for these brilliant models. If they  do , my bank account may suffer. 
"No spikes here Bob, an' you can stick your skulls up your ar...."
Here's hoping you saw something new here...


Tuesday 19 February 2013

'Eavy Metal: More Ancient Gems with Kevin Adams, Colin Dixon, Aly Morrison and Phil Lewis classics

To follow up on my last post concerning ancient gems from very old WDs, here are a series of 'Eavy Metal articles from the ancient archives of 1986. GW was pre-Warhammer third edition and Rogue Trader at this point, so old school fantasy dominated the magazine and the subsequent miniatures pages.

Many of your will know that Citadel employed the first 'in house miniature painter' in this same year. This was the young and ambitious Colin Dixon (who would later re-emerge as a sculptor in his own right) and for a while, he was the single official GW figure painter.

As we have learnt from Craig, Priestley and Ansell, the design studio was a very creative place to work. Subsequently many of the sculptors were also painters. So Colin was not alone in the world of acrylic paint, for Kevin Adams and Aly Morrison from the sculpting team were also on hand to provide painted models. Phil Lewis, early GW lensman and miniatures supervisor, was also a dab hand with a paint brush.

It seems that there was a decision to focus on the work of these individual studio painters in the mid 80s, and these articles are the product of that. What you are about to see is an astonishing collection of painted models, backed up with detailed, articulate writing which treats the reader with respect. Quite a few people have emailed me to ask how to paint by models retro style, and I plan to do a few stage by stages at some point in the future.

These articles were my starting point, so I'll share them with you here if you want to look beyond the gorgeous lead and into 80s techniques. 

I have discuss Colin's envious mastery of the freehand shield and banner design before. Some of you will know that it is a rather personal quest of mine to improve the quality of my shields. Colin being my main inspiration in this. As you can see here, I have a long, long way to go until I could even keep up with designs like these. 
An interesting mix of models here. This was what used to draw me to 'Eavy Metal articles back in the day. The variation of models, and in the days before the internet EM was one of the few places you could actually see models from Citadel's immediate past. 
Colin explains how...
Now we have an article by Kevin Adams. Not only was he a creative and individualistic sculptor but he was also a painter of no mean merit. He was also known as a bit of an ace converter, back when being an ace convert was bloody hard because metal is a real challenge to cut and prepare. Like Dixon and Blanche, Adams was an advocate of the fantastic painted shield design. His horrible goblinoid faces are truly hideous - in a hideously good way of course. Additionally, Kevin also made wonderful use of natural materials and sculpted green stuff to produce wild and imaginative vegetation for his bases.

He was named 'Goblin Master' for a reason. His 80s goblins (and their paint jobs) redefined these cheeky critters. 
More beautiful modelling and paint work from Kevin. Inspirational. 
Kevin explains how too....
I always loved Phil's work. Very crisp and considered. Here is a slice of his work that includes the famous (and very expensive these days) limited edition amazon, early undead, fimirs, Jez Goodwin's manticore and that beautiful one piece Zoat with the staff. Always wanted one of those. 
More from Phil; brilliant ogres, chaos sorcerers and Judge Dread models. 
This is a very useful guide to consider if you are going for old school stylings in your paintwork.  I found this particularly useful when I started painting in an old school style a couple of years ago.
Brilliant painting from Aly here. Just look at that white fleshed troll! Skrag the Slaughterer was clearly a very popular model among painters during the mid 80s. 
Blanche inspired banners and detailing here. Again, a mix of manufacturers and some conversion work. I've just won the red chaos warrior with the shield above Fig.14 for 99p on eBay. I think I might have ago at copying Morrison's design one day. 
How Aly does it...
Plenty of inspiration here for you. Hopefully, some of you will find some answers about how best approach a miniature if you want to create a retro look.

Any comments?