Monday 5 May 2014

Leadspotting: A chat with Bolt Thrower Miniatures

The Bolt Thrower graphic - designed by John Sibbick you know!

As some of you might recall (those of you who read what I have to say, rather than just looking at the lovely pictures) I am endeavouring to share with you the small little projects that interest me. I'm calling this pastime 'Leadspotting' and its very original I know. Today, we have a little chat with Tom Pugh - the man behind Bolt Thrower miniatures and try and fathom what his twisted plans may or may not actually be. 

Kala and Shweta concept work.
RoC80s: So tell us all about yourself Tom, what's your story when it comes to fantasy wargaming?

BTM: I am a farmer from Shropshire in England. If you don't know the place then think of Tolkien's Shire, only with bigger tractors! There is a Bagginswood only a few miles away actually. I live miles form anywhere, and considering that I am a hermit, suits me just fine. I first got into wargaming back in the halcyon days of the '90s but I have been into fantasy for as long as I can remember. I had hundreds of books on King Arthur and all that. I also read a few of the Fighting Fantasy books, and then moved on to Advanced Fighting Fantasy before moving into wargaming proper. 

Bloddwyn concept art.
RoC80s: I suspect that you have a lot of plans bubbling under your cool exterior. Are you willing to share any of them?

BTM: I have loads of plans, far more than I can currently put into action. Basically, what Bolt Thrower are going to produce are cool miniatures. Miniatures that I want but can't find anywhere else. We are going for a deliberately retro look with Bolt Thrower but that doesn't mean that the miniatures will just be '80s fantasy pastiches. Rather its that we are coming from the same place as a lot of companies were coming from back then. We're not aiming at any particular demographic and there is no corporate strategy. We're just doing stuff we think is cool. Hopefully other people will as well. 

For me, wargaming is all about storytelling, and if a story is going to be engaging it has to have characters, something I find is often missing on the post '90s table top. Plastic miniatures are all very well, and can make units affordable, but there is something souless about multi-part plastic kits. Like a CGI battle scene, they are impressive from afar but just don't have the same feel as an army of individuals, hand sculpted by an artist. 

Bloddwyn WIP.
Bloddwyn WIP.
Bloddwyn WIP.
RoC80s: So what will the initial releases be? Can you give us any idea?

BTM: The first two miniatures that should be available are thus: The Spitebringer, a demon of Bal Odial, the fifth god sculpted by George Fairlamb from a concept by Tony Hough. Bloddwyn, a member of the Townswomen's Guild, which is to be sculpted by Juan Montano from a concept by Martin Hanford. 

RoC80s: I seems to me you are rather fond of producing fiction to support your ideas. is it all yours and will there be more to see in the future?

BTM: The fiction is mine, expect more of this especially the continuing adventurers of Kala and Shweta. The fluff is always an important part of the hobby for me. It gives ideas about what you can do on the table top and helps flesh out the world you are gaming in. You ca expect a lot more of it from Bolt Thrower Miniatures.

RoC80s: Finally, metal, resin or plastic? Slotta or solid?

BTM: Metal. Nothing feels like metal. And solid base, though this is just personal preference. 


  1. I've been following the development of this line with interest and will be interested to see some more WIPs. I love the idea of the little narratives; it adds so much flavour.

  2. How soon can I get my horror hooks on Bloddwyn?
    I need her for a long-running NPC. She's perfect!