Thursday, 20 November 2014

Acceptable in the '80s: Marauder Beastmen

Issue 129 of White Dwarf came and went following the now familiar pattern of abundant Rogue Trader and Big Box game stuff, including the seminal Space Marine Armour Variants by Rick Priestley. Warhammer Fantasy Battle is relegated to a few painted figures in the 'Eavy Metal section and the now ubiquitous Marauder Miniatures release.

That month, it was chaos beastmen. 

Now I have many, many Citadel beastmen in my collection, including thirty-odd painted up examples, all of which are different, Back in the early '90s, it was much the same, though most of my models were but sad daubings with paint and brush - a bit like today according to some! Still, I really enjoyed the range for its malevolence and diversity. Even the old Ral Partha beastmen were worthy of ranking up alongside the Citadel ones I had, in fact, many of them were even more zany and bizarre as the mid to late '80s ranges. 

The trouble with the Marauder range was that they just were not as good. They just became the generic muscular goated head men that they would remain, largely, until this day. I expect that producing models to a more coherent design philosophy was much much easier than just letting your sculptors run amok with their wild imaginations, and to be far, some of the examples produced between 1985-7 are really rather naff, but there are more than enough diamonds amongst them to make the risk worthwhile. 

Perhaps Marauder lacked the resources or time and these models were all they had time to produce. At the time I was sorely disappointed by this release, and my feelings haven't changed to this day. There are many great models in the Marauder range (Ogres? Chimera?) but these beastmen are not part of that elite group. 

Even today, with all the sculpting technology that companies have at their beck-and-call, most of the ranges I have seen still hark back to this generic model. The goat man. I think this is largely due to the influence of modern plastic Warhammer figures, after all the other companies just ape the biggest fish, but I for one would really like to see a more frightening, mutated, varied range arrive one day!

Hopefully, sculpted by Kev Adams at the Foundry! (;


  1. It was the start of a move toward (IMHO) a more cartoony look. I'm not much of a fan of these but they are fantastic compared to some of the rubbish citadel put out during the red era...but I guess that was the direction the company wanted to head when they decided that they should market their efforts to early teens rather than to a more mature market. From a commercial perspective that was a pretty wise decision

  2. Not so keen on the rank and file of that unit, but I always liked the command group.

    Plus, they're reasonably good companions for the Imperial Beastman officer with a plasma pistol for 40k.

  3. I had a mess of these because I was trying to fill up my collection with enough beastmen for the 2D6 roll in realm of chaos, lost and the damned for Chaos Warbands play(I never had enough back in the day...). They are generally not good at all but the guy with the club is fairly cool. The new beastmen really look great in comparison, and you can use that and various plastic kits to go berserk on the modding.

  4. These are great figures, love them as much as the earlier ones. The command group are great!