Thursday 29 May 2014

'Eavy Metal Special: White Dwarf 116

My last couple of articles have been based on research from White Dwarf 116, published in August 1989, and in my opinion, the heart of the golden age of GW. Many games are mentioned within its pages; Blood Bowl, 40k, Warhammer, Space Hulk, Space Marine and so on. Never again would so many great games be created, expanded and discussed. 

There are a series of pages dedicated to miniature painting, as you would expect, and I have a selection of them here for discussion. If you are anything like me, these older paintjobs are more of an inspiration than the more modern displays of NMM and so on. I paint old school miniatures in an old school style, and to get that style right needs careful study of the period. 

First up, the Staff Studio pages. 

Check out those mug shots! You'll notice Oldhammerers amongst them, Tim Prow and Andy Craig at the bottom of the six, while recent interviewee, Phil Lewis lurks next to a young Mike McVey. The article kicks off with a stage by stage of Citadel's Blue Dragon by McVey. Now this is a model I don't really have any experience with, as regular readers will know, dragons always intimidated me due to their size but since completing work on the Great Spined Dragon, I may one day paint a smaller beast. The paintjob is obviously for the purpose of this stage by stage, as it doesn't really match up to McVey's masterful blending that you see elsewhere. However, the Citadel Knights are magnificent are they not?

There are more of them on the next page. 

Starting with the knights, the first thing that strikes me is the quality of the painting on the horses. Beautiful colours and realistic representations of the different breeds of horse available. Its clear that the 'Eavy Metal boys spent some time refining their horse painting skills and consulted real life horses in the process. there was a lovely article published alongside the Imperial Guard Rough Riders that really went to town on the different colour schemes.

The chaos swarf Blood Bowl players are excellent models and have been painted with an interesting pink and grey colour scheme. Not something I had considered doing before, but works really well for these stunties. Discoveries like this a really useful for developing your painting skills as half the battle is coming up with a decent colour scheme. The three Star Players are the work of Tim Prow and Andy Craig, as are the Blood Bowl dwarfs and are probably familiar to many of you. A solitary plastic skeleton twangs his bow at the bottom right, and thirty years later these are still be best plastic skeletons ever produced, especially with the added armour components. A very simple colour scheme shows him off to perfection.

Paint one of those skeletons before you die. 

They make a second appearance (the skeletons, that is) as part of Kevin House's diorama "Death From Above", which was used to showcase the second fantasy miniatures book, as is worthy of a mention here. The two 40k vehicles are also excellent and I love the use of real cobbles for the rocks on the top picture.

Finally, two pages of Fraser Gray magic. There is no need to describe what is on show here, the Greatest Miniature Painter Of All Time's work needs no introduction. The fact that he achieved his distinctive look with enamel paint just heightens his genius. 

How did he do it?



  1. I can recall the day that I bought this White Dwarf. I can still remember my 14 year old self traipsing around the shopping centre after a pair of relatives while I tried to half read it instead of doing whatever other thing I was supposed to be doing.

    That Chaos Dwarf team was always a standout due to its memorable scheme. I was trying to stay focussed on Epic and Blood Bowl at the time, but I was soon to pick up Space Hulk and collecting for that turned out to be the thin edge of the wedge to beat all subsequent thin edged wedges.

    This era is without doubt the era that I measure all my subsequent GW interaction with, but as I started the GW side of the hobby with WD #108, I have long treated that opinion as being very subjective.

    Thanks for the memories :)

  2. Fraser gray is also my favourite of the eqvy metal painters from back in the day. Do you know which white dwarf his eldar diorama was in? I have been thinking of using a similar colour scheme for my army..


      Do you mean this one?

  3. That's the one Orlygg. What number WD is it in?

  4. I'm certain there was an 'Eavy Metal class in one of the later issues which solely tackled painting horses, I remember Games Workshop having it in their download section shortly before they pulled all their Downloads....